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Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

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Candied sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows are a Thanksgiving dinner staple at our house. The tender sweet potatoes and gooey marshmallows really are a addition to any big holiday meal. Really they would be a great addition to a roast chicken or pork dinner throughout the year as well.

small dish of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows in front of remaining pan.

This super easy to make side dish is a sweet and tasty addition to your menu.  It is a must have at our Thanksgiving table, however it would also be great with pork chops, roasted chicken, pork roasts and more.  It is a classic for good reason!

Thanksgiving is one of those holiday meals that you just don’t mess too much with.  People expect to have some of their favorites on the table.

At our big family Thanksgivings we usually end up with two sweet potato dishes.  My sister isn’t happy unless these marshmallow topped sweet potatoes are available.

pan of sweet potatoes dotted with butter and brown sugar ready to bake.

My grandpa wants to make sure a pecan topped sweet potato casserole is available.  Luckily there are enough cooks and eaters in the family that having both isn’t a problem!

We used to always make my great-grandma’s egg noodles for the main meal, but now we tend to make them the day after with leftover turkey and great homemade broth.  Luckily any leftovers to these candied sweet potatoes are a great accompaniment to that as well.

pan of sweet potatoes topped with raw marshmallows ready to bake.

I have updated this post a bit with more information, but here is what MiMi had to say about it when we originally shared it in 2015:

My mom made sweet potatoes like this every year.  It’s just not Thanksgiving without them.  I’ve made them other ways too, but always have to make these in addition to them if I do.  Some things are non-negotiable at Thanksgiving. 

Stove Top stuffing has to be served for my boys.  Kristie must have green bean casserole, Carlee is all about mashed potatoes and gravy and Chloe must have these sweet potatoes.  

It’s egg noodles for me.  I called my mom to make sure I got this just right.  I know when I asked for the recipe that she would say to get out THE cookbook and look.

She didn’t have to tell me she meant the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  Before we were finished with the next sentence I had it out and the recipe was there.  

We make a few changes to that recipe and it suits us perfectly.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Spoon dipping into pan of marshmallow topped candied sweet potatoes.

The Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams

A note from MiMi: I read the cans and found this interesting. One of the cans says: 

YAMS: cut sweet potatoes in syrup – while the other reads 

CUT SWEET POTATOES: cut yams in light syrup. 

Then I looked at the ingredients and they are the same. Sweet potatoes, water, corn syrup and sugar.

Two cans, one that says Bruce's yams with cut sweet potatoes in syrup in smaller print and the other says Princella cut sweet potatoes with cut yams in light syrup in smaller print.

Carlee’s addition to the note: We debate the differences between true yams and sweet potatoes fairly regularly at Thanksgiving. One year we had out dictionaries and encyclopedias trying to figure it out. 

If it comes up this year, I am sure people will just pull out their phones! Either way we saw this on YouTube recently… we thought this might have solved it but the cans bring it back into question!

Here in the United States, we tend to use the terms interchangeably. Some people call root vegetables with white flesh yams and those with orange interiors sweet potatoes.

Big Batch Recipe

For big family dinners and holidays we make a large pan of sweet potatoes.  I thought I would scale it down a bit for a regular family meal.

The recipe card for this post reflects the scaled down version.  If you want to go big, here is the recipe we use for Thanksgiving: 

9×13″ Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows for Larger Gatherings

  • 3 40 ounce cans sweet potatoes in syrup
  • 6 Tablespoon room temperature butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bag marshmallows (miniature marshmallows or big one work)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Butter or spray a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Drain most of the syrup from each can of sweet potatoes.
  4. Pour 1 1/2 cans of potatoes into the baking dish.  Slice the butter into pieces and place half on top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle with half the brown sugar.  Repeat with the remaining potatoes, butter and brown sugar.  
  5. Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes.  It should be bubble.
  6. Place the marshmallows on top and bake until lightly brown.
corner of pan filled with candied sweet potatoes topped with golden brown gooey marshmallows.

More Great Sweet Potato Recipes

If you want a fun and different way to make sweet potatoes, check out my Easy Duchess Sweet Potatoes. It is a simple recipe with big swirly flare! 

Or make yourself a maple crunch sweet potato casserole with an oat and pecan crumb topping. It’s another delicious way to turn yams into something special.

Candied sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows are a Thanksgiving staple at our house. Really they would be a great addition to a roast chicken or pork dinner as well!

Of course you will also need a tasty pie. We tend to lean towards pumpkin there and I have a couple of great recipes. Try making pumpkin pie with condensed milk or a maple sweetened pumpkin pie to round out the meal.

Add-in ideas:

  • a dash of cinnamon would be a tasty addition, warm spices go well with yams
  • you can use maple syrup instead of brown sugar or a mix of both
  • a sprinkle of chopped pecans adds great texture
  • a dash of salt is good too

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

small dish of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows in front of remaining pan.

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Servings: 9 Servings
Author: Carlee
This great sweet potato recipe is easy to make and fun to eat. It is one of our favorite side dishes to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
4.85 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 40 ounce can sweet potatoes*
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • cups marshmallows


  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 8-inch square baking dish or small casserole.
  • Drain most of the liquid from sweet potatoes. Pour sweet potato chunks in casserole prepared dish.
    40 ounce can sweet potatoes*
  • Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
    2 Tablespoons butter, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Top with marshmallows and return to oven until they are golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.
    1½ cups marshmallows
  • Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers. 


You can use mini marshmallows or the bigger ones, they both work great.
If you prefer to use fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned yams, cook them first. You can pierce the skin and cook them in the microwave like you would a baked potato or peel them and boil them. Either way, you will want to remove the skin and cut them into large chunks.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 73mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.85 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)
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