This Candied sweet potatoes recipe is a classic Thanksgiving side dish and now it gets an air fryer twist. Made with warm spices, this easy recipe is a great addition to any holiday dinner table.

For everyone, there is always that one great recipe. There is that one perfect side dish that they just can’t do without!

For me, it’s this southern staple! Just a handful of ingredients are needed to make these easy candied sweet potatoes!

The best part is that they can be made in the air fryer in just 20 minutes!

top view of the sweet potatoes with a serving spoon
These candied sweet potatoes will practically melt in your mouth.

Tips for making them

  • Choosing the right sweet potato is important if you want to get tender sweet potatoes! Check out my tips on buying the perfect sweet potato at your local grocery store.
  • Use a (Affiliate Link) mandoline to make the right size of sweet potatoes. Thick slices take longer to cook.
  • I used vegan butter in this recipe, but, you can use the regular melted butter too. Make sure it’s unsalted butter.
  • Go with light brown sugar over dark brown sugar because dark sugar can overpower the flavors. White sugar is also a wrong choice because it will overpower the flavors of the sweet potatoes.
  • You can also add a crumbly top like the one I used in this blueberry crumble. It adds texture. Or go with mini marshmallows.
  • This recipe also makes use of my homemade pumpkin spice. If you can make your own to use in this recipe, please do so.

🍊 Substitution tip: Lime juice is very important to this recipe because it tames the sweetness. If you don’t like lime juice, you can substitute it with Orange juice and orange zest.

Closeup view of candied sweet potatoes
Give your oven a break and make these candied sweet potatoes in the air fryer.

Canned sweet potatoes or fresh?

You can use canned sweet potatoes (or yams) in this recipe, but, it won’t taste the same.

For this recipe, it is better to use fresh sweet potatoes which are those with bright orange flesh. They make for a better texture and taste.

Also, canned yams come with so much added stuff like syrup and sugars. Who wants to taste corn syrup with yams?

top view of a baking pan that is half filled with the sweet potatoes and a serving spoon in it.
These candied sweet potatoes are easy to make in the air fryer

Making them in the air fryer

Most people are used to making them in the oven or stove top because it’s traditionally done that way.

But, what if your oven is already pulling triple or quadruple duty? On Thanksgiving day, the oven is the busiest appliance on the planet!

So, instead, give some of the tasks to your air fryer. When you have no oven space, the air fryer comes in very handy.

You can always cook them in the oven too. Adjust the time to about 15 minutes.

I have a list of even more potato recipes that are a must-make for Thanksgiving. If you don’t have an oven, I have an entire Thanksgiving Feast prepared in the air fryer and it’s all vegan-friendly.

A top view of a pizza pan filled with the sweet potatoes, 2 basil leaves for garnish and a serving spoon on the side. Tiny crescent-shaped potatoes on the side of the pan for decorating.
These sweet potatoes are a must-have at your Thanksgiving dinner table.

Equipment used

  • COSORI Max XL
  • 7″ Pizza pan
  • Peeling knife
  • Parchment paper
  • Stainless steel skillet
A top view of a pizza pan filled with the sweet potatoes, 2 basil leaves for garnish and a serving spoon on the side. Tiny crescent-shaped potatoes on the side of the pan for decorating.
All the sweet potatoes will be devoured in a matter of minutes.

🍅 Handy Tip: The best way to serve this delicious side dish is right out of the air fryer. If it gets to room temperature, that’s fine too.

How to make these candied sweet potatoes

  1. Peel the sweet potato and remove any black spots.
  2. Use a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes and cut each piece in half.
  3. Arrange the slices in the (Affiliate Link) pizza pan and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on low heat.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, including vanilla extract, and mix well.
  6. When the sauce is like a buttery syrup consistency, turn off the heat.
  7. Slowly drizzle this spiced brown sugar glaze on the potatoes.
  8. Put down some parchment paper in the air fryer basket and place the pizza pan on it.
  9. Put the basket in the air fryer and Cook for 10 minutes at 300°F (149°C)

Answering your questions

Is this a make-ahead recipe

Sadly, this is not a make-ahead recipe. The sweet potatoes are caramelized using sugar which will harden or become too sticky to eat. I suggest you slice the sweet potatoes the night before and put them in an airtight container. Make the candied mixture about 30 minutes before you are ready to eat.

Can I make them in the oven?

Yes, traditionally, these southern candied sweet potatoes are cooked in the oven. Preheat oven to 320°F and cook for about 40-45 minutes. Cook until they are fork tender. I like the air fryer because I get such perfectly tender sweet potatoes.

Can I use canned sweet potatoes

No, I don’t recommend using them. They come with added syrups and preservatives which ruin the taste of the sweet potatoes.

When can I serve these candied sweet potatoes?

Traditionally, these candied sweet potatoes are served on the United States’s Thanksgiving day. It can also be served as a side to any holiday meal, like Christmas dinner. However, they are also considered a classic soul food dish which means they can be made any time you need some soul food.

What kind of sweet potatoes can I use?

– Regular sweet potatoes
Stokes Purple sweet potatoes
– Japanese sweet potatoes
– Heirloom sweet potatoes
Check out Saveur Magazine’s list of sweet potatoes.

top and closeup view of candied sweet potato pieces in a tray with a seviing spoon on the side.

🍁 Finishing Tip: To make these sweet potatoes even better, top with ground cinnamon. It will taste really good.

Suggested main dishes

Looking for easy recipes with simple ingredients that are a Thanksgiving favorite? Check out my vegan Thanksgiving recipe collection.

A few sweet potato recipes

Loaded sweet potato

Sweet potato is even better when topped with southwestern ingredients. This is my family’s favorite side dish.

Sweet potato wedges

Steak-sized potato wedges with a crispy outside are exactly what your taste buds want. Thanksgiving side dishes don’t get any easier than this!

Sweet potato hash

A breakfast recipe made in one cast iron pan!

Air fryer sweet potato tartlets

When you don’t want to share sweet potato casserole, you make tartlets out of them. This classic side dish gets an air fryer spin.

Fluffy sweet potato drop biscuits recipe

Fluffy drop biscuits are a must-have at your Thanksgiving table.

Sharing is caring

Don’t be shy, chime in below in the comments. Let me hear your opinion on this recipe. If you enjoyed this, please give it 5 stars and share it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

top view of the sweet potatoes with a serving spoon

Best Air Fryer Candied Sweet Potatoes

Rini
Easy vegan air fryer candied sweet potatoes are the easiest Thanksgiving side dish. Ready in just 20 minutes.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 400 kcal

Equipment

  • COSORI Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Peel the sweet potato and remove any black spots
  • Use a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes
  • Cut the slices into halves to make it easier to arrange in the pan
  • Arrange the slices in the pizza pan and set aside
  • In a stainless steel baking pan, add the butter
  • Set it to low heat and let the butter melt
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well
  • When the sauce is like a syrupy consistency, turn off the heat
  • Slowly drizzle the sauce over the potatoes
  • Make sure you get all the potatoes drenched in the liquid
  • Put down a wax paper in the air fryer basket
  • Place the pizza pan on top of the basket
  • Put the basket in the air fryer
  • Cook for 10 minutes on 300°F (149°C)

Video

Notes

CALORIES INFORMATION IS APPROXIMATE.  CONSULT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.
Tips
  • Use a mandoline to make the circular pieces of the sweet potatoes. These way, you have even thickness of the sweet potatoes
  • I used vegan butter in this recipe, but, you can use the regular butter too.
  • Go with a light brown sugar over a dark brown sugar because dark sugar can over power the flavors.
  • You can also add a crumbly top for texture texture.
  • Lime juice is very important to this recipe because it tones out the sweetness from the sugars and the sweet potatoes.
  • In my recipe, I use one sweet potato only. This should serve 2 people. You can make more and use a larger pan that will fit in the air fryer basket.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal
Keyword Air Fryer Recipes, Air fryer sweet potatoes,, vegan thanksgiving sides
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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28 Comments

  1. My family loves anything potato recipes! This is a brilliant recipe I have tried for dinner last night with orange juice and orange zest! Love the taste:)

  2. Hi Rini,
    I don’t have an Air Fryer unit, but I have a Breville Countertop Oven which has an Air Fryer setting and an oven tray for it. To me, it’s basically a Convection Setting. Would the recipe work in this environment? Looks so easy and tasty! Thank you.

    1. Thanks Marigold, I will be honest with you, I don’t really use a countertop oven too much. I think my best guess is that you can put the tempreture higher at around 350F and let the candied potatoes cook for 15-20Min. Make sure the heat is coming from the bottom

    2. Hi Rini, I made this in the oven according to your recipe but used another oven recipe for the cooking instructions. It came out great. Your mixture sounded excellent and it tastes just like I thought it would. I’m either going to double or triple in a larger 9×13. Baked 30mins at 350˚ covered, and 25mins @375˚ uncovered. My husband and daughter said it’s a YES for Thanksgiving. Thank you again, for a great recipe!

  3. This is such a perfect side for the family dinner, thank you so much Rini! Definitely my favorite sweet potatoes!

  4. These sweet potatoes look so good! I love the addition of lime juice. I can’t wait to try these this Thanksgiving.

  5. Thanks for a new sweet potato recipe to add to our Thanksgiving celebration. The combination of pumpkin pie spice and ginger sounds amazing! I can’t wait to make this recipe.

  6. First the picture grabbed my attention, beautiful dark rich potatoes. After reading through, had to make this. I was quite pleased with the flavors.

  7. I love candied sweet potatoes, and Thanksgiving just doesn’t sit right with me unless they’re on the table. What a great recipe for making them in the Instant Pot! Thanks!