Here, fantastic sweet potatoes, from the easiest basic recipes to a spectacular candied version topped with with marshmallows.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2016

In this Article

Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes

What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? True yams, native to Asia and Africa, are rare in the United States; they are scaly, with a dry, starchy taste. What is marketed in the U.S. as a yam is really a sweet potato, a tuber native to the Americas, with a moist orange or pale yellow flesh. The mix-up may have started when American slaves began calling sweet potatoes nyami, from a West African word meaning to eat. A few letters were lost and nyami became yam. —Jen Murphy

Sweet Potato Recipes

Maple-baked sweet potatoes

Maple-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Parboiling sweet potatoes shortens their cooking time and keeps them moist.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallows

In this clever version of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, Grace Parisi mashes sweet potatoes with deeply flavorful grade B maple syrup and butter before stuffing them back into their skins and baking them a second time.

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

This superb roasted sweet potato recipe couldn’t be simpler: Just slice, toss with melted butter and roast.

Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fennel
Credit: © Lucy Schaeffer

Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fennel

This supersimple side dish gets extra flavor from ground mace and nutty caramelized fennel bulbs.

Maple-Whipped Sweet Potatoes

To add extra sweetness, Grace Parisi simmers the sweet potatoes in apple cider before pureeing them with butter and maple syrup.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Shallots

When making this recipe ahead of time, be sure to keep the shallots in a container separate from the whipped sweet potatoes to help retain their crispiness.