“Candied” Sweet Potatoes

Candied yams are a staple at Thanksgiving but they’re traditionally made with loads of sugar, butter, and marshmallows. To make this recipe worthy of The Biggest Loser, a fair amount of reworking was in order. In this renovated version, the yams get simmered instead of mashed with butter then topped with a yogurt and goat cheese combination instead of marshmallows. It may sound strange on paper, but it makes for a seriously satisfying substitute for the traditional dish.

“Candied” Sweet Potatoes Recipe

By the numbers: An average serving of traditional candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, butter and brown sugar has about 498 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 52 grams of sugar while a serving of this version has only 140 calories, 3.5 g fat, and 6 grams of sugar.

  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Hands On Time: 15 mins


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium orange (or 2 tbsp fresh orange juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre), crumbled


Place sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover by 1-inch with cold water and add kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When it boils, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook until potatoes are knife tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Drain and set aside to cool briefly. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.)

When cool enough to handle, mix sweet potatoes with broth, olive oil, zest, juice, and spices, and turn into a 2-quart baking dish.

Heat oven to broil or 500°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Spread yogurt in an evenly layer over potatoes then sprinkle goat cheese all over the top.

Broil until lightly toasted, about 1 to 3 minutes. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Serve warm.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories 140
  • Fat calories 30
  • Total fat grams 3.5
  • Sat fat grams 1.5
  • Cholesterol mg 5
  • Sodium mg 220
  • Total carbohydrates g 22
  • Fiber g 3
  • Sugars g 6
  • Protein g 5
  • Vitamin A IUs % 280
  • Vitamin C % 15
  • Calcium % 6
  • Iron % 4
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