Candied Squash and Sweet Potatoes (Calabaza y Camote)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This hearty mixture of slowly simmered squash and sweet potatoes is bathed in a delicious syrup that is sweetened with the rich Mexican unrefined brown sugar known as piloncillo, which comes in the shape of a cone. For the best results, stir infrequently while cooking, to keep the squash and potatoes intact.


  • 4-5 sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs.), scrubbed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 3⁄4 pounds), scrubbed, trimmed, halved, seeded, and cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 lb. Mexican brown sugar (piloncillo, about 2 cones), cut into small pieces


Step 1

Put sweet potatoes and 1 cup water into a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add squash and sugar, stir to combine, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes and squash are soft, 1–1 1⁄2 hours more.

Step 2

Uncover pot and cook until sweet potatoes and squash are just falling apart and liquid has thickened, about 45 minutes. Transfer sweet potato–squash mixture to serving bowl and let cool to room temperature. Divide between bowls and serve at room temperature.

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