Southern Candied Yams Recipe

Southern Candied Yams with Marshmallows and Pecans are for those that can’t decide between marshmallows or pecans.  Sticky, sweet baked yams are topped with mini marshmallows and pecans for a crunchy, toasty, sweet topping you just can’t resist.

Overhead shot of candied yams in a white baking dish.

Memories of Thanksgiving when I was growing up always had a casserole dish stuffed to the brim with toasted marshmallows.  It wasn’t until you dug a spoon into it that you even knew what was beneath that toasty cloud of sweetness.  For all we knew, it could have been s’mores dip!  

But, sure enough, when you pulled that spoon out of the dish it was loaded with gooey, sticky yams coated in a thick blanket of toasted marshmallow. For some, it was heaven….for me…..much too sweet.  I still shun that overly sweet candied yam casserole but that doesn’t mean I skip the yams completely.

I created a much less cloyingly sweet Southern Candied Yam recipe that’s super simple and not made from canned yams at all. That’s what was used for that super sweet yam casserole I remember from years ago so I knew that fresh yams needed to happen in my revamped version of this holiday side dish.

In addition to fresh yams, I still love the marshmallow but a hint of them in the form of mini marshmallows….just a smattering….would totally do the trick. BUT, I also wanted some crunch to add much needed texture to the soft yams…plus, why not? Right?

Candied yams in a white casserole dish with a copper serving spoon.

SOUTHERN CANDIED YAMS

This Southern Candied Yam recipe is just what you need when your guests are both team marshmallow and team pecan. I know I’m undecided so it just seems fitting to top your baked yams with both. 

A classic holiday side dish, these homemade Candied Yams are made from scratch and are super easy to whip up. The yams are baked in a syrupy sauce and then topped with mini marshmallows and chopped pecans at the end of cooking. 

Yams on a bamboo cutting board peeled and the ends cut off.

HOW TO MAKE CANDIED YAMS

Easy Candied Yams come together pretty easily, the most time spent will be on peeling and slicing the potatoes.  If you have a mandoline, it will cut your prep time in half. If you don’t own a mandoline or you lost the slicing blade, like I did, you can just cut your potatoes into rounds approximately 1/2 inch thick with a sharp chef’s knife.

Yams sliced and arranged in a row in a white baking dish.

Here’s how to make candied yams from scratch:

  1. Peel and slice your yams into 1/2 inch rounds. Stack and arrange in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I used a 2 quart baking dish for this recipe)
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and orange juice. 
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat, stir to combine.
  4. Pour the syrup mixture over the yams and toss to coat a little bit. (Your yams will not be completely coated, this will happen in the oven.)
  5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover the casserole and toss the yams to coat in the sauce. Cover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover the yams and toss to coat in the sauce again. 
  8. Top with the marshmallows and pecans. Return to the oven and bake the yams for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
  9. Remove the yams from the oven and serve immediately.

Yams in a baking dish with syrup being poured over them.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YAMS AND SWEET POTATOES

Contrary to popular believe, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. Real yams are an entirely different root vegetable with starchy, bland flesh and thick, bumpy skin that’s similar in appearance to tree bark.

Sweet Potatoes, on the other hand, have a dark, reddish brown skin that’s thinner and a little smoother. While there are several versions of sweet potatoes at the grocery store, the most commonly found sweet potato is the orange sweet potato.  A lot of people will say these are yams, but, technically…real yams are hard to find in the United States.

You can also find white sweet potatoes which are less sweet than the orange but you can totally use them interchangeably.

BUT, most likely, the yams you buy at the grocery store in the US are, actually, sweet potatoes. But at least you know the difference now. 🙂

Candied yams in a white staub baking dish.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CANDIED YAMS

We love to serve these candied yams at Thanksgiving alongside our favorite turkey recipe but you can also serve them with this easy Spiral Ham recipe!

You can also serve them for a Sunday dinner with this extra special Prime Rib Beef Roast or this Beef Tenderloin Roast

MORE EASY SIDE DISH RECIPES

Here are a few more of our favorite side dish recipes:

Sweet Potato Casserole with Cornflake Pecan Crust | TheSuburbanSoapbox.com

Want to see what else we’re cooking up this season? Follow us on Instagram!

Candied yams with a copper spoon.

Overhead shot of candied yams in a white baking dish.

Southern Candied Yams Recipe

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied yams, sweet potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 620 kcal
Author: Kellie

Super easy Southern Candied Yams are topped with toasty marshmallows and buttery pecans.

Print

Ingredients

  • medium sized yams
  • tbsp  salted butter
  • cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4  cup  brown sugar
  • tsp  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  tsp  ground nutmeg
  • 1/4  tsp  ground ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • tbsp  orange juice
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice your yams into 1/2 inch rounds. Stack and arrange in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I used a 2 quart baking dish for this recipe)
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and orange juice.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat, stir to combine.
  4. Pour the syrup mixture over the yams and toss to coat a little bit. (Your yams will not be completely coated, this will happen in the oven.)
  5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover the casserole and toss the yams to coat in the sauce. Cover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover the yams and toss to coat in the sauce again.
  8. Top with the marshmallows and pecans. Return to the oven and bake the yams for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
  9. Remove the yams from the oven and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

You can prep your potatoes in advance by peeling, slicing and storing in an airtight container or zip top bag in the refrigerator. 

Alternatively, you can bake the entire candied yam casserole, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. To reheat, remove the foil and bake at 350 degrees until warmed through.

Nutrition Facts
Southern Candied Yams Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 620 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 425mg18%
Potassium 2180mg62%
Carbohydrates 114g38%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 40g44%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 732IU15%
Vitamin C 46mg56%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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