Have you ever had Southern style Candied Yams? Topped with gooey melted marshmallows and baked in the oven you can have the best tasty Thanksgiving dish just like Grandma makes it. This easy homemade recipe is a huge family hit!
Make this from-scratch soul food side dish that's perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. My mom would make this candied yam recipe all growing up and it is a Thanksgiving staple for my family.
This quick old-fashioned side dish pairs perfectly with some of our other delicious side dishes. Pair it with homemade Creamed Corn, Cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and dinner rolls all made from scratch.
It makes a great side with Turkey, especially when you use our Turkey Injection Recipe.
This recipe only calls for a few simple ingredients. We've perfected the seasoning so you can have all the best flavors.
- Yams- For this recipe, we used canned yams. It makes prep so much easier, especially on busy Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We like to use Bruce's.
- Butter- Salted butter was used for this recipe.
- Brown sugar- Brown sugar gives a deeper flavor profile compared to white sugar.
- Miniature marshmallows- For topping the recipe and finishing off that sweet candied taste. The mini marshmallows work great for melting quickly and browning just right.
- cinnamon and nutmeg - We tested this recipe over and over to get the perfect amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. We didn't want to overwhelm the dish and it has the perfect subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Candied Yams
Recipes don't get any easier than this Candied Yam recipe. This recipe is made by using canned yams which makes for a quick and easy process. We love it when we can combine delicious and easy!
Open and drain the can of canned yams. Place at the bottom of 9x9 baking pan.
Add sliced butter on top of the canned yams. This is going to help make the sauce for the candied yams.
In a separate bowl mix together the spices and brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of the yams.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degree Fahrenheit. Then, add the mini marshmallows and cook for another 8 minutes or until the marshmallows a gooey and starting to brown.
- With pecans- Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans on top of the brown sugar mixture before adding the marshmallows. Check out our sweet potato casserole for another pecan variation.
- Vegan- Make this vegan style by using vegan butter.
- With orange juice- Add a little sweet zest by sprinkling the yams with 1-2 tablespoons of orange juice.
- With pineapple- Add ½ cup of chopped, canned or fresh, pineapple with the yams.
- With maple syrup- Drizzle maple syrup on top of the yams, about 1-2 tablespoons. Use only ⅓ cup brown sugar.
Fresh Sweet Potatoes/Yams
While this recipe uses canned yams, you can also use fresh yams. You'll want to get 2 pounds of sweet potatoes/yams, peel and slice them into ⅛-1/4" thick slices. Don't boil the sweet potatoes before making.
Make as directed without topping with marshmallows. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Top with marshmallows and bake until they are melted.
We love both versions but often use canned yams for an easy prep. Especially during the busy Holiday cooking.
Storing Candied Yams
Store leftover yams in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator, for 3-4 days. When ready to serve again, heat in the oven or microwave.
You can assemble this the night before so you save meal prep time. When ready to cook follow the traditional cooking directions.
You can also make and freeze this recipe. It makes a great make-ahead freezer side. Freeze for up to 2 months in a freezer-friendly container.
Though we prefer the brown sugar mixture on top of the yams, you can mix the yams and brown sugar mixture so the flavor is throughout. Simply add the sugar and lightly toss so you don't mash the potatoes.
Looking for other recipes using sweet potatoes? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Candied Yams:
Easy Candied Yams
- 8X8 baking pan
- 29 oz canned yams I like Bruce's
- ¼ cup butter I used salted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Drain yams and place in the bottom of a 8x8 baking dish. Slice butter into 8 -½ Tablespoon sized slices and layer over sweet potatoes. Whisk brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the yams.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Top with miniature marshmallows and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until marshmallows are melted and reach desired doneness.
- To make with fresh sweet potatoes: Peel 2 pounds sweet potatoes and rinse. Slice sweet potato into ⅛ - ¼" thick slices (make them the same size for even baking). Layer sweet potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, then top with butter and brown sugar mixture as normal. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove foil then top with marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are melted.
- Candied yams traditionally do not have marshmallows on top. For the traditional recipe, simply leave off the marshmallows.
- Cut the butter into even pieces and spread the brown sugar mixture evenly across the top for the best results.
- You can give the yams a little mix before adding the marshmallows to distribute the sauce and flavors evenly, if desired. I like the little bits of brown sugar mixture on the tops of some of the yams, so I prefer not to mix mine.
- This can easily be doubled and made in a 9x13 or large casserole dish.
- For a less sweet, yet still tasty version, reduce brown sugar to ⅓ of ¼ cup.