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Sweet Yam Casserole

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No holiday meal is complete without a Sweet Yam Casserole, a cousin of the more famous sweet potato casserole. My version is made with warm, fall spices, chopped pecans, butter and brown sugar tossed together and roasted in the oven!

yam cubes tossed with pecans, butter, sugar and spices in a white bowl that is sitting on a fall leaves napkin.

They taste a lot like pumpkin pie, but with more spice. Crazy delicious, and very different from the traditional marshmallow topped casserole!!

This recipe is part of a Small Thanksgiving Dinner for Four, but the recipe can easily be double or tripled if needed.

looking down on a small thanksgiving dinner with bowls of stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, sweet yams, gravy, potatoes, mini apple pie and a whole roast chicken.

The inspiration for this meal came from the Williams Sonoma website. They sell a full meal that is delivered, for $275. I read the list of ingredients and created my own version, because that is how I roll. They named it Sweet Yam Casserole, so I decided to do the same. More on that below.

Ingredients needed to make this recipe

  • garnet yams
  • butter
  • allspice
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • salt
  • pepper
  • brown sugar
  • pecans
Sweet Yam Casserole ingredients; butter, spices, brown sugar, pecans and garnet yams.

How to make Sweet Potato Casserole from Scratch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and cut sweet yams/potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

sweet yam cubes in a clear glass bowl.

Add the melted butter, brown sugar, spices and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.

sweet yam cubes with brown sugar, spices and pecans in a clear glass bowl.

Pour into a small baking dish and place in the preheated oven.

looking down on sweet yam casserole in a small baking dish.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until yams are fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

yam cubes, spices and pecans baked in a small white baking dish.

This image ^^^ was actually taken two days after they were made, stored in the refrigerator and reheated. So yes, they can be made ahead of time!

What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes?

Yams are softer than sweet potatoes and have a skin that looks more like tree bark. Sweet potatoes are firmer and have a reddish-brown colored skin.

To be honest, it’s all a big lie! Most yams grown in the U.S. are actually a variety of sweet potatoes. You will notice that mine have the reddish-brown skin, but they are labeled “Garnet Yams” at the grocery store.

“Real” yams are a completely different root vegetable that is more like yucca than a sweet potato. They are starchy and the flesh is not sweet. The neutral flavored yams are most often used in Caribbean and West African cooking, and very difficult to find in the U.S.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • If you use a larger baking dish, your potatoes will cook more quickly.
  • I used this Emile Henry baking dish. (affiliate link)
  • All oven are different, so cooking times are approximate. Keep an eye on them.
  • Use any version of yam or sweet potato that you can find at the store.

More delicious sweet potato recipes

Once all of the recipes have been posted, I will create one big post for the entire Small Thanksgiving Dinner.

Enjoy!!

sweet potato cubes with pecans in a white bowl, sitting on a napkin with fall colored leaves.

Sweet Yam Casserole

This delectable Sweet Yam Casserole is a must have side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. Roasted yams, pecans and fall spices create an amazing holiday treat!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet potato, yams, casserole, holiday side dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • small baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound garnet yams or sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • .25 teaspoon allspice
  • .25 teaspoon nutmeg
  • .25 teaspoon cinnamon
  • .25 teaspoon cardamom
  • .13 teaspoon sea salt 1/8 teaspoon
  • .13 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon
  • .25 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel and cut sweet yams/potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, spices and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.
  • Pour into a small baking dish and place in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until yams are fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • If you use a larger baking dish, your potatoes will cook more quickly.
  • All oven are different, so cooking times are approximate. Keep an eye on them.
  • Use any version of yam or sweet potato that you can find at the store.
  • Casserole can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving, but it will not be as shiny. The butter/sugar glaze will absorb into the sweet potatoes.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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