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20+ Best Recipes with Canned Yams to Make This Week

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If you’re sitting with cans of yams in your pantry and not sure what to do with them, this is the recipe roundup for you. We have curated a list of the 20 of the absolute best recipes with canned yams. You’ll find recipes for a delicious sweet potato pie, sweet potato cornbread, and everything in between. 

Using canned yams not only saves you the time and effort of peeling, dicing, and boiling, but it also gives your dishes a consistent flavor and texture every time. Let’s explore these canned yam recipes and start cooking!

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Why Use Canned Yams and Canned Sweet Potatoes

Here in the United States, we love our yams and sweet potatoes, especially during the holiday season. These root vegetables often make their way to our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables in various forms, from classic Thanksgiving side dishes to delicious sauces and desserts. 

The thing is, a lot of fresh yams recipes require you to spend a long time peeling and boiling them first – which not everyone has time for!

The good news is: canned sweet potatoes and yams make an excellent alternative! 

Understanding the True Yam Versus Sweet Potatoes Debate

It’s a common misconception in grocery stores across the United States that sweet potatoes and yams are the same. But real yams, which originate from South America, are an entirely different root vegetable, featuring a bark-like skin and a starchy, less sweet flavor. 

That being said, most of the “yams” we see in our grocery stores are actually orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. So in this blog post, when we go over these recipes, we’re actually referring to the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as that’s the “yams” most Americans have become familiar with.

20 Best Canned Yam Recipes of the Year

Sweet Potato Salad with Canned Yams Recipe

A new twist to the traditional salad, this Sweet Potato Salad with canned yams is a surprisingly filling dish. 

Sweet Potato Pie (With Canned Yams)

Nothing screams comfort quite like a homemade Sweet Potato Pie. Using canned yams in this recipe helps get you that smooth, sweet filling every time. The yams are blended with a mix of warm spices, eggs, and butter, then poured into a buttery pie crust. 

Once baked, the pie has a slightly caramelized exterior and a rich, creamy interior, just waiting to be paired with a dollop of whipped cream!

Sweet Potato Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Take your cookie game up a notch with these Sweet Potato Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. 

The canned yams add a sweet and moist depth to the cookies, while the cinnamon cream cheese frosting brings a richness that complements the cookie base. These are great as a sweet treat or a thoughtful homemade gift.

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

This Easy Sweet Potato Casserole is a dream come true for those who love a comforting side dish with minimal fuss. The canned yams form a sweet, soft base, which is topped with a layer of crunchy, buttery pecan streusel.

The contrast in textures and the perfect blend of flavors make this casserole a must-have at your next family gathering.

Sweet Potato Crunch

The Sweet Potato Crunch is a delightful dessert that’s easy to make yet impressive to serve. The canned yams provide a moist and sweet base, which is layered with a crispy, buttery topping for a fantastic crunch.

Yams in Pecan Glaze

This Yams in Pecan Glaze recipe takes canned yams to a gourmet level.

The yams are bathed in a sweet and nutty pecan glaze, adding a layer of sophisticated flavor to the humble canned yams. This dish is perfect as a decadent side or a dessert that will leave your guests impressed.

Candied Sweet Potatoes (Canned Yams) with Walnuts and Marshmallows

This recipe for Candied Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts and Marshmallows takes the classic side dish to a new level of deliciousness. 

The canned yams are tossed in a sweet syrup, sprinkled with crunchy walnuts, and topped with fluffy mini marshmallows. It’s the perfect side dish to complement a holiday meal and looks beautiful on the Thanksgiving table!

Sweet Potato Cornbread

Upgrade your regular cornbread with this Sweet Potato Cornbread recipe. The canned yams add a nice sweetness and moistness to the cornbread, while the hint of spice brings a warmth that pairs well with any hearty soup or stew.

This cornbread might just become your new favorite comfort food. And the best part? It’s an easy recipe too.

Nothing to It Sweet Potatoes

If you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish without the hassle of cooking fresh sweet potatoes, the Nothing to It Sweet Potatoes recipe is your answer. 

This recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep, but the result is a delicious dish that features sweetness of canned yams highlighted by a hint of spice. 

This dish is perfect for those busy weeknights or when you simply want a satisfying, uncomplicated meal (or even as a hurried Thanksgiving dinner side!)

Vortex Air Fryer Sweet Potato Orange Cups

These Vortex Air Fryer Sweet Potato Orange Cups recipe is another creative and tasty way to serve canned yams. The yams are mixed with sweet orange juice and zest, then air-fried in hollowed-out orange halves for a cool presentation when you want to impress. These cups are a refreshing and light dessert that’s perfect for summer gatherings.

Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Caramel Icing

Craving something fancy? Try these Spiced Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Caramel Icing. Infused with warming spices and drizzled with a decadent caramel icing, this bundt cake boasts a perfect blend of flavors.

The canned yams helps create a moist and tender crumb that makes each slice melt in your mouth.

Sweet Potato Bread

Bring a touch of sweetness to your morning toast with this Sweet Potato Bread. The canned yams lend a moist texture and subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with the bread’s hearty crumb. Serve it warm with a pat of butter, or toast it to highlight its rich flavor.

Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins

Give this healthier breakfast option a try and make these Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins this week. Packed with heart-healthy oats and convenient canned yams, these muffins have a soft texture and delicate sweetness. An excellent grab-and-go breakfast or snack option.

Sweet Potato Sheet Cake

This Sweet Potato Sheet Cake is a delicious treat for large gatherings and a great birthday cake alternative. The canned yams provide a sweet, moist base, which is complemented by a rich cream cheese frosting. The sheet cake format makes it easy to serve and enjoy.

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Take a break from all the sweet treats and make this Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup.

The canned yams make a creamy base, while a combination of spices adds a kick that warms you from the inside out. This soup is an excellent option for a light lunch or a comforting dinner on a chilly day.

Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Nothing feels more like a cozy family dinner spread than having these Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls, warm and ready. toeat. The star ingredient for these rolles are.. you guessed it, canned yams! These rolls are soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet – a sure hit at family dinners and holiday gatherings.

Sweet Potato Banana Crunch

This Sweet Potato Banana Crunch recipe pairs canned yams with ripe bananas for a contrast in flavors – something different from your regular Thanksgiving sweet potato casseroles! Topped with a crispy crumble and mini marshmallows, this dish offers nice balance of textures!

EASY Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole

Effortless and delicious, this Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is a crowd-pleaser. By using canned yams, you save on prep time, making this dish even easier. The result is a sweet, creamy casserole.

We also recommend adding a satisfying crunch by topping it with a pecan-streusel topping.

Fruited Sweet Potatoes

Bring a little something different to your meals with these Fruited Sweet Potatoes. In this recipe, canned yams are combined with various fruits for a sweet and tangy flavor profile. This dish is an exciting side option that’s unique from the usual canned yams recipes.

Easy Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Finally, here is a sweet potato cake recipe for your canned yams! The moist, dense texture of the pound cake is contrasted with a light, citrusy glaze. This cake is a slice of heaven that will leave you wanting more!

Which one of these top canned yam recipes is your favorite? And did we miss any you think should be included in this guide? Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear!!

Best Ingredients to Pair with Canned Yams

Some of the main ingredients that bring out the best in your canned yam recipes include dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, melted butter, and pumpkin pie spice. 

But remember, recipes are not set in stone. If you run out of brown sugar, white sugar can work. Prefer olive oil over butter? Go for it. As long as you’re using the right ingredient substitutions, feel free to make each recipe your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are canned yams good for?

Canned yams are excellent for preparing a wide array of dishes, from savory to sweet. They’re particularly famous for the classic holiday side dish – Candied Yams.

Canned yams save you prep time in the kitchen and are perfect for quick and delicious recipes. They are convenient, have a long shelf life, and can be a great addition to your grocery store list.

Should I rinse canned sweet potatoes?

That depends on the recipe you’re making. But generally, it’s a good idea to rinse canned sweet potatoes before using them.

Rinsing helps to remove the syrup or liquid they are packed in, which can sometimes alter the flavor of your dish. Once rinsed, they are ready to be mashed, boiled, or added directly to your baking dish, depending on your canned yams recipes.

Are canned yams and canned sweet potatoes the same?

There is often confusion about this, but canned yams in the United States are typically made from a type of sweet potato.

The term ‘yam’ is used interchangeably but true yams are a different root vegetable native to Africa and Asia and are rarely found in typical American grocery stores.

How healthy are canned yams?

Canned yams packed in water are healthy and a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins. They are also low in fat and protein. However, keep an eye on the sugar content if you’re buying canned yams in syrup, especially for candied yams recipes. 

Are canned sweet potatoes precooked?

Yes, canned sweet potatoes are precooked and ready to eat straight from the can.

They’re a perfect option if you’re looking to save time and oven space during special occasions, or if you’re looking for an easy recipe.

Are canned sweet potatoes as good for you as fresh?

While fresh sweet potatoes may have slightly more nutrients, canned sweet potatoes are still a healthy option.

They retain most of their nutritional value through the canning process and provide an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, and other nutrients.

What are the benefits of eating canned yams?

Eating canned yams offers many benefits. Not only are they delicious and versatile, but they’re also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamins.

They’re low-fat, low-protein food that can be incorporated into a healthy diet. Plus, canned yams can be stored at room temperature, making them a convenient pantry staple.

Can canned yams be substituted for sweet potatoes?

In most recipes, canned yams (which are typically sweet potatoes) can be substituted for fresh sweet potatoes.

Whether you are making a classic Thanksgiving side dish, a simple mashed sweet potato mixture, or a golden-brown topped casserole, using canned yams can save you a lot of time and effort.

Just remember to adjust your cooking times as canned yams are already cooked.

20+ Best Recipes with Canned Yams to Make This Week

DWELL by Michelle
If you’re sitting with cans of yams in your pantry and not sure what to do with them, this is the recipe roundup for you. We have curated a list of the 20 of the absolute best recipes with canned yams. You’ll find recipes for a delicious sweet potato pie, sweet potato cornbread, and everything in between. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 102 kcal


  • Click the canned yam recipe you’d like to make for its full list of ingredients and directions.


Calories: 102kcal
Keyword dinner, dinner ideas, easy dinner, easy dinner recipes, easy lunch recipes, fall soup, fall soups, lunch, quick lunch recipe, vegan dinner
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