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Easy Candied Thanksgiving Yams Recipe

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Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and tradition. Whether you’re the one in charge of the Thanksgiving feast or just a guest, there are some dishes that are always expected on the table. This easy Candied Thanksgiving Yams recipe is one of those classics.

Tender sweet potatoes are paired with a delicious cinnamon brown sugar glaze, warm spices, and topped with crunchy pecans. It’s a favorite classic side dish for sure!

So if you’re looking for something to add to your Thanksgiving menu this year, I hope you give these candied yams a try.

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What are candied yams?

Candied yams is a classic holiday side dish and a southern staple made from sweet potatoes that have been cooked in decadent sugar syrup.

It’s a comforting and delicious side dish for any special occasion!

Candied yams can either be made in a casserole dish and baked or made on the stovetop (like in this delicious recipe).

You can often find candied yams garnished with pecans, and sometimes also mini marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes if you’re baking it.

Regardless, this classic southern side dish is definitely the best part of a holiday dinner.

Are sweet potatoes and yams the same thing?

No, sweet potatoes and yams are not the same things. They are actually different root vegetables.

Sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable typically smaller in size and has orange flesh, while true yams are typically larger in size and can have white or red flesh.

So why do we call sweet potatoes “yams”?

Ever since colonial times, sweet potatoes have been a popular staple in the South.

Historically, people from Africa working in plantation fields in the United States thought that sweet potatoes looked like the African “yams” so they began calling them that.

According to The Spruce Eats, this is the reason that “throughout the American South, the term “yam” is commonly applied to sweet potatoes.”

At the grocery store, you may find that the term is also used interchangeably. For example, garnet yams sold in grocery stores are not real yams and are actually sweet potatoes!

Regardless of what you call it, this easy recipe is one of my favorite sweet potato recipes out there – and I hope you love this Thanksgiving yams recipe as much as I do!

Why do we eat yams on Thanksgiving?

Many Thanksgiving dishes are referred to as yams, but they’re actually not real yams and are really sweet potatoes.

Regardless, recipes like this candied Thanksgiving yams recipe are now a staple on the classic Thanksgiving table because they are so comforting and versatile.

Sweet potatoes can be served mashed, candied, or in pies, and they add a sweet and flavorful element to the meal.

Additionally, they are a source of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, making them a nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving dinner and any other holiday meal.

What You Need to Make This Candied Thanksgiving Yams Recipe

How to Make the Best Candied Yams

  1. In a large pot, stir together all the ingredients on medium heat until well-combined.
  2. Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low heat. Cover with a lid, then simmer for about 50-60 minutes until the candied yams are tender. NOTE: The exact time will vary based on the size of your yams, the heat distribution of your pot, and more, so you may need to add a few more minutes as needed.
  3. Once the yams are tender, remove the lid and increase the heat back to medium heat. Continue stirring the yams until the cooking liquid thickens into a delicious brown sugar mixture that has the consistency of sugary syrup. Stir to evenly coat the yams, about 5-10 minutes. 
  4. Once done, sprinkle pecans in the candied mixture and serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. ENJOY!

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Easy Candied Thanksgiving Yams Recipe

DWELL by Michelle
This easy Candied Thanksgiving Yam recipe is a classic Thanksgiving dish. Tender sweet potatoes are paired with a delicious cinnamon brown sugar glaze and topped with crunchy pecans. It's a crowd-favorite dish for sure! If you're looking for something to add to your Thanksgiving menu this year, I hope you give these candied Thanksgiving yams a try.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 309 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, stir together all the ingredients on medium heat until well-combined.
  • Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low heat. Cover with a lid, then simmer for about 50-60 minutes until the candied yams are tender. NOTE: The exact time will vary based on the size of your yams, the heat distribution of your pot, and more, so you may need to add a few more minutes as needed.
  • Once the yams are tender, remove the lid and increase the heat back to medium heat. Continue stirring the yams until the delicious cinnamon sugar liquid thickens and evenly coats the yams, about 5-10 minutes. Once done, sprinkle in the pecans and serve immediately. ENJOY!

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