This candied yams or Caramelized Yams with Marshmallows recipe is a wonderful make-ahead favorite classic dish for Thanksgiving dinner or another holiday meal or special occasion.
I think this is the perfect holiday side dish recipe for your Thanksgiving table because it’s so easy to make. It’s basically easy candied yams. In this recipe, you’ll be roasting the yams instead of boiling them. After roasting, they’re combined with a delicious syrup and mini marshmallows and placed under the broiler until pillowy marshmallows appear upon melting.
Ingredients to buy for easy candied yams:
- fresh yams
- orange juice
- dark brown sugar
- ground ginger
- mini marshmallows
How to make Caramelized Yams with Marshmallows:
The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.
Place the ovenproof dish under the broiler until the marshmallows are golden brown and have turned into gooey marshmallows. Keep an eye on it so you don’t burn the marshmallows!
Why do Americans put marshmallows in yams?
In the early 1900’s sweet potato recipes and yam recipes began appearing in magazines and cookbooks in the United States that incorporated marshmallows to create a sweet potato casserole. It’s believed that the marshmallow manufacturer’s came up with this idea. Baking yams or sweet potatoes with marshmallows has been a common classic side dish to make for the holidays ever since.
Are Yams and Sweet Potatoes the same thing?
What’s the difference? In markets in the U.S., the light skinned potatoes are usually labeled as sweet potatoes and the copper skin/orange flesh potatoes are usually labeled as “yams.” Both of them are actually two different varieties of fresh sweet potatoes. It’s confusing, isn’t it? You’ll want to use the orange flesh true yams for this recipe.
Can you use canned yams in place of fresh yams?
Yes, you can substitute canned yams for fresh yams in this recipe. You’ll skip the roasting part. Just chop up the yams and add the syrup and marshmallows and heat.
Can whole sweet potatoes or canned sweet potatoes be substituted for yams?
That depends. I do prefer the orange flesh variety (whether or not they are labeled as yams or sweet potatoes in your grocery store. But it’s certainly up to you and what your preference is. You can make this a sweet potato dish, if you’d like.
Thanksgiving Side Dish Favorite Holiday Recipes:
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onion Breadcrumbs
- Slow Cooker Stuffing
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Cranberry Jello Ring
- Creamy Oven Baked Mashed Potatoes
Caramelized Yams with Marshmallows
- 3 large (about 2 pounds) yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 medium orange, juiced (you only use the juice)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. and spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, toss the yams with butter. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, tossing the yams to rearrange midway through baking.
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, salt and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cook, until mixture is syrupy and reduced by about a third (about 5 minutes).
- Brush the roasted yams with the glaze. Carefully scoop the yams into to a 9x13-inch casserole dish. (Make ahead tip: At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Bring them to room temperature, then microwave them until hot and continue with the recipe).
- Sprinkle the marshmallows on top and place the dish under a broiler until the marshmallows are warm, toasted and gooey. Keep an eye on it so you don't burn the marshmallows!
- If you are preparing this recipe as gluten free, just make sure that you use gluten-free marshmallows.