Yams with Sugared Pecans

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Hello to you all! I hope you are enjoying your November.
I have a great Thanksgiving side dish for you today…
…and it just so happens…
I have couple more coming your way this week as well.
Last week we were about PIE.
This week we won’t die.
We’ll just talk about sides…that’s worth a sigh.
A good sigh.
The kind of sigh that is affectionate.
Not the kind of sigh that says…
“Wow. That seems boring.”
No sir-ree.
The kind of sigh that says…
“I love Thanksgiving. I love food. 
I love eating Thanksgiving Food with my family. 
I love that Thanksgiving Food has no calories 
on Thanksgiving Day.”
That is the sigh I would like to hear from you.
Thanks for indulging me.
You’re sure a nice reader.

This delightful recipe comes from my dear Mother. She received it from a friend and has been making it for the past several years.
It is down right scrumptious. The yams have a bit of orange zest and juice that really enhance the flavor. The pecan topping is a sugary delight. I think you will love it!

Yams with Sugared Pecans
Time: 20 min prep + 40 minutes baking
Yield: 10 servings
Recipe from Pam Willahan, my lovely mother

3 C cooked mashed yams (about 4-5 small yams)
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 C melted butter
1/3 C flour
1 t orange zest
2 T orange juice
dash salt
1 C chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
4 T melted butter
dash salt
1. Peel your yams, chop them into cubes and boil them in water until soft. Yams cook faster than most white potatoes, like the Russet. Just watch your yams, you don’t want them to get too soft and soggy. This will make them take on too much of a watery flavor. I like water and all….I just don’t care for it getting in the way of a yummy yam flavor. I know. Picky, picky.
2. Drain the water off of your yams and place them in a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer.
3. Combine the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, orange juice and zest together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk it all together.
4. Add the this mixture to the hot yams. Mix well.
5. Add the flour and salt to the hot yams and continue to mix. You want all ingredients to be well incorporated. 
6. Pour the mixture into a 4 quart casserole dish. 
 7. Chop your pecans. I like to use this mini food processor. Couldn’t live with out it. 

8. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl.

8. Sprinkle the heavenly, buttery, pecan topping over the top of your yam mixture.
9. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. 
Heave an affectionate sigh….and enjoy! 

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    November 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Jamie. Love Yams!!! You can also bake them, peel them and mash them instead of cooking them in water. They don't get all 'watery'…they can be baked ahead of time.

  2. 2
    November 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    This recipe was perfect time. My family ate at “Goodwood's on Sunday and we had the yams. They were delicious with a crusty brown sugar and pecan toppings. My sisters and I both commented and how good the topping was and said we were going to have to find out how to make it!
    Look in my email today and there it is! I love you blog and have tried many of the recipes and you never let me down. They are always terrific, so glad I signed up to receive them. Good luck on the “Throwdown” my sister will watch but I don't have cable. Thanks again.

  3. 3
    November 23, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Jamie, my husband and I made this sweet little dish for Thanksgiving yesterday…I am not exaggerating when I say that EVERYONE (even the yam haters) loved it. It was SOOOOO good! I couldn’t get enough of it!!! Thank you for sharing! This will definitely be part of our Thanksgiving future!!! (And, I won’t lie, we will probably find reasons to make it year round!).

  4. 4
    November 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Hi Jamie!
    I love your blog & recipes. I was wondering if you (or anyone else for that matter) has a suggestion for how to make this recipe without the pecans for someone with a nut allergy? Is there a good way to do it where we would still have a crunchy type topping?

  5. 5
    November 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Have you ever tried this recipe with canned yams? Just wondering if it would still work. Thanks!

    • 6
      November 14, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks for your question. I haven’t ever tried it with canned yams. My thoughts are that it would be best to stick with fresh.
      Good luck!

  6. 7
    Randi K Jones
    November 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I have made this for the last 3 Thanksgiving dinners. Everyone really likes it. The only change I made is that I wash the whole yams and microwave them and then peel them instead of boiling. Lots less work and no problem with watery potatoes.

  7. 8
    November 23, 2017 at 11:48 am

    This is my 3rd year making this recipe. Everyone loves it! I also made your chocolate pudding pie this year. Thanks so much!

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