One of the dishes I love most during the holidays is this Canned Candied Yams with Marshmallows Recipe. I think you either love them or hate them. However, Doug…hates them! Even the smell of them cooking sends him fleeing from the kitchen. So you can imagine the look on his face when I told him I wanted to post the recipe, and then asked him to photograph them! He is the reason why I do not get to prepare so often as I would like my amazing marshmallow dip for sweet potato fries recipe.

Thanksgiving recipes are all about tradition! Many families fix real sweet potatoes but I grew up on sweet potatoes from the can. Also, we called them canned yams. However, my Grandma always made this recipe every Thanksgiving and the smell was just incredible. So, since then I have carried on the tradition and made them the same way, even though my husband isn’t a fan.

Canned Candied Yams With Marshmallows: TIPS

  • After placing the yams in a medium baking dish, you should distribute butter pieces evenly over them. Even though you can always substitute the butter with some oil, I strongly recommend using the first one.
  • When it comes to sprinkling sugar, I recommend using the brown one. However, it is not a dead end if you don’t have any around your kitchen, and go for the regular one.
  • Even though in the recipe the amount of marshmallows is 2½ cups, you are free to use as many as you like. We all know that, after all, the browned marshmallows on top of the canned yams really make all the difference!
  • Finally, I’d like to add that, besides being one of my favorite holiday dishes, it’s also super practical. It is one of my easiest-to-make recipes and can also be prepared ahead and placed in the fridge until it’s time to cook.
final product of canned candied yams with marshmallows

Linking to…Gooseberry Patch

Yams | Sweet Potatoes: Nutritious Values & Other Facts

  • First of all, I need to clarify an important thing: their name. In some parts of North America (where I’m from), sweet potatoes are called yams. However, this is not the right way to use the term, since yams are a different species. But, it’s MY WAY to use the term! Considering Grandma used to call them like that, nothing can change my mind now.
  • Many people substitute regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, considering our yams to be the healthier choice of the two. However, the two species contain similar amounts of water, carbs, fat, and protein. Also, both types of potatoes are rich in vitamins B6 and C. Although, white potatoes are higher in potassium, sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A.
  • Sweet potatoes are usually orange but also found in other colors, such as white, red, pink, violet, yellow, and purple. However, the most known color of them is still orange, considering these are the most marketed ones.
  • The nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw yams are:
    • Calories: 86
    • Water: 77%
    • Protein: 1.6 grams
    • Carbs: 20.1 grams
    • Sugar: 4.2 grams
    • Fiber: 3 grams
    • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • The most abundant vitamins and minerals in our yams are:
    • Pro-vitamin A
    • Vitamin C
    • Manganese
    • Vitamin B6
    • Potassium
    • Vitamin B5
    • Vitamin E

Have A Nice Meal!

All in all, tell me another recipe that is easier to make and sweeter than this one! I dare you! Also, please share your results and thoughts on these candied yams in the comments section. Not to mention that I’d love to hear what your family thought about it. Are your kids yam lovers or not?

However, for some of my friends, this recipe was a game-changer: they just started to eat those orange sweet potatoes they used to hate. Isn’t this incredible? Who knew that some marshmallows can really do the trick?

Canned Candied Yams With Marshmallows FAQs

Are Canned Yams Just Sweet Potatoes

Yes, the canned yams you receive are sweet potatoes. They are a variety of sweet potatoes called yams. Many people think that yams and sweet potatoes are different, but they are of the same variety of vegetables. 

Who Invented Candied Yams With Marshmallows?

Using sweet potatoes with marshmallows was first done by the marketing directors at Angelus Marshmallow in the early twentieth century. The aim was to promote marshmallows as one of the most versatile ingredients for cooking by publishing different recipes. 

Are Canned Sweet Potatoes Already Cooked?

The canned sweet potatoes you get at supermarkets are already pre-cooked. That is why we recommend that you add them at the end of any recipe, as it will not take too long to cook completely. 

Can You Eat Canned Yams Right Out Of The Can?

Yes, you can, but we recommend that you heat the yams before consuming them. These are delicious on their own, or you can serve them with some other main dishes or sides. Pairing the yams with meat will usually taste the best.

Why Are My Candied Yams Runny?

Regular butter has water content, which is why it can lead to runny candied yams. You can substitute this butter with ghee or clarified butter as it has less water. It will ensure that your candied yams are not runny.

How Can I Thicken The Candied Yams Glaze?

You can make the glaze of candied yams thick by adding water and cornstarch. You can add two teaspoons of cornstarch and water and keep stirring to create a thick glaze. Be sure to cook it for ten minutes for the best results.

What Meat Goes Well With Candied Yams?

If you want to add something savory, you can serve meat with your candied yams. These include chicken, ham, turkey, and much more. You can also add a fish filet or juicy steak, as it will go perfectly well with candied yams, no matter what the occasion.

Are Candied Yams With Marshmallows Good For A Thanksgiving Dinner?

Yes, candied yams with marshmallows will be an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving table. The key is to have other dishes that will go well with this. That is why we recommend adding other savory items that will enhance the flavor of the yams, such as ham, chicken, and other types of meat.

Why Are Sweet Potatoes Also Called Yams?

Sweet potatoes are also called yams because African slaves used to call them yams as they resembled the tuber which grew in Africa. After that, yams became the norm, and people started using these terms interchangeably.

Are Candied Yams Healthy For You?

While sweet potatoes and yams are generally healthy for you, candied yams are not. That is because they include a lot of white and brown sugar along with butter. Such ingredients are not very heart-healthy, which is why it is an unhealthy dish.



  1. Hi Liz! I wonder if Doug would prefer baked sweet potatoes made into this casserole? I use butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, eggs and milk, for the filling, and a praline mixture for the topping. It’s more like a dessert than a side, but we love here in the South! Happy Thanksgiving! Blessings from Bama!

    • That sounds yummy to me, but Doug doesn’t even like real sweet potatoes…he’s crazy! 🙂

    • Hi Barbara, the sweet potato casserole serves 6-8 people, depending on the portion size.
      Happy Cooking!

  2. This recipe is for how many people approx? I want to make for like 8 people.

    • Hi Mari, depending on the portion size, it can easily feed 8 people.
      Happy Cooking!

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