Yams are a great alternative to potatoes, as they taste sweeter but offer lots of nutrients. They have a distinctive orange color and can be used in a lot of same recipes as potatoes.
Let me show you how to cook yams in a few different ways so you can more easily incorporate them into your meals.
What Are Yams?
Yam is just another name for sweet potato, and this vegetable is very starchy and is known as a root veggie. You can get them very cheap and use them for all sorts of dishes, including mashed yams, candied yams, yam casserole, baked yams, and more.
What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? Absolutely nothing, as they are the same thing just going by different names.
How to Make Candied Yams
The classic candied yam is a delightfully sweet dish that full of nutritional goodness, and it’s a staple at Southern dinner tables. You can use this same method for how to make candied yams from can as well.
- 3 large yams
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons of butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Prepare your yams by cutting them into pieces that are about an inch cubed.
- Cook the yams on the stove in water that covers them by about an inch. Heat the water and yams until the yams are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Move them to a baking dish and make a single layer.
- Mix together vanilla, brown sugar and ¾ cup of warm water in a bowl.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the yams and then pour your mixture on next. Cut butter into cubes and spread it across the yams.
- Bake for 15 minutes and serve.
How to Make Yams
Would you like to know how to bake yams? They are pretty easy to cook though they do take a while to bake in the oven. Here are some simple instructions you can follow for how to cook yams in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and prick the yams with a fork all over.
- Allow them to bake for 45-50 minutes, until they are tender.
- Once they cool for a few minutes, you can cut open the top with a knife and garnish with butter, salt, and black pepper.
How Long to Bake Yams at 350?
If you want to slow cook the yams in the oven, you can lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook them for about an hour and half.
If they are done cooking, they will be tender when you pierce them with a fork, and their skins should be browned. Make sure you poke the yams all over with a fork before popping them in the oven.
How to Bake Yams in Foil
While the method I gave you above doesn’t call for wrapping the yam in aluminum foil, you can cook yam wrapped up in foil if you want. Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Scrub down and rinse the sweet potatoes and then use a fork to poke holes all over them.
- Wrap up the yams in aluminum foil, covering them fully twice. Make sure you secure the ends to keep juice from seeping out.
- Put your prepared yams on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes. Test their doneness by poking them with a knife and see if they are tender.
What Is the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?
This question comes up a lot, and it’s worth answering again just to avoid any confusion. These are two different names for the same vegetable. Yams can even go by other names in other countries, like tubers, spud, murphy, earthapple, and more.
How to Cook Yams on the Stove
You can make them on the stovetop, if you like, and here is how to do it.
Put a pot of water on the stove with your yams inside, cut up into small pieces about an inch long.
You want enough water to cover the yams slightly, and then heat them up until the water starts to boil. That should be about 6 minutes.
Then, lower the heat and cook until the yams become tender. That’s how to boil yams, and it is remarkably easy. You don’t have to poke them with a fork for this, but you should scrub them off before slicing them up.
How to Cook Yams in Microwave
You could also make them in the microwave, and that method lets you steam them.
Just place them on a microwave safe dish and cover them with a slightly damp towel.
Cook them on the high setting for 5 minutes and then rotate the yams. Let them cook or another 5 minutes, and then check them to see if they are tender.
You may have to cook them an additional 5 minutes or more until they become tender.
How to Make Yams with Marshmallows
One of my favorite uses for yams is to make what is called sweet potato casserole, which uses brown sugar and marshmallows to turn yams into a tasty dessert. Here is a recipe you can use for that.
- 2 ½ pounds of yams, cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup of softened butter
- ¾ cup of brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 2 cups of miniature marshmallows
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of chopped pecans
- Cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the yams into a Dutch oven and add enough cold water to cover them. Heat until the water starts to boil.
- Then, reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Drain them off and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes.
Put the yams into a large bowl and add in vanilla, brown sugar, salt,
- and butter. Mix up with a potato masher.
- Add in ¼ cup of pecans and scrape out into a greased baking dish.
- Sprinkle on the rest of the pecans.
- Use the marshmallows to top and bake for 25 minutes.