A classic Thanksgiving side dish is this sweet potato marshmallow casserole with apples and pecans. These candied yams are topped with mini marshmallows at the end for a toasty, gooey, and sweet treat. The fresh apples, crunchy pecans, and savory canned yams all come together for the perfect side dish with turkey, chicken, or pork.
As a child (and still today) marshmallow candied yam casserole is my favorite part of the meal at Thanksgiving. As someone that does not like pumpkin, this was often my dessert as well. It is like a crustless apple sweet potato pie that you just cannot get enough of.
What I love about this recipe are the memories it brings me. It tastes like an old-fashioned sweet potato recipe that is simply the best. My mom makes it every year and often reminds me that I even dreamed about it when I was 5.
In kindergarten, a cookbook was created by the teacher asking us all to tell her how to make our favorite recipe. Mine was this but back then at age 5 I called it "Goodie Casserole" and I said to cook it at 17°. Well, rest assured I know how to cook this now and it's not frozen at 17°.
- Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole
- Why Do We Add Marshmallows to Sweet Potatoes?
- Are Sweet Potatoes & Yams the Same?
- How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
- How Long & Temperature to Cook Candied Yam
- Substitutions & Variations
- What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
- How to Store Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole
- Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?
- Make-Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
- PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
- Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Casserole
For this classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, you will need mostly pantry items but also some fresh ones. You can shop for these items before the Thanksgiving grocery store madness begins, which is a life-saver for many who hate the crowds and lines. This sweet potato casserole recipe has no eggs and is so easy to make.
For this holiday recipe, you will need your favorite apples to make candied yams but I recommend something more on the tart side to balance the sweetness from the brown sugar and marshmallows. I prefer granny smith but golden delicious and fuji apples work out wonderfully.
- Canned Sweet Potatoes/Yams
- Brown Sugar
- Mini Marshmallows
This recipe has no eggs. It does not have orange juice, cream, or milk. There is also no mashing needed to make this recipe. The sweet potatoes in syrup are left chunky.
Why Do We Add Marshmallows to Sweet Potatoes?
I am not exactly sure but it sure is great. I think Thanksgiving often has a reputation for being decadent and the ultimate feast of the year. So to up the sweetness in the potato dish and have a pretty topping with a yum factor. A more historical fact-checking reason origin of marshmallows in a savory dish goes back to the creation of a recipe booklet to promote more ideas for using them back in 1917.
Are Sweet Potatoes & Yams the Same?
Sweet potatoes and yams are actually different vegetables. Learn all about the difference between a sweet potato and a yam. However, the canned yams we find in America are often actually sweet potatoes. So I will use the terms interchangeably here.
This is made with canned yams that have been drained and then the rest is added to the casserole before baking. The most common brands will be Bruce's or Princella canned sweet potatoes/yams which are best to use for candied yams with marshmallows.
Canned yams are already cooked. In case you were wondering if they were raw or cooked. This makes the dish easy as all the ingredients cook for the same amount of time. You can use fresh sweet potatoes too that you have cooked until soft in the oven, microwave, Instant Pot, or Crock-Pot.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
There is not much to prepping this quick & easy candied yam casserole recipe. To make this, start by preheating the oven to 350°. Also, spray an 8x8" casserole dish with nonstick spray.
How Long & Temperature to Cook Candied Yam
NOTE - ** You can also just bake the marshmallows instead of a toasted layer as seen here. To do that, simply add the marshmallows now for the baking process, instead of broiling them at the end.**
Toast the Marshmallows on Sweet Potato Casserole
To get that roasted marshmallow goodness, you will be broiling them. So at this time, change the oven to broil, on low. On a top rack of the oven place the casserole to broil the marshmallows slowly. You want it to be at least 4-6" from the top broiler element in your oven.
DO NOT STEP AWAY, leave the oven door ajar and watch the marshmallows as they toast. You may need to rotate the pan to get an even toast. Once they are to your desired doneness, remove them using an oven mitt.
We love them well done and the marshmallows roasted to a dark brown almost burnt texture. We are that family that loves when we are roasting marshmallows over a campfire and they catch on fire. Oh sooo crispy on the outside and gooey marshmallow heaven on the inside.
Substitutions & Variations
If you need to make substitutions for this sweet potato marshmallow casserole recipe, it is easy to do so. Here are a few ingredients and ideas to change this recipe up or make it your own variation.
- Canned Yam - if you want to use fresh instead of canned, I suggest steaming them on the stove or with my recipe for Instant Pot Cubed Sweet Potatoes.
- Pecans - you can use chopped walnuts instead. If you have a nut allergy and want a nut-free version but still want crunch, add roasted shelled pumpkin seeds.
- Apples - use a variety of apples or a combination of apples & pears. Make the pears larger in size as they will cook/break down fast.
- Brown Sugar - honey may be substituted.
- Spicy - if you want a bit of kick to this sweet and savory combination, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper sprinkled and stirred in well.
- Vegan - use margarine instead of butter & a vegan brown sugar brand like Wholesome Sweeteners. Use a gelatin-free marshmallow like Yummallo.
This recipe is already vegetarian and gluten-free as written.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
All of these main courses and side dish recipes are great ideas to make & go well with this. Here are the best things to eat with sweet potato casserole including easy, gluten-free, and holiday recipes.
Make sure you have this on holidays with turkey that you dry brine for the juiciest bird ever. The best proteins to go with sweet potato casserole topped with melty toasted marshmallows are turkey, chicken, pork/ham, and beef.
Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas
Here are some yummy recipes that will go well with this sweet potato casserole. For a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, serve these along with this recipe for a memorial holiday.
Main Dish Recipes
Here are some great main dishes that go well with sweet potatoes as a side dish. You cannot go wrong with any of these ideas. All are gluten-free and most are paleo-friendly.
How to Store Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole
This casserole can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer easily. To store sweet potato casserole that has already been cooked with the toasted marshmallow topping, simply cover the casserole with foil. Place it in the refrigerator and store it for up to 5 days.
To reheat sweet potato casserole, microwave individual servings for about 1 minute. To reheat a larger portion like ½ of the casserole dish, microwave for 3-4 minutes and stir it halfway to evenly heat.
Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?
You can freeze both leftover and made-ahead marshmallow sweet potato casserole. To freeze leftovers that have already been cooked, place them in an air-tight container and freeze them for up to a month.
Make-Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
To make this ahead of time to freeze and then cook later, the casserole will be different. Making this sweet potato casserole for meal planning is easy. Combine all the ingredients in the casserole dish except the mini marshmallows. Place a lid on the casserole dish or wrap it in plastic wrap and then foil to make it air-tight. You can freeze this for up to 3 months.
When you want to cook frozen sweet potato casserole, defrost it in the refrigerator for 2 days. Once thawed, bake per the recipe and top with the marshmallows.
This casserole calls for mini marshmallows as a topping. They melt quickly and create a thin gooey layer on top. If you want a thick marshmallow layer you can use big marshmallows.
Keep in mind they may toast on the top but not be warm & gooey at the bottom. I suggest broiling with the rack 2 rows down so the marshmallows do not burn when close to the broiler cooking element.
Sweet potatoes are a healthy food. However, with the added brown sugar and marshmallows, this casserole recipe is not considered healthy. To be honest, this is like a crustless sweet potato pie - it is that sweet & yummy.
Yes, you can use freshly baked, steamed, or cooked sweet potatoes as a substitute for yam in syrup. Dice them into medium-sized chunks and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
- 8x8 casserole dish
- 29oz canned sweet potatoes/yams in syrup drained
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 small apples, cored, peeled, & cut into chunks about 1 ½ cups
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup salted roasted pecans pieces or chopped in big chunks
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ 10oz - package mini marshmallows about 3 cups
- Preheat oven to 350°Spray an 8x8" casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Core and chop up the apples. You want chunks about ½" in size. You can peel them or leave the peel on; however, you like baked apples will work in this recipe.Chop the pecans if they are not already in pieces. You want big chunks and some are ok if they are in whole halves.
- Drain the yams and add them to the casserole dish. There will be large & small chunks in the can. Use a knife to cut the bigger ones, you want the chunks to be about 1-2" in size. They do not need to be all the same exact size just keep them in that range.
- Sprinkle the apple chunks & pecan pieces over the yams in an even layer.
- Dice the butter into smaller chunks to get about 12 small pieces. Evenly distribute the small butter pats over the top of the apples and yams. Sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over all the ingredients.
- Bake on the center rack in the oven at 350° for 20-25 minutes. The apples should be soft and the brown sugar juices should be bubbling. Remove the casserole dish using an oven mitt from the oven.
- Carefully sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the top of the casserole.
- Change the oven to broil, on low. On a top rack of the oven place the casserole to broil the marshmallows slowly. You want it to be at least 4-6" from the top broiler element in your oven.DO NOT STEP AWAY, leave the oven door ajar and watch the marshmallows as they toast. YOu may need to rotate the pan to get an even toast. Once they are to your desired doneness, remove using an oven mitt.
- Let it rest for about 5 minutes as it will be piping hot. This also helps the brown sugar juices set up a bit to more of a syrup vs a thin liquid. Serve and enjoy.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16.5g||21%|
|Saturated Fat 4.6g||23%|
|Total Carbohydrate 70.5g||26%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.8g||14%|
|Total Sugars 43.2g|
|Vitamin D 4mcg||20%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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