Maple Pecan Yam Casserole

My Grandmother, just like many others always used to serve sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving.  You know, the kind topped off with marshmallows that used canned sweet potatoes in syrup?  You would think  children would like it but I was not a fan.  In fact, I didn’t care for sweet potatoes for a long time after trying that.  But I have since learned to love sweet potatoes, and I have come up with a new version of sweet potato casserole that I can appreciate.  It is still sweet, but I use a bit of maple syrup in place of all that canned syrup and brown sugar and coconut milk in place of the cream and butter.  I top mine off with pecans and coconut sugar for a crunch, and it is almost dessert like, but still fit to be a Thanksgiving side dish as well.  I roast the sweet potatoes to cook them instead of boiling them to intensify their flavor.

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Prick yams with a fork all over, and place in the oven on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins, place in a bowl, and add the maple syrup, coconut milk, sea salt, and cinnamon. Mash together with a potato masher or a large fork, and then place in an oiled 8 or 9 inch square baking dish (or two smaller casserole dishes). Sprinkle the pecans over the top, drizzle with the maple syrup and the coconut sugar. Lower the oven temperature to 375F degrees, and place the dish in. Bake for 20-30 minutes until warmed through and the topping is toasted and lightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

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Recipe Type

  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Paleo
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy