It’s almost impossible to think of Thanksgiving without sweet potato and yams recipes. They are staples on any holiday table and a must-have on any plate. This year, I wanted to think outside the box and explore the best yam recipes for Thanksgiving to add variety to this upcoming holiday.
Yams vs Sweet Potatoes
There is constant confusion about what differentiates a yam from a sweet potato. The short answer is that both are starchy root vegetables, and the terms are used interchangeably but they are actually quite different. Yams are a type of starchy root vegetable that is popular in Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes are a type of tuber that originated in the Americas.
Both yams and sweet potatoes can be cooked in a variety of ways, but yams tend to be drier and less sweet than sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes also have a higher nutritional value, as they are a good source of vitamins A and C. So when you are shopping in the grocery store to make your candied yams recipe, you are most likely going to pick up sweet potatoes and not yams.
In this post, you will find a list of 10 of the best yam recipes for Thanksgiving that can add fun and some of the best flavor to your dinner table this year.
The Best Yams Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner
Why We Chose It: With this dish, Chef Sharilyn takes our taste buds on a trip to the tropical islands. This candied yam recipe forces us to step out of our comfort zones and expand our palates with these fantastic sweet flavor combinations.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Pineapple is the star of this dish. It’s an unexpected ingredient that transforms and elevates this classic Thanksgiving side dish. This recipe is also easily adaptable. This recipe is also easily adaptable, if you have as much trouble as I do finding crushed pineapples at the grocery store this time of the year, try pineapple chunks and crush them at home.
Why We Chose It: Chef Tanya Holland is a restaurateur, T.V and podcast host, and author who shares the history and food traditions of the first enslaved Africans brought to the United States. She created this soft, pillowy recipe to pay homage to the most popular soul food ingredients, sweet potatoes, and yams.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: The Buttermilk in this delicious recipe gives it an irresistible, fluffy interior. It adds texture that can rival any dinner roll at your next Thanksgiving dinner.
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Why We Chose It: My first time trying mashed sweet potatoes forever changed how I viewed this classic southern side dish. If you’re looking for a way to switch it up this year, the best way would be to add this sweet, savory dish to the menu. What’s more, the dairy can be swapped out for coconut milk and vegan butter so vegans can also enjoy it.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Maple Syrup sets this recipe apart from all other mashed dishes. The subtly sweet syrup adds a nice contrast to the surprisingly savory notes of this sweet potato recipe.
Why We Chose It: This is the perfect special occasion dish to impress family and friends this season. It brings a tiny bit of sophistication to this classic American south recipe and will elevate any holiday meal.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: The Maple Butter Pecan Sauce doesn’t just look incredible but also positively impacts the entire flavor of this side dish. Once you’ve had it, this delicious sauce might just be your go-to for any recipe with fresh yams.
Why We Chose it: There’s always the joke that breakfast and lunch don’t exist on Thanksgiving. This is a great family recipe that can be enjoyed a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner. It can be baked in a casserole dish and cooked beforehand. That way, no one will complain about waiting a long time to eat dinner.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Goat Cheese is the main ingredient here. Its smooth and creamy texture and earthy tart notes add so much flavor to this great recipe.
Why We Chose It: There is nothing like making an easy recipe even simpler by throwing everything into the slow cooker and leaving it to do its thing. For even more convenience, this delicious side dish can be made in big batches and transferred to a baking dish for easier serving.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Orange juice is what helps turn the dark brown sugar and nuts into the sweet candied mixture on top of the sweet potatoes. It’s a must-have to deliver that true yams experience.
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Why We Chose It: I’m convinced that no Thanksgiving holiday is complete without a slice of pie made of fresh sweet potatoes. This new spin on the classic sweet potato pie will satisfy your sweet tooth and put any pumpkin pie to shame.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Caramel sauce is another reason to ensure that sweet potato pie blesses Thanksgiving tables this year. Mixed with cinnamon and sugar, it adds a buttery caramel toffee flavor that is the chef’s kiss.
Why We Chose it: I’m always down to try a new sweet potato recipe, and well, this one might just become a staple in my household. No, this isn’t Patti Labelle’s black-bottom sweet potato pie, but this one gives a new meaning to “black bottom” and is equally delicious.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Chocolate, of course! The homemade chocolate pudding contrasts the orange interior and looks as good as it tastes. It’s a flavor combination you didn’t know you needed.
We Chose It: Here is a dessert that can be enjoyed warmed in medium heat or at room temperature. I’ve never had brownies for a thanksgiving treat, but this is a must-try. It’s perfect for making for home, stored in an airtight container, and brought along to another Thanksgiving dinner event.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Vanilla extract. Yes, vanilla is indeed a familiar flavor in brownies. However, the difference here is how the vanilla combines the yam and warm spices. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
Related post: The Tastiest Sweet Potato Muffin
Why We Chose It: We’ll probably never settle on who has the best-candied yams recipe (they’re all so good!), but we have to give it up to this chef for offering one of the prettiest pans of yams. This recipe shows the magic of creating a culinary experience with a brown sugar mixture and yams.
Crave-Worthy Ingredient: Mini marshmallows makes this dish fun to eat and to look at. Set it next to a helping of cranberry sauce and enjoy the explosion of texture and flavor.
Making The Best Yams Recipes for Thanksgiving
From brunch to dinner to dessert, there are plenty of ways to highlight the versatility and uniqueness of sweet potatoes and yams. What are some of your favorite yam recipes? Let us know in the comment section below!
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