As a small child, I wasn’t sure how I felt about something called a potato that was the color of a carrot and tasted like neither.
This recipe was my “gateway drug” to the wonderful world of yams.
It originally came from an old Cajun cookbook that my mom got from my grandmother.
It was a completely unassuming recipe.
It didn’t have a fancy photo or an elaborate description.
It just said mix all these ingredients and bake.
I have no idea why my mom chose to give this ridiculously simple recipe a try but as far as I’m concerned it was one of the best culinary decisions she ever made!
If you’re choosing your holiday side dishes based on calorie count, you should probably stop reading now because recipe is as bad for your blood sugar as it is good for your soul.
(Which is probably why it has been my favorite holiday dish for as long as I can remember!)
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it, no matter what their age!
Louisiana Yam Casserole
10 cups yams (I use three 29 oz cans of Bruce’s Yams)
2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 sticks butter/margarine (It really doesn’t matter which you use)
1 cup brown sugar
3 cup sugar (I have made this with Splenda in the past but it makes for a runny casserole so my “healthy” suggestion is to half the sugar instead).
1 cup pecans (This can be left out if you’re like my sister and dislike nuts but personally, I think the combination of pecans and yams are a gift from God so I fully endorse doubling them!)
1 bag mini-marshmallows
1. Put yams in a very large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash the yams. (I always use my mixer but since yams are pretty dense make sure you take it slow).
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the pecans and marshmallows. Mix well.
3. Fold in the pecans. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center of casserole is set.
4. Remove from oven and top with mini-marshmallows. Return to oven until marshmallows are toasted. (In my experience, name brand marshmallows work much better, the generic ones tend to melt into the casserole).
If you’re going to be transporting your casserole, I recommend waiting for this step until you reach your destination. That way you can reheat the casserole and toast the marshmallows at the same time.
5. Serve warm as either a side dish or as a dessert. We always eat it with our meal but I’ve seen it done both ways.
This technically a double recipe because I come from a huge family and that’s the only way we make it.
This recipe makes a 9 x 13 casserole as well as a smaller 1 quart casserole (which I pour before folding in the pecans because my nut hating sister, Renee, is spoiled like that).
If you half the recipe, make sure you cut the baking time as well. I’d say around 30 minutes or until the middle of the casserole is set and no longer runny.