Yams Richard

New Orleans is one of our favorite places. On our first trip there, in 1977, we visited—through pure luck—two of its greatest restaurants: Antoine’s, where we had pompano en papillote (in a paper bag) and Brennan’s, for its famous breakfast. We took away two Hurricane glasses from Brennan’s,

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Yams Ree-shard’

Our Thanksgiving standby since the 70s.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Thanksgiving
Keyword casserole, family favorites, sweet potatoes, Thanksgiving, yams
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 Thanksgiving feasters, if you’re lucky.
Author dad


  • Favorite 8 or 9-inch family casserole dish
  • Potato masher
  • spatula


  • 3 lb yams Preferred are fresh yams, peeled or not, 1/2" diced, and boiled in water to cover for 15 minutes. Then drained and mashed. Over-achievers get extra credit if you roast, cool, peel, and then mash the yams. But full disclosure, canned yams are just about as good.
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg Grating fresh nutmeg on your microplane is always preferable to using already-ground.
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz salted butter (1/2 stick), melted Or, unsalted, then add some salt.
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half to your taste
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 16-20 each large marshmallows Adjust number so that your casserole is just covered. Too many is overkill; too few is just too bad.


  • Prepare fresh yams if using or open the can.
  • In a large bowl, use potato masher and spoon or spatula to combine yams, nutmeg, salt and pepper, cinnamon, melted butter, cream.
  • Mix in raisins and pecans.
  • Add mixture to casserole dish, spread evenly. (You can set this aside now several hours or more in the fridge before baking in the final run-up to dinner.)
  • Just before baking, add marshmallows. Have them touching, but not jammed in.
  • Bake at 350° for 35 minutes and remove from oven. They'll stay plenty warm for half an hour or more.
  • Serve and enjoy!


This is a great and easy recipe that can be handed off to a child or wannabe cook to prepare. They and you will be proud that you did.
Be careful and watch your proportions. This year I used a 40 oz can instead of a full 3 lbs. of yams but still used 1/2 cup of cream (as the recipe says). I got yam soup, just about. Other times, I’ve used up to 4 lbs. of fresh yams, roasted, and amped up the spices, etc. a bit. Everything turned out fine.

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