Canned Candied Yams The Soul Food Way

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Besides my Instant Pot candied yams recipe, here’s what I’ve discovered as the ultimate shortcut to syrupy sweet candied yams if you’re short on time and don’t have a pressure cooker. My canned candied yams recipe!

This method, surprisingly simple, saves considerable time in the kitchen. Yet, it preserves the buttery, sweet, caramel toffee flavor you crave in this classic Southern soul food side dish.

Canned Candied Yams The Soul Food Way

Canned candied yams, readily available as a store-bought canned variety, transform into a melt-in-your-mouth delight with homemade syrup and minimal effort, ensuring that your holiday menu or any meal, frankly, benefits from this traditional Southern comfort food without spending hours in preparation. 

Are canned yams already cooked?

Although canned yams are already cooked, you’ll still want to warm them up before eating them, and also flavor them up the Southern soul food way!

Are canned yams the same as canned sweet potatoes?

There are significant differences between sweet potatoes and yams, with major differences being in taste and texture, even though in the US, the word ‘yams’ is commonly used when referring to cut sweet potatoes. I talk more about the differences between yams and sweet potatoes in my post HERE.

What ingredients do you need for candied yams?

Ingredients

You’ll use the same ingredients as traditional soul food candied yams made in the oven or on the stovetop (sugar, butter, and cinnamon). However, without having to peel, chop, or tenderize the potatoes, you’re saving over an hour in cooking time!

  • Canned sweet potatoes – Store-bought already peeled, cut, and cooked sweet potatoes sold by the can.
  • Unsalted butter (or vegan butter) – Adds a rich flavor that complements the natural sweet potatoes.
  • Brown sugar – Adds sweetness with a maple caramel-like flavor.
  • Granulated sugar – For variation in sweetness to create the perfect candied syrup.
  • Ground cinnamon – Adds a comforting warmth and heat with an earthy flavor. 
  • Nutmeg – Adds a warm, nutty, and earthy balance to the dish’s sweetness. 
  • Maple syrup – Necessary to create the candied sweet syrupy flavor and smooth, silky texture.
  • Ground ginger (or minced) – Adds a hint of spiciness and a subtle warm kick.
  • Ground cloves – Contribute to the syrup’s overall soulful spiciness.
  • Vanilla extract – Creates a warm and comforting balance in the flavor profile.
  • Miniature marshmallows (optional topping) – Add a soft, sticky texture on top with a lightly sweet taste and texture variation.
Mix the ingredients well to create the syrup glaze for the candied yams.

How to make Southern candied yams in the can

  1. Drain the liquid from the canned yams.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. Add the ingredients to the butter: brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, ginger, ground clove, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the ingredients to create the syrup glaze.
  5. Pour the syrup glaze over the yams.
  6. Heat over medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  7. Optionally, add miniature marshmallows over the top of the dish when finished.

Should you rinse canned sweet potatoes?

No, simply drain the liquid, but you won’t need to rinse them.

Is the canned yam texture different than candied yams cooked on the stovetop?

The texture will be the same as traditional cooking methods for candied yams. But instead of warming this side dish up in its canned glaze, you create an authentic Southern soul food candied yam syrup to heat the yams in.

Southern Canned Candied Yams Recipe

How to top canned candied yams 

It’s easy to top canned candied yams the same way you would a homemade candied yams recipe. When the yams are finished on the stovetop, sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over them and allow the marshmallows to melt on top.

Avoiding runny candied yams

To avoid a dish that’s too runny, ensure that you follow the recipe instructions and drain the syrup in the can. If you mistakenly forget to drain the canned yams’ syrup, a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch will thicken it back up!

How to serve candied yams 

Candied yams are served the same way as those made from scratch at soul food Sunday dinners and Thanksgiving feasts. African Americans find that candied yams are best paired with soul food side dish favorites: collard greensSouthern cabbage, and baked macaroni and cheese

Southern candied yams from the can recipe

Savoring the sweetness

Whether homemade or made with canned ingredients, the essence of making melt-in-your-mouth candied yams lies not just in the ingredients but also in the joy of sharing this Southern comfort food with loved ones. Embrace the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of canned candied yams any day or to enrich your holiday menu!

Did you enjoy this canned candied yams recipe the soul food way?

Comment below and lemme know. 

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The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
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Canned Candied Yams The Soul Food Way

Canned Candied Yams The Soul Food Way

My canned candied yams recipe is surprisingly simple and saves considerable time in the kitchen. Yet, it preserves the buttery, sweet, caramel toffee flavor you crave in this classic Southern soul food side dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marshmallows melting: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 297kcal

Equipment

  • Colander
  • Large pot

Ingredients

  • 80 oz. sweet potatoes Two 40 oz. cans of sweet potatoes in syrup
  • ½ cup butter unsalted butter, or vegan butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar granulated
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon ground
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger ground or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves ground
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups marshmallows *Optional – miniature marshmallows for topping

Instructions

  • Use a colander to drain the syrup from the cans, and then set the drained yams/sweet potatoes aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave.
  • Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, ginger, ground clove, and vanilla extract to the melted butter.
    Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, ginger, ground clove, and vanilla extract to the melted butter.
  • Mix the ingredients well to create the syrup glaze for the candied yams.
    Mix the ingredients well to create the syrup glaze for the candied yams.
  • Add the set-aside yams to a large pot on the stove.
  • Pour the syrup glaze over the yams and stir to coat them.
  • Then, over medium-high heat on the stovetop, allow the candied yams in the glaze to come to a boil.
  • Turn off the stove and remove the pot of warm candied yams. Optionally, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over the top of the dish.
  • Once the marshmallows are melted, transfer your Southern soul food candied yams recipe to a serving dish, then serve and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 20136IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg
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Canned Candied Yams The Southern Soul Food Way

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One Comment

  1. Shaunda Necole says:

    5 stars
    What a convenient way to make soul food candied yams still with the touch of classic homemade syrup.