Home » Recipes » Side Dishes » Vegan Candied Yams with Marshmallows and Pecans

Vegan Candied Yams with Marshmallows and Pecans

from 8 reader reviews

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This vegan canned yams casserole is perfect for your holiday table! It’s easy to make with canned yams (or canned sweet potatoes), brown sugar, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and most importantly: vegan marshmallows, the star of the show!

plate with canned yams casserole with casserole dish in background

There are so many delicious holiday dishes that we vegans can make and enjoy that just weren’t available “back in the day”. Luckily for us, we now have more vegan food options than before and can enjoy some of the old favorites with family and friends. You’ll love these vegan candied yams – which will soon be a favorite at your holiday table.

spooning out a portion of canned yams casserole with big marshmallow

Why you’ll love this vegan candied yams casserole

  • sweet and a little savory
  • easy to make
  • has a delicious (vegan) marshmallow topping that the kids will love – because who doesn’t love marshmallows
  • you can pretend it’s healthy (if that makes you feel better) with the lovely orange vitamin-filled and fiber-rich veggies

Pin now to save for later:

plate of vegan canned yams with fork and pinterest text overlay

Ingredients needed to make this vegan version candied yams casserole

  • 40-ounce canned yams or sweet potatoes – The can might say canned yams OR it might say canned sweet potatoes. The terms are used pretty interchangeably and it’s honestly the same thing. I used a 40-ounce can because it was less expensive than buying three 15-ounce cans (which is what my original recipe was based on). The difference in weight is small so use what you can find.
  • chopped pecans – I buy mine prechopped. If you buy yours whole or halved, this handy chopper is easy and helpful to use!
  • vegan butter, melted – If you are not vegan then use any butter.
  • brown sugar, packed – I used lite – but you can use dark brown sugar if you prefer. Aso, if you are a “sugar” vegan then use organic brown sugar.
  • vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • 15 large vegan marshmallows. I used Dandies marshmallows. I also made this casserole with the Dandies maple-flavored vegan mini marshmallows (see below). Obviously, if you are not vegan then use the marshmallows you wish.
  • You will also need a medium-sized casserole dish. You want the drained sweet potatoes to just cover the bottom of the dish. A regular cake pan or lasagna pan is going to be too large. I used the middle size of these beautiful blue casserole dishes. (They also come in other colors.)
ingredients needed for canned yams casserole included vegan marshmallows

How to make this delicious recipe for vegan candied yams casserole

The exact measurements and precise instructions are found in the recipe card below. Read on for tips and suggestions so that your sweet potato casserole will be as tasty as mine.

Step 1: preheat and prepare

  • Preheat your oven to 350°
  • Spritz your casserole dish with cooking spray
  • chop the pecans if not purchased chopped
  • open the canned yams/sweet potatoes and drain well
canned yams draining in strainer

I check through all the yams to make sure there aren’t any browned or “weird” pieces. Nobody wants that…

Step 2: Add the sweet potatoes and pecans

After draining the canned yams, pour them into the prepared baking dish. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly on the bottom of the pan.

You should use a medium-sized baking dish – not the largest size that you’d use to bake a cake – so less than 9×13 but larger than 8×8. If you are using a round casserole dish, you should use a 2-quart size. You want the drained sweet potatoes to cover the bottom of the pan you use. You also want some room to place the large-sized marshmallows on top.

Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the drained sweet potato. If you are serving this dish to others, please point out and label that it contains nuts. If you are serving this dish and know that somebody has a nut allergy, simply leave them out. I made this casserole for years without nuts. It was fine:)

canned yams and pecans in casserole dish

Step 3: prepare and add the butter/brown sugar mixture

If you are not vegan then you obviously can use your butter of choice. Do use salted butter as this recipe was developed with vegan butter which is salted.

I melt the butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds in a microwave-safe dish and then add the other ingredients and mix right in the dish.

Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, sea salt, and vanilla extract. The brown sugar is packed and can be challenging to stir in. I use a fork to break it up before whisking the ingredients together.

I know this is a lot of vegan butter and brown sugar. This is NOT a vegan health recipe! This is a recipe for special holiday events. The butter and brown sugar are just the right amount and what makes these otherwise boring plain canned yams into the vegan candied yams you’ve been craving! So no, you won’t be seeing an option to make this one more healthy. Sorry.

Now pour the melted butter/brown sugar mixture evenly over the sweet potato chunks and pecans in the baking dish, making sure that the sweet potato chunks are nicely covered.

spooning the melted butter brown sugar mixture onto the canned yams and pecans
Pour or spoon the melted butter/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes.

Step 4: It’s marshmallow time!

If you are not vegan then use the marshmallows you prefer. However…HOWEVER…If you are vegan then you are in for a special treat! There are now several options for vegan marshmallows available. I’ve only tried Dandies Brand marshmallows and can only tell you about my experience with this brand.

The flavor is amazing! Just what you would expect a marshmallow to taste like. The one thing that is different with these vegan marshmallows is that when they brown, they tend to get crunchy. See below for my fix for crunchy marshmallows.

I used 15 large marshmallows. This seemed to be the right amount. You should not entirely cover the top of the candied yam dish or all you will taste is massive marshmallow! Leave a little space between the marshmallows.

canned yam casserole ready to cook with dandies marshmallow package in foreground

Another option is to use vegan mini marshmallows. If you use mini marshmallows then it’s okay to cover the top because they are smaller. I used one five-ounce bag BUT I also used a round baking dish so there wasn’t as much surface to cover. If you plan on using a rectangle-shaped baking dish then plan for a bag and a half.

dandies maple flavored mini marshmallows

Final step: Time to cook!

Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be heated through and the marshmallows lightly browned on top.

cooked canned yams casserole showing toasted marshmallows

One difference I noticed with the vegan marshmallows is that the browned part tends to dry out and get a little crunchy. Which honestly doesn’t offend me much!

I “fixed” this by turning the marshmallows so that the browned side faced the moist sweet potato side. This seemed to do the trick. If you are using large marshmallows then you can turn my hand. If you are using the mini marshmallows then use a spoon to assist.

casserole dish with cooked canned yams showing big marshmallows after turning
The marshmallows have been turned so the toasty part will stay moist and not get too crunchy. Still super delicious!

Serving suggestions

This dish is best served right away. You’ll get six decent-sized side dish servings out of this recipe. If you are setting it on your holiday table or buffet, then be sure to time it so that it is warm from the oven.

scooping out a portion of canned yam casserole with mini marshmallows on top

Even though this candied yams recipe is super sweet, I don’t serve it as dessert – but rather with the side dishes. Sometimes a little savory mixed with the sweet is just what our palate needs!

You can store any extras in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat and serve. The marshmallows might change texture depending on the brand you use.

For some other delicious vegan side dishes for your holiday table try:

The printable recipe card

Did you love this recipe?

Want to share the love? It would be great if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help Google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

spooning out a portion of canned yams casserole with big marshmallow

Vegan Candied Yams with Marshmallows and Pecans

This vegan sweet potato casserole with canned yams is perfect for your holiday table! It's easy to make with canned yams (or canned sweet potatoes), brown sugar, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and most importantly: vegan marshmallows, the star of the show!
from 8 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan marshmallows, vegan sweet potato casserole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 446kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • 40 ounce canned yams or sweet potatoes drained
  • cup pecans chopped
  • ¼ cup vegan butter melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 15 large marshmallows vegan


  • Preheat the oven to 350° and spritz a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Chop the pecans if they were not purchased chopped. Set aside.
  • Drain the sweet potatoes and place them in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Melt the vegan butter. Whisk in the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar and pecans evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes. Pour the melted butter evenly over the sweet potato/pecan mixture.
  • Top with the vegan marshmallows. See notes for using mini marshmallows or flavored maple marshmallows.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are heated through and the marshmallows are toasty and lightly browned.


Sometimes the can will say “sweet potatoes” and sometimes it will say “yams”. It’s honestly all the same. 
I buy the 40-ounce can because it’s more economical. If you only have the 15-ounce cans, then use three. It’s only a small difference in weight and will be fine. 
The recipe calls for 15 large vegan marshmallows. If you use mini marshmallows then you will need to use about 8 ounces. I just lightly cover the top and call it good.
Vegan marshmallows tend to get a little crunchy when browning. Making sure they stay moist is the key to enjoying this dish. After cooking I mix the minis in and if I am using the large marshmallows, I turn them so that the browned crunchy portion is down toward the moist casserole. 


Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 1604mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 627IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Posted To:

By on May 28th, 2022

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

More posts by this author.

1 thought on “Vegan Candied Yams with Marshmallows and Pecans”

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating