When it comes to Thanksgiving, my family goes the traditional route: roasted turkey, cranberries from a can, and yams with marshmallows on top. Every once in a while, I think it’s fun to change things up and try new variations on the classics. Now, don’t get me wrong, any time you can get away with popping marshmallows onto a veggie is fine by me, but making that classic a little healthier will leave you feeling slightly less guilty as you unbutton your jeans at the end of the night.
Tasty Kitchen Member Julia really nails this twist on the Thanksgiving classic with these Roasted Yams with Candied Walnuts and Raisins. The walnuts come out deliciously coated and the raisins just sweeten the whole deal. I guarantee you won’t miss the marshmallows this year!
The last thing you need on Turkey Day is a big list of complex ingredients, so you’re safe with this simple recipe. Line up four yams, walnuts, a little butter, honey, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt for this recipe. I didn’t have cardamom on hand, so I omitted it but these yams were packed with warm flavors and didn’t miss a thing.
To get started, preheat your oven to 425ºF. While the oven preheats, wash and dry your yams. Using a fork, poke several holes in the skin of the yams so they vent while baking. The last thing you need is them exploding in the oven and creating more of a mess to clean up!
Wrap each yam in aluminum foil, just like a baked potato. Roast the yams until fork tender, about 45–60 minutes depending on the size of your yams.
Once you’re able to handle the yams and unwrap them, take a couple of forks and split open the yams to cool slightly. While they rest momentarily, move on to the walnuts.
The filling is always the best part, and this is no different. Even better is that it all goes into one pan!
Add the remaining ingredients into a skillet and over medium heat stir the ingredients together until the walnuts are coated completely.
Once the walnuts are coated, pour them into the middle of the split yams. Serve these immediately. And if by some miracle there are leftovers of these yams, these are great as leftovers right out of the fridge. Not that I would know from experience or anything.
Julia has a boatload of other fantastic recipes in her TK recipe box, and on her site, The Roasted Root. Be sure to check them out for your everyday inspiration and special occasion gems. These turkey burgers with chipotle sauce are where it is at. Thanks, Julia!
What is your favorite side dish during the holidays? Are you a traditionalist, or an adventurer during the holidays? Leave a comment below, or a link to your favorite Tasty Kitchen recipe to inspire the whole TK Community!
Keep Thanksgiving healthy with an easy and nutritious holiday treat: roasted yams topped with candied walnuts, raisins and warm spices!
- 4 whole Large Yams, Roasted
- 1-½ cup Walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ⅓ cups Honey
- ½ cups Golden Raisins
- ¾ teaspoons Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoons Cardamom
- ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
- ½ teaspoons Salt
Preheat the oven to 425ºF
Wash the yams and pat them dry.
Poke yams a few times with a fork, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on size; mine took a full hour). The yams are done when thick juice is seeping out of them and they’re soft when poked.
Remove yams from the oven and set aside.
Add remaining ingredients at the same time to a medium-sized skillet and heat to medium or medium high. Stir with a wooden spoon until honey is coating everything, walnuts become fragrant and raisins plump up, about 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to burn.
Once yams are cool enough to handle, quarter them and top with desired amount of topping.
A fabulous idea: Give them a squirt of whipped cream or a drizzle of melted butter.
Megan Keno is the writer and photographer of Country Cleaver, a food blog fueled by Nutella and images of June Cleaver—if June wore cowboy boots and flannel, that is. A self-proclaimed country bum, Megan creates from-scratch recipes that range from simple to sublime and how-to’s to build your cooking repertoire. But she couldn’t do it without the help of her trusty—and furry—sous chef, Huckleberry. He’s a world class floor cleaner.