Autumn Recipes: Pecan Praline Crusted Yams

Photo by Ryan Suffern at C'est La VeganThis is one of the simplest dishes you might serve at your holiday table, but you can bet it'll be in the running for most popular. The recipe is based on one used by Chef Josiah Citrin's mother. He now serves an upscale version at his Santa Monica restaurant, Mélisse, which can also be found in his cookbook, "In Pursuit of Excellence."

People are often confused about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. In other parts of the world, they are actually two entirely different tubers. But in North America, what is labeled as a yam in the grocery store is actually a variety of sweet potato. So, though this recipe calls for the orange-fleshed vegetable we know as a yam, you'll get a very similar flavor profile from the paler types.

5 lbs yams, peeled and cut into large dice
8 Tbsp butter
2 eggs
½ C milk
½ C brown sugar

Cook yams in salted boiling water until soft. Remove from heat and strain completely. Place in a mixing bowl, add the butter and beat with a whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk again to incorporate.

Scald the milk in a saucepan and add to the yams. Add the sugar and mix well. Place in a baking dish.

Pecan crust

2 c brown sugar
2 c cream
4 cups pecans, toasted and rough chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
8 Tbsp butter, melted
4 tsp vanilla extract

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and place in heavy saucepan. Add the cream, sugar, pecans, and spices and whisk until well combined. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for five minutes mixing often. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

To finish, pour pecan praline over yam mixture and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Use a cake tester to check for doneness. Serve hot.

[Homepage image via Food and Whine]

[Image via C'est La Vegan]

Find us on Tumblr here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
Follow us on Facebook here.

About the Author

Katherine is the former Living Managing Editor at She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
RSS icon


Pinzimonio: A Salad in a Cocktail Glass


California Wine: the Nouveau Nouveau

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment  


That recipe is just so perfect for the holiday!Thank you for the recipe.


Our pleasure! Let us know if you try it at home.


Hi, Katherine - this is actually a photo from my blog that Rainys Recipes didn't credit. Can you please link back to the original post ( and credit the photographer (Ryan Suffern) and the site If not, I'll have to ask you to remove the photo. Thank you!


@cestlavegan - Sorry for the mistake. Image credit has been fixed.


Looks just like the one my grandma makes!!
Mm, so good. Can't wait to see this on my Thanksgiving table.


I made this last night. So amazing and a fantastic alternative to yams with marshmallows. I can't stop eating it and my brother-in-law, who hates sweet potatoes, has had multiple servings. I'm recommending it to all my friends. It was so easy to make too!


@Maureen - Thanks, that's great to hear!