Spiced Pecans with Roasted Yams

Besides turkey, nothing screams Thanksgiving like yams or sweet potatoes. Often you find sweet potato casserole that is overly sweet or roasted yams topped with marshmallows and tons of brown sugar. These dishes, for me, are too sweet and the flavor of the sweet potatoes or yams are lost along with any nutritional value. That is why I love this recipe!

The yams are par-boiled which enhances the development of their simple sugars making them sweeter and more flavorful than just roasting them. The pecans are pan roasted in spices, oil, and a little bit of brown sugar to provide a unique spiced flavor and a nice crunch to the roasted yams. I prefer to use ghee in this recipe because I love the flavor it lends to the dish. Avocado oil (or any other high heat oil) works fine and creates a tasty dish, too.

This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats’ recipe for Smoky Spiced Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes.


  • Place yams in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat water to 160°F as registered on an instant-read thermometer. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
  • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F. Drain yams and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of ghee and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread yams on 2 rimmed baking sheets and roast until bottom sides are browned, about 30 minutes. Carefully flip yams with a thin spatula and roast until second side is browned and yams are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee with cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and swirling, until spices are fragrant and toasty, 1 minute. Add pecans and toss to coat with spiced ghee. Continue cooking until pecans are lightly toasted, 1 minute. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and stir until well combined and melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine yams, spiced pecans, minced sage and toss to combine. Serve right away or set aside until ready to serve and reheat before serving. Serves 6-8

Recipe Credit

Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth