Low Fat Oil Free Vegan Baked Maple Yam Pecan Casserole

by on January 4, 2012

Low Fat Oil Free Vegan Maple Syrup Yam Sweet Potato Pecan Holiday Casserole

Low Fat Vegan Maple Yam and Pecan Casserole

Featured in my new recipe eBook: Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World with other holiday favorites like Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Holiday Stuffed Acorn Squash, Cranberry Apple Pecan Stuffing, Cheezy Sauce For Steamed Vegetables and 5 different gravy recipes and more!

I want to  share some of my delicious Christmas dinner recipes I made last year with you. Baked Yam Pecan Casserole is super easy to make and one of my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes.

It was my extended family’s first “predominantly vegan” Christmas and holiday dinner.  My mom was so thrilled not to have to deal with a turkey, so she just had her husband pick up some pre cooked roast turkey for himself and my grandmother, and the rest of us just at vegan and loaded up on all the delicious sides!

We made my new Cranberry Apple Pecan Stuffing, mashed potatoes and 2 kinds of gravy, vegetables in cheezy sauce. I know some of you will be wanting the recipes, so here’s another one for you to save for special holidays, or whenever you have a serious Yam craving! (Or if you are obsessed with sweet potato casseroles, or sweet potato pie, like they are in the South. I’m in Texas right now lol)

Now these are actually yams, but Americans will still call them Sweet Potatoes. Pretty much anything that seems like a potato and tastes sweet, they call sweet potatoes. In Canada and the rest of the world, they are called yams (In Australia kumara).  Hence why I called the recipe a Yam Casserole. I think the name “sweet potato” is very ambiguous and confusing, as in the USA it encompasses basically any starchy root than is semi sweet, whether it’s golden yams, purple yams, orange yams (like above) etc.  Check out the Wiki on yams if you don’t believe me!

This recipe is SUPER easy and you can of course scale it down if you don’t want lots of leftovers.

This recipe is also oil-free, Earth Balance-free and guilt free! If you don’t have maple syrup, you can certainly use some agave, brown rice syrup or other preferred sweetener.

Low Fat Vegan Maple Yam Pecan Casserole (Sweet Potato Pie -ish)

(You can also half this recipe, if you don’t want leftovers)

Serves 8-10


5 large yams (orange flesh sweet potatoes in the USA if you insist on calling them that 🙂 )
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp herbamare
1/2 cup pecan halves


1. Peel and slice yams into 2″ thick slices. (This is so they cook faster)

2. Steam yams or cook in a pressure cooker just until tender. As soon as you can poke easily with a fork and break them apart they are done.

3. Drain and turn into a bowl and mash with potato masher.

4. Add seasonings and stir gently.

5. Pour into a casserole pan, garnish with pecans and keep warm in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until needed.

6. Serve.

What’s your favourite Christmas or Thanksgiving side? What did you have this year for Christmas dinner? Sweet potatoes or yams?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marihelen November 10, 2012 at 6:52 AM

Sweet potatoes are not yams. Sweet potatoes ( of which there are many varieties) originate in the Americas, while yams, (a different species of plant) originates from Africa. The confusion comes from the fact that 1) The FDA requires yams also be labeled as sweet potatoes. 2) They are easy recipe substitutes for each other in recipes.
I much prefer the sweeter flavor & moister texture of the sweet potato to the drier harder yam!

If you don’t believe me, but trust wiki..check out sweet potatoes!


2 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica November 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I didn’t say sweet potatoes ARE yams. I said Americans call yams sweet potatoes. I have had sweet potatoes and I have had yams, they are different. One is dense and starchy like a potato, and yams are softer when cooked, have a higher water content and get mushy much easier. They have less starch in them.

I think you are confused. It’s the other way around. Sweet potatoes are drier and harder and yams are moisture, not what you said.


3 Susanne March 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM

What is herbamare ? Where would I find it?


4 Veronica March 2, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Herbamare is a French seasoned salt. In a green and white cylinder at all Whole foods markets and health food stores. I like it because it adds a savory vegetable taste as well and not just salt. Its great on steamed greens too

The link on Amazon is here


5 Em January 26, 2012 at 4:41 AM

Actually, I’ve just read the wiki post on yams you put up here Veronica – and now realise I’m not at all clear on them after all!!

Damn the yam!


6 Em January 26, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Veronica, do you think dates could be used successfully as a substitute for the maple syrup/sugar?

Thanks for clearing up the yam issue – we call them sweet potatoes too, here in Australia.
Though we don’t have that Christmas tradition of cooking up yams that you guys do over there, that’s not to say we shouldn’t. Your recipe sounds delicious!


7 Veronica January 26, 2012 at 4:50 AM

You can definitely blend dates with water. In most of my recipes I prefer dates because they have good flavour, natural sweetness and fibre. So just add enough water to blend and thin and make a date syrup to use as a sweetener. 🙂

lol no need to be confused. Most places call them yams. I think the term sweet potato is too general. Basically it’s any other potato-like thing that is not an actual white, yellow, red skinned or russet potato!

Yam in particular is the orange fleshed one.

There’s lots of sweet potatoes that are yellow or white fleshed and those are not usually the sweet potato Americans are talking about.


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