5 from 9 votes
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Spicy Yams With Maple Syrup (Golden Yams)

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These spicy yams with maple syrup are a delicious sweet and savory side dish. You will use golden yams, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lime juice, pecans, and more. These are a tasty side dish or even a snack to whip up for yourself or your family. Try this golden yam recipe this week.

Roasted yum topped with chopped pecans on a plate with wooden spoon on the side.

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These yam wedges are topped with maple syrup drizzle, chopped nuts, and lime juice. It is almost like eating a loaded French fry recipe but with yams in replace of a plain potato.

Do you like sweet potatoes and yams? If so, here are a few more tasty recipes for you to try out, like these creamy mashed sweet potatoes.

What are Spicy and Sweet Yams?

These spicy and sweet yams are a delicious side dish or even an appetizer. They are golden yams that are sliced into wedges and roasted in the oven. You will top the yams with a mix of spices and drizzle with a cayenne pepper and maple syrup sauce, and crunchy nuts.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Loaded with sweet and spicy flavor in each bite.
  • A healthy side dish or snack option.
  • Easy to make, with minimal ingredients needed.
  • You are in control of adjusting the spice and sweet factor of the recipe.
  • Kids and adults seem to enjoy this recipe.

What is the Golden Yam Recipe Made Of?

Ingredients of spicy yams with maple syrup sitting on a countertop.
  • Yams – Golden yams are what I used, but you can substitute them with sweet potatoes.
  • Pecans – Chopped.
  • Cayenne – Use less or more to adjust the spice factor.
  • Maple Syrup – Make sure to use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
  • Salt – Kosher salt works great for this recipe.
  • Lime – Freshly squeezed juice and lime zest.
  • Olive Oil – Or swap with avocado oil or vegetable oil.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter.
  • Pepper – To taste.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

How To Make

Chopped pecan and spices in a saucepan and slices of sweet potatoes.
  1. Start by placing your pecans, salt, pepper, cayenne, and maple syrup in a saucepan. Cook on medium high heat stirring the whole time. This will cook for 3-5 minutes. (Photo 1)
  2. Spread the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with lime zest. Let it cool. (Photo 2)
  3. Peel your yams and then slice them into wedges. I cut them into 8 quarters. (Photo 3)
  4. Toss the yams in oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well and spread in a single baking sheet. (Photos 4 & 5)
Slices of Sweet potato wedges and onion sitting on a baking dish and butter and maple syrup in a saucepan.
  1. In a saucepan, add the butter, syrup, and salt. Once the mixture foams and bubbles, you will cook for 3-5 minutes. (Photo 6)
  2. Once potatoes are done, you will drizzle the maple mixture over the top and then squeeze lime juice. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  3. Remove and then top with the pecan mixture and serve right away. (Photo 7)
A plate of roasted sweet potato wedges with chopped pecans on top.

Tips from our Recipe Developer

  • Make sure to cut the yams into even slices that way, they evenly cook in the oven. If your yams are larger then cut them into more pieces.
  • Depending on the thickness of the yams, you will find that the cooking time will vary.
  • Spread the pecan mixture into an even layer so it has time to set up a bit as you are cooking your yams.
  • If you want the potatoes to be a bit spicier, then add more cayenne. You could go up to 1/2 teaspoon if you wanted.
  • You can add all or a little of the sauce over the yams once done. You control how much of the sauce you use.
  • If you don’t want to candy the pecans, you can always just top with salted pecans at the end and skip the sauce.
  • You are more than welcome to use sweet potatoes instead of yams if you want.
  • Make sure to peel the sweet potatoes or yams; otherwise, it will offer a very chewy texture.
  • If you overcook the yams they will burn, so ensure you check on them when they are close to being done.

Storing Tips


For any of the yams you do not eat, make sure to store them in a sealed container for 1-2 days in the fridge. The yams will be a lot softer when you go to reheat them, but they will reheat decent.


To reheat, you can warm them up in the microwave on a prepped pan. Or warm it up in the microwave for a minute or so until the potatoes are warmed through.

What to serve with the yam fries

If you are not sure what to pair with your yam fries, let me help. You could serve up with a savory maple-balsamic boneless pork chops, roast chicken, or even a juicy steak.

Or, if you want to make a lighter dish, then pair it with a light salad and a vinaigrette dressing.

Thin slices of roasted sweet potatoes with chopped pecans on a white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use sweet potatoes instead of yams?

Sweet potatoes can be substituted for yams very easily. Just peel and bake the same way. They have a very similar flavor and texture.

How spicy will the yams be with cayenne pepper?

With 1/4th of a teaspoon, you will find it is mild to medium heat. Or you can reach for 1/2 teaspoon for a medium to spicy flavor. Feel free to adjust as you would like.

Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?

Feel free to swap the maple syrup with honey if you would like. It will alter the taste just a bit, but overall, you will have the same flavor.

Need more side dish recipes? Try these:

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Close up shot of roasted yum topped with chopped pecans.
5 from 9 votes

Yams With Maple Syrup

Author: Kim Schob
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields 8 servings
Yams With Maple Syrup and Cayenne are a sweet and spicy yam recipe. You can easily swap with sweet potatoes if that is what you have on hand. A delicious and easy side dish or snack to serve up.


  • 2 ½ Lbs (1 ⅐ kg) Fresh Sweet Potatoes Yams (Golden)
  • 1 Cup (109 g) Chopped Pecans
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne
  • ½ Cup (118 2/7 ml) Real Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Lime zest for Garnish


  • In a small saucepan, combine chopped pecans, cayenne, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup maple syrup, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well.
    1 Cup Chopped Pecans,¼ tsp Cayenne,½ Cup Real Maple Syrup,2 tsp Kosher Salt,Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and stir occassionally until it becomes a bubbly mixture. This can take around 3-5 minutes,
  • Next, you will line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then you will spread the mixture into an even layer. Let it cool.
  • Peel the yams and cut them into thin wedges. You will quarter your potatoes, and then slice again, to make around 8 wedges per yam.
    2 ½ Lbs Fresh Sweet Potatoes
  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F (218 °C)
  • In a bowl, toss the cut the sliced yams with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Toss the yams to ensure all sides of the golden yams are coated.
    3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Spread them onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Make sure the yams don't overlap.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. You want the yams to be fork tender and a nice brown color.
  • While yams are cooking you are going to work on the sauce. In a saucepan add butter, ¼ cup maple syrup, and ½ tsp salt. Cook on medium heat. It will become a bit foamy, make sure to stir consistantly and cook for
    3 Tbsp Butter
  • Drizzle the maple butter mixture over the baked sweet potatoes and stir to coat them. Then, drizzle lime juice over the top.
  • Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes turn dark golden brown.
  • Finally, evenly spread the cooked pecans over the roasted sweet potatoes. Serve immediately.


  • Yams – You can use sweet potatoes or yams for this recipe. The goal is similar-sized pieces to ensure they fully cook. 
  • Spice Factor – Add as much or as little cayenne as you would like for the spice factor. 
  • Honey – If you don’t use maple syrup you can use honey in replace it. 
  • Roasting – Make sure to cook your yams until they are tender and golden brown on the outside. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 355kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 44g (15%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0.2g Cholesterol: 11mg (4%) Sodium: 695mg (30%) Potassium: 582mg (17%) Fiber: 6g (25%) Sugar: 19g (21%) Vitamin A: 20275IU (406%) Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) Calcium: 76mg (8%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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  1. 5 stars
    What a unique combination of flavors! I’m interested to see how the sweetness of the syrup mixes with that cayenne heat. Can’t wait to try this out, thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    These yams could not be more delicious! The spice mixed with the sweet of the maple syrup is out of this world!

  3. 5 stars
    Yum!! So healthy and easy to make! These will be going into the rotation and can’t wait for holiday cooking. They’re perfect for it. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    What a delicious way to prepare yams! I just love the flavor of maple syrup, so I’m glad I came across this recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    Gave this a try this afternoon and it was the perfect blend of sweet and savory! Definitely a unique and unexpected dish; delicious!

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