With the all the desserts around the holidays, I skip the brown sugar and the traditional marshmallow topping on the yams and add a little zing. This recipe for yams with orange-bourbon sauce is super simple. The sauce has only 5 ingredients. This simple side dish is easy so you can get to the Thanksgiving table without being a wreck. Even though this dish is simple to make, it does not mean that the flavor is simple. Yams are naturally sweet so just a little salt, tangy orange and some liquor make for a perfectly balanced dish.
Use your creativity to arrange the sliced yams in the baking dish. In the photo above, the sliced rounds were cut in half and stood up on the cut edge in an offset pattern. Below, all of the rounds were left whole and layered in a circle. However you arrange them, be sure that the baking dish is stuffed full. The yams will shrink a little when cooked.
For some more of my gluten-free Thanksgiving and holiday sides, check out these recipes. This quinoa yam stuffing is a great vegan holiday dish. My gluten-free cornbread stuffing is one of my personal favs along with my traditional gluten-free stuffing. And of course no holiday table would be complete without gluten-free gravy.
I use frozen concentrated orange juice (I always have a can in my freezer) for a strong pop of orange. If you can’t find the concentrated stuff, simmer 1 cup of orange juice in a pot over medium heat until it is reduced to 1/2 c. The orange provides some well needed acid on holiday menus.
With all the sweets and sweet dishes I like to add a kick to this dish and bourbon (or whiskey) is a great way to add that kick. If you prefer not to use alcohol, 2 tsps apple cider vinegar can be a substitute.
Since the yams are already sweet, just a tablespoon of maple syrup and some salt bring it all together. It’s very simple, there are just 6 ingredients.
If you want to get a head start on your holiday meal this is the perfect dish. The day before or even 2 days ahead, bake the yam slices in the pan for 30 minutes. Make the sauce, pour it into the baking dish with the partially cooked yams, cool and store in the fridge. On the day of, give it a final bake for 35-40 minutes at 400°
Yams with Orange-Bourbon Sauce
- 4 yams garnet or jewel 2-3 lbs.
- 5 Tbsp butter
- ½ c frozen concentrated orange juice do not dilute, use it as is, from the can or 1 c orange juice
- 3 Tbsp bourbon or other whiskey
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- Heat the oven to 400°
- Rinse the yams. Peel the yams if you prefer them skin off, otherwise leave the peel on.
- Cut into rounds about 1/2″ thick.
- Layer them in a baking dish or cast iron skillet, overlapping each slice by a half. Or cut the rounds in half and stand up on their straight edge. They will shrink during cooking so be sure to stuff the pan/dish full.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Make the sauce
- If not using concentrated oj, put the 1 c juice in a skillet and simmer for about 10 minutes or until it is reduced to around ½ cup. Then add the butter. When the butter is melted go to step 6.
- Melt the butter and frozen orange juice in a skillet over medium heat.
- When the mixture starts to bubble stir in the bourbon, maple syrup and salt and turn up the heat a little. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- When the yams have baked for 30 minutes (they’re not completely cooked yet) pour in the sauce, getting the top of the yams coated with sauce, and bake another 30 minutes.
- Make Ahead
- If you want to get a head start on your holiday meal, the day before or even 2 days ahead, bake the yam slices in the pan for 30 minutes.
- Make the sauce, pour it into the baking dish with the partially cooked yams, cool and store in the fridge. On the day of, give it a final bake for 35-40 minutes at 400°