Easy Candied Pecans Recipe

A ridiculously crunchy Easy Candied Pecans Recipe for a sweet and salty treat with just a hint of heat. The perfect snack, salad topper, or edible gift!

candied whole pecans in a jar with a red gingham ribbon tied around it

An Easy Candied Pecans Recipe for Summertime Salad Fun!

My fascination with candied nuts and summertime salads got a kickstart last May, at our daughter’s junior year prom dinner. The dinner was hosted by the parents of one of Hatti’s girlfriends. And the evening’s menu included a simple salad of fresh greens and strawberries, a sweet red wine vinaigrette, and crunchy, craveable candied walnuts. Everyone LOVED it!

Of course I asked Leanne, the hostess, for the recipe. The easy salad quickly found itself on regular rotation at our house. I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

In the meantime, make yourself a batch of this Easy Candied Pecans Recipe. The nuts are ridiculously crunchy, and perfectly sweet and salty with a bit of cayenne heat. I bet you can’t eat just one!

pecans, egg white, sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, vanilla extract

Ingredients for this Easy Pecans Recipe

Besides the pecans, you’ll need just a few more common ingredients to make this recipe:

  • granulated sugar
  • light brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • course salt
  • an egg white
  • pure vanilla extract
whisk and clear bowl with a mixture of sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon

How to Make Candied Pecans

To start out, whisk together the granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.

clear bowl with a whisk and whipped frothy egg white

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and frothy.

a bowl of pecans coated in whipped egg white

Add the pecans to the frothy mixture and fold gently until the liquid coats the pecans evenly. This coating is the “glue” that holds the sugar mixture onto the nuts and creates a golden, crunchy crust, so do a thorough job!

pecans coated with sugar mixture

Then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the pecans. Fold gently until the sugar mixture sticks to every last nook and cranny of the pecans.

sugar-coated pecans spread out on a rimmed baking pan

Spread the coated pecans out evenly on a large rimmed pan that’s lined with parchment paper.

Then bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes total, folding every 15 minutes. The nuts will get more and more fragrant, and develop a beautiful crunchy crust.

Tip for you! I recently purchased these pre-cut parchment paper sheets. And I’m now kicking myself for not trying them sooner. They come in a convenient flat package that’s easy to store in a cupboard or pantry. And they’re so easy to use. No more parchment paper rolls for me!!

a pan of baked candied pecans, some of the pecans are in a jar

The results are spectacular!

The nuts are super crunchy, with fabulous flavor. I love that little hint of heat from the cayenne!

candied pecans in a small clear bar with a red ribbon and in a jar with red gingham ribbon

How to Use Candied Pecans

Candied nuts are super versatile!

  • At the very simplest, they make a delicious sweet and salty snack.
  • They’re a great addition to a cheese board or holiday party platter.
  • They are also a beautiful edible gift. Just package them up in little baggies or jars and attach a pretty ribbon. Who wouldn’t love that?!
  • Chop them up and toss them into a batch of chocolate chip cookie bars!
  • Sprinkle them over scoops of butter pecan ice cream.
  • Top your buttermilk pancakes with whipped cream and candied pecans.
  • Like sweet potatoes? So do these candied pecans!
  • Garnish this sweet little carrot cake.
  • And – of course – top your salads. These nuts would be a beautiful addition to my Holiday Wild Rice Salad or this Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad. Then hold tight while I prepare to share that strawberry salad I told you about!

Tips for the Best Candied Pecans

These nuts are super easy to make. Here are a few tips for the utmost success.

  • Be sure to whip the egg white until it’s frothy. This will act like a glue to help the sugar mixture adhere. And then when the nuts are in the oven, it acts like a meringue to give you a sugary, crunchy exterior.
  • Fold the pecans with the frothy egg whites until you no longer see any dry spots on the pecans. This will ensure that the sugar mixture will stick to every bit of pecan surface.

Variation Ideas

Variety is the spice of life. Right? Here are some ideas to change things up.

  • Any kind of nut is game with this recipe. Like walnuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios. Or try a combination!
  • Use all white sugar. Or all brown sugar.
  • Delete the cayenne. Or add MORE!
  • You could add a bit of smoky heat by using dried chipotle.
  • Crack some freshly ground black pepper over the pecans.
  • Add some cumin.
  • Try some paprika.
  • Wouldn’t some pumpkin pie spice be fun?!

How to Store Candied Pecans

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Or place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 2 months!

Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

Pinterest image of candied pecans in a jar

A few more nuts recipes for you!

candied pecans in a jar

Candied Pecans

A ridiculously crunchy Easy Candied Pecans Recipe for a sweet and salty treat with just a hint of heat. The perfect snack, salad topper, or edible gift!

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Line large rimmed pan with parchment paper sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk egg white and vanilla until light and frothy.
  4. Add pecans to whisked egg white mixture, folding gently until pecans are completely coated.
  5. Pour sugar mixture over coated pecans and fold gently until all the mixture is adhered to the pecans.
  6. Spread coated pecans in an even layer on prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are fragrant and evenly browned, about 45 minutes total.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely.


Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Notes

adapted from allrecipes.com

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 152mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

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candied pecans in a jar

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