Quick and Easy Candied Pecans

Thanks to a skillet and the stovetop, you can make these easy candied pecans in under 10 minutes. These are egg-free, gluten-free and perfect for snacking, adding to salads, other dishes, as well as cheese boards. Jump to the Quick and Easy Candied Pecans Recipe

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Easy Candied Pecans Recipe Video

Candied Pecans in Under 10 Minutes

There are two popular ways to make candied nuts: baked in the oven and cooked on the stovetop. Both methods work nicely for pecans, but the quickest, easiest option is to use the stovetop. The stovetop also makes sure that these candied pecans are vegan and egg-free.

You might also enjoy our crispy baked candied pecans recipe or for another stovetop version, see our Strawberry Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts.

Candied Pecans with a brown sugar coating

These pecans are so simple, you’ll be able to make them anytime you want. Add these to salads, rice dishes, desserts or enjoy them as a snack. I also love them for adding to cheeseboards.

You can play around with the spices to really make them your own, but I love making them sweet and salty.

To make the candied pecans, simply combine sugar (I love using brown sugar) with spices, vanilla extract, and a little water. Heat everything up until it looks like a glaze, and then add the nuts.

In this recipe, we are using pecans, but other nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews will also work.

Adding pecans to brown sugar and spices for candied pecans.

Stir the nuts around the glaze and cook for a few minutes then transfer them to a baking sheet to cool. Once cool, you might need to break apart few nuts that have stuck together, but other than that, you are ready to enjoy!

Frequently asked questions

How long do candied pecans last? Candied pecans last a while when stored in an airtight container. Leave them at room temperature up to a week, in the fridge for a few weeks and in the freezer for a month, maybe more.

My pecans are sticky, what went wrong? When candied pecans are warm, they might be a bit sticky, but once they cool, the sugar coating should harden. If after they have cooled down, the pecans are still sticky, this means that the sugar mixture never reached a high enough temperature when on the stove. To fix them, place the nuts back into the skillet and cook a bit longer. (Watch closely when you do this to prevent the nuts from burning.)

Can I use different types of nuts in this recipe? Yes! This candied pecans recipe will work beautifully when used with most nuts. I especially love walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts.

Try adding these pecans to the following recipes:

A bowl of candied pecans.

Quick and Easy Candied Pecans

  • PREP
  • COOK

Thanks to a skillet and the stovetop, you can make these easy candied pecans in under 10 minutes. This recipe can be used with other varieties of nuts, too. We especially love walnuts and cashews.

Makes 2 cups

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, see notes

Pinch cayenne pepper, optional

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons orange zest, optional

2 cups (6 ounces) pecan halves


    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

    Add brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, cayenne, vanilla, water, and the orange zest (optional) to a medium skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often until the brown sugar melts into a bubbling sauce, about 1 minute.

    Stir in the pecans so that the brown sugar sauce coats them. Cook, stirring the entire time, until the pecans look candied and smell nutty, 2 to 3 minutes. As the nuts heat up in the pan, the sauce will slowly coat them and become shiny. Watch closely as the nuts cook so that they do not burn.

    Transfer the candied pecans to the prepared baking sheet and spread into one layer. Allow the pecans to cool down, and then break them up before serving.

    Store cooled candied nuts in an airtight container. They will last at room temperature for one week, in the refrigerator for a few weeks and in the freezer for a month, if not longer.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt makes these taste salty-sweet. If you’d prefer to not taste the salt, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1/4 cup / Calories 176 / Total Fat 15.4g / Saturated Fat 1.3g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 147.4mg / Carbohydrate 10.1g / Dietary Fiber 2.4g / Total Sugars 7.5g / Protein 2g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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82 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Tina January 22, 2023, 6:38 pm

    Just finished my first batch and can’t stop eating them!! I didn’t include the cayenne or orange zest and don’t think I’m missing out on anything. I might add some real butter to another batch, just to see how that turns out. And I love the fact these don’t need to be baked! Very little prep time and cooking. Very little clean up. And the results are phenomenal!! I’d say this recipe is a definite keeper; ❤️

    • Joanne January 23, 2023, 3:33 pm

      These are difficult to put down! So happy you enjoyed them, Tina.

  • Holly January 22, 2023, 3:08 pm

    Love how quick & easy these made up! Love that there is no butter or oil and no oven roasting. I didn’t have an orange to zest, so added 1/2 tsp cardamom for some extra spice. Think I might try this with other nuts and spices.

  • Pammy December 31, 2022, 12:12 pm

    These are so simple to make and incredibly awesome. Made them for Christmas and will be making them throughout the year as we just picked up 40 pounds of pecans.

  • Bridget December 28, 2022, 12:02 pm

    These were AMAZING!!!! They made my salad the star of the party!

  • Jjjjjj December 26, 2022, 2:55 pm

    Oh my goodness easy peasy. So quick and it saves energy when you don’t use the oven for an hour. They were delicious. I’m adding it to my recipe box. Thank you for sharing and the video was great, short and instructive!

  • Erica Allen December 24, 2022, 7:57 pm

    Sorry, the spicing was not for me; far too strong. Pecans have a great flavor by themselves. Also, this recipe, at least for me, did not make for a nice crunchy pecan.

  • Tara December 23, 2022, 12:40 pm

    Can’t stop eating these- so delicious! You would never know there’s no butter. Easy and fast recipe!

  • Yen December 22, 2022, 6:08 pm

    Absolutely delicious! I added in butter and left out the cayenne.

    • Judy B. December 24, 2022, 8:18 pm

      These were really good, but I forgot to put in less salt. I don’t really like the salty taste. I won’t put any in next time

  • Leah December 22, 2022, 12:30 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Can I use these to top my Sweet Potato Casserole without the glaze running off?

    • Adam December 22, 2022, 1:50 pm

      Yes, that is a great use of candied pecans 🙂

  • Lori Vee December 19, 2022, 5:12 pm

    I just made a batch of these using Truvia Sweet Complete Brown instead of regular brown sugar, and they came out perfectly! My in-home taste testers (husband and son) gave them rave reviews, and didn’t even suspect that they were sugar-free! I loved how quick and easy they were to cook up, and I know I will be making this fantastic recipe again and again!

  • Mary December 19, 2022, 3:20 pm

    Over the weekend I made the candied pecans for a Christmas gift. The recipe was quite easy. The only problem is…that are so flipping good I ate them all. Now I have to make another batch before Christmas! Thank you for providing such a delicious recipe. This one is definitely a keeper.

    • Yvette Jones December 22, 2022, 2:28 pm

      I did the same. These are fabulous. I am on third batch. For contrast I added 1/2 tsp bbq seasoning . Rave reviews.

  • Joan December 10, 2022, 12:02 am

    I made a couple of batches of these and they were really sticky. One batch I put back in the frying pan as instructed and they seem better. The second batch I put in a Ziplock bag and shook them around with some unsweetened cocoa powder. Those are actually my favorites! Glad to have some of each now.

  • Alicia November 21, 2022, 9:26 pm

    Ummmm this are absolutely addicting to adults and teens!!! Delicious!! Thank you tor the recipe will definitely be making these again 😋

  • Kay November 11, 2022, 12:13 pm

    If I don’t have orange zest, can I substitute something else? What does the orange zest add to them?
    Thanks, these sound good.

    • Joanne November 21, 2022, 2:47 pm

      Hi Kay, The oranges adds a little extra flavor, but these are quite delicious with it left out.

  • Amy November 9, 2022, 12:11 pm

    This recipe is perfect! So easy and quick, plus there’s no butter required. They taste absolutely amazing and are so addicting! I’ve made them probably 4 times in the last month, exactly as written (the only thing I’ve changed each time is the amount of cayenne). I want to always have them on hand for salads, baking (just made banana muffins with them) and for general snacking. Thank you for the recipe!


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