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

A bowl of candied pecans.

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.

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:

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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

17 comments… Leave a Comment
  • April September 4, 2021, 4:31 pm

    Delicious recipe! I will definitely be making these again. Next time I’ll be sure to have an orange on hand to try making them with the zest. These were so tasty! Best candied nut recipe that I’ve come across. We ate them by the handful as well as on salads. They sure didn’t last long!

  • Cate September 2, 2021, 11:56 am

    I made your candied pecans last night and they were delicious! I have no idea if they would last for a week at room temp, a couple in the refrigerator, or longer in the freezer because they didn’t last past last night! I’m fresh out of oranges in the house right now, so didn’t add the zest but I’m sure it gives a delicious citrus taste. I highly recommend this recipe!

    • Joanne September 2, 2021, 12:43 pm

      That’s great, Cate! And yes, it was tough for us to test the storing of these nuts. They are hard to resist!

  • Debbie Finn August 27, 2021, 3:18 pm

    I was going to skip the orange zest until I read the reviews, and am I glad I had an orange to zest! This recipe was excellent, fast and easy. It tastes so buttery delicious and there’s no butter in it! I did add a splash of Captain Morgan’s spiced rum to it because I had some left in a bottle but not enough for a drink, lol. Perfection. Thank you!

  • Demetrice July 30, 2021, 12:45 pm

    I used your recipe and mixed walnuts and pecans together. They turned out great. I love the hint of orange in this recipe. The sweetness was just right. I was really surprised at the crunchiness without the egg white. Superb outcome. I will use this recipe often. Thank you

  • Joan Gillespie June 29, 2021, 12:36 pm

    I followed your recipe. It turned out very well. Yum! Thank you.

  • Cynthia March 11, 2021, 10:03 pm

    This recipe is SO easy & delicious! I’ve made it quite a few times & have yet to be disappointed. It’s great for a sweet tooth when I don’t want to have to run out for ingredients, because I almost always have the stuff on-hand. The nuts aren’t overly sweet like some candied nut recipes can get.

  • Darragh February 25, 2021, 9:06 pm

    So easy, and just what we were looking for to decorate the top of a butter pecan cake. Yum!

  • Jan February 6, 2021, 7:39 pm

    This recipe looks soooo delicious

  • Stephanie December 23, 2020, 1:01 pm

    I’ve made this recipe so many times along with several others and this is by far the best. One thing I do first is roast the pecans naked in the oven and then follow the receipe exactly. The best!

    • Adam December 23, 2020, 9:22 pm

      Roasting the pecans is a great idea and so glad you liked it.

  • Sharon Butler December 5, 2020, 8:20 am

    Just made my first batch today as a tester for Christmas and all I can say is YUM 😋 Thanks guys

  • Arianna December 4, 2020, 4:05 pm

    Is there a difference in taste or texture between the stovetop and the oven candied pecans recipes?

    • Adam December 4, 2020, 4:07 pm

      There is a pretty significant difference between the two. Both are delicious but the oven candied pecans are much lighter and crispier.

  • Emily November 6, 2020, 4:34 pm

    These look delicious!! Is it best to use raw pecans or roasted pecans? Want to make sure I buy the right kind!

    • Joanne November 7, 2020, 2:21 pm

      Hi Emily, You can use either. Since the nuts aren’t in the pan for that long, using roasted nuts would add some more of those toasty notes. I’d stay away from roasted and salted nuts, though (or if that’s what you have, leave out the salt called for in the recipe).

      • June Saba August 28, 2021, 8:27 pm

        I did your recipe but the pecans were sticky when l cooked. I did use frozen pecans. Do you think that made a difference. Also did not use orange peel or pepper. I served them on vanilla ice cream and they were delicious.


Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: