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 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:

Quick and Easy Candied Pecans

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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

Directions

    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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50 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Veronica Austin September 11, 2022, 10:41 pm

    I’ve used this recipe to candy pecans as well as walnuts. Absolutely delicious!! Super simple and easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Reply
  • Teresa September 3, 2022, 9:49 am

    Thank you for making it so simple! I was having company over for dinner and they were stuck in traffic, so would be 45 minutes late. Since I already had everything prepared, I got online and was looking at your site. That’s where I saw the candied pecan recipe and video. You made it look so simple. Knowing I had all the ingredients in my cupboard, I quickly made them to go on the salad. They were the hit of the night. I prepared everyone’s salad plates in advance. Mixed lettuce (romaine and spring mix) placed in the middle of the salad plate, a little pile of grated carrots (front), cherry tomatoes (left of lettuce) and sliced cucumbers on right side of the lettuce. Then, on top crumbled blue cheese and the candid pecans. It looked beautiful and was delicious.

    Reply
  • An August 2, 2022, 1:30 pm

    Delicious I made these a couple of weeks ago for a get together and I am making them again today they are so easy simple and just wonderful thank you for such a great recipe

    Reply
  • Joann June 22, 2022, 3:23 pm

    Can you use chopped pecans? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2022, 12:41 pm

      You should be able to, just keep an eye on them as they cook so that they do not burn.

      Reply
  • A@4U June 22, 2022, 1:32 pm

    Oh My! What a delightfully simple, delightfully quick, delightfully delicious recipe!!My husband wanted candied pecans for our spinach salads for dinner…so I hit the web & your recipe was one of the first to pop up. That night I prepared according to the recipe-cue lightening bolt as I NEVER follow recipe exactly even on first time! My usual pecan recipe is appx 45 min in the oven and is more spicy than sweet. After finishing off the remainder of the pecans after dinner I realized the pecans were a bit too sweet (could have been the whole extra cup I ate-but they went well with my Cabernet!) and that we prefer the pecans a bit more toasted. Second time, I winged it as usual-combined the sugaring ingredients in a bowl-reducing the brown sugar to abt 4T, upped the cayenne & sea salt a bit. But first I toasted the pecans in the skillet for about 5 min on low, removed to bowl and then prepared following the recipe. This was perfect-a little bite to pecans not quite as sweet-great on the charcuterie board. Now my GO-TO recipe. Thank you for such a great recipe!

    Reply
  • Bonnie May 4, 2022, 4:12 pm

    These came together in minutes and are absolutely delicious. Will add to my harvest apple salad with craisins and roasted sweet potato cubes. I have to stop snacking on them, though, to have enough to do that. I’ve just found your blog, so now to explore vegan options!

    Reply
  • YG March 7, 2022, 6:06 pm

    Can I leave out the cinnamon? I’m looking for a classic glazed pecan to add to tangy salad recipes. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Adam March 8, 2022, 2:45 pm

      You absolutely can leave out the cinnamon if you would like.

      Reply
  • Amber February 14, 2022, 4:57 pm

    These were delicious. When I was making the sauce on the stove it smelled super cinnamon-ey, I was afraid it was going to taste overpowering. But not it at all they came out perfect, I wouldn’t change anything. I took the alternative suggestion in the Notes about the salt and used 1/4 tsp and it was great. I ate a handful of these and used the rest in a strawberry spinach salad, yumm

    Reply

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