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.

Watch The Video

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.

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


    1Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

    2Add 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.

    3Stir 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.

    4Transfer 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.

    5Store 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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103 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Lynne Ehrlich September 5, 2023, 12:13 am

    Hi! can I use maple syrup instead of brown sugar? If so how much would I use? thanks!

    • Joanne September 8, 2023, 4:44 pm

      Hi Lynne, Maple syrup should work. The amount will be similar. You may find that the pecans are a little more sticky with maple syrup when compared to those made with brown sugar.

  • Malina August 23, 2023, 1:22 pm


  • Nanette July 15, 2023, 2:13 pm

    Super quick and easy. A bit too much cinnamon for me, especially as I like them on my strawberry spinach salad. I will definitely make them again.

  • Judy June 12, 2023, 1:41 pm

    Just made these with a bunch of fresh pecans. Very easy and delicious.

  • Jessica April 16, 2023, 11:19 pm

    These were so good. Used them for a salad. Yummy!

  • Alie April 9, 2023, 10:58 am

    These were sooo good and crunchy! I added some black pepper too and left out the orange and the pepper gave it a little bit of spice yumm

  • Rachel March 22, 2023, 1:57 pm

    Hello! These taste so great, I put them in my salads. The only thing is they come out really chewy/gummy and it’s hard to break them apart without them sticking to my fingers. I’ve tried putting them in the freezer but it doesn’t set. I’d like them to be more of a peanut brittle texture. How do I do that? PS-I did not include the orange zest or pepper.

    • Amy August 3, 2023, 10:29 am

      reduce the amount of brown sugar sauce and then throw them on a baking tray in the oven at low temp (250ish) for a few minutes). That should help dry them out.

    • Constance August 16, 2023, 1:16 am

      I just got these (with walnuts) as a gift for my 50th BDay, made by my beautiful friend. I simply LOVE them, and look forward to make them myself. Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  • Karl March 21, 2023, 11:13 am

    WOW! So fast and easy. I usually use a different recipe that includes using the oven. Never again. Easy and delicious.

    • Genise Riddle July 25, 2023, 2:43 pm

      I just realized I don’t have brown sugar, can I use Turbanado sugar or powdered sugar instead?

      • Joanne July 25, 2023, 4:38 pm

        Hi there, we have never used turbinado sugar in this recipe, but that would be my choice if the only options were turbinado and powdered sugar.

  • Joanne February 27, 2023, 4:55 pm

    If you look at our photos closely, the pecans aren’t 100% covered in the coating. We find the amount of sugar to pecans is spot on, but you can always increase to your tastes.

  • Cheryl February 12, 2023, 4:25 pm

    Just made these! Delicious and super easy!

    • Joanne February 27, 2023, 4:56 pm

      So happy you enjoyed them!

  • Christina February 11, 2023, 10:51 pm

    I used this recipe to make my first batch ever of candied pecans for a pear and goat cheese, and they turned out so nice and tasty. I really don’t cook nor bake, and this recipe was so easy to follow. I didn’t have any cinnamon and orange zest, and they still turned out great. Thank you!

    • Joanne February 27, 2023, 4:56 pm

      Thank you for trusting us, Christina! We are thrilled that you enjoyed them.

      • Megan April 4, 2023, 4:06 pm

        I just moved house and I don’t have a lot of spices on hand. I used a chai tea bag in place of cinnamon and they’re delicious!


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