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

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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48 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Bill S February 14, 2022, 10:08 am

    Excellent twist on the standard recipes out there for candied pecans. I say the twist, which is the orange zest that I had never seen in one of these recipes. Great taste, but a little zest goes a long way. Good job on simplicity. This is a keeper. Thanks

  • Casey D. January 30, 2022, 5:05 pm

    Searched for a candied pecan recipe that would be quick and with few ingredients. After trying thus method, I have no reason to ever make them any other way! This is almost as simple as boiling water and they come out absolutely delicious. I’m unsure why someone suggested you need pre-roasted pecans, you definitely do not. The pecans warm more than enough to get that lovely toasted pecan flavor! I went a little over the 2 or 3 minutes cooking simply because I am a pretty solid cook and figured when I still had glaze in the pan – I needed to go a little longer. They turned out beautifully and separated easily when cooled. My only problem is that I don’t have 10lbs of pecans because I think these 2 cups will be gone in 10 minutes! Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

  • Stefanie December 27, 2021, 4:23 pm

    Every Holiday season, I make candied pecans. I like this recipe. I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar and think it was a perfect substitute to keep the Paleo. I prefer a crunchier nut and usually use another recipe that has egg white and they are oven roasted. I was feeling lazy and had 6 cups of nuts to make. So, the recipe was perfect for my mood. Thank you!

  • Bonnie Hardin December 21, 2021, 7:55 pm

    So good! So easy! No worries about egg allergies. If these make it into the neighbors Christmas treat bag it’ll truly be a Christmas miracle.

  • Kat December 21, 2021, 7:44 pm

    Really tasty! Do you think this could be made using Swerve brown sugar substitute? Thinking of making again so my diabetic MIL can enjoy. Thanks!

  • Alan Blair December 21, 2021, 5:15 pm

    These were great,not overly sweet! Great if wanting sweet but not candy coated. Made a quart jar and they didnt last the night. THX

  • Lucinda December 18, 2021, 5:28 pm

    Made these today, for football snacks! They are delicious, and so easy!

  • Jean December 18, 2021, 3:09 pm

    Outstanding recipe!

  • Barb December 15, 2021, 8:34 am

    If toasting pecans before baking, can you use a convection oven? If so, at what temperature should you use and how long would you toast them. I am also doing hazelnuts.

    • Adam December 15, 2021, 5:19 pm

      It is not necessary to toast the nuts before roasting, but you can if you’d prefer. To toast nuts in a convection oven, spread them onto a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them and once they smell toasted and have a little extra color, take them out.

  • Brittany December 9, 2021, 7:22 pm

    Not to get personal here but I found this recipe on a day when everything was going wrong and I just needed one thing to go right. This recipe is fantastic. Easy, quick, and delicious! Will definitely be saving this one for many future uses.

  • Tiffany December 8, 2021, 9:45 pm

    What would be the ingredient proportions if you’re wanting to make a lot. I plan to make this Christmas Eve for the family while we Jingle & Mingle!😊

    • Adam December 15, 2021, 5:20 pm

      Hi Tiffany, You would simply multiply the recipe by how many servings you would like to make. You might need a larger skillet or need to make them in two batches.

  • Susan November 30, 2021, 8:10 pm

    Couldn’t figure out if the recipe called for preroasted nuts or not, but after making these without pre roasting the pecans the first time this recipe is definitely for precooked nuts only. Wish there had been a bit more clarity in that, but otherwise a good recipe

    • Adam December 15, 2021, 5:21 pm

      Hi Susan, We use unroasted nuts when making this recipe, but you can use either. Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Jo November 27, 2021, 4:22 pm

    These pecans were delicious and easy to make

  • Mareshah Hackney November 6, 2021, 9:34 pm

    This is THE BEST candied nut recipe!! The first time I made it thru turned out perfectly. But I lost the recipe and so tried a few others, thinking they would all be comparable. They are not! Other recipes turned out gooey or syrupy. But your recipe has a perfect ratio and creates crunchier tastier nuts! Thank goodness I found your recipe again in my browser history!

  • Jaime October 27, 2021, 8:21 pm

    I made these candied pecans to sprinkle over the top of a pumpkin pie. I roasted the pecans first and then followed the recipe (left out the zest) and they were so delicious!! My dinner guests proceeded to eat half of the nuts before I could even sprinkle them over the pie!!


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