Learn how to make candied pecans with this easy recipe! Ready in 10 minutes, they're a great gift or delicious topping for salads and more.
Candied pecans are a wonderful topping for salads, side dishes, and desserts…but in our house, they rarely make it that far. These sweet, crunchy, cinnamon-spiced nuts are SO tasty that Jack, the kiddo, and I usually polish them off as a snack. It’s very easy to think you’re going to have just one, maybe two, and then eat half a batch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Luckily, if you accidentally eat all the nuts you were supposed to put on a salad, it’s quick and easy to make more. This candied pecans recipe calls for 5 ingredients and comes together in less than 10 minutes!
As we get into the holiday season, this recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. The candied pecans would be a lovely homemade gift, and they’re a delicious addition to festive recipes and holiday cheese boards. Keep reading to learn how to make them!
How to Make Candied Pecans
This candied pecans recipe starts with 5 simple ingredients:
- Pecans, of course! Raw pecan halves, to be exact.
- Brown sugar and water – They create a sweet glaze that coats the pecans. Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar both work well here.
- Ground cinnamon – For warm depth of flavor. For a fun variation, experiment with other spices like ground ginger or cayenne pepper.
- And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
When you’re ready to cook, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You’ll candy the pecans on the stove, not in the oven, but keep this baking sheet handy! After you coat the pecans in the cinnamon sugar mixture, you’ll spread them on this pan to crisp up.
Next, make the brown sugar glaze. In a medium skillet over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Cook until the sugar dissolves and bubbles, about 1 minute.
Then, add the pecans. Cook, stirring, until they’re evenly coated in the glaze, another 1 to 2 minutes.
When the pecans are well coated, remove them from the heat. Spread them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Set them aside for 10 to 15 minutes to cool and crisp up. So easy!
- Use a nonstick pan. It’s not necessarily a requirement for this recipe, but it makes for easy cleanup. You’ll end up with more cinnamon sugar goodness on the pecans and less on the pan!
- Wait for the sugar to bubble before you add the pecans. If it doesn’t, the pecans’ sugar coating won’t crisp up as it cools. The sugar has to reach a high temperature in order to become crisp.
- Try another nut. This technique doesn’t just work with pecans! Use it to make candied walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and more.
Store homemade candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Can you freeze candied pecans?
Yes! If you’d like to keep the candied nuts around for longer, pop them in the freezer. They freeze well for up to 3 months. Allow frozen nuts to thaw at room temperature before using.
How to Use Candied Pecans
There are SO many delicious ways to use these easy candied pecans! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Toss them into salads, like this spinach salad or this pear salad.
- Add them to your next cheese board.
- Serve them over vanilla ice cream.
- Chop them up and mix them into baked goods like these oatmeal cookies.
- Sprinkle them over overnight oats or a bowl of oatmeal.
- Give them as a gift.
- Or eat them straight off the baking sheet!
How do you like to use candied pecans? Let me know in the comments!
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ cups raw pecan halves
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Cook until the sugar dissolves and bubbles, about 1 minute. Add the pecans and cook, stirring, until coated, another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Spread the pecans in a single layer on the baking sheet and set aside to cool and crisp up.
- Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, candied pecans keep well for up to a week. Freeze them for longer storage.