Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts. The same says it all. Mixed nuts are tossed with sugar, salt, cumin, red pepper flakes and roasted to perfection. A terrific little nibble.

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts in a large green bowl on a wooden table.

These sweet and spicy nuts are addictive little snacks, so spread them around with care. The sugar and red-pepper flakes hit just the right balance of sugar and heat, making them a great accompaniment to drinks, especially Champagne.–David Leite

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts FAQs

How do I get my eggs whites foamy?

An electric mixer or immersion blender will do it fast and efficiently. Begin whipping your egg whites at low speed until they become frothy. Once the egg whites are foamy, increase the speed to high until they become whipped to the desired stage. You can also use a large balloon whisk if you’ve got the elbow grease to spare.

How else can I use these roasted nuts?

Okay. We’re not going to tell you that it’s unlikely that you’ll have any leftover but let’s say if it happens…they’re also great on salads, sprinkled on roasted vegetables, and some of us would even chop them up and try them mixed into chocolate chip cookies. Just saying.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

Sweet and spicy roasted nuts in a large green bowl on a wooden table.
Sweet and spicy roasted nuts. The same says it all. Mixed nuts are tossed with sugar, salt, cumin, red pepper flake and roasted to perfection. They're a terrific little nibble.
David Leite

Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 35 mins
8 servings
234 kcal
5 / 10 votes
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  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 2 cups mixed raw nuts of your choice


  • Crank the oven to 300° (150°C). Line a lipped baking sheet with foil and coat the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  • Whisk the egg white until very foamy. Add the sugar, salt, cumin, and red-pepper flakes and whisk well. Stir in the nuts and coat completely.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake until they're a deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove the sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Break up any nutty clumps. The nuts can be made a week in advance. (Ha! Like they'll ever last that long.) Store in an airtight container.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 234kcal (12%)Carbohydrates: 14g (5%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 19g (29%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 306mg (13%)Potassium: 228mg (7%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 81IU (2%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 28mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

An undiscovered gem in the oeuvre that is Leite’s Culinaria. I’m amazed this recipe doesn’t have dozens of loyal followers gushing—yet. These nuts are perfect, and perfectly unpredictable at the same time. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and with a little bit of mystery thrown in. A guest asked, “What’s the spice in the nuts?” and I smiled. The surprise is the cumin, adding just the right interest to the sweetness of sugar and the spicy of the red pepper flakes.

I’ll agree that they could be a great accompaniment to drinks. I used them as an amuse-bouche for brunch and they worked beautifully. A little nibble, better than the ubiquitous bread basket, and easy to alter as necessary to fit the mood of the occasion. The directions are simple and functional. The timing was perfect. I interpreted, “stir often” to be about every 5 minutes or so, and I found I had no clumps to break up after I removed the tray from the oven.

David notes these can be made a week in advance and stored in an airtight container. At my house, they would never last that long! Whether made with a wide range of nuts or narrow, even with just one type of nut, these would also be a delicious hostess gift at any time of year.

Originally published December 19, 2017


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  1. 5 stars
    Made something very similar Sunday night—required for “Mad Men” Cocktails. It’s the same recipe, but for the first time I added a scant shake of cinnamon, chili powder, and pepitas. Excellent.

  2. 5 stars
    Oooo, these are good, very very good. I toss in some finely chopped rosemary as well just because I love the aroma! These vanish at parties when I serve them.

  3. I love recipes such as this…great on it’s own. I am envisioning an elegant snack/hostess gift for a cocktail party but also versatile enough to be used as the foundation for other great things. I would love to use these to garnish a salad or to make into brittle/candy or even biscotti.

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