Spiced pecans achieve that penultimate balance of sweet and spicy, crunchy and tender, that makes an ideal match for cocktails. Set them out at your next gathering and prepare to pass out recipes.Renee Schettler Rossi

Baked spiced pecans on a sheet of parchment that is resting on a wooden serving board.

Spiced Pecans

5 / 2 votes
These easy spiced pecans are a spectacular nosh made by roasting pecan halves in a sugary spiced butter. A little sticky, a little sweet, a little spicy, and incredibly stunning.
David Leite
CourseAppetizers
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 servings | 2 cups total
Calories225 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with enough parchment paper or aluminum foil to hang over the sides of the sheet.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, chili powder, cumin, allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, and paprika.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. As soon as the butter melts, add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Then stir in the spices until combined.
  • Add the pecans and toss to coat them in the spiced butter. Cook, tossing and stirring frequently, until the butter is absorbed by the pecans, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and roast until fragrant and toasted and the coating is caramelized, 13 to 15 minutes. (If the pecans are mired in a puddle of sugary spiced butter, that’s fine. You can break them apart later when they’re not hot.)
  • Let the spiced pecans cool on the baking sheet for about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and, if desired, add a pinch of salt. Serve while still warm. (And when we say warm, we mean the pecans truly are best when warm—so good, in fact, we doubt there'll be any that have a chance to cool to room temperature.)

Adapted From

My Perfect Pantry

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Nutrition

Serving: 0.25 cupCalories: 225 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 3 gFat: 21 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 8 mgSodium: 367 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 8 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Geoffrey Zakarian. Photo © 2014 Sara Remington. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Plan to make multiple batches of this spiced pecans recipe because they’re delicious and disappear fast.

The recipe works perfectly as written, but you could certainly play around with the seasonings a bit—perhaps some smoked paprika in place of the sweet paprika, or some ground chipotle in place of the chili powder. Up the cayenne if you want them hot—they’re pretty mild as written but still full of flavor.

Since there’s sugar in the glaze, I highly recommend lining your sheet pan with either parchment or a Silpat. I used the latter and it worked great—no sticking at all.

These are best served shortly after you make them. Let them cool for 10 minutes or so, then let your guests have at them. They don’t hold all that well—they will still taste great the next day, but will be stickier and softer. This won’t be a problem, though, as you’re unlikely to have any left over.

Delicious and super easy recipe. A little sweet and just-the-right spicy. These spiced pecans would make a great gift for the holidays.

The spices are really balanced. The caramelization and roasting that takes place when you bake them is what makes them perfect. It mellows out the chili powder and cumin.

They’re great with a cold beer and would be great in a salad. Try them!

These spiced pecans are delicious; a wonderful salty, slightly sweet, buttery treat with a mild spiciness.

This spicy pecans recipe takes just minutes to make—10 minutes from start to putting the pecans in the oven. Using parchment paper to line the baking sheet makes cleanup easy, as the mixture is sticky. Be sure to let the pecans cool 15 minutes after roasting.

We often make spiced nuts for holiday gifts, and this will absolutely be our recipe for the next round.

Yummy, yummy! These spiced pecans were some of the best I’ve tried—easy to make and perfectly flavored. I was skeptical about the addition of soy sauce, but I think it added a deep, rich saltiness that the pecans benefited from. Spicy yet sweet yet salty.

I plan to make this recipe again during the holidays for our dinner guests. These were a lovely snack and addicting as well!

The lovely fragrance alone makes these spiced pecans worth the quick 20 minutes it takes from start to finish! The balance of spices between sweet and savory and the balance of sweetness from the sugar with the salt and soy sauce creates a perfect snack for nibblers who like sweet, nibblers who like salty, and those who just like to nibble!

Definitely use parchment or a Silpat with this recipe to make clean-up as easy as devouring these pecans! Bake for 13 to 14 minutes, no longer–they should be dark, just to the point of caramelization, but removed them from the oven and from the sheet pan before they turn to burnt.

They’re indeed best served warm, and the recipe could easily be halved for a small game day gathering. They’re plenty salty, so no need for the “more for sprinkling.”

Since they were so tasty, we discussed what else could be done with them, and a sprinkling atop a number of autumnal vegetables kept coming up, including carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.as well as atop a salad. We also discussed the idea of using them as a counterpoint to something quite sweet, yet also autumnal, such as a few served alongside Edna Lewis’s Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love it. The family loved these. These are great for the holidays for those who don’t want sweets.