Spiced Candied Pecans (Paleo, gluten-free)

These easy Spiced Candied Pecans are the perfect combination of sweet, savory and even spicy if you like!

Roasted pecans are glazed with honey and maple syrup and then tossed with warm, fragrant spices for an irresistible snack or salad topping.

These are naturally Paleo and gluten-free, plus it’s so easy to make them keto or vegan, too. And they use no egg or egg whites, so they’re great if you’re egg-free, too.

easy, healthy roasted pecans in a white bowl on a blue table runner next to a baking sheet with pecan crumbs on it

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Spiced Candied Pecans

Oven-roasted pecans are a fun, healthy snack, whether sweet (candied) or savory (spiced).

But why choose? By glazing them in honey and maple syrup and then coating them with cinnamon, ginger and cardamom (plus cayenne, if you want them spicy), you get the best of both worlds.

The spices are warm, fragrant and, even without the cayenne, have a bit of heat from the ginger.

And by using honey and maple syrup, we’re avoiding highly refined white sugar and corn syrup like so many other candied pecan recipes.

Plus, if you use keto-friendly versions of honey and maple syrup, you’ve got keto candied pecans!

 

What you need for Spiced Candied Pecans

the individual ingredients to make spiced pecans in bowls on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients:

Equipment:

 

How to make Spiced Candied Pecans

First, heat the oven to 350°.

Bake the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet until toasted and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes.

Pour the honey and maple syrup over the nuts and carefully toss them (careful, the baking sheet will be hot) until the nuts are evenly coated. Spread back out in a single layer.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt and cayenne (if using) in a small bowl.

Once the nuts are done, scrape them and any remaining honey and maple syrup on the baking sheet into a large bowl.

Toss and stir the nuts with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon while adding the spices a third at a time, until evenly coated.

Spread the nuts out on a new, clean baking sheet and let cool, breaking up any large clusters. The nuts will dry out, lose their stickiness and get all crunchy. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

You can double the recipe and use 2 baking sheets. Be sure to swap and rotate the pans halfway through both baking times.

(Cleaning tip: use very hot water and lots of soap on the baking sheet with the leftover honey and maple syrup. The hot water will cut through the stickiness.)

 

Substitutions and variations

  • You can use all honey or all maple syrup.
  • To make vegan candied pecans, use all maple syrup.
  • To make keto candied pecans, use keto sweeteners like a keto honey substitute and/or keto maple syrup substitute.
  • Want to make them even more interesting? Omit the honey and maple syrup and use 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses instead. This is pomegranate juice that has been reducing until thick and syrupy. It’s wonderfully sweet, bright, sour and tart and works perfectly with the spices. It often has sugar added to it so if you use it the recipe will not be refined sugar-free anymore.
  • I wouldn’t use other types of nuts for this specific recipe. Since they’re all different sizes, they can bake at different times and aren’t as easy to stir with the spices.
  • You can leave out any of the spices if you don’t have them or don’t like them.

oven roasted pecans coated in spices in a white bowl on a blue table runner

How to use Spiced Candied Pecans

  • Eat as is for an irresistible snack.
  • Use some of these spiced candied pecans for a salad, like this kale salad.
  • Chop some up and sprinkle over a soup, like this sweet potato soup.
  • Sprinkle over vanilla, chocolate or your favorite ice cream.
  • Stir some into regular or Greek yogurt.
  • Chop them up and sprinkle over your favorite muffins before baking.

 

Make ahead

These nuts will last in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze them, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on the parchment and freeze. Once they’re frozen, add them to a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

 

Other snacks you might like:

Spiced Candied pecans in a white bowl and the individual ingredients in bowls on a wooden cutting board
easy, healthy roasted pecans in a white bowl on a blue table runner next to a baking sheet with pecan crumbs on it
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Spiced Candied Pecans (Paleo, gluten-free)

Roasted pecans are glazed with honey and maple syrup and coated in spices for a sweet, savory and spicy (if you want) snack. They're so easy to make and are perfect as is, with cocktails or on a salad.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candied pecans, pecans for salad, roasted pecans, spiced pecans
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 2 cups / 680g / 24 oz. pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (the darker the better)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until toasted and fragrant, 8-10 minutes.
  • Pour the honey and maple syrup over them and carefully (the baking sheet will be hot) toss on the sheet until evenly coated. ⁣Spread back out in an even layer. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the spices and salt in a small bowl. ⁣
  • Scrape the nuts and any extra honey and maple syrup on the baking sheet into a large bowl. Toss and stir with a heat-proof spoon or spatula as you add the spice mixture a third at a time. The nuts will be sticky but just keep at it until they're all evenly coated.
  • Spread them out on a new, clean baking sheet. Break up any clusters as much as possible and let cool so they dry out, lose their stickiness and get all crunchy, about 10-15 minutes.

Notes

You can double the recipe and use 2 baking sheets. Be sure to swap and rotate the pans halfway through both baking times.
Substitutions and variations
  • You can use all honey or all maple syrup.
  • To make vegan candied pecans, use all maple syrup.
  • To make keto candied pecans, use keto sweeteners like a keto honey substitute and/or keto maple syrup substitute.
  • Want to make them even more interesting? Omit the honey and maple syrup and use 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses instead. This is pomegranate juice that has been reducing until thick and syrupy. It's wonderfully sweet, bright, sour and tart and works perfectly with the spices. It often has sugar added to it so if you use it the recipe will not be refined sugar-free anymore.
  • I wouldn't use other types of nuts for this specific recipe. Since they're all different sizes, they can bake at different times and aren't as easy to stir with the spices.
  • You can leave out any of the spices if you don't have them or don't like them.
How to use Spiced Candied Pecans
  • Eat as is for an irresistible snack.
  • Use some of these spiced candied pecans for a salad.
  • Chop some up and sprinkle over a soup.
  • Sprinkle over vanilla, chocolate or your favorite ice cream.
  • Stir some into regular or Greek yogurt.
  • Chop them up and sprinkle over your favorite muffins before baking.
Make ahead
These nuts will last in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
To freeze them, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on the parchment and freeze. Once they're frozen, add them to a freezer-safe container or baggie and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

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