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Easy Maple Candied Pecans

Easy candied pecans recipe made with a few basic ingredients in 5 minutes or less! Enjoy them as a little treat with just the right amount of sweetness, or chop them up and add them to salads or sprinkle them on top of baked goods.

White bowl of candied pecans with raw pecans all around.

Confession: I’m thoroughly addicted to candied nuts.

They are one of the few things that once I get started, I just can’t stop. If you’re gonna get wet, you might as well swim, right?

That’s what I tell myself.

Anything crunchy, salty and sweet is my idea of a great time, and homemade candied pecans and walnuts are one of my favorites.

I love whipping them up to munch on as a sweet post-meal treat, and I also chop them up and add them to salads, as seen in my Pear Apple Avocado Spinach Salad with Candied Walnuts Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette.  

Before we go too far, a cautionary note.

This recipe doesn’t turn out with a thick sugar coating the way store bought candied pecans do. 

They are only lightly sweet with a light coating of pure maple syrup on the outside that is just very slightly sticky (but doesn’t stick to your fingers, don’t worry).

For those looking for very sweet candied nuts with the hard outer shell that can be stored for long periods, I’d recommend following a different recipe.

On the other hand, If you enjoy toasted nuts with a little touch of sweet, this quick candied pecans recipe is for you.

It is perfect for last-minute gifts during the holiday season. There’s no corn syrup, refined sugar, candy thermometer, or oven baking required!

If you love adding crunch to a salad, toasting up some pecans or walnuts can add so much deliciousness to a salad. 

Similarly, if you enjoy making baked goods like muffins, quick breads, and brownies, sprinkling some chopped maple toasted pecans on top adds lovely texture and flavor. Love ice cream? Sprinkle them on!

Candied pecans in a skillet, finished cooking.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients list in detail. You can find the ingredients for this easy candied pecan recipe at any grocery store.

Ingredients for Candied Pecans:

Pecans: The star of the show here! Pick up some raw pecan halves (not roasted or salted) to make these easy candied nuts. You can also use any kind of nut, including raw walnuts or almonds instead of pecans.

Avocado Oil: We need to coat the nuts in some sort of fat to prevent them from burning during the toasting process and also to add rich flavor. I like using avocado oil because it is a high temperature cooking oil, but you can also use coconut oil, butter, or olive oil.

Pure Maple Syrup: Rather than using brown sugar or white sugar to make candied pecans, I like using pure maple syrup for a refined sugar-free option.

I love the flavor it brings to the nuts and I also like that they turn out a little sticky.

For sweeter candied pecans, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in addition to the pure maple syrup. If you prefer using all brown sugar or regular cane sugar, use 2 to 4 tablespoons. 

Ground Cinnamon: A little pinch of cinnamon brings a warm nuance that pairs with nuts so well! Add it to your personal taste. You can also use pumpkin pie spice if you prefer. If you aren’t into cinnamon, you can skip it. 

Sea Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of each individual ingredient, making the pecans taste nice and bold. 

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you’d like to add 1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, feel free!
  • For those who enjoy a kick of spice, add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Sprinkle in some orange zest for a little citrus flair.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients for maple toasted pecans, let’s make them!

How to Make Candied Pecans:

Add all of the ingredients for the candied pecans to a small skillet and heat them over medium heat.

Ingredients for candied pecans in a skillet

Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, until much of the liquid has evaporated and the pecans appear shiny and sticky. 

Pecans toasting in pure maple syrup and avocado oil in a skillet, in the process of candying.

Be sure to closely monitor the nuts, as they can burn very easily when left for too long. For this reason, I recommend hovering over the skillet for the full 3 to 5 minutes, stirring fairly regularly.

Once the pecans look lacquered, immediately remove them from the heat. Note: you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar at this point for sweeter pecans if you’d like. 

If you don’t want the nuts to stick together, transfer them to a plate or baking sheet in a single layer until they are completely dry.

If you don’t mind the nuts sticking together, you can transfer the nuts to a bowl immediately. The nuts won’t stick to your hands after they have dried for a few minutes.

Candied pecans in a skillet, ready to be used.

Enjoy candied pecans as a sweet snack, chop them up and add them to green salads, or sprinkle them over desserts.

Cutting board with chopped candied pecans.

Store candied pecans in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

The next time you’re craving something nutty and delicious, whip up a batch of these delicious candied pecans! This great recipe is the perfect sweet treat for sharing and is one of those simple holiday recipes you’ll want to put on repeat.

Because I’m a major proponent for treating yourself from time to time without going nuts (pun intended), these easy candied pecans are my solution to not eating a whole pecan pie. 😉

I love the idea of including these quick candied pecans with meats and cheeses for charcuterie boards or a cheese plate. If you’re into baked sweet potatoes, these little pecan pralines situations are a great topper in addition to almond butter and sliced bananas.

White bowl of maple candied pecans. A bowl of raw pecans in the background.

Feel make a double batch or triple batch to prepare a big batch of homemade candied pecans.

Add them as a salad topper to my Blueberry Avocado Sunflower Seed Chopped Salad and my Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

If you love this recipe, also try my Rosemary Candied Walnuts. 

May all your nuts be sweet and sassy!

White bowl of candied pecans with raw pecans all around.
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3.56 from 59 votes

Easy Candied Pecans

This quick and simple candied pecans recipe takes only a few minutes to whip up! Sweetened with pure maple syrup for a lower sugar option. Enjoy them as is or chop them up and add them to salads.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 276kcal
Author: Julia

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients for the candied pecans to a small skillet and heat them over medium heat. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, until much of the liquid has evaporated and the pecans appear shiny and sticky.
  • Be sure to closely monitor the nuts, as they can burn very easily when left for too long. For this reason, I recommend hovering over the skillet for the full 3 to 5 minutes, stirring fairly regularly.
  • Once the pecans look lacquered, immediately remove them from the heat. Note: you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar at this point for sweeter pecans if you’d like. If you don’t want the nuts to stick together, transfer them to a plate or baking sheet in a single layer until they are completely dry. If you don’t mind the nuts sticking together, you can transfer the nuts to a bowl immediately. The nuts won’t stick to your hands after they have dried for a few minutes.
  • Enjoy candied pecans as a sweet snack, chop them up and add them to green salads, or sprinkle them over desserts.

Notes

Store candied pecans in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(1/4) cup serving | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 37mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g

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