These stovetop candied pecans are an easy and tasty snack for special occasions. They’re the perfect nibbles for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Eve. This candied pecans recipe can be prepared in advance and makes a great addition to a cheese board.
These spiced pecans have the right balance of sweet, savoury, salty, and spicy flavours. Tuck them into your purse or backpack for a gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and paleo diet friendly snack for when you’re out and about.
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This recipe calls for unsalted pecans. Alternatively you can use salted pecans, in which case you should omit the salt in this recipe.
You can substitute other nuts instead of the pecans if you like. Walnuts, cashews, and peanuts are delicious alternatives, or use a mixture of any type of nuts you prefer.
I used coconut oil in these vegan candied pecans, but you can substitute any other type of oil you prefer. Vegetable oil or avocado oil are good options.
A bit of garlic powder adds a savoury element to these nuts that complements the sweetness of the maple syrup in this recipe. You can substitute onion powder if you like. Or if you prefer an entirely sweet version of these nuts (perhaps if you’re sprinkling some on top of a dessert), simply omit the garlic powder altogether.
You can substitute honey instead of maple syrup in this recipe if you prefer. Both sweeteners work, but I think the flavour of maple syrup complements the pecans particularly well.
Spice these up
A pinch of cayenne pepper gives these spicy candied pecans a little kick. If you want them even spicier, add two pinches of cayenne. And if you prefer them mild you can omit the cayenne.
How to make these candied pecans on the stovetop
This candied pecans recipe is quick and easy to make. Start by adding your coconut oil, garlic powder, and salt to a large saucepan on medium heat on the stove. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the pecans and maple syrup.
Cook the pecans on medium heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly so they don’t burn. The goal is to get the nuts toasted and well-coated without burning them.
Once the pecans are slightly brown, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool for at least half an hour. The pecans will crisp up once they’re fully cooled.
Storing the pecans
Store these stovetop candied pecans in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Or freeze them for up to six months.
Giving these as gifts
These pecans would make excellent Christmas gifts or host gifts. Put them in a mason jar with a label and a ribbon for a pretty presentation.
Optional spice additions
To add an extra but optional flavour boost to this candied pecans recipe, add 1/4 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, cinnamon, and/or rosemary to the pan at the beginning.
More gluten-free snacks & appetizers
For another delicious snack idea for special occasions, try these stuffed dates. They’re stuffed with goat cheese and pecans, and have a nice balance of sweet and savoury flavours.
Or try these tasty vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms. They’re rich, hearty, and so flavourful.
Stovetop Candied Pecans
- 2 cups unsalted pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or substitute your preferred oil)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Add the coconut oil, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to a large saucepan on the stove and set to medium heat.
- Once the coconut oil has melted, add the pecans and maple syrup to the pan.
- Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the pecans are slightly browned, stirring constantly to ensure they don’t burn.
- Transfer the pecans to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then spread in an even layer to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Once the pecans have cooled, serve or store in an airtight container.
- Makes 8 servings of stovetop candied pecans.
- Optional additional spices include 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, smoked paprika, and/or rosemary.
I’m Jennifer, the author at A Sweet Alternative. I create simple, gluten-free recipes made with nutritious ingredients.