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Candied Pecans Recipe

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This easy candied pecans recipe is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. These crunchy pecans are great for snacking on, gifting, sprinkling on salads, or topping ice cream.

closeup shot of candied pecans in a white bowl

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If you’ve ever wondered how to candy pecans, you’re in for a treat. They only take a couple minutes to prep, less than an hour in the oven, and then you’ll be snacking away. They’re a bit addictive.

Years ago I published my slow cooker candied almonds recipe and it has been a really popular post, especially around the holidays.

Without fail, I get asked “can I make these with pecans?”, “can I make these with cashews?”. The answer is yes. And here they are.

Maybe you’re used to buying them from Trader Joe’s (I don’t blame you, they’re good), but these are BETTER.

You’re going to have a hard time not eating the whole pan when they’re warm, straight from the oven.

They make an excellent gift if you bag them up into little treat bags, or just set them out on a table at a gathering.

bowl of candied pecans next to a baking sheet

Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to candy pecans. I’ll list them below with possible substitutions and helpful tips. **Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.**

Pecan Halves – Use unsalted, unless you like a sharp sweet/salty contrast. I like to buy pecan halves in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco. They’re especially easy to find around the holidays but you can also order them.


Egg White – You’ll whisk up an egg white to use as a binder for the sugars to the pecans. If you’re allergic, or vegan, you can whisk up aquafaba (chickpea juice) or I’m told flax seed will also work. Here are some alternatives.


Vanilla Extract – I know that vanilla is pricey but using real instead of imitation really makes a difference. This is another one I always stock up on from Sam’s Club or Costco for a bit of a price break.


Sugars – I use a mix of granulated white sugar and light brown sugar. You can use all white sugar, if you prefer.


Cinnamon – For the best flavor, try to use a high quality cinnamon like ceylon.


Salt – To balance the sweet, use a bit of salt. I like kosher salt but table salt works as well.

overhead shot of ingredients in bowls to candy pecans

Tools found on Amazon to help you

You don’t need much to candy pecans – just a few kitchen staples. This recipe is for the oven but you can also make them in the slow cooker, it will make your house smell amazing, but it really isn’t any easier.

  • Baking sheet – You’ll want a lipped baking sheet so your pecans don’t slide off and hit the floor.
  • Mixing bowls – When I’m not using my classic glass mixing bowls, I love these with the grippy bottoms.
  • Whisk – To froth up the egg white, you’ll need a whisk (or a fork if you don’t have one).

How to make candied pecans

STEP ONE: To a small bowl, mix together the sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Then, to a medium bowl, whisk the egg white, vanilla extract, and water until frothy. Then, pour the pecans in and stir to evenly coat. Next, pour the sugar mixture over the pecans and stir to evenly coat again.

collage of three photos showing the process of how to candy pecans

STEP TWO: Pour the coated pecans onto a lipped baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and spread them around so they’re in an even layer.

STEP THREE: Bake in a preheated oven at 250°, for 50 minutes, stirring after the first 20 minutes.

STEP FOUR: Remove from the oven and let set/chill. Once they’ve cooled down, break the pecans apart, if necessary, and serve!

baking sheet full of candied pecans

Candied Pecans FAQs

Are glazed & candied pecans the same?

Nope, they’re not the same. Candied pecans, like we made here, use sugar and egg whites. Glazed pecans typically use brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter.

Why are my candied pecans sticky?

If your pecans are sticky, it is likely you didn’t let them cook long enough. Sugar has to get hot enough to get to that brittle, candied state so that it crisps up.

How to store them

Store candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Longer than that, move them to the fridge for a couple weeks. Longer than that? Freeze them. I like to keep them in a ziplock bag and grab a handful every time I pass them…

Can I freeze them?

Yes, candied pecans will freeze really well. First let them cool completely then transfer them to an airtight container (a ziplock bag will work, just press out excess air), then place them in the freezer. They’ll keep frozen for a couple months.

How to serve them

Candied pecans are delicious straight out of the bowl as a snack or grazing food, but they’re also great in salad (like this Strawberry Spinach Salad).

If you’re going to package them up for gifts, serving them out of mini glass jars is perfect because they’ll be airtight, or putting a pretty ribbon around them in a treat bag is also easy.

Need more ways to use pecans? Try these recipes:

Butter Pecan Bundt Cake
Apple Pecan Bundt Cake
Vegan Chocolate Chip & Pecan Cupcakes
Pecan Pie

Click here for my entire collection of dessert recipes.

overhead shot of candied pecans in a bowl with text reading "candied pecans"

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closeup shot of candied pecans in a white bowl

Candied Pecans

Melissa Williams
This easy candied pecans recipe is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. These crunchy pecans are great for snacking on, gifting, sprinkling on salads, or topping ice cream.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 793 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups unsalted pecan halves this is approximately 1 pound
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 250° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, vanilla, and water until frothy.
  • Pour the pecan halves into the egg white mixture and stir to evenly coat.
  • Pour the pecans into the sugar mixture and stir to evenly coat.
  • Spread the pecans evenly onto the prepared baking sheet, trying to keep them in a single layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, stir, then bake another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let set. Once slightly cooled, break apart any pecans that are stuck together and serve.

Notes

If you like a sharp salty to sweet contrast, you can use salted pecans or increase the salt to a full teaspoon.
If you prefer, you can use all white sugar in place of the brown sugar.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. Longer than that, move to the fridge. If storing longer than two weeks, freeze in an airtight container for up to two months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 793kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 10gFat: 71gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gMonounsaturated Fat: 40gSodium: 309mgPotassium: 442mgFiber: 10gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 57IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Connie says

    5 stars
    So easy to make and so delicious! I know they won’t last very long!

  2. Regina says

    5 stars
    These pecans are so good! Super easy, great for gifts! They are not overly sweet like some I’ve had. I will be making them again for sure! Thank you Melissa!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for reporting back 🙂

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

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