Buttery, sweet and a touch salty, these candied pecans are addictively delicious and they take only 20 minutes to make! Complete a charcuterie board, toss into a salad, or sprinkle over ice cream, homemade candied pecans should be in your pantry year round!
I almost wish these candied pecans weren’t so good because I find myself reaching for them whenever the sweet tooth strikes (which is always). These sweet morsels are the best; they’re crunchy, brown buttery, and sweet yet not too sweet from a hint of salt.
Best yet, candied pecans are TOO easy to make, requiring only 3 ingredients and 20 minutes to make. I’m not sure if I should say “you’re welcome” or “I’m sorry” for introducing you to your new obsession.
Overwhelmed by all the possibilities for using these candied pecans? Start off by tossing them into a Crisp Apple Salad.
Ingredients for Candied Pecans
- Chopped pecans – I love using chopped pecans since each piece of pecan is extra coated in the brown sugar-butter candy! You can use whole pecans if preferred but make sure to use 2 heaping cups instead of 2 level cups.
- Light brown sugar – light brown sugar has a delicious, delicate molasses flavor that’s irresistible.
- Salted butter – salted butter helps the brown sugar caramelize. The touch of salt is everything!
How to Make Candied Pecans
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Melt butter in a LARGE pan over medium heat. Add and mix in brown sugar.
Keep heat at medium and add pecans, stirring occasionally. Caramelize for 6-7 minutes until the syrup thickens.
Spread the caramelized pecans on a lined baking sheet. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes until hardened.
- Cool more.
Transfer to a bowl or container for complete cooling and hardening.
Want to dress up candied pecans with fun flavors? Here are some mix-ins to add to the sugar/butter mixture:
- Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cayenne pepper.
- Add herbs like rosemary or thyme.
- Add a splash of vanilla extract.
- Add in a dash of orange or lemon zest.
- Sprinkle with sea salt after the pecans cool.
How to Use Candied Pecans
Candied pecans can be used in so many ways, adding a sweet crunch to snacks and meals. Here are my favorite ways to serve:
- As a snack: I mean…yes please!
- Salad Toppings: Sprinkle over salads. Try using these candied pecans instead of walnuts in this Crisp Apple Salad!
- Dessert Garnish: Use them as a topping for desserts such as ice cream with Homemade Hot Fudge, yogurt, or puddings.
- Baked Goods: Incorporate them into baked goods like cakes, Banana Bread Muffins, and breads for added texture and flavor.
- Trail Mix: Mix candied pecans with other nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate for a fun trail mix.
- Cheese Boards: Include candied pecans on cheese boards.
- Breakfast Dishes: Sprinkle them over oatmeal, Blueberry Pancakes or Mini Pancakes.
- Gift or Party Favors: Package candied pecans in decorative jars or bags as a homemade gift or party favor!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Homemade candied pecans last 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. Need to store them longer? Keep them in the fridge for a month, or in the freezer for 3 months!
Yes, you absolutely can. I recommend candying the pecans for a few minutes longer because of the increased volume of nuts in your pan.
Yes, for sure! Other favorite nuts to candy include walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, and macadamia nuts.
Other Recipes With Nuts You’ll Love!
- Easy Peanut Noodles
- Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (in 25 Minutes!)
- Easy Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge (Intense Flavor!)
- Large pan
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- In a large pan, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Keeping heat at medium, add the pecans and toss. Let pecans candy in the butter/sugar mixture for 6-7 minutes, stirring every minute. The mixture should bubble and thicken to a sticky syrup, coating the nuts.
- Pour nuts in a single layer on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet to cool. After 10-15 minutes, the mixture will harden enough to break into desired-sized pieces.
- Place candied pecans in a bowl or container to cool and harden completely.
- You can use whole pecans if preferred but use 2 heaping cups instead of 2 level cups.
- The candied pecans will harden completely when they’ve cooled completely. Pop them in the fridge to expedite cooling!