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Quick and Easy Candied Pecans Recipe

Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Try this easy two-ingredient recipe!

Try this easy two-ingredient recipe!

Easy Sugared Nuts Recipe

Candied pecans can be expensive to buy, so make your own in just 5 minutes!

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 min

4 min

5 min

1 cup sugared pecans


  • 1 cup pecans, (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, (white or brown)


  1. Put sugar and pecans in a skillet on medium heat. Stir with a spatula.
  2. Watch for the sugar to melt into a liquid. Stir the pecans into the melted sugar until all the sugar is melted and candied onto the pecans.
  3. Pour out the pecans onto parchment paper or foil and spread them apart as they cool.

How to Use Candied Nuts

Candied pecans are great as a snack. I love to have them on a plate or a bowl for people to eat at a home party or during the holiday season. Here are some other ideas for using sugared pecans:

  1. Salad Topping: Add a bowl of pecans to your home salad bar. These also make a terrific salad topping for a fruit salad. Or try my favorite: Make a salad with baby greens, strawberries, feta cheese, and sugared pecans. Add some chopped chicken if you'd like this to be a meal. Use balsamic dressing (I love Newman's Low Fat Balsamic) or sesame ginger dressing.
  2. On Sweet Potatoes. You can use it along with butter and brown sugar for whole cooked as yams, or put sugared pecans on top of your favorite sweet potato casserole dish.
  3. Quick and Easy Home-Made Gift: Put candied pecans in a jar with a lid, in a pretty dish, or in a clear gift bag. These make a quick and easy gift for the holidays or as a housewarming gift.
  4. Custard or Pie: Sprinkle some candied pecans on top of your pumpkin pie, a pudding, or custard, along with some whipped cream. Makes an ordinary dish special.

Other Versions of This Recipe

Different Techniques: My recipe is faster and easier than any of the others I have found online or in cookbooks. Most recipes either:

  • Boil pecans slowly in sugar water until it caramelizes and coats the pecan.
  • Coat the pecans in egg white before dipping them in sugar and then baking in the oven.

Adding Flavors: I've included videos of both these techniques in case you want to try them. In addition, many recipes add spices to the pecans like:

  • cinnamon (the most common)
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • nutmeg

You can add spices to my recipe also for spiced candied pecans.

Brown Sugar: another way to vary the recipe is to use brown sugar. Brown sugar gives a deeper flavor, and it melts very easily.

Health Benefits of Pecans

Although candied pecans are really a treat, you might like to know that pecans are good for you. They have:

  • monounsaturated fats, which help you develop HDL or the "good cholesterol"
  • anti-oxidants
  • vitamin E to help your skin
  • B-complex vitamins, which help metabolize enzymes in your body
  • minerals such as manganese, potassium, and selenium, which your body needs regularly
  • proteins to help keep you from being hungry and to help you build muscle

A handful of nuts, such as pecans, each day can help you keep on a balanced diet.

Packaging for Gifts

Homemade gifts are always my favorites. What I love about giving candied pecans is that I can make them and package them up in 10-15 minutes for a hostess gift or holiday giving. Here are some ideas:

  • Put in a mason jar or another recycled jar with a lid. Top with fabric and a ribbon.
  • Put in a pretty bowl. Wrap with plastic and then put in a cellophane gift bag with a bow and the recipe attached.
  • Seal pecans in a Ziplock bag or cellophane bag and put them inside a Chinese take-out gift box or a gift bag.
  • Make a salad gift basket inside a salad bowl. Include croutons, parmesan cheese, bacon salad topping (in jars or packages, it doesn't need refrigeration), candied pecans, and salad tongs.

No matter how you package the candied pecans or other nuts, you might want to include a recipe card or tell them you found the recipe here!