Sweet and Savory Candied Pecans

A wooden bowl filled with candied pecan halves and fresh rosemary garnish.

Sweet and savory Candied Pecans take minutes to whip up and feature simple pantry ingredients. They make a tasty and nutritious snack or a great holiday gift for friends and family.

If you are the kind of person who loves to make food and give it away, particularly during the Christmas season, I have a few recipes that might interest you. From Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn to homemade Vanilla White Peach Jam or crunchy Garlic Dill Pickles for the pickle lover on your list, I have you covered!

Close up of a wooden bowl filled with candied pecans.

Sweet and Savory Candied Pecans

There is no simpler snack than nuts. They are portable, long lasting, shelf stable, naturally gluten free, and full of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. I made these candied nuts last December as a treat for my family and sent many packages them across the country.

While many candied nut recipes focus on sweet and spicy flavours, this easy candied pecan recipe highlights a delicious sweet/savoury/herbal flavour combination. The granulated sugar and light brown sugar coats the nuts, creating a perfectly crunchy layer while the rosemary adds a bit of herbal flair.

A wooden bowl filled with candied pecan halves and fresh rosemary garnish on a plaid tablecloth.

Finally, the salt highlights both the rosemary and salt, keeping the nuts from becoming overly sweet. As a bonus, they make your house smell AMAZING while they bake in the oven.

Ingredients for Sugared Pecans

The ingredient list for this recipe is short… and sweet!

  • Pecan Halves
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Rosemary
Ingredients required to make sweet and savory candied pecans.

While nuts can be expensive, I find that pecans are usually more affordable than almonds or hazelnuts. Make sure you buy raw (not roasted) pecan halves because you are going to do the roasting.

Since they are high in protein, a handful of candied pecans make a satisfying snack on the go. Nuts fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer so theoretically, you’ll eat less in the long run. However, I can’t promise you’ll be able to stop eating these candied pecans!

A wooden bowl filled with candied pecan halves and fresh rosemary garnish sits on a wooden snowflake trivet.

You might think that two types of sugar in this recipe makes for an overly sweet treat. However, they work together to completely blanket the pecans with a tasty savory-sweet coating. The salt keeps the coating from being overly sweet and highlights the vegetal flavour of the fresh rosemary.

Finally, fresh rosemary is an absolute must for this recipe. Dried rosemary will not lend as much flavour as its fresh counterpart in this circumstance.

A wooden bowl filled with candied pecan halves and fresh rosemary garnish on a plaid tablecloth.

How to Make Candied Pecans

To start, preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Next, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and chopped fresh rosemary together in a medium mixing bowl. Set the sugar mixture bowl aside and place the pecan halves in a large mixing bowl.

Use a stand mixer or handheld mixer to beat the egg white until it reaches the soft peak stage. Add the beaten egg white to the bowl of the pecans and stir to coat. Next, add the sugar mixture to the pecans and stir to coat once more.

Arrange the coated pecans in single layer on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 300 F oven for 40-45 minutes. To keep them from sticking together, stir the nuts every 15 minutes. Stirring also allows them to bake evenly and prevents scorching.

Pinterest image featuring a snap lid glass jar with a red and white string bow filled with candied pecan halves.

Flavour Variations

As mentioned earlier, there are many candied pecan flavour variations. I like to use Chai spices in place of the rosemary and use the Chai spiced pecans to top mashed Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. Some possible combinations include:

  • Sweet and Spicy featuring cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • Salty and sweet featuring bacon bits or smoky paprika
  • Cinnamon spiced pecans
  • Vanilla Candied Pecans (add vanilla seeds or caviar to the egg white)
  • Curry and Coconut Pecans
  • Garam Masala Pecans
  • Citrus Kissed Pecans (add lemon, lime, or orange zest to the sugar mixture)
  • Vegan Candied Pecans (replace the egg white with whipped aquafaba or chickpea water)
A hand steals a candied pecan from a glass jar filled with candied pecans.

How to Serve Candied Pecans

Besides their obvious uses as food gifts and snacking, candied pecans add a delicious textural crunch when scattered on top of casseroles, ice cream, puddings, and salads. You can also use the flavoured pecans to decorate cupcakes, cookies, and layer cakes.

How Long Do Candied Pecans Last?

The great thing is that these nuts don’t need to be stored in the fridge unless you are keeping them longer than a week. Store candied pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week and in the fridge for up to three weeks. They also freeze well for up to a month.

If you find that the nuts become sticky over time, you can try baking them on a prepared baking sheet for 5-15 minutes at 325 F. The sugar will be sticky at first but will harden and dry as the nuts cool down.

Close up of candied pecans.
Pinterest image featuring a snap lid glass jar with a red and white string bow filled with candied pecan halves over close ups of candied pecans.

If you make this Sweet and Savory Candied Pecans, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 6 cups

Sweet and Savory Candied Pecans

A wooden bowl filled with candied pecan halves and fresh rosemary garnish on a plaid tablecloth.

These sweet and savory Candied Pecans take minutes to whip up and feature simple pantry ingredients. They make a tasty and nutritious snack or a great holiday gift for friends and family.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 egg; separated

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and chopped rosemary together in a medium mixing bowl.
    3. Place the pecan halves in a large bowl.
    4. Use a stand mixer or hand held mixer to beat the egg white until it reaches the soft peak stage. Add the beaten egg white to the bowl of the pecans and stir to coat.
    5. Add the sugar mixture to the pecans and stir to coat once more.
    6. Arrange the coated pecans in single layer on a lined baking sheet.
    7. Bake at 300 F for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 296Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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12 comments

  1. Shareba @ InSearchOfYummyness.com

    These look delicious! I like the addition of rosemary – great idea!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Shareba, happy baking!

  2. Julie

    These are absolutely delicious and a I love the rosemary which makes the room smell like Christmas!

    Reply

  3. Alexandra

    The rosemary is such a lovely addition. These candied pecans will make perfect edible gifts for my friends this festive season.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much for stopping by Alexandra and happy baking!

  4. Nora

    What an amazing idea to add rosemary! Love it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Nora. I’m a huge fan of the sweet/savoury combination.

  5. Giangi Townsend

    Making it as a Christmas present to my husband. He loves pecans and he will love your recipe.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      He will love these nuts Giangi! Merry Christmas!

  6. Marcellina

    Oh my goodness, it’s such perfect timing to find this recipe. I had made one like this a few years ago then misplaced the recipe. Yours looks even better than the last one. The addition of rosemary is genius! Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh great! Good timing. Happy baking Marcellina.

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