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Candied Pecans – Easy Candied Nuts

Easy two-ingredient candied pecans are so simple to make! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. You’ll never buy expensive candied pecans again.

candied pecans

Candied pecans are freaking delicious and so versatile. We put them in salads, I’ve seen them used to top sweet potato casserole, and let’s be honest, they’re super tasty to snack on.

Making candied pecans is stupidly easy.  You’ll kick yourself once you find out how simple it has been this whole time.  And then you’ll kick yourself harder if you’ve ever shelled out (ha ha) money to buy them pre-made.

We have been making candied pecans since I was in junior high. My aunt always hosted Thanksgiving dinner, and one year she debuted what we affectionately started to refer to as “Linda’s salad”. It was a huge mess of greens, thinly sliced pears, gorgonzola (which I picked out for years until I realized it was delicious), a homemade dressing, and candied pecans.

We would show up to the house a few hours before mealtime. It always smelled amazing, but Aunt Linda would be busy still cooking away. As someone who likes to help and needs a task to keep from being destructive, I was given the job of making the candied pecans. From the outside, candied nuts look like something where one would need special equipment or culinary training. Afterall, the price they command in the store is outrageous. Once I started making them, I wondered how many other things in life looked this impressive, but were really so simple.

candied pecans

For this recipe, you’ll want a piece of waxed or parchment paper on hand. The first time I made the candied pecans on my own, I stupidly put them on a paper towel to cool. The hot and sticky pecans, of course, stuck to the paper towel and were ruined. Doh!

I love the brand If You Care for parchment, cupcake liners, and waxed paper. The products they make are top notch, sustainable, free of sketchy ingredients, compostable, and nothing sticks to them. Nothing. I won’t make cupcakes or muffins with any other liners because they never peel cleanly from the paper. Unlike other parchment I have purchased, I can reuse this brand’s stuff over and over until it essentially falls apart. It lasts forever. This is not an ad or sponsored. Azure Standard has great sales on their products, and I find them on Amazon as well.

candied pecans

On top of candied pecans being super easy to make, they also store for months at room temperature. Which means, you can make these this weekend, and use them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Boom. You are now the hero of your future self. P.S., your future self has amazing hair.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

candied pecans
5 from 3 votes
Easy Candied Pecans
Easy two-ingredient candied pecans are so simple to make! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. You'll never buy expensive candied pecans again.
Course: Snack
Servings: 4
Author: Sarah - Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  1. Heat a large frying pan/skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and wait. Patiently. Clean up the photos on your phone. Read the news. Paint your nails.

  2. Eventually, you'll see the sugar melting. The sugar will slowly start to caramelize. Add the nuts, and stir to combine. Stir often to keep the sugar from burning and to distribute it evenly.

  3. Then give it another few stirs until all the sugar is melted.  Pour the candied nuts on a piece of parchment or waxed paper until cooled.
Recipe Notes

Store them in an airtight container, and they'll keep for months.

If your pan has any sugar residue left on it, add some water to the skillet, and turn the heat on low. It will dissolve in minutes.

You can use any type of nuts if pecans aren't your jam.

Easy two-ingredient candied pecans are so simple to make! They are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. You'll never buy expensive candied pecans again.

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13 comments on “Candied Pecans – Easy Candied Nuts”

  1. For a few weeks during the Farmer’s Market, a woman had candied pecans that I drooler over. But, I was not willing to pay $8 for less than a cup. I think I will try this with a few pecans in a small skillet. Pecans are my love. I think she had added different thing to vaious batches-honey, cinnamon, etc. These will be great for gifts. Thanks. Hmmm, I just remembered I have come walnut pieces, languishing. Maybe I will make those for gifts and keep the pecans with me. Pieces won’t look as nice as the pecan halves, but, Oh well….

  2. Practical, $8 for less than a cup? Holy hell! Unless she was also putting gold flakes in there, that is robbery.

    I hope you enjoy these, and they kick the butt of the farmer’s market ones.

  3. These look delish and sound easy but just aren’t working out. Just reg sugar won’t work apparently. :-/

    • I’ve used regualr sugar before and they turned out ok. What seems to be the problem?

    • If you add a little water, it seems as if the nuts absorb the liquid and candy as well. My recipe is one and a half cups nuts (I like raw almonds) to three-quarters a cup of sugar and one-third a cup of water. Add all together, turn on heat and stir until cooked. You will see the sugar and water become a liquid, then the lot turns sugary and powdery – you can stop there. I keep going until the sugar turns to toffee and the almonds sometimes even “pop”. Scoop onto cooking parchment, or a granite bench top.

  4. I’ve just used honey and/or AF ave and they come out great. Little sticky but great to add to quick salads or side dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts or acorn or butternut squash.

  5. I would love Aunt Linda’s Salad recipe too! Thanks!!!!!

  6. yummmm

  7. We ate these with the pumpkin seeds. Such a good compliment to eachother!