These Lightly Sweetened Candied Crisp Pecans are crispy, crunchy, sweet, nutty, and lightly salted. I feel good about snacking on these naturally vegan and gluten-free pecans.
Full of nutrients that may help lower cholesterol and may protect the body and mind, these crispy pecans are not as sweet as regular sugary candied pecans, which makes them great for snacking, adding to salads, chopping into cookies, really anywhere you might want to add toasted pecans.
And, they’re really easy to make, they just take a little bit of time. These are the answer to how to crisp up pecans or how to crisp pecans. And they make the crispiest crunchiest pecans you’ve ever had!
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How to serve these pecans
Crispy, crunchy and salty-sweet, these candied pecans are always a hit. Enjoy by themselves as a snack, or toss them on top of salads and side dishes, like mashed sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts.
I make these pecans almost every year for Thanksgiving. They’re great to set out as an appetizer, and then I move the bowl to the buffet area so people can sprinkle some on their veggies or salads if they want.
How to make these pecans
The pecans become light and crisp with a lightly sweet and salty nutty flavor, and this recipe is really simple to make.
If you can mix a few ingredients together, boil some water, and slide a baking sheet in the oven, then you can make these easy candied pecans.
The hands-on time for this recipe is short! Here’s the basic process; you’ll find the detailed recipe card below.
Bring the water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Add the pecans in. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. The water will turn brown, and the pecans will lose a little color.
Drain the pecans, saving the liquid if you want for another use. (I’ll talk about the liquid a little later.)
Spread the boiled pecans out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Make sure that the pecans are in a single layer. If they’re crowded on the baking sheet they will not dry and crisp the correct way. If you find the baking sheet is crowded, spread the pecans out on two sheets and rotate the sheets halfway through baking so that they are evenly toasted.
1 pound of pecans is roughly 4 cups, and I figured about ¼ cup per serving.
How to toast pecans?
This recipe is more than just a how to toast pecans recipe. It makes super crunch crispy pecans that are great for eating just as is!
Great for gift giving
These are really fun to give as a homemade gift. Place some in a little jar, put some nice fabric on the lid, tie with a pretty ribbon, and voila! Homemade gift giving, and homemade gifts are great for any occasion, not just Christmas.
Think, housewarming gift for the new neighbor. Birthday gift. Congratulations on the promotion gift. Really, these pecans are great for any occasion.
How do I store these?
Crispy pecans last a long time when stored in an airtight container. Leave them on the counter at room temperature up to a week.
Want to store them longer? Place the airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks.
They can even be frozen for longer storage.
What to do with that pecan cooking liquid?
Every time I make these it occurs to me that I could use that pretty pecan liquid. Maybe as a replacement for vegetable broth in something? I haven’t tried it yet.
Maybe instead of milk in baked goods so that the baked goods are vegan? I haven’t tried that either.
But I do know you can make a delicious pecan syrup with the cooking liquid. Take equal parts pecan liquid and sugar and boil it until the sugar is dissolved. Then, let the liquid cool.
It tastes just like pecan pie! Use it to make pecan pie coffee. Or, drizzle over vanilla ice cream to make pecan pie ice cream.
Or, soften vanilla ice cream and mix it in; tell people it’s homemade pecan pie ice cream! Throw some of these pecans in the ice cream too!
Mix it into cream, whip that cream and get pecan pie whipped cream.
How about taking a little vodka and Tuaca and mixing it with this syrup for a pecan pie martini? Wow.
Looking for other great nut recipes?
Whether you’re looking for sweet or savory nuts to snack on, I got you covered!
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Crisp Pecans Recipe
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound pecans
- In a large heavy saucepan over high heat, bring the sugar, salt, and water to a boil.
- Add in the pecans.
- Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Drain the pecans well, and spread in a single layer on a Parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet and let dry for about 1 hour, tossing occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 300° F. Place the baking sheet with the pecans in the oven, and roast stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to a serving bowl, or store in a tightly covered container for up to 1 week.