These toasted pecans are so simple, so buttery, and so delicious – I bet you can’t eat just one! Set them out in a serving dish for guests or family to snack on, use them in salads or sweet potato casseroles, or gift a bundle to a pecan-lover in your life. You can’t go wrong with buttery toasted pecans, no matter how you choose to enjoy them.
🧈 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- They’re a delicious, lighter snack option that you don’t have to feel bad about munching on mindlessly. Pecans, like other nuts, are a great source of fiber and protein. They also contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- You only need THREE ingredients to make perfect toasted pecans! Of course, you can change up the recipe however you like to get an endless variety of flavors. Cinnamon and brown sugar, red pepper flakes and chili powder, maple syrup and nutmeg… the sky’s the limit!
- Toasted pecans typically scream “holidays” to me – I think it’s because a German Roasted Nuts stand sets up in our local mall every Christmas, and that smell is positively intoxicating. They’re really SO versatile, though! You can absolutely set these out for your holiday guests, use them on your sweet potato casseroles or your pecan pies, or gift them to the pecan-lovers on your list. Mix them into your salads or top a bowl of vanilla ice cream with warm, sweet pecans. There’s no need to reduce them to one month a year!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- Try to use pecans that are evenly sized. Smaller pecans will toast faster than larger pecans, so you risk burning them if they’re toasted together. If you have quite a few smaller pecans and quite a few larger, you can divide them by size onto two baking sheets. The toasting process is the same, but the smaller pieces won’t need as much time in the oven.
- If you want to end up with chopped pecans, toast them first and then chop them. If you chop them first, the pieces will be so small that they’ll almost definitely burn.
- Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet! Too full and the pecans won’t be able to dry like they need to. You’ll end up with slight soggy, baked pecans rather than crisp, crunchy, toasted pecans. If needed, use multiple baking sheets or work in batches.
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- How To Cook Butternut Squash (3 Ways)
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- 4 cups raw, unsalted pecan halves evenly sized
- ¼ cup real butter
- 1-1 ½ teaspoons table salt more or less to taste
- Wire cooling rack
- Paper towels
- Large mixing bowl
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment Paper optional
- Small microwave-safe bowl
- Silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Adjust oven racks as needed so pan can sit in center of oven. Set up wire cooling racks over thick layer of paper towels and set aside. Place pecans in large mixing bowl and set aside. For easier cleanup, line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place butter in small bowl and place bowl in microwave. Microwave butter in 15-20 second increments, stirring between each, until butter is fully melted. Be careful not to burn or boil butter.
- Pour melted butter over pecans in large bowl. Toss or stir until pecans are well-coated. If desired, add salt now and toss until pecans are coated in salt and butter. Alternately, wait to add salt until after toasting.
- Transfer buttered pecans to baking sheet. Spread pecans out in one even layer, making sure nuts don't touch or overlap if possible. Place baking sheet in preheated oven.
- Toast pecans 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully remove baking sheet from oven. Use silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir and turn pecans over, then return baking sheet to oven. Repeat process of toasting then stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, cooking up to 30 minutes total as needed. Note: check doneness each time pecans are stirred. Stop cooking once nuts are fully toasted and rich brown in color, but not burned. Be careful not to overcook or burn pecans.
- When desired doneness is achieved, remove baking sheet from oven. If salt was not added before toasting, sprinkle salt over hot pecans immediately.
- Transfer toasted pecans to wire cooling rack. Let pecans cool, then serve warm or at room temperature. Alternately, transfer room temperature pecans to airtight container until ready to serve.
- Make it Whole30/Paleo: Use ghee instead of butter.
- Make it Dairy-Free/Vegan: Use plant-based butter.
- Storage: Let pecans cool completely. Once cooled, transfer toasted pecans to airtight container. Seal and store in a dark, room-temperature environment, like a cabinet or your pantry. Pecans will keep 2-3 weeks if stored properly.
- Gingerbread: 4 cups pecans, ¼ cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger. Toss pecans with melted butter, maple syrup, and molasses, then add spices and toss to coat. Spread pecans onto baking sheet and toast at 320°F, 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
- German Roasted: 4 cups pecans, ½ cup water, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Bring water, sugar, and cinnamon to rolling boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat and add vanilla extract and pecans. Stir constantly until water has reduced, leaving behind cinnamon sugar “syrup”. Once pecans are well-coated, spread pecans onto baking sheet and toast at 320°F 10-15 minutes or until pecans are browned.
- Place pecans in a decorative serving dish and set them out on your snack table, buffet table, or bar. Guests can snack on the pecans as they like.
- Prepare your sweet potato casserole as intended, but top it with toasted pecans.
- Mix the pecans into a seasonal salad. We really like them added to a leftover Thanksgiving turkey salad, an apple salad with raisins, or a spinach salad with cranberries and maple vinaigrette.
- If you’re inclined to gift foods during the holidays and you know you’ve got a pecan-lover on your list, these make a great little gift. Just portion the pecans into a cellophane bag or cello wrap and tie it up tightly with festive ribbon.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.