These 5-minute Stovetop Candied Pecans are a quick and easy way to make sweet glazed pecans for salads, snacking, food gifts, and more! It’s all made in one pan for minimal mess, and it’s overall much quicker and easier than the oven method.
Whether you eat these pecans on their own or add them to a variety of dishes, they’re such an easy way to add flavor and texture to so many recipes.
The typical candied pecans recipe usually calls for making them in the oven, but something about that feels a bit too fussy and long to me.
I’ve been making candied pecans on the stove for as long as I can remember, and it only takes me 5 minutes to make them. It’s so easy!
I like not having to turn the oven on, especially when I only want to make a smaller batch. I try not to keep too many of these around because they’re so good, I want to eat them all in one sitting.
Tips for the Best End Results
Use a nonstick pan – While you can get away with using any stainless steel pan, the nonstick pan helps all of the sweetness stick to the nut. It glazes easier, in my experience.
Use brown sugar or maple syrup – I love honey, but I don’t recommend using it here. Brown sugar or maple syrup will give you the best results.
Toast the pecans first – Totally optional, and sometimes it’s easier to just use raw pecans straight out of the bag. But if you have the time, toast the pecans for a few minutes (you can use the same skillet) to begin bringing out the flavor in the nuts.
These candied pecans are really wonderful, especially for sprinkling on salads like Kale Salad or Warm Brussel Sprout Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese! They are also well-suited for food gifts during Christmas and the holidays.
I actually grew up with candied pecans, sugared pecans, and maple glazed pecans of all sorts in my house at Christmas time because my dad loved ordering them every year. Simply place the pecans in jars with ribbon or in pretty holiday tins.
How to Make It Step by Step:
To get started, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a skillet, and add a splash of water so the sugar has an easier time dissolving:
Can you use other spices?
Yes, this recipe can accommodate whatever spices you’d like to add. I like to keep it simple with cinnamon, but you may add cloves, cardamom, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice.
You may also try options like cayenne pepper, ancho chile powder, or even smoked paprika.
Stir it all around to combine:
Cook the sugar mixture over medium heat until it gets hot and bubbly and looks like a glaze:
Throw in pecan halves:
Raw or toasted both work, but I personally think toasted pecans taste better.
Can you use other nuts?
Absolutely! Walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and really any other nut will work well here.
Cook the pecan halves for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid cooks down and glazes the pecans:
If the pecans still look sticky, keep cooking for a few more minutes. Different stoves have different heat output.
Once the liquid has cooked down and coated the pecans, spread them out on parchment paper to cool. Then break apart and enjoy:
There are many ways to enjoy your quick candied pecans, in ways sweet and savory!
- Add to a Kale Salad or Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pecans and Ricotta Salata.
- Add to a cheese board.
- Sprinkle on Chocolate Bark.
- Chop them up and add to Butter Shortbread Cookies, The Very Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, or this Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.
- Sprinkle on Overnight Oats or Maple Scones.
- Make your Pecan Sticky Buns even better.
- Sprinkle on Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Brown Butter Sauce.
- Toss them into this Granola Recipe.
- Gift them with any of these 12 shipping-friendly food gift ideas for Christmas and beyond and pack in a care package!
Or you know, you could just eat them. I do that too.
If the pecans turn out sticky, this means the sugar never reached a high enough temperature to have that hard crack “brittle” coating on the outside. Electric stoves tend to have less heat power and responsiveness as compared to gas stoves, so cook for a few minutes longer if you have an electric stove or a weaker gas stove. They can be salvaged, even after they’ve cooled. Just cook more, and watch and smell to ensure the pecans don’t burn.
Once completely cooled, in an airtight container at room temperature for a week. You can get away with two weeks or longer, but the flavor won’t be as good. They taste best fresh.
Yes, let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
No, but they will last for 4 weeks in the fridge, if you do want to extend the shelf life.
Absolutely, just make sure you use a larger skillet as needed.
These candied pecans are gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
For the pecans:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a skillet and cook over medium heat for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.
- Add the pecans and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring to coat the pecans in the glaze.
- Remove from the heat, and spread the pecans out on parchment paper to let the pecans cool completely.
- Break apart, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in August 2018. Originally published January 2015.