Only 4 ingredients & all made on the stove! This is the BEST candied pecan recipe that’s so easy to make & tastes AMAZING! Plus perfect for the holidays too!
My mom always made candied nuts around the holidays when I was little. They were always done in oven, took for-ever but they always tasted sooo good! …And then it was my turn to learn. I kid you not, I could not master that recipe to save my life! (Which being a food blogger was very dissappointing to me. And my family still gives me crap for it to this day…) BUT lucky me, I finally discovered a new way to make them on the stove that tastes just as decadent and delicious! These stovetop candied pecans have become my go-to recipe for candying and they’re so easy loves! Less cooking time ✔ BIG flavors ✔ Better for you ✔ These pecans have them all! They’re the perfect treat to make with Christmas right around the corner!
Ingredients for Stovetop Candied Pecans
- Pecans: Use raw whole pecans for the best results.
- Maple syrup: This is what reduces down & crystallizes to your nuts. It adds that perfect amount of sweetness along with a touch of maple flavor.
- Salt: Just a pinch is all you need to help bring out those flavor!
- Optional spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg & even a touch of cayenne would be a great addition to your candied nuts!
How To Make The Best Homemade Candied Pecans
- Boil & simmer. Add your ingredients to a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once the syrup starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low (closer to low) and let it simmer for 18-20 mintues, stirring occasionally. Your pecans will go through 3 phases before they’re ready.
- The Liquid Phase: Your maple syrup will still be very runny and glistening over your pecans.
- The Thicker Syrup Phase: Your syrup will thicken and become very sticky.
- The Crystallization Phase: The syrup will completely evaporate and crystallize onto your pecans. (This is when they’re done.)
- Cool & serve! Once the syrup has crystallized, pour your pecans out on a tray to let them cool. Serve and enjoy or store them for later.
- Once your pecans hit the Thicker Syrup Phase, make sure to keep a close eye on them and stir them often. (If they’re left untouched, they’ll burn & won’t crystallize.)
- If you notice your pecans “cooking” too fast, turn the burner down to low. (It’s better to cook these low & slow so the syrup with crystallize correctly.)
How To Share Your Candied Nuts
So now you have a big pan of candied pecans…what do you do with them?! The good news is there’s so many fun ways to use them up!
- You can sprinkle them over salads (taking the place of croutons.)
- Put them out as an appetizer at parties.
- Add them to your favorite holiday charcuterie board!
- Sprinkle them over ice cream or a hot fudge sundae. (YUM!)
- Top them over your french toast, waffles or pancakes.
- Give them as a gift! (Everyone loves the gift of food!😉)
The possibilities are endless!
- Why are my candied pecans still sticky? Most likely the maple syrup hasn’t fully crystallized yet. If this happens, simply place them back on the stove and continue simmering for a few more minutes or until the syrup has crystalized.
- How do I store my stovetop candied pecans? Place them in a airtight plastic container and keep them stored in the fridge. (They’ll last longer if stored in the fridge as opposed to being left at room temperature.)
- How long will candied pecans keep? If store in the fridge, these pecans will stay good for 2-3 weeks. If stored at room temperature, they’ll last for 1 week.
- Can I use a different type of nut for this candying recipe? Absolutely! Walnut or almonds would also work too! Just follow the same instructions.
Why you’ll love this candied pecan recipe
- Better for you! Most candied pecan recipes are loaded with processed white sugar & butter. But not this one! We use maple syrup for a natural sweetener & a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor – that’s it!
- Easy to make a little or a lot! One recipe makes 1 cup of pecans which is just enough for 2-3 people. Have a larger group? No worries! The measurements for this recipe are super simple so it can easily be doubled or tripled!
- Great holiday gift idea! These are perfect for the DIY gifter! Just make them a few days in advance, package them up & now you’ve got the best Christmas gift everyone will love!
Need it gluten free? Great news, they already are!
Need it dairy free? Great news they already are!
More recipes you might like:
- Apple, White Cheddar & Toasted Pecan Kale Salad
- Pear & Gorgonzola Salad with Candied Walnuts
- Sourdough French Toast Casserole with Blueberries
- Baked Cranberry & Brie Bites
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
The Easiest Stovetop Candied Pecans
- 1 cup pecans
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon, optional
- Add all your ingredients to a pot on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once the syrup starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low (closer to low) and let it simmer for 18-20 mintues, stirring occasionally. Your pecans will go through 3 phases before they're ready.
- Phase 1 – The Liquid Phase: Your maple syrup will be very runny and glistening over your pecans.
- Phase 2 – The Thicker Syrup Phase: A thicker syrup will form and your pecans will become very sticky. (Keep a close eye on your pecans from this point on and stir them often to avoid burning. If the pecans are cooking too fast, turn your burner down to low.)
- Phase 3 – The Crystallization Phase: Your syrup will completely evaporate and crystallize onto your pecans. (This is when they're done.)
- Once the syrup has crystallized, pour your pecans out on a tray and let them cool completely. Serve immediately or store them for later.