Sweet and spicy pecans are a copycat version of Trader Joe's sweet and spicy pecans recipe. It's an easy recipe to make with only six simple ingredients.
These pecans are a delicious spicy mix of flavors and are the perfect snack for when you want to eat something sweet with a hint of spice at the same time.
You are going to want to make a second batch of this sweet and spicy pecans recipe because they are absolutely delicious!
Nuts are our favorite snacks, we also like them in dark chocolate, like these almond cashew clusters.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's a simple recipe to make that's filled with healthy fats and perfect for a snack.
- The flavor combination will satisfy your craving for spicy and will even tame your sweet tooth!
Here is What You Will Need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe.
Scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
- Raw pecan halves
- Coconut oil
- Maple syrup
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt
How to make Trader Joe's sweet and spicy pecans recipe
Prepare: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 1. Melt the coconut oil
Place the coconut oil into a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Step 2. Stir in the seasoning
Reduce the heat to low and add the maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and cinnamon.
Step 3. Continue to cook the syrup
Stir the syrup mixture until the salt dissolves and the mixture is smooth.
Step 4. Add the pecans
Stir in the pecans making sure they are evenly coated with the syrup mixture.
Step 5. Bake
Arrange the coated pecans on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, and place them in the oven to bake for 10 to 15 minutes. They will turn from light brown to a rich brown color.
Step 6. Cool
Remove the pecans from the oven and let them sit for about 20 to 30 minutes which will allow them to crisp up.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Pecan Halves. Even though we like raw pecans in this recipe, they can be substituted with walnut halves, cashews, or almonds.
Maple Syrup. Use the real stuff, and not pancake syrup to make these spicy sweet pecans.
Liquid sweeteners melt better than granulated or brown sugar, so any natural liquid sweetener such as brown rice syrup, tapioca syrup, honey, or agave nectar can be equally swapped with maple syrup.
Cayenne Pepper. This is what adds spice to this recipe. If you don't like heat it can be left out or cut back on the amount of pepper.
Sea Salt. If you don't have sea salt, it can be swapped one for one with kosher salt.
Coconut oil. You can substitute coconut oil one for one with melted butter or olive oil.
How to Store Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pecans
Store the roasted and cooled at room temperature in a glass container. Mason Jars are perfect for these!
Sweet Chili Pecans Instead of cayenne pepper add 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of chili powder.
Sweet Bourbon Pecans Add 1 ½ tablespoons of bourbon and leave out the cayenne pepper.
Sweet & Spicy Chocolate Pecans Add 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder.
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Trader Joe's Sweet and Spicy Pecans taste great as a snack all by themselves.
They also taste great on top of a salad, on homemade ice cream, or on yogurt. And they make a great addition to a cheese board.
These spicy pecans are also a great recipe for the holiday season
They are perfect as a hostess gift in a mason jar wrapped in a pretty ribbon.
- Don't store sweet and spicy pecans in a plastic container! This will result in soggy pecans.
- The roasted nuts might be a little syrupy when they are first out of the oven, they will dry out as they cool off and become crisp.
The pecans are chewy because they weren't cooked long enough or they haven't been completely cooled off. The syrup coating needs to reach a certain temperature to get that crunch texture and they will also crisp up once they have cooled off.
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Do you like this recipe?
Please comment and give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below!
Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- Prepare: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Measure the ingredients.
- Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the oil has melted, reduce the heat to low and stir in the maple syrup, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and cinnamon. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes and turn the heat off and add the pecans.
- Arrange the coated pecan halves on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
- Place the sheet of pecans into the oven and bake until they turn golden brown about to 8 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them sit for about 20 minutes which will allow them to crisp up.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Check out more of our Appetizer and Snack recipes here!
Check out these recipes too!
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- Roasted Fall Vegetable Medley from Family Around The Table
Anne - How long do you think these will keep in a glass jar? Planning to make some and trying to decide if I can make the whole batch to serve a couple of times, or if I should make in multiple small batches. Thanks!
Hi Liz! I have stored them in a glass (mason) jar for two weeks, and they were oaky. Let them cool off completely before adding them to the jar.
Liz D says
This recipe was delicious, but the cayenne and coconut oil were overpowering (I love heat, btw...). The second time I made this, I halved the cayenne and used a neutral oil. I added a dash of pomegranate molasses for tartness.
Thank you for your comment Liz! I tend to go heavy with the heat, I will make a note to use less pepper and add more to taste.
I thought I followed the directions exactly, but after taking them out of the oven and setting them on the counter to cool for several hours, I have a big sticky glob with all the pecans stuck together. I'm so disappointed. Is there any way to correct this?
Hi Sandra! I am sorry that happened to you. Maybe you can put the pecans back into the oven for a few more minutes. The syrup and coconut be absorbed by the pecans. If you make them again, try using half the amount of oil.