Spicy Candied Nuts


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When we're looking to jazz up a salad, we throw in some of these Spicy Candied Nuts. The tricky part is getting them on the salad before we eat them! They're crunchy, spicy, sweet, and nutty. In other words, addicting! 

They also make a fun snack and are a welcome addition to trail mix. Arrange them atop a cheesecake or baked/frosted treats, sprinkle them on hot spicy entrees for contrast, or on a pancake stack. Eat them whole or chop them up. They're a versatile addition that makes many a gastronomic experience even better. 

We haven't decided if they're a dessert or not. The melted cane sugar makes them sweet, but the spices you add can take it a savory direction or make it a sweet treat. 

You'll be making these all the time once you see how quick and easy it is. 

Put the sugar and spices in a pan. Melt the sugar. Add nuts. Cool. That's it. 

Melting the sugar without burning it requires your careful attention. It looks like nothing is happening and then in a blink of an eye the sugar is liquid. Cane sugar melts best. We tried it with coconut sugar--thumbs down. 

We're giving you a base recipe you can alter to use a variety of spices and nuts. We choose walnuts and pecans because their irregular shape holds the candy mixture.  For those who want more Omega 3 oils, go for the walnuts :-) We encourage you to experiment with adding other spices, citrus zest, dried fruit bits... 

It's best to preheat your pan. Add the cane sugar and chosen spices. We like cayenne and garam masala. If you're not familiar with Garam Masala, it's a delicious northern Indian spice blend. We make it at home with whole dried spices. It's so good in Indian dal! We add it to our Vegan Vegetable Fritatta, our Savory Scones, and Sunrise Vegetable Curry Samosas.

Stir the mixture as it melts. 

Keep stirring.

It's almost ready for the nuts!

Add the nuts. They'll cool the melted sugar mixture, so keep stirring over the heat until they're coated. 

Place them on a greased flat sheet and spread them apart to cool.

Oh so good! Now get cooking! 


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 Spicy Candied Nuts Recipe


  • 10 minutes 
  • Serves 6
  • Suggested equipment: small pan, a flat pan or baking sheet 


  • 1 cup of your favorite nuts (we like pecans or walnuts for this)
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala spice blend
  • Instructions
  1. Lightly grease a flat baking dish and set to the side.
  2. Heat a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. When the pan is hot, add the sugar, salt, and spices.
  4. Stir continuously until the sugar mixture melts.
  5. Add the nuts. The nuts will cool the mixture and make it a bit hard.
  6. Stir over the heat until it melts again and the nuts are well covered. The sugar mixture might stretch and make long hairlike shapes. Keep stirring, it will melt. 
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Scoop the nuts onto your greased, flat dish. Tease them apart. 
  9. Let them cool. 
  10. When they're cool you can break them into smaller pieces. 
  11. Store in an airtight container. 

Chef's Notes 

We spice them up with cayenne and garam masala curry powder in this recipe, but you can use other spices too. Cardamom & Lime, Cinnamon & Cloves, Black Pepper & Sea Salt... If using citrus zest, add it at the end with the nuts so it doesn't burn. 

This recipe works for any nuts. We like walnuts and pecans best. Walnuts have more Omega 3 oils if you're looking for a healthy fats boost!

We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you have an article or recipe request, let us know.

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Written by Your Vegan Family 

Stacy and Markus live a thriving vegan lifestyle with their two young boys. They write articles and offer courses to inspire you about plant-based cooking, teach you how to stay healthy and stay vegan, and moderate a private online Thriving Vegan Family Community where you can interact directly with them, other families, and plant-based enthusiasts about a vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and raising vegan kids.

They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues. They also offer individual health and wellness coaching to individuals who are motivated to improve the quality of their lives. 

We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to help you have fun going vegan and staying vegan. Learn more on our About Us page.

Vegan Spicy Candied Nuts Recipe Grocery List: 

  • 1 cup nuts
  • organic cane sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • garam masala spice mix

Spicy Candied Nuts Recipe Nutritional Analysis

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. When exact ingredients are not available in this database, the closest substitution is made. 

Percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet for an adult. 

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