What To Do With Pecans: 15 DIY Pecan Recipes


No matter how you make, bake, toast, roast or candy a pecan, there is one key to making your pecans turn out perfectly: start with a high-quality, fresh, premium pecan batch. And you can’t get any closer to freshness when you buy pecans directly from a pecan farm.

When you start out with a fresh gourmet pecan product, there are literally dozens of things you can do to pecans to enjoy them for your yourself, for loved ones, or to give as gifts. Learn below about all the different ways to enjoy pecans, whether you like them sweet, savory, spiced, or somewhere in the middle. Enjoy!

How to Bake Pecans

15 Easy DIY Pecan Recipes

How to Bake Pecans

Pecans are incredibly versatile and baking with pecans is fun and easy. You can flavor them (see our fun baking methods and baking recipes below), or eat them raw or simply salted.

Blanched Pecans:

Here's how to blanch pecans:

Raw vs Dry Roasted Pecans

Raw pecans have not been through a cooking or baking process. Remove the shell, et voila: Snack time!

Dry roasted pecans have been removed from the shell and roasted in an oven. For me, I like to preheat my oven to 330 degrees. It’s a little slower, but I feel get a stronger flavor. Here are the steps:

How to Toast Pecans:

Our toasted pecans are different than dry roasted pecans because as this toasted pecan recipe uses butter. Here are the simple steps:

Baking tip: Always toast your pecans before making a tart or pie-this really enhances the flavor.

What Else to Make With Pecans? 15 Additional DIY Pecan Recipes

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Here are 15 ideas for what to make with pecans.

Spiced Pecans

spiced pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
3 TBSP Unsalted Butter
1/3 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Coriander
1/4 Cup Sugar
1.5 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place pecans in a bowl about double the size of pecans.
Melt butter in microwave or on stove top, add spices, salt and sugar.
Toss gently until coated thoroughly.
Place on sheet pan with parchment paper, place in oven.
Bake 30-45 minutes or until toasted. Be sure to toss nuts every 15-20 minutes while in the oven.
Remove and cool.

Glazed Pecans

glazed pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/3 cup Karo Corn Syrup (warmed)
1 TBSP Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Orange Oil

Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
Place pecans in a bowl.
Add sugar, salt and extracts to warmed glucose, pour over pecans and toss until coated.
Place on sheet pan and spread out evenly.
Bake 12-18 minutes, tossing every 4-5 minutes.
Remove from oven and separate pecans.
Cool.

*Making a half batch will let you separate glazed pecans quickly to avoid cooling and sticking together*

Sugared Pecans

glazed pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1 Egg White (large egg)
1 Cup Sugar
1 TBSP Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place egg white and vanilla into a bowl, whip until frothy.
Pour over pecans and toss until coated.
Add sugar and salt to pecans and continue to toss until coated.
Spread evenly onto sheet pan with parchment paper, place in oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, tossing every 12-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool.

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

cinnamon sugar pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1 Large Egg White

Preheat oven to 210-220 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine sugars, salt and cinnamon, set aside.
Whisk eggs white until frothy, add vanilla.
Add sugar mixture to egg white until combined.
Add pecans, toss until coated, pour pecans onto pan and spread evenly.
Place in oven for 60-75 minutes, stirring pecans every 12-14 minutes.
Remove and cool.

Caramelized Pecans

caramelized pecans

2 lb Pecan Halves
3 TBSP Butter (I prefer Challenge Unsalted)
1/2 Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Water
1 TBSP Orange Zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter and then add pecans.
Toast pecans in the pan for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Add sugars and stir until sugar is melted (about 2 minutes).
Add water and salt. Stir continuously until water has evaporated (1-2 minutes).
Add orange zest and stir until combined.
Remove from heat and pour onto sheet pan, spread evenly.
Place in oven and bake for 5-6 minutes or until crisp.

Honey Roasted Pecans

honey roasted pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/4 Cup Warm Honey
1 TBSP Unsalted Butter (melted)
1/8 tsp Salt
Dash Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine warm honey, melted butter, salt and cayenne, stir until combined.
Add pecans and stir until coated.
Pour onto sheet pan and spread evenly.
Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-6 minutes.
Remove from oven and gently spread pecans so they aren’t touching.
Cool.

Candied Pecans (aka Coated Pecans)

candied pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg White

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place parchment paper on sheet pan, set aside.
Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt, set aside.
Whisk egg white until frothy, add pecan halves and toss until coated.
Add to sugar mixture, coat evenly, pour onto sheet pan in a single layer.
Bake 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes.
Remove and cool.

Spicy Candied Pecans

spicy candied pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg White

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place parchment paper on sheet pan, set aside.
Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt, set aside.
Whisk egg white until frothy, add pecan halves and toss until coated.
Add to sugar mixture, coat evenly, pour onto sheet pan in a single layer.
Bake 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes.
Remove and cool.

Salted Pecans

salted pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place parchment paper on sheet pan, set aside.
Melt butter on stovetop or microwave, add salt and stir until combined.
Add pecan halves and stir until,coated.
Pour onto sheet pan in a single layer, place in oven.
Bake 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool.

Chocolate Pecans

chocolate pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/3 Cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
8 oz Coating Chocolate (Ghiradelli dark, milk or white is preferred)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place parchment paper on sheet pan, set aside.
Place a paper towel onto a second sheet pan, set aside.
Melt butter, add salt, stir. Add pecans and toss until coated.
Pour into sheet pan in a single layer and place in oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and pour pecans onto sheet pan with paper towel, cool.

While pecans are cooling, set up a double boiler on low heat. Do not boil water.
Place a cooling rack onto sheet pan, set aside.
Add coating chocolate and melt.
Once melted, add pecans and gently coat.
Using a fork or dipping set for candy, remove each pecan and gently tap to remove excess chocolate. Place onto cooling rack to dry.

Bourbon Pecans

bourbon pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (I used Stripling’s)
1.5 TBSP melted Butter
1.5 TBSP Bourbon (I used Thirteenth Colony Southern Bourbon)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Cinnamon

Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop, add syrup, bourbon, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and combine. Add pecans and coat.
Pour pecans onto sheet pan in an even layer and place in oven.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 5-6 minutes. Maple syrup will begin to evaporate as it is baking. Remove when almost no syrup remains.
Spread into and even layer to cool. Separate to avoid clumps.

Air Fryer Pecans

air fryer pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
Air fryer basket attachment

Set air fryer to 400 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop, add salt and stir.
Add pecans, coat evenly, add to air fryer basket.
Place air fryer basket in place and air fry for 4-6 minutes, rotate pecans every 2 minutes.
Remove basket and pour onto sheet pan and cool.

*Air fry raw pecans (no butter or salt) for 7-9 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes.

Fried Pecans

fried pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
Medium pot, half filled with water
2 TBSP Salt
Medium pot, 1/3 filled with oil (I prefer canola or peanut)
Candy thermometer
1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

Line sheet pan with paper towel.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper paper and lightly coat with pan spray.
Combine cinnamon, Cayenne, smoked Paprika, set aside.
Heat oil with candy thermometer to 325 (adjust to lower temp if necessary).
Bring water and salt to a boil and gently add pecans using a fryer basket or shallow skimmer.
Blanch pecans for about 60 seconds, remove and place onto paper towels.
After 1-2 minutes, gently toss pecans in confectioner’s sugar
Very gently, add coated pecans to fryer using a fry basket or skimmer.
Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from fryer and into sugar/spice mixture, gently toss until coated.
Place on sheet pan with pan spray/parchment paper, cool.

Seasoned Pecans

seasoned pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1.5 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Mustard
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Line sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop.
Combine melted butter and spices, add pecans and coat.
Pour pecans onto sheet pan and place in oven.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool.

Savory Smoked Pecans

smoked pecans

1 lb Pecan Halves
1/4 Cup Butter
1.25 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika (Penzy’s is my favorite brand)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Applewood or Hickory Chips for smoking

Preheat grill or smoker to 250 degrees.
Melt butter on stovetop or microwave.
Combine Worcestershire, butter, spices and salt, add pecans and coat.
Add to smoker pan and smoke for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove and cool.