Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (2024)

Hands down, these are the BEST vegan candied pecans that happen to be gluten free! Made with just 3 main ingredients, they are crispy, sweet, and PERFECT for the holiday season!

Easy candied pecans made in a skillet and completely refined sugar free and dairy free. Simple, delicious, and ready in 10 minutes.

Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (1)

Candied Pecans

When it comes to edible holiday gifts, I love making peppermint bark, English toffee, and these simple candied pecans.

If I had a choice between buying my friends and family physical gifts or making something edible for them, I’d always go with the latter. Although with that said, I’m already pawning off many of my desserts and baked goods to them, so I’d probably still have to get them a non-edible gift, or else they will think I am cheap! While I do the usual cookies and tarts, I’ve started also making candied pecans!

Now, these candied pecans aren’t like your traditional candied nuts! They are made in a skillet instead of the oven and they also contain NO egg to bind it. This is perfect as many of my friends follow a vegan and gluten free diet, and this ticks both those boxes.

These candied pecans are crispy, crunchy, and with an almost toffee-like texture. They are sweet, a little salty, and have notes of vanilla throughout.

I have already made a few sample batches and I cannot stop eating them- They are SO addictive that you’ll definitely need to share them around or they won’t even make it to Christmas!

How to make candied pecans

The Ingredients

  • Pecans– Use a mix of whole and halved pecans. Be sure to use unsalted and unsweetened pecans.
  • Sugar of choice– White sugar works best, but brown sugar and coconut sugar can also be used.
  • Water– Replaces the need for any egg white or similar, by creating a mock syrup with the sugar. In turn, this crystalizes over the nuts.
  • Vanilla extract– Gives a light vanilla flavor.
  • Salt– Perfect to balance out the sweetness, and fabulous if you love the sweet and salty combination.
  • Cinnamon– Optional, but gives some lovely spice.

The Instructions

Start by heating up a large non-stick pan or skillet on medium heat. When hot, add the sugar, water, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Allow it all to heat up, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pecans and stir regularly, and ensure all the pecans are coated in it. Continue stirring regularly, until the sugar mixture begins to crystalize onto the nuts.

Remove from the heat and let the pecans cool in the pan for 3-4 minutes. After that, use a rubber spatula to break them all apart, before transferring to a lined baking sheet to cool completely.

Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (2)

Can I bake these in the oven?

If you’d like to bake these instead of pan fry them, you CAN do that, with just a few tweakls.

Whisk all the ingredients together, before adding in the pecans. Place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and bake at 120/250F for around an hour, stirring the pecans every 15 minutes.

Tips to make the best stovetop candied pecans

  • Be patient when simmering the pecans with the sugar mixture. It takes time for it to begin to crystalize. Be sure to be stirring regularly throughout.
  • If you find your sugar isn’t sticking to the pecans, re-dip them in some sugar once you’ve removed them from the heat.
  • Feel free to change up the flavors by adding some pumpkin pie spice or gingerbread spice to it.
  • These pecans would make a fabulous addition to some homemade trail mix.

Can I make this sugar free?

For this recipe, I recommend not using a sugar free alternative.

If you’d like sugar free pecans, try these keto candied pecans.

Storing and freezing skillet candied pecans

  • To store: Candied pecans can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 4 weeks. You can refrigerate them if you’d like them to keep longer.
  • To freeze: Place pecans in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (3)

More delicious vegan recipes to try

  • Shortbread
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • Chocolate babka
  • Churros

Watch how to make it

Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (4)

Candied Pecan Recipe

5 from 193 votes

Easy stovetop candied pecans made with just 4 simple ingredients! Crispy, crunchy, and perfectly sweet, they make a fabulous vegan and gluten free snack!

Servings: 16 servings

Prep: 5 minutes mins

Cook: 5 minutes mins

Total: 10 minutes mins


  • 3 cups pecans unsalted pecan halves
  • 1 cup sugar white, brown, or coconut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional


  • Heat a large frying pan or skillet pan on medium heat. When hot, add the sugar, water, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon, if using it, and mix until fully combined. Allow to heat up, stirring occasionally.

  • When the sugar has completely dissolved, add the raw, unsalted pecans. Watch over the pan and continue stirring often until most of the sugar mixture has been coated and beginning to crystallize.

  • Remove pan from the heat and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, before using a wooden spoon to stir almonds together to avoid immediate, overlarge clusters forming. Allow to cool completely before breaking up properly.

Oven option

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Follow directions as above then spread out pecan halves on a single flat layer. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once pecans have just begun to crystallize, remove and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, before stirring once again to avoid immediate overlarge clusters forming. Allow to cool completely, before coating in an extra tablespoon or two of sugar.


TO STORE: Candied pecans can be stored at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 4 weeks. You can refrigerate them if you’d like them to keep longer.

TO FREEZE: Place pecans in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 13g

Course: Snack

Cuisine: American

Author: Arman Liew

Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsem*nt, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Candied Pecan Recipe {4 Ingredients!} - The Big Man's World ® (2024)


How do you package candied nuts? ›

Cool nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Package in miniature cellophane bags and gift to your friends!

Are candied nuts gluten free? ›

Again, it depends on the brand. In restaurants, more often than not, candied nuts will contain a wheat flour in their coating to help the sugar and seasonings stick better.

How do you keep candied pecans from sticking together? ›

Under-cooking the pecans is the likely cause of stickiness, but the risk is low when they're oven-baked. After the sugar-coated nuts have darkened and turned very fragrant, about 20 minutes in the oven, stir the pecans and separate any pieces that have stuck together. Continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes.

How long do candied pecans stay fresh? ›

How long will candied pecans keep? They will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature, at least three weeks in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer. No matter where you store them, keep in a tightly sealed, airtight container.

Can celiacs eat pecans? ›

Nuts in their pure form are gluten-free. This includes peanuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts and all other natural nuts. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are also gluten-free. While nuts are naturally gluten-free, you need to be careful with flavored nuts.

What nuts can a celiac eat? ›

Yes, all single-ingredient nuts are gluten-free. That means the label will list just one ingredient, the nuts. Gluten-free nuts include (but are not limited to) peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, pine, macadamia and Brazil nuts.

What is the best way to store candied nuts? ›

Storage Instructions: Candied nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for several weeks. Freezing Instructions: They freeze well in an air-tight container for up to two months.

What is the best way to pack nuts? ›

Airtight food packaging bags have become the best packaging for dried fruits and nuts. When choosing packaging supplies for your brand, you want it to not only be stylish and eye-catching, but you also need them to protect and preserve your product.

How do you package nuts for long term storage? ›

Nuts readily absorb odors, so ensure they're stored in airtight, odor-proof packages such as vacuum sealer bags, mason jars, or Mylar bags. These options not only prevent oxygen exposure but also safeguard against the absorption of unwanted flavors and aromas.


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