spiced pecans

Spiced Pecans

This recipe for Spiced Pecans is based on one I found in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. I am in love with that book and have found so many recipes in it that are “naturally gluten free.”

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Greenspan at Blogher Food this year where she and I both spoke on panels. On my panel, we discussed the technicalities of writing a recipe, while the inimitable Dorie (is it too familiar of me to call her that?) was on a panel where she spoke about her 12 published cookbooks –that gives you a bit of an idea as to how very far apart we are in the progress of our careers as food writers!

After we were done with our panels, Ms. Greenspan meandered by the table at which I had plunked myself down (I couldn’t believe it), and she sat 2 seats away from me!  I was slightly terrified, but went ahead anyway and offered her one of the home baked chocolate chip cookies that I had set on the table, which I always bring to these conferences for my gluten free posse.  Low and behold, Dorie took a bite.  Then I glanced sideways and saw her finish the cookie.

Later that day, during another break, Dorie came up to me, thanked me for the cookie and asked me what it was made of (almond flour, of course!).  We chatted for a few minutes about favorite ingredients, our families (I have 2 boys, she has 1), and then discussed her book tour (sadly, she did not pass through Denver for it).

Of course, after meeting her, I had to get my hands on her new book Around My French Table. So I did.  And that’s the story of how the recipe for these nuts were passed from Dorie, to me, to you.  Thanks Ms. Greenspan, or Dorie, whichever you prefer. This gluten free nut snack is one of my favorites.

Print Recipe
Spiced Pecans
  1. In a large bowl lightly whisk egg white, then briefly whisk in agave
  2. Toss the pecans into the egg white mixture and stir to coat evenly
  3. Toss in chili, cinnamon, cayenne and salt, stir so that pecans are evenly coated
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer pecans to a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 300° for about 25 minutes, until the pecans are browned and the coating is dry
  6. Cool for 20 minutes and serve

For a yummy vegan snack recipe, check out my Candied Macadamia Nuts, Candied Pecans or Smoked Paprika Almonds.

For more fancy schmancy cocktail snacks take a look at the recipes from these fine folks:

CrockPot Roasted & Spiced Nuts from Stephanie of A Year of Slow Cooking
Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds from Joy of Joy the Baker
Spiced Candied Walnuts from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks


  1. Soni gupta says

    Hi Elana, I am vegetarian, gluten free, and egg free, and yeast free. I also prefer to be refined sugar free. I especially love your orange cake recipe. Can this spiced pecans recipe be made without the egg white? Or substituted with something else?

  2. Leah says

    I would love to make these. My daughter is allergic to egg whiles. Do you have a any ideas for a substitute?


  3. Barbara says

    These are so easy and delicious!!!! I’ve made several batches now for Christmas gifts. Thank you for your great recipes.

  4. says

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your comment! I probably wouldn’t make the nuts or cookies more than a few days ahead of time.

    However, I don’t have much experience with storing any of the foods that I make as my family gobbles up everything I make within a day or two. Sorry I can’t be of more help, you might like to try my forums for better info.


  5. david says

    Hi Elana-

    Happy Holidays!

    I’m currently making these delicious spiced pecans as part of a holiday gift package for family members-

    I was wondering if these will keep for a week or two? Along with the pecans i’m also making the “molasses” spice cookies, espresso power bars, & sesame crackers-

    I’m planning on storing in chinese take-out style cartons, with parchment paper, and placed in a gift bag-

    just wondering if these will be just as delicious a week or two from now, as they are today (dec 18)

    thanks for your help-

    looking forward to the new cupcake book coming out-

    happy holidays

    david from chicago

  6. says


    Thank you for the wonderful Latke recipe, I am looking forward to trying them out. I have been visiting your site for a long time, I use the cookbook all of the time. I wanted to see if you would not mind telling us what vitamin supplements and beauty products you use?
    I had another question as well I read something the other day that said eating spicy foods has the potential to kill bacteria in your body????

    Have you ever heard that?


  7. Michele says

    These are cooling and I’ve had at least 20 so far. It’s not too spicy or sweet. I think we’ll be having these for a snack and also chopped on top of the spiced yams I’ve already made. They need something to jazz them up and I think this is the ticket!

    Thanks for passing on a really great recipe. I’ve done my own thing for a while but I think the egg white really makes the seasonings stay on so much better than just oil.

  8. says

    Love the pecans, love your Dorie story, and love the way you cleverly linked to me! You are the best, Elana! I can’t wait to host some more giveaways of your books the next several weeks. Yes, you and I are always looking for that same thing–naturally gluten free. A quick scan of the ingredients in a recipe can tell one if a recipe is naturally gluten free and when it is, that just makes “life” so much easier, more economical, and usually healthier, too. :-)

    And, I have yet to meet anyone who does NOT love your chocolate chip cookies!!

    Happy Thanksgiving, dear! xo,

  9. says

    Yum! I made some spiced pecans, cashews, and almonds a couple weeks ago. I was flipping through the Williams-Sonoma “Small Plates” book, looking for ideas. I can no longer eat most of the things in the book (without modification anyway), but I like to look for ideas in “normal” cookbooks. They have a recipe for spiced roasted nuts that uses butter, curry powder, salt, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and brown sugar. I can’t have the butter or sugar and wasn’t in the mood for curry or cumin, so I just sprinkled on cinnamon and cayenne, and used honey and pure olive oil, not really measuring. They were good, but I thought they could be better if I took the time to test different proportions of the spices to balance each other. Yay! Now I don’t have to – thanks for passing this along!

  10. Emily says

    What a cute story. It’s always fun to meet someone you respect and admire! The sweet and spicy combo on these pecans sound delicious, I love giving edible gifts for the holidays (always gf of course:). I bet these would be great packaged up with a pretty little ribbon.

  11. Liz N says

    I HEART Dorie Greenspan. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to make it, along with your recipe for Candied Macadamia Nuts.

  12. says

    How uncanny! I just ordered that book yesterday! There was a write-up in Fine Cooking magazine. My daughter loves anything French, so we are very excited to get it!

  13. Janet says

    I make roasted pecans for Christmas gifts every year and have a tip to pass along. If you soak the peacans in hot/boiling water for 10 minutes before you roast, it helps the flavor and crispness by getting rid of tannins (the water will be brown by the end) and plumping up the nut. I often soak the pecans a second time in a new batch of boiling water, when I have time. I just drain and roast the pecans with salt and they taste yummy! Your recipe sounds yummy, too, and I will try it next time I roast pecans. Thanks for all your great recipes.

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