Spiced pecans with cocoa, chipotle and chili powder are a tasty snack, a quick appetizer or a thoughtful gift from the kitchen. They are both gluten-free and only take 20 minutes to make.

Chocolate Chili Spiced Pecans in a glass mason jar

Why We Love This Recipe For Chili Pecans

Who else loves spiced nuts? If you are a fan of my crispy spiced nuts, then you know how good spiced nuts can be! And I am a big fan of spiced nuts in general! They are the perfect last minute appetizer to whip together for unexpected guests. I also love making them during the Christmas holiday season to give as gifts to friends and neighbors.

To mix things up, today I thought I would do a little Southwest meets Vermont/mole sauce-inspired spiced nut recipe. I’d use my West Texas pecans my grandpa sent me and some pure Vermont Maple Syrup from our sugaring business.

Thankfully, these nuts only take 10 minutes of effort (8 actually.) They have a bit of chili powder, a bit of chipotle powder and some cocoa powder too. I sweetened them with Vermont maple syrup. But since maple syrup has invert sugar, the sweet hot coating was too sticky, even after it cooled off, so I had to add some brown sugar to make them set up.

They make for an amazing snack, but an even better gift. All you need is a few mason jars and some string!

Chocolate Chili Spiced Pecans in a bowl

Key Ingredients for This Recipe

Pecans

Pecans are perfect for this recipe as they have a slightly bitter, sweet and very buttery flavor that goes well with the spices I chose. If you can’t find pecans, you can always go with walnuts. However, I do recommend sticking with pecans.

Maple syrup

For this recipe, golden or amber maple syrup is the best. It’s a great way to add a bit more natural sweetness to the nuts.

Chili powder

Chili powder is where the spice-kick comes in. However, chili powder is only mildly to slightly moderately spicy (depending on the ratio of the spice blend). Cocoa and chipotle also help balance it out, so you’ll be left with perfectly spiced nuts.

Additional Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Spiced pecans with cocoa, chipotle and chili powder for a gift from the kitchen or appetizer.

Step by Step Instructions to Make These Mexican Nuts with Chili

Step 1: Preheat oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Combine ingredients

Stir together the brown sugar, maple syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Add the pecans, cocoa, chili, chipotle and salt and stir to coat. Spread the nuts out on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the cocoa mixture is bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the nuts and continue baking until the nuts are sticky and the maple mixture is coating them, 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Step 3: Cool & serve

Let the nuts cool before eating or storing them in airtight containers.

Chocolate Chili Spiced Pecans in a bowl

FAQs and Expert Tips

What is chili powder made of?

Chili powder is often made up out of a few different ingredients such as chili, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and paprika. With that being said, it depends on the brand.

How long do seasoned nuts last?

If stored properly, seasoned and spiced nuts can last up to 3 months at room temperature. If you want them to last even longer, store the jar/container in the fridge or freezer. During humid weather they can become tacky, so plan to eat them soon after baking if making these in the summertime or in hot and humid weather.

What can you use instead of pecans?

Pecans are recommended for this recipe, but if you can’t find any, use whatever nut you want. You could use walnuts, almonds, or even cashews instead.

Chili Spiced Pecans in bowls

Additional Recipes to Try with Pecans

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Chocolate Chili Spiced Pecans

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Spiced pecans with cocoa, chipotle and chili powder for a gift from the kitchen or appetizer. Gluten-free and only 20 minutes to make.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, preferably golden or amber
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Stir brown sugar, maple syrup and butter in a medium bowl. Add pecans, cocoa, chili, chipotle and salt and stir to coat. Spread the nuts out on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the cocoa mixture is bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir nuts and continue baking until the nuts are sticky and the maple mixture is coating them, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Let cool.

Notes

Storing:

If stored properly, seasoned and spiced nuts can last up to 3 months at room temperature. If you want them to last even longer, store the jar/container in the fridge.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 115
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 101 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g