This Spiced Nuts Recipe with cinnamon and chili is a delicious fall or holiday snack, appetizer or they make a great gift. The maple and spice coating is made with egg whites which is a great way to give them the best crispy texture!

a white table with spiced pecans spilled out over it

I originally shared this recipe for spiced nuts on October 22, 2015. I have updated the text and some of the photographs to share it with you today.

Why We Love This Crispy Spiced Nuts Recipe

Add making this Healthy Nuts Recipe to your to-do list this season. It’s one of those super easy recipes, so you’ll be so glad you did.

First of all, the smell of the cinnamon and maple and the toasted nuts is like wrapping yourself up in a cozy fluffy sweater.

But also because you can package them up to give as a gift, nibble on them for a great snack or you can add them to a salad like my Holiday Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash for crunch and sweet and spicy flavor. Just beware they are addictively good!

The best part of this recipe is the crispy coating. It is so much better than most recipes out there! The texture is amazing!

What Are Spiced Nuts?

  • Spiced Nuts is a catchall phrase for nuts that have been seasoned and roasted. They vary from unsweetened to coating in a crisp sugary coating.
  • Unsweetened spiced nuts have oil on them to coat the nuts so the herbs and spices and salt can stick to the nuts as they roast.
  • Typically Spiced nuts are sweet and have warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • There are also candied nuts that have sweet and shiny coating like my Chili Chocolate Spiced Pecans.
  • And then there are Sugared Nuts that have a crispy coating made with egg whites.

This Spicy Nuts Recipe is like a combination of sweet and hot candied nuts and sugared nuts. They have the crispy coating of sugared nuts, but they have sweet and hot spices too making them an awesome party snack!

Ingredients for Spicy Nuts Recipe

Spiced nuts ingredient photo with labels
  • Egg White – One large egg white combines with the sugar to create a thin, crispy and sweet coating on the nuts.
  • Pecans – Pecans are a favorite for their meaty texture, but any nut or nut mixture will work. Walnuts, macadamia nuts or almonds are awesome choices.
  • Maple Sugar – Granulated maple sugar adds a wonderful maple syrup flavor, but coconut sugar or white sugar can also be used.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt – Adds the perfect flavor counterpoint to the sugar and the coarse texture adds a pleasant crunch.
  • Cinnamon and Allspice– Ground cinnamon and allspice add a sweet warmth to the nuts.
  • Chipotle Chili Powder or Cayenne – Just 1/2 teaspoon of Chipotle chili powder or cayenne adds just the right amount of heat to the sweet and salty flavor profile, but feel free to add more or less to suit your taste.

How To Make This Recipe

Before you Begin

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • You’ll need to line your rimmed baking sheet with a silpat or silicone baking mat. If you don’t have one, generously grease your sheet pan.

Using Egg Whites in Spiced Nuts

The very special part of this recipe is the crispy coating which is created from beaten egg whites. I know it sounds really strange, but they work with the sugar to create a thin, hard and crispy sugary coating around the nut and in every nook and cranny.

foamy egg whites

Tips For Beating Egg Whites

  • Use a clean large bowl and a clean whisk or egg beaters. Any trace of yolk or fat will prevent the whites from whipping.
  • Room temperature egg whites whip better and faster than cold egg whites. To quickly warm up your whites you can set the unbroken egg into a mug of warm tap water for a couple minutes. {While the oven preheats and you’re gathering your ingredients, try it!}
  • You only need to whip them until they are foamy. It is not necessary to beat them to soft peaks.

Add Pecans To Whites

Next take your raw nuts (I used Pecans, but any kind of nut or mix of nuts will work in this recipe) and stir them with the whites.

Allow the whites to soak into all the nooks and crannies, because they will make the spices and sugar stick to it, and that’s what will make the delicious sugar and spiced coating!

Stir the nuts into the whites and coat them completely

Add Sugar and Spices

Next you’ll sprinkle on the sugar and spices. Then stir it to coat the nuts in the spices and sugar. It will cling to the egg whites. Here is the combo I used:

  • granulated maple sugar, coconut sugar or white sugar
  • coarse kosher salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground chipotle chili or cayenne (or to taste)
  • ground allspice
stirring the spices into the nuts

Roast

Spread the coated nuts out onto the silpat or prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to separate them into a single layer. You want the hot air in the oven to circulate all around them to dry them out.

Spread them out onto a lined baking sheet and give them space so they can dry out in the oven

Roast them for 7 to 8 minutes. Note that smaller or larger nuts will need timing adjustment, so to know if yours are ready to be stirred, take a look at them. They should look dry at this point.

Nuts on a silpat with a person stirring

Stir them well and then return them to the oven to roast for 3 to 6 minutes longer. In addition to the spices, you will be able to smell the toasted nuts too. They will darken slightly, but don’t let them darken too much as the coating makes it hard to tell just how toasted they are.

Let them cool completely on the baking sheet.

spiced nuts on a black slate with grapes, crostini and apricots

Expert Tips and FAQs

How Long Do Spiced Nuts Last?

Once they are completely cool, you can transfer them to jars or a resealable airtight container. Keep them at room temperature for a week. Freeze them for 1 month.

Why Do Spiced Nuts Get Sticky?

If you try to seal them into a mason jar before they are completely cool, they will become sticky and loose their crispy texture. Occasionally, when the air has a lot of moisture, this spiced nuts recipe will become sticky. This is due to the sugars in the coating pulling the moisture into them. Typically in cold winter weather, this isn’t a problem.

Seasoning Variations

I love the sweet and spicy blend that I have included in this recipe today, but you can also come up with your own variation of spices.

  • If you cannot find maple sugar, which is what I recommend you can use white sugar or coconut sugar.
  • Also, if you’re not a fan of hot and spicy food then you can most certainly skip the chili.
  • You can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, chipotle and allspice.

What To Serve With Them

a jar from a low angle filled with spiced nuts. Grapes and apricots are in the background
Close-up from overhead: a white bowl with spiced 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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Spiced nuts in a white bowl with red grapes

The BEST Crispy Spiced Nuts Recipe

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: snack
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These spiced nuts with cinnamon and chili are a great fall or holiday snack, appetizer or gift. The maple and spice coating is made with egg whites which gives them the best crispy texture!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cup pecans or other nuts
  • 4 teaspoons granulated maple sugar, coconut sugar or white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili or cayenne (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven and Prep Pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat baking mat or coat generously with cooking spray.
  2. Make Egg white and Spice Coating: Beat egg white in a medium bowl until foamy. Add nuts and stir to coat. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt, chili and allspice and toss to coat. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
  3. Roasting Instructions: Roast, until the mixture starts to look dry, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir and continue roasting until the nuts are browned and fragrant, 3 to 6 minutes longer. Cool completely and store in a jar at room temperature up to 1 week.

Notes

Granulated maple sugar is made from maple syrup that has been boiled to a hot temperature and then stirred continuously as it is cooled. Once it is cooled, the mixture turns to granulated sugar that tastes like the essence of maple. You can purchase it online or find it in health food stores near the other natural sweeteners. 

You can use any type of nut to make this recipe but the cooking times will vary depending on the size of the nuts. In step 3, make sure they look dry before stirring them. Then roast them until you can smell the toasted nuts but before they darken too much. This will only take 3 or so minutes for nuts the same size of pecans, and less for smaller nuts, more for larger. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 168
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g