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Nov 3, 2021

Candied Pecans

These candied pecans are subtly sweet, lightly crunchy, and perfect for salads, cheese and fruit boards, or just for snacking. 

Candied pecans in a jar.


All you need are three ingredients, the most important one being gorgeous pecan halves. Other than the pecans, you'll need powdered sugar and oil for frying. 

This frying method for making these candied pecans reminds me of the way Chinese cooks make candied walnuts, except this recipe calls for confectioners' sugar rather than granulated sugar, for a much thinner and more delicately crispy coating. 

The most difficult part about making these candied pecans is saving them for the recipe you might be using them in rather than eating them all right away. You could make a double batch! 

Candied pecans in a bowl.

How to make these candied pecans:

First, start with the best pecan halves you can find. I was so happy to find a precious bag of these in my freezer. 

By the way, leave any strays that are a little irregular in the batch rather than pick them out. Those are the ones that are perfect for "taste testing" and "quality control" as you fry the pecans. 

Pecan halves in a bowl.

Next, bring a pot of water to a boil and briefly blanche the pecan halves in the boiling water for two minutes. Pour them into a colander and shake off some (but not all) of the excess water. 

Pour them into a large bowl and and then top them in a generous amount of powdered sugar and then toss everything together to coat the pecans. 

Once the pecans are coated in the sugar, spread them out onto a parchment lined baking sheet to air out and dry. They won't fully dry, and that's okay. You can let them rest for 10 to 20 minutes. 

Pecan halves after tossing with sugar.

While the pecans are drying, bring some neutral oil to 350 degrees in a wok, heavy pot, or in an electric deep fryer. 

Fry the nuts in batches for about 2 to 4 minutes, until they are brown and shiny and drain them on paper towel lined baking sheets. Transfer them to partchment lined baking sheets to dry and cool completely. 

Pecan halves after frying.

If you leave them on the paper towels, they might stick as the sugar cools. 

I used my favorite mini deep fryer to make these. I had to divide the nuts into three batches, but the results were worth it. 

To prevent burning the pecans, be sure to watch them very closely as they are deep frying. They can go from bronze to near black very quickly. 

I stored these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store them at room temperature, but you might find that some of the pecans stick together, especially in warmer weather. 

These pecans are delicious on their own. They'd also be amazing on a Green Cabbage Salad with Fennel or a broccoli and cranberry salad

Candied pecans in little bowls

While I don't often deep fry, I love having my little mini deep fryer on hand so that I know I don't have to worry about temperature control. I've used it to make perfect doughnuts, potato balls (papas rellenas), hushpuppies, and New Orleans style beignets

You can also use the mini fryer for chicken wings

More spiced and candied nut recipes:

Candied Pecans made with the caramelization method. 

Spiced Pecans with a rum glaze.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts.

Rosemary, Cayenne, and Brown Sugar Cashews. 

foodie Extravaganza logo

This month, the Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating National Pecan Month. Our host is Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. She's one of the most prolific food bloggers I know (and her recipes are top notch). 

Pecans are delicious and so nutritious too. I've used them in salads, cakes, brittle, and even sourdough bread. They are also the only nut native to north America (mostly the American South and northern Mexico). 

Check out what everyone did with pecans:

Pecan halves in bowl.

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans
Yield: 16 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 10 Min
These candied pecans are subtly sweet, lightly crunchy, and perfect for salads, cheese and fruit boards, or just for snacking.


  • 2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • Pinch of fine sea salt, optional


  1. Bring a 3 quart pot of water to a boil. Add the pecans and boil for just 2 minutes. 
  2. Drain the pecans in a colander and rinse with cold water. 
  3. Shake off any excess water and place the pecans in a large bowl. Pour the sugar over the pecans and toss with a large spoon or spatula. 
  4. Por the coated nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet and let dry for 10 to 20 minutes. 
  5. Bring the oil up to 350 degrees F, in a wok or sauce pan, using a candy or instant read thermometer (or the controls of an electric deep fryer). 
  6. Working in batches, fry about 2/3 cup of the pecans at a time, for 2 to 4 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized and the nuts are toasted. Watch them very carefully. 
  7. Scoop them with a a slotted spoon onto a paper lined plate to drain, and the spread them over a parchment lined baking sheet to fully  dry. 
  8. Sprinkle very lightly with the optional sea salt. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. How interesting! I've never fried candied nuts, but I'll bet that does give them a great crunch. YUM!

    1. This was my first time and I was super happy with the results!

  2. I have always used brown sugar and caramelization for my candied nuts. Can't wait to try this fried version with powdered sugar.

    1. The results are very different and less "candy-like."

  3. I love how caramelized they look. These would be great in a spinach salad.

  4. These could be great edible gifts!

  5. Love this new version of fried and then candied nuts, addictive they are!

  6. Do you think its possible to bake the nuts after the sugar coating? I don't fry much. They look absolutely wonderful!

    1. I think that it would probably best to find a different recipe. I'd try the pecans in my peach shortcakes recipe. They are done on the stovetop but not deep fried.


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