Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pecans (a trader joe’s hack)

since livi’s first birthday party is tomorrow, I’m going to make this a quick & easy recipe post. being elbow deep in birthday crafting and cupcake making didn’t lend itself to having a whole bunch of time, but i can tell you that these sweet & spicy roasted pecans are SO worth the 20 min it takes to make them…. ok, well worth the 5 min of hands on time it takes. 😉

I fell head over heels hard for the sweet & spicy pecans at Trader Joe’s. they are good on so many things, but at $3.99 per 5oz pop it was starting to seem like it might not be worth it with the amount I was buying. (gulp.) that’s just far too much money on (essentially) decorative nuts! plus, i feel better knowing exactly what’s going into my food. tj’s has a decent reputation for good ingredients, but their sweet & spicy nuts are made with canola oil – something i’m trying to stay away from if i can help it. i figured it was time to make them myself. they couldn’t be that hard to emulate, right? I was sooooo right. and these are even better. i mean, as long as you’re into food that has a buttery, toasty yumminess that puts its store-bought friend to shame.

The Modern Locket // Sweet & Spicy Pecans (a trader joes hack)

sweet & spicy pecans

preheat oven to 325

in a small mixing bowl, combine:
2T white granulated sugar
2T brown sugar
1/2t cayenne pepper
1/4t fresh ground black pepper
1/4t sea salt

on the stove top, toss on medium/low heat:
8oz raw pecan halves (ironically, tj’s has the best price i’ve found for these)
2 Tbsp of butter
(just until butter is melted & pecans are warmed)

toss the pecans in the sweet & spicy mix. give it a good mix-around. then, spread the pecans on a lined baking sheet & bake for 15 minutes. halfway through the baking time, stir the pecans & get a waft of the toasty goodness.

store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 6-8 weeks to top your salads, baked potatoes, and even put in your chicken salad in place of almonds. so many uses!

i dare you to resist the temptation to burn your tongue on one straight out of the oven.

8 thoughts on “Sweet & Spicy Roasted Pecans (a trader joe’s hack)

  1. It’s funny to see a collection of people who have the same addiction as I do and are looking for cheaper alternatives to feed it! I too, am getting a bag of the Costco pecans (16oz for $13) and will attempt this recipe tonight! Thanks for the hack!

    • I, too, am addicted to those nuts. If you are near a Whole Foods-here is a shocker-16 oz of the 365 brand are 10.00-though actually I guess TJs are a bit less at 4 something for 8 oz-but wow both stores are cheaper than Costco apparently.

      • Actually, the bag at Costco is a 2-lb (32 oz.) bag for $12! That is the best price I’ve seen, and they are consistently some of the freshest, best-tasting pecans I have come across in years of purchasing pecans for candy-making and baking!

  2. Help!! I love those TJ nuts, and was thrilled to find your hack. I followed your recipe exactly, but the nuts burned after only 7 minutes–all black on bottom! (I have a pic if you’d like to see.) I made a second batch, but turned down the oven temp to 275 degrees, and cooked them for about 12 minutes total. Are you certain that you meant 325 degrees for 15 minutes? My oven was just calibrated, so I know that it’s fine. Any ideas? In any event…the second batch was perfect, and with my giant bag of pecan’s from Costco, there are many more batches to come! In a small cello bag tied with a pretty ribbon, they make perfect little holiday gifts for my office mates. Thanks!

    • hi dona!
      it makes me sad that a batch burned! nuts are precious! i’m so glad you were able to figure out what temp works for your oven though. 325 is definitely what I cook them at – I’ve probably made 20 batches by now! I’ve herd from others that they’ve turned out perfectly, so i’m baffled! not sure where you’re located, but maybe elevation is a factor? i have experienced that newly calibrated ovens can run a bit hot for a little while. maybe that could be it? I hope your temp continues to work for you because these are too good to not have around! I’d love to see how you package them for your coworkers!

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