Toasty, buttery, and sweet Three Ingredient Candied Walnuts are so versatile they’ll have you scrounging for recipes to add them to.
My personal favorite thing to do with these candied walnuts is to add them to salads. They pair well with salads containing grilled chicken, salmon, and fruits. If that sounds good, be sure to check out my Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts.Jump to Recipe
Ways to Use Candied Walnuts
- Plain as a snack. Store them in a jar and keep them in the pantry to nibble on.
- As a topper. Add to salads, popcorn, cereal, or ice cream.
- Add to trail mix for a sweet twist. You can also make Chex mixes.
- Sprinkled on a baked sweet potato or sweet potato casserole.
- Season them. You can add 1 tsp of cinnamon when cooking to make Cinnamon Sugar Candied Walnuts. Or, add 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice to make Pumpkin Spice Candied Walnuts.
You can also substitute walnuts for pecans.
If you try any of these variations, please be sure to let me know how you like them!
What’s so special about these nuts?
This recipe is extremely simple in comparison to most other candied nut recipes. First, no egg whites are needed (and no wasted yolks, yay!).
Second, they are made with only natural ingredients – no corn syrup or unnecessary ingredients.
And third, they come together within 10 minutes.
Notes on Three Ingredient Candied Walnuts:
- Use a nonstick skillet. Walnuts may stick to cast iron and will burn and stick in stainless steel.
- Constantly stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Yes, constantly stir. Even if that means stirring for 8 minutes straight. This guarantees that your walnuts will only toast, not burn. Stirring also helps to coat the sugar evenly on the walnuts. Otherwise, you will end up with clumps of hardened sugar.
- Use medium heat. If you’ve never made anything like this before, start with medium-low heat. It will take a few minutes longer and be a few more minutes of stirring, but lower heat is better than too high of heat.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper before you start heating the walnut sugar mixture. You want to have a cookie sheet ready for you so once the sugar has completely dissolved and coated the walnuts, you can pour them right out onto the parchment. You will need to separate the walnuts from each other right away with a silicone spatula to prevent large clumps. They will harden very fast – within a minute or two. I personally pour my walnuts straight onto a nonstick cookie sheet, but that’s because I have used these pans hundreds of times and know that absolutely nothing sticks to them. A silicone baking mat may work, however. Please use parchment paper otherwise.
- Let cool completely and store in a mason jar.
These Three Ingredient Candied Walnuts also make great gifts around the holidays!
You can get creative and buy a special jar or container and tie ribbons or tags around the lip.
Three Ingredient Candied Walnuts
- 1 cup halved or whole walnuts or pecans
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium or medium-low heat. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper off to the side. Once the pan is warmed, add all ingredients to the pan.
- Stir frequently. Once the butter has melted, stir constantly to prevent walnuts from burning and to coat the sugar evenly on the walnuts.
- Once sugar has completely dissolved, pour out contents of pan onto parchment paper. Quickly spread and separate clumps with a silicone spatula before they harden. Let cool completely & store in a mason jar.