Taste of Place: Spiced Pecans

by | Nov 15, 2015 | Native Plants

Pecans with pizazz! Photo: Lee Clippard

Pecans with pizazz! PHOTO Lee Clippard


AT MY HOUSE, the sound of pecans (Carya illinoinensis) dropping heavily on the roof is like music to our ears. It means harvest time. Our native pecan nut — so abundant, so tasty and so full of goodness — is part of many of our American food traditions, from pies and stuffing to cheese rolls. Here, I’ve made simple spiced pecans which are great all by themselves or on a salad (see tip below).

Spiced Pecans

Pecans, shucked and cleaned. Photo: Lee Clippard

Pecans, shucked and cleaned. PHOTO Lee Clippard


  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1⁄2 a beaten egg white


Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix dark brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt, coriander, garlic, cumin and allspice in a bowl.

Mix pecan halves and egg white in a bowl until combined. (I’m not sure what the recipe meant by “beaten”; I just beat the egg whites until they were a touch frothy, but not anywhere near what you’d use for a meringue.)

Toss pecans with spice mixture to coat completely.

Spread on the baking sheet and bake until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Recipe Suggestion

These pecans are delicious on a simple salad of spinach and goat cheese tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette.


Recipe adapted from Saveur.

Related Stories:

Chile Pequin-Citrus Turkey
Prickly Pear Cranberry Sauce
Vegan Wild Onion and Tuber Stew
Wild Onion and Chile Pequin Cornbread
Prickly Pear Margaritas
Persimmon Dessert Bars
Chile Pequin Vinegar