Have you ever wanted to learn how to candy nuts for salads? They can be so expensive in the grocery store, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good candied nut on a salad? Honestly, sometimes that is the thing that saves any salad! I absolutely love the crunch and the sweet taste of the nutty almond, pecan, or walnut on a salad. I like to make them a couple batches at a time so I can have them on hand at any time.
So are you ready to learn how to candy nuts for your salads? First, gather your ingredients: Nut of any kind (for this example we are using sliced almonds), sugar (we mainly use white or brown), salt & pepper. Say what? That’s it! Super easy ingredients. So, let’s get started!
Get a large sauce pan and heat it on medium high heat to get the pan nice and toasty. Add a layer of nuts to the bottom of the pan and spread them around.
Pour a layer of sugar over the top of the nuts. Approximately 1 cup of nuts might use up to 1/3 – 1/2 c. sugar.
Sprinkle with a little salt for extra flavor. We love using “REAL salt” from Utah. It’s full of minerals and is very alkalizing to the body, unlike iodized salt.
Then crack a little fresh pepper over the top & wait for the sugar to start melting.
Don’t stir the nuts until you can see the sugar on the bottom layer starting to melt and caramelize. This can take several minutes. Be patient!
When the sugar starts to melt, continually stir the nuts so they don’t burn. The nuts will start to toast as they are exposed to the heat and the melted sugar. You have to be careful at this point because the sugar and the nuts can burn easily, so keep stirring until all the sugar is melted.
Next, pour the nuts onto a piece of parchment paper to dry out. Spread evenly on the parchment so they don’t clump too bad. Unless you like clumps, they let it dry in a pile!
Once they are dry, break them into desired size pieces and store them in an air-tight container in your pantry. They stay good for almost up to a month, but mine usually don’t last that long! Enjoy them on any salad of your choice. Some of our favorite salads are Pear Salad with Candied Pecans, Goat Cheese, & Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette, or our Crispy Chicken with Strawberry & Mango Spring Salad, or our Berry Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad with Lime Poppyseed Dressing. They are all divine!!
How to Candy Nuts for Salads
This tutorial on how to candy nuts, is the simplest, easiest way we have found to get the job done! It’s so simple & easy to do. You will save so much money doing this process yourself instead of buying candied nuts at the store! Try it out and let us know what you think!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Snack/Salad
- Nuts of any kind
- Sugar, white or brown
- Parchment paper
- Start by heating a large saute pan over medium high heat and get it nice and warm.
- Add a layer of nuts (not too many), just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Then pour sugar over the top of the nuts until there is a light layer covering them. Approximate amounts are about 1 cup of nuts to 1/3 – 1/2 c. sugar. Just sprinkle until they are all covered and there is a small layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Then the trick is to let them sit there and have the sugar start to caramelize on the bottom of the pan. Don’t stir the nuts at all until you can see the bottom layer of sugar start to melt. As soon as you see it melting and you can tell the nuts are getting toasty, start stirring!
- Don’t stop stirring at this point until all the sugar is melted and the nuts are toasty. Be careful though because you don’t want them to burn.
- Once the sugar is melted, just pour onto a parchment sheet of paper and spread out to let dry.
- Once completely dried (about 30 minutes), you can break them up into pieces and store them in an air-tight container in your pantry.
- Then use them to top any delicious salad!!
- Nuts will keep good for about a month in your pantry. Mine usually don’t last that long, but they will if you need them to!!
- You can use brown sugar as well, it just depends on the flavor you want on the nut. I like brown sugar with pecans the best and white sugar with almonds.