Candied pecans are a classic holiday treat, but they’re rarely vegan-friendly and need almost an hour or more in the oven. Luckily, this lightened-up cinnamon glazed pecans recipe requires no oil, no egg whites, and NO oven—just the stovetop!
Traditionally, candied pecans need egg whites to bind the sugars to the nuts and get the pecans to crisp up in the oven. But, stovetop glazed pecans don’t need those egg whites, making them the perfect VEGAN candied pecans alternative!
Coated in just a simple cinnamon sugar syrup, you won’t believe how crave-ably crispy they become once they’ve cooled. Light, sweet, and cinnamon-y—like a churro, but more nutritious!
Best of all, it’s just plain easier and quicker to make glazed pecans on the stovetop. With just 4 ingredients and a skillet, you can have vegan holiday treats ready in minutes! Perfect for holiday party snacks or packaging into DIY Christmas gifts (or for gifting to yourself).
How to Make Cinnamon Glazed Pecans on the Stovetop
To make cinnamon glazed pecans, you’ll first need the syrupy glaze. Grab a skillet, add your sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon, and then cook over medium heat, stirring regularly. This will get sticky fast—which is the magic behind stovetop glazed pecans!
Once the sugar is dissolved, add your pecans and stir to coat completely with the cinnamon sugar syrup. I prefer to use roasted pecans for their crispier crunch, but you can also use raw pecans if you like. Then, keep stirring over heat for another 8-10 minutes.
Once your glazed pecans mixture is dry and sticky, transfer from the skillet to a sheet of parchment paper. Spread that deliciously sticky clump into a somewhat-flat layer and allow to cool. (I just leave mine on the countertop at room temperature.)
Finally, use your hands to break the clump into pieces and enjoy! Or, store in an airtight container for later—if you can resist devouring them all at once…
*NOTE on Substitutions for this Glazed Pecans Recipe:
First of all, if you’re not a churro fanatic like me, these cinnamon sugar pecans are just ONE route you can take. You can use this procedure to learn HOW to make glazed pecans, and then switch up the flavors!
You could use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon for pumpkin spice glazed pecans. Or, add a dash of vanilla, peppermint, or maple extract! There are loads of festive flavors you can try to make this holiday dessert in new ways.
But, if you want to use a sticky sweetener like honey or maple syrup, you will likely need to adjust the amount of water in the recipe. Otherwise, I’d recommend keeping the granulated sugar-to-water ratio from this recipe the same.
To make glazed pecans on the stovetop, you NEED that proper, syrupy consistency for your glaze to stick. Those sticky sweeteners will affect the consistency, so do your research before substituting with those!