These roasted pecans are perfectly salty with a little bit of sweet. They’re great for snacks and to make with your frozen pecans.
Growing up in the South, pecan trees are a common sight. My family has 15 trees located on our homestead and farm. My parents spent many fall seasons picking, cracking, and shelling pecans.
Since my parents are longer with us, I have taken over the pecan crops each year and have even enlisted the aide of my grandchildren to help. They are often eager to help pick them up for a “little monetary reward”. It is good exercise and a fun, family activity we can do together.
It is quite the task to pick up a bumper crop of pecans, take them to the local market to be cracked, and then to shell out and freeze. I found out this year that a local business will not only crack the pecans but for a little more money per pound, will “blow or shell” them. It is then so much easier to pick them out for freezing and cooking.
They are perfect as an appetizer, in desserts, or even can be used in savory dishes. There are endless ways to enjoy this delicious nut, any season of the year.
How Long Will Pecans Last?
Since my family has so many trees, during a really good crop year, there is no way we can eat them all. So freezing is a wonderful way to preserve them until we are ready to have a tasty snack or prepare our favorite dishes.
Pecans will keep in the refrigerator for about nine months and in the freezer for up to two years. Just fill a quart or gallon Ziploc bag (your preference) and store them until ready to use. I usually put the month and year on the bag in a permanent marker to help me remember the age of the nuts.
I have been known to announce to the neighborhood to “come and pick” all you want. I hate to see any of them go to waste. My freezer is currently packed to capacity and many of my friends and neighbors may reap the benefits as Christmas gifts or will receive them for other special occasions.
Simple Ingredients & Directions for Roasted Pecans
My recipe for roasting the pecans is adapted from one my mother used for years. She really didn’t do much measuring of ingredients but mainly just added a touch of this and a dash of that. So I took her “recipe” and tweaked it to suit my tastes.
You only need three ingredients. Yes…that is right! ONLY THREE! It doesn’t get much easier than that. You need:
- Raw pecans (fresh or frozen)
- unsalted butter
- Kosher Salt
Preheat your oven to 350°. Then measure out 3 cups of raw pecans (fresh or frozen) and put in a 9 X 13 roasting pan. I use a metal pan but you could also use a cookie sheet or glass dish. I cut up 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and drop onto the top of the pecans in the pan. Then pop into the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
At the end of 5 minutes, stir the pecans really well and add about 1/4 tablespoon of kosher salt. You can add less if you are cutting back on salt or want them less salty. I really like the salt so tend to go with more rather than less. Put back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove and stir pecans around to make sure the salt and butter really coat the pecans. Here you can taste test to see if you want more salt. I add an additional 1/8 to 1/4 tablespoon to mine and then put back into the over for the last 5 minutes.
After time is up, remove the pecans and put onto a platter topped with a paper towel to catch any excess butter. Allow them to cool and eat for a snack or even chop them to use in a dessert. Roasting nuts brings out the nutty flavor and makes any dessert richer and more scrumptious.
At this point, you could “spice” the nuts up by sprinkling your favorite sweet or savory spice over the pecans to give the nuts a new kick or added sweetness. Some suggestions are adding cayenne, chile powder, paprika, cumin, or Mexican oregano. I prefer using just the basics, but if you like things “hot” you might experiment with other spices. You could also go a little sweeter by adding cinnamon or a touch of sugar. Then you would end up with a salty-sweet combination.
What Substitutes Additions Can Be Used?
In terms of roasted pecans, I am somewhat of a purist. I like them simple just using the basics to make the pecans delicious. I enjoy the taste of the larger granules of Kosher salt over regular Iodized salt, but you can use either. My mom always used “regular table salt”, and the pecans were great. You might even have another salt or salt substitute you would like to try. Let your taste buds be the guide.
I use unsalted butter because that is what I usually have on hand. However, if you prefer salted, you might just want to cut back on the amount of salt you add to the pecans during cooking. A taste test will help you decide what route is best for you. You could probably use margarine but the taste wouldn’t be as rich and full-flavored.
I have never used walnuts to make my roasted nuts, but since they are similar to pecans, they would probably taste much the same. You could try both kinds of nuts and choose your favorite. Regardless of whether you use my recipe as is or transform it to make it your own culinary creation, you’ll be “NUTS ABOUT THE TASTE”.
A quick side tip: Whenever I want a fast, light snack, I often take a handful of pecans, put them in a microwave-safe dish, spray lightly with olive oil, and salt to taste. Then pop them in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Let them cool and enjoy! Very easy and can be addictive..so beware!
Other recipes with pecans you might enjoy:
Simply Delicious Roasted Pecans
- 3 cups raw pecans
- 3-4 tbsp butter unsalted
- 1/4-1/2 tbsp salt Kosher
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Measure out 3 cups of raw pecans and put into 9 X 13 baking dish.
- Cut up 3 to 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and drop randomly onto the pecans.
- Cook in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove and stir well. At this time sprinkle 1/4 tablespoon of Kosher salt over the pecans and stir again.
- Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan and sprinkle another 1/8 to 1/4 tablespoon of salt over the top and stir well to make sure the pecans are all coated with butter and salt.
- Return to the over and cook one last time for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pour the nuts onto a flat pan or platter covered with paper towels to soak up any excess butter from the nuts.
- Allow to cool and serve.