Glazed walnuts are quick to cook on the stovetop and made with just 3 ingredients! Add them to snack boards or use as a garnish for salads and desserts. Switch up the spices for endless flavor combinations! Healthier than traditional candied walnuts and sweetened with pure maple syrup, these glazed nuts contain no egg whites, dairy, or refined sugar.
What are glazed walnuts?
Generally, glazed nuts are any type of nut, such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds, that has been cooked in a syrup until the sugars caramelize and the nuts are coated in a shiny, mirror glaze of deliciousness.
Sometimes people use the terms candied, glazed, and caramelized interchangeably when talking about nuts, but there are a few common differences.
Candied Nuts vs Glazed Nuts
Candied nuts tend to have a crunchy, crystallized sugar coating, and they're often made with egg white and granulated sugar. Glazed nuts have a shiny coating of some type of syrup, usually corn syrup.
Both types of candied nuts are sweet, a little salty, often spiced, and usually make an appearance around the holiday season.
But really, both types of nuts are versatile enough to enjoy throughout the year! The rich and sweet morsels can add texture and contrasting flavors to salads, noodles, grain dishes, and desserts.
They're also a great addition to breakfast dishes like French toast and pancakes. For parties, add these glazed walnuts to cheese trays and snack boards!
- Walnuts: Look for raw walnut halves. Nuts labeled as "halves and pieces" can also work as long as the pieces are large.
- Spices: I used pumpkin spice but cinnamon or gingerbread spices are also great. You can also have fun with unique blends like garam masala and chai. Add black pepper or cayenne for a kick.
- Maple syrup: This is the key sweetener and the only type of syrup I recommend for this recipe. As a substitute for maple syrup, you can experiment with ½ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar plus 2 tablespoons water.
See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
How to Make Glazed Walnuts
You'll need a large skillet or non-stick pan and some parchment paper. Prep is very simple...
Preheat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium/low heat. Dry toast the nuts for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the maple syrup, spices, and salt, and stir well. When the syrup begins to bubble, reduce heat to low.
Stirring frequently, cook until the maple syrup has darkened slightly and condensed, about 4 minutes. When most of the liquid has evaporated and the syrup looks thickened and glossy, turn off the heat.
Spoon the walnuts onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread them out in a single layer. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving, or closer to 30 minutes if storing for later.
Tip: If the glazed nuts end up a bit sticky, it just means you may need to cook them longer next time.
Ways to Use Glazed Walnuts
- Savory: Omit the pumpkin spice, and enjoy maple glazed walnuts on salads, rice and noodle dishes, and alongside your favorite crackers and cheeses as part of a charcuterie or snack board.
- Dessert: Sprinkle on ice cream, pudding and milkshakes.
- Breakfast: Pair glazed walnuts with non-dairy yogurt, oatmeal, and fresh fruit. They're also perfect for pancakes, waffles, and French Toast!
- Other nuts: Instead of walnuts this recipe also works with pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, or a blend of different nuts.
- Sweet & savory: Get creative with savory spices like curry powder, chili powder and cumin, or harissa for a spicy kick.
- Other spices: Cinnamon is delightful, or try ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and clove, chai, or garam masala.
There's really no limit to the flavor combinations you can create!
How to Store Glazed Walnuts
Make sure the nuts are completely cool before transferring to an airtight storage container. Store at room temperature or refrigerated for up to a week, not that they'll last that long!
After cooling completely, the walnuts shouldn't be sticky, but if they are, they're still fine to eat. To avoid sticky glazed walnuts next time, cook them a little bit longer.
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I hope you enjoy these glazed walnuts. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know how you like to serve them!
Maple Glazed Walnuts (Easy, 3 Ingredients!)
- 1 ½ cups raw walnut halves
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- scant ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons pumpkin spice, optional - Omit for certain uses; also try cinnamon or other spice blends
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or cutting board, and set aside. Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium/low heat. Dry toast the walnuts for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the maple syrup, spices, and salt, and stir very well. When the syrup begins to bubble, reduce heat to low. Stirring frequently, cook until the maple syrup has darkened slightly and condensed, about 4 minutes. When most of the liquid has evaporated and the syrup looks thickened and glossy, remove from heat.
- Transfer the glazed walnuts to the parchment paper, and spread out in a single layer. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving, or cool completely (30 to 40 minutes) before placing in a storage container.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.