These roasted mixed nuts are completely irresistible. They’re a little sweet, a little spicy, and nice and toasty.
These nuts will be a hit at your holiday parties, or a redeeming snack in between. I love to add fresh rosemary, so they taste like the holidays in the best way.
This recipe is so versatile, too. You can easily change up the nuts and seasonings to suit your preferences. These photos show my favorite iteration, made with pecans, almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
Ready to raid your pantry for the ingredients?
Roasted Party Nuts Ingredients
You’ll need a few simple ingredients to make the best party nuts.
Raw Mixed Nuts
Be sure to buy raw (not pre-roasted), unsalted nuts for this recipe. I’m partial to almonds, pecans and pepitas. The almonds get nice and crunchy, the pecans crisp up beautifully, and the pepitas clump together to form crackly green clusters.
You can use other nuts, too. Walnuts would be great in place of the pecans, hazelnuts would be fun, and peanuts are always delicious.
Real Maple Syrup
Just two tablespoons of maple syrup makes these nuts lightly sweet. As the mixture roasts in the oven, the maple syrup condenses and turns into a light candy coating. I love that these nuts are naturally sweetened and not at all sticky.
Baking the nuts at a relatively low temperature (325 degrees) and stirring frequently are the two keys to achieving perfectly roasted nuts with an even layer of candy coating.
A little melted butter offers extra richness and depth to these mixed nuts. They really taste like a treat.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan alternative, olive oil works well.
I like to use kosher salt in this recipe because I love the little bursts of saltiness it provides. You can use regular salt if you don’t have kosher salt on hand; your nuts will be more uniformly salty (not a bad thing, really).
Did you know that different salts vary in saltiness, by volume? See my recipe notes to find the right amount for your salt.
Vanilla extract adds another subtle layer of flavor. Nuts, maple syrup and vanilla are a trifecta of flavor.
Cayenne adds some subtle heat and balances the sweetness of the maple syrup. I love it.
With my fresh jar of cayenne, even 1/4 teaspoon has a good amount of kick. Feel free to scale back on the spice or omit it completely.
Watch How to Make Sweet & Spicy Party Nuts
Flavor Variations on Roasted Party Nuts
Make this recipe your own! Simply stir any of the following into the maple syrup mixture:
For rosemary mixed nuts (shown here), stir in 2 tablespoons finely snipped or chopped fresh rosemary. Preparing the rosemary is a little tedious and takes a few minutes, but it is 100 percent worth the effort.
For pumpkin spice or cinnamon mixed nuts, add between 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon, to taste.
For bourbon-spiked mixed nuts, add 1 to 3 teaspoons bourbon in place of the vanilla extract, to taste.
For sweeter party nuts (these are lightly sweet as written), double the maple syrup.
For extra-spicy or not-at-all-spicy nuts, adjust the cayenne pepper. You can even double the cayenne, or adjust to taste—sample the nuts tossed in the maple mixture and stir in more, if you’d like. Or for not-spicy nuts, simply omit the cayenne altogether.
Please let me know how these nuts turn out for you in the comments! I hope they make an appearance at your parties this season.
Looking for more holiday-worthy party snacks? I’ve got you covered.
- More nuts: Naturally Sweetened Candied Pecans or Basil Pesto Party Almonds
- Popcorn: Perfect Stovetop Popcorn, Sesame Caramel Corn or Cinnamon Maple Caramel Popcorn
- Chocolate treats: Chocolate Peppermint Cups or Chocolate Bark
- Baked goods: Cranberry Orange Muffins or The Best Granola
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 5 ½ cups 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
These party nuts are a little sweet and a little spicy. They’re completely irresistible! Be sure to buy unsalted, raw nuts for this recipe. Feel free to make it your own—I love to add fresh rosemary! Recipe yields 5 ½ cups mixed nuts.
- 2 cups whole almonds
- 2 cups pecan or walnut halves
- 1 ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Optional but so good: 2 tablespoons finely snipped or chopped fresh rosemary (from 4 big sprigs)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if sensitive to spice)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat so the maple syrup doesn’t get stuck to the pan (this is important). Pour the almonds, pecans and pepitas onto the pan and set it aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the optional rosemary (or any other added seasonings), maple syrup, melted butter, salt, vanilla, and cayenne (if you using). Gently whisk until blended.
- Pour the mixture over the nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Stir well, until all of the nuts are lightly coated. Spread the mixture in a single layer across the pan (the maple syrup will pool on the bottom of the pan, but that’s okay).
- Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes thereafter, until almost no maple syrup remains on the parchment paper and the nuts are deeply golden, 23 to 26 minutes. (The maple syrup coating will be a little sticky right out of the oven, but will harden as the pecans cool.)
- Remove the pan from the oven and stir the nuts one more time, spreading them into an even layer across the pan. Let them cool down for about 10 minutes, then, while the nuts are still warm, carefully separate any large clumps (this may or may not be necessary).
- Let the nut mixture cool completely on the pan. These will keep for up to 2 months in a sealed bag at room temperature.
*Salt note: I like how the large flakes of kosher salt make some bites a little saltier than others, but kosher salt’s weight varies considerably by brand. I used Diamond Crystal salt brand. If you’re using Morton kosher salt, use 1 teaspoon. If you’re using fine sea salt or regular table salt, use ¾ teaspoon.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the butter.
Change it up: Feel free to play around with the nuts in this recipe; you’ll need 5 ½ cups total. Whole cashews work, but don’t really crisp up. Hazelnuts would be nice. I tried using honey instead of maple syrup, but maple produces better flavor and a more candied (not sticky) texture.