Everyday Eats & Sweets / Recipes

Spiced Holiday Nuts (That Are Amazing Any Time of Year)

Herbed and spiced holiday nuts
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No holiday gathering is complete without a few bowls of holiday nuts scattered about, and these spiced and herbed nuts (from my book, The New Camp Cookbook) are the perfect bocaditos (as my family calls them)—or small bites—to pair with our other seasonal favorites, cranberry moscow mules and sparkling sugared cranberries. (Best if all served together for a pre-dinner treat!)

These holiday nuts have a wonderful buttery aroma (thanks to a quick pan roast that brings out the nuts’ richness) and a slightly spicy kick from fresh herbs and cayenne (that are not too overpowering).

Because they’re so easy to make, you can whip up a batch any night of the week and vary the flavors simply by using new combinations of nuts or spices.

What kind of spices to try

Rosemary and thyme are my favorites because I love the aroma of fresh herbs, but you can dig into your spice cabinet for other options too.

Other add-ins I like include aleppo pepper, lemon pepper, Madras curry powder, Cajun seasoning, smoked sea salt, and vanilla sugar (basically a homemade sugar with vanilla bean strips infused in it—the contrast of sweet and salty or sweet and spicy is really nice). Feel free to experiment and let me know what else I should try!

What kind of nuts to use

Use any of your favorite nuts in this recipe! My version photographed here includes cashews, walnuts, pecans, and almonds, but I’ve also made this with macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and even pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

The important thing is that they’re unsalted (so they don’t become overly salty when you spice ’em up).

Holiday nuts

Spiced Holiday Nuts

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unsalted mixed nuts (such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pecans)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the nuts and stir to coat with oil. Cook until they deepen in color and turn fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the salt, sugar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Spices and herbs for holiday nuts

Sprinkle the mixture on top of the nuts and stir to coat evenly. Remove the nuts from heat and let cool before serving.

Holiday spiced and herbed nuts
Yield: 3 cups

Spiced Holiday Nuts

Holiday nuts

No holiday gathering is complete without a few bowls of holiday nuts scattered about, and these spiced and herbed nuts are the perfect bocaditos (as my family calls them)—or small bites—to serve at a festive happy hour.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups unsalted mixed nuts (such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the nuts and stir to coat with oil. Cook until they deepen in color and turn fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the salt, sugar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the nuts and stir to coat evenly. Remove the nuts from heat and let cool before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 911Total Fat: 80gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 65gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1731mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 13gSugar: 11gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

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