This savory rosemary spiced nuts recipe is the perfect anytime snack or appetizer. The mix of almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios and pumpkin seeds are crunchy, salty, savory, sweet and even a little spicy. They’ve got it all! 

spiced nuts in a white bowl set on a wood table

Why I Love this Savory Spiced Nuts Recipe

My mom makes this recipe every year for the holidays. There’s always a big jar full of these nuts on the kitchen island and it’s hands down one of my favorite holiday treats because they’re perfectly balanced between sweet, salty, savory and spicy. Don’t expect traditional candy-coated sugared nuts, no, these are flavorful, interesting and far more nuanced!

What are Spiced Nuts?

Spiced nuts are essentially nuts (either all the same kind of nut or a mixture) coated in oil, sugar and spices. They’re roasted until golden brown and toasty. Once cooled, the nuts are extra-crunchy and full of flavor.

spiced nuts in a white bowl set on a wood table

Ingredients Needed for Spiced Nuts

A mixture or raw nuts — my favorite combination is almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds. This combination hits all the crunch levels but feel free to use what you like or have on hand. Just make sure to use raw unsalted nuts. 

Pure maple syrup — this is what (not surprisingly) adds sweetness. But it also makes the nuts even more crunchy once cooled. Make sure you use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup.

Dried Rosemary — adds a wintery/earthy flavor to the nuts. Nothing else does the trick.

Spices — curry powder and cayenne add major oomph to these nuts. I don’t recommend substituting the curry powder for something else, but if you have to, check out this DIY curry powder recipe. Use as many of the spices it calls for, if you’ve got ‘em. 

Salt — kosher salt is an important ingredient here. Table salt just isn’t the same. I also like to sprinkle flaky sea salt over the nuts right before they go in the oven—but that’s completely optional. 

How to Make Spiced Nuts

The process couldn’t be simpler. 

  1. Toss the raw nuts together.
  2. Whisk together maple syrup, rosemary, curry powder, salt, and cayenne. 
  3. Drizzle maple syrup mixture over nuts and toss to coat. 
  4. Transfer the nut mixture to a baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
  5. Roast the nuts until golden brown and fragrant.
  6. Let cool completely then store in an airtight container. 

How to Serve Spiced Nuts

  1. Set them out as a snack or appetizer in a small bowl.
  2. Add them to a charcuterie board. 
  3. Package them up in small jars and gift them for the holidays.
  4. Most importantly, let the nuts cool completely before serving. I do not recommend serving warm.
spiced nuts in a white bowl set on a wood table

FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips

Can I use brown sugar instead of maple syrup?

I haven’t tested this, but I predict the sugar will burn. I recommend sticking with pure maple syrup.

Can I freeze these?

You can freeze these nuts for up to 1 month. I recommend letting then thaw, spread out on a baking sheet, at room temperature, for a few hours.

My nuts have become sticky and kind of soft, why?

If the nuts are not fully cooled before being transferred to an airtight container they will release steam in the jar and cause the nuts to soften and become sticky. It’s absolutely imperative that the nuts cool completely before being stored. Additionally, if the jar or container of nuts are left open and the air is relatively humid, the nuts can soften and become sticky. Keep them sealed when not being eaten.

These don’t need oil?

No olive oil or melted butter needed! Some recipes even rely on egg white for crisping, but the maple syrup does all the heavy lifting here!

Can I use store-bought mixed nuts?

If you can find mixed nuts that are raw and unsalted, go right ahead! I have never found that which is why I call for a cup amount of each.

More Healthy Appetizer Recipes to Try…

Did you make this Spiced Nuts Recipe? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave a star rating!

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spiced nuts in a white bowl set on a wood table

Mom’s Spiced Nuts Recipe

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 ½ cups 1x
  • Category: Snack / Appetizer
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, this spiced nut recipe will quickly become a favorite. Serve these as a snack, appetizer or addition to charcuterie boards.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¾ cup raw shelled pistachios
  • ⅔ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flaky sea salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F (163ºC); coat a baking sheets with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together maple syrup, rosemary, curry powder, kosher salt and cayenne. Add the nuts and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Transfer nuts to prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt over nuts; optional.
  5. Bake until toasted and golden brown, 20—25 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  6. Let nuts cool completely on sheet. Use a metal spatula to scrape nuts off pans; transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


Notes

  • If you’re sensitive to spice, you can use black pepper instead of cayenne.
  • Raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) can be hard to find sometimes. Look in the bulk bin section of your grocery store. Roasted unsalted pepitas will work fine—they won’t burn.
  • It’s imperative that you let the nuts cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Keywords: Spiced nuts, Spiced nuts recipe, savory spiced nuts recipe, rosemary spiced nuts

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This recipe and article were originally published on December 14, 2015. It was most recently updated on November 18th, 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. Super easy and very tasty. I could even add a bit more cayenne, but I like hot spicy. Thanks for the yummy recipe.