Spicy roasted nuts made in a skillet are a quick and easy appetizer you can make in just a few minutes. A healthy snack that’s perfect for game day or when friends stop by.
When I’m looking for a savory snack that’s not salty or sweet, roasted nuts are always a great choice. Whether it’s pecans, walnuts, cashews or almonds, they make everything from raspberry muffns to sweet potato casserole a little better.
So it’s no surprise that they’re fabulous when coated with just a few seasonings you probably already have in your pantry.
Roasted nuts are a perfect pick me up when you don’t want something sweet. Most of the time, people add sugar to nuts, but the sugar can easily mask the wonderful flavor of the nuts themselves.
I prefer a seasoning that enhances their rich flavor. This combination is both savory and spicy with warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, cayenne to make them spicy and cumin for a savory touch. It calls for just a little butter to keep the coating on, but not enough to make them greasy.
Don’t like spicy, roasted nuts with sage are a great alternative if you want savory without the heat.
Instead of baking the nuts you’ll roast them in a skillet. Roasting nuts brings out their flavor, and by using a skillet you can easily see when they’re done.
These are great for holiday parties and make a nice hostess or teacher gift. That is if you can keep them around long enough to give away!
Pro tip: If you use a combination of whole and chopped nuts, the chopped ones will burn before the whole nuts are roasted. It’s best to use all whole nuts if available. If not, chop the larger nuts so they are the same size as the smaller nuts.
Why you’ll love roasted nuts
- It’s nice to have a healthy snack that’s sugar free and full of flavor!
- You can select any mixture of nuts you like
- This takes about 15 minutes total to put together
- It’s perfect for sharing when people get together
- These spicy nuts make the perfect DIY gift – add them to a glass jar and tie a colorful ribbon around the top to share!
Ingredients for making spiced nuts
- Mix of raw nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews are my favorites and are readily available where I live. You can also include macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios or Brazil nuts. Whichever you choose they should all be raw unsalted nuts.
- Butter – since you’re adding salt, if you use salted butter, adjust the salt accordingly
- Spice mix – cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and cloves
How do you make a batch of spicy nuts
Step 1 –
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the spices to the melted butter and stir until they are well combined.
Step 2 –
Add the nuts of your choosing, stirring until they are coated with the spiced butter mixture, then sauté until the nuts are toasted, 8-10 minutes.
Step 3 –
Remove the nuts from the heat sprinkle with salt. Spread them in a single layer on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper.
Let them cool so the spices have a chance to stick to the nuts, they are best served at room temperature.
What to serve with spicy nuts
These nuts are a great snack on their own! But they’re also great on a charcuterie board. The spicy flavors go great with cheese and olives. It’s always nice to have at least one appetizer for folks that don’t want a sweet snack or need something dairy or gluten free.
Tips for making roasted nuts
How do you store roasted nuts?
They’ll stay fresh in an airtight container for several weeks. For longer storage, freeze them and they’ll last a year before they start to loose their flavor.
How long do spicy nuts last?
You can store these spicy nuts for 2-3 weeks on your counter in an airtight container. They will keep longer in your fridge or freezer.
Can something other than butter be used to prepare the nut mixture?
Yes, you can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or vegetable oil.
How do the spices stick to the nuts?
The butter or oil you select to cook the nuts in will help keep the spices on the nut mix even after they’ve cooled.
More great appetizers to share
Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
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Spicy Roasted Nuts
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 teaspoon flaky salt
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add the nuts stirring until they are completely coated with the spiced butter mixture, continue to cook until the nuts are toasted and are turning brown, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the nuts from the heat, sprinkle with salt and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to cool.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Other nuts to consider adding to your mix are roasted peanuts, pistachios, or Brazil nuts
- Try to keep all of the nuts about the same size, otherwise the small ones will burn before the large ones are roasted.
- You can use other oils in place of the butter.