This Roasted Nuts recipe features an irresistible combination of buttery nuts, savory herbs, and salty, spicy and sweet seasonings. Best of all, you’ll need just 7 ingredients, 5 minutes of preparation, and can use your favorite variety or any combination of raw nuts you love! These roasted homemade nuts make a wonderful, quick and easy appetizer for the holidays or great anytime snack. However, fair warning, these spicy nuts are downright delicious and always first to disappear at a party!
Featured comment: Omg, OUTSTANDING! I made a double batch of these! I love taking them with me on my hikes, it’s a great pick me up! I didn’t have fresh rosemary ( stay at home order) but my dried rosemary worked fine!” – Chameron
Continue to read on for comprehensive tips on preparing, serving and storing these sweet and spicy nuts in advance! Plus, easy ways to customize this recipe! And, don’t miss the step by step video showing you exactly how quick and easy these homemade toasted nuts are to prepare!
Update: This post was originally published in December 2014. I made updates to the post below to include more information about roasting nuts! Plus, I’ve added step-by-step photos and a recipe video to show you just how quick and easy it is to make the best snack nuts mix right at home!
I hope everyone is having a merry little holiday season!! I’m certainly hoping it’s filled with much love, cheer, friends, family, fabulous food and possibly a cocktail or two – you know, simply all the things you deserve!!
Today we are celebrating one of my favorite party snacks – because, these toasty, buttery, crunchy bites of heaven are absolutely perfect for your upcoming New Year party, whether you are hosting a group or staying low-key!
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About this spice nuts recipe
These savory and spicy rosemary roasted mixed nuts are comprised of my favorite flavor combination. Savory from the nuts, salt and butter, spicy from the cayenne pepper, and sweet from the brown sugar and maple syrup. And, finished off with a kiss of earthy undertone from the rosemary. These flavors make the nuts insanely delicious.
These crunchy, slightly buttery and rich nuts are a holiday staple in my house. Not only are they dangerously delicious, but they are also insanely quick and easy to prepare! This roasted nut recipe requires just seven ingredients and 5 minutes of hands-on preparation – just season, melt, mix and bake!!
These party nuts are the perfect counter snack – you know the bowl of “nibbles” you leave out on the kitchen counter for snacking – to set out at your next holiday party, or simple to have on hand for easy snacking!
If you’re looking for more appetizers perfect for entertaining, try these fan-favorites next: Homemade Gravlax Salmon, Phyllo Dough Appetizer, Smoked Salmon Roll Appetizer, Baked Brie en Croute, Camembert Cheese Baked, Pomegranate Cucumber Salsa, and Dessert Cream Cheese Dip.
Why you’ll love this roasted nuts recipe
- Simple pantry ingredients! You only need 7 staple ingredients to create the best homemade nut mix!
- Easy and fast to prepare! This recipe requires just 5 minutes of hands on preparation!
- SO much flavor! These buttery, toasty nuts are an irresistible mix of sweet, spicy, savory and salty!
- Customizable! You can easily customize this flexible recipe to suit your specific taste! Feel free to use your favorite variety or varieties of nuts and switch up the seasonings as you see fit!
- Make-ahead! You can make these nuts in advance – making this recipe perfect for holiday entertaining!
- Crowd favorite! Everyone (and I mean everyone!) absolutely swoons over these toasted nuts!! Be ready for people to ask you for the recipe!
- Perfect for every occasion! These nuts are fabulous and flavorful enough for holiday entertaining, yet quick and easy enough for anytime snacking!
Ingredients for spiced nut recipes
You only need a few simple ingredients to make the best party nuts! In fact, you probably already have all the ingredients hanging around your pantry and refrigerator!
- Raw Nuts: You can use any nut or combination of nuts for this recipe! Be sure to purchase unsalted and raw (not roasted) nuts for this recipe! (Please see below for the best varieties of nuts to roast.)
- Butter: A little unsalted butter provides a depth of rich, buttery flavor to these mixed nuts!
- Rosemary: Aromatic fresh rosemary gives the nuts a festive, sage-like, slightly peppery flavor!
- Brown Sugar: A tablespoon of light brown sugar adds a layer of robust, complex, caramel-like sweet flavor!
- Maple Syrup: A touch of pure maple syrup helps make these nuts slightly sweet! Make sure you use real maple syrup, and not the artificial pancake kind!
- Cumin: A teaspoon of ground cumin provides a warm, earthy and slightly smoky flavor that brings out the delicious sweetness in these party nuts!
- Cayenne: Cayenne pepper adds some slight heat and balances the sweetness of the sugar and maple syrup. You can easily scale back on the amount of cayenne; however, don’t leave it out completely!
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper: A bit of kosher salt provides a subtle saltiness and also enhances all the other flavors! While freshly cracked black pepper helps round out the flavor profile.
Do you want to make a few substitutions or additions to this recipe? Go for it! I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen and make these snack nuts your own! Below are a few ideas to help get you started!
- Dairy-Free nuts: If you’re looking to make dairy-free roasted nuts or vegan alternative, you swap out the butter for any neutral oil with a high-smoke point, such as grape-seed. Or you can match the oil to the nut, for example, using almond oil or walnut oil.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract will add a subtle layer of inviting flavor that pairs perfectly with the nuts and maple syrup! Make sure you use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor!
- Rosemary Nuts: Follow the recipe below!
- Sweet Nuts: To prepare sweet nuts (sans the spicy and the herbaceous), omit the rosemary and the cayenne from the recipe. Increase the maple syrup to 1 tablespoon.
- Spicy Nuts: If you are looking for extra-spicy nuts, double the amount of cayenne pepper (or simply scale it up a bit). You can either omit the rosemary or keep it, depending upon if your preference.
- Bourbon mixed nuts: If you want a warming, slightly boozy flavor, try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of bourbon to the butter mixture before tossing and roasting!
- Cinnamon party nuts: If you are looking for an ultra cozy, sweet and spicy snack, swap out the cumin for ground cinnamon!
Kitchen tools you’ll need
This spice nut recipe only requires very basic kitchen equipment!
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl(s)
- Kitchen mixing spoon
FAQs: frequently asked questions
What are the best nuts for roasting?
Think of this roasted nut recipe as a guide to creating the best homemade nut mix! You can easily use any nut variety or combination of nuts you and your family love – just be sure to use whole, raw, unsalted nuts!
- Cashews: Roasting cashews enhances their sweet flavor and adds a little extra crunch in the process. (Tip: If you’ve got leftover cashew nuts, use them in this delicious chicken salad recipe with curry.)
- Peanuts: Toasting peanuts brings out their crunchy texture and nutty flavor.
- Pecans: Toasting pecans brings out their nutty aroma.
- Walnuts: Roasting walnuts removes their bitterness. (Tip: If you’ve got leftover walnuts, use them in this candy nuts recipe.)
- Hazelnuts: Oven roasting intensifies hazelnuts unique flavor and develops their beautiful color! Be sure to use skinless (peeled) hazelnuts in this recipe.
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): Pepitas become wonderfully toasty and crunchy after roasting. Their neutral flavor makes them perfect for roasting as they absorb whatever flavors you use to season them.
- Almonds: Roasting almonds gives the otherwise bland nuts a bold, rich flavor.
- Pine nuts: While pine nuts are delicious, I don’t recommend roasting them as they are prone to burning quickly.
Why roast nuts?
There are two reasons why people roast nuts – to either shell the nut or enhance the nuts flavor! There are two main types of roasting, dry roasting and oil roasting. As the names suggests, dry roasting involves roasting without any oil, while oil roasting uses oil. While roasting typically indicates the oven and toasting denotes a skillet and the stovetop, you can use both words interchangeably.
- Flavor! The simple process of roasting (or toasting) enhances a nut all around – bringing out its flavor and magnifying its crunchy texture!
- Shelling! Sometimes roasting is simply used to separate the nutshell from the kernel.
How do you get spices to stick to nuts?
Spices will easily stick to nuts if you drizzle them with melted butter (see my recipe below)! Some other recipes, such as candied nuts, call for nuts to be tossed with egg whites while others will blanch the nuts in boiling water.
How to tell when nuts are done roasting in the oven?
Nuts very rarely take longer than 18 minutes to roast in the oven, so I suggest checking on them at the 15 minute mark! If they don’t appear darker in color and smell like nutty heaven, return them to the oven for another 2-3 minutes.
To test nuts for doneness, carefully (they’re hot!) pick up a nut and try to snap in in half. If it snaps crisply and easily, they are done roasting!
Are nuts healthier raw or roasted?
Both raw and roasted nuts provide health benefits! Nuts are rich in protein, fiber and Vitamin E, along with several heart-healthy substances, like Omega-3 fatty acids.
While roasted snack nuts contain more calories and sugar than raw ones, they still provide the same protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats as raw nuts! However, it is worth noting that some of the nutrients in nuts are sensitive to heat; therefore, some are slightly diminished during the roasting process.
How to roast and spice nuts
This snack nut recipe is so simple and totally fool-proof! Plus, there’s only 5 minutes of hands-on preparation – it’s as easy as season, melt, stir and bake!!
- Season the nuts: Add your favorite nut(s) to a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and spices over the nuts and mix to coat. Set aside.
- Prepare butter mixture: Melt the butter either using your microwave or stovetop. Once melted, stir in the fresh rosemary and let sit for 1 minute. Next, stir in the maple syrup.
- Pour butter over nuts: Pour the butter mixture evenly over the nuts. Stir and toss the nuts to coat them completely in the butter and seasonings.
- Spread on a sheet pan: Spread the nuts evenly out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake: Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and golden in color, tossing once halfway through baking.
- Optional: For the most flavor, sprinkle the nuts with Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) and flakes of sea salt.
- Cool: Remove the nuts from the oven and give them a good stir. Set aside and allow the nuts to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
- Serve: Transfer the nuts to a serving bowl and enjoy! You can serve these nuts warm, fresh from the oven, or at room temperature!
Expert tips for the best roasted nuts
- Nuts: You will need 2 1/2 cups of raw and unsalted nuts for the recipe. These photos show my favorite iteration of this recipe, made with 3/4 Cup Peanuts, 3/4 Cup Cashews, 1/3 Cup Walnuts, 1/3 Cup Almonds and 1/3 Cup Pecans. However, you can simply use one variety of nut if you like!
- Cayenne: The recipe below calls for 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne, but if you aren’t a fan of spicy food you can easily scale the cayenne back to 1/8 teaspoon or less! However, I wouldn’t omit it completely as it adds a layer of complexity that can’t be beat!
- For best flavor, make the nuts in advance: Seasoning and roasting the nuts a few hours (or a day) in advance of serving them allow the nuts to really soak up the flavors, which makes them taste even better! If you prepare these in advance, allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring them to a container with a tight fitting lid.
Step-by-step photos: making spicy nuts recipe at home
(Please scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe card at the bottom of the page!)
Storing and freezing instructions
Storage: How to keep roasted spice nuts fresh?
Unfortunately, roasted nuts spoil much faster than raw nuts as they’re more prone to oxidation. To keep your nuts fresher for longer, please follow the expert tips below for properly storing your nuts!
- No odors: Nuts will absorb odor, so be sure to keep them away from anything aromatic, such as onions or garlic!
- Dark and cool: Light can cause nuts to expire faster after roasting. Make sure you store them in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry!
- Airtight container: Always make sure you store your spiced nuts in an airtight container to keep them fresh, regardless of if you are keeping them in the refrigerator, freezer or at room temperature!
- Line the container: To keep your homemade nuts mix as dry as possible, line the storage container with a sheet (or two) of paper towel. The towel will soak up any extra oil that can cause the nuts to taste slightly rancid.
- Refrigerator or freezer: Heat and humidity can cause nuts to spoil much faster. To keep your nuts fresh for a longer period of time, consider storing them in the refrigerator or the freezer.
How long will spicy nuts keep?
Roasted nuts can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks to 3 months, depending upon where you store them! For longer storage, the fridge or freezer is ideal!
- Room Temperature: Store roasted nuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- Refrigerator: Keep nuts in a resealable bag or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- Freezer: Nuts will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months! Make sure you store them in a freezer-safe resealable bag and portion them into individual snack-portions for easy grab-and-go treats!
Recipe testimonials – What people are saying about this recipe
Here’s what readers are saying about this easy roasted nuts mix recipe!
- “Delicious! Will make all the time!! So easy and seriously addicting.” –Katie
- “Soooo good. Make them for friends and family members as gifts every year.” –Meagan
- “These are addicting!!!! Used raw almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds. Perfect with wine and cheese for an app!” –SueEllen
- “Absolutely perfect! Cut down the cayenne as suggested and these were amazing!” –Teri
More holiday snack mixes!
How to roast nuts at home (with step by step video!)👇
Sweet, Savory & Spicy Roasted Nuts
- Sheet pan
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowls
- Small saucepan (if melting butter on stovetop)
- 2 ½ Cups Raw, Unsalted Nuts - any variety or varieties you love! (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds)
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
- 2 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 heaping TBS Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped (can substitute 2 1/4 tsp Crushed Dried Rosemary)
- 1 TBS Light Brown Sugar - heaping and packed
- 1 tsp Cumin
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- scant ¼ tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Optional for finishing: 1 TBS Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw) and/or 2 tsp Flaked Sea Salt (Maldon)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Melt butter: Melt butter using the stovetop or the microwave (directions below)!(In the Microwave) Place butter in the microwave- safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute. Continue to microwave at 50% power for 10 second increments until just melted. Stir in the rosemary and set aside for 1 minute. Stir in the maple syrup. Set aside.(On the Stovetop) In a medium sized sauté pan, over medium low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Set aside.
- Season nuts: Place the nuts in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, cumin, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Stir well and set aside.
- Add butter to nuts: Pour the butter over the nuts. Stir and toss to completely coat. Transfer the seasoned nuts to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them in a single even layer.
- Bake: Bake nuts for 10 minutes. Remove and stir, arranging nuts into a single layer. Return nuts to oven and continue to roast for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until they are aromatic and light golden in color (they will get darker upon sitting).
- OPTIONAL (for more flavor!): While the nuts are still hot and fresh out of the oven (on the pan), sprinkle the Turbinado sugar and flaked sea salt evenly over the nuts.
- Cool: Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and stir the nuts, spreading them back out into an even single layer once. Set aside and allow the nuts to cool on the pan for 15 minutes.
- Serve: Transfer to a serving bowl or a container with a tight fitting lid for storage. Enjoy!
- Nuts: You will need 2 1/2 cups of nuts for the recipe, and while I used a combination of nuts, you can use a single variety or two varieties of nut if desired! Use your favorite nut, whatever you have on hand, or whatever is cheapest at the store! For those of you wondering, shown in the photos is: 1 Cup Cashews with 1/2 cup each: Peanuts, Walnuts & Pecans.
- Nuts continued: Please use RAW and UNSALTED nuts in this recipe!
- Cayenne: The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne, but if you aren't a fan of spicy food, scale the cayenne back to 1/8 teaspoon! If you love spicy food, you can increase the cayenne to 1/2 teaspoon.
- These nuts get better with time: Preparing and roasting the nuts a few hours (or a day) in advance of serving them is strongly recommended! The extra time really allows the nuts to really soak up all the flavors, making them taste even better! If you prepare these in advance, allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring them to a container with a tight fitting lid. Store at room temperature until ready to serve!
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