Simple Pecan Recipe Ideas

by Info Guru Elizabeth Sobiski

Pecans are packed with good-for-you nutrients.

Protein, fiber, healthy fats, and 19 vitamins and minerals make these nuts a great option for any cook. If you’re not familiar with using nuts in the kitchen, no problem. We scoured cookbooks and online resources to find the top 10 simplest pecan recipes. Put on your best apron and get cooking!

10. Maple pecan popcorn

Maple pecan popcorn

You don’t need caramel or kettle corn with this sweet treat nearby. Take 2 – 3 cups of air-popped popcorn, add ¼ cup natural pecans, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of date sugar and mix in 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. This quick mix might be the greatest TV snack ever. If you can’t find or don’t want to use date sugar, replace it with an equal amount of brown sugar.

9. Pecan pralines

Pecan pralines

This recipe uses a candy thermometer, used for measuring the temperature of melted sugar. White and brown sugars are combined in a saucepan over medium heat, gently mixing in light cream. Once the temperature reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit, mix in some butter, brandy and pecans. The mixture is then dropped by the spoonful onto a prepared baking sheet and left to cool. The full recipe can be found here.

8. Easy candied pecans

Easy candied pecans

If pralines seem too intimidating, here is a recipe for candied pecans that only takes five minutes and four ingredients. Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of brown sugar with 1 ½ teaspoons water, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of pecans in a small bowl. Heat all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring often so the sugar does not burn. Spread the mixture on a parchment paper lined pan and let cool. Break into pieces and enjoy.

7. Pecan protein smoothie

Pecan protein smoothie

Smoothies are an excellent way to get quick nutrition and are handy meal replacements when there simply isn’t time to eat. Begin by soaking pecans for at least 2 hours in water. Take the softened pecans, 2 cups of water, 2 frozen bananas, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons vanilla, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt and whir in a blender until smooth. Pour into two glasses and you’re ready to go.

6. Pecan salad

Pecan salad

This idea is possibly the simplest of the bunch. Take chopped, toasted pecans and toss a few on your salad. They add crunch and nutrition. For a fall salad, add pears, dried cranberries and feta or goat cheese to your greens. The added flavor and textures elevate a simple salad into something more interesting and enjoyable.

5. Pecan pancakes

Pecan pancakes

There are a couple of ways to add pecans to your pancakes. One is to grind the pecans into tiny pieces using a food processor. Mix them into your favorite pancake batter and cook the cakes like you normally would. Another option is to scatter toasted, chopped pecans on the stack of cakes with your maple syrup.

4. Rockier road parfaits

Rockier road parfaits

Take a batch of chocolate pudding and spoon it into 4 serving glasses, keeping about ¾ cup of pudding to the side. Mix this pudding with thawed whipped dessert topping and layer it on top of the chocolate pudding. Top this layer with chopped pecans, miniature marshmallows and mini chocolate chips. The chocolate lovers around you will definitely appreciate this one.

3. Pecan pesto

Pecan pesto

Who said pecan dishes had to be sweet? Here is a variation of the classic pesto made with pecans instead of pine nuts. Place a clove of garlic, 3 cups of fresh basil leaves and ½ cup toasted pecans in a food processor. Once the machine is going, slowly add ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Pour into a bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper as desired.

2. Buttery cinnamon pecans

Buttery cinnamon pecans

Another quick pecan snack – adapted for vegans. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon stevia leaf, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Add pecans to the mixture when it is hot, stirring it thoroughly. Serve slightly warm or cooled and store leftovers in the refrigerator. If you like food on the spicy side, add a dash of cayenne pepper to the mix before adding the pecans.

1. Seeded pecan granola

Seeded pecan granola

Granola is easy to make and good for you. Maple coated pecans are mixed with oats, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and coconut oil, then baked to perfection. Recipe details can be found here. In the morning, grab your favorite bowl and serve this granola with some thick yogurt for a wonderful breakfast.

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