Make these Sweet and Spicy Nuts and let your slow cooker do most of the work for you. Walnuts, sweetened with a spiced glaze are roasted in a Crockpot and then finished in the oven. Perfect for snacking, salads, cheeseboards, and holiday gifting!
Salads are one of those things that taste SO much better when someone else makes it for you. Lucky for me, my mom makes the best salads. She was just here, and I bugged her for a salad every single day. Even better, Clay is super into dinosaurs right now, so he’s been asking for “tyrannosaurus salads.” For more ideas on how to elevate your greens, check out our salad dressing recipes for some inspiration.
So what makes a great salad? It’s all about a variety of flavors and textures, which is why I love adding nuts to my salads for sweetness and crunch (and a boost of plant-based protein). If you are interested in learning how to add some extra crunch to salads or snacks, I recommend our guide on how to toast almonds.
Hayley shared this brilliant slow cooker spiced nut method, so I immediately had to make it. Seriously, why have I never thought of this before? I love how easy and versatile this recipe is. Whether added to a salad or just as a snack, these slow cooker sweet and spicy nuts are absolutely delicious. So dust off that Crockpot and let’s slow cook some nuts.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Nuts Ingredients
- Walnuts – or any nut of your choice.
- Brown Sugar – develops into a sugary-sweet candied coating.
- Cinnamon & Freshly Ground Nutmeg – are warming flavors that spice things up.
- Honey – adds an additional layer of sweetness.
- Pure Maple Syrup – adds hints of caramel and vanilla.
- Butter – develops into a decadent brown butter when slow-cooked and adds rich color and flavor.
- Sea Salt – I love to use fleur de sel. The saltiness enhances the rest of the flavors.
How to Make – The Steps
Step 1. Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
Step 2. Mix it together.
Step 3: Cook on Low for 1.5 hours. Stir every once in and while.
Step 4: After an hour and a half, the sugar will have melted, and the nuts will be coated.
Step 5: Spread the nuts out onto a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Taste them and see if they need more salt. I like mine salty. Let the nuts cool.
Step 6: You can store the nuts in an air-tight container for about 2 weeks.
Tips & Tricks
- Slow cooking dry-roasted nuts are essentially cooking them twice (aka overcooking them), so use RAW unflavored nuts for the best texture and flavor.
- Using a variety of your favorite nuts is encouraged! Just be sure to use nuts that are similar sizes so they cook at the same rate. For instance, pistachios will slow cook much faster than walnuts and thus burn. We have some delicious candied pecans that illustrate the importance of sizing.
- Line slow cooker with parchment paper or Crockpot liners for easy clean-up.
- Place a layer of heavy-duty paper towels over the nuts in the slow-cooker. The paper towels will absorb the moisture from the nuts and catch condensation from the lid -resulting in a crunchier nut.
Why are Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Nuts So Good?
- Fix it and forget it. Roasting nuts low and slow creates a beautifully caramelized coating (and makes your house smell amazing).
- Great for entertaining. These nuts are heavenly served alongside charcuterie and cheeses, or as part of a market salad with orange tarragon dressing.
- Holiday gifting! Store in glass jars for the perfect DIY gift. If you’re looking for a sweet option, consider candied pecans.
- Customizable. You can use any combination of nuts, spices, herbs, etc. For a different twist, try our orange and rosemary pecans.
- There are dozens of different directions you can take these nuts.
- Try sweetening things up even more by adding a vanilla bean to the slow cooker or add heat with a dash of cayenne, cumin or chili powder.
- Cut out the refined sugar by using date sugar or coconut sugar in place of brown sugar.
- Try these yummy nuts added to DIY trail mix with mix-ins like pretzels, dried bananas, M & M’s, etc.
How to Store
Homemade spiced nuts are best stored in an airtight container away from stinky foods like onion and garlic as they absorb flavors fast. Roasted nuts can be stored in a dry, cool place for up to 2 weeks.
To extend the flavor of fresh nuts, they can be refrigerated in a sealed glass container for 4 to 6 months.
Spiced nuts freeze well when stored in airtight single-serving containers. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Nuts
- 1 pound walnuts or any kind that you like
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt I love to use fleur de sel
- Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
- Mix it together.
- Cook on Low for 1.5 hours. Stir every once and awhile.
- After an hour and a half, the sugar will have melted, and the nuts will be coated.
- Spread the nuts out onto a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Taste them and see if they need more salt. I like mine salty. Let the nuts cool.
- You can store the nuts in an air tight container for about 2 weeks.