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2 Ingredient Candied Walnuts | The Recipe Critic

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Elevate your food with these easy Candied Walnuts. With just sugar and walnut halves, these are a sweet and crunchy treat perfect for salads, desserts, or on their own as a delicious snack!

I love walnuts. They can be used as sweet or savory recipes, and they really take everything up a notch! Try some more recipes using walnuts like this Honey Walnut Shrimp, this delicious Walnut Pesto, or this sweet Walnut Pie!

The top view of a bowl of candied walnuts.

What are Candied Walnuts?

Get ready for the easiest little crunch that you can make and add to just about anything. My favorite way to eat candied walnuts is in a salad but that doesn’t stop me from eating these one their own after I make them!

Candied walnuts are walnuts with sugar that caramelizes in the oven and adds a deliciously sweet flavor to the classic nut. They totally transform any dish and can be added to desserts, salads or even charcuterie boards!

Ingredients in Candied Walnuts

This recipe only uses 2 ingredients… that’s right TWO! You will find the exact measurements on the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Sugar: This is what makes the walnuts nice and sweet!
  • Walnut Halves: These are the perfect size to add a little bit of crunch to just about anything.

How to Make Candied Walnuts

Whip these up and store them for a few weeks. Then you can use them on everything!

  1. Prep: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside. Make sure to have your pan prepped and forks handy before you start this recipe!
  2. Heat the Sugar: Pour the sugar into a medium-sized saucepan, then heat it over medium heat. You don’t want the heat too high because it can burn quickly. After about 5 minutes, the sugar will start to melt. This process can be slow depending on your stove, so be patient.
  3. Stir: Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely melted. The color will go from a light brown to a dark brown amber color.
  4. Coat the Walnuts: Once the sugar has completely melted and is dark in color, quickly add the walnuts to the pan. Working fast, stir with a wooden spoon to coat each walnut.
  5. Add to Baking Sheet: Immediately spread the sugar-coated walnuts onto the prepared sheet pan. Use two forks to separate the walnut halves from sticking to each other. The process has to be fast because the sugar hardens quickly.
  6. Cool: Allow the walnuts to dry and harden at room temperature for about 5 minutes.
A collage of 4 pictures showing how to melt down the sugar and add it to walnuts.

How to Serve Candied Walnuts

These walnuts are so delicious and can be used in so many things! Here are some ideas:

  • Sweet Potato Casserole: A lot of sweet potato casseroles use pecans as the crunchy topping, but try using candied walnuts instead. They deliver the same great crunch and yummy, sweet flavor.
  • Salads: Don’t be afraid to add these into a salad! I especially love them in a berry salad with some feta cheese. It’s so delicious!
  • Popcorn: Want to take your popcorn up a notch? Toss in these candied walnuts, and you will never go back!
  • On their own: These walnuts make a great snack all by themselves!

A close up of candied walnuts on parchment paper.

Change Them Up!

If you are looking to add a little bit of flavor (cinnamon, I’m looking at you!) to change these candied walnuts up, you can!

  • Add Cinnamon: A great way to make these even more delicious is to add a dash of cinnamon to the sugar. This makes the walnuts so delicious, especially around the holidays or in a delicious berry salad.
  • Add Pecans: Walnuts and pecans are so similar, you can use them both! Or if all you have is pecans, use those instead of walnuts altogether.

Storing Candied Walnuts

Let the walnuts cool completely before storing them. Transfer the nuts to an airtight container. Cover and store for up to 1 week at room temperature.

A salad being sprinkled with candied walnuts.

More Delicious Walnut Recipes

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  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside. Make sure to have your pan prepped and forks handy before you start this recipe!

  • Pour the sugar into a medium-sized saucepan, then heat it over medium heat. You don’t want the heat too high because it can burn quickly. After about 5 minutes, the sugar will start to melt. This process can be slow depending on your stove, so be patient.

  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely melted. The color will go from a light brown to a dark brown amber color.

  • Once the sugar has completely melted and is dark in color, quickly add the walnuts to the pan. Working fast, stir with a wooden spoon to coat each walnut.

  • Immediately spread the sugar-coated walnuts onto the prepared sheet pan. Use two forks to separate the walnut halves from sticking to each other. The process has to be fast because the sugar hardens quickly.

  • Allow the walnuts to dry and harden at room temperature for about 5 minutes.

  • Enjoy as a topping on salads, desserts, or as a snack.

Calories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.



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