How many of y’all go as crazy as I do for those crunchy candied walnuts that are in so many great restaurant salads… or constantly  buy them from the cheese counter at the grocery to accompany appetizers? Well, betcha didn’t know that it’s just as easy to make your own at home, and dare I say, they’re even more delicious. This is more of a “technique” than a recipe, and it’s one that I do all the time with walnuts, pecans, almonds… really whatever I have in the pantry. They keep so well stored in an airtight container and are really great to have on hand to pair with some great cheese, grapes or pear slices and a few crackers for a perfect 2-minute hors d’oeuvres. Of course, the hard part will be keeping them from being devoured the day you make them. (You may have to find a special hiding place for these.) Keep reading for the simple instructions…

Caramelized Walnuts


  • 1 cup walnut halves (or any other kind of nut you have on hand)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the walnuts, sugar and water; bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the walnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet, letting a little of the syrup drip onto the sheet with it. Sprinkle lightly with the salt & sugar, and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly caramelized. They’ll harden and get nice and crunchy as they cool.

You could totally sprinkle other spices and dried herbs onto the nuts before popping them into the oven – paprika or dried rosemary would be delish – but I love to keep these classic ones on hand since they’re so versatile. Store them for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.


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Comments (16)
  1. 1
    Quinn Cooper April 2, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I love doing this, you are right it is so simple and they truly are more delicious. With goat cheese you can also crush the nuts and then roll the log of goat cheese on the crushed nuts covering the outside in candied nuts. It makes the cheese look extra pretty and it tastes just as yummy!
    xo Quinn
    Quinn Cooper Style

    • Camille Styles April 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

      omg, yes yes yes! so amazing…

      • Katie Meyers, MeyersStyles April 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        Quinn / Camille – I do this all the time! It is beyond delicious & looks incredibly festive. Also, adding a drizzle of honey to the side of the plate as well is always a hit with my guests; they love adding another subtle sweet flavor to the existing combo.

  2. 2
    Peta April 2, 2013 at 6:41 am


  3. 3
    Alyssa April 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I love caramelized nuts. I love caramelizing brussel sprouts with walnuts, such a treat!

    • Camille Styles April 2, 2013 at 9:30 am

      oooh, flavor combo made in heaven. might need to hunt down some brussels sprouts for lunch today… 😉

  4. 4
    Laura April 2, 2013 at 9:39 am

    How simple! I had no idea. Sorry Whole Foods- next time I’ll try making them on my own!

  5. 5
    FripperyVintage April 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Love these, they are addictive.

  6. 6
    Sarah | Sarah The Architect April 2, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I love to make my own. It’s so easy and you know exactly what ingredients were used!!

  7. 7
    Melanie April 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

    thanks for providing an easy recipe for one of my all-time favorite treats!

  8. 8
    Meg Sylvia April 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I haven’t made these in ages! Thank you for the reminder, these look delicious!

  9. 9
    Chloe Moon April 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve always admired the candied nuts in The Melting Pot salads!! I have to try this out!!