Vivian's Spiced Nuts

Vivian’s Spiced Nuts

Foamy & Spicy Roasted Pecan Nuts Recipe

These spiced nuts are requested often by friends, especially around the holiday season. Fall is pecan season here in the south and Vivian Howard certainly takes advantage of all the south has to offer. I make this as close to her recipe as possible.

Vivian’s recipe calls for 4 cups of pecan halves or pieces. I only used 2 cups. The recipe I am posting is for 2 cups.


  • 2 Cups of Pecans (shelled and halved)
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Ground Chipotle
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Paprika


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the whites till they are very foamy. Continue whisking and slowly add the salt and sugar. Bring the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Then whisk in the Chipotle, Coriander, Cumin and Paprika.
  3. Using a spatula, fold in the pecans, taking care to coat them evenly in the egg white mixture. Transfer the egg-white coated nuts to a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper of a Silpat. Spread the nuts out into a single layer so they cook evenly.
  4. Bake the pecans on the center rack of your oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and, using a metal spatula, turn them over and break up any clumps you see.
  5. Do this a couple more times over the course of 15-20 minutes more minutes.
  6. The pecans will be a dark brown and should sound dry and flat rather than muddled and moist when you tap them with your spatula. This should take about 30 minutes in total, but the freshness of your pecans will really determine the cook time.  Just shelled pecans will require more time in the oven than those from the grocery store.
  7. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the sheet tray. Break them up once they’re cool. Store the pecans in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Watch How To Make It

Our Video Transcript

In the spirit of the love of food, we’re still celebrating Thanksgiving. While my turkey is cooking, I’ll be preparing some appetizers to bring to my friend’s house. As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Vivian Howard and her cookbook, Deep Run Routes. I had the pleasure of attending her book signing, where she graciously signed my copy.

So, a big shoutout to Vivian and all the wonderful folks at the Chef and the Farmer. In tribute to her, I’ll be making Vivian’s favorite pecans. You might have tried spiced nuts before, but hers are a healthier and absolutely fabulous version. Since it’s a small gathering today, I won’t be using the full recipe. Instead, we’ll be cutting it in half.

To start, we’ll need pecans. Although pecans typically grow in the South during this time of year, I didn’t have access to a pecan tree or a farmers market. So, I simply bought some pecans from the store. The original recipe calls for four cups, but we’ll adjust accordingly.

First, we’ll use an egg white, which requires the help of a KitchenAid mixer. We’ll beat the egg white until it becomes foamy and stiff. Additionally, I’ll add a quarter cup of sugar, considering the adjusted recipe. To enhance the flavor, we’ll incorporate ground cumin, paprika, coriander, Chipotle, and a pinch of salt. These spices will elevate the taste of our pecans.

Once we’ve whipped our egg whites in the KitchenAid, we’ll gradually add the sugar, salt, and spices mixture. Carefully fold in the pecans until they are well-coated. Preheat the oven and place the pecans on a baking tray. Make sure they’re spread out, so they don’t stick together while baking.

After the initial 10 minutes in the oven, we’ll remove the tray and break the pecans apart, ensuring even cooking and preserving the coating. Then, we’ll return them to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. You can check on them every 10 minutes to make sure they’re progressing as desired.

These pecans are always a hit! I’ve made them before and shared them with others who were eager for the recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy them too. Stay tuned for more culinary adventures. I’ll try to capture a few shots or maybe even record a video once the egg whites are ready.

Thank you for joining me in this journey. Let’s proceed to whisk in a teaspoon of paprika, half a tablespoon each of Chipotle, cumin, and coriander. Mix it all well into the egg white mixture. Now, let’s gently fold in the pecans until they are evenly coated. The aroma is already delightful!

Once the pecans are coated, spread them out on the baking tray. Make sure they’re not too close to each other, as we want to avoid sticking during the cooking process. We want to ensure that each pecan gets fully coated with the flavorful mixture. These pecans look beautiful even before they’re cooked, don’t they?

Now, we’ll let them bake in the oven for the first ten minutes. After that, we’ll break them apart and make sure they’re not sticking together. It’s important to give them enough space on the tray for easier handling during cooking. These nuts will derive their flavor primarily from the wonderful spices rather than excessive oil or butter.

Remember, this recipe doesn’t call for a lot of oil or butter. The spices are what make these pecans truly delicious. They’re going to be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving feast. I’m just spreading them out on the tray, and then we will come back to take a photo of the pecans once they’re done. Remember, after the first ten minutes, we’ll break them apart and ensure they’re not sticking together. Then, we’ll return them to the oven for another ten minutes.

During this second round of cooking, we’ll keep an eye on them. If they look like they’re cooking well and turning golden, we’ll leave them alone and let them cook for a total of 30 minutes. The aroma filling the kitchen is simply wonderful!

Once they’re ready, we’ll take them out of the oven and allow them to cool. Don’t forget to take a photo of the final result. These pecans are going to be a real treat, and they’re so visually appealing as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this culinary adventure and will relish these flavorful pecans. Stay tuned for more delicious recipes and exciting cooking endeavors. Thank you for joining me, and happy Thanksgiving!