Do you have a couple recipes that are a “go to”? Those ones that people can’t get enough of, and just always turn out? If you need one more, try these spiced nuts! It seems like every family gathering we have, there’s spiced nuts, a large bowl of hummus, cheese and crackers, and wine. Those are the staples, what more do you need?

There are a million spiced nut recipes out there, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made half of them. They are generally all good (I mean, how could a nut be bad?) But not all of them are as addictive as these are. These have become my go to in the spiced nut category, and I like to switch up the spices and or add herbs occasionally.

I wanted to have some appetizers for my guests at Thanksgiving, and I knew that nuts were a requirement. I almost added finely chopped rosemary to these, because I saw Nigella do that once, and she’s pretty much my main food star crush these days. But on T-Day, there’s rosemary and sage in almost everything… so I thought it best to not go overboard with it.

So here you go, my fool-proof, delicious and basic spiced nut recipe. Like the little black dress of the appetizer world, you can dress these up or down and take it any direction you like.

What other appetizer ideas do you need? I’m also making butternut squash hummus, a simple cheese plate, and a pickle plate. For more ideas, recipes and Thanksgiving musings, check out my latest link round up from the Sugar Pickles Newsletter, Thanksgiving Edition:

From the Pickle Jar:

  • First off, you need to brine [your turkey]. Read more on how to brine, what it means and the science behind it in this amazing  Turkey brining run-down from Serious Eats
  • So now that we have established that brining is great, what about cooking the darn bird!!!? Well, here’s one more mind-blowing article from Serious Eats: Spatchcocking (no, that isn’t a dirty word). I did it last year and I’m doing it again this year! 
  • Wondering what to do with that extra can of pumpkin you bought? Here’s some great recipes from Bon Appetit. 
  • I’ve got a couple pumpkin recipes myself: Sugar Pickles + Canned Pumpkin. 
  • Getting into the gift buying this weekend? Consider visiting the linen section for your wrapping of choice.
  • Love, love, love these pie crust designs. Since I am still making pie this year, at least this artful way of making the crust is keeping it interesting. 
  • You know, every year around this time I start asking the question: Why do I only make this meal ONCE a year?? I need a regular supply of turkey, stuffings or dressings, and most definitely cranberry sauce! Every year, the day of Thanksgiving, I vow to make these delicious sides and mains more. This year, when winter is dragging on, I’m actually going to pull out my gravy stained cookbook and do it again– in some form or another. Maybe its cornbread dressing with a roasted chicken, or a quick simple cranberry sauce with greek yogurt? Maybe it will take the form of a green bean casserole on a weeknight. I don’t know, but it will happen. This meal is just too good for once a year! Here’s a turkey soup recipe to get your juices flowing.  

Traveling this season? Check out this post on travel snacks, also featuring nuts and other make ahead items.


Classic Spiced Nuts
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3 1/2 cups
  • about 3 1/2 cups raw, unsalted nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, pecans, cashews and almonds)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or freshly grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes until they are lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes or so, meanwhile reducing the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and the water until foamy. Add the cooled nuts and toss to coat. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, spices, salt, and pepper. Add to the nuts and toss with a spatula or spoon to coat thoroughly.
  3. Spread the nuts back onto the baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes. Stir, and then return to the oven to bake another 25 minutes. The nuts will appear dry when they are done.
  4. Loosen them from the baking sheet and let them cool to room temperature on the sheet. It is important to let them cool completely on the sheet before storing them in an airtight container, this is how they will stay crisp. You can make these ahead, up to 1 month before serving them. They never last that long here.

This method is a variation on the Sweet and Spicy Hazelnuts that Kathy Casey outlines in her wonderful, useful, and tasty book Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table.