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Healthy Candied Walnuts

Healthy candied walnuts! It’s a real thing. All the flavor of a traditional candied walnuts recipe but a slightly lighter version. These slightly spicy candied walnuts are perfect for on top of a salad, straight out of the jar or as a an easy hostess gift!

healthy candied walnuts

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Who else loves snacking on nuts!? 

I love it (probably) a little too much. My go-to item to nosh on from the pantry when I’m feeling those irritating hunger pains are NUTS! I’ve been buying a mix of salted and unsalted nuts and mixing them all together. Aaah, addictive! While I love this mix, the one thing that it’s missing is walnuts! I adore walnuts. I find myself sounding 100 years old by saying that, but they’re just so good. They’re rich and delicious with a bit of a slight bitterness. Plus, they are so good for you! They are loaded with antioxidants and omega-3s. Tiny little powerhouses!!

So, when I think of candied nuts, I typically think of pecans or almonds, BUT it occurred to me a while ago, why not candied walnuts? Why not indeed!?

These healthy candied walnuts are sweetened up with maple syrup and a touch of vanilla, and given a little something extra with cayenne pepper (optional) and sea salt. 

How do you make healthy candied walnuts?

Low, and slow my friends! And about 25 minutes of your time. Throw some walnuts into a mixing bowl, along with the maple syrup, vanilla, half the sea salt, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. I LOVE the little bit of heat from the cayenne, but if that’s not your thing, you can leave it out.

Dump everything onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place it into the oven. After the first 10 minutes, stir the nuts with a wooden spoon, then stir them again every 5 minutes for the next 15 minutes! Remove them from the oven, sprinkle the remaining sea salt on top and let them cool.

That’s it!

healthy candied walnuts

How do you serve candied walnuts?

Other than the obvious, straight from the jar and into your mouth, you can sprinkle them over salads, top your oatmeal with them, throw them into a popcorn/snack mix, place them on a charcuterie board or – my favorite – gift them! 

These little guys make a perfect host/hostess gift if you’re invited for a dinner party, or if you need something homemade and delicious to gift to a friend or loved one this holiday season. 

Since these candied walnuts only take 25 minutes to make, you should probably go make some. It is Monday, after all. We have a whole week of snacking ahead of us!

healthy candied walnuts

healthy candied walnuts

Try these healthy candied walnuts in:

And if you’re nutty about nuts like me, you’ll love these salted caramel chocolate almond clusters, too!

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Healthy Candied Walnuts

  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups walnuts 1x


Healthy candied walnuts! It’s a real thing. All the flavor of a traditional candied walnuts recipe but a slightly lighter version. These slightly spicy candied walnuts are perfect for on top of a salad, straight out of the jar or as a an easy hostess gift!


  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 3 cups whole, unsalted walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Pour the mixture out onto the baking sheet, including all of the liquid, and spread them around. You’ll see a pool of maple syrup, and that’s ok.
  2. Bake the nuts for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir the nuts around with a wooden spoon, placing them back into the oven for another 15 minutes (stirring every 5 minutes). Be sure to stir well each time, gathering up any excess maple syrup with the spoon.
  3. Remove the nuts from the oven, sprinkle the remaining sea salt over the top of the nuts and allow them to cool completely. Enjoy immediately!

Nuts can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 1-2 weeks.


*If you don’t like the idea of a bit of spice with your candied nuts, you can completely leave out the cayenne.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: snacks
  • Method: oven roasted

Keywords: glazed walnuts recipe // healthy candied walnuts // cinnamon glazed walnuts

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Healthy Candied Walnuts


  1. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    OMG, I’m making these asap. I love walnuts too! And I especially love that you added cayenne–nothing beats a little spice mixed in with the sweet flavors! I can already tell these will be my new favorite!

  2. I make candied walnuts with maple syrup all the time to top my salads. I’m loving your additions of salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper! I would not be able to stop snacking on these walnuts. They’d be a perfect addition to a holiday snack tray or charcuterie board!

  3. I’m pretty sure I could eat my weight in these candied walnuts!! I love that they are healthier and that addition of cayenne pepper is brilliant! I love spicy sweet things!!

  4. i was a bad cook last year but after searching on internet about recipes now i know and have learnt to differentiate between main course appetizers and all these kind of recipe i really loved it and thank you alot for contributing indirectly in my life 🙂 love the recipe 🙂

  5. Candied walnuts are the best!! A great snack that’s healthier than just sugar on sugar on sugar. These nuts just remind me of Christmas!

  6. Walnuts are my absolutely favorite nut and roasting them with maple syrup and cayenne is not something I have ever done, but I can almost taste the success of this recipe just looking at the pictures. These will be an awesome addition to holiday cheeseboards. Love, love, love!

  7. I could eat these on everything! And what a great snack. Great edible gift idea for the holidays too!

  8. What a great gift idea, Katherine! That is, if I don’t eat all of them first. Ahem. But sweet-salty-spicy is my total jam. Love this easy recipe!

  9. I’m always up for candied nuts for the holiday season Katherine. Love this healthier version. Perfect for enjoying and gifting!

  10. I snack on nuts often too — they’re so satisfying! These look sincerely addictive, and I’d love to add them to holiday salads too!

  11. I love your addition of cayenne – Sweet, crunchy with a light kick!! YUMMMM. This will be such an addictive snack at all the holiday parties and gift giving:)

  12. We love candied nuts because they’re so darn versatile…and totally snack worthy! These would make a yummy addition to my holiday eats. I bet they wouldn’t last very long though…may have to double the batch 😉 Hope you’re having a great week so far, my friend! XOXO

  13. Katherine, these candied walnuts are absolutely irresistible for snacking! Love the touch of cayenne with the maple!

  14. These caramelized, candied walnuts are quite a treat. Thanks for sharing <3

  15. Nuts are my easy go-to snacks. These would not last too long with me around! I love the cayenne for for the hot and sweet taste!😋

  16. My hubby would be ALL over these!! He loves to snack on nuts, so these being healthy is perfect for him! Love that hint of spice you snuck in there too!

  17. Followed this recipe to a tee and the walnuts burned 🙁 A little upset because nuts and real maple syrup are pricy… Could’ve taken them out after the first 10 but the extra 15 made them taste like ash…

  18. I JUST made these tonight, and, had to post review! They are great! Easy to make and healthy! We like sweet and savory, so these are perfect. Next time, probably tomorrow, I will add 2 teaspoons of cayenne for a bit more punch. These will be our “ low carb “ substitute for my traditional cereal mix! Thank you! Mary

  19. Wow just wow!! Absolutely delicious!!! Definitely going to be a staple in my house!!! I can’t seem to find the nutrition information on these delightful bites of bliss

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