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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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 17 reviews

  • 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
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Healthy Candied Walnuts

About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. 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:)

  2. 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

    1. SO versatile, Dawn!! They don’t last long at all, hah! Luckily walnuts aren’t too expensive for a nut, so you can always make a double batch! Cheers, friend! XO

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

  4. 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!😋

    1. Thank you Thao!! I love the little bit of spice too, it is a nice surprise when you’re eating them!

  5. 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!

    1. Oh yes!! They’re just that little bit healthier so you can snack all you want with less guilt!!!

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

    1. Glad you enjoyed Lucy! I don’t actually have any nutritional info on my recipes as of yet, but something I’m looking into it!

  9. Very tasty recipe. I was missing my mother and started looking for a candied walnut recipe a snack she made often. I appreciate this lighter healthier version. I did substitute Chinese 5 Spice for the cayenne which made the house smell like christmas and very close to the flavor profile of her recipe

    1. Hi Karan! Comments like this one always make me so happy. I’m glad this recipe reminded you of her and that everything worked out well for you! Thanks for the comment.