Countdown to Christmas Recipes: Pecan Pie Pecans

First things first: thanks for all the great responses and advice on my last two posts! I really appreciate all you had to say and hopefully I can put it in to use and start working on getting rid of that annoying calorie counting habit.


Who doesn’t like the flavors of the holiday season? Peppermint (my personal favorite), gingerbread, eggnog, spices, pumpkin (I know, it’s more of a fall thing but it’s still sticking around), cranberry…there’s a flavor for everyone to enjoy. The holidays are not just about the food, of course, but enjoying the special food of this time of year is a big part of the experience.

One of my other favorite Christmas-y flavors is pecan. I don’t know why it reminds me of Christmas but it does and I love its roasty flavor. Last year at this time I came up with a couple recipes using pecans–coffee maple pecan butter and raw mini pecan pies. I’m not even sure that I’ve ever had real pecan pie, but I do know that I love that flavor, all caramelized and gooey.

So why not take the flavor of a pecan pie and add it to…pecans? Over Thanksgiving break, I was planning on making some grain free maple pecan bars for the big day, but the crust didn’t turn out great and I almost scrapped the whole thing. But then I tasted the pecan topping and thought, “Wow, this tastes like pecan pie!” So I decided to roast the pecans and they turned out amazing.

Roasting nuts at home is super easy, and you can add whatever flavors you want. Obviously these are inspired by the classic pecan pie and they really do taste like pie. Trust me.

Ummm, yum!

Pecan Pie Pecans (vegan, gluten free)

1/2 cup raw pecans

2 tbsp Grade A maple syrup

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp almond butter (I used AB that’s just made from almonds)

sea salt, to taste

In a medium pot over high heat, bring maple syrup, coconut oil and almond butter to a boil, whisking frequently. Stir in pecans and sea salt; make sure pecans are mostly covered with the maple syrup mixture. Preheat oven to 375. On a baking sheet lined with foil, spread pecans out in 1 layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until pecans start to caramelize. Makes about 1/2 cup. 

Do you like pecan pie? What’s your favorite holiday flavor?

This recipe was submitted for Healthy Vegan Friday #19.

10 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas Recipes: Pecan Pie Pecans

  1. Up until a little while ago, I actually thought I was allergic to nuts so I’ve never had a pecan pie… it’s definitely on my list of things to try, though. Banana and chocolate cream pies, on the other hand? To die for. And I’d have to say that my favorite holiday flavor is probably the peppermint/chocolate combination. Sooooo happy that it’s hitting stores and recipes everywhere 😀

  2. Aja says:

    I have never had pecan pie but I know that I love pecans so I will definitely have to try this. Peppermint is my favorite flavor. I’d put it in/on everything if I could.

  3. You’ve never had real pecan pie???? Do it NOW, it’s amazing! And I know most pies are probably not vegan, but vegan bakeries sell pecan pie too (or you can order them online) – it’s a little pricey, but soooooooooo worth doing! Pecan pie = amazing 🙂

  4. You’ve never had real pecan pie???? Do it NOW! I know most pies probably aren’t vegan, but vegan bakeries will have them or you can order one online (a little pricey, I know, but soooooooo worth it). Pecan pie = amazing!

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