Today I’m sharing my family’s recipe for crockpot cinnamon pecans that we make every year for the holidays:
I played around with the original recipe to make it much healthier and lower in sugar, and no one could tell a difference.
That’s my goal with all of the recipes I publish here on the blog.
It’s a sign of a successful healthy dessert if the people to whom you serve it don’t feel like they’re missing anything and would gladly pick the healthy version over the original.
These slow cooker pecans–completely vegan and free of refined sugar–make such an excellent gift.
People appreciate the cinnamon pecans because they are homemade and taste delicious… and all you have to do is throw everything in the slow cooker and sit back as the machine does all the work for you!
Also Try This Healthy Sweet Potato Bread
This family-favorite Christmas recipe is one of the three recipes I made for my holiday recipe appearance on Dr. Oz this past month.
Here are a few more photos from my segment on The Dr. Oz Show.
Craft stores such as Michaels or JoAnn are great places to go if you want to package the pecans up and hand them out as gifts.
Most craft stores will sell holiday-themed paper and tin boxes (like the santa box above) at a pretty good price.
Another option is to place the nuts in clear bags tied with holiday ribbons. I could honestly spend hours in craft stores.
**If you don’t have a crock pot, I’ve also included oven instructions in the recipe below.
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups sliced raw pecans, or other raw nuts
- optional 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- Slow Cooker Version: Lightly coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Place all ingredients except pecans inside, and stir to combine. Stir in the nuts, and turn the heat to low. Put the lid on and cook 2 hours, stirring once after the first hour. Remove the lid and stir, then cover again and continue cooking an additional hour on low. Pour the contents onto a cookie sheet or large platter, and break up any large clumps. Allow to cool completely, and they will harden as they cool. Transfer to decorative tins for gifts.Oven Version: Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl, then spread out on the cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, turn with a spoon, then bake another 5-10 minutes as needed. Store leftovers in a decorative tin for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 4 months.View Nutrition Facts
Have you made this recipe?
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More Easy Holiday Recipes:
Snowball Cookies – 60 calories each
This sounds delicious! And you are totally right about these being great gifts for people! I’m just sad I used such a high sugar recipe earlier this month. Now that I see your recipe, however, I’m dying to try it out!
This looks and sounds absolutely incredible! It makes me want Christmas to happen all over again!
Is there a difference in texture between the slow cooker version and in the oven?
Absolutely fantastic. I will make them over and over. Congratulations on the Dr. Oz show, hopefully this will be encouragement for others to eat healthier.
In your instructions you say to remove the lid after 1 hour, stir and continue cooking another hour. Just wanted to make sure that I should replace the lid before continuing to cook. Thanks, they sound great.
Unofficial CCK Helper says
Yup, replace the lid!
Vicki I have the same question? What did you do?
I had the same question also, do you return the lid after stirring?
Jason Sanford says
Yes, put the lid back on. Katie is going to edit that to be more clear.
Jason (media relations)
Yum, Katie! I’m completely obsessed with cinnamon pecans. My mom made a huge batch at Christmas and we devoured it. So glad to have this lower sugar recipe. We’ll give it a shot. Thanks!
Awesome! I’ll get started on these today! Hopefully they’ll still be some left for our New Year’s party, lol.
Thanks, Katie! ?
Emilie @ Emilie Eats says
I made something similar to this to give to my grandparents for my Christmas! I gave them each a jar full, and they absolutely loved them. I love that you can do these in the crockpot!
I just so happened to have all the ingredients and made this they were so delicious I could eat the whole batch myself!
Karen Shaw says
These are great and super easy. Just finished making a batch for New Years. Thanks Katie.
Bites for Babies says
These look amazing…I love pecans and I love cinnamon! I never would have thought to make these in a crock pot! I made about 5 batches of pralines over the holidays to give as gifts so you can imagine how much I had to stand at the stove stirring to make them!!
As a child I used to eat a lot of these, and never knew how they were made. What memories.
Delicious and my house smells great, too. I made these this morning and they are so good.
I made these for a holiday party of mine and they went so fast! I’m going to use them from now on because I got so many compliments!
I made a double batch of this recipe, using the oven method, and loved it!! I took them to a party where there ended up being 2 other versions of this recipe and your version was the best – there were barely any left over (and there were plenty of the other 2 types still there.) Definitely using this for a gift idea next Christmas. Thank you and congratulations on the Dr. Oz show!
Hi Katie, what size was the slow cooker? I will probably need to adjust the amount for mine… 🙂 Mine is 5.2 quart (5 litre)
Chocolate Covered Katie says
4 quart 🙂
Would this work with agave and almonds for a lower glycemic option?
I made one batch with almonds. They tasted great, but turned out to be more chewy and gooey instead of crispy and crunchy. My guess is that the fat content and surface area of the pecans works better vs. almonds.
I’m confused lol. Cook for two hours with the lid and then remove the lid and cook for one hour more?
I’m confused too. Do they cook for a total of 2 hours or 3 hours? Please write back!
340 degrees, 5 minutes, shake, 5 more minutes – in the air fryer!
If you are looking for a sweet and more of a candied nut recipe I would cut down on the salt. I was expecting these to be more sweet than salty and unfortunately that was not the case. They are still very good but the salt is prominent and that was not what I was hoping for.
I just made these… and cannot top eating them! Very good.
oops – cannot STOP eating them!
I made these for Christmas gifts last year, but we ended up eating a lot ourselves! So I totally plan to make them again this year! I don’t know why I don’t make them any other time. Maybe this weekend…
These look like the most incredible addictive snack!
Hannah Schmitt says
Oh my goodness, these look SO wonderful!
I love the simple and nourishing ingredient list.
Thank you for sharing, Katie!
What’s up with the time stamps on these comments…?
I have to soak nuts before I eat them, and this recipe looks great for crisping them up again!
Coconut oil is at the bottom of the ingredient list, but never mentioned in the instructions. Just curious as to what it is for?
Jason Sanford says
It says “Place all ingredients except pecans inside”. That would include the coconut oil. Hope that helps.
Why is everyone giving this recipe five stars when nobody in the comments have actually made it? I actually made it and the nuts were not sweet and burnt. I followed the oven recipe exactly. $13 in nuts wasted. Please don’t rate a recipe unless you have actually made it! For the future, syrup burns at 350 degrees rather quickly, about 10 minutes. They may be good in the crockpot. However, I am unable to tell by the commenters because they only state how great they look but I’m concerned the photo isn’t even a photo of the actual recipe. If it is, what are the sprinkles on the pecans? Salt? Don’t think so, as the syrup quickly smooths it out. Have you actually made this in the oven or did you just create another option and estimated the times/temp?
Jason Sanford says
I’m not sure why would yo say people didn’t make them? Here are three comment links from people who made them, one of which said she did it in the oven. I can also vouch for the oven method and would probably suggest looking to see if your oven is calibrated? A lot of things can affect baking time, such as calibration, elevation of where you live and the climate. So if you make them again, just don’t bake as long. My pecans looked pretty much like Katie’s – It is salt and the cinnamon.
I just made them using the oven method. Stirred after 15 minutes and cooked for 5 more minutes. And I live at an elevation of 7000’. I am posting a photo.
Mine looked like Katie’s and tasted delicious.
OMG! Where have these been all of my vegan life?? So easy and so delicious! I just made them and could easily eat all three cups right now. Thank you!
I bet these smell amazing! They’d be a yummy treat.
Your cinnamon pecans were a delightful addition to our holiday munching and meals, Katie! At the last minute, I threw a handful in a coleslaw along with sweetened dried cranberries, grated carrot and apple, cabbage, and my mayonnaise coleslaw dressing, and it was a positive hit that I will repeat next year. I also added them to a pumpkin oatmeal this morning–delicious! Thank you for sharing!
My house smells wonderful. I just made these! Yum.
Millican Pecan says
I think the key to this is the “Just 5 Ingredients”. People try to complicate cinnamon pecans. Less sometimes can be more. I am a big fan of the maple/pecan combo so I am glad to see it here. Well done! We are always looking at how people candy their pecans. PS: Did you know that pecans are the only native tree nut to America? …and did you know that pecans have more vitamin E than any other nut? Just a couple of little fun facts for your readers.
I’m a little late posting this, but I wanted to let you know that I made these as part of my vegan Christmas tins for my coworkers in 2018. Everyone raved about these pecans! First of all, the house smells soooooo good when making these– very similar to the nut stands at the mall. These pecans are so addicting & perfectly crunchy! Thanks for an amazing recipe!!
Chocolate Covered Katie says
Thank you so much for making them!! 🙂
Did anyone ever figure out if it’s 2 or 3 hours total? Sorry!!! They smell amazing cooking!!
Jason Sanford says
Hi, hope they turned out well! The directions in her post say three hours: Put the lid on and cook 2 hours, stirring once after the first hour. Remove the lid and stir, then cover again and continue cooking an additional hour on low.
Thank you! I did figure that out finally! They were amazing – gave as gifts and everyone raved about them!
One more question! Has anyone tried making a double or triple batch in a big crock pot?
I made this recipe with the same amount of flavoring but only half the nuts, and my nuts have almost no flavor.
Jason Sanford says
If you halved the nuts and used the full amount of spices (and salt!), they would almost definitely be overpoweringly cinnamony and salty. Did you possibly accidentally leave something out? I’ve done that before with recipes!
I followed the recipe exactly, cooked in Crockpot, but the nuts burnt quite badly. I do know that my Crockpot cooks pretty hot. I think 2 hours would have worked better. So, just be wary if your Crockpot is like mine. Did the recipe again but cooked in the oven. This time they were fab!