These vegan sweet and spicy nuts are egg white-free and perfect for a holiday appetizer board. Toasted with cayenne, cinnamon, paprika and rosemary, they’re salty, smoky and addicting!
It’s no secret that we love a fully-loaded snack board. We pack ours full of vegan cheeses, gluten free crackers, and some of our favorite spreads and dips.
Snack boards are a fun and inclusive way to feed a hungry pre-dinner crowd. They’re easy to throw together with your favorite appetizers, many of which you can make ahead. Plus, everyone can pick and choose their favorite bites from the board.
And to add a little more spice and protein to the mix, these sweet and spicy vegan nuts are the answer!
These smoky nuts are always the first to disappear from our Thanksgiving and Christmas appetizer spread. Be warned: they’re addicting!
How to Make Easy Spiced Nuts
This vegan spiced nut recipe couldn’t be easier. While plenty of spiced mixed nut recipes call for egg whites, our version is totally vegan. And we promise you won’t miss the egg at all. It also happens to be gluten free and refined sugar free, but that’s just a bonus.
First, start with a mix of nuts you love. You can swap in or sub out any of your favorite varieties. Pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, the list goes on. Truly, the combinations are endless.
It is best, however, to use roasted nuts for this recipe. They have a bit more flavor because heat helps the nuts’ natural oils come to the surface. You can buy a bag of pre roasted mixed nuts. Or, you can pop your own mix of nuts into the oven.
To make roasted nuts at home:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Spread the nuts out into an even layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 7-10 minutes. If you have a hot oven, watch them carefully. Remove the nuts as soon as you start to see some color. They can burn easily and will continue cooking after you take them out!
A note if you opt for store-bought roasted nuts: choose unsalted for this spiced nut recipe. That way, you can control the amount of salt in the finished product. And since you’re adding a delicous spice mix, skip any flavorings!
Flavoring Spiced Nuts
When it comes to spices, roasted nuts are blank canvas. You can play with sweetness, spice and savory tastes to find something you love.
This recipe is the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and herbal.
- Maple syrup provides natural sweetness and a binding medium . Since we’re going egg-free on this plant-based recipe, you need a liquid to help hold everything together. And let’s face it, maple syrup is way more delicious than an egg white. As always, we strongly recommend the pure stuff. Stay away from anything labeled “pancake syrup”!
- Olive oil. Just one tablespoon helps the mixed nuts crisp up in the oven. Plus, high-quality olive oil provides a delicious herbal flavor to these vegan mixed nuts.
- Cayenne brings a bit of heat. If you like it spicy, feel free to add a dash or two more!
- Cinnamon is the warming winter spice this festive holiday appetizer needs.
- Smoked paprika gives this spice blend a delicious savory, smoky flavor. It almost tastes like you smoked the nuts yourself.
- Fresh rosemary is the bright aromatic these sweet mixed nuts need. If you don’t have rosemary on hand, another fresh herb like thyme or oregano would also work. Or use dried rosemary in a pinch. If do swap dried rosemary for the fresh herb, you’ll only need a teaspoon. The dried stuff is a lot more potent!
After mixing everything together, pop the nuts into a 275˚ oven. This is a low-and-slow recipe. Too high heat will cause the maple syrup and nuts to burn.
The spiced nuts will take 40 to 50 minutes to cook, but it’s worth the wait. The result is ultra-flavorful caramelized nuts that your guests and family won’t be able to stay away from.
How to Serve Mixed Nuts as a Holiday Appetizer
The great thing about this easy appetizer recipe is that the spiced nuts can be stored for days. In an airtight container, they freeze well for several months. Or, keep them on the counter for up to a week before serving.
This easy vegan appetizer recipe has it all: super flavorful, make-ahead, vegan, gluten free, and they don’t even need utensils to enjoy it!
To add your homemade spiced nuts to a holiday appetizer spread, simply create neat little piles on a snack board. Position them among your favorite appetizers.
Or, pop the nuts in a bowl all by themselves and watch as your guests pass them around and around.
More Easy Vegan Make-Ahead Appetizers
We’re all about no-fuss, crowd pleasing appetizers this time of year like these sweet and spicy nuts.
Here are some of our most popular vegan and gluten free appetizer recipes:
- Caramelized Onion Dip
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Dairy-Free Ranch Dip with Crudites
- Vegan Crab Cakes with Aioli. Make them bite-sized for a fun vegan appetizer!
If you give these vegan spiced nuts a try, we’d love for you to leave a rating and review below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
These sweet and spicy nuts are egg-free and perfect for a holiday appetizer board. Toasted with cayenne, cinnamon, paprika and rosemary, they’re salty, smoky and addicting!
- 4 cups mixed nuts, ideally roasted and definitely unsalted
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt (omit if using salted nuts)
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil, or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, cayenne, cinnamon, chili powder, and rosemary. Add nuts and toss to combine thoroughly. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even single layer
- Roast until the nuts are mostly dry and browned, 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven, set the pan on a wire rack, and allow to cool for an hour. Break up the nuts into pieces and store in an airtight container.