30 Easy Pecan Recipes That Go Beyond Dessert (2024)

For the longest time, my pecan recipes consisted of pie and sandies. These are two perfectly delicious options that will make anyone happy.

But there’s so much more you can do with pecans! Cookies, salads, pasta, dips, brownies, mushrooms, bread… I could go on and on.

30 Easy Pecan Recipes That Go Beyond Dessert (1)


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Pecans have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a buttery texture that makes them a great addition to so many dishes.

Toast them to help release the oils, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Next time you’re at the store, be sure to pick up a bag or two. After you’ve seen this list of 30 pecan recipes, you’ll want to dive right in.

1. Candied Pecans

These are seriously addictive. Their sweet and buttery flavor is enhanced by the crunchy caramel coating and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

If you’re nervous about caramelizing the nuts, don’t be. In this recipe, the oven does all the hard work.

2. Turtle Cookies

Turtle cookies are the culmination of everything I love in a dessert.

They’re soft and chewy, rich and chocolatey, and loaded with caramel pieces, pecans, and chocolate chips. The only thing missing is a bit of sea salt.

The trick to getting these cookies to look so good is to reserve some of the fillings and add them to the dough right before you bake.

3. Easy Pecan Pie Recipe

Come Thanksgiving, there better be an extra pecan pie on the table just for me. I will fight you for the last slice.

Between the gooey syrup filling and the tender, crunchy pecans, there is just nothing better.

I always add bourbon to mine and a handful of chocolate chips for good measure.

And if I’m feeling extra naughty, I’ll sprinkle some bacon bits over the top.

4. Pecan Crusted Salmon with Lemon Glaze

Sure, you can use boring old breadcrumbs to coat your salmon. But I can’t say enough good things about this pecan crust!


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The pecans give such an amazing texture and add buttery richness to the coating that you just don’t get from breadcrumbs alone.

As this dish cooks, the nuts will release their oils, adding even more flavor.

5. Pecan Squares

The first time I made these, I burned my mouth as I impatiently bit into the still-hot slice. The second time, I devoured two slices before I could finish my coffee.

The crunchy caramelized pecans are the perfect partner for the crumbly shortbread, and it’s as easy as gently heating everything through on the stove.

Try to let these cool before you dive in. Hot caramelized pecans aren’t the ideal snack.

6. Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad

I think I’ve mentioned before that when I make a salad; I need lots of toppings! Texture is so important, and without fun extras, salads can be super bland.

This salad does not hold back. From the crisp apples and chewy cranberries to the crunchy pecans and zesty dressing, I’ll happily eat this for lunch and dinner.

7. Butter Pecan Chicken

Chicken is such a versatile meat. You can boil it, fry it, roast it, bake it, and it works well with everything from squash to strawberries.

For this recipe, you’ll need to cook your chicken until it’s golden and juicy before adding pecans, butter, chicken broth, brown sugar, honey, thyme, and parsley to the pan.

Let the sauce cook in the skillet and add the chicken back to get a nice coating.

8. Pecan Tassies

It’s sad to say, but I didn’t grow up eating pecan tassies. In fact, I’d never tried one until I was a fully-fledged adult. The horror!

These are made up of a super simple cream cheese dough filled with a simplified pecan pie filling.

You can also use pie dough or sugar cookies if you want it a little sweeter.

9. French Quarter Pecan Cheese Spread

You’ve just found the dip for your next party. Cream cheese with garlic and onion smothered in a salty-sweet-spiced pecan topping – need I say more?

I’ve found that whipping the cream cheese and layering it in a dish work wonders. That way, you can top it with the pecans, and it’s much easier to scoop.

10. Small Batch Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Not only does this recipe make just the right amount and tastes amazing, but you won’t even need an ice cream machine!

I’ve found that no-churn ice creams can be just as good as the machine stuff.

The key is to use whipped cream for lightness and condensed milk for that creamy sweetness.

Be sure to chop your pecans to a relatively small size, and don’t be afraid to add a splash of rum to the skillet while they cook.

11. Pecan Pie Overnight Oats

Just when I thought I was getting sick of overnight oats, I found this recipe!

This is best served hot and cold. By that, I mean I take the oats out of the fridge and lather them up with the hot pecan mix. The contrast is to die for.

12. Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve made this amazing side once or twice, and it’s always been a hit.

There’s just something about the earthy mushrooms and the tender pecans that hit all the right notes.

If you want your mushrooms to be picture-perfect, try cutting a slice off the bottom (technically, it’s the top, but they will be upside-down, so you can fill them).

This will help them to sit perfectly flat and will prevent any of that filling from falling out when you move the tray.

13. Turtle Brownies

I hate to repeat myself, but turtle brownies are the culmination of everything I love in a dessert.

They’re soft and chewy, rich and chocolatey, and loaded with caramel pieces, pecans, and chocolate chips. The only thing missing is a bit of sea salt.

Seriously, these brownies are dangerous. The batter has pecans right in there, so you’ll get some in every bite. But it’s the layer of caramel that gets me.

You might want to bake this in individual ramekins so you can dive right in, because waiting for the slab to cool is actually torture.

14. Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Adding maple and pecans to sweet potatoes isn’t exactly new, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be celebrated!

To prevent the sugar and butter from burning, I always cover my dish with foil for the first half of the bake.

It will caramelize in the second half, and the potatoes will crisp up just right.

15. Foolproof Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Artisan Bread

If the word ‘artisan’ has you nervous, stay with me. This no-knead bread is the stuff of dreams.

You’ll need a Dutch oven for this recipe, and you can find them online and in stores for pretty reasonable prices.

I got my most recent one from Marshall’s, and it was a steal and just $19.99!

As for the bread; you’ll make the dough the day before. Mix gently until a rough ball forms, and then let nature do its thing.

The next day, it needs a quick rest before it goes right into a hot Dutch oven and will bake up like you spent hours kneading and molding!

16. Cinnamon Pecan Waffles

If you’ve been on the fence about splurging on a waffle iron, I’m here to gently nudge you over.

I’m obsessed with mine, and I highly recommend going all out and getting the kind that rotates.

Once you have your waffle iron, there’s no limit to the amazing waffles recipe out there.

But this one should be at the top of your list! It’s light, sweet, warm, and full of buttery pecans.

17. Best Southern Pralines Pecan Recipe

Pralines will be different with each new batch. Some like it soft, others prefer a crunch, but everyone agrees that they truly shine when there’s plenty of butter and pecans.

You’ll need a candy thermometer for this recipe since pralines are candy, and the temperature needs to be just right.

18. Kale Pecan Pesto

I know this is kind of a drastic change from the last few recipes, but I just had to include it.

Not only is this vibrant pesto full of kale (which we all know we should be eating), but it’s loaded with sweet pecans that perfectly balance out the bitterness of the greens.

19. Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans

Green beans are one of those veggies that I can usually give or take. Unless they’re drowned in some garlic butter, I tend to give them a miss.

But not when they’re tossed in this brown-butter-beauty of a sauce.

Shallots are the best option here since they’re so mild and slightly sweet, and they melt right into the sugar and butter.

I usually make extra, so I have enough to drizzle over my protein, too.

20. Pecan Butter

I don’t know how I let my life go by without this recipe! I love peanut butter and almond butter, and I adore pecans. It’s a no-brainer.

The beauty of pecans is that they’re naturally buttery, so you won’t need to add any oil to the mix.

Don’t skip the toasting step, because it really works to enhance the flavor and release the natural oils in the nut.

21. Maple Pecan Granola

Why are we still buying granola when it’s so easy to make at home?!

The great thing about granola is that you can modify it to your liking so easily. Not a fan of coconut? Try chopped peanuts.

Like it fruity? Go crazy with those dried fruits.

The key thing to remember is that it needs to be mixed well and baked before you can store it away. That’s how you’ll get those fantastic little clusters.

22. Southern Pecan Pie Muffins

If you’re looking for something different for your mid-morning snack, this one’s for you. These muffins are light, moist, and taste just like a slice of pecan pie.

I know that they’re muffins, and you don’t usually put frosting on them, but these are something special with a bit of browned butter frosting and a drizzle of caramel.

23. Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie Tart

Trust me, when I tell you that you’ll want more than one slice of this tart.

Technically, since it’s a tart, it’s much smaller than a slice of pie, so you deserve an extra sliver!

This recipe needs good quality dark chocolate with a slight bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the filling.

That being said, I’ve used milk chocolate more than once, and my sweet tooth thanked me!

24. Apple Pecan Stuffing

I actually came across this recipe when I was looking for a delicious vegetarian option over the holidays, and boy, was it a hit!

There’s so much to love here, from the herby bread to the savory veggies and crunchy pecans. I used vegetable stock, but I think chicken would make it extra special.

25. Pecan Praline Popcorn

Pecan praline popcorn is one of those things I can’t have in the house. I found that out the hard way.

I figured it would make the perfect little holiday gift, wrapped up with a ribbon in a cute little bag.

I wasn’t wrong, but I did have to make extra because we ate almost the whole batch in one weekend!

26. Sweet Potato Pecan Bread

Sweet potatoes can usually be switched out with pumpkin pretty easily, and I’ve made sweet potato bread more than once.

Why I never thought to throw in pecans, I’ll never know.

This quick bread isn’t overly sweet, which means it’s just as good with a layer of peanut butter as it is on the side of your dinner plate.

27. Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of my favorite lunches. It’s light, creamy, filling, and can be made spicy, salty, or even sweet.

The crisp apples in this recipe are exactly the right pairing, and the buttery pecans will add some amazing texture and flavor to the mix.

28. Angel Hair with Lemon, Kale, and Pecans

Much like with the pesto from above, this recipe combines bitter kale with sweet pecans to make something balanced and tasty.

It also includes lemon for a zesty finish and chili flakes for a touch of heat.

Since the pasta is super thin, it really doesn’t need a heavy sauce. So this light, garlicky coating is just the right amount.

29. Pecan Sandies

Here’s one that takes me back. If I had a dollar for every time I made a batch of pecan sandies… well, I’d have at least $50!

These lightly spiced cookies are elegant and rich. Even without the pecans, this cookie dough is amazing!

Dip one end in some dark chocolate and just try to resist.

30. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Toasted Pecans, and Dried Cranberries

Nobody can resist these insanely delicious Brussels sprouts! That’s a guarantee!

Between the crispy sprouts, salted bacon, and beautiful pecans, these are going to be the talk of the table.

One note would be to use the bacon fat for cooking the Brussels sprouts. That way, you’ll get that amazing flavor in every bite.

30 Easy Pecan Recipes That Go Beyond Dessert (2)

30 Easy Ways to Use Pecans



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30 Easy Pecan Recipes That Go Beyond Dessert (2024)
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