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Ancho Spiced Nuts, Food Gypsy

Ancho Spiced Nuts

Nutrient-dense and oh, so delicious Ancho Spiced Nuts are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, keto, and completely addictive! In fact, they’re so good I hesitate to divulge the recipe… because then you’ll have a new food addiction.

But I’ve decided I can live with that.

Were you to pop by our house at any given time, you may very well find yourself face-to-face with a bowl of Ancho Spiced Nuts whilst sipping a glass of bubbly. This is a recipe I make, almost monthly. It’s so dammed simple even the kids can whip them up. Best part? They’re a power-house treat that’s antioxidant-rich and protein-packed.

Snack Addicts

Take it from a couple of mad snack addicts, these should be a controlled substance! They’re deceptively delicious, so much so that you don’t realize that you’ve just eaten half of them while Netflix binging. Lightly candy-coated with softly frothed egg whites, sugar, salt, and spices, they harden as they dry making a solid sheet of spiced nut goodness, ready to break and devour.

Ancho Spiced Nuts will stay fresh in an airtight container or jar for about 30 days. Perfect picnic food, they also hold well in your backpack on a day hike and make a great gift over the holidays. Add spiced nuts as a punchy addition to your favourite cheese platter, or sassy salad.

Personally, I love them with a decent sparkling wine or dry champagne.  The spice blend hits all the right notes for your Verve Cliquot, Darling. Everybody needs a good bougie snack recipe in their back pocket.


♬ Tempest 25 – Jesse Cook

Mix & Match Your Spices

Our take on an old favourite, this Ancho Spiced Nuts recipe adds a dash of smokey flavour to a classic snack recipe for a fresh flavour profile. Slightly salty, slightly sweet, warmly spiced with a pinch of smokey heat.

Such a flexible recipe, If you prefer clean heat, without the smoke simply replace ancho with an equal measure of cayenne. If heat is not your thing, leave it out altogether. Don’t like the candied coating so thick? Reduce your egg whites. You’d be surprised how far one egg white can go!

Candied Spiced Nuts, Food GypsyDeep Roasted Flavour

As flexible as re recipe is the roasting time. How do you like your nuts? Dark and rich, or tanned and tasty?  We’re darkly roasted kinds of folks. That toasty flavour perfectly fits our snack-attack taste buds.

Ancho Spiced Nuts, welcome to your new addiction!

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Ancho Spiced Nuts

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


Nutrient-dense and oh, so delicious Ancho Spiced Nuts are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, keto, and completely addictive! The perfect take-anywhere snack that packs a ton of protein into each bite.  Pair with cheese, use as a salad topper, or with a glass of champagne for a bougie treat that’s hard to beat.


Units Scale
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons dried, ground ancho pepper, or cayenne
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans, or assorted nuts & seeds (see notes for recommendations)


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F (175C⁰). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve.
  2. Add nuts to a large bowl. Mix spices, salt & sugar together in a small bowl or directly in with nuts.  Toss nuts with spice blend using a rubber spatula.
  3. Separate eggs reserving whites in a small bowl. Lightly whisk egg until white and foamy – not whipped. Toss foamy egg whites with nuts using a spatula, being sure to scrape sugar & spices from the bottom of the bowl to coat completely.
  4. Spread coated nut mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, one layer deep.
  5. Roast nuts in preheated 350⁰F (175C⁰) oven for 15 minutes then remove and turn nuts to roast the other side. This is a sticky job.  Nuts are hot and coated with sugar and egg white, so use caution and rinse your spatula directly following or the candy coating will harden and then… it’s a bitch to get off.
  6. Return nut mixture to 350⁰F (175C⁰) oven for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. Nuts should smell rich and sweet and look glossy and dark. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  The candy coating hardens as it cools.  (Don’t snack, they’re scorching hot!)
  7. Once cool break apart lightly to separate into bite-sized clumps. (NOW you can snack!) Keep in a sealed jar or zip lock bag.  Ancho Spiced nuts have a shelf life of about 30 days if kept dry.


Our favourite nut mix: cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pumpkin seeds.  Use them in any combination you like. Not a big fan of walnuts with this recipe due to the bitterness. The spiced candy coating can’t overcome walnuts, so we stick to the smoother, sweeter nuts.

We use ROASTED, unsalted cashews, almonds, and pecans, but RAW hazelnuts & pumpkin seeds.  This gives the mix a rich, double roasted flavor without burning the more delicate, fatty smaller nuts and seeds.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Modern

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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