There’s almost nothing I love more than a sweet and salty snack that can be whipped up at the drop of a hat. And while I do tend to be a stovetop popcorn girl, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an occasion where I’d pass on this irresistible vegetarian snack.
Just like my Homemade Dill Pickle Popcorn and Spicy Parmesan Garlic Popcorn, this mix is casual enough to eat by the handful while vegging out on the couch or elevated enough to serve during cocktail hour at your annual Christmas party.
It’s truly one of those magic snacking foods that can be dressed up or down to meet the occasion. Sweet and spicy roasted nuts will simply never let you down.
Once you enjoy your first mouthful, you’ll vow never to purchase store-bought mixed nuts again!
In this recipe, I’ll be sharing my favorite simple ingredients to use in a homemade sweet and spicy seasoning, but don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite seasoning blend.
Depending on your taste buds and craving, you might want to swap out the cayenne, paprika, and salt for a Multi-Purpose Seasoned Salt. Or, if you want to kick the heat up even more, swap in a Homemade Cajun Seasoning. You’re in charge here!
Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for measurements and detailed instructions.
- Whole cashews – Buttery, raw cashews are hard to beat in any mix. Dare I say they’re the best nuts for roasting? They’re soft, yet crunchy, mildly sweet, and pair with any seasoning.
- Whole almonds – Raw almonds counterbalance the sweeter cashews with a deep, earthy flavor. They’re also key for a hearty crunch that makes this mix satiating enough on its own.
- Fresh rosemary – There’s lots of flexibility in this recipe, but I do insist on using fresh sprigs of chopped rosemary. Dried rosemary is simply missing that sweet, woodsy, herbaceous aroma of fresh rosemary that makes these nuts quite literally perfect for the holiday season.
- Seasonings – Paprika and spicy cayenne pepper are the source of ‘spicy’ flavors in this hearty holiday snack. A little goes a long way.
- Brown sugar – You guessed it – brown sugar adds sweetness and helps the spices coat the mix with its sticky caramelization powers.
- Butter – Unsalted butter is my go to in almost every recipe here on FITK because it’s consistent across brands and allows for greater control over sodium content. If you only have salted butter on hand, it will work, but reduce the kosher salt to 1/2 a teaspoon and increase from there to taste.
Substitute other nuts like pecans, walnuts, or even peanuts. Make it vegan with olive oil in place of the butter, too.
How to Make Roasted Sweet and Spicy Nuts with Rosemary
Making this easy recipe requires just 3 quick and simple steps (and spoiler: no egg whites required!):
Roast the Nuts
You’ll start by spreading the mix of cashews and almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Since we’re dry roasting here, there’s no need to use any kind of parchment paper, foil, or baking mat. Simply spread them directly on the baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through, lightly golden brown, and fragrant.
Prepare the Rosemary Seasoning
While the nuts are in the oven, prepare the seasoning mix. In a medium or large bowl (large enough to fit the nuts!), combine the freshly chopped rosemary, and spice and sugar mixture.
In a separate small bowl or microwave-safe Pyrex, melt the butter in the microwave (approximately 30 seconds in my microwave, but adjust to suit your microwave’s strength!). Pour the melted butter into the spice blend and stir until well combined.
Toss to Combine
Lastly, remove the roasted nuts from the oven, place them in the buttery spice mixture, and toss until coated and gorgeous! You can do this directly on the sheet pan or in a mixing bowl.
Roasted sweet and spicy nuts have an excellent mix of salty, spicy, sweet, and crunchy, and will satisfy all of your snacking needs. It’s the perfect pairing for a cold beer and Sunday football or a DIY Frozen Sangria Red Wine Slushies and a movie.
Or, go the holiday route and serve this nut mix in the midst of a spread of your favorite Vegetarian Appetizers (and with a Rosemary Prosecco Cocktail in hand, of course). It’s particularly well-loved amongst guests when served on a Fall Charcuterie Board, Herby Roasted Garlic Olive Oil Dip with Crostini, and Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers.
The possibilities are truly endless; regardless of the occasion, this homemade nut recipe will hit the spot. Depending on the crowd, you may want to consider a double batch because this sweet and spicy mixed nuts recipe goes fast.
Make Ahead Tips
Unlike warm dips and toasted crostini where time is of the essence, these spiced nuts can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, and up to two in the fridge.
I prefer a bowl of these nuts when served warm, but they’re still absolutely delicious once cooled, so don’t be afraid to use your precious holiday prep time for your more delicate holiday apps and mains.
More 5-Star Holiday Appetizers Your Guests Will Rave Over:
- Homemade Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Log
- Mushroom Bruschetta with Grueyere and Thyme
- Whipped Feta with Marinated Olives
- Herbed Whipped Ricotta Dip
- Creamy Artichoke and Leek Dip
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Roasted Sweet and Spicy Nuts with Rosemary
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spread cashews and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes until warm.16 ounces raw cashews, 8 ounces raw almonds
- Meanwhile, combine rosemary, cayenne pepper, paprika, brown sugar, and kosher salt in a bowl. Melt butter in microwave for approximately 30 seconds, then stir it into the spices until combined.2 ½ Tablespoons fresh rosemary, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon paprika, 2 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Toss warm nuts in spice mixture until completely coated (either in a large bowl or on the pan). Serve warm, or cool completely and store in an airtight container in at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Rosemary: approximately 4-5, 5-inch sprigs
- Be sure to use raw nuts, or greatly reduce the salt amount if already salted.
- Fine salt: only use 1 teaspoon.
- Recipe adapted from Ina Garten