Tossed with Cajun seasoning and a splash of hot sauce, these easy-to-make Spicy Mixed Nuts are always a crowd pleaser. You can have this customizable, zesty snack ready in just 40 minutes, including cooling time!
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What We Love About These Spicy Mixed Nuts
Mixed Nuts are one of my family’s favorite snacks, whether for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, a Game Day nosh, or as a part of a cheese board for holiday entertaining. Here’s why we love this recipe for Spicy Mixed Nuts (and we think you will, too!):
- They’re easy to make–all you need is one bowl, a sheet pan, and 5 minutes of hands-on prep time before baking. Perfect for making when you’re on-the-go during the week, or during the busy holiday season.
- Unlike store bought nut mixes, this recipe is totally customizable. Love cashews? Add them in. Don’t like walnuts? Leave them out! You can also adjust the heat level and salt content by changing up the spice blends and the type of hot sauce you use in the coating.
- They make a great homemade hostess or holiday gift. Pour the Spicy Mixed Nuts into a mason jar and tie with a ribbon and gift tag.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Shelled, Unsalted Raw Mixed Nuts. Make your own blend using your favorite nut varieties or buy them pre-mixed. Some of our favorite nuts to use for this recipe are almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. Be mindful when adding smaller nut varieties, such as peanuts or pistachios, which might roast more quickly.
- Olive oil, vegetable oil, or unsalted butter. To help the seasoning adhere to to the nuts.
- Hot Sauce. Any of your favorite hot sauce brands can be used to make these Spicy Mixed Nuts. Adjust the quantity to taste, depending on your personal heat preferences and the hot sauce you’re using. The recipe was developed using Tabasco’s Original Red Pepper Sauce.
- Cajun Seasoning. A zesty seasoning blend made up of aromatics and spices such as paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder. I find that salt content can vary pretty significantly between brands–some blends are quite salty, while others are completely salt-free. Check the ingredients list on the blend you’re using and add kosher salt to the nuts, to taste, if needed. We like this nut mix on the saltier side, so we often use Slap Ya Mama Original Blend, which is well-salted.
Want to make your own Cajun spice blend? See the “Notes” section in the recipe card below for instructions.
How to Make Cajun Spiced Mixed Nuts
When it comes to “simple,” this recipe fits the bill! To make this Spicy Nut Mix, start by combining the oil and hot sauce in a large bowl. Pour in the nuts, and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to toss them in the oil mixture until fully coated.
Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the nuts, and again, toss to the mixture to fully combine. Pour the nuts onto a parchment-lined sheet pan in a single layer.
Bake the nuts on the middle rack of the oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Let cool to room temperature on the baking sheet.
Store your Spicy Mixed Nuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1-2 weeks. (Although, they never last this long in my house!)
Q. How can I make this mix spicier?
A. If you’re looking to turn up the heat, you can sprinkle a little extra cayenne pepper on the nuts before you bake them, or choose a spicier brand of hot sauce. (Check out Hot Sauces on the Scoville Scale from Pepper Geek to compare brands.)
You can also choose a hotter Cajun seasoning, such as Slap Ya Momma Hot Blend, or make your own (see the recipe card Notes for instructions).
Q. How can I make this mix milder?
A. To dial down the heat, start by choosing a milder brand of hot sauce. We like Tabasco’s Cayenne Garlic Sauce, which has a Scoville Rating of 1200-2400, compared to 2500-5000 for the Original. You can also use Frank’s RedHot Original, which has a Scoville Rating of 450.
Another way to make these Spicy Mixed Nuts milder is to use a mild Cajun spice mix, such as Ragin’ Cajun Louisiana Mild, or make your own (again, you’ll find suggested ratios in the recipe card Notes, below.)
You can also substitute Creole seasoning, which is similar to Cajun seasoning, but with more herbal notes and less heat. (To read more about the distinction, check out The Subtle Difference Between Creole and Cajun Seasoning from Tasting Table.)
More Easy Snack Recipes
Spicy Mixed Nuts
- 3 cups raw mixed nuts (such as almonds, walnut halves, pecan halves, and cashews)*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning **
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle position. (I don't recommend making these in a toaster oven, as it places the nuts too close to the heating element.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil and Tabasco sauce. Add nuts and stir thoroughly to coat. Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and toss again until well coated.
- Pour the nut mixture into a single layer on the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and fragrant, gently stirring halfway through. Keep a close eye on the nuts toward the end of the baking time to ensure that they're not getting too dark.
- Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.