Fall is my most favorite time of year. I love the colors of crunchy leaves, the brisk cool mornings, and the flavors of fall harvest. And that includes pretty much all pecan recipes!
We are blessed with lots of pecan trees here in the south. In fact, I narrowly missed a concussion yesterday when a pecan shell fell from the tree in our yard right next to me. Perhaps concussion is a bit of an exaggeration, but that would have hurt y’all.
Pecans are one of my favorite trees. They are huge and lovely shade trees in the summer and drop tons of nuts in the fall. The flavor of a pecan is a little buttery, and fresh nuts have a soft toothy feel. I think they are delicious. But even though I have 3 on our property, I’ve never harvested them before. Every fall, we purchase ours from locals who have harvested and shelled the nuts.
Because pecan trees are giant, most nuts are gathered after they fall from the tree using these wire nut picker upper thingies. Pecans should be harvested as soon as possible after they fall from the tree. Otherwise, they will get moldy or eaten by squirrels, birds, etc.
When they fall to the ground, they may still be in the green or brown outer husk. After the husk opens, it reveals the brown nutshell which must be cracked open to harvest the nut. Pecans are best when harvested from dried brown outer husks.
Use a nutcracker to open the shell and remove the nut. You may have to use a knife or pick to get them out. Dry the nuts in a single layer in a cool dark place for 2-10 days. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Check out this easy way to crack into some pecans even if you don’t have your official nutcracker!
Harvesting pecans is kind of a tedious job. And disease, weather, and variety of tree will affect the flavor and quality of the pecans. Check out this article on evaluating pecan tree disease issues.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to find fresh local pecans at farmers markets and roadside stands this time of year. And pecans are versitile in both sweet and savory recipes.
So whether you harvest your own or buy your pecans, here are some delicious recipes to enjoy this yummy nut!
1. Snack on savory toasted pecans.
- Asian Spiced pecans at MyRecipes
- Savory spiced pecans at The Kitchn
- Spicy toasted pecan recipe at Epicurious
- How to toast pecans at Savory Sweet Life
2. Sugary candied pecans are a holiday favorite around here.
- Candied pecans from Joybilee Farm
- Spicy maple cinnamon pecans from This West Coast Mommy
- Muddy Buddy pecans from Crazy for Crust
- Slow cooker candied nuts from The Domestic Rebel
- 5 Minute candied pecans from Amy’s Healthy Baking
3. Bake pecans in cookies, cakes, and pies.
- Almond flour chocolate chip pecan cookies by This West Coast Mommy
- Butter pecan cookies by Sally’s Baking Addition
- Maple pecan pie by Learning and Yearning
- Pecan pie cheesecake by Lil Luna
- Easy pumpkin pecan muffins by Experimental Homesteader
- Pumpkin pecan granola bars by A Virtual Vegan
- Apple pecan cake with caramel glaze by Great Grub, Delicious Treats
4. Prepare a pecan pesto.
- Basil pesto frugal edition at Schneider Peeps
- Sage pecan pesto at Kayln’s Kitchen
- Pork chops with orange pecan pesto at Tastes Lovely
- Collard and pecan pesto at Bon Appetit
- Rapini and pecan pesto at Food Nouveau
5. Use chopped pecans as a topping your favorite dessert…or breakfast!
- Easy grilled peaches and pecans from Experimental Homesteader
- Apple pecan waffles with topping at Loaves and Dishes
- No bake pumpkin cheesecake with pecan streusel topping at With Salt and Wit
- Southern praline sauce at A Southern Fairytale
- Paleo pecan pie granola at Jay’s Baking Me Crazy
6. Use finely chopped pecans for crust.
- Pecan crusted baked brie from Experimental Homesteader
- Paleo Key Lime pie from Paleo Running Momma
- Sweet potato pie with pecan crust from A Dash Of Soul
- Maple pecan crusted BACON from Unsophisticook
- Pecan crusted chicken from The Adventure Bite
7. Make a pecan nut butter.
- Pecan butter recipe by Cookie and Kate
- Pecan Praline Butter by Five Heart Home
- German chocolate cake batter butter by Good Mama Gracie
8. Add pecans to savory side dishes.
- Green beans with caramelized pecans at Epicurious
- Brussels sprouts with glazed pancetta and pecans at From Jessica’s Kitchen
- Cranberry apple pecan wild rice pilaf at Carlsbad Cravings
- Cornbread sausage and pecan dressing at Bon Appetit
- Creamy pecan crunch grape salad at Wishes and Dishes
9. Try pecans rolled into delectable truffles.
- Pecan pie balls from Just A Pinch
- Bourbon pecan truffles from Martha Stewart
- No bake coconut pecan truffles from Frugal Living Mom
- Maple BACONpecan truffles from The Grateful Girl Cooks
10. Make pecan ice cream.
- No churn salted caramel butter pecan ice cream by No Spoon Necessary
- Low carb pecan praline ice cream by I Breathe, I’m Hungry
- Caramelized banana pecan paleo ice cream by My Natural Family
I can’t wait to try some of these dishes. If you want to save these recipes for later, pin this post and visit my Pecan Recipes Pinterest board where you’ll find all of these recipes and more.
If you liked these recipes, I highly recommend you check out my round-up post for Winter Squash Recipes.