Spicy Rosemary Cocktail Nuts (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Have you ever opened a tin of mixed nuts, only to find that someone had already gotten there and eaten out all the pecans or cashews? If you live anywhere in my vicinity, chances are that the culprit would be me. It’s horribly shameful, but I can’t help myself. The salted pecans are my favourites and there are so few of them in each tin. For the record, I don’t paw through all of the nuts to get to my beloved pecans, because that would be disgusting. Instead, I have a well-practiced way of tilting the tin back and forth to shake the pecans from their hiding places. I like the almonds too, and I love cashews but they are higher in carbs to I try not to eat too many. But let’s face it – the peanuts are just filler, and the brazil nuts taste like dirt (at least, I think they do – so much so that I even call them “dirt nuts”). The pecans are like the prize at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jacks.

Over the holidays, as I was digging down in our 3lb tin of mixed nuts, it suddenly hit me. I should just make my own damn nuts! This way, I could improve upon the pecan-to-dirt-nut ratio, preferably by eliminating the dirt nuts altogether. It’s not that I haven’t roasted my own nuts before, I’ve actually done it quite a few times (Spicy Roasted Almonds). I just get lazy, particularly when presented with an over-sized tin of mixed nuts from our local wholesaler. We go through a ridiculous amount of nuts in this house, and I am not sure I could quite keep up with that by making my own. But then again, I can’t complain about the ratio of pecans to brazil nuts if I am not willing to make them myself, now can I? And making my own also allows me to adjust the salt and any other seasonings to my own liking.

A few years ago, some friends came to dinner and made us some rosemary roasted cashews from The Barefoot Contessa. They were so good and I believe I may have stood over the bowl, forking them into my mouth and not really letting anyone else near them. My friend kindly let me copy the recipe and I’ve been meaning to make them for a long time. Alas, they are all cashews, and they are made with brown sugar. Not exactly the ideal snack for a carb-conscious diabetic. So imagine my excitement when I came across THIS recipe on Foodgawker. I bookmarked immediately, planning on making some over the holidays, but of course I never did. I had three sick children and a large tin of already roasted nuts, so it just wasn’t going to happen. But I did finally get around to making them this past weekend for the women in my bookclub.

The Results: These are phenomenal and a perfect addition to any party menu. They are definitely best served warm, so I only made a half-batch because I knew that the six of us couldn’t polish off 4 cups of nuts. I also cut back on the oil a bit, and my nut mix was made up of mostly pecans and almonds, with a few cashews for good measure. I didn’t really measure my spices, I just eyeballed them, but I probably put in a bit more rosemary, cayenne and red pepper flakes than called for in the original recipe. I found that they only needed 8-10 minutes in the oven before they were beautifully roasted.

A big thumbs up for these. I will be making more very soon. They are so easy and so amazingly delicious! Dirt nuts need not apply. Unless you like dirt nuts. Then have at it.

Spicy Rosemary Cocktail Nutsminimally adapted from Gourmande In the Kitchen

3 cups mixed raw nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine nuts in a medium bowl and add olive oil. Stir well. Add remaining ingredients and stir to comine thoroughly.

Spread nuts on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Makes approximately 8 servings. Carb count will depend on what types of nuts you use. The way I made it (mostly pecans and almonds with a little bit of cashews), each serving has 7.4g of carbs and 4.8g of fiber.

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  1. Sandra says

    They look absolutely gorgeous! I love nuts, and mostly love just plain unseasoned once's but this sounds amazing!

  2. Kim - Liv Life says

    So glad you posted this!! I had a "nut failure" a few months back. When I arrived at the party people eagerly eyed the nuts, but after one taste my neighbor (who was my recent guest poster…) said, "Well… you don't have to worry about blogging those…". Ugh!
    I will have to redeem myself with these! I think for Super Bowl!

  3. Ang says

    Oh yum! I made nuts over christmas that called for a little rosemary and I loved it! Your's look delicious though and very simple. Don't tell….I'm guilty of picking all the cashews out:)

  4. Jason Phelps says

    You can go wrong with these. I was on a homemade sweet glazed nut binge around the holidays. I think I will switch now and start with these.

    Thanks for the recipe!


  5. Lisa says

    I love making rosemary nuts, I usually make a sweet, rosemary mix for the market every holiday season, but I will try these. I love the heat.

  6. Jennifurla says

    Yes I have had that happen, also someone at all the strawberries out of my fruit salad!

    This sounds great

    Love that last picture

  7. Annie says

    I'd have to say that cashews and almonds are my favorites and I am very guilty of picking them all out. I didn't know that cashews were really high in carbs. Thanks for the tip.

    Your spicy rosemary mixed nuts sound delicious! I am saving this one and hope to try it soon!

  8. Charlie @ SweetSaltySpicy says

    I often make sweet nuts but never made spicy ones. I don't know why since I love spicy foods! Might try yours :).

  9. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says

    These would be so great for a Super Bowl party. I'd be tempted to only do cashews but then I might eat the whole batch by myself.

  10. Mr. & Mrs. P says

    What a great idea. We always find mixed nuts with seasoning too salty! This is a great alternative and the posibilities are endless by changing up spices

  11. Stella says

    Yum, Carolyn! This is so pretty and simple. They look delicious too, and I know your rosemary cocktail of nuts are so much more healthful than anything in a tin. Did you know even most 'roasted' nut tins are full of nuts that have been deep fried and then roasted?! Craziness (smile)…

  12. Kristen says

    I am with you in thinking that Brazil nuts should be left in Brazil. I have been eating through a bunch of nuts still in their shells. I ate the almonds first because they were the easiest to open. The hazelnuts came second, but I crushed a lot of them with my nut cracker and had to find all of the pieces amongst the shells. The walnuts and pecans have been more tricky. The Brazil nuts are still in the bag. Sitting. Destined most likely for the neighborhood squirrels, if they will have them.

    What you have done to these nuts is truly magnificent.

  13. Kate @ Diethood.com says

    That would be a great snack!
    I'm the one that eats the pecans and cashews before others get to the tin … oops :)

  14. Nikki says

    I always pick out the cashews and eat them first! I never thought to make my own nuts, either. I love this soooo much. I'm sure to gain 10 lbs because of it too. So worth it.


    Carolyn, they look and sound heavenly! It would have never occurred to me to add herbs to nuts, but I can see how it would really liven up the flavor!

  16. Vibey says

    OK – these look seriously good. Thanks to Christmas as well as a very bountiful herb garden this year, I have everything I need. Oven's already on, so… yeah! Making them now, pretty much.

  17. Vibey says

    15 minutes later…

    Risking scalding the roof of my mouth, have just taste them and… OH MY! They are superb. By far the best spiced nut recipe I've ever had (and I've made many), probably because that combination of olive oil and rosemary is one of my favourite flavours in the world. Thanks again for posting this! (Hope that after typing this they'll be a little cooler so that I can have a good handful.)

  18. Sophie says

    Waw!! these mixed spiced nuts look incrdibly tasty!!

    MMMMMMM,..thanks for sharing!

    I love the red pepper flakes & rosemary in here!

  19. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says

    I am so happy to hear that you tried my recipe and that it worked out well for you! To tell you the truth I eyeball the spices when I make these too, and they have always turned out well. My favorite nuts are cashews and almonds so I tend to go heavy on those as well.

  20. Three-Cookies says

    Sounds delicious. I heard that there is a bar in NY famous for their roasted nuts, they use butter, herbs etc. Yours is the healthier version!

  21. Pretend Chef says

    Itty bitty and I can easily polish off a tin of mixed nuts within a day or two. Itty bitty picks out cashews and I love the almonds. Your mixed nuts look and sound delicious!

  22. Becky says

    I made Spicy Maple Walnuts over the holidays, and they were a hit. Much better to make your own, no matter what the recipe is.

  23. Faith says

    Oh yes, I agree with you about the pecans…and I'm a can shaker to get at them too, lol! Your nuts look delicious, I really love the addition of rosemary!

  24. Sommer J says

    Looks fabulous! I love to make my own nuts, but like you I get lazy haha. My children and husband included are nuts for….er nuts 😉

  25. Carrie says

    I keep seeing recipes like this around the web, and they always look so good. I really need to try them out! Too funny – my husband and I think that Brazil nuts taste like dirt, too!

  26. BakingWithoutABox says

    These are so good looking that I snuck a drooling look at them while in the middle of work yesterday when I was supposed to be answering someone (cough, judge) verbally. Oops. Totally worth it. That's how amazing these nuts look and sound. I can just imagine the smell from here. Wonderful job!

  27. buyffxivgil says

    Lovely combination. It fires up my tasting adventure and will surely prepare this for our picka-picka movie marathon.

  28. Terra says

    I am such a fan of rosemary, and spicy food, now you have put them together…YUM!!! This really does look wonderful, and the pictures are so beautiful. Especially the clear bowl picture with the nuts.

    I am making a light box this weekend, to finally help my pics, very excited!!! :)

    Big congrats on your top 9 on Foodbuzz!


  29. She's Cookin' says

    I always pick out all the pecans. My husband even saves me the pecans as he likes the cashews – that's why our marriage survives 😉 Love savory nuts with a bit of spice – Congrats on the Top 9!

  30. Claudie says

    Great idea to make your own nuts indeed — your post is making me want to experiment with different spices! And of course, as usual, I love the fact that it's low-carb.

  31. Grace says

    We could never live in the same house we'd be fighting for the nuts! We go thru a tons of nuts in my home too and I have been making to make my own mix. These look delicious, I love rosemary one of my favourite herbs. My daughter would love the kick from the red pepper flakes.

  32. Feast on the Cheap says

    I've been absolutely craving some sort of nutty snack – I'm making these today. I have an overabundance of pecans, walnuts & almonds hanging out in my pantry (courtesy of costco). Thanks for sharing!

  33. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says

    I'm not quite as refined as you are, I'll actually just paw through a jar to dig out all the almonds (my favourite). Making your own mix is a great idea, no pesky peanuts!


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