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Sweet and Spicy Cashews

I’ll admit it… I’m kind of a sports geek. The three sports I care about most – the NBA playoffs (sorry, Lakers :(), soccer finals (Chelsea!), and Formula 1 races (Sebastian Vettel!) – are all in high gear right now. But what are sports without some delicious one ingredient snacks?!

These roasted cashews draw inspiration from Asian/Indian spices with just enough sweetness to create a beautiful caramelized and crunchy exterior. They’re like a much more unique and flavorful version of your typical honey roasted cashews but without all the weird ingredients and preservatives.

Spicy Cashews

Makes 2 cups (8 servings)


  • 2 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • For optional cashew salsa: diced tomato, basil, and red onion

Note: Don’t let these spices limit you! I’ve made this recipe on several occasions and always use a different combination of spices. Feel free to experiment with curry powder, chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, or whatever else you want to try.

Step One

Preheat the oven to 300º F. Add the cashews to a mixing bowl and pour all the other ingredients (minus the sea salt) over the top. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to toss/coat thoroughly.

Step Two

Transfer the cashews to parchment paper or a Silpat and bake for about 7 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and toss with a spatula to ensure even coating. Bake for another 5-8 minutes until the cashews become light brown — if they get too dark, things are probably burning and you don’t want that! (The ones in the picture below are actually slightly overcooked.)

Sweet and Spicy Cashews

Step Three

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Straight out of the oven, the cashews will be soft and rubbery, but they develop a much nicer crunchy texture after cooling.

For a Cashew Salsa…

Sweet and Spicy Cashews

As an optional step, you can very finely dice some tomato, red onion, and basil and toss with the cashews. This combination seems a little bizarre at first, but it’s really fresh and interesting; it would work great as a unique hors d’oeuvre for a party.

Spicy Cashews

Spicy Cashews


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  1. I’m always a bit at a loss with “cups”, since the volume of the cups in my cupboard vary from less than 0.1l to 0.3l.
    Could you please help me out and let me know how much 2 cups of cashews are in weight units? Thanks…!

    • You certainly could, but I just looked it up and 1 oz of almonds has 161 calories and 14 grams of fat whereas cashews have 155 calories and 12 grams of fat. Go figure! 🙂

  2. While tasty, I found that this recipe results in nuts that stick together in a clump. I did pour the remaining mixture over the nuts before putting in the oven. Should I have left the remaining “syrup” in the mixing bowl? If not, perhaps add some oil to the nuts when removing from the oven?

    • Ah, it might be the fact that you poured the extra sauce over the nuts. That might have added extra stickiness. The sauce is basically just to coat, and the excess can probably be discarded or used for another batch.

  3. Yum! Just made these to cheer up a rainy morning and they’re great! I omitted the soy sauce because I ran out of it, and used cumin, coriander, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. The batch is still cooling but I tested one and this is definitely something I’m making again! Thanks!

  4. Hi Andrew, I read your comments before making and decided to use 1 tablespoon tamari (vs soy) and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup so not as ‘syrupy’. Turned it up to 350 degrees after 5 minutes and left for another 7 minutes. They were yummy and even though a few stuck together, those were the best as the sweet and spicy melded together to make crunchy goodness. Thanks Andrew!!

  5. I made as directed… isn’t that the point lol? My batch did not crispen up enough, even after cooling. I had to give them an additional boost at 400 degrees for about 4 minutes… that did the trick. Next batch (today) will try 375 degrees. I enjoyed these alot… this batch will not shy on spices and I will bump the heat with double the cayenne. These are so addictive, you may require an Intervention!

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