Moroccan Spiced Walnuts

That there is one pretty jar of goodness….good on many levels.

GOOD tasting…

…since the walnuts are coated with a Moroccan seasoning mix called Ras el Hanout. That, in combination with just enough butter and brown sugar to make a crunchy coating, results in nuts that are sweet, salty and spicy all at the same time. A dream team.

GOOD to make…

because the recipe will take you about 15 minutes to knock out and can easily be doubled.

GOOD for …

…whoever is on the receiving end since walnuts are enormously nourishing: high in healthy Omega-3 fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants.  The spice mix contributes on the nutritional front too, since research shows healthy upsides to everything from turmeric to cinnamon to ginger.

GOOD for…

…the cook because you get to nibble on the extras without getting a sugar high as is often the case with gifts from the kitchen. If you make your own Ras el Hanout, you’ll have a generous amount leftover to experiment in your cooking. Here you’ll find a Ras el Hanout tutorial with some recipe ideas.

Moroccan Spiced Walnuts

I’ve been smitten with these Moroccan Spiced Walnuts ever since  attending a dinner last spring hosted by the California Walnuts folks. The recipe was developed by oh-so-talented cookbook author and chef, Joanne Weir, who sent us home from the dinner with goody bags full of  spiced nuts. I’ve been making them  ever since. They make a delicious snack, are wonderful over salads, and pretty served alongside a cheese plate.

Now, go spread the Moroccan walnut love. Be careful, it’s highly contagious.

5 from 1 vote

Moroccan Spiced Walnuts

Sweet and spicy Moroccan walnuts dusted with ras el hanout. Great as a gift, snack, or pretty party appetizer. 

Course Appetizer, Snacks
Servings 2 heaping cups
Author katiemorford


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout (store-bought or see Notes)
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
  2. Over medium heat, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the ras el hanout, cayenne, salt, brown sugar and water. Stir until the sugar is melted, the mixture bubbles and looks foamy on top. Toss the warm walnuts with the butter mixture until thoroughly coated. Place in a single layer on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. With a spoon, toss the walnuts. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Break up the walnuts if they have stuck together.
  4. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe Notes

Ras el Hanout Spice Mix -- In a small bowl, whisk together the following spices. Transfer what you don't use to a small container with a lid. 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3 teaspoons ground cumin 3 teaspoons ground turmeric 2 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons ground ginger 2 teaspoons ground cardamom 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon mace 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Adapted from a recipe by Joanne Weir for California Walnuts 


12.09.2014 at 9:06 AM #

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom

I’m a huge walnut fan so I know I’ll love making this recipe. Now I just have to get my hands on that Ras el Hanout Spice Mix! I have a Penzeys in my neighborhood so I’ll look there for sure!

12.09.2014 at 9:06 AM #


What I should also have mentioned, is that that recipe really lends itself to any favorite spice mix. I could see using Cajun mix or a pumkpkin pie spice or garam masala, etc….although the Ras el Hanout is a pretty interesting combo of flavors.

12.09.2014 at 10:08 AM #

Caroline @ Caroline Kaufman Nutrition

Thank you so much for linking to my roundup! I LOVE the sound of these spiced walnuts and you always do such a lovely job decorating up the jar. Have a great week!

12.09.2014 at 10:08 AM #


You are welcome. And thank you!

12.16.2014 at 5:10 AM #


I just made a batch of these and they are delicious. They are supposed to be for a gift but they may not make it into the packaging. They really are so quick and easy to make, I will definitely be making plenty more during the holidays

12.16.2014 at 5:10 AM #


Oh good. I know, you really need to double the recipe so you can keep a littler stash for yourself 🙂

12.16.2014 at 11:40 AM #

Annie Cobb

I made the walnuts for a cocktail party and they were so easy and delicious. Everyone was gobbling them up. I’m going to make them for Christmas eve!

12.21.2014 at 5:16 PM #

Gail Pickholz

I just finished making these spiced walnuts and quadrupled the recipe. The spices smelled great and I anticipated having a wonderfully unique holiday gift to give to friends. I am very disappointed that they are way too salty and I don’t know what to do with this large quantity of walnuts that are borderline inedible. Any tips?

12.21.2014 at 5:16 PM #


So sorry to hear that Gail. If these are too salty for your tastebuds for snacking and you don’t feel comfortable giving them as gifts, I’d probably store them in the freezer and use them as an ingredient when nuts are called for. If you chop them and add them to salads, use them in spreads, baking goods, etc., I’d scale back the salt in th recipe to make up for the salt in the nuts. As for why they are so salty, I find that doubling a recipe usually works, but sometimes the ratios don’t always translate when you increase a recipe more than that. Also, if you used fine salt instead of Kosher salt, that can make a difference too. Either way, that is disappointing.

03.12.2019 at 3:41 PM #


I had all the ingredients for the spice mix; followed the recipe and we all liked it so much, had to make a second batch right away.

03.12.2019 at 3:41 PM #


Well that is great feedback! Thanks for taking the time to share. Enjoy 🙂

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