Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts is a fun and festive appetizer with an intriguing combination of flavors ~ and they’re so easy to make! These zesty mixed nuts are the perfect starter for any party.
jerk spiced nuts have a Caribbean flair!
Jamaican jerk spices are used as a dry spice rub on grilled meats and fish. The spice blend has roots going back to Africa when it was brought to the Caribbean by colonial era slaves, and I thought it would be interesting to try it out in a nut mix. These jerk spiced nuts contain a complex blend of spices, but the defining flavors are allspice and hot pepper, and the whole thing is a little bit unexpected, which I love.
what are jerk spices?
My cast of flavors includes:
- dried hot chilies
- allspice berries
- smoked sea salt
They make an authentic and powerful statement, and actually the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger give it a hint of holiday, so it’s perfect for any season.
I also used a touch of brown sugar to give the mix a hit of sweetness and the juice of half a lemon for a surprising tang. The hot pepper gives a pleasant amount of heat.
how to choose your nuts
We’re starting with raw nuts, not roasted. Use whatever nuts you like, but it helps to get them as fresh and whole as possible. I used macadamias, pecan halves, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, red walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts.
how to roast your nuts for jerk spiced nuts
You can do this in the oven or on the stove top, but the stove top gives you a little more control.
Stovetop toasted nuts: Put the nuts in a large skillet and roast them for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir them often, and shake the pan gently. After about 10 minutes you should start to see a hint of color on the nuts. You will hear the crackle of skins crisping, and begin to smell the aroma. Continue roasting for another 5 minutes, being extra careful not to let them burn. Don’t walk away, nuts can burn in an instant.
Oven toasted nuts: Put your nuts in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during roasting.
how to serve jerk spiced nuts
This is a simple appetizer that you can make any time. I love to serve them warm, so if you make your nuts ahead, be sure to rewarm them i the oven, or microwave.I like to garnish the nuts with some extra fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest before serving.
For spiced nuts with a completely different flavor profile, try my Za’atar Spiced Cashews.
Jamaican Jerk Spiced Nuts
- standard baking sheet
- 5 cups mixed raw nuts, I used walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds
- 3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp ground dried red peppers
- 1 Tbsp ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Put the nuts in a large skillet and roast them for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir them often, and shake the pan gently. After about 10 minutes you should start to see a hint of color on the nuts. You will hear the crackle of skins crisping, and begin to smell the aroma. Continue roasting for another 5 minutes, being extra careful not to let them burn. Don’t walk away, nuts can burn in an instant.
- Gently transfer the nuts onto a baking sheet.
- In the same pan, add the oil, sugar and lemon juice. Heat until sizzling, and all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the nuts and the rest of the spices back into the pan and continue to roast for a few more minutes, stirring to combine everything. When the nuts have absorbed all the liquids, transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out to cool.
- After they have cooled you can store them in an airtight container.
- Just before serving, heat the nuts on a dry baking sheet at 300F for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Questions and Reviews
These are cooling on my counter as I write, and they are really delish. Thanks for the lovely recipe!
Jerk spices on nuts? WHY have i not thought of this! I love spiced nuts, especially when i know i have hungry people coming over; keeps them quiet until i can finish what i’m doing. bookmarking, big time. I’m supposed to make appetizers for two parties, and i may tack these on to what i’m doing, just for fun.
Can’t beat a great bowl of fresh nuts, herbs and spices – I can see all of us sitting around sipping wine, laughing and grabbing a handful of these lovely nuts!
This looks delicious. I would love to make this for my next family gathering, I know it’d be a crowd pleasure for sure
I love jerk seasoning and I’ve never met a bowl of mixed nuts that I could resist. Not only are the flavors sounding fab, but the photos are light and radiant and beautiful!
I never thought to put Jerk spice on nuts…but I’m loving the sound of it. I love the spice blend and I know the smoked salt must add another fantastic layer of dimension. Yum!
Thanks Heather, I was going to go with chili/lime, but I forced myself to think outside the box, and they are good!
These are really different flavor combinations and I am loving the sound of it. All of the photographs are gorgeous too. I need to go pick up more dried fruits and nuts asap!
Thank goodness for Trader Joes, eh?