This dark chocolate-covered pecans recipe is delicious! These pecans look fancy, but they are simple to make with only 3 main ingredients. If you are craving something sweet and/or crunchy, this easy recipe is a delicious treat and is much better for your mental and overall health than cookies or potato chips!
Dark Chocolate-Covered Pecans Recipe Ingredients & Mental Health Benefits
You only need 3 ingredients to make these chocolate pecans:
Nuts are a part of the Mediterranean diet, which is the best dietary pattern for good mental health. And a Mediterranean diet pattern supplemented with extra tree nuts is even more beneficial for depression.
Pecans are a good source of fiber. Fiber is a key to gut health, which strongly influences brain and mental health through the gut-brain axis.
Pecans are also a good source of protein, healthy fats (monounsaturated), magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants.
>60% cacao dark chocolate chips
Because dark chocolate is high in polyphenols (strong antioxidants), there is evidence that dark chocolate could reduce depression symptoms. The darker the chocolate, the more polyphenols it has. I used 60% cacao in this recipe, but feel free to use a higher cacao content. Remember that white chocolate does not contain these polyphenols.
>Extra-virgin olive oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is also an integral part of the Mediterranean diet and is high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy fat).
How to Make Chocolate-Covered Pecans
The toasting step is not required, but it adds to the flavor of the pecan that pairs well with the dark chocolate. Start by mixing the pecans and olive oil until the pecans are coated.
Heat the pecans in a skillet over medium-low heat for around 8 to 10 minutes or just until golden brown. Stir them frequently and stop cooking before they turn dark brown. Then set the toasted pecans aside to cool.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips on HIGH in 30-second increments, stirring between each increment.
Remove them from the microwave when the chocolate is almost completely melted and stir until the last chips melt.
Dip half of each pecan in the melted chocolate and place them in a single layer on the parchment paper to dry. Repeat with all the pecans.
As an alternative to the individual chocolate pecans or to use the remaining broken pecan pieces, pour the pecans into the chocolate and stir until they are completely coated. Spoon small clusters of pecans onto the parchment paper. This is the fastest and easiest way to make this recipe.
If desired, sprinkle the pecans with coarse or flaky sea salt, cinnamon, and/or cayenne pepper before the chocolate reaches room temperature. My favorite is a hint of salt and cinnamon!
Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate dries completely.
Store the chocolate-covered pecans in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They are also delicious straight from the freezer for a frozen treat!
Chocolate-Covered Pecan Recipe Tips & FAQ
Store the pecans in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. You don’t need to thaw them to enjoy them! And they can easily be pulled out for last-minute guests.
Pecans can be expensive, but raw pecans freeze well. Buy them when they are on sale and keep in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
Yes! You can use almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or a nut mixture.
Get creative with your toppings or mix-ins. I enjoy coarse salt and cinnamon, but you can sprinkle with cayenne pepper for some heat or mix in dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried mango.
These pecans are elegant enough for entertaining and make a great gift in a bag or box tied with pretty ribbon.
Give these a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Dark Chocolate-Covered Pecans Recipe
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup 60% cacao dark chocolate chips
- Coarse salt, cinnamon, and/or cayenne pepper optional
- Mix pecans and olive oil until pecans are evenly coated.
- Heat in a skillet over medium-low heat for around 8 to 10 minutes or just until golden brown, stirring frequently. Do not cook until they are dark brown. Set aside to cool.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips on HIGH in 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until almost completely melted. Remove from the microwave and stir until the last chips melt.
- Dip each pecan half at least halfway in the chocolate and place on the parchment paper. Repeat with all pecans. Alternately or with the remaining pecan pieces, pour the pecans into the chocolate and stir until coated. Spoon small clusters of pecans onto the parchment paper.
- If desired, sprinkle each pecan half or cluster with coarse salt, cinnamon, and/or cayenne pepper before the chocolate dries completely.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.
- Substitute with almonds, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or a nut mixture.
- Get creative with your toppings or mix-ins. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper for some heat or mix in dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried mango.
- These pecans are elegant enough for entertaining and make a great gift in a bag or box tied with pretty ribbon.