Best Pecan Substitutes (And How To Use Them)

whole pecans

If you are making a recipe that calls for pecans but you are all out, there is no need to worry.

There are numerous substitutes for pecans you can use no matter what you are making, and you will find each pecan alternative and how to use them right here.

Pecans offer a subtle, earthy flavor that is ideal for desserts, breakfast, and so much more. So when looking for a good pecan replacement you will want a nut with a similar flavor and texture.

So what are the best substitutes for pecans?

The top pecan substitutes are walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecan oil, and brazil nuts.

For everything you need to know about each of these pecan alternatives, as well as how to use them, read on.

Pecan Alternatives

bag of walnuts

I use pecans in all types of recipes, from pecan pie, to cookies, to topping crepes, to making parfaits. But there are times when the store is all out of pecans and a substitute is needed.

The following nuts (and a nut oil) will wonderfully in most recipes that call for pecans. So depending on what you have available, you are certain to find a pecan replacement that will work for your recipe.

Walnuts

whole walnuts

Easily one of my favorite substitutes for pecans are walnuts. They offer a wonderful earthy flavor that compliments almost every recipe that calls for pecans.

They are also readily available in most locations year round making them an affordable and easy to obtain pecan replacement.

Walnuts can be used whole or crushed depending on the dish you are preparing, making them incredibly versatile.

Related Recipe: Walnut Crepes

Equivalent

1 cup walnuts equals 1 cup pecans

Pistachios

Pistachios in bowl

Pistachios offer an earthy flavor with sweet notes making it a great replacement for pecans in desserts.

They taste delicious roasted or raw and are popular as a standalone snack. But they are also versatile much like pecans. They go well in many baked dishes like cookies, cakes, and pies.

Pistachios are available in most areas, but they do tend to cost more than pecans at my grocery store.

Equivalent

1 cup of pistachios equals 1 cup of pecans

Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nuts on table

These tasty nuts have a rich, buttery flavor with hints of sweetness. They are a wonderful substitute for pecans in all types of recipes. In fact, macadamia nuts work equally well in sweet and savory dishes.

Macadamia nut’s wonderful texture and flavor does come at a cost though. They are one of the most expensive nuts around. But if you want a truly delicious pecan alternative, macadamia nuts are a wonderful option.

Related: Macadamia Nut Substitutes

Equivalent

1 cup of macadamia nuts equals 1 cup of pecans

Cashews

whole cashews

My personal favorite nut, cashews are an exceptional sub for pecans. And they can be used in almost any recipe that calls for pecans.

Cashews can be found raw, roasted, salted and unsalted. What you use will largely depend on the recipe you are making. But as a general rule use the version that is equivalent to the type of pecan called for in your recipe.

Equivalent

1 cup of cashews equals 1 cup of pecans

Related Recipe: Cashew Nougat Cookies

Hazelnuts

bowl of Hazelnuts

Whole hazelnut or even hazelnut powder can be used in many recipes that call for pecans. They provide an earthy flavor that is somewhat similar to pecans, though not as subtle.

Hazelnuts are particularly well suited for baked recipes and beverages. They are also readily available in most grocery stores.

Related: Hazelnut Substitutes

Equivalent

1 cup of hazelnuts equals 1 cup of pecans

Pecan Oil

bottle of pecan oil

If you are all out of pecans but need the flavor of pecan in your recipe, pecan oil is an excellent option.

While you will not get the crunchy texture of pecan, you will get all the wonderful flavor.

Note: Pecan oil is higher in fat content than whole pecans so you may need to adjust down the other fats in your recipe.

Equivalent

3 tablespoon pecan oil equal 1 cup of pecans

Brazil Nuts

shelled Brazil nuts

These smooth nuts offer a rich, buttery flavor with earthy notes. They work wonderfully in desserts that call for pecans.

They are a bit higher priced than pecans but are available in most areas making them a solid substitute for pecan.

Equivalent

1 cup Brazil nuts equals 1 cup of pecans

Pecan Replacement FAQ

slice of pecan pie

Can I substitute pine nuts for pecans?

While pine nuts are less sweet than pecans, they can be subbed in dessert recipes that call for pecans. Pine nuts work particularly well in recipes with chocolate.

Can I substitute pecans with walnuts?

Yes, walnuts are an excellent substitute for pecans. Walnuts work well in almost every recipe that calls for pecans.

Can I substitute cashews for pecans?

Yes, cashews are a great pecan alternative. They offer an earthy flavor with sweet notes that compliments most recipes that call for pecans.

What is a good pecan substitute in cookies?

Walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are the best substitutes for pecans when baking cookies. Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing any of these nuts for pecans in your cookie recipe.

Written by Liv

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