brunch / recipes / sweet / vegan + vegetarian

Butter Pecan Oatmeal

I’ve been wanting to develop an oatmeal recipe, but one that was different from the hundreds already available if you browse Pinterest.

While brainstorming different ways to make plain ol’ oatmeal more original I found a bag of pecans in my pantry which always makes me think of Butter Pecan, and here we are!

Butter Pecan Oatmeal is creamy, buttery oatmeal topped with crunchy candied pecans. Both sweetened with vanilla and brown sugar along with a bit of cinnamon. It’s a wonderful, filling combination of flavors and textures.

Butter Pecan is a flavor popular here in The South, especially amongst older black folk like my grandparents. In the fall my grandfather always filled the pantry closet with bags of pecans waiting to be shelled and roasted (Pecan season is September – November). My gramma could probably exist on solely Häagen-Dazs Butter Pecan ice cream for the rest of her days.

I can’t say I love it as they do, but I can definitely see the appeal: it’s a perfect blend of salty and sweet and y’all know I love butter.

Butter Pecan Oatmeal is actually two recipes in one – first the candied pecans, then the oatmeal. If you’ve never made candied nuts before you’ll probably be surprised at how simple and easy it is to do.

You can make them 2-3 days in advance – just keep ’em in an airtight container. I like making them just before, so they’re cooled enough to be crunchy and no longer sticky on the outside, but still a tad warm on the inside.

Things to Note:

  • This recipe calls for rolled oats. I’ve not tested it with steel-cut or instant oats, so I can’t say if it would work or not.
  • You might need to increase – or decrease – the amount of liquid called for to achieve your preferred consistency. Oatmeal is especially individual-specific food.
  • The candied pecan recipe will work with the same amount of any other type of nut, and both raw and roasted nuts work equally as well.
  • Toasting the oats brings out a wonderful nutty flavor and really infuses them with butter. I don’t recommend skipping this step, but the recipe will turn out well f you do.

If you make this Butter Pecan Oatmeal recipe let me know what you think by rating it or leaving a comment below.

Oatmeal not your thing? I understand. Maybe my Strawberry Cheesecake Crunch French Toast or Philly Cheesesteak Hash is more up your alley.

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Butter Pecan Oatmeal

Butter Pecan Oatmeal

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


A big ol’ bowl of Southern Comfort that isn’t banned on Sundays.


Units Scale

Candied Pecans:

  • 1/2 lb pecan halves, raw or roasted
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 2 C whole milk
  • 1 C water
  • 4 tbsp salted butter, divided
  • 2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste


  1. Make the candied pecans first, at least an hour prior to starting the oatmeal. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Add the butter into a cast-iron skillet and place it nto the oven. Leave it there while you prepare the pecans. 
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the egg white, water, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously until the whites are a bit foamy. 
  3. Add your pecans to the bowl and stir to coat thoroughly. Add your sugars and cinnamon, and stir again. Make sure everything is evenly distributed. 
  4. Remove your cast iron skillet from the oven once the butter is melted. Pour your coated pecans into the skillet and spread them out into an even layer. Return the cast-iron skillet to the oven.
  5. Bake the pecans for 45 minutes or so, removing every 15 minutes to gently stir and turn the pecans so they cook evenly. They will be sticky and kind of wet for most of this time, only really becoming hardened once they cool, but you’ll notice the amount of moisture will reduce toward the end of baking.
  6. After 45 minutes remove them from the oven and let them rest. You can remove the pecans to a baking sheet to cool faster if you like. Stir them every 10 minutes or so to avoid them clumping together while you work on the oatmeal. 
  7. For your oatmeal, place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp of salted butter. Once that’s melted and begins to foam add your oats. Toast the oats, stirring as you go, for 5-7 minutes. They should look completely dry, with no more sheen or wetness from the butter. 
  8. Pour in your milk and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  9. Taste and make sure the oats are tender to your liking. If they aren’t, cook for a few minutes longer. 
  10. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter, the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean paste. Cover again and set aside for 2 minutes to thicken. 
  11. Serve hot, with the candied pecans on top, and an extra pat of salted butter if you’re feeling adventurous. 


  • If your nuts are still sticky once they are completely cool to the touch, place them back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes, then cool again. You don’t need to add more butter, but stay close to the oven and pay close attention to how it smells. Don’t let it burn. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: breakfast
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