Union Square Cafe Rosemary Nuts

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Sweet, salty, and spicy, these rosemary nuts are perfect with cocktails or for snacking. But don’t say I didn’t warn you: they’re hard to stop eating!

Union Square Cafe Rosemary Nuts

Versions of the famous Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts appear in many cookbooks. Since I love them, I thought it only fitting to include my own adaptation here. Sweet, salty, spicy, and rosemary-infused, they are the perfect nibbling food. And they’re so easy to make! Serve them with cocktails, enjoy them as a snack, or give them as a gift. But don’t say I didn’t warn you: they are hard to stop eating!

How to make rosemary nuts

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Place the nuts on the baking sheet and toast in oven until warm, fragrant and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they can burn quickly.

How to make rosemary nuts

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, and butter.

How to make rosemary nuts Add the warm, toasted nuts to the spiced butter and toss well. Then add the kosher salt.

How to make rosemary nutsToss to coat thoroughly.

How to make rosemary nutsServe warm or let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Union Square Cafe Rosemary Nuts

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Union Square Café Bar Nuts

Sweet, salty, and spicy, these rosemary nuts are perfect with cocktails or for snacking. But don’t say I didn’t warn you: they’re hard to stop eating!

Servings: 2-1/2 cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups unsalted mixed nuts (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Place the nuts on the baking sheet and toast in oven until warm, fragrant and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as nuts can burn quickly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and butter. Add the warm, toasted nuts to the spiced butter and toss well. Add kosher salt and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for longer storage.
  4. Note: I like this recipe best with cashews and pecans, but you can use any nuts that you like. If you use raw nuts, be sure to toast them a bit longer, about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The nuts can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost them on the countertop before serving.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Pretty addictive! Makes nice gifts.

    • — Julie on January 28, 2021
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  • My family is dairy free and I substituted Miyoko’s “Butter” for the butter. We like it best with almonds and pecans.. The taste was fantastic!

    • — BI Baker on January 28, 2021
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  • These were so good! Just the right amount of flavor and spice! I substituted pure maple syrup for the brown sugar and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. Definitely making these again!

    • — Mary on January 28, 2021
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  • These are an excellent holiday gift.

    • — Rene Madara on December 13, 2020
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  • These are a special treat during the holidays. All who tried them liked them. Will make again.

    • — Monica on December 7, 2020
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  • I’ve got the Union Square Cafe cookbook and have been making these nuts for years and always to rave reviews.

    • — Lynda Freedman on November 24, 2020
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  • I really liked this recipe. I am a fan of spicy, roasted nuts. I made this with both pecans and walnuts. My personal taste is to add more salt and cayenne pepper. Where I first came across a recipe that is almost the same is in a cookbook by John Besh, the New Orleans chef. Very good!

    • — MERCEDES G RAMOS on March 15, 2020
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  • This snack is amazing. Such a great flavour with the rosemary. I make batches and give to friends at Christmas in mason jars.

    • — Jackie P on February 27, 2020
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  • I saw this recipe in one of my magazines about 5 years ago….country living or something like that. I made it the next day. Could I find that magazine again with the recipe in it…..no! Although I know it is hiding there somewhere. I figured I could wing it but decided I didn’t want to as it was so good the way it was. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the place in New York. Jenn….literally 2 days prior to receiving this recipe in one of your emails I was telling someone about it. Then 2 days later it is in my inbox! Thank you so much for posting this Jenn! I made it and as always it was a hit. I have a tub in the freezer for New Year’s Eve 🙂

    • — Helen on December 30, 2019
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  • Hi Jenn, I would like to make, jar and send these as a gift for friends. However it says they are good for 5 days, and it will take 3 days to get there. I’d love to think they could enjoy these casually over a week or two. I’m thinking this won’t be possible then? What might you advise?

    • — Colleen on December 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Colleen, The nuts are just at their best for that period of time but won’t go bad. Hope your recipients enjoy them!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2019
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  • These are a wonderful snack to have on hand – I made a big enough batch (using a bulk mix of nuts from my local store) to share and gift, and the people who’ve had it LOVE it. Nice spicy kick with the Cayenne pepper too. I’m bringing it to a game night tonight to share and test on others…

    • — Kristine T. on December 12, 2019
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  • These are so good I can’t stop eating them. Used olive oil instead of butter. Almonds, cashews and pecans. So easy.

    • — Mary on October 4, 2019
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