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Union Square Cafe Rosemary Nuts

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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!

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.

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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: 2½ cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups unsalted mixed nuts (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Serving size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 216
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Cholesterol: 3 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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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Comments

  • Yummy! I made these for my son who is trying to cut back on carbs and I “sampled” a few after they came out of the oven — they were delicious and perfectly flavored. I had to force myself to stop eating them so there would be some left for him! PS. He liked them too!

    • — Gretchen on February 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent! Used Costco’s mixed nuts…so lowered the salt to 1/8 tsp…
    Another fabulous recipe! Thank you…

    • — Cynthia on December 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • I would like to make these but could only find bags of unsalted roasted mixed nuts from Trader Joe’s … because they are already roasted, what do I do about the toasting? I would not want them too well done, but it seems like they would need some time in the oven before adding the butter mixture?

    • — Jane on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, the recipe is written with the assumption that you’re using already roasted nuts, so you can just follow the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn, I made the nuts and they are a fabulous combination of flavors. I’d like to give them for gifts but I have some family members who won’t want “pieces of green stuff” (fresh rosemary) in their nuts. Is it possible to use ground rosemary instead? If so, how much?
    btw, For Christmas I’m giving your cookbook to two more open-minded and creative cooking millennial family members.

    • — Barbara on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, you can get away with using dried rosemary. Just make sure you chop it pretty finely as it’s a little barky. I’d use 2 teaspoons. Also, thanks so much for your support of the cookbook – glad you like it enough to gift it to others! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • This recipe used the be made with dried ground rosemary. Do you still have those measurements available?

    • — Juliane McDavid on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Juliane, you’ll need 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • We love these and have had them several times as-is, but occasionally we adapt the recipe to go a little lighter (maybe half a tsp) on the rosemary and add a tsp of maple syrup which makes them a little more mellow. Definitely best when eaten warm!

    • — Parker on November 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Quick question since you have made this recipe multiple times. I just made it, and they taste wonderful, but the bulk of the mix is still on the bottom of the bowl, no matter how much i stir and stir and mix it up. Not much is on the nuts themselves. Any tips?

      • — Kathy Mitchell on December 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • Pretty amazing! Makes nice gifts.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • These are an excellent holiday gift.

  • These are a special treat during the holidays. All who tried them liked them. Will make again.

  • I’ve got the Union Square Cafe cookbook and have been making these nuts for years and always to rave reviews.

    • — Lynda Freedman
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Reply
  • This snack is amazing. Such a great flavour with the rosemary. I make batches and give to friends at Christmas in mason jars.

  • 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 🙂

  • 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?

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

  • 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…

  • These are so good I can’t stop eating them. Used olive oil instead of butter. Almonds, cashews and pecans. So easy.

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