Pecans are nuts that can be used to make many great dishes, such as pecan pie, pecan sauce, and more.
Let’s suppose that they are the main ingredient for the dish you’re about to make, but you run out of them; what can you do in that situation?
In this article, we’re going to consider all angles of pecan substitute so that you will know what the best replacement is no matter what you need.
Related article: Top 8 Alternatives For Cashews That Will Make You Surprised
5 Best Pecan Substitutes
Let’s discover what to substitute for pecan nuts below:
Walnut is the most well-known substitution for pecans as they share many similar features, including the rich, sweet, and earthy taste.
It also provides lots of health benefits, as it is also rich in heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, polyphenols, and so many other nutrients.
So, what is the most significant difference between walnut and pecan? Walnuts are quite bigger and broader than pecans. Besides, they are crunchier and a bit bitter.
In which situation can you swap pecans for walnuts? Well, you can do that on most recipes.
For instance, instead of chopped pecan, you can use crushed walnut to top a pasta salad, oatmeal, or yogurt. Moreover, you can use ground walnuts to make a flavorsome sauce to eat with bread, scones, and desserts.
The next one on the list of substitutes for pecans is hazelnut. Hazelnuts are the fruits of the hazels, which derive from the species of genus Corylus.
Instead of hazelnuts, you can also call them cobnuts or filbert nuts based on species.
Despite the differences between the hazelnut types, almost all of them can bring out a similar creamy and earthy flavor to pecan nuts.
What makes them different from other pecan alternatives is their chocolaty and nutty odor.
Thus, adding some hazelnuts to your chocolate products, such as homemade candies or cakes, will surely boost the aromatic, rich flavors in minutes.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Which nuts to go for if you are fond of a more butter-like flavor? In that case, Macadamia nuts would be one of the best options to pick as it has been loved worldwide for its sweet, buttery flavor and creamy texture.
Due to its flavor and smooth texture, Macadamia nuts would be the best substitute for roasted pecans in recipes for baked goods, such as cookies and cream pies.
Moreover, raw Macadamia nuts also can be a healthy snack as they are rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
The only thing you might not like about this nut type is its hard shells. It would be best to use a specific tool to take the kernel out of the whole nut.
Another pecan substitute you can try is cashew – a kidney shaped nut growing out of the cashew apple’s bottom.
Compared to other nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, and pecans, the cashew nuts are pretty high in fat, making them ideal ingredients to make creamy sauces or spreads without any dairy.
Besides, chopped or crushed cashew nuts can be used as pecans pieces to top on salads or desserts.
If you have time, you can roast cashews using similar roasting pecans in the shell methods, as this step will evoke the cashews’ fantastic fragrance.
Whole cashews can also be healthy when eaten raw. However, you should eat only a small amount of them as they are high in calories.
Pistachio is another member of the cashew family; however, its nuts are far different from the regular cashew nuts. The kernels are pale green and have plump and meaty flavors.
The delicious taste makes them an excellent choice for rounding out salads, such as pistachio salad made from fresh pistachios, whipped cream, and canned fruit.
Facts About Pecan You Might Not Have Known
Before considering a pecan substitute, let’s check out some information about this tasty nut.
What Is Pecan, And How Do They Taste?
Pecans are considered a tree nut from the hickory species. The surprising fact is that there are over 500 types of pecans worldwide with slightly different characteristics.
Despite the differences, the taste of pecans is pretty similar. They all come with a distinctly sweet and buttery flavor with a mild fragrant. The nuts’ shells are slightly bitter while the fleshes are sweet and a little bit fatty.
What’s about the weight? How much does a pecan weigh? One single halved pecan kernel weighs 1.5 grams or 0.05 ounce. It seems like pecans are pretty lightweight, right?
Yup, these nuts may be small, but they are beneficial to human health. For instance, pecans are high in polyphenols with antioxidant effects. They also have potassium for lowering blood pressure and fiber for decreasing cholesterol.
How To Use Pecans?
When thinking about pecans, which dish will first come to your mind? Isn’t that pecan pie – the classic sugary dessert? This dessert surely makes you fall in love at first bite due to its sweet, buttery, and crunchy taste.
Besides, chopped pecans, crushed pecans, or ground pecans can be used as a part of salads and main courses, such as spicy pecan fried chicken, pecan-crusted pork chops, and so on.
What’s more? Pecan nuts can be extracted to produce pecan oil – a healthy multi-purpose oil similar to peanut oil.
In case you are on your diet, the whole pecan can be a tasty and healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth yet avoid gaining more weight.
What Pecan Substitute Can You Use If You Are Allergic To Nuts?
If you wanted to make a pecan pie for your loved one, but they had a nut allergy, what pecan substitute should you use?
In that case, you can replace pecan with unbaked pie crust – an easy-to-find and cost-effective ingredient.
The pie crust will mix perfectly with other ingredients, including light corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract, pretzels, butter, and eggs to bring out a distinctively sweet, crunchy, and buttery flavor.
We’re pretty certain that no one can resist this “pecan-free” Faux Pecan Pie.