These spicy chili lime peanuts are spicy, a little sweet, and highly addictive. Make a big batch and have a clutch snack on hand all week long.
When I was a little kid my grandpa always had an enormous G&T as soon as the clock hit 5 PM. He’d also crack open a can of peanuts – usually honey roasted. Sometimes he’d shake some hot sauce directly into the can, which I found to be the height of BOSS. He’d grab a handful and nosh away as he drained his tumbler of fizzy gin, while watching golf highlights in the den.
Now, I don’t personally care for gin, and I’m not really in any condition to be imbibing much these days anyway, but I do love a happy hour snack as much as the next person. And peanuts seem so iconic both from my personal memory and the little bowls that have been sitting atop bars in cities and towns across the country for decades.
I guess nowadays we’ve graduated to fancier things (like all them diamond rings). Plain old peanuts just won’t hack it anymore. Which I guess I understand, although it makes me a little sad that we can’t just pop a can of Planters and be done with it. But because this is a food blog, primarily focused on recipes…it makes sense that I might present you with some sort of riff on the humble peanut.
So here’s to it being Friday, happy hours (for those who might enjoy them), and being compliant with your expectations of me and this internet space. Woohoo!
Spicy Chili Lime Peanuts
These handy little snacks are easy to make, VERY pleasant to eat, and only call for a few ingredients. They are a touch sweet, pretty damn spicy, and packed with protein, so if you’re in that place where dinner seems like SO too much work, then these will definitely hold you over until the pizza guy arrives. So let’s get it going.
Gather Your Ingredients
- Peanuts – like duh. If you can get them, go for raw ones, as we’ll be roasting them separately. However if you can only find roasted ones that’s fine, just make sure they’re unsalted.
- Salt – Hot take: Nuts don’t taste good unless there is salt involved. Not even in desserts. There – I said it. But because we want to control the level of salt, I prefer to salt them myself.
- Chili powder – I recently received a beautiful jar of Rancho Gordo chili powder from my sister-in-law and let me tell you it’s kind of changed the way I think of the stuff. But because I’m lazy, I’m sure that once the jar runs out I will be back to my run-of-the-mill grocery store stuff. This is totally fine by the way, as long as it’s relatively fresh. This just means you should probably be replacing yours if you honestly can’t remember what season it was when you picked up the last jar.
- Cayenne – You need some heat to keep things interesting, in my opinion. I like these to be fairly hot, but just go with your gut. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up from there.
- Limes – These little guys pull double duty here. Make sure to zest the limes (only the green part) BEFORE you cut them in half to juice them.
- Sugar – This helps cut a little bit of the heat and gives the nuts a little extra glisten and crisp.
- Oil – Yes, nuts have plenty of their own natural fat, but a little bit can help all the seasonings reach each and every little guy in the peanut gallery.
Roast Up Your Nuts!
Here we go in just three simple steps.
- Preheat your oven to 300 F.
- Mix together all of your ingredients in a big bowl, making sure to get all the nuts evenly coated in the spices and lime juice.
- Spread your nuts in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten. Roast until nuts are golden brown, are no longer moist to the touch, and smell AMAZING. Let them cool before serving.
Where to Buy Unroasted Peanuts
This is sometimes tricky, as most of your grocery store nut fodder will be pre-roasted. I find Trader Joe’s often has unroasted or “raw” nuts available. Also online purveyors like Nuts.com, Amazon, or Thrive Market are all great options.
If you absolutely can’t find unroasted peanuts, that’s ok. Just make sure they’re not salted, and pull them closer to the 30 minute mark. Also if raw almonds or cashews are available near you, go for one of those! Because chili lime cashews sound pretty freaking dope in my opinion.
How to Store Roasted Nuts
These last a long time under the right conditions – ie: in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. So make a big batch. If you’re looking for a long term solution these will keep in the fridge or freezer for two or three months. Just make sure to bring them up to room temp before snacking.
Feeling Another Snack Attack?
Check out these tasty treats:
- Maple Rosemary Popcorn
- Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
- Cheesy Everything Crackers
- Chocolate Almond Butter Jelly Cups
Spicy Chili Lime Peanuts
Spicy, sweet, and easy to make, these chili lime peanuts are the perfect snack for anytime!
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 Servings 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Cuisine: American
2 tsp vegetable oil
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tsp fine salt
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups peanuts, raw and unsalted
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Mix together oil, lime juice, zest, salt, sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Spread peanuts in an even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour over spice mix and toss to coat peanuts thoroughly in seasoning.
Bake peanuts in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring two or three times during cooking, until nuts are golden brown, and almost dry to the touch. Let cool completely before serving.
It’s best to use raw, unsalted nuts for this, but if you can’t find them feel free to use roasted one, but bake them for about half the time.
Don’t walk away from your nuts – because once they burn there’s no turning back!
Store your spicy chili lime peanuts in an airtight container for a week or two at room temp, or in the fridge for up to a month.
Keywords: spicy chili lime peanuts, snack foods, cocktail snack, party food, easy snack recipe, peanuts