Pecan recipes for the Thanksgiving feast

Published 4:59 am Saturday, November 23, 2019

North Carolina pecan growers have a good crop ahead of the holidays. This year’s crop is showing good quantity and quality despite a dry summer and damages from last year’s hurricane season, reports the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

North Carolina produces three to five million pounds of pecans annually on 2,000 acres mostly managed by commercial orchards. North Carolina’s pecan season runs into December.

To incorporate local ingredients into the Thanksgiving feast, look for the Got To Be NC logo on pecan packages or visit local farmers market or a pecan orchard. In North Carolina, the largest concentration of commercial pecan orchards is located east of Interstate 95.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The N.C. Pecan Growers Association offers an online directory to help consumers find local pecan orchards at

On Dec. 13 celebrate Pecan Day at the State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. Free samples of a pecan dessert and more pecan recipes are features.



Courtesy Got To Be NC

Pecan Cranberry Rolls

By Gail Fuller. NC State Fair winner


2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 North Carolina Grown Pecans, coarsely chopped

6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

4 large tortillas: plain, wheat, spinach, or sun dried tomato flavor

What to do

Combine all ingredients except tortillas

Spread mixture evenly among the tortillas

Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

To serve cut in slices. Makes 32 appetizer servings.


Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie


½ cup butter

2 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares

1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1½ cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1½ cups pecan halves and pieces

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

9-inch Deep-Dish pie crust

Microwave butter and chocolate squares in a large microwave-safe bowl at Medium (50% power) 1½ minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in evaporated milk, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add sugar mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake pie at 350°F for 40 minutes. Stir together pecans, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla; sprinkle over pie. Bake 10 more minutes or until set. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).



Courtesy Got To Be NC

Sugar and Spice Pecans


1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 egg white, stiffly beaten

2 cups North Carolina grown pecan halves

½ cup sugar

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¾ tsp. ground nutmeg

¾ tsp. ground allspice

½ tsp. salt

What to Do

Mix butter and beaten egg white. Add nuts; coat thoroughly. Mix sugar and spices in separate bowl. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly cover the parchment paper with a portion of sugar mixture. Coat pecans with remaining sugar mixture, doing a few at a time. Place on a baking sheet; sprinkle with any remaining sugar. Bake at 300°F for 20 minutes. Separate with a fork; cool.



Courtesy Got To Be NC

Apple Blue Cheese Spread with Pecans

By Toni Gaskill, Greenville

First Place 2007 Apple Recipe Contest


8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup sour cream

2 cup finely chopped apple (leave peeling on)

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped pecan

What to Do

Beat cream cheese spread and sour cream in medium bowl until well blended. Add apples, blue cheese, onions and pecans; mix well. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with Wheat thins or your favorite cracker.



Courtesy North Carolina Pecan Growers Association

North Carolina Sweet Potato Pecan Pound Cake

North Carolina Pecan Growers Association


2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

2 cups baked sweet potatoes, pureed

3 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 cup shelled and chopped NC pecans

What to Do 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare Bundt cake pan by spraying with non-stick spray and dusting with flour. In stand mixer, cream butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar one cup at a time until fully incorporated into butter. Add eggs one at a time until each egg is completely mixed into butter and sugar mixture. Add pureed sweet potatoes to butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Mixture will look curdled, but it is fine. Add vanilla extract and orange juice and continue to mix. On a piece of wax paper, sift together all dry ingredients except NC pecans. Add dry mixture to wet mixture a little at a time until it is completely incorporated. Fold chopped NC pecans into batter being careful not to over mix. Pour prepared batter into prepared Bundt cake pan. Bake for 1 hour until done. If knife inserted into cake comes out clean, the cake is done. Let cake cool on rack. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with pecan halves before serving.



10th Annual Shrimp Cookoff raises funds for dolphin research

Clayton woman wins Apple Dessert Recipe Contest at N.C. State Fair