4-Ingredient Pecan Balls

These easy 4-ingredient Pecan Balls (5 for a chocolate version) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!4-ingredient pecan balls (or 5, for a chocolate version!) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!


Happy September! It’s Kathryn from Family Food on the Table, back with another recipe for you.

And today I’ve got a fun game day/snack time/anytime appetizer for you.


This recipe comes from my Aunt Edith, who also is behind my 3-ingredient quickie crab dip (another great appetizer!)

It’s a traditional pecan balls recipe, with just 4 ingredients: butter, flour, pecans and sugar. I added a pinch of salt to help bring out the flavors.

4-ingredient pecan balls

The result is a nutty, buttery, crumbly cookie ball that just melts in your mouth. It’s not super sweet, but it really hits the spot.

Perfect for serving on game day as people are munching and milling about.

4-ingredient pecan balls make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

Oh, and looky there, I also added chocolate. 😉 Cause that’s never a bad idea, right?!

The chocolate makes these more of a dessert ball, so you can do some pecan balls plain and some with chocolate – whatever works for you!

Either way, these little pecan nuggets are an easy, make-ahead snack that would be great for tailgating, picnics, even holiday parties.

(I’m still adjusting to the fact that it’s September, though, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves!)

4-ingredient pecan balls (or 5, with a chocolate drizzle!) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

A few notes on these pecan balls:

  • If your butter isn’t at room temperature — mine never is — you can microwave it for about 20 seconds to soften it. You don’t want it melted.
  • I buy pecan pieces – they are cheaper than whole, in-tact pecans, and they just need a rough chop to break up the big pieces for this recipe.
  • The mixture is crumbly but the dough does stick to itself to be able to roll into balls. You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.
  • These are crumbly straight out of the oven, too, so be sure to let them cool on the pan so they can set up. Then they’re ready to share or transport!

(They’re also ready to drizzle or dunk with chocolate, if you’re so inclined!)

4-ingredient pecan balls (or 5, for a chocolate version!) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

If you are feeling all about the football food like me, you should also check out my cheesy baked black bean dip or Shawn’s scrumptious looking cheesy taco sticks and Mexican layered hummus dip.

Note to self: I need to have a party ASAP so I can make all this delicious food. 😉

Happy football season, friends. Enjoy!

~ Kathryn

Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Follow I Wash You Dry here:

Yields 22 pecan balls

4-ingredient pecan balls

Easy 4-ingredient pecan balls make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

5 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional chocolate drizzle: 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and flour with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  3. Fold in the pecans and salt and stir until combined. The mixture will be crumbly but will stick to itself.
  4. Roll the dough into small balls (about 1/2-inch across) and place on an ungreased baking sheet. (You can wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you.)
  5. Bake at 275 degrees F for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container. These pecan puffs keep for up to a week on the counter or in the pantry.
  7. To make the chocolate sauce: Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave in 30 seconds intervals until chocolate is melted and can be stirred together. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled pecan balls or dunk balls in the chocolate sauce.

4-ingredient pecan balls (or 5, for a chocolate version!) make a great game day snack, appetizer or anytime treat!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes with a bit of life sprinkled in. Mom to 4 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
186 Responses
  1. Kathy Greever
    I really like that these don't have a lot of sugar. Do you have any idea how many calories would be in each cookie? I love them.
  2. David
    Please put F or C next to your cooking temperatures. If you live in America you assume it is F, but what about all the other people who live in other countries?
  3. Lindsay Gallagher
    I always refrigerate my dough overnight or for a few hours. That might help keep the shape better. Microwaving the butter is tricky as the butter melts so quickly. I add vanilla extract instead of salt , but will be trying the chocolate drizzle and rolling in cinnamon next time. I have always called them Greek butter cookies, so I think suing margerine would be a mistake.
  4. Susan
    iF YOU WERE ONE WHOSE COOKIES CAME OUT FLAT, you may have used the microwave to soften your butter but part of it was too liquid. Melted butter will make your cookies flatten. But they still should have been edible Why would you add an egg to this recipe when it's not called for. Mine came out wonderful by following the recipe. Will make tons of them for Xmas..
  5. Victoria
    I make a version of these but I use cake flour and powdered sugar (and way more than 2 tablespoons!!). I also put in a bit of vanilla extract. They’re amazing cookies!
  6. Edward Glover
    Don't know what all the fuss is about. The recipe is great if you follow it. Loved it all the different ways, but prefer the dunking in chocolate the best. I used both white and regular chocolate and they are great. HAVE MADE AT LEAST FIVE BATCHES THIS MONTH ALONE , SO THEY MUST BE GOOD.
  7. Pam Youngblood
    I have a similar recipe that I make, mostly at Christmas time. Take a tablespoon or so of the dough and shape around a Hershey's kiss and bake as above. Then roll in powdered sugar.
  8. Mica
    I love these cookies - my family has made them my whole life. Traditionally you roll them in powder sugar while still warm, 2 times. The 275 temp is correct but my recipe is for only 35 minutes- but depends on the size you make them I'm sure. One note my mom and I have made, these do better with margarine. I'm normally a butter girl all the way, but in this case the margarine helps to keep them from crumbling and has a lighter texture. Can't wait to try them chocolate chips!!

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of four; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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