Understanding the Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts

Understanding the Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts

To the untrained eye, pecans and walnuts can look eerily similar. But there are differences between these delicious nuts! They’re great as snacks, versatile in recipes, and provide many health benefits that can reduce your risk of developing chronic health conditions.

Understanding the difference between pecans and walnuts can help you decide which one you might like more!


Typically, walnuts are lighter and slightly larger than pecans. When removed from their shells, they have a golden color. Walnuts are also softer; grinding or crumbling them is easy.

Pecans are usually darker, while walnuts are stubbier and have two hemispheres with a brain-like shape. While pecans have a similar form, they’re flatter and more elongated, and their shells are more difficult to open than walnut shells.


If you have a sweet tooth, you might love pecans more, as they’re less bitter than walnuts. You'll find pecans in desserts more often than walnuts. Walnuts work very well in savory recipes, and their slight bitterness and crunchy texture can liven up everything from oatmeal to salads and pasta.

Overall, you can use pecans and walnuts interchangeably in recipes. When shopping for nuts for a specific recipe, walnuts tend to be more expensive but have a longer shelf-life than pecans.

Nutritional Value

Like most other nuts, walnuts and pecans offer a ton of nutritional value to our diets. There’s little difference between nuts and walnuts in the nutrients they provide, but pecans have slightly fewer calories and offer more fiber than walnuts. If you're creating recipes to encourage weight loss, pecans can give you a bit more of a feeling of fullness, thanks to their fiber content.

However, walnuts are higher in protein, which can benefit you if you substitute nuts for a meat source. Both walnuts and pecans offer benefits to your cardiovascular and digestive systems, besides providing many other advantages.

Understanding the difference between pecans and walnuts can give you some fun facts to share the next time you’re preparing a snack! Find pecan nuts for sale at Sohnrey Family Foods!

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  • Elias Kanambiu Mbui - January 28, 2024

    I would like to plant walnuts, where can I buy seeds?

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