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How to Toast Nuts in the Oven (And Why!)

how to toast nuts pecans on a baking sheet

How To Toast Walnuts (Or Really Any Nuts)

I’ve got a little secret to share with you today. Well, it’s not really a secret, but it’s a super easy way to take any recipe that calls for nuts to the next level… Are you ready?!?!

Toast. your. nuts.

Yes, it really is that simple! Roasted nuts are a quick and easy way to add SO much more flavor to any recipe that uses nuts.

Case in point: Every Christmas I get rave reviews on my chocolate chip walnut cookies, and inevitably someone will ask me for the recipe. I just smile and mutter something about how it’s an old family recipe and I’m sworn to secrecy…

But really it’s the toasted nuts.

I use the tried and true Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, just like pretty much everyone else on the planet! Of course, I make sure to use fresh, quality ingredients, including real butter and pure vanilla extract. But really it’s the toasted walnuts that really set my cookies apart from the pack.

roasted nuts in a small glass bowl

Whole Nuts For Roasted Nuts

Toasting the nuts imparts a richer flavor, and you can use toasted nuts in any recipe that calls for nuts. I prefer to use whole nuts for roasting, just because they roast more evenly since they’re they’re roughly the same size. Chopped nuts are unevenly sized, and often the smaller bits can burn before the larger chunks are golden and toasted.

Nuts have high concentrations of natural oil, so it’s not necessary to add oil when toasting. And it’s SO easy!

Tips For Roasting Nuts:

  • Taste your nuts before toasting. Don’t waste your time roasting rancid nuts.
  • Larger nuts (ex. walnuts, pecans, almonds) may take up to 10 minutes to toast. Smaller nuts (ex. peanuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts) will roast faster.
  • Don’t roast different types of nuts together unless they are approximately the same size.
  • Cook the nuts only until they start to turn golden with parts still appearing raw. You don’t want to let them get any darker than light brown or they won’t taste as good (and might even taste a little burnt).
  • Your nose is the best indicator for when the nuts are done toasting. When you can smell that wonderful, delicious, toasty scent, they’re done.
  • Warmed nuts are easier to chop! Just another reason why I prefer roasting whole nuts.
  • For small batches or in a pinch, you can also toast nuts in the microwave.

What’s your favorite kind of nut to toast?

How to Toast Nuts in The Oven

How to Toast Nuts in The Oven

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven and toast for five to ten minutes until nuts are golden brown. Roasting time varies depending on the size of the nuts used.
  4. To make salted nuts: mist nuts with avocado oil spray or drizzle a very small amount of melted butter over top. Toss with fine sea salt to taste.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!


A few of my favorite recipes where I use roasted nuts:

  • Grape Salad With Cream Cheese — roasted pecans are amazing in this creamy grape salad!
  • Layered Cranberry Salad — I incorporate toasted walnuts or pecans into the Jell-O salad layer, as well as sprinkle them over the top of the cream cheese sour cream layer!
  • Chicken Salad With Grapes — I use roasted pecans in my chicken salad, as well. Grapes and toasted pecans are made for each other!
  • Banana Pecan Bread — toasted nuts are a must for this banana bread or any quick bread recipe!
  • Cherry Almond Cookies — chopped toasted almonds are heavenly in this oatmeal cookie recipe!

Did you use this tip in a recipe?
Tag @unsophisticook on Instagram and hashtag it #unsophisticook so I can check it out.

Jennie

Thursday 24th of March 2022

If you want salted nuts what kind of salt would you use

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 24th of March 2022

Hi Jennie! I would recommend using a fine sea salt. You'll need to give them a light spray of cooking oil or drizzle a bit of melted butter over them after roasting for the salt to stick. I like this avocado oil spray!

Sheri L. Heller

Sunday 17th of October 2021

How long can these stay fresh in a container on the counter

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 18th of October 2021

Hi Sheri! Stored in an airtight container or ziploc bag, they should keep for about 2 weeks on the counter at room temperature.

Archie Rice

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Awesome way to toast the nuts.

Rebecca

Thursday 30th of December 2010

Ooohhh - We usually make the Toll House recipe as well but I can't wait to try it with toasted walnuts. Kitchen here I come!

Amy

Sunday 14th of November 2010

Tara, this is fantastic!

I make a mean pecan pie, and this is going to make it even better. I never thought about roasting them first. Thanks so much!

-Amy

Tara

Monday 15th of November 2010

Oh, you'd better make two of them then -- everyone's gonna want seconds! :P

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