How to Cook with Nuts

Cooking with nuts is so much easier once you know chopping basics.

Preparing Nuts for Recipes

You can buy most nuts -- including walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and almonds -- already chopped (often labeled as "pieces"). If you buy whole nuts, you can chop them the size the recipe specifies (see photo) using a food chopper, chef's knife, or food processor -- just be sure to use a quick start-and-stop motion on the machine.

Nut-Chopping 101

  • Coarsely Chopped (top of photo): Large, irregular pieces more than 1/4 inch in size.
  • Chopped (middle of photo): Medium irregular pieces about 1/4 inch in size.
  • Finely chopped (bottom of photo): Small irregular pieces about 1/8 inch in size or smaller.

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