Seriously upgrade your recipes with toasted nuts. Many recipes call for toasted walnuts or other variety of nuts, but don't include how to toast nuts in the recipe directions. If you've never toasted nuts or seem to always end up with burnt nuts (because you looked away for just one second!), use these directions on toasting nuts for perfect golden-brown nuts to add to baked goods, salads, sauces, pastas, and more.
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If you need to know how to toast pine nuts to add to a homemade pesto recipe or how to toast walnuts to add to a delicious banana bread recipe you’re in luck. We’ve got directions for how to toast nuts for every kind of recipe. And extra lucky for you is that you can make toasted nuts in either the oven or on the stove in just a few minutes. It’s a cooking technique that takes very little time, but pays off majorly in flavor. The proof is in tasting. Sample an untoasted walnut piece and then one of your finished toasted walnuts to experience the depth of flavor added by toasting.

toasting pecans on baking sheet
Credit: Andy Lyons

Toasting Nuts in the Oven

Whether you want to know how to toast walnuts in the oven or any other whole nuts or larger pieces of nuts, follow these directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in a shallow pan ($10, Target).
  • Bake 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice to prevent burning.
    • The more finely chopped the nuts, the less time they’ll take to toast. Keep an extra close eye on finely-chopped nuts so they don’t burn and check them at 5 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tip: You can toast coconut the same way as nuts, but watch it closely so it doesn't burn. The fine pieces and higher sugar content allow it to toast very quickly.

toasted nuts in cast iron skillet
Credit: Andy Lyons

How to Toast Nuts in a Skillet

Toasting nuts on the stove is an even easier way to keep a close eye on nuts as they toast and is the ideal way to toast smaller pieces of nuts. Toast finely chopped nuts, seeds (such as sesame seeds), and small nuts such as pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often so they don't burn. You'll know they're close to done when you can start to smell them and they turn lightly brown.

Whichever method you choose to make your toasted nuts, don't step too far away. Nuts can go from perfectly golden to burned in what seems like the blink of an eye.

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