Walnuts are a favorite for stirring into banana bread and baking into cookies; walnuts that have been baked take on a richer, nuttier flavor. You know what I’m talking about. That extra nutty goodness of a walnut that’s been baked into a chocolate chip cookie is so much better than a raw walnut. You can enjoy the flavor of toasted walnuts without the baked goods, though.
There are two ways to toast walnuts, both of which work very well. Toast them in a skillet on the stove top or pop them in the oven on a baking sheet. Either way, it doesn’t take long to make toasted walnuts at all and the flavor will be much improved. What’s better than a nuttier nut?
My son came in the other day and grabbed a handful. “Hm!” he said. “These are…extra.” When I told him they were toasted, not raw, I got a nod of approval.
No matter which of the following methods you opt to try, you don’t need to add any oil to the pan.
How to toast walnuts on the stove top
For a small amount of nuts, you can toast them in a skillet or small pan right on the stove. Measure walnuts into a dry skillet — no oil — and cook on medium. When you begin to smell the aroma of roasted nuts, stir the walnuts. Continue cooking until the nuts are toasted on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Toasted walnuts in the oven
This method works well to toast a larger amount of walnuts. Spread nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place tray in a 350º oven for 5-to-10 minutes or until the walnuts begin to brown. Stir them around occasionally, so they brown evenly. You will smell the aroma of roasting nuts. Be sure to set a timer; they can scorch quickly.
You’ll know they’re done when you see them visibly become slightly darker.
If you’d like, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. This is optional, but it will make cleanup easy.
You can toast walnuts in large pieces and chop them after they’re toasted, or chop them prior to toasting. Your call! In either case, there are several ways to chop nuts.
In a food processor: Place walnuts in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until nuts are desired size.
In a manual chopper: Place walnuts in the chopper. Don’t fill it more than in inch or so deep, to allow easy chopping.
With a knife: Choose a knife with a slightly curved blade. Place a handful of walnuts on a cutting board, and rock the knife back and forth over the nuts until they are the desired size.
Using toasted walnuts
Toasted nuts give an extra flavor pop and crunch to recipes. Try sprinkling toasted walnuts on top of a hot fudge sundae or in your favorite kale salad. They’re a delicious healthy snack eaten right out of hand, too!
Toasted walnuts are keto and paleo diet approved.
Allow the nuts to cool before adding them to recipes. Store extra nuts in an airtight container and use as needed.
How to Toast Walnuts
Toasting walnuts is easy — it takes just 10 minutes or so — and results in super flavor perfect for topping waffles, pancakes, salad, or yogurt.
- 1 cup walnut pieces
Toasting walnuts on the stove top
- Measure walnuts into a dry skillet. Cook over medium heat.
- When you begin to smell the aroma of roasted nuts, stir the walnuts. Continue cooking until the nuts are toasted on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the hot nuts out onto a plate to cool.
Toasting walnuts in the oven
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Spread walnut pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Place tray in oven for 5-to-10 minutes or until they begin to brown and become aromatic.
- Turn the hot walnuts out onto a plate to cool.
Using toasted walnuts
- Use the walnuts as is, or chop them into smaller pieces. Use a knife and a rocking motion on a cutting board to chop the nuts into the size you need for your recipe.
Adjust the amount of walnuts to suit your needs, using the skillet method for small amounts and the oven method for larger quantities.
Cool completely, then store toasted pecans in an airtight container for up to a month.