How to Roast Nuts Perfectly Every Time

Low and slow in the oven is the key to the best nuts.

Homemade roasted nuts

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High in good-for-you monosaturated and polyunsatured fats, nuts are a nutrient-dense snacking superfood and versatile ingredients that adds unparalleled texture and flavor to your cooking. No other pantry staple can be fried, ground, candied, milked, pickled, confited, or smoked, or roasted, the latter of which is the simplest and most common way to cook them. 

Unfortunately, most cookbooks and online recipes call for roasting them at high heat. The high quality, heart-healthy fat inside a nut is what you’re after and why you want to cook them with care. Roasting them correctly in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet at a gentle oven temperature of 300°F will coax out the aromatic and deeply flavorful oils inside while lightly browning the outsides. This will yield a toasty, buttery, earthy (and, well, nutty) nut. Be sure to stir them occasionally while roasting so they cook evenly inside and out. 

(Note: If you’re just cooking a small batch of nuts — think 1/4 cup or less —  you can cook them in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring and turning them occasionally. You can also microwave them on HIGH on a plate for one-minute increments until cooked.) 

No matter how rushed you are, don’t cook them at a temperature higher than 300°F or you risk burning the outsides of the nuts before the insides are cooked through, which makes them taste bitter and unappealing. Even when bought in bulk, nuts are an expensive ingredient, so you want to cook them with care.

It’s no surprise that larger nuts like macadamia nuts will take 10 to 12 minutes longer than smaller nuts like pine nuts. According to our colleagues at Cooking Light, these are the best roasting times for each type of nut. 

How Long to Roast Nuts
Macadamia Nuts 30 minutes
Cashews 28 minutes
Hazelnuts 26 minutes 
Almonds 25 minutes
Pecans 25 minutes
Walnuts 25 minutes
Brazil Nuts 20 minutes
Pine Nuts 18 minutes
These cook times are roasting nuts in a 300°F oven

Once cooled, store nuts in a resealable plastic bag or container in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks. Raw nuts are best kept in the freezer before cooking so they don’t go rancid 

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