4 Ways to Toast Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Nuts, Seeds and Coconut

Updated on March 16, 2016

This Cashew Needs a Tan!

Photo:Scoobymoo http://www.flickr.com/photos/scoobymoo/68280560/
Photo:Scoobymoo http://www.flickr.com/photos/scoobymoo/68280560/

It's the little things that transform the merely good to great, and in the kitchen, it's those little things that make all the difference.

It's also the little things that cookbook authors sometimes assume that everyone already has a sure grasp of, and much to the frustration of novice cooks everywhere, the little things that they tend to omit explanations for.

But toasty nuts are where it's at. Seriously.

The difference between a complex golden roasted almond and a sorry looking blanched specimen is no small thing, and it's that 3 minute toasting step that can make your next nut recipe so much better.

So here are 4 very easy ways to toast nuts.

Stove Top

In a heavy bottomed skillet, spread your nuts out in an even layer and heat over medium, shaking often – don't overcrowd your nuts. Keep stirring or shaking for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and browned.

Nuts toasted using the stove top method will not be uniformly browned, but more mottled in appearance.

Make sure to keep watching the nuts. Take your eyes off the progress at the wrong point for 30 seconds and you'll find yourself throwing out a pan full of burnt and bitter nuts.

Do not try to toast different kinds of nuts at the same time. Different nuts will toast at different rates.

Stove Top (with oil or butter)

If you want to toast on the stove-top, but also want that uniformly browned look, you can add a scant teaspoon of oil or butter to the pan and shake it to cover your nuts. This will result in a more evenly toasted nut – but a slightly oilier final product.

Oven

You can also toast any kind of nut in a hot oven. Pre heat an oven to 350-425 (honestly, it doesn’t matter very much). Place your nuts on a baking sheet and bake away for a few minutes, watching carefully and shaking occasionally. They are done when golden and fragrant - 5-10 minutes. Oven toasted nuts are a bit slower than stove top toasted nuts, but will be more uniformly browned without needing the use of oil.

Microwave

Spread out your nuts on a plate and microwave on high. A ½ cup of nuts will take 3-5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Watch carefully, and take out when nuts are just slightly less browned than you want, as nuts will continue to brown for a moment after removal (from the heated oil inside the nut).

Once your nuts are toasty and warm, salt them generously and enjoy. If you have any leftovers, the best way to store is always in the freezer. The oils in nuts spoils quickly and nuts stored in the cupboard will become rancid and unpleasant.

All of the above techniques will work to toast seeds or coconut as well.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Brian 

        5 years ago

        I roast cashews in a cast iron skillet with just the oil that is already on the iron and on medium-low. I stir them occasionally for a while, then turn off the heat and let them finish as the pan cools. Uniformity offends me and this produces delicious, interesting looking roasted nuts. They are best hot, but delicious at all temperatures.

      • LetitiaFT profile image

        LetitiaFT 

        6 years ago from Paris via California

        This is really useful! I'm going to link to it in my next recipe, it's just what I needed. Thanks for sharing this.

      • Kris Heeter profile image

        Kris Heeter 

        6 years ago from Indiana

        While I love raw nuts too, there are some that are definitely better roasted (cashews for me!). I never actually considered roasting them myself - I'll have to give one of these methods a try!

      • profile image

        cyrospan 

        7 years ago

        I enjoy roasted nuts very much, I like to roast a big portion to take with me while I travel, but when I roast a whole bunch they tend to burn in the middle, is there any type of mixer available that I can install in to my microwave to mix nuts evenly and avoid burning in the middle, thanks

      • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

        John D Lee 

        7 years ago

        Yeah, cast iron is great for pretty much everything!

      • profile image

        Deb K 

        7 years ago

        Roasting nuts in a CAST IRON pan/skillet in the oven is best! So yummy as the seasoned pan adds more flavors - but of course you can never have too much garlic salt!

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Great topic for a hub. Useful information!

      • crystolite profile image

        Emma 

        7 years ago from Houston TX

        Informative and educative hub which has a colorful pics that actually look tasty.

      • profile image

        md zahid malick 

        8 years ago

        i want to know more about the roasting process.my Email :zahid0631@gmail.com

      • profile image

        ray bennett 

        8 years ago

        Beautiful page, I suggest that you tak much slower in the future productions. Ray

      • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

        John D Lee 

        8 years ago

        Glad to be of service - Hope your nuts toasted up nicely

      • profile image

        Aimee 

        9 years ago

        Thank you so much! Exactly the information I needed!

      • Nolimits Nana profile image

        Nicolette Goff 

        9 years ago from British Columbia

        We roast them for about 8 minutes in the oven, after tossing them with a bit of oil and sometimes a bit of hot pepper - really good with pecans!

      • fishskinfreak2008 profile image

        fishskinfreak2008 

        10 years ago from Fremont CA

        Tasty

      • Rob Jundt profile image

        Rob Jundt 

        10 years ago from Midwest USA

        Thanks for the tips. I haven't had the greatest luck roasting or toasting lately. I'm sure your tips will work.

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