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Knowing how to toast nuts is a useful skill to have in the kitchen! Learn how to toast nuts in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.

Assorted mixed, toasted nuts arranged on a sheet pan

Nuts on their own are a delicious and satisfying snack. But when it comes to baked goods and recipes, toasting the nuts will add depth to both the texture and flavor and allow the nuts to compete with stronger flavors instead of fading into the background.

Think about hummingbird cupcakes – without toasting the pecans, the banana and pineapple overtake the flavor, and all you get is the “crunch” when you find nuts.

If you toast the nuts first, though, you get an extra level of flavor in addition to the texture of the pecans.

If you’ve never toasted nuts before, you might be feeling a little intimidated. But there really is no need!

You can toast nuts in a myriad of ways – in the oven, on the stovetop, or even in the microwave – yes really, the microwave!

Toasted pecans in a glass jar


Toasting nuts releases their essential oils. This causes the nuts to become more fragrant and flavorful than in their raw state.

Toasted, skinned peanuts in a glass jar


There’s not a lot you’ll need to toast nuts, regardless of which method you choose to use.

You’ll want to grab a baking sheet (oven method), frying pan (stovetop method) or microwave-safe plate (microwave method) and a spatula.

You will also need a clean and dry dish towel if any of the nuts have skins to remove.

Assorted toasted nuts in glass jars


Toasting nuts in the oven is best when you are toasting a large volume of nuts.

This method is also more hands-off, but be careful! Don’t walk too far away while you are toasting the nuts, since they can go from perfect to burned very quickly.

Toasted pine nuts in a glass jar

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook them at 350°F for the amount of time listed in the how-to card below. If you are toasting mixed nuts, 15-20 minutes is usually good, but be sure to check them often.

I also recommend stirring the nuts about halfway through to make sure they are toasting evenly.

Walnuts in a skillet being stirred with a wooden spoon


To toast nuts on the stove, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Do NOT add any oil or cooking spray; the nuts have enough oils on their own and will not stick to the pan.

Toasted pine nuts in a skillet being stirred with a wooden spoon

Once the pan is hot, add a single layer of nuts and cook them, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown and super aromatic.

Make sure to remove the nuts from the pan when they are done so they do not continue cooking from the residual heat in the pan.

Whole almonds arranged on a plate


I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy by claiming that you can toast nuts in the microwave. But you really can!

You won’t get the same dark color that you will get from toasting them in the oven or on the stove, but it’s a great method to use when you’re in a hurry and don’t want to dirty a pan or heat up the oven.

To use this method, just spread a single layer of nuts on a microwave-safe plate. Cook them in 1-minute intervals on full power, until they have a crisp crunch and toasted flavor and are fragrant.

The amount of time the microwave method takes varies per nut, so be sure to stick to the 1-minute intervals and check them after each minute!

Toasted peanuts in a white dish towel to remove the skins


Occasionally you will need to skin nuts, such as peanuts or hazelnuts, after toasting them.

Simply let them cool for a few minutes, then place them in your clean, dry dish towel. Rub them vigorously with the towel and the skins will slip right off.

Don’t be worried about any bits of skin that do remain; they shouldn’t affect your final dish and are safe to eat.

Toasted whole almonds in a glass jar


There are countless ways to use toasted nuts in the kitchen!

The obvious choice would be in baked goods, such as a honey walnut nut roll or blueberry walnut muffins.

Toasted walnuts in a glass jar

But did you know nuts can also be amazing in pasta dishes? Fresh basil pesto comes to mind, but dishes like Spaghetti with Parmesan, Pine Nuts and Brown Butter are also amazing.

And of course you can’t forget using them as toppings! They’re delicious on top of salads, yogurt, oatmeal (try homemade oatmeal with cashews and honey) or even as a part of an ice cream sundae or toasted hazelnut s’more.

Toasted cashews in a glass jar

How to Toast Nuts

By: Jamie
5 from 1 rating
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Knowing how to toast nuts is a useful skill to have in the kitchen! Learn how to toast nuts in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.


  • Baking sheet, frying pan or microwave-safe plate
  • Spatula
  • Clean, dry dish towel


  • Almonds sliced: 7-10 minutes
  • Almonds whole: 10 minutes
  • Chestnuts 25 minutes
  • Hazelnuts 12-15 minutes
  • Macadamia Nuts 12-15 minutes
  • Pecans 10-15 minutes
  • Pine Nuts 5 minutes
  • Walnuts 10-15 minutes
  • Peanuts in shell: 15-20 minutes
  • Peanuts shelled: 20-25 minutes


Oven Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Use the times listed above to determine how long to bake the nuts for.
  • Optionally, stir and flip the nuts at the half way mark on time to make sure that all nuts are heating evenly.
  • If using mixed nuts, 15-20 minutes will likely suffice to make sure all the nuts are done, but check them often.

Stovetop Method:

  • Heat a large frying pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  • When the pan is hot, add a single layer of nuts. Do not add any oil or cooking spray – the nuts have enough oils on their own to cook.
  • Stir frequently with a spatula until the nuts turn golden brown and aromatic.
  • Remove from pan heat, and if necessary, remove the nuts from pan, as they will continue to cook from the pan’s residual heat.

Microwave Method:

  • Spread a single layer of nuts on a microwave safe plate.
  • Cook them in 1 minute intervals on full power, until the nuts have a crisp crunch and toasted flavor and have become fragrant. The amount of time it takes varies per nut. You will not get the same dark color you get from oven or pan toasting, but this will do in a hurry when you don’t want to dirty a pan or heat up the oven for such a simple task.

Skinning Nuts:

  • If you have toasted any nuts that have skins on them, like peanuts or hazelnuts, simply allow them to cool for a few minutes, and then place the nuts in a clean and dry kitchen towel.
  • Rub them vigorously with the towel, and the skins will slip right off. Don’t worry about any skins that do remain, however. They will not affect any food you add them to, and the skins are safe to eat.


The times listed above for oven toasting are guidelines only. Ovens heat differently, so your timing may vary. Please check the nuts often, and make sure to stir them if it appears the nuts are getting more done on one side of the oven. You can also rotate the baking sheet in the oven.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Julie says:

    Thanks so much for the post about toasting nuts in a pan – which I want to do with some fresh almonds that I have (I didn’t like their taste fresh and figured toasting would help me enjoy them more as a snack).
    I was gonna add oil, so thanks for the tip on that. I won’t now! I’m looking forward to them already. :o)

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Julie! I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Happy Baking!

  2. Tracy Williams says:

    Oh my gosh- it just keeps getting worse , and worse. I meant to say that if you had more nuts in there, that it would NOT have happened.!

  3. Tracy Williams says:

    My guess would be that it really was just a few nuts, that the microwave reacted the same way that it would if you rub it empty.  I think if you had more in there that you would have the same problem??? Just a thought??
    This may have already been mentioned, because it didn’t read all of the previous comments, sorry if I was redundant.  Thanks for all that you share

    1. Tracy Williams says:

      Yikes- sorry for all of the typos . That’s what happens when you need reading glasses, and spell check takes over.
      I can’t seem to edit it. Sorry Again.

  4. Donna says:

    I need to warn you about what happened this morning when I tried to toast a few macadamia nuts in the microwave. (I needed just a few for some pancakes.) I gave them 30 seconds to start and, 11 seconds in, there was a huge flash of light inside the microwave, as well as a terrible sound. I stopped it immediately and fortunately, there were no consequences. However, I know there would have been had I not been paying attention. I’ve never had trouble with my microwave, so I doubt if that’s the problem.
    I’d recommend a toaster oven for those who just want to toast a few nuts and not bother with the regular oven.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Donna!
      Thanks so much for the warning! I wonder what could have caused this – especially the huge flash!?

  5. Tracey says:

    Hi Jamie 
    Could you suggest anything I could sprinkle on caramelised nuts once warmed to make fun and tasty at parties 
    Thank you 

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Tracey! I’ve heard of putting honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar on nuts for a sweet taste. You could also create a spice mixture of maybe cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper for them as well. I hope you enjoy them!

  6. Niki says:

    Hi. I soaked my almonds. Should I dry them first and then roast or can I just immediately roast them after I am done with soaking and rinsing. ? And I only have a microwave convection oven. So, how long do you think I need to roast the soaked almonds ?

  7. Sowmya says:

    Very well explained Jeanie. I ve bookmarked your page right away.

    Happy New Year and Happy cooking!

  8. Adrienne says:

    What is the toasting time for cashews? I don’t see it on your chart…

    1. Jamie says:

      Cashews run the same as hazelnuts or macadamias because they’re larger and have higher fat content than other nuts.
      – Jamie

  9. Jeanie says:

    Does it matter whether you chop pecans before or after toasting them? Thanks.

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Jeanie,
      It doesn’t matter in terms of the toasting process, but you might need to adjust the cooking time. They’ll cook faster the smaller they are.
      – Jamie

    2. Jeanie says:

      Thank you for responding!