How to Toast Walnuts
The pantry staple transforms dishes once it's toasted.
Walnuts may already be a staple in your pantry or a go-to snacking option; but, if you really want to up the ante, try toasting them. Toasted walnuts bring deeply nutty flavors to everything from stuffings and dressings to pasta dishes to baked goods and desserts.
Here, a guide to learn how to toast walnuts in the oven or on the stovetop.
How to Toast Walnuts in the Oven
Toasting nuts in the oven is optimal because it ensures even cooking and builds intense flavor, explains cookbook author Charlotte Druckman. She recommends preheating your oven to 350 degrees F, spreading the nuts on a baking sheet, and putting them in the oven for anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes, depending on their size and the degree of color you'd like them to develop.
How to Toast Walnuts on the Stovetop
The other, faster option is toasting nuts on the stovetop. Put nuts in a dry pan and cook over medium-low heat for up to 5 minutes tops. Shake the pan periodically so that they toast evenly.
Toasted Walnuts Tips
Whichever method you choose, Druckman cautions, keep a close watch as nuts can quickly go from toasted to burnt.
“You’ll know they’re ready when they’ve released their aroma and begun to brown; if you want more color on them, leave them a little longer,” Druckman writes. “Let them cool completely before using.”
Recipes with Toasted Walnuts
Around Thanksgiving, toasted walnuts headline bread-based stuffing and dressing recipes. They're a welcome additional to meals all year long, adding meaty heft to vegetarian-friendly sides and fantastic, toasty flavor and crunch to desserts.
Valerie Bertinelli toasts walnuts stove-top and adds the cooled, chopped nuts to bring a savory crunch to her cranberry-sausage-cornbread stuffing.
Walnuts add a buttery, toasty crunch to play off sweet apples and savory sausage in this fan-favorite baked Thanksgiving dressing.
Giada De Laurentiis pulls in toasted walnuts to add extra heft and texture to this vegetarian side of seared mushrooms with wilted arugula and dried cranberries.
We recommend making a few extra loaves of this easy, crowd-pleasing banana bread since it's all but guaranteed everyone will ask for seconds.
Unconventional, yes. But no one will complain once they tuck into a slice of this walnut pie. Toasted walnuts are folded into a lush maple-custard filling and scattered on top of whipped cream for a final flourish.
Think beyond butter: Here are dozens of ways to top your toast.
Photographs by Levi Brown