How to Toast Walnuts

The pantry staple transforms dishes once it's toasted.

Updated on November 22, 2023
Walnuts in pan for toasting


Learn how to toast walnuts in this guide

Photo by: Getty Images

Getty Images

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.

Host, Valerie Bertinelli's Cranberry Walnut Stuffing fresh out of the oven during a Thanksgiving celebration dinner, as seen on Food Network’s Valerie’s Home Cooking, Season 2

Learn how to toast walnuts and make this cranberry stuffing by Valerie Bertinelli

Photo by: Jessica Brooks ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jessica Brooks, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Valerie Bertinelli toasts walnuts stove-top and adds the cooled, chopped nuts to bring a savory crunch to her cranberry-sausage-cornbread stuffing.

Learn how to toast walnuts and make this sausage, sage and apple stuffing

Walnuts add a buttery, toasty crunch to play off sweet apples and savory sausage in this fan-favorite baked Thanksgiving dressing.

Learn how to toast walnuts and make this funghi alla Fiorentina pasta

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.

Learn how to toast walnuts and make this banana walnut bread

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.


Learn how to toast walnuts and make this maple walnut cream pie

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

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.

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