Here’s how to toast pecans! You can taste the difference with toasted pecans: it makes them crunchier and enhances their nutty flavor.
If you’ve ever made toasted pecans, you know: the smell alone will cause everyone to come flocking! Why toast nuts? It does two things: it makes the nuts crunchier and enhances their nutty flavor. You can absolutely taste the difference! Toasted pecans are perfect for garnishing recipes of all kinds: soups, salads, oatmeal, pancakes, and even desserts! It’s quick to whip up a batch: and you can make them on demand. Here’s how to make toasted pecans: two ways!
How to toast pecans on the stove
Make toasted pecans on the stove when you have a small quantity of nuts and want to make them quickly. This method is so fast: it takes only 5 minutes! The drawbacks? Toasting nuts on the stovetop can cook unevenly. And, you can also only fit about 1 cup in a skillet, so it’s not the best method for large quantities. But if you’re looking to quickly toast a small quantity, it’s your best bet! Here’s how to toast nuts in a skillet:
- Place the nuts in a dry skillet (don’t add oil!).
- Heat over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Do not leave the stove because the nuts can burn very easily.
How to toast pecans in the oven
Make toasted pecans in the oven when you have time to preheat the oven! This method is also nice for quantities of pecans over 1 cup. This method cooks the nuts more evenly than the stovetop method, and you can cook lots of nuts at once. Here’s how to toast nuts in the oven:
- Preheat to 350 degrees.
- Place the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake about 7 to 8 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Again, don’t leave the oven because they can burn easily.
Ways to use toasted pecans
The best part: how to cook with toasted pecans! Pecans are so versatile: add a handful to amp up a salad, roasted vegetables, or a grain bowl. Or, use them on sweet recipes like oatmeal, pancakes, or waffles…even desserts! (Or, go more decadent with Candied Pecans!) Here are some ideas on where to start:
- Salad: Add a sprinkle on Strawberry Spinach Salad, Apple Salad, Blackberry Salad, Blueberry Salad, Brussels Sprout Salad, or Lentil Salad.
- Roasted or Sauteed Veggies: Use as a topping for Lemony Green Beans or Roasted Brussels Sprouts to add protein and crunch
- Oatmeal: Throw a handful onto Best Oatmeal or Instant Pot Oatmeal.
- Pancakes, French Toast or Waffles: Top a stack of Classic Pancakes, Banana Pancakes, French Toast or Blueberry Waffles.
- Desserts: They’re great over ice cream or with berries and whipped cream.
Once you’ve got those toasted pecans (and your kitchen smells amazing), you can use them immediately! Here’s how to store leftovers, if you have them:
- Cool fully and place in a sealed container. We use a small glass container with lid.
- Store at room temp for 1 week OR
- Store refrigerated for 2 months.
- Freeze to extend the life even further, up to 6 months or more.
Another use for leftover toasted nuts? Make Homemade Nut Butter!
Pecan fun facts!
- Nutrient dense. Pecans have lots of plant based protein and fiber (good for staying full). They’re among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, and have flavonoids and essential minerals (copper, manganese and zinc).
- Grown in America. Of all the major tree nuts eaten in the US, pecans are the only ones indigenous to America! They were originally grown wild and enjoyed by Native Americans. Now they’re harvested in over a dozen Southern states.
You can taste the difference with toasted pecans! Heating nuts makes them crunchier and enhances their nutty flavor. Here’s how to toast pecans: two ways.
- 1 cup whole pecans or pecan pieces (or any quantity; for any more than 1 cup use the oven method)
- Stovetop method: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stay at the stove because the nuts can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
- Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 7 to 8 minutes until fragrant and slightly darker brown, stirring once. Do not stray far from the oven, since the nuts can go from toasted to burned quickly. Remove immediately and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
- Use immediately. Or, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week and refrigerated at least 2 months. (You also can extend the life by freezing nuts.)
- Category: Essentials
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Nuts
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Toasted pecans, How to toast pecans
More toasted recipes!
So many foods taste better toasted! Here are all our our methods on how to toast nuts and seeds (and even bread):