How to Toast Pine Nuts

Toasted pine nuts add a nutty crunch to salads and pastas! Heating them until golden brings out their unique flavor. Here’s how to toast pine nuts!

Toasted pine nuts

Toasted pine nuts are our little secret to making recipes taste amazing. They add a warm, nutty essence and crunch to everything from salads to pasta to crostini. These Italian nuts are delicious on their own: but toast them up and they’re absolutely next level! As is true with any nut: toasting enhances the flavor. Just a few minutes in a hot pan, and the flavor is even warmer and nuttier. Here’s how to toast pine nuts! Once you’ve tried it once, you’ll find yourself using it again and again to enhance all your meals (recipe ideas below).

Toasted pine nuts: on the stove

Make toasted pine nuts on the stovetop when you have a small quantity of nuts and want to make them quickly.

  • Pros: This method is so fast: it takes only 3 minutes!
  • Drawbacks: Toasting nuts on the stovetop can cook unevenly, and it’s harder to toast large quantities.
  • Basic stovetop method (go to recipe): Place the nuts in a dry skillet (don’t add oil!). Heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Our biggest tip: do not leave the stove because the nuts can burn very easily. We know from experience!
How to toast pine nuts on the stove

How to toast pine nuts: in the oven

Make toasted pine nuts in the oven when you have time to preheat the oven! Also choose this method if you want to make more than 1 cup toasted pine nuts.

  • Advantages: This method cooks the nuts more evenly than the stovetop method, and you can cook lots of nuts at once.
  • Drawbacks: You’ll need to wait for the oven to preheat: about 10 to 15 minutes!
  • Basic oven method (go to recipe): Preheat to 350 degrees and bake the nuts on a baking sheet about 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Again, don’t leave the oven because they can burn easily.
Baking sheet with nuts

Ways to use toasted pine nuts

Now for the fun part: how to use your toasted pine nuts! The sky is the limit with these babies. Alex and I have tried them on all the recipes below and highly endorse all of them. (Really!) Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Asparagus risotto

Storage info

Once you’ve got those beautifully toasted pine nuts (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!

Toasted pine nuts

Pine nuts fun facts

Lastly, here are some things to know about pine nuts:

  • Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees! Yep, they literally come out of pine cones.
  • They’re also known as pignoli, the name in Italian.
  • Pine nuts are notoriously expensive because they’re difficult to harvest and only grown in a few regions of the world. If you can’t find them, here are several substitutes!
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Toasted pine nuts

How to Toast Pine Nuts


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Toasted pine nuts add a nutty crunch to salads and pastas! Heating them until golden brings out their unique flavor. Here’s how to toast pine nuts!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pine nuts (or any quantity; for any more than 1 cup use the oven method)

Instructions

  1. 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 golden brown, about 3 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.
  2. Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 5 minutes until fragrant and golden 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.
  3. 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: Italian

Keywords: Toasted pine nuts, How to toast pine nuts

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):

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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