If you know How to Toast Pine Nuts, you have the perfect crunchy topping or addition to so many recipes. You can either roast them in the oven, toss them in a toaster oven, or even toast them in a skillet. These quick and easy methods will get you golden, nutty, and buttery morsels for salads, pasta, pesto sauce, and other dishes.
What are Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts is a nut common in Italian dishes. They can be eaten in their raw and buttery form or toasted to bring out and enhance their natural flavor. These small, softer nuts are most often found in basil pesto and can be added to salads and pastas for an extra crunch.
Pine nuts are definitely on the pricey side, with just a pound costing over $20. But luckily, you do not need a ton of them to add a lot of flavor. Just a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts will go a long way!
Toasting Pine Nuts
Since these nuts are so small, they tend to cook up (and even burn!) quite quickly. So when toasting them in the oven or in a skillet, you’ll want to make sure to keep a close eye on them!
There are different ways to toast these nuts. The best way to toast larger amounts of pine nuts is in the oven. The preferred method to toast small amounts of pine nuts is in a frying pan on the stove top.
The key to perfectly toasting pine nuts, as well as pecans and almonds, is to roast them low and slow. While yes, you can increase the oven temperature slightly to speed up the process, a lower oven temperature will give you the most evenly toasted nuts and decrease the likelihood of burning.
Selecting Pine Nuts
There is really only ONE ingredient that is absolutely necessary when toasting pine nuts.
And that is… raw pine nuts!
When purchasing at your grocery store, sometimes you will have the option of buying them either raw or already toasted.
Make sure you pick the raw pine nuts if you are planing to roast them on the stove or in the oven at home.
How to Toast Pine Nuts
Toasting pine nuts in the oven or on the stovetop is relatively simple and easy to do.
You will get a more even toast when you use the oven method, whereas toasting them in the skillet is a little bit faster.
Typically pine nuts are already buttery enough on their own, but if you’d like to add a bit of oil or butter you can! Simply toss them in oil or butter before baking for an even richer flavor.
Roasting Pine Nuts in the Oven
Preheat the oven to 325 °F.
Line a large, lightly colored, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pine nuts in a single layer on the pan.
Toast them in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until they are a golden color, stirring occasionally.
For a toaster oven, simply decrease the temperature to 300°F and toast for the same amount of time.
Avoid higher temperatures or high power to preserve the nutty flavor and prevent burning.
Toasting Pine Nuts in a Pan
If you are toasting a small amount of pine nuts, cooking them in a skillet is the fastest and easiest way to do it.
Heat a medium to large, non-stick dry skillet over medium-low or medium heat. Add no more than 1 cup of pine nuts to the skillet in a single layer for best results.
Toast pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Because these pine nuts last so well, you can easily make them a few weeks ahead of time. Simply keep them in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
- To Store: Pine nuts do not need to be refrigerated if stored for less than a month. To extend the shelf life, you can store pine nuts in the refrigerator in a big plastic bag or airtight container for up to 2-3 months.
- To Freeze: You can tightly wrap these nuts and freeze for up to 6 months.
Can I toast them at 350°F?
Toast pine nuts for 5-7 minutes at 350°F, checking on them every few minutes. Be careful at this higher temperature because they can burn much faster!
Are pine nuts healthy for you?
Pine nuts make a great healthy addition to any salad or pasta recipes.
A one-ounce serving of pine nuts contains 191 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 19 grams of fat.
How do I know when pine nuts are toasted?
Pine nuts will begin to turn a light golden brown and progress to a darker brown as they roast. You’ll know the nuts are perfectly toasted when they turn a rich caramel color and begin to give off a nutty aroma.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- No refrigeration needed. These nuts can stay at room temperature for up to a month after toasting.
- Spread them out. Be sure to use a large enough cookie sheet so you can toast your own pine nuts in a single layer.
- Low and slow. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat, otherwise they might cook too quickly and lose their buttery flavor.
- Just a little. The stovetop method is perfect for small amounts of pine nuts.
- Top it off. Throw some toasted pine nuts on top of hummus or in your favorite salad. Their unique flavor and buttery taste goes well with so many things.
Recipes with Pine Nuts
These healthy recipes all taste incredible with some roasted pine nuts on top.
Pasta salad, like Avocado Pesto Pasta, is perfect with toasted pine nuts.
Try them in this Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad for a real treat
One of my favorite ways is to top Homemade Hummus with them.
How to Toast Pine Nuts
If you know How to Toast Pine Nuts, you have the perfect crunchy topping or addition to so many recipes. You can either roast them in the oven, toss them in a toaster oven, or even toast them in a skillet.
- 1-4 cups pine nuts
Toasting Pine Nuts in the Oven
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line a large, lightly colored baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place pine nuts in a single layer on the sheet.
Toast nuts in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You'll know the nuts are perfectly toasted when they turn a rich caramel color and begin to give off a nutty aroma.
Toasting Pine Nuts in a Pan
Heat a medium to large, non-stick dry skillet over medium-low heat.
Add no more than 1 cup of pine nuts to the skillet in a single layer.
Toast pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- You can also toast pine nuts at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes, but be sure to keep a close eye on them since they can burn quickly at this higher heat!