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 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: 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.
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:
- Risotto: Try them on risotto (like this Asparagus Risotto) to take it to the next level.
- Sauteed Greens: They feature with Parmesan in this Sauteed Rainbow Chard. Or try them on Sauteed Spinach or Easy Tuscan Kale.
- Veggies: Top Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Broccoli with pine nuts for a glam side dish.
- Hummus: Throw a handful on top of Homemade Hummus or Creamy Beet Hummus.
- Salad: Sprinkle on Arugula Beet Salad, Asparagus Salad with Feta, Easy Arugula Salad or BEST Kale Salad.
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!
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!