Wondering how to toast pine nuts? We’re covering the 2 best ways to toast them, delicious recipes to use toasted pine nuts and more!
Pine nuts are a classic for pesto & pasta, but they also add great flavor to salads and more. Toasting the pine nuts before you cook or bake with them will give these little lovelies the BEST flavor.
If you’re wondering “what’s the best way to toast pine nuts?” we’ve got you covered with today’s post! Let’s talk about what you’ll need to get started, the 2 best methods for toasting pine nuts, a bunch of ways to use them, and more. Let’s jump in!
Our Easy Toasted Pine Nuts Recipe, At A Glance:
Ingredients + Supplies To Start:
While there are many different methods for toasting pine nuts, from the microwave to an air fryer, the two most reliable methods in my experiences are the oven and the stove top. Here’s what you’ll need to get started on either method:
- Raw Pine Nuts. Sometimes labeled pignoli, pine nuts are the actual seeds from pinecones! Pine nuts can be sold raw, toasted, or roasted. For this recipe, you want RAW, unsalted pine nuts. Once they’re toasted, pine nuts will have a rich, nutty, buttery flavor.
- A Sheet Pan or Skillet. Then, depending on how you’d like to toast them, you’ll need a cookie sheet/sheet pan (oven) or a skillet (stove).
Do You Need Oil To Toast Pine Nuts?
For simple toasting, you don’t need any additional oil, butter, or fat. Their natural oils will be enough! If you want to add extra flavor, fresh herbs, or salt, a little olive oil or butter can help that stick to the pine nuts. I add this AFTER toasting the nuts, for best results.
How To Toast Pine Nuts In The Oven, Step By Step:
I love toasting nuts in the oven because they tend to cook more gently and evenly than on a skillet. It’s also a great method for toasting more pine nuts at once–I usually toast them in the oven if I’m making more than 1 cup of pine nuts at once. The only downside is you have to wait for the oven to preheat! To toast pine nuts in the oven:
- Preheat The Oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the pine nuts out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Gently shake the pan to distribute the seeds evenly.
- Toast 3-5 minutes or so, then shake the pan and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, until they’re golden brown and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them, as pine nuts can burn easily!
- Cool, Serve & Store. Let the nuts cool slightly (transferring them to a plate to cool is a great way to go!), then enjoy right away or store for later. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 6 months!
How To Toast Pine Nuts On The Stove, Step By Step
If you’re only toasting a few pine nuts at a time or don’t feel like preheating the oven, you can easily use the stove top instead. So, how do you toast pine nuts on the stove? It’s easy! The biggest trick is you need to give them constant attention, as pine nuts are more likely to burn on the stove.
- Place pine nuts in a dry skillet (no need for oil or butter!)
- Toast the nuts over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid scorching.
- When pine nuts have a golden color and smell fragrant, remove the pan from the burner and transfer the nuts out of the hot pan and onto a plate to cool down. (If you leave them in the pan, they’ll continue to toast!)
- Serve & Store. Enjoy the nuts right away or store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 6 months.
Yummy Ways To Use Toasted Pine Nuts
Now that you’ve got all those lovely toasted pine nuts, how do you want to use them? Here are some of my favorites:
- Basil Pesto! Probably the most famous use for pine nuts. We love them in homemade pesto.
- Arugula Salad. Another classic use. The peppery bite of arugula paired with toasted pine nuts, punchy parmesan cheese and a simple lemon dressing is tough to beat!
- Other Salads! If arugula isn’t your jam, you can add them to other green salads. Pine nuts pair nicely with pomegranate, citrus, fresh herbs (especially basil!), cheeses (parmesan, feta, mozzarella), and smoky flavors like bacon or prosciutto.
- Pasta. A fantastic garnish for many pasta recipes–lemon pasta, creamy pasta, cheesy pasta, and pesto pasta are some good examples.
- Risotto. I love creamy risotto with something crispy and crunchy on top!
- Pizza. Pine nuts are amazing on pesto sauce pizza, white pizza, and prosciutto pizza!
- Hummus. Add a few pine nuts to a lemon hummus or red pepper hummus for a satisfying crunch!
- Roasted Veggies. Crunchy pine nuts are a great garnish for roasted vegetables with caramelized edges.
- Pignoli Cookies. This classic Italian cookie gets rolled in pine nuts!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For Toasting Pine Nuts:
Keep An Eye Out For Pine Mouth (aka Pine Nut Syndrome)! The name may sound funny, but for a very small number of people, eating pine nuts can produce a reaction that causes a bitter or metallic taste in their mouth. The condition is temporary, but can last anywhere from days to a few weeks!
How To Store Toasted Pine Nuts
Once they’ve been toasted, pine nuts will keep best in an airtight container (like a jar or glass container with a lid). You can store them at room temperature up to 1 week, or freeze them up to 6 months. They thaw quickly, so freezing is a great option to prolong their shelf life!
What’s The Best Substitute For Pine Nuts?
Whether you can’t find pine nuts at your local grocery stores or the price tag isn’t in your grocery budget, there are plenty of substitutes you can use for pine nuts. It’ll depend somewhat on what you’re planning to use the pine nuts for, but in general, these are the best pine nuts substitutes:
- Cashews (My favorite). Cashews are a great substitute for pine nuts in fresh pesto. They have a similar creamy texture when blended, and the mild flavor lets the basil and garlic flavors shine through.
- Pistachios. Probably the most similar in shape and size, pistachios can be a great option for salads and garnish.
- Almonds. The nutty, toasty flavor of toasted almonds is a great substitute for toasted pine nuts for garnish on pasta, salad, and more.
Are Pignoli And Pine Nuts The Same Thing?
Yes! Pignoli is the Italian word for pine nuts. You may also see them labeled piñón (Spanish), pinoli, or pignioli.
Are Pine Nuts From Pine Trees?
Yes! It might sound crazy, but it’s true! Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees! Not all species of pine trees provide edible seeds, but there are almost 30 species that do! They have to be hand picked, which is part of the reason pine nuts are so expensive!
⭐ Did you try it? Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment below when you make our toasted pine nuts recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print