How to Toast Walnuts 2 Ways

It's worth the extra step.

Homemade granola being scooped into a jar
Photo: NRuedisueli/Getty Images

The reason we add walnuts to recipes is to bring a bit of crunch and warm, nutty flavor to our dishes. So why not do everything possible to bring out that flavor? I know it sounds like a chore, but toasting walnuts is always worth it. It will upgrade any dish, and it can be done in as little as five minutes. Learn step-by-step how to toast walnuts two ways: on the stove and in the oven.

How to Use Toasted Walnuts

Use toasted walnuts anywhere you'd like to add a little crunch. It makes the perfect topping for salad, oatmeal, pancakes, ice cream, and more. Add it to homemade granola for extra protein. Or make a nutty crust with Chef John's Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breast. Toasting the walnuts will bring out their flavor and add a warmth to any dish they're added to.

How to Toast Walnuts 2 Ways

There are two tried and true ways for toasting walnuts, both with their own advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide which method to use, you'll want to consider how much time you have.

The stove top method is much faster, but you also don't get the more even cooking of the oven method. If you have time (or large quantities of walnuts) to toast, I'd suggest the oven method. But the stove top method will work just fine when you need to speed things up.

How to Toast Walnuts on the Stove

This method is best for small quantities, and it's super quick. Toasting walnuts on the stove only takes five minutes.

Walnuts toasting in frying pan
cheche22/Meredith

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Walnuts
  • Dry skillet
  • Spatula

Instructions:

  1. Place walnuts in a dry skillet. Don't add oil!
  2. Toast over medium heat until the walnuts are fragrant and one shade darker than originally were. Stir throughout. Be careful not to leave them on the stove too long, as they can easily burn.

How to Toast Walnuts in the Oven

If you have time, it's worth it to toast walnuts in the oven to achieve an even toast. Here's how:

granola in sheet pan stirred with spatula
Scott Little/Meredith

Here's What You'll Need:

  • Walnuts
  • Baking sheet
  • Spatula

Instructions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a cook sheet.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove once golden brown and fragrant.

How to Store Toasted Walnuts

Once your walnuts are toasted, you can store them in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Keep them on hand for topping off all your favorite dishes!

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