How to Toast Pine Nuts – 4 Quick, Easy Methods!

If you’ve been wondering how to toast pine nuts, here are 4 different methods that you can use to bring out their flavor and crisp them up!

Pine nuts, also called pignoli, are the edible sweet and creamy seeds of pine trees.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Italian pine nut-covered cookies called Pignoli. That recipe, by the way, is absolutely amazing and perfect for Christmas! It’s also naturally gluten-free.

But back to the nuts. Pignoli, which literally means pine nuts, can also refer to a fussy person in Italian – one who is excessively precise or meticulous. ;)

Even raw, pine nuts have a wonderfully rich and buttery flavor and texture.

But just like with other nuts, toasting really brings out pine nuts’ nutty sweetness. Heating the nuts releases their natural oils, intensifies their aroma and flavor and even makes them crunchier.

Another benefit is that toasting can reduce the resinous aftertaste that some fresh nuts have.

It is absolutely worth the tiny time investment to toast your pine nuts first! The only time I wouldn’t recommend toasting pine nuts is when they’re getting toasted in the oven, anyway, like if you’re making pignoli cookies.

So here are 4 different ways you can toast your pine nuts!

The oven and skillet are the best methods. You can keep an eye on them and make sure they’re not browning too quickly.

My only issue with the air fryer is that you can’t see them while they’re toasting. And I’d only use the microwave if none of the other three methods are possible.

Tips for success

Before we get started, here are some tips that are valid for every method of roasting pine nuts.

  • Don’t overcrowd the nuts. You want them to be evenly toasted so a single layer is always best.

  • Because pine nuts are so tiny, they cook much faster than other nuts like almonds and walnuts. That means they also burn much more quickly!

    Stay near the nuts and don’t get distracted. That would be an expensive mistake!

  • If you’re in a hurry, don’t be tempted to increase the temperature. I’ve done this. They don’t get toasted as evenly and are much easier to burn.

  • Don’t let the toasted pine nuts cool on the hot baking sheet, skillet or dish or else you risk burning the nuts. Always transfer them to a cool baking sheet to cool.

  • There isn’t a need for oil, so cleaning up should be easy. You don’t even need parchment paper!

In an oven:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Put the baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until you see them starting to brown a bit. Stir and then toast for another 3-6 minutes.

Once the pine nuts are golden brown, remove them from the oven.

Transfer them to a cool baking sheet or flat surface to cool.

Tips:

  • Make sure the baking sheet has a rim to avoid the nuts spilling over.
  • You can also use a large casserole dish or whatever you’d like.

In a skillet:

Place the nuts in a dry skillet and turn heat to medium-low.

Stir frequently to redistribute and evenly toast the nuts.

It should take less than 5 minutes. Beware! Nuts can burn easily so don’t get distracted.

Once nuts are golden brown, immediately transfer them to a cool, dry, flat surface like a baking sheet to cool.

Tips:

  • This is the best method for small amounts in little time.
  • Don’t turn the heat too high to heat up the pan more quickly. This increases the risk of burning the nuts.

In an air fryer

Place the pine nuts in a baking pan with high sides that will fit in the air fryer basket.

Set temperature to 300 °F (150 °C) and set the timer for 4-6 minutes.

The pine nuts are done when golden brown and have a wonderful nutty fragrance.

Transfer to a cool flat surface to cool.

In a microwave

Place the nuts in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Cook on high for 2-minutes. Remove and stir. Continue to cook for 1-minute at a time hereafter.

After each minute, stir the nuts and check to see if they are done. It’ll take 3 to 8 minutes depending on your microwave.

Once toasted, remove the nuts and transfer to a baking sheet or parchment paper to cool.

Tips:

  • Using the microwave is my least preferred method.
  • It won’t give you that golden color just so you know. You can add a little butter or spray oil on the nuts to help them brown, but I say if you want that amazing golden hue, use a different method.

How to choose pine nuts

You can sometimes find them in the bulk nuts section near the produce. Those will be cheaper than the tiny jars that you find in the Italian section of the grocery store.

Here in Germany, I get tiny 50-gram bags from Aldi and Lidl. It’s the perfect amount for a salad.

I also know that they’re fresh, haven’t been sneezed on or had little kid fingers in there.

Before you cook with pine nuts (and all nuts, for that matter), be sure to smell a few. If they’ve gone rancid, you’ll smell it. They’ll smell unpleasantly bitter.

I checked Walmart’s website and they range from about $22-$30 in the US. Like with almost everything, the larger amount you buy, the better the price.

I buy almost everything in bulk but would advise against it in this case unless you’re sharing with several people or making a large number of pignoli.

Pine nuts are really best enjoyed freshly toasted. You don’t want to toast a pound, use a few tablespoons, and save the rest for later. They’ll lose their crispness!

Why are pine nuts so expensive?

First of all, they are time-consuming to harvest from pine cones. You first need to dry the pine cones for weeks and then crush them to extract the pine nuts.

Then the seeds are separated by hand from the fragments of the cone and finally, the shells must be removed. All of that results in the cream-colored gems you get in the stores.

What to do with pine nuts

Now that you have your toasted pine nuts, you can use them in pesto, of course, but also in salads and as a pasta topping. They’d be great on any one of these recipes!

How to store toasted pine nuts

Like I said above, it’s best to just toast pine nuts before serving.

If you have some left over, let them cool completely and then place them in an airtight container. If using within about a week, you can store them at room temp.

If you need to store them longer than for a month, then refrigerate them for up to 1-2 months.

So that’s about it! If you make these roasted pine nuts, I’d love for you to leave a comment below. And you know I want to see them! Just snap a pic 📸 and tag #texanerin so I can easily find them.

How to Toast Pine Nuts

♥♥♥♥♥
Rated 5.0 by 8 readers
How to Toast Pine Nuts – 4 Quick, Easy Methods!
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (or desired amount) of raw pine nuts

Directions

    In an oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure the baking sheet has a rim to avoid the nuts spilling over.
  2. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until you see them starting to brown a bit. Stir and then toast for another 3-6 minutes.
  3. Once the pine nuts are golden brown, remove them from the oven.
  4. Transfer them to a cool baking sheet or flat surface to cool.
  5. In a skillet:

  6. This is the best method for small amounts in little time.
  7. Place the nuts in a dry skillet and turn heat to medium-low. Don’t turn the heat too high to heat up the pan more quickly. This increases the risk of burning the nuts.
  8. Stir frequently to redistribute and evenly toast the nuts.
  9. It should take less than 5 minutes. Beware! Nuts can burn easily so don’t get distracted.
  10. Once nuts are golden brown, immediately transfer them to a cool, dry, flat surface like a baking sheet to cool.
  11. In an air fryer

  12. Place the pine nuts in a baking pan with high sides that will fit in the air fryer basket
  13. Set temperature to 300 °F (150 °C) and set the timer for 4-6 minutes.
  14. The pine nuts are done when golden brown and have a wonderful nutty fragrance.
  15. Transfer to a cool flat surface to cool.
  16. In a microwave:

  17. Using the microwave is my least preferred method.
  18. It won’t give you a golden color. You can add a little butter or spray oil on the nuts to help them brown, but if you want that amazing golden hue, use a different method.
  19. Place the nuts in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Cook on high for 2-minutes. Remove and stir. Continue to cook for 1-minute at a time hereafter.
  20. After each minute, stir the nuts and check to see if they are done. It’ll take 3 to 8 minutes depending on your microwave.
  21. Once toasted, remove the nuts and transfer to a baking sheet or parchment paper to cool.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

Pin post on Pinterest Share post on Facebook Share post on Twitter Share post on Google+

8 comments on “How to Toast Pine Nuts – 4 Quick, Easy Methods!” — Add one!

3 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Natalie
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 22, 2021 @ 10:09 am

    I knew I can toast pine nuts in the oven and in the skillet but in the microwave and air fryer… that is something completely new to me. Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely give it a try.

    Reply
  • Chandice Probst
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 21, 2021 @ 10:31 pm

    Oh my goodness I love eating these on their own or putting them a top soup for a crunchy bite. They’re also great on salads!

    Reply
  • Debbie
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 21, 2021 @ 3:25 pm

    We love pine nuts at my house in all sorts of things. I love all of you tips and all 4 methods are great. I never thought of using my air fryer , I am trying this method .

    Reply
  • Farrukh Aziz
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 21, 2021 @ 2:59 pm

    Great! All the 4 methods are just as the title says, quick and easy, and the results are perfect! :D

    Reply
  • Amy Liu Dong
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 20, 2021 @ 4:18 am

    This is one of my husband’s favorite snacks.
    So delicious and easy to make.

    Reply
  • Linda
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 17, 2021 @ 5:04 pm

    I’m a big air fryer user and when I saw that you could toast pine nuts in one I got all excited. (doesn’t take much lol)Now I’m all set for some tasty salads for the Thanksgiving table.

    Reply
  • veenaazmanov
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 17, 2021 @ 4:42 pm

    Thanks . Your post is so informative and interesting.

    Reply
  • Allyssa
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    November 17, 2021 @ 9:55 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing toast pine nuts recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

    Reply

Comments? I’d love to hear from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


*

Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment immediately, don’t panic… it went through! Thank you so much for taking time to leave feedback!

Please help others by rating the recipe: