Toast Nuts

How to Toast Nuts to Prepare Your Amazing Irish Recipe

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Updated on April 7, 2024

Reviewed by Ciaran Connolly

If you want to prepare an Irish recipe, it’s important to learn how to toast nuts because it’s a superstar in many dishes; just like preparing coconut with cashew salad.

For generations, Irish people have enjoyed toasting nuts at celebrations and as a culinary art. They use this cooking method to add a subtle sweetness to their foods. In addition, they flavour the nuts with the rich aroma of toasted nuts by glazing them. Essentially, toasting nuts is an essential cooking technique.

Actually, the list of cuisines you can create with glazed nuts is astonishing. And, of course, you need a quick and easy method to do so to allow yourself to make delicious food and, most importantly, it takes nothing to create your sweet stuff with a foolproof result. 

Here you will know everything on how to get glazed nuts with rich flavoured taste, where you can add it and how to hone your skills not to let it brunt or mushy, keeping its desired texture.  

Disclaimer: We’ve got some little secrets today we’d love to share with you after trying a bunch of methods and nothing working out except the following one.

Why is it Important to Toast Nuts?

Nuts are a rich source of important nutrients, such as healthy fats and protein, along with fibre and copper, which help maintain good health.

In addition, they contain beneficial minerals like magnesium and calcium that help keep teeth and bones healthy. You can use your toasted nuts as a snack or an addition to your meals. They’re tasty and paired with your favourite honey or jam for a delicious treat.

But why do we even toast nuts? Why can we just sprinkle them over a large salad bowl or eat them plain? 

You have a point. No, a good one! 

Nuts are sweet enough that you need to make nothing with them. Instead, just devour it while watching your favourite movie, hanging out with your partner in a public garden, or even as an optional addition to garnishing your dish or an item to make your charcuterie platters. 

Come on! Nuts deserve more than that, and I will tell you why you should toast nuts. Then I bet it would be your favourite of all time. 

  • Toasting nuts is an excellent way to add a delectable and savoury flavour to dishes and nutrients to your food.
  • Toasting deepens the flavour of each ingredient and enhances the taste buds of all.
  • You can diversify the same kind of nuts taste with different flavours. Think about caramelised sugar, savoury almonds, or even spicy pecans. All of these options all of these components are available in your kitchen.   
  • Toasting helps to keep them dry, which can help prevent spoilage.
  • Nuts are high in healthy fats, which can help you feel fuller longer and provide heart-healthy benefits.
  • Toasting also gives nuts a nice crusty exterior. So, they will give you a pleasant taste wherever you bury them in a sweet cake or top your salad with a handful. 
  •  Topping your dish with glazed nuts creates a festive atmosphere where everyone cheers while their food roasts in the oven.
  • It makes for a comforting nightcap after a long day; nut roasts provide comfort and joy for those who appreciate them.

But let’s set aside all these benefits; what I like most about roasted nuts is that it doesn’t matter what your nuts’ quality. You don’t even believe how your most bland or no-brand grocery store almonds have transformed after toasting. 

However, it doesn’t mean that you will purchase inferior quality, but you don’t need to get the best or the premium stuff, even if you are a lover of efficiency. And you will be surprised by how the taste, texture, and scent are amplified.    

So, knowing how to toast nuts is a fantastic and valuable skill.

Let’s go to how to toast nuts in a very simple way. 

What Are The Tools You Will Need?

Whether you need to prepare spicy or sweety roasted nuts or not, the tools you are going to use, thankfully, are not much. Just a baking sheet if you will roast them in the oven (which we highly recommend). Otherwise, you will need a frying pan. 

In the microwave, you will need a friendly microwave flatted plate.

A spatula is a must here. 

What else? It’s something that seems standard, but let’s emphasise it; a clean and dry kitchen towel. Our top pick is the cotton one that doesn’t leave soggy nooks on the plates to which you’ll be transferring the nuts.

The last thing is a peeling nuts tool or a breaker, if you will toast walnuts or any other with a thick skin. 

How To Toast Nuts?

I choose to ignore some roasting recipe instructions, such as brushing the nuts with honey or syrup, in favour of the taste simply because I find them inconsequential to the result.

(To be honest, I am a rebel when preparing my recipes. For example, I don’t like just peeling carrots before pouring them into the salad recipes. Instead, use carrot shreds.)

The outcome of my dish was disappointing at all levels. Sorry guys, I have to prepare something else. 

You don’t need to be ready for plan B. Just make the best of plan A. And let’s see how you can make it.


  • 1 cup almonds, pecans or walnuts (actually, any nuts in your cupboard will be great)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional but better)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Recipe of Roasting Nuts 

  • Preheat your oven 15 minutes before placing the baking sheet. 350 degrees F is the optimal temperature.
  • On a flat baking sheet, spread the nuts and let them cook for 5 minutes or until turning golden. It’s a good sign that it’s evenly toasted. 
  • Get the baking sheet out of the oven and transfer the roasted nuts to a skillet.

Important: To avoid browning your nuts, use only a nonstick pan. Or you can cover any pan with a nonstick oil cook spray and make sure all parts of your pan get coated well. Also, the perfect size of the skillet is 10-inch but feel free to use what you have a hand on.

  • Place the nuts on the skillet and thoroughly spread the sugar over the nuts. 
  • Cut the butter into little pieces and sprinkle them over the nuts.
  • Place the skillet over low-medium heat. Stir the nuts occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved. The whole process will take almost two to three minutes. 

Important: Please note that choosing the right heat setting is essential to cooking nuts. Because the nuts are likely to end up in the trash can if you leave your pan alone or go nowhere, but the heat is higher than it should be.

  • Now, add the water and continue stirring. Turn the heat to medium, and don’t stop shaking the nuts until the water is completely vaporised. 
  • Here is the scene, or what you get till now: the sugar is dissolved, creating a softy mixture with the butter, and all combinations primarily stick to the nuts.
  • Remove the nuts from the skillet and pour them on another baking sheet covered with wax paper or foil. 

Important: The nuts could be sticking to each other, and that requires special treatment when transforming it to keep them in their original shape. So, use an excellent gentle tool like a wooden spoon to separate them. 

And that’s it. Let the glazed nuts rest to cool before serving or adding to any dish.

Important Notes About Your Ingredients to Toast Nuts

Because our goal is to complete each meal with stronger flavours instead of letting nuts fade into the background, we have created a list of important notes before going to the grocery to bring your good.

  • Purchase the raw nuts, not salted or roasted (please check below what are the best nuts to roast).
  • When it comes to backed food and recipes, always choose a little unsalted butter. It will boost the flavour and allow the nuts to show off in almost all recipes. (please check out the section below of the Irish dishes to add the glazed nuts.
  • If you want to enhance the aromatic sense, add rosemary. It will bring out a deeper nuttiness and a slightly preppy taste to your salad.
  • For salty nuts, add a pinch of salt and black pepper. It is always perfect for movies or matches night as light snacks. 
  • Want to get the exceptional results ever? Then you sprinkle a handful of cayenne. It’s a must for spicy flavours lovers. This slight heat balance the nutty and sweet. Add what will make you feel comfortable, or feel free to leave it altogether.
  • I used brown and white sugar in this recipe but let’s agree that light brown sugar will provide more crunch, complicated, and a pleasant hue to sprinkle over your different recipes. 
  • After spending so much time in the Middle East, cumin has quickly become one of my favourite spices. It’s warm and earthy. Just a teaspoon will be enough to give a boost to the texture and sweetness of nuts. However, it’s optional. 
  • If you want to try maple syrup over toasted nuts, make sure to use the real one, not that kind made from an ocean of sugar used to sweeten poor pancakes. 

Why We Love This Recipe? (And, of course, EVERYONE)

If you’re searching online, you will find plenty of recipes to toast nuts everywhere. So, why do we prefer this one?

  • Easy and simple: you don’t need more than 5 minutes to have delicious and satisfying snacks. Yes, nuts are great on their own, but using our recipe will enhance their greatness. 
  • Inexpensive ingredients: Only four components are required to roast any nuts. But for the best homemade nut mix, you can rustle up some syrups or flavoured condiments like cinnamon. (Know more later) But anyway, your pantry has absolutely something for you to create your glazed stuff. 
  • Everyone’s favourite: Everyone has somewhat distinct tastes, but when it comes to our basic roasted nuts, it seems everyone has the same preferences because it’s an irresistible combination offering a combo of flavours. 
  • Flavoured and refreshing: Butter and sugar are worth the results. Indeed, other steps always come my way in my kitchen, and toasting nuts using this recipe is one of them.
  • A space for creativity: As we only use staples to create our beautifully toasted nuts, there is always room for improvisation. There is no right way you should adhere here. Instead, feel free to customise it depending on your preference. Also, feel free to replace the seasonings with something more pleasant for your buds. 
  • Make any time and restore it: Again, using only common ingredients gives us credit for making the nuts ahead and restoring them for our special gatherings. I bring it to the table for a fetching presentation on each fun-filled holiday. 
  • A perfect side or main dish: Say goodbye to awkwardness when someone invites you to a dish party, and you don’t have time or mood to make innovative pasta recipes or cook eggplants. Create your delicious roasted nuts with slices of colourful fruit salads, and you are done. The mission is accomplished: beautiful meal, healthy, and will amaze your guests.  

How to Store Glazed Nuts

If you love the taste of glazed nuts (and, of course, you will), you’ll want to keep them as fresh as possible. So here is how to stow them away neatly: 

1. Store glazed nuts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

2. If storing for longer periods, put the container in the fridge or freezer.

3. Occasionally stir the nuts to ensure even moisture distribution and prevent them from becoming dry and hard.

4. Glazed nuts should be eaten within two weeks of being stored, but they may last up to a month in a sealed container if kept chilled and away from light.

But I’d say the nuts would never stay that long. Indeed, they are the first thing everyone will have a hand on at your next party.

What Are the Best Nuts to Toast?

Okay, before we answer this question, let’s start with these.

First, what type of nut do you want to toast? Are you in the mood for almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, or Brazil nuts?

Second, what type of pan do you have? Do you have a standard oven-safe pan or a nonstick skillet? 

Third, how much do you want to toast your nuts? Do you want them lightly browned, or do you want them crispy?

Fourth, is your craving for salty or sweet something that needs to be considered?

Fifth, what drinks are you going to enjoy with your snacks? Will cranberry juice work with hazelnuts and sour whiskey mixed with peanuts?

Sixth, lastly – but not least importantly – what time of day are you going to make these snacks, and will they keep in the fridge for later on?

Then we will tell you what you can do with nuts in your racks; here is the list:

  • Cashews: sprinkle easy glazed cashew on any salad will enhance its sweet taste. Pack them into a mason jar after finishing toasting for gift giving.
  • Almonds: these nuts are always my favourite when wanting to make my charcuterie plate even better. 
  • Peanuts: When I have any recipe that calls for nuts, I have to take it to the next level by roasting some peanuts. It’s a secret that I had kept for years. 
  • Hazelnuts: Bring a handful of hazelnuts to a baking sheet and pop them in the oven. You will get fantastic colour and taste all in one, and don’t forget to peel the outer skin before making anything.
  • Walnuts: if you’re searching for a super easy way to toast nuts. I usually make it done in the microwave. 

Note: If you have some pine nuts and think of cooking them, please don’t! Pine nuts are not perfect for this way of cooking. They are going to burn so quickly. Skip it.

Tips When Roasting Nuts

  • Taste your nuts before making anything. Don’t waste your time or efforts on something already disgusting.
  • Learn the best time to toast each type of nut. For example, larger nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans might need 10 minutes to be done. Otherwise, macadamia and pine nuts will roast in 5 minutes or less.  
  • Choose the best way to toast nuts; in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave. 
  • Unless they have the same size, please don’t toast different types of nuts together. The smaller ones will get burnt quickly.
  • Your ultimate goal in toasting your nuts is to make them a little gold with a raw appearance. Any darker look would signify that they are not suitable to add to your plate because they are branded. And they will ruin your recipe instead of bringing a pleasant taste to it.
  • Well, how to know that the nuts are ready? It’s as simple as you might think. Using your nose. The toasty scent is the best indicator once it permeates the house. Rest reassured, you are on the right track. 
  • For large nuts like walnuts, you can roast them in their original size and then chopping after glazing. Warmed nuts will be cut easier without crumbling.
  • Wondering when you can use the microwave to roast your nuts? Well, small batches; the whole nuts are not preferred here. They will be crunchier in no time but please always pay attention to the timer. Keep it for 2 minutes and check them out before counting another minute. 

How to Toast Nuts on the Stove

You can also use the stove to have buttery, savoury, salty, glazed, spicy, and sweet nuts. I know ovens sometimes become boring, from preheating to occasionally checking the nuts by removing the sheet and placing it inside.

So, why not skip all these steps just to cook your nuts over medium-high heat? 

You just need to keep stirring until having super aromatic. 

Important: Don’t forget to pour the nuts out from the pan once they get toasted well, so they don’t get overcooked or affected by the residual heat in the skillet. 

How to Toast Nuts in a Microwave?

Not everyone will believe me when I answer their questions about the nuts recipe. “Actually, I make it in the microwave.”

They looked at me suspiciously. “Really!” 

But yes, I am not crazy, and you can add depth to the texture and taste of your nuts by just placing them in a microwave. 

I’ll tell you the preferred method I use when I’m in a rush or don’t have the energy to clean the skillet and oven after cooking, despite your sceptical eyes (I know you don’t believe me either, but that’s okay.).

Toast nuts in the microwave for a quick and easy snack. Here’s how: Position the nuts on a microwavable dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Toast for approximately a minute in the microwave. Take it out of the microwave and dig in!

Optional Flavour Variants For Your Nuts

Congratulations, you have whipped up some of the best ingredients you can offer your cuisines. Also, there are a few extra steps to heighten this stunner. 

 And no panic; only a few minutes are required to finish this side dish. 

Please note all the following components are substitutions or additions, but we encourage you to give it a try to add your personal dish. So let’s get started and allow our creativity to run wild. 

  • Vanilla sauce: For a more sweet taste, it will give the nuts a glorious outer skin, especially if you want to eat it alone, an idyllic treat after a hectic day.
  • Almond oil: If you want to prepare dairy-free nuts or vegan recipes, remove the butter from your list. Ltherinvely, use any natural oil or just use the oil of the same nut you’re roasted, such as almond or walnut oil.  
  • Cinnamon: For the nuts party, skip out the cumin for cinnamon. In this case, you must keep salt, pepper, rosemary, and cayenne aside as you want only sweet flavours. And you can increase the pure maple syrup when toasting in the oven or on the stove.  
  • Bourbon: for the real sense of celebration, shake your nuts with 2 teaspoons of bourbon. There will be time for the alcoholic flavour to permeate your nuts.

Irish Recipes to Add Your Glazed Nuts

When it comes to recipes, the Irish know best. And when it comes to adding roasted nuts, they definitely know how to make them work beautifully with each other. Some of our favourite Irish dishes are enhanced by adding roasted nuts; we’ve included them here.

Soda bread: we love Irish soda bread. This delicious and hearty bread is perfect for any meal, and it’s even better when you add some roasted nuts to the mix. So add your favourite nuts to the dough before baking, and you’ll have delicious and nutritious bread that everyone will love.

Irish oatmeal: This comforting and healthy breakfast dish is made even more delicious when you add some roasted nuts to the top.

Blarney Stones: It’s a surprise when you add glazed peanuts. This kind of dessert will give you a taste without being overly sugary. It’s a combo of vanilla, butter, milk and wheat. It’s a typical pound cake baked, dipped in goodness, and then topped each cake piece with crushed nuts. It’s served with a variety of sweet substances, such as honey or syrup.

Coconut with Cashew Nut Salad: It’s a sweet and savoury mix that you don’t want to miss. It’s healthy, colourful and delicious. Just bring carrots, scallions, and chillis and top the whole bowl with your roasted cashew. It’s a keeper!

Other Recipes Work Beautifully With Glazed Nuts 

Along with these mouthwatering Irish recipes, let’s dig deeper into new and unusual recipes with toasted nuts. You can use tons of ways to make them taste different with rich flavours and textures. For some deliciously other dishes, try substituting roasted nuts in the following recipes.

  • Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Almonds: forget about passing blended or mixed soups through a strainer, and think about this freshly and heartily soup on cold days or when you get rid of a boring dinner. Roasting almonds brings out their nutty flavour to the dish. It’s for all pumpkin lovers who don’t know what they should do with it when it becomes in-season produce. All you need is onion, chicken stock, and all-purpose flour. And to make your soup crunchier and more enjoyable with a different taste, don’t forget toasted almonds.
  •  Roasted Nutella Sundae: Combine melted Nutella and whipped cream in a bowl, then top with crushed roasted nuts. This easy-peasy recipe is brilliant in summer to cool you down and bring some creativity to your kitchen. 
  • Roasted Hazelnut Brownies: Add chopped hazelnuts to brownies for an intense flavour and plenty of texture. It’s a mummy recipe when you need to induce your kids to eat their meals, “Let’s wrap up our meal so we can dig into your delectable brownies!” And, of course, you’ll hear something like that, “Ohh yeah, I am coming.”
  • Chicken Salad with Grapes: This savoury and currency with a hint of sweet taste is irresistible and requires just 4 ingredients. And our superstar is glazed walnuts. Plus, it takes 5 minutes of preparation. LOVELY! 

Finally, I always love toasted nuts in any pasta recipe. And yoghurt! Oh, dear, they are made for each other.

Toasting nuts at home adds a fantastic flavour that anyone can enjoy. Nut roasts make great dish garnishes or nightcaps for those who know how to make them right. St Patrick’s Day celebrations incorporate this regional food into their regional culture to produce a unique regional cuisine everyone enjoys.

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