The waxy, white skin found on shelled walnuts can leave a slightly bitter taste. Some recipes recommend removing the skins of the tree nut before adding to breads, pastas, salads and other dishes. There are a few, simple at-home tricks you can use to take the skin off walnuts and improve the flavor of your meal.

Things You'll Need

Toast the walnuts. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes. Walnuts can also be toasted over medium-high heat in a pan on the stove top. Toast walnuts in this way for three to five minutes, stirring them occasionally.

Once the nuts are toasted, place them inside a towel, close the towel and rub with your hands to loosen and remove the skins. Pour the walnuts into a strainer to dispose of the skins.

Soak the walnuts in milk overnight. Use enough milk to cover the nuts. The next day, pour the walnuts and milk into a strainer. Remove the walnuts and rub them between your fingers to loosen and remove the skin.

Boil the walnuts in water. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the walnuts and boil for two to three minutes. Remove the walnuts with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel. Most of the skin should come off during the boiling.


  • A small paring knife, pick or similar tool can be used to remove skin from the walnut’s crevices.

  • If not using the walnuts right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. The high fat content in walnuts make them very perishable.