How to Toast Pine Nuts in the Oven

By Fred Decker

Gently toasting nuts does wonderful things for their taste, deepening their innate flavor and giving it additional complexity. The effect is especially noticeable with pine nuts, so low key when raw. Toasting them yields a much richer flavor, nicely complementing a wide range of salads, sauces and grilled meats. The simplest way to toast the tiny nuts is in a skillet, but they heat unevenly and are prone to scorching. Your oven gives a more consistent result.


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Step 1

Place a rack in the top third of your oven and preheat it to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven tends to run hot, or if you've noticed that it heats unevenly, heat it to 350 F instead. This means your nuts take longer to toast but reduces the risk that you'll scorch them in the process.


Step 2

Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pine nuts on it in a single layer.


Step 3

Slide the sheet pan into the oven, positioning it in the middle of the rack so hot air can circulate around it evenly on all sides.


Step 4

Toast the nuts for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven's heat, stirring them with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon every 2 to 3 minutes during that time. Stir at the shorter interval if your oven is prone to over-heating or uneven heating.


Step 5

Remove the nuts from the oven when they reach a consistent golden-brown color and smell richly aromatic. If you're using the lower oven temperature for safety's sake, this might require a few extra minutes.