How to Toast Nuts in the Microwave
If you’ve ever wondered how to toast nuts in the microwave perfectly every time, you are not alone! It’s so easy and only takes a few minutes! Prepare for your life to be forever changed.
Toasting nuts, any kind of nuts, well, it stresses me out.
Not because it’s that hard, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tossed almonds or pine nuts in a warm skillet or in a preheated oven only to walk away and somehow COMPLETELY FORGET that I’m trying to toast nuts.
Hello, burned almonds. You and I are friends.
Consider my life forever changed when a reader, Ashley, told me that toasting nuts in the microwave was not only doable but pretty much foolproof.
Did you know this could be done?
Am I, like always, the last to know about this?
Because honestly, I don’t think I will ever put pecans in a skillet or oven again to roast and toast their life away. Microwave toasted nuts forever.
And here’s the kicker, it’s literally as simple as spreading about 1/2 cup nuts in an even layer on a microwave-safe plate or dish and microwaving in 1-minute intervals until lightly golden and toasted.
In a side by side test of unsuspecting kids, they couldn’t tell the difference between nuts toasted in a skillet compare with nuts toasted in the microwave.
No weird tastes. No strange textures.
Just plain old delicious toasted nuts.
If you’ve been wondering how to toast nuts in the microwave OR if you’ve never even had the thought but are now super curious, I think you should drop what you’re doing and go try it.
Seriously, just grab some nuts – any kind! – out of the pantry and give it a whirl. If, after toasted nut success, you squeal in a high pitched manner and spin around in excitement knocking the trash can over…you and I can be BFFs forever.
A couple helpful reminders to keep in mind:
-don’t pile the nuts on the dish or plate…you just want them in an even layer that’s not too thick
-a large microwave-safe plate works great as does a glass pie plate
-that plate/dish is going to get hot so make sure you use oven mitts or pot holders to take it in and out of the microwave!
-every microwave, depending on age, power, size, color (haha, just kidding on that one), will cook a bit differently so the exact time may vary; watch closely the first time or two and you’ll quickly be able to gauge about how long it will take in your particular beloved microwave
I have a Kenmore microwave (1550/1000W) – no bells, no whistles – and it takes about 6-7 1-minute intervals to get slivered almonds roasty toasty and perfect. About the same for pecan pieces but slightly less time for sliced almonds.
If you want to live life on the edge, you can try doing a 2-minute spin in the microwave to get things started and then back off to 1-minute intervals, tossing in between.
But I’m only recommending that for people who won’t get mad at me if they end up with over-toasted nuts (that sounds better than “nuts that have been burned to smithereens and a house that will now smell like burned nuts for 2 1/2 weeks”).
I can honestly say that as a recovering nut burner (hmmm, that sounds alarming on so many levels), I have not burned a single almond, pecan, pine nut, or walnut since learning of this method.
I know I tend to throw around “life changing” with the wind, but I can assure you that learning how to toast nuts in the microwave cements itself as life changing tip of the year.
Also, rumor has it that you can toast coconut THE SAME WAY. Excuse me while I go weep in the name of progress.
How to Toast Nuts in the Microwave
- ½ cup shelled nuts, chopped or whole
- Place the nuts in an even layer on a microwave-safe plate or dish (a glass pie plate works well).
- Microwave for 1-minute intervals, removing the plate and tossing in between (plate will be hot so take care!), until the nuts are sizzling, golden, and toasted. The exact time will depend on microwave power/watts as well as the type/size of the nuts.
Recipe Source: idea sent to me by a reader, Ashley!
53 Comments on “How to Toast Nuts in the Microwave”
I love walnuts but couldn’t eat them until I discovered the secret to toasting them beforehand. I’ve been toasting walnuts and coconut for years using the microwave. I used to get mouth sores whenever I ate raw walnuts. Simply toasting them on high for about 1 minute changes the make-up of the oils in the nuts and now I no longer get any mouth sores. I like to put the nuts on a paper towel during the toasting process. I toast walnuts and let them cool before using them in all my baking recipes. Cooling is important as warm nuts will melt butter in certain recipes. People also notice the difference when they eat my cookies and brownies with toasted nuts and seem to like them more. The toasting also makes chopping the nuts easier so now I wait to chop the nuts AFTER toasting them. Hope this post lets people be able to eat walnuts again!
“nut burner” Lol. You slay me.
I think this could be the best cookie I have ever made! Super easy and wow wow wow delicious!!
Okay I saw this post linked from another one of your recipes (a kale and other yumminess salad) anyways I had to come here because I literally did not only burn my nuts last time I tried roasting them to put on my salad I then put a secon batch in the oven with an alarm to check them 30seconds later but the fire alarm decided to go off a second time for the burnt first batch and I missed hearing the timer and someone was kind enough to turn it off for me while I dealt with the alarm. I then obviously forgot about my second batch until they were in flames. I tried suffocating them in the oven with the door closed but that didn’t work (not sure why I thought it would) and then I proceeded to remove them from the oven, carry the flaming almonds on the pan outside to a deck that I remembered was not wood but some likely very easily meltable material so I tossed them over the deck to the ground (which is usually just rocks but I forgot we hadn’t cleaned up the dry leaves that were covering the rocks) so I began a beautiful square meter of mini fires that happily danced. I ran to turn on my hose and put it out when my daughter reminded me that we had turned the water to the outside taps off two days before (as we live in alberta Canada where it’s far too cold in winter). I then went back inside to grab a pitcher of water to put out my fire and prayed on the way that I wouldn’t have to call the fire department and admit to them how this fire started. So needless to say I have not tried roasting nuts since and am not sure I could ever do so again. I will be trying this method for my next salad for sure. Can’t wait!!!
Oh.my.gosh, Naomi. I read your comment with absolute horror! I’m so glad all fires were put out and all ended as well as it could. My goodness!!
I know I’m a year late on reading this but honestly, I had to write and say this was the most hilarious thing I’ve read in ages! And also something I am certain would also happen to me! Oh the stories we could tell, right? Thanks for the laugh…and glad you didn’t have to call the fire department…
how long will the nuts keep after roasted?
Probably 1-2 weeks.
This is magical! Way easier than stovetop or oven toasting and less likely to end up with burned nuts. I wonder if anyone has tried adding sugar to make candied nuts for salads????
I just tried this with coconut and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the great tip. So quick and easy!
Ther recipe is great. However I can’t believe you mixed a political ad along with the information. Bad form!!!
Hey Janet, I have political ads restricted from displaying on my website. It looks like one may have snuck through. If you are able to provide any details about what the ad entailed, I can try to track it down and have it removed completely. Also, some ads are shown based on personal search history and cookies, so if you’ve been doing any political reading online, that may be why you saw that particular ad. Either way, please don’t assume I’m trying to make a political statement. I’m not. I don’t want political ads being shown and I’ll do my best to see if I can uncover why that happened.
Me either! I almost shut the back door…I meant shut the laptop!
Quit it! Recipes, book reviews kitty pics but no politics.
I never wanted to use a microwave to toast nuts because I didn’t want soggy oily nuts. Ever warmed pizza or fries in the microwave? Blegh. Thanks for the tip.
Well I just tried this method for the first time usual and now I can’t believe I waited this long! My slivered almonds were perfectly toasted in 3 minutes! Amazing!! Thank you Mel!
Microwave roasted pecans turned out great. Only 4 minutes in my microwave. Im baking banana nut muffins so decided to roast the buts this time.. So delighted…Thank you for sharing…
Thank you for this amazing way of roasting nuts. Whoo hoo indeed!!!
I don’t exactly remember “how” I stumbled across your site…in the middle of the early morning hours … after letting our cat outside in the freezing cold to do his thing…and wait for his return ( haven’t gotten him to figure out to “open” the door) but you are truly a “comrada (female version of comrade) in arms”…you “type what you say/think”….LOVE IT! P.S. Our daughter taught me how to microwave nuts. Don’t know why I never thought to use microwave method… 99 0/0 success rate at oven roasting…but microwaving definitely easier especially for small batches. I can make a batch in the time it takes to let the cat back inside.
This worked terrifically! It took about 4 minutes toast my pine nuts to a light golden brown and I didn’t burn a single one! Huzzah 🙂
Thank you so much for posting this. I am super excited to try them!
This worked beautifully for getting the skin off of hazelnuts, a task I have always dreaded. Thanks so much!
I tried it with sugar and couldn’t get it to work. The sugar never melted. I had to end up putting them in a pan to get them sugared and they got very toasted.
This was very helpful. Years ago, I had a walnut salad dressing recipe that called for toasted walnuts, and I blew it. Resurrected, and this time I could make it. It’s a delicious dressing, BTW. Thanks!
I went to a pampered chef party this weekend and the lady doing the show had done coconut this way! My mind was blown! Then a short bit after I left said party I got on here and saw this post! Haha! Mind double blown!! Thanks for your awesome tips!
You are most definitely not the last person to know this bit of information!! I tend to wander off when toasting nuts in a skillet or oven myself, so this is AWESOME information!! Thank you so very much!!!
Fascinating! Well, I guess I’m the last one to find this out!
Can I just say— I was once melting butter in the microwave, left it in a bit too long and I ended up with browned butter! It was surprising good with artichokes, and obviously in your baked goods and frostings, too! I have never tried it again- so much popping and microwave mess, but it could be perfected I’m sure!
Have you tried the sugar coated nuts in the microwave?
I haven’t – but I think I will soon…I’ll report back!
Dumb question alert: so this method works to toast nuts, but does it also roast nuts? I have a recipe that calls for roasted pecans, can I just microwave them instead of using the oven?
I think technically “roasting” the nuts is something different, but if it were me, I’d use this method. Cooking the nuts basically releases the oils and adds a depth of flavor to the nuts.
“…recovering nut burner”…you had me spewing coffee outta my nose!!! LHOL!!! But, oh the joy of finding out that I can roast nuts…and maybe coconut, too, in the microwave… I am right there with ya on that “life changing” feeling!!! That you forever for that!!! Now to go change shirts!
**THANK you, not “that” you”….you just have me all shook up!!
I always thought I was the only one! I secretly hid my shame, thinking I was the only person out there with an attention span so short that I would repeatedly burn pan after pan of nuts. So first of all, thank you Mel and all other commenters for making me feel like I am not an alien. And second of all, this is life changing. WOW. Thank you!
THANK YOU, thank you!
Love to bake but never wanted to bother with roasting nuts in oven
Well, I had never heard of using the microwave either, if it makes you feel better. I laughed at your mention of completely forgetting while toasting nuts. I have done that so many times that now I set a timer AND make my teenage daughter stand at the stove as sentinel because I will still wander off and forget. I will have to try this!
I was just reading your latest blog about roasting nuts in the microwave and I’m excited to try it. However, as my children just carved pumpkins and they saved all the seeds, what do you think about roasting the seeds in the microwave using your technique?
I definitely think it’s worth a try!
I have also burned nuts in the microwave. Weep.
Woohoo! I’m so glad you had success with it! I was equally excited and amazed when I found this out too, so you are not the only one! 🙂
I had my first experience using the fire extinguisher in a real life fire a couple of weeks ago when I forgot about my coconut toasting in my toaster oven while attempting to make your coconut rice krispy treats. Let’s just say my house was smoky, I was traumatized, and my rice krispy treats were just normal plain ones. I’m so glad I never ever have to attempt that again and that I can just use the microwave! Yay!
You are amazing!!! I need to toast nuts and coconut and I wanted to do it this morning but ran out of time. I so needed this! Thank you! Thank you! What an wonderful email to get today!
This IS life-changing! And super excited to try the coconut…I’ve been known to start a (minor) kitchen fire or 2 while toasting coconut
This is genius. I, too, am a nut burner. Love!
I appreciate this so much! I always buy extra nuts knowing that I will probably scorch the first batch! Thank you!
This is the best recipe I’ve seen in a long time! No more nut burning for me! Thanks so much!
Are you serous…how many pans of nuts have I charred..because I’m just going to run to the bathroom…and then I wander to the ever needy laundry room..throw in a batch…as I’m walking back up the steps…I smell those dang nuts burning again! And nuts aren’t cheap! I can’t wait to get home and give this a try!
I’m so with you! Nut burners unite! I have named every excuse possible to explain away my inability to remember to stay by those nuts. Expensive, smelly mistakes year after year! I just learned the possibility of the microwave trick two weeks ago, so I am so excited to join your nut parade. Thanks for the tutorial, Mel!
Serious?? Mind. Blown. You know I’m off to experiment!
No, Mel, I think this post makes me the last person to toast nuts in the microwave!!! How many countless pans of burnt nuts I have thrown away…makes me cry.
You are not alone…I have burned nuts so many times because I got distracted.So frustrating! Thanks for the awesome tip!
*joins you in weeping*
i am a chef. i can cook anything, but i can’t remember to take the nuts off the burner. i am doing the yippee skippee *ALL over the place!