Last updated on September 18th, 2022.
Learning how to toast pecans is the best way to add a nutty flavor, crunchy texture, and a bonus nutrition value to your favorite recipes like different baked goods, yogurt, salads, and even homemade trail mix. In less than 10 minutes you can enjoy this healthy treat and upgrade endless recipes.
Toasting pecans for baking is the ultimate satisfaction and is the heart of so many recipes like this Caramelized pecans recipe, Chocolate chips cookies, and even the good ‘o American Pecan pie. It fills your home with a nutty and inviting aroma and you can enjoy these rich and healthy toasted nuts as a snack.
Roasted vs. Toasted
Before we answer important questions like: “how long do you toast pecans”? “what temperature to roast pecans”? Or “how to bake pecans”? Allow me to clarify the difference between roasting and toasting.
Roasting is exposing our subject to heat, most times the oven. Toasting is applying direct heat to our subject much like we do when we use a skillet to toast.
There are two ways to roast:
- Oven method: great for small amount (less than 1 cup) or large amount (1-4 cups per large cookie pan), and when you have time.
- Microwave method: great when you are pressed in time, like when in the office and wish to roast a small amount. (up to 1 cup).
There is one way to toast: in a skillet over direct heat.
So now we know that there is no such thing as “the best way to toast pecans” because there is only one way. Use the method that is right for you for your needs and wants. We also know that asking “how do you toast pecans in the oven”? Or “how to toast pecan pieces in the oven” ? is not the right way.
Why should you toast or roast?
Many times we find ourselves searching for a roasted pecan recipe because we are following a recipe. There are two reasons so many recipes call for toasted nuts: complex flavor and texture.
Flavor. When we apply heat to nuts, as we do in the process of toasting chopped nuts, the natural oils (fat) make their way to the surface, giving it a rich complex flavor. (Fat is flavor)
Texture. Applying heat also results in browning the surface of the nuts which creates a crispy exterior and also contributes to the deep and rich flavors of any dry roasted pecans recipe. (or toasted).
Raw Pecans. You can toast or roast raw nuts, either halves or pieces. Both call for the same process, different lengths.
Toasted pecans recipes
Here are the instructions for how to roast and toast in three different ways. Find the full recipe on the recipe card below.
How to roast pecans in the oven?
Preheat oven to 350F (see my tip below on how to preheat your oven in 5 minutes).
- Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper then spread the nuts in a single layer.
- Place the pan on the middle rack and bake for 7-10 minutes, tossing halfway through. (use your hand if you have few minutes to spare for them to cool, or a spoon)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When coming out of the oven the nuts are chewy and as they cool they become crispy.
How to roast pecans in the microwave?
- Line a large microwave-safe plate with a paper towel. Spread the nuts halves or pecan pieces in a single layer and roast for 1.5 minutes.
2. Toss and roast again for another 1.5 minutes.
Using the stovetop?
- Place the nuts halves or pecan pieces in a wide dry skillet over the stovetop medium-low heat.
- Shake the skillet and toss every 20-30 seconds. Do not walk away the process is short and goes from lightly toasted to fully burnt in less than a minute.When lightly browned and have a beautiful nutty aroma, remove from the oven and allow to reach room temperature and cool completely.
If you ever wondered how do you roast pecans with some extra flavor? Then here is a simple and fun way. Note that I added a few recommendations, but the sky is the limit.
- Toss some fat (melted butter, olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, etc.). One tbsp of fat per 1 cup of nuts.
- Toss with your choice of different types of:
- spices. like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, cumin, cardamom, curry, and even sea salt.
- Seasoning. like an everything bagel seasoning or taco seasoning.
- Herbs. Like rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
3. Bake according to the oven directions.
The most important thing to remember when preparing the pecans halves or pieces for storage is to place them in an air-tight container, a glass jar, or a sealable bag. Here are three ways to store the toasted pecans nuts:
- At room temperature. Make sure it is also a shaded spot. Between 4-6 weeks in a resealable bag.
- Refrigerator. Up to 10 weeks.
- Freezer. Up to 6 months.
- Preheat the oven in 5 minutes. Start by turning the high broil setting in your oven and set a timer for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, (do not open the oven door) and set the oven’s baking setting to 350F. The oven should be ready.
- Remove pecans from their shell. Boil the nuts for 10 minutes, allow them to cool, and remove them from the shell. Or use this shell remover. These are the best ways to remove the nuts in full of the shells.
- Size matter. Do not mix pieces with halves, the smaller the size the faster it cooks.
- Chop. When a recipe calls for roughly chopped nuts use a large knife on top of a cutting board. For finely ground nuts use your food processor, a coffee grinder, or a nut grinder (affiliate link).
- It’s in the color. Raw nuts have a beautiful golden brown color to them, when ready they should have a slightly deeper color to them, so pay attention to the change in color.
- Your oven/microwave and stovetop are different than mine. So make sure to pay attention to the color and aroma.
Are pecans good for you?
They are known for being a source of dietary fiber, healthy fats, and natural proteins.
Do fresh-picked pecans need to be toasted?
Yes, however, they can also be eaten raw.
Are pecans tree nuts?
Yes, much like hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews.
Which toast pecans oven temperature is ideal?
325F. If pressed with time 350F, decrease time by 2 minutes (see recipe for full instruction).
How can I tell my nuts are toasted enough?
They should have a deep golden color and a pleasant nutty aroma.
Can I use them to make pecan pie?
Yes, it is best to use toasted or roasted pecans when baking.
How long do toasted pecans last?
At room temperature for up to 6 weeks in an airtight container.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?
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How to toast pecans
Three easy and fast ways to toast and or roast our favorite nuts.
- 1 Cup Raw pecan halves or pieces (100 g / 3.5 g)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for seasoned option only)
- 1/4 cup Everything but the bagel seasoning (for seasoned option only)
Roasting in the oven
Preheat oven to 350F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the nuts in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes tossing at the 5 minute point.
Remove from the oven and let cook completely.
Toasting on the stovetop
Place the raw nuts in a wide skillet and place the skillet on the stove medium heat.
Cook for 3-4 minutes while shaking the skillet every 20-30 seconds.
Remove from heat, place on a plate or a baking pan and allow to completely cool.
Roasting pecans in the microwave
Line a microwave proff plate with paper towel.
Spread the nuts ontop in a single layer and cook for 2.5-3 minutes.
Toss and cook for another 2.5-3 minutes. Remove from the microwave and allow to completely cool.
Drizzle the oil over the pecans followed by the seasoning. Use a spoon to mix.
Spread the nuts in a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool. (avoid from over stirring)
- Do not mix halves and pieces together. They each take different times to cook.
- If a recipe calls for roughly chopped nuts using a large knife on top of a cutting board is a great option. For finely ground nuts use your food processor, a coffee grinder, or a nut grinder (affiliate link).
- Pay attention to the color. Raw nuts have a beautiful golden brown color to them, when ready they should have a slightly deeper color to them, so pay attention to the change in color.
- Each stove/oven/microwave is different so pay attention to the color and smell.