A tender loaf of homemade banana bread is hard to improve upon, but here’s one simple idea: Add walnuts. I’m not talking just any walnuts, but ones that have been toasted until deeply fragrant with a pleasing snap when you break them in half. Toasting walnuts is one of those easy tricks that can elevate whatever you’ve got cooking, from your best baked goods to your brightest salads.
Two Ways to Toast Walnuts
Below you’ll find all the details for two terrific methods for toasting walnuts: One uses a skillet on the stove, the other a sheet pan in the oven. Whichever approach you choose is based on personal preference, but I find the oven method best for bigger batches with more even results. When I need just a handful and don’t want to fire up the oven, I opt for the skillet method.
How to Store Walnuts
Once your walnuts are toasted and cooled, store them in a jar or tightly covered container. Walnuts keep best in the fridge or freezer.
It’s worth noting that toasted nuts are a bit more perishable than raw. Shelf life varies considerably, so it’s best to judge freshness by taste and smell. If they lose their sweetness and begin to smell “off,” they’re likely rancid and should be thrown out.
Tip from a Nutritionist (Me!): Toasted walnuts make a very nutritious snack that offers fiber, protein, and healthy omega-3 fats. Make yourself grab-and-go snacks by putting 1/4-cup portions into small reusable containers or wax paper bags. Easy!
Recipes Featuring Toasted Walnuts
How to Toast Walnuts
Cook time ranges from 6 to 8 minutes.
1 cup whole raw walnuts
Oven (Preferred Method)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the walnuts:
Spread walnuts on a large baking sheet—the size doesn’t matter as long as they are spread out without overlapping. Bake until the nuts are deeply golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir the walnuts with a spatula about halfway through baking. Keep a close eye on them, since they can easily burn.
Leave walnuts on the baking sheet until completely cooled.
Toast in a skillet:
Set a medium skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the walnuts, spreading them out into an even layer. After 1 minute, use a spatula to stir them every 30 seconds or so until they’re fragrant and a deeper shade of brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on the nuts, since they are quick to burn if left unattended.
If the walnuts brown too quickly, pull the skillet off the heat or reduce the heat.
Transfer the walnuts to a plate to cool.
Transfer to a container:
Transfer the cooled walnuts into a jar or lidded other container with a tight seal and store in the fridge for up to 3 months or freezer for up to 6 months.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 17g||22%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||8%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|