Learn How to Toast Pecans! Today I’m walking you through two quick & easy methods for making toasted pecans in the oven or on the stove. Enjoy them in a recipe or on their own. Don’t forget to watch the how-to video!
Quick & Easy Toasted Pecans
Toasting pecans is such a quick and easy way to enhance their flavor and texture. While you may have skipped this additional step in past recipes, I want to convince you to break that habit! Today’s post will show you how to toast pecans using two simple methods and just one ingredient–it’s so easy!
If you’ve made my butter pecan cookies, pecan pie, or hummingbird cake, then you’re probably already familiar with the oven toasting method I’m sharing today. I’m also sharing a stovetop method for times when you don’t have the time or patience to turn on your oven (although the oven method is still my preference!). Both are equally easy and yield the same results, so you can decide which is your favorite.
Once cooled, you can use your toasted pecans in the recipes mentioned above, or really any recipe that calls for pecans. They’re also great on salads or as a snack!
What You Need
Prepare yourself for this very succinct ingredient list…
- Pecans. That’s it! I recommend using whole (not pre-chopped) pecans. See the FAQ section or recipe notes below for my thoughts on adding oil, butter, and salt to your pecans.
SAM’S TIP: The two methods explained here will work for just about any nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, etc. If you’re looking for instructions on how to make candied nuts, check out my candied pecans or candied walnuts post.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Toasted Pecans
- Evenly spread your pecans over a baking sheet and cook for four minutes.
- Toss the pecans with a spatula, then cook for another four minutes.
- Let the pecans cool, then use as needed.
- Cook your pecans in a saucepan over medium heat until toasted, stirring frequently.
- Let the pecans cool, then use as needed.
SAM’S TIP: If you use the stovetop method to toast your pecans, work with only one cup of nuts at a time–otherwise they may not cook evenly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Toasting pecans (or any nut!) enhances their nutty flavor, texture and color. While there are a few recipes that won’t necessarily benefit from this extra step (my pecan pie bars, for instance), most recipes will be greatly enhanced by toasting the nuts before adding them.
If you’re making toasted pecans for snacking or for topping a salad, then oil (or butter) and salt are nice, but not entirely necessary, additions. If you’re simply adding them to a recipe (tossing them in a batch of chocolate chip cookies, perhaps?), leave them plain.
While you can, you’ll need to keep a very close eye on them as they don’t always cook evenly and will burn quickly. I recommend chopping after toasting for this reason.
Yes, and amazingly, they’ll still taste like freshly toasted pecans after thawing! To do this, toast your nuts and let them cool completely. Then, place in a freezer ziploc bag and store for about one month. When you’re ready to use them, simply let them come back to room temperature and enjoy!
While you can technically keep pecans in the freezer for about two years, I recommend using them sooner for optimal freshness.
How do you like to use toasted pecans? Let me know in the comments below!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
How to Toast Pecans
- 1-2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Spread 1-2 cups of pecans evenly over an ungreased baking sheet (note that nuts may toast faster on dark baking sheets and slower on light-colored ones).
- Place baking sheet with pecans in 350F (175C) preheated oven and toast for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and use a spatula to stir/turn pecans. Return to oven for another 4 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from oven. Nuts should smell toasty and will be very slightly deepened in color once finished baking. If yours are not yet, return baking sheet to the oven in 2 minute increments, stirring in between, until pecans are toasted.
- Allow to cool before using as desired.
- Place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
- Working with 1 cup of nuts at a time, add nuts and stir frequently until nuts are toasted (deepened in color and you can smell a nutty, toasty aroma, about 5 minutes).
Chopped pecansI recommend toasting pecan halves and then chopping after baking. Unfortunately chopped pecans are less likely to toast evenly and are more likely to burn. However, if you only have chopped pecans on hand you can use this method but check and stir the pecans after 3 minutes.
Adding oil, butter, or saltIf desired, toss pecans with oil or melted butter and salt (1 Tablespoon oil or butter and salt to taste for each cup of pecans) before toasting. Nuts will appear dry when finished toasting. This is great for snacking pecans but usually not necessary if you are using the toasted pecans in a recipe.
Candied pecansSee my candied pecans recipe for best results.
StoringAfter toasting pecans, they will keep in an airtight container in a cool dry location for at least two weeks.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.