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How to Roast Pine Nuts & Pesto Recipe

How to Roast Pine Nuts & Pesto Recipe

Last Updated on 22nd April 2022 by

Some people like to cook their pine nuts on the stovetop and others prefer roasting them in the oven. I prefer the oven baking method because of how many more nuts you can cook at once.

It saves time if you are making a big batch, and I love the way they turn out when they are toasted. You get such a wonderful texture this way, so I want to share with you my method for how to roast pine nuts in the oven.

How Long to Roast Pine Nuts?

If you are using this method, how long will it take to cook the nuts? Of course, the temperature you set the oven at will factor in, but it only takes about 5-10 minutes to cook them completely. That’s pretty fast, so it’s no wonder oven roasting is the preferred method for many people who want to cook their pine nuts.

You will need to give the oven time to fully preheat before putting the nuts in there. That ensures that they cook all they through and that they cook evenly. You will be preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, if you are following my baking method I will be sharing here. That means it will take the oven about 10 or 15 minutes to preheat fully. That’s where the longest waiting time comes from.

If you can prepare for that preheating time ahead of time, you won’t be caught off guard by how long it takes. Just know that you will have a total of 15-25 minutes set aside to make the nuts. You don’t have to spend all that time focusing on them, as you can be doing other things while the oven is preheating and the nuts are cooking.

Just don’t think they will go from raw to cooked in five minutes, because you have to factor in the preheating time and then give the oven time to fully heat up before putting the nuts inside.

How to Roast Pine Nuts in the Shell

Now, let’s talk about how to actually roast them.

You want to warm up your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oven is heating, you can spread out your nuts onto a baking sheet that has a foil lining. Try to put one flat layer of nuts onto the baking pan and not let them overlap or crowd too much. You want them to cook evenly all over.

They only need to cook for five or 10 minutes, as long as it takes for them to start popping. When they begin to pop, give them a little stir or shake and then let them cook for another minute or two.

The popping starts when the nuts dry out completely.

If you’re salting them, the method will be slightly different. How to roast pine nuts, oven baking them when they are salted? Take a teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of water and dissolve the salt into the water. Then, toss your nuts in that mixture before you put them into the oven.

Once the water dries out from the nuts, they’ll start popping. You want to stir them again and then bake them for an additional minute or two. It may take less than 10 minutes but more than 5 minutes for the popping to start.

You want to be listening to that and staying close to the oven so you can only allow them another minute or two to cook after that.

How to Roast Pine Nuts for Pesto

Pine nuts are often used for pesto, which is a garnish or dip you can mix into your pasta or have as a side. Typically, you’ll be toasting the pine nuts before mixing them into the rest of your ingredients to make the pesto.

However, they don’t have to be toasted for this dish, nor do you need to use pine nuts. You can actually use walnuts instead, and you can toast or not toast them, as you prefer.

Once you have your pine nuts ready to go, here’s how you make your pesto.


  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 6 cups of basil leaves (fresh, if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • ¼ and 1 tablespoon of olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together salt, garlic powder, pine nuts, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure the nuts are properly coated.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes on a baking sheet, until the nuts are fully toasted.
  4. Using a food processor or a blender, mix together lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts. Combine on pulse, and then add in your basil. Puree everything until you have a smooth pesto mixture.

If you don’t like how your pesto tastes, you can add more cheese, salt, or other ingredients until the taste is just right.

How to Roast Pinon Pine Nuts

You may have heard of pinon pine nuts and have a recipe that calls for them. How do you cook them, and is any different from regular pine nuts?

Pinon pine nuts are just another name for pine nuts. So, you can use the same roasting methods I’ve given you already. If you’re using a liquid mixture to bake your nuts, like olive oil or water, it may take a little longer for them to dry out and start popping.

Make sure you’re hanging out near the oven close to the five-minute mark so that you can listen for the popping. Depending on how many nuts you’re baking at once and how drenched they are in your liquid mixture, it can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes for them to dry out and start popping in the oven. Once that happens, just give them another minute or two to finish baking. It’s a good idea to stir them at that point or give the tray a shake to ensure even baking.

Just remember that even recipes that call for baked or roasted pine nuts and pinon nuts don’t have to have roasted nuts. You can use plain, raw nuts instead, if you wish. That can save you some time, but you may also prefer the taste and texture of the roasted nuts.

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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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Friday 19th of January 2024

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