How to Toast Pecans

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Learn How to Toast Pecans in the oven or on the stove for more flavor, crunch, and aroma in all your favorite recipes. It’s super simple and only takes a few minutes.

Toasted pecans on a baking sheet.


 

Toasting raw pecans is generally optional, but in my cases, it’s highly recommended. The nut-toasting process adds a deeper taste, golden brown color, nutty flavor and aroma, and a delicious crunch. Nuts toast quickly in the oven or on the stovetop, and they add a healthy, gluten free, protein-packed, omega-3 rich element to many recipes.

Give banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pancakes extra texture. Sprinkle toasted pecans over ice cream, waffles, grain bowls, oatmeal, salads, and use in snack mixes. Use toasted pecans in your favorite savory dishes and roasted vegetable sides, too (just stir them in after roasting the veggies so they don’t scorch), and top your next fruit dessert or batch of muffins with a nut-studded streusel.

Ingredient notes

  • Pecans: Cooking times vary depending on which method you choose and how many pecans you are toasting. And don’t walk away! They can go from zero to burnt in under a minute.
  • Oil: Toasting pecans in fat (olive oil or clarified butter, for example), is optional. It adds more flavor and helps seasonings stick, if you want to use them.

Step-by-step instructions

To toast pecans in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Toss pecans in oil or melted butter and salt if desired. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven and chop or use as desired. Or, store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Toasted pecans on a baking sheet.

To toast pecans on the stove top:

  1. Toss pecans in oil and salt if desired.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat pecans until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from skillet and chop or use as desired. Or, store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Toasted pecans in a pan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: The recipe as written makes 1 cup of toasted pecans (enough for 4 servings, ¼ cup each). It can easily be doubled or tripled as needed.
  • Storage: Store raw and roasted pecans for a year or more in the refrigerator or the freezer (not the pantry). They spoil easily, especially when roasted.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, store pecans in the freezer. Both raw and toasted pecans, once opened and exposed to air, are prone to turning rancid. Unopened, factory-sealed pecans are safe in the pantry until their expiration date.
  • Microwave method: Spread pecans on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, then continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until toasted as desired.
  • Trail mix: Make a healthy snack mix by adding cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and cashews to your toasted pecans.
  • On roasted veggies: Add toasted pecans to Roasted Brussels Sprouts with BaconRoasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Carrots, or Roasted Green Beans.
  • Cinnamon and sugar pecans: Toast 1 cup pecans in 1 tbsp oil with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • Chex-Mix pecans: Toast 1 cup pecans in 1 tbsp oil with 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp seasoned salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and a pinch onion powder. Or add to your next batch of Homemade Chex Mix.
  • Sweet and spicy pecans: Toast 1 cup pecans in 1 tbsp oil with 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp cumin and ⅛ tsp cayenne.
  • Turtle Sundae: Drizzle Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Sauce over vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted, salted pecans for a delicious turtle sundae. Whipped cream and a maraschino cherry are optional but delicious!
  • Pecan Pie: The best Pecan Pie has a flavorful, balanced filling that’s just sweet enough, tucked inside a flaky, buttery crust that never gets soggy. 
  • Pecan Praline recipe: Pecan Pralines are a traditional Southern with crunchy pecans and a soft, buttery-sweet base. And they’re only 5 ingredients!
  • Candied Pecans: Candied Pecans are deliciously crunchy and decadent thanks to brown sugar, cinnamon, and a few other holiday spices. This recipe is lightning fast, kid-friendly, and a snap to make for a last-minute gifts or bake sales.
  • Millionaire Pie: Inspired by Furr’s famous Millionaire Pie. With a pecan crust and smooth pineapple filling, this version tastes a MILLION times better than the original!
    All the nuts: 
    Learn how to toast hazelnuts (filberts)how to toast walnutshow to toast pine nuts, and how to roast almonds.
A harvest bowl with farro and kale.
This hearty Harvest Bowl is made with rosemary-roasted butternut squash, chewy farro, massaged kale, toasted pecans, sliced apples, pomegranate seeds, and feta cheese tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette with a splash of maple syrup. The hearty kale holds up well for meal prep, and the whole salad is colorful and nutritious.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to toast pecans?

Both the stovetop and the oven work. The stovetop is faster because you don’t have to wait for the oven to preheat, but the oven is superior if you have a lot going on and don’t want to forget to stir the pecans.

How long to toast pecans at 350 degrees?

Roast pecans in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes (oven temperatures may vary, so keep an eye on your pecans).

How to toast pecans in a pan?

Toast in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Cool to room temperature.

Do you chop pecans before roasting?

In theory, chopping the nuts first would lead to more toastable surfaces and would lead to better flavor. In my experience, though, I never notice the difference. I find it easier to handle pecan halves when transferring them around the kitchen, so I save chopping until I’m done toasting. But if you bought chopped nuts, you can still toast them and it’s great!

Put your pecans to work

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Toasted pecans on a baking sheet.

How to Toast Pecans

Learn How to Toast Pecans in the oven or on the stove for more flavor, crunch, and aroma in all your favorite recipes. It's super simple and only takes a few minutes.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 servings (¼ cup each)
Course Appetizer, Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 202
5 from 194 votes

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pecans (see note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter, optional (see note 2)

Instructions 

To toast pecans in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  • Toss pecans in oil and salt if desired. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and chop or use as desired.

To toast pecans on the stove:

  • Toss pecans in oil and salt if desired. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat pecans until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from skillet and chop or use as desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Pecans: Cooking times vary depending on which method you choose and how many pecans you are toasting. And don’t walk away! They can go from zero to burnt in under a minute.
  2. Oil: Toasting pecans in fat (olive oil or clarified butter, for example), is optional. It adds more flavor and helps seasonings stick, if you want to use them.
  3. Yield: The recipe as written makes 1 cup of toasted pecans (enough for 4 servings, ¼ cup each). It can easily be doubled or tripled as needed.
  4. Storage: Store raw and roasted pecans for a year or more in the refrigerator or the freezer (not the pantry). They spoil easily, especially when roasted.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25 cupCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 2gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. IThis works for me without butter or oil. I use them in my steel cut oatmeal for a nice nutty taste and texture. I’ve bookmarked this for easy access.5 stars

    1. Hi Tiara, thank you for the question! The nutritional facts are just for the pecans and olive oil as written in the recipe itself. Sorry about that! – Meggan

  2. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your knowledge on how to toast pecans. Will be trying over the stove method.

    1. Hi Kay, thank you for pointing that out! It absolutely is. I’ve updated the recipe. Thank you again and I hope you have a nice day! – Meggan

  3. Made this a couple of times. Delicious and easy to make.
    I toasted the pecans by melting vegan butter 1.5 desert spoons in a small frying pan mixed with 2 to 3 teaspoons of soft fine brown sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup then added pecan nuts for 3 to 5 mins turning them. When they were cooled I chopped them leaving some bigger pieces.5 stars

  4. Thank you for the recipe. This is my first time making cinnamon sugar pecans, or any other type of nuts. I made them in the skillet and ended up cooking them 10 minutes because I wasn’t sure they were done. My question is whether the cinnamon sugar is supposed to liquefy and stick to the nuts? When I was done, I had to fish the nuts out of the sugar. I feel like I threw most of the sugar away. Is that the right result or did I do something wrong?5 stars

    1. Hi Nell, I’m so sorry for your trouble! I will test it this week and get back to you. – Meggan

    2. Hi Trudy, the sugar and cinnamon come together with the oil to make a syrup. You can also toast the pecans with the oil, transfer to a paper-lined plate and toss in the cinnamon sugar. – Meggan

  5. 88 years old. First time roasting pecans – still learning! Your recipe seems straight forward and has variations.
    Thanks.

  6. I love the aroma of roasting pecans. I bake bread for a similar reason. I use Redmond popcorn sea salt or Sicilian sea salt on the pecans I roast in Louisiana raw pecan oil.5 stars

  7. Quick, easy, delicious and healthy ! I tossed them with a little bit of walnut oil and added salt. I do the same with walnuts and they’re really great.5 stars

    1. Hi Mark, per the first line of the instructions – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thanks! -Meggan

  8. I found that both the Cajun seasoning and Cinnamon Sugar Blends were perfect on tossed salads.
    My family prefers the Cajun blend with Blue cheese and bacon bits, but I liked the Cinnamon blend with craisons and tomatoes with sour ranch as a great topper. Can’t do either without the pecans!
    Thanks.
    Rocky5 stars

    1. Hi Karla, I hear what you’re saying but unfortunately that’s what people call it when they are looking for it. If I stop calling it that, no one will ever see my recipe. So first we have to change what people call the recipe. I used to call it Saltine Cracker Candy and no one ever saw it. If you look at the URL you will see this is true: https://www.culinaryhill.com/saltine-cracker-candy/

      -Meggan

    2. Aside from the fact that you posted your complaint on the wrong recipe, the complaint is absurd because that’s what the stuff is called, and it was called that long before the drug. Think about it.

    3. Seriously? It is what it is. Once you have given a recipe a name, that is what it becomes. I can think of a lot of crazy names given to food recipes. I wish this was the ONLY thing that I had to be concerned about right now.

    4. Cancel Culture…Karla I was eating “Crack” different recipes/ingredients since I was a child! Please ask the drug dealers to change the name of what they are dealing. Thanks!

  9. FINALLY an easy way to do this without fancy equipment! Any suggestions on desserts to add these to!?5 stars

    1. Peyton,
      Besides snacking on this delicious treat, you can used them in snowball/ Mexican wedding cookies. Adding them to salads is great too! Enjoy.