Learn how to toast pecans for baking and cooking. These can be used in a dessert topping, mixed into muffins, pie filling and so much more. Toasting brings out a more complex flavor in the pecans and improves the taste.
Toasting pecans before adding them into your baked good can really elevate their flavor. I used to think I didn’t enjoy nuts in baked goods at all, until I started toasting them.
Toasting nuts brings out their true nutty flavor and by bringing their natural oils to the surface. This improves the overall flavor and texture by making them a bit more crisp and crunchy.
How to Toast Pecans
Pecans can be toasted either on the stove-top or in the oven. Either way you toast the pecans, you want to heat them until they smell very fragrant and nutty.
How to Toast Pecans on the Stove Top
Toasting pecans on the stove top is best reserved for small batches- up to about 2 cups.
Place the pecans in a dry skillet and place it over medium-low heat. Stay near the pan and stir the pecans frequently. The pecans will start to smell very fragrant and nutty.
This process will only take a couple of minutes. Also be aware that chopped pecans will toast much quicker than pecan halves.
How to Toast Pecans in the Oven
The oven method is best used for toasting large batches of pecans. If the amount is 2 cups or more, then I always use the oven to toast them.
To toast pecans in the oven, spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 325 F (160 C). Check the pecans every few minutes, stirring them. This process will take about 10-15 minutes, depending on how many pecans you are toasting.
Uses for Toasted Pecans
- I love adding toasted pecans to my ultimate chocolate chip cookies. They add such a great nutty flavor and another texture to the cookies.
- I also believe that most pecan pies I had ever tasted before I baked one myself didn’t include toasted pecans. Add them to my maple pecan pie for a seriously incredible Thanksgiving dessert!
- And a classic struesel topping is definitely elevated to the next level with the addition of toasted nuts. Chop them finely and add them right in!
- chopped pecans or pecan halves
- Stove-Top Method (best for up to 2 cups of pecans): Pour the pecans into a dry skillet that is wide enough to allow them to be spread in a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the pecans smell fragrant and nutty. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
- Oven Method (best for more than 2 cups of pecans): Place the pecans on a sheet pan and spread into a thin even layer.
- Toast the pecans in the oven at 325 F (160 C), stirring about every 4-5 minutes. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when the pecans smell nutty and very fragrant.
- Store cooled toasted pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.