How to Roast Hazelnuts

Today, we will discuss one of my favorite nuts, the hazelnut. To be more precise, we will make it even more delicious through roasting. While hazelnuts are already pretty tasty on their own, toasting them can take their flavor to a whole new level. Plus, it’s an excellent way to impress your friends and family with your newfound nut-roasting skills.

If you’re a fan of desserts and sweets, you’re likely already familiar with roasted hazelnuts. Most treats that use hazelnuts usually call for their roasted version. While you can certainly use raw hazelnuts in baking, the rich, toasty flavor that comes from toasting them is what really takes your creations to the next level.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – roasting hazelnuts sounds daunting. But fear not; I will give you a simple, easy-to-follow guide to toasting hazelnuts like a pro. You can even choose between the oven or a frying pan. It’s time to start roasting!

Advantages Roasting Hazelnuts From Scratch

You probably know you can buy roasted hazelnuts at the store. But before reaching for that bag, let me tell you about the advantages of toasting hazelnuts yourself.

  • Fresh roasted flavor: Hazelnuts that have just been roasted have a much more vibrant flavor than pre-packaged ones. You’ll get that irresistible nutty aroma and delicious crisp texture that you just can’t replicate with store-bought nuts. 
  • More control: Plus, toasting your own hazelnuts lets you control the roasting process, so you can get them just the way you like them – lightly toasted or richly caramelized, it’s all up to you.
  • Warm hazelnuts: I don’t know about you, but I love eating roasted nuts while they’re still warm. And that applies especially to hazelnuts.
  • Satisfaction: And let’s be honest, there’s something satisfying about making toasted hazelnuts from scratch. It’s like getting a gift you made with love versus one you purchased off the shelf. The feeling of satisfaction is entirely different.

Preparing Hazelnuts for Roasting

Before diving into the roasting process, let’s talk about preparing your hazelnuts for the most delicious results. Believe it or not, there’s more to it than just tossing them in the oven and hoping for the best. Let’s go through the steps you’ll need to take to ensure your hazelnuts are ready to roast. 

The Importance of Selecting Fresh Hazelnuts

Freshness is one of the most critical things to remember when roasting hazelnuts. Old hazelnuts can have a dull, unpleasant taste that ruins the flavor of your final product. In contrast, fresh hazelnuts offer a rich, nutty taste and a pleasing crunch that can’t be beaten.

Selecting the Right Hazelnuts for a Perfect Roast

Taking a few extra minutes to check your hazelnuts is always a good idea. Here are some quick tips: opt for hazelnuts with uniform and intact shells. A gentle shake should yield minimal or no rattling, which indicates a fresh nut. For packaged, shelled hazelnuts, seek out sealed bags that display a clear “best by” date.

Check out our comprehensive guide on selecting quality hazelnuts for more detailed tips.

Can you toast hazelnuts in their shells?

Technically, you can roast hazelnuts in their shells. However, it’s generally not recommended, as the shells can easily scorch during roasting, leaving a burnt taste on the nuts. 

For the best results, buy hazelnuts that have already been shelled and roast them that way. It’s also OK to buy shelled and crack them before toasting. The downside is that there’s more work that way.

Roasting Hazelnuts in The Oven

Here’s a step-by-step guide to roasting hazelnuts in the oven:

Preheating

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes.

Place the Hazelnuts in the oven

Spread your hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. You can line the sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Hazelnuts on a baking sheet in the oven

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check them regularly and stir them around to ensure even burning. As shown in the image below, some hazelnuts will lose their skin immediately due to the high temperature. It makes it easier to see when they change their color. 

A few hazelnuts without skin due to the high temperature

Remove them from the oven

When they start turning golden brown, remove them from the oven. If you prefer a more robust roasted flavor, leave them for a few more minutes.

Turn the oven off, but do not let the hazelnuts cool inside. They will keep toasting and eventually burn. 

Wrap the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel

Remove the hazelnuts and place them on a dish towel. Wrap them and let them steam for a few minutes.

Roasted hazelnuts on a kitchen towel

Rubbb to remove the hazelnut skins

Now, you can remove the skins by rubbing the hazelnuts in the kitchen towel. Most of the skin will come off quickly. 

Rubbing the roasted hazelnuts to remove the skin

There will likely be some stubborn skins that didn’t come off, but they can be easily removed by hand.

The final result of hazelnuts roasted in the oven

That’s it! Roasting hazelnuts in the oven is straightforward, and the results are worth it.

Roasting Hazelnuts on The Stove

And this is how to roast hazelnuts in a pan on the stove:

Heat a skillet or frying pan

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat for a minute. Make sure it is large enough to fit all the hazelnuts.

Add the hazelnuts

Add the hazelnuts to the pan and spread them out in a single layer, ensuring they do not overlap. You won’t need oil to toast hazelnuts in a frying pan. 

Let them roast and stir occasionally

Toast the hazelnuts on medium heat until they are golden brown. It should take around 5 to 8 minutes. 

Hazelnuts  being roasted on a pan

Make sure you stir them frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent burning and ensure that all sides are evenly toasted. This is especially critical towards the end of the toasting process when the hazelnuts can easily burn.

Remove the hazelnuts from the heat and wrap them

When the hazelnuts are golden brown, transfer them to a kitchen towel. That will prevent them from continuing to cook in the hot pan. Wrap the hazelnuts in the kitchen towel and let them steam for a few minutes.

The toasted hazelnuts wrapped in a kitchen towel

Remove the skin by rubbing the filberts in the towel

Like the oven method, rub the hazelnuts when still wrapped in the towel. That will remove most skins.

You’ll be left with beautifully skinned hazelnuts, ready to be enjoyed as a scrumptious snack, or maybe doing something else with them. We will talk about such options in a bit.

The final result of hazelnuts roasted on a pan

Roasting Hazelnuts in The Oven vs. Stove

If you are still deciding which method to choose, here are the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Roasting hazelnuts in the oven is ideal if you want to prepare a large quantity at once. On top of that, it requires minimal effort. For me, the most significant benefit is how evenly roasted the hazelnuts get. However, this method can be time-consuming. There’s preheating plus the roasting process.

On the other hand, roasting hazelnuts on the stove is an excellent option if you only need to roast a small amount. It’s also generally faster than using the oven. However, it can be more labor-intensive, as you’ll need to stir the hazelnuts frequently. Also, it can be challenging to get the hazelnuts evenly roasted. As you will see, the part of the nut that is in contact with the pan gets brown much faster, and it isn’t easy to turn them one by one without burning the rest.

A side by side comparison of hazelnuts roasted in the oven vs hazelnuts roasted on the stovetop

My favorite method of roasting hazelnuts is the oven. I love how evenly roasted they get. Also, the aroma filling the whole house is fantastic. But that’s just my preference – feel free to try both methods and see which works best for you!

Other Ways of Roasting Hazelnuts

You have a few other options if you’re looking for alternatives to roasting hazelnuts on the stovetop or in the oven. More precisely, I am talking about the microwave and an air fryer. 

However, the oven and stove methods remain the most efficient and reliable ways to achieve perfectly roasted hazelnuts. That being said, it’s always worth experimenting and trying different methods to find what works best for you. You may prefer one of these methods.

How to toast hazelnuts in the microwave?

A microwave is convenient if you don’t have much time or feel lazy. Start by spreading the hazelnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute at a time, checking and stirring the hazelnuts in between. 

Depending on the microwave power and the size of the hazelnuts, it typically takes 3 to 5 minutes (on high) for them to become lightly browned. Be careful not to overdo it, or they’ll burn!

How to toast hazelnuts in an air fryer?

To toast hazelnuts in the air fryer, preheat it to 300°F. Then, place the hazelnuts in the air fryer basket in a single layer. 

Cook the hazelnuts for 5-7 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally to ensure even toasting. Keep an eye on them and pay attention to their color. You want them to be golden brown.

Once they’re toasted to your liking, remove the hazelnuts from the air fryer and let them cool before enjoying or using them for something else.

Flavoring Roasted Hazelnuts

While roasted hazelnuts alone are already delicious, adding additional flavors can enhance their taste. Let’s see some simple and delicious ways to do it. No matter your preference, sweet or savory, there’s an option for everyone!

  • Salt: Simple and classic, a sprinkle of salt can bring out the nutty flavor of hazelnuts.
  • Sugar: Toss roasted hazelnuts with granulated or powdered sugar for a sweet and crunchy treat.
  • Cinnamon: Add a warm and cozy flavor to your hazelnuts by mixing them with cinnamon before roasting.
  • Thyme: For a savory twist, sprinkle fresh or dried thyme over the hazelnuts.
  • Rosemary: Another delicious option, chopped fresh or dried rosemary, gives hazelnuts a delightful herbal flavor.
  • Honey: Drizzle honey over hazelnuts for a sweet and sticky snack.
  • Chocolate: Dip toasted hazelnuts in melted chocolate for an indulgent treat.

Note

While these flavors can be added dry, some people use a small amount of oil before roasting to help the seasonings adhere to the nuts. Just remember that adding oil can also affect the texture and shelf life of the nuts. So, it’s advisable to use a small amount.

What to Do with Roasted Hazelnuts?

Once you’ve roasted your hazelnuts to perfection, you may wonder what to do with them next. Luckily, there are many ways to use them. Let’s explore some of the most popular (and delicious) ones.

Flour

You can grind roasted hazelnuts into flour using a food processor or blender. It can be used as a gluten-free flour substitute in baked goods or even as a flavorful coating for meats and fish. Read our hazelnut flour step-by-step guide to learn how to prepare it.

Chopped

If you blend them briefly, they will be ground into bits before turning into flour. I love using it as a topping for all kinds of dishes. You can choose from salads, yogurt, ice cream, and more. 

Roasted hazelnuts that have been chopped

My favorite way is to spread chopped roasted hazelnuts over my oatmeal. I always liked oats, but they always lacked something: crunchiness. Not only will chopped hazelnuts add crunch, but they will also add a nutty flavor. 

Here’s a picture of my breakfast this morning. It doesn’t get much healthier than that.

Chopped toasted hazelnuts on top of oatmeal

Butter

Like peanut butter, you can blend roasted hazelnuts into a smooth, creamy butter. It’s perfect for spreading on toast, using as a dip, or adding to smoothies.

Oil

Roasted hazelnuts can also be pressed to make a deliciously nutty oil that can be used for cooking, dressing salads, or drizzling over roasted veggies.

Storing Roasted Hazelnuts

Whether you’ve roasted a large batch of hazelnuts or just a handful, you must store them properly to keep them fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.

Do roasted hazelnuts go bad?

Like most foods, roasted hazelnuts can go bad. However, they can have a long shelf life if stored properly.

How to store roasted hazelnuts to maintain freshness?

Here are some tips you should follow to store roasted hazelnuts correctly:

Store in an airtight container: Once cooled, place the hazelnuts in an airtight container, such as a jar or a plastic container – my personal favorites. This will prevent exposure to moisture, which can quickly make them stale.

Toasted hazelnuts stored in a jar

Refrigerate: After being properly sealed, the best thing to do is to store them in the refrigerator. It will extend their shelf life and maintain quality; on top of that, they will always be ready to eat. Hazelnuts will last up to one month this way.

Freeze for long-term storage: Roasted hazelnuts can also be frozen for up to three months. A freezer bag is a better option if you opt for this method.

Health Observations

Roasted hazelnuts are not only delicious but also a healthy snack option. They are a rich source of fiber, healthy fats, protein, and various vitamins and minerals. However, there are some health-related considerations to remember when consuming roasted hazelnuts.

Are roasted hazelnuts suitable for people who are allergic to nuts?

Roasting hazelnuts does not make them less allergenic. Therefore, people with nut allergies should avoid them altogether. 

How many calories are there in roasted hazelnuts?

Roasted hazelnuts have approximately 176 calories per ounce (28 grams), corresponding to about 20 hazelnuts.

Eating them in moderation is essential as they are so high in calories.

Are roasted hazelnuts keto?

Roasted hazelnuts are considered keto-friendly. They are low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and even contain a good amount of protein.

Are roasted hazelnuts gluten-free?

Roasted hazelnuts are gluten-free, making them suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Conclusion

Hazelnuts are easy to roast, and this process is also a great way to enhance their flavor and texture. Every method we discussed will give you a crunchy and tasty treat. But some approaches are slightly better than others. For me, the oven is the clear winner; even the appearance of the roasted nuts is better. 

And there are numerous possibilities; for example, you can use them as a snack or in baking. But you can go even further; grind them into flour, pieces, or creamy butter.

Remember to store them properly to maintain their freshness. With their numerous health benefits and versatility, roasted hazelnuts can be a tasty addition to your diet. Just don’t exaggerate because they’re high in calories.

So go ahead and try different flavors and methods, and discover the wonderful world of roasted hazelnuts!

FAQ

Do hazelnuts need to be roasted before consumption?

Hazelnuts can be eaten raw, and they’re pretty tasty that way. However, roasting them brings out their natural flavors and gives them a wonderfully crisp texture. Plus, the heat from the roasting process releases some of the natural oils in the nuts, making them even more flavorful.

Can you roast blanched hazelnuts?

Yes, you can roast blanched hazelnuts. The difference is that blanched hazelnuts already have had their skins removed. They can be toasted like regular hazelnuts, but you need to be careful because not having skin means they will burn faster.

Can you toast green hazelnuts?

Yes, you can roast green hazelnuts. However, they are typically less flavorful than mature hazelnuts. You should let them mature and turn brown before roasting. That way, you will get the best flavor.

Can you roast nibbed hazelnuts?

Roasting nibbed hazelnuts is possible, but there are better ways to do it. Nibbed hazelnuts are already in small pieces, which means they’ll burn quickly and unevenly. However, if you don’t have whole hazelnuts, you can still toast them for a few minutes to bring out their flavor. Just keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.