How to Toast Nuts in Your Air Fryer

published Dec 23, 2022
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3 bowls of toasted nuts
Credit: Tara Holland

I’m a huge air-fryer fan, and I like to utilize it as much as possible. I especially love to use it for cooking surprising things. As a busy mom, recipe tester, and developer, I am constantly juggling and cooking multiple things at once, so I’m a big fan of having one fewer thing (or person!) that I need to supervise for five minutes. 

Because so many recipes include toasted nuts, I love to toast them in my air fryer. It’s low-maintenance, foolproof, and gives excellent results every time. I especially like that I don’t need to use up another burner (as I regularly have three going at any time). I used to toast them in a dry skillet on the stovetop, but I either ended up scorching the nuts, or I ended up with them unevenly toasted. 

As the holidays are fast approaching and most of us have overwhelming to-do lists, anything that helps to save time and effort is highly welcome this time of year. So it’s the perfect time to crack open (no pun intended!) your air fryer to use it to toast pecans for pies or to create your own spiced toasted nuts to serve warm alongside a cocktail or glass of bubbles during the festivities. 

Toasting and jazzing up raw nuts is super economical compared to buying store-bought flavored nuts (especially if you buy nuts in bulk and store them in the freezer, which extends their shelf-life), as you are most likely to have the spices and ingredients in your pantry — plus the air fryer makes the whole process so easy and stress-free. As a bonus, you end up with a much more elevated version than serving a standard packet of nuts. 

How to Toast Raw Nuts in an Air Fryer

Toasting nuts in the air fryer is such an easy method. Some people recommend shaking the basket halfway, but it is optional, as you get a reasonably even color if you leave the basket untouched. To toast raw nuts in the air fryer, simply follow these easy instructions.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 325℉ for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the nuts into an even layer into the basket.
  3. Cook until golden and toasty. The time will range from 3 to 7 minutes, depending on the nut and how toasted you would like. See below!
  4. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a baking sheet (this allows the nuts to crisp up, as they can be soft (especially almonds) when they first come out. 
Credit: Tara Holland

Cook Times for Raw Nuts

Due to the oil content and surface area of the nut, some nuts take longer to toast than others. Depending on how deeply toasted you’d like your nuts, you may want to go a minute or two more or less, so check after 3 minutes to ensure they reach your desired toastiness! 

  • Macadamias: 3 minutes
  • Pecans: 5 minutes 
  • Cashews: 5 minutes
  • Walnuts: 5 minutes
  • Almonds: 6 minutes

Cocktail Nut Recipe Suggestions

You can create your own spice blend or seasonings to customize the flavor to your own personal taste using your favorite spices, but here are a few ideas below. The cocktail nuts can be served warm or at room temperature, and if they are stored in an airtight container at room temperature, they will last for up to one week. 

For all of these combinations, toss the nuts in the oil, seasonings, and salt in a small bowl. Pour the nuts in an even layer and cook in a preheated air fryer until golden and toasty. Shake the basket halfway, if desired. Allow the nuts to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a baking sheet before enjoying.

Credit: Tara Holland

Curried Cashew Nuts with Coconut

  • 2 cups raw whole cashews
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
Credit: Tara Holland

Spiced Smoky Almonds

  • 2 cups raw whole almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, plus more for serving 
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Credit: Tara Holland

Macadamia with Lemon & Rosemary 

  • 2 cups raw whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest