Toasted Nuts the Easy Way (using the microwave)

almonds toasted in the microwave.jpg

A cupful of slivered almonds on a paper plate takes approximately 2 minutes to toast in the microwave.

Do you ever skip over directions instructing you to toast nuts before adding to a recipe? Is it too much trouble, or too hot, or too time-consuming to turn on the oven?  Some recipes even ask you to get out a pan, melt butter (unneeded calories) and basically saute those nuts. YIKES!

I know, I used to ignore the toasting step myself.  But it makes a huge difference in taste if the nuts are toasted in almost any baked recipe, sweet or savory.  The only time I don’t toast  is if they are part of a topping that will eventually be baked.

Although the web contains dozens of sites explaining this process using the microwave, I can’t remember seeing it in a published cookbook.  So here is my contribution to the whole subject.  Nothing really new here, just wanted to mention it. By the way, you can do the same thing with coconut.

Measure 1 cup slivered almonds.  Spread evenly on paper plate.  Toast for 1 minute on HIGH.  Stir and redistribute on plate evenly.  Toast for another minute.  Stir.  Nuts will continue to brown for a few seconds.  Pick out any pieces that got too dark–usually only a very few.

toasted nuts storyboard_edited-4

If toasting pecans, I use 1 cup halves and follow the same procedure as above.  If pecans have been frozen, you may need to add another minute.

Here is the same idea translated to coconut.  Evenly distribute 1 cup on a paper plate. Toast on HIGH for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Stir after every 30 seconds.

toasted coconut

Before and After

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gerry March 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm

The almonds pictured are not slivered as stated; they are sliced which makes a difference in time cooked. I have a high-powered microwave, and it took 4 minutes for my slivered; might could even use a little more. But now I’ll know about the sliced and am tickled to know about the coconut, thanks for posting. 🙂


Pat December 21, 2015 at 1:46 pm

2 minutes total was too long for my almonds. I would suggest the first 1 minute then maybe 30 seconds the second time around. I had a LOT of burnt ones with the last 1 minute.


Paula December 22, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Hi Pat,
Directions for microwave cooking must always be taken as a suggestion with lots of observation the first time or two you make a recipe with microwave instructions. I have two microwave ovens myself. The differences between them are astronomical so I must adjust times accordingly on every recipe I make.


Damon September 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm

LOVE the salad in a jar idea…life can be so simple! Try soaking the almonds for a day or two (change the water morning and evening) salting/seasoning them and place in a dehydrator until desired crispness. Great snack for kids especially and they keep in a jar for ages!


Debbie September 24, 2009 at 7:07 am

Well, I am one of those that does toast the nuts but not anymore or at least not in the oven. Never thought about the microwave but I will definitely use now. Thanks, you are such a genius!!


Steve September 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm

You could make these anytime for me! Great travel snack!



katie September 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I am sooo Guilty of skipping toasting! Thanks for this tip I will no longer skip toasting!


Jeff September 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Wow – what a great idea (that I never knew existed)! I am one of those that sometimes skip the toasting step knowing good and well that the flavor will be much, much better! Now – an easy and quick method that is surely worth a try! Thanks for sharing!


Pam September 21, 2009 at 8:24 am

Great idea and such a time saver…thanks!



Jacqueline Strawder September 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

OM gosh ….I never knew that this could be done…where have I been? ….thanks so much for knowledge that will bring great flavor to my recipes.


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