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California Fried Walnuts Recipe
California Fried Walnuts Recipe photo by Taste of Home

California Fried Walnuts Recipe

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We grow walnuts for a living, so they go into just about everything at our house. Walnut halves made this way are crunchy, sweet and salty.—Alcy Thorne, Los Molinois, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Oil for frying
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt


  1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add walnuts; boil for 1 minute. Drain; rinse under hot water. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss walnuts with sugar.
  2. In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 350°. Fry walnuts for 5 minutes or until dark brown, stirring often. Drain in a colander over paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 cups.
Originally published as California Fried Walnuts in Taste of Home December/January 2002, p44

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Reviewed Dec. 31, 2013

"Easy to make. Taste great. Thanks to the previous reviewer for the tips."

Reviewed Dec. 24, 2012

"nice texture, not at all greasy after frying. my walnuts were slightly alkaline, i think i should have rinsed them a little longer."

Reviewed Jun. 3, 2012

"I LOVE this recipe! I have made it for pot lucks and just to enjoy as a handy snack at home. I have had several people ask me for this recipe.

Couple of hints - I put my sugar in a large container with a lid; once I've boiled & rinsed my walnuts, I put them inside the container, seal the lid, and start shaking!
Also, I use a slotted spoon to transfer the walnuts from the container to the oil - unfortunately, I learned that trick the hard way!!!
The oil will drop in temperature when you place the walnuts in - that's normal. I use a gas stove for this every time.
Make sure you do not let the oil get more than 350. Burnt fried walnuts don't taste QUITE as good...
Another hint - after I drained the pot of water, I put paper towels in the bottom of it and placed the colander on top, so that the paper towels catch the excess oil.
Do NOT put the freshly fried walnuts straight on to the paper towels!!! You will end up with paper-covered walnuts!!!"

Reviewed Aug. 13, 2011

"Excellent! Used my deep fryer for 4 minutes."

Reviewed Dec. 18, 2010

"These Walnuts are wonderful. The only problem with them is that you can't stop eating them. They are easy to make and are a big hit."

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