How to Chop Nuts, 5 Ways

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Wondering how to chop nuts for your favorite recipes? These methods walnut disappoint.

Chopping nuts can drive you, well, nuts but it’s impossible to make many of our favorite recipes without them. Pecan pie, granola and holiday spiced nuts, to name a few. While you can buy pre-chopped nuts at the grocery store, you’ll save money by chopping nuts at home. Learning how to chop nuts also allows you to control the size. These go-to methods make the process quick and easy.

How to Chop Nuts with a Knife

Chopping nuts with a knife might be a bit of a pain, but it’s the best way to obtain evenly chopped nuts. Here’s a little kitchen hack: the nuts have a tendency to scoot around wildly as you chop, so roll up a towel and place it around the edge of the cutting board to catch them.

To chop nuts with a knife, place them in a small pile on a cutting board. Keep the tip of the blade on the cutting board and your non-cutting hand in a claw shape over the pile. Slice downward through the nut pile, cutting the nuts with the butt end of the blade and moving your claw hand backwards as you move through the pile. Once you’ve made a single pass over the nuts, turn the pile 90 degrees and make a second pass. At this point, the nuts will be coarsely chopped. To finely chop the nuts, place your non-cutting hand over the top of the blade and carefully rock the blade back and forth until the nuts reach the desired size.

How to Chop Nuts in a Bowl

Chopping nuts on a flat cutting board is can make a bit of a mess, especially when you’re chopping round nuts like hazelnuts. Instead, put the nuts in a bowl and put pressure on them using a pastry cutter, the back of a measuring cup or a small bowl. The nuts will crack under the pressure, producing coarsely chopped nuts. To finely chop the nuts, move them to the cutting board and proceed to chop them using the knife method above.

How to Chop Nuts with a Nut Chopper

A nut chopper is a perfect investment if you use a lot of chopped nuts. The design varies depending on the manufacturer, as some are able to chop both vegetables and nuts while others are specifically designed for nuts only. Be sure to check with the user’s manual, but they usually work in a similar fashion: load the nuts into the gadget before turning the grinder handle or pushing down on the chopper until the nuts reach the desired size.

How to Chop Nuts with a Food Processor

If you need to chop a large quantity of nuts for a recipe like granola, the food processor is the way to go. Working in batches (about 1 cup of nuts at a time), pulse the nuts in the food processor until they reach the desired size. They will go from perfectly chopped to dust very quickly, so keep a close eye on them as you pulse.

How to Chop Nuts with an Apple Corer

We love this method because it takes a uni-tasker and turns it into a multitasker! Place the nuts in a pile on a cutting board. Press down firmly with the apple corer, repeating the process until all the nuts are chopped.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.