Nuts are one of our favorite heart-healthy foods because they can do it all. Snack on ’em solo, toss them into stir-fries and vegetable side dishes or any of these other healthy ways to add nuts to your diet. While we don’t necessarily favor one nut over the others, a recent bulk-bin sale gave us the opportunity to fall harder for roasted cashews.
Cashews are one of the more expensive nuts, but they also have an incredibly buttery, sweet flavor and soft texture that makes us go gaga. They’re tasty raw, but they become crunchy and fantastic if you dress them up with herbs and spices and roast them until they’re golden brown. (They also happen to be pretty great to cook with, too.)
Thankfully, the roasting process is incredibly easy! You can use any of the cooking methods below to get there, and once they’re cooled, they’ll keep for a week on the counter in an airtight container. Want to extend their life further? Store roasted cashews in the refrigerator for four months, or in the freezer for a year.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a bag of cashews, toss them with a little oil and salt and get cooking. If you want to get fancy, scroll on to read about our favorite flavor combinations for roasted cashews.
How to Make Roasted Cashews
- 1 cup cashews (about 5 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, coconut oil or melted ghee
- Pinch of kosher salt
A quick note about the ingredients: We recommend roasting whole cashews whenever possible. You can chop them into smaller pieces once they’re roasted, but they’ll burn more easily if you try to roast already chopped nuts.
Roasted Cashews in the Oven
Oven roasting is our favorite method. It’s not only the most hands-off cooking technique, but it also tends to roast the cashews most evenly. We recommend using a baking sheet with rimmed edges, which makes it significantly easier to shake the nuts without tossing them everywhere. You can feel free to double (or even triple) the recipe if you like.
How to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the cashews, oil and salt and toss to coat.
- Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes to help the nuts cook evenly. When the cashews start to smell nutty and turn golden brown, they’re ready!
Roasted Cashews on the Stove
If you need to roast cashews on-the-fly, toasting them in a skillet is the way to go! It’s much quicker than the oven-roasting method, although you will need to stir the nuts more frequently to help them brown evenly. We recommend using a lightweight skillet (as opposed to cast iron) to make it easier to toss and stir the nuts as they cook.
How to make it:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews, oil and salt to the pan and shake or stir to combine.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure each nut makes contact with the hot pan. When the nuts reach the desired color, remove them from the heat and let them cool before storing.
Roasted Cashews in the Microwave
The microwave works surprisingly well for roasting cashews! It’s quick and easy, and as a bonus, it’s nearly impossible to burn the nuts by accident. As compared to the other roasting methods, the microwaved cashews turn out a touch softer without the same crunchy exterior.
How to make it:
- Combine the cashews with the oil and salt and place them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cook at full power in one-minute intervals, turning the plate each time if your microwave doesn’t automatically rotate. Continue to cook the cashews until they become golden brown and toasted.
Roasted Cashews in a Toaster Oven
If you don’t want to heat up the whole house, look to the toaster oven to roast a small amount of nuts. Keep in mind that a toaster oven places the nuts closer to the heating element, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on them to keep them from burning as they cook.
How to make it:
- Set the toaster oven to 325°F. In a small bowl, combine the cashews, oil and salt and place them in a single layer on the toaster oven’s baking sheet.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring the nuts every few minutes, until they’re golden brown. The nuts should smell nutty and aromatic as they cook. If you notice any acrid or burnt aromas, stop cooking immediately.
Roasted Cashews in an Air Fryer
An air fryer is basically a tabletop convection oven, which means it works perfectly for roasting cashews. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can probably double the recipe to cook two cups of roasted cashews at once.
How to make it:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the cashews, oil and salt and place them inside the air fryer.
- Cook the nuts for 5 minutes, taking out the basket to give them a good toss. Replace the basket and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cashews reach the desired color.
Flavor Combos for Roasted Cashews
Want to take your roasted cashews to the next level? Toss them with some spices. If you have trouble getting the spices to adhere with oil alone, try adding an egg white to the mix. Beat one egg white for every four cups of cashews. Toss the cashews with the egg white before coating them with the spices.
- Turn roasted cashews into a dessert treat by tossing them with cinnamon. You can also add two tablespoons of honey or maple syrup to the mix to sweeten things up.
- Make cashews extra savory by adding garlic powder and onion salt to the mix. Get our Garlic & Onion Cashew recipe.
- Don’t be afraid to get herbaceous. Fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme pair exceptionally well with roasted nuts.
- Get spicy with it by adding dried chilies to your roasted cashews. You can use crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne or chili powder. Follow the full recipe here.
- Add smoked flavor without hitting the smoker. Toss the nuts with ground cumin, paprika or ground coriander before roasting. Take a peek at how we did it.
- Mix and match! Roasted cashews are an open template to experiment, so make sweet-and-spicy nuts, or go for a smoky-and-herbaceous mix. The possibilities are endless.
Use your roasted cashews in these recipes for snacks, dinner and dessert.