How to Roast Cashews

Roasting Cashews: Raw

I was casting around for recipes on how to roast raw cashews, either in an oven or on a stove. The ingredient list on a typical can of cashews was starting to get me down, and nuts (in moderation) are both one of my favorite snacks and healthy, too.

(Tangent: I’m obsessing on ingredients on packages at the moment, as in the fewer the better. Like the package of frozen corn I bought the other day. It says: “Ingredients: Corn.” That is awesome. Now, the storebought cashews weren’t all that bad: cashews, various oils, and salt, but it was the combined vague ingredients plus unknown methods, really. That and I like doing stuff from scratch.)

The googling wasn’t going very well, or rather I had to do quite a bit of keyword finagling to find anything useful. I never did locate exactly what I was looking for, which is one reason I wanted to create this page: for other people who are googling for DIY roasted cashews.

One site I found was this Nuts page. Under the preparation section, they refer to “toasting” nuts, in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave. So, using that as a starting point, I proceeded with an initial experiment.

(Tangent 2: my initial Google difficulties might have been a terminology issue, roasted vs toasted.)

Hardware

  • Oven preheated to 350degF (~175degC).
  • One shallow baking pan or cookie sheet with outer lip.

Software

  • One pound (454g) raw cashews. (I bought a pound from Trader Joe’s. “Ingredients: Cashews.” Nice.)
  • Salt (see below).

Roasting Cashews: The Bag

Method

Pretty straightforward: spread cashews in a single layer over the pan (you might need to use more than one pan, depending on the size). Then cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden-brown. They can burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.

Roasting Cashews: on the cookie sheet

Salt

One other advantage to this process over pre-packaged is being able to control the amount of salt in it.

Roasting Cashews: Plates

In a blind taste test from some guinea pigs family members, popcorn salt and sea salt didn’t have significant taste differences. They did want a bit more salt in the initial batch, since I was cautious not to over-do it. So be sure to err on the lower side, since it’s way easier to add salt than take it off. :) I expect the popcorn salt, since it is finer, would cling to the nuts more readily, so you might want to experiment yourself. Plain ol’ table salt would work great, too.

Addendum

After more experimentation, I came to realize the salt could use some help sticking to the cashews. The nut industry apparently uses a salt-flour mixture to increase adhesion, which is the powdery stuff you find at the bottom of a can. Instead, what you can do is use just a smidgen of oil lightly brushed on them after you take them out of the oven, then sprinkle with your preferred salt. Melted butter would also do, although you can imagine the already high fat+calorie content will be even heftier. Another option is something like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, which comes in handy spray form — I’ve noticed however if you spray it on too soon after taking the cashews out of the oven, the liquid tends to evaporate before you can get the salt on.

Which makes me wonder if you could use a small spray bottle with your oil of choice to get the best of both worlds. Might be worth a try!

Conclusions

A lot of the cashew-roasting (or cashew-toasting) recipes I came across in my searches were part of a dessert or other dish, and included coating them in oil or butter. While I’m sure this would significantly add to the taste sensation, the calorie and fat intake would also jump up in a dish already pretty dense with both.

Besides, cashews — whether toasted or roasted — taste awesome as is. :)

Roasting Cashews: Done

Check out that wholehealthmd.com nuts page in the preparation section for toasting on the stove and microwave. In the latter case, you can have a plate of toasted nuts in 3 minutes to go with your DVD popcorn.

And be sure to read through the comment section below, as visitors have had a bunch of cool ideas and variations.

Bon appétit!

0 thoughts on “How to Roast Cashews

  1. Mark in Nashville

    Robert,

    Thank you very much for posting information on roasting cashews.

    I just bought a pound of organic, raw whole cashews ($8) and I am going to roast them with no salt or oil.

    If you do use oil, I suggest coconut oil. It and butter are the only two cooking oils that, under heat, do not break down into transfats. Preferably organic butter, of course.

    Also, the extra virgin coconut oil is more expensive and does taste like coconut. Whereas coconut oil that is not extra virgin has little taste of the coconut. So I would avoid extra virgin in this case.

    Because I like the taste of the cashew.

    1. Robert Daeley

      Hi, terry, thanks for visiting. From what I’ve read, truly raw cashews in their shells, ones off a tree like yours, have some nasty chemicals that you have to get rid of first. They’re in the poison ivy family, so there’s a whole process to go through to get rid of the bad oils.

      Try googling “shelling cashews” for more info. Good luck!

  2. Tiffannie

    Thanks for the great recipe. I used a little of the spray-on I can’t believe it’s not butter and some Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (I had them both on-hand). They are tasty!

  3. emily

    I was a bit worried that I would have to do an extensive search when I first typed in “how to roast cashews” in google.

    yours was the first page that came up.

    thank you!

  4. Neptune

    Yours was the first website that came up when I typed “roasting raw cashews” into my Yahoo browser. I bought a 1 lb. bag this week at Trader Joes to put into an Indian vegetarian dish I was making. Anyway, a good portion of the bag remained, hence my desire to roast them. I read everyone’s comments and decided to improvise a bit. With the oven at 350 degrees, I spread the raw cashews on a foil lined cookie sheet (the kind with the lip around it) and then sprayed the foil with canola oil in the can. One layer of cashews – another spritz of oil spray – and then sprinkled with Kosher salt (which is all that I use). Roasted maybe 10 minutes, stirring around three times. They roast very quickly. I am now eating them hot and it is worth the little tongue burn. DELICIOUS!!! A thousand times better than what is sold already roasted. I will go this route with every nut from now on – raw nuts for me.

  5. Frank P

    Here’s what I did. Mixed 2lbs cashews with canola oil and sea salt in a large bowl to coat evenly. Roasted in glass baking pan (about 3 batches) single layer, about 20 minutes at 250 degrees, stiring about half way. Can’t get enough!!!!

  6. Philip

    Just read your page, it was the first I came across. Just bought some roasted cashews today from my health store in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

    They were so expensive I’m going to roast plain casherws in future! Thanks very much for your recipe, sounds awesome

  7. Roseann

    Many thank yous for this page. i found myself rummaging my cabinets for a snack, i saw the salt and the raw cashews….Ding! Light bulb goes off and i find myself looking online for the how-to (i’m not the best cook in the world @_@) haha! so again many thanks!

  8. Barbara

    I followed your instructions for toasting cashews. I am using them in a salad, so I didn’t want them “flavored”. However, rather than using more oil so that salt or other flavorings will adhere, I suggest using egg white. Just beat an egg white until frothy, and then stir the nuts into it, and THEN, sprinkle with desired flavorings. The egg white does not add any taste, nor does it increase the fat content of the nuts. Egg white is mostly protein, and tasteless. I usually use soya sauce for “salting” nuts. A little goes a long way!!! Thanks for your help. b

  9. dan

    I want to try a batch with cayenne pepper. Should I oil & pepper the cashews before roasting, or after? I was thinking before, but since you say to apply the salt after, I’m questioning it now.

  10. Robert Daeley

    Good question — I’m guessing before would be good, but you could try half a batch before and half after, then see which is better.

  11. Anonymous

    Am in the middle of roasting my ‘raw’ cashews, Excellent ideas here! Thank U!

  12. Tom Becker

    Great idea this page! On my next trip to the shops I’ll get a big bag of raw cashews… Has anyone tried to make smoked cashews and would share his/her recipe? As I really love the flavour of smoked food, I think I’ll try to smoke a batch over hickory smoke. Cheers, Tom

  13. jac

    Dissolve 2 tsp in 1/4 cup of water.Wet nuts with this solution in a plastic bag.Drain by making a small hole in the bag.Let nut dry in air,when completely dry,roast as suggested.

  14. Lauren

    Oh boy, just tried this after googling and finding your page! AWESOME and many thanks! We used 2 cups raw cashews, set oven on 350 and baked them for 10 minutes, put them in a glass bowl, added 1 tsp. sunflower oil and a few shakes of sea salt — simply AWESOME! Thank you so much for this great, simple recipe and your most helpful expertise! We’ll be using this forever more!

  15. Vicky

    I just love seeing humor, good writing, and intelligence…all in one. Thank you so much! Just received a pound of cashews from Atlantic Spice Co (check them out) but realized, foolishly, that they were totally raw. We will experiment with your advice. Again, thanks.

  16. Anonymous

    let them cool after roasting – they may seem soft when hot. Nice and crunchy when cooled. Did mine with olive oil, herbed salt (herbamare), chili flakes and black pepper. yummy.

  17. Mobolina

    I was amazed to find “how to roast cashew nuts” so easily! I was expecting to have to look through numerous Oriental recipe websites. Thank you very much.

  18. Liz Rowley

    tossed w/ pure olive & salt. 10 min barely looked cooked but at 17 they got a little burned. (were a bit sparsely spread over tray.) be careful! but yes, raw way cheaper… thanks for all the info!

  19. margot

    Thanks for sharing.I am doing it almost exactly how you do it, but before putting them into jar, I mix them with our Philippine product, Boy Bawang cornicks with garlic flavor, to avoid overeating cashew nuts. It’s one of my healthiest yet tastiest snacks.It’s good to know there is website like this. At first, I opened an ad about cashew.Thanks.

  20. terry

    I need help before the cashews are in a bag- I have the tree and need to remove the outer shell first. thanks terry

  21. Cathy

    This is awesome- our office was looking for instructions on how to roast cashews becuase we all got a clamshell of free whole cahsews and we all pulled up yours! Perfect thanks for all the recipes too.

  22. Pat

    Doest anyone know how to roast cashew? I use Vagetable oil with lowest heat, however only around 15 second those cashew are done, but only skin outside which turn to golden brown, but inside is still white and quite not done. Anyone had experieces for that????

  23. Robert Daeley

    Now that’s a cool thought. If you happen to come back by, please let us know how it went.

  24. Jabez

    When they’re almost roasted, put them in a hot fry pan along with some caster sugar and salt, and toss: the melting sugar sticks the salt to the nuts.

    Quantities: hmmm… for about 350g of nuts I use about 8 teaspoons of caster sugar and quite a few good pinches of salt… try half a teaspoon? Depends how salty you like them.

    Good for those with a sweet tooth. Make it more interesting with a few teaspoons of fennel seeds thrown in…. :-)

  25. Mitch

    I flavoured a half-dozen batches of cashews in my smoker lately using various wood chips — almost every batch was amazing. But I started out with already roasted cashews, so the process was VERY delicate. Smoke at lowest possible temperature, and if your smoker has a water tray in the bottom fill with ice-water. The previous posts here describe how quickly cashews go from perfect to burnt and I can attest.

    But today I bought a big batch of raw cashews, so will be experimenting in small batches in attempt to smoke to perfection.

    Just one other note, I not only smoked but flavoured one recent batch with ‘Northwoods Fire’ seasoning from the Penzey spice company. They were a big hit at Christmas.

  26. jjoux

    Our local golf course has an exceptionally large black pepper tree fro which I have collected a quart of raw berriers.

    I have googled and found no receipe for roasting or drying the pepper corns. Would appreciate any help for HOW DO YOU DO IT!

  27. Carol

    Just opened a new jar (received in February) of roaster whole cashews. They are stale per my husband and daughter. Is there any way I can revive them, i.e., roasting again?

    Would appreciate any help you can give me. I really don’t want to toss them.

    1. Robert Daeley Post author

      From what I’ve read, toasting them in the oven can definitely help staleness, as can salt (which tends to disguise the staleness rather than getting rid of it). If they’re already “roasted,” though, my guess is you’ll want to keep a closer eye on them in the oven.

  28. Tana

    What a help! I wouldn’t have thought of putting the cashews in a bag and adding canola oil and salt. Then I tried the 250 degree for 20 minutes method, but my cook time turned out to be closer to 30 minutes, and even then they weren’t quite done. Still quite good, though. Next time I’ll bump the heat up to 300. And with the difference in cost between raw and pre-roasted cashews, there will definitely be a next time. Thanks, Robert, for getting this thread started.

  29. MUHAMMAD RIZWAN

    dear sir,

    i want to roast cashews for selling in consumer packs how can i maintain the expiry of roasted and flavor cashews.

    and plz give me details instructions thanks you

    1. Robert Daeley Post author

      Hello! I’m afraid I don’t have any knowledge of commercial nut packaging or production — you might need to google around for an industry publication or website with more technical details. Sorry, and good luck!

  30. Nick

    Hiya guys. It sounds like you’re having trouble getting salt to stick to your roasted cashews. This might sound patronising and I sincerely don’t mean it to if it does, but the only reason why the salt isn’t sticking to the nuts is because both the nuts and the salt are dry. So, no oil is required. All you need to do is to either moisten your nuts with water before applying the salt (this can be done either before or after the nuts have been roasted). Additionally, a convenient method of application is to dissolve enough salt in a cup of water (dip a clean finger in the salt solution and lick it to determine whether the salt level is adequate for your taste) and then get yourself a spray-bottle (you can buy these from most shops that sell kitchen items) and simply spray the solution onto your nuts. This too can be done either before or after roasting. Application before or after roasting affects the texture of the nut a little and is worth experimenting with both to see which you prefer. Another point is the, “raw cashews are toxic and a single nut will kill you” statement from before. I have read this elsewhere myself, unfortunately only after I had eaten a lot of failed attempts to roast them… and survived! I have also read that you should only roast raw cashews outside too due to the fumes they give off. Assuming that I am not communicating from the after-life or indeed the proud owner of a super-human digestive/immune system, I can only deduce that the raw cashews available from the supermarkets have been treated somehow to remove the dangerous toxins from them. It would be interesting to know for certain if anyone knows for sure.

  31. karla katz

    After the nuts have cooled a bit, I apply a quick spray of olive oil (from a refillable hand pump), and then quickly add salt (any variety) AND paprika. I toss the nuts, allow them to completely cool, and then package them in an air-tight jar. The paprika adds just a little “spark”, and they’re delicious!

  32. Stephen Swift

    Thanks I have crohns disease and can’t have starch (which is always added in commercial cashews as you noted when you talked about flour being used to increase adhesion of salt) so this was helpful.

  33. Kevin R. Thomas

    Use a sodium chloride solution to spray a fine mist over your dry roasted cashews.

  34. Raphaela

    Wonderful information!!! Bless you all.

    I used to eat only raw nuts and nut butters but found that I’m allergic to molds and mildew. My doctor/nutritionist advised me to roast the cashews as they usually have a certain amount of mold/mildew. He said the roasting will take care of that! =)

    The same goes for mushrooms… as I was thoroughly disheartened about having to give them up! Cooking them kills the molds. :D

    Happy Eating!

  35. Mohammed

    Thanks , Thanks and Thanks for the info, roasted or toasted cashews are getting so expensive that I had to roast my own, thank you again my friend.

  36. davidR

    Brushed mine with a bit of Coconut Oil, drizzled a little honey, and a generous pinch of dried cajun seasonings. Tasty treat.

  37. Kate

    Thanks so much for posting this!!! I’m living in Dublin and every time I’ve bought cashews I’ve realized afterwards that they are raw, I prefer them roasted and crunchy! :) I’m going to try this right now!!!!

  38. Moff

    Raw cashews will NOT kill you unless you are allergic to cashews! I use CERTIFIED RAW CASHEWS everyday. They are an important part of my diet. What IS poisonous is the material that surrounds the cashews in nature. That is poisonous. It is removed and used to make varnish. When you buy raw cashews, you are getting RAW cashews and they are perfectly SAFE unless you are allergic to cashews.

  39. Yee Mei

    I’ve been roasting cashews for years. I’ve tried many different ways: Microwave, convectional oven, frying pan, with and without olive oil. The results have always been OK, but this morning I decided I should learn how it’s SUPPOSED to be done, and ended here. After reading through the information here, I decided to try roasting them at a low 160 Degrees C in a convectional over with the oven fan switched on and no oil. Of course I just HAD to ad-lib a bit and decided to soak them for about 10 minutes in water to which a little salt had been added. This is probably the best batch I’ve done. A lovely even light tan colour, crunchy (after cooling down) and slightly salty. Perfect! Thanks for this website!

  40. Matt

    I just roasted my nuts! I will have to sit further away from the fire ;)

  41. bala

    Thankyou very much for your information. I use Vegetable oil / vanaspathi, heat the oil well then deepfry the cashew with lowest heat, around 15 – 30 seconds till golden brown, drain oil sprinkle salt or salt and pepper

  42. Cadmiel Ángel

    Hey thanks for the info and great comments! I went RAW-vegetarian at the start of the year and have never looked back; so I’m wondering if any one knows if store bought roasted cashews keep their nutritive properties to a certain percentage at least. I ask because I can’t find ‘raw’ cashews anywhere. ¿Does any one know of sun-dried cashews or any other nuts that you can order online?

  43. Gabe

    Lots of good info.I got 10# from work and j live cashews didn’t want to screw them up. This J’s whet the Internet was made for Thanks.

    1. Jo

      Try a little rice bran oil, it does not break down under high heat either, and has a very mild flavour!!

  44. Mrs Khoo

    Hi thank you for all the inputs with regard to baking of the cashew nuts. However is it necessary to soak and wash them before baking? Any advice? Thank you

    1. Robert Daeley

      Hey, my wife is a big fan of Lawry’s — I’ll have to try that out. Thanks!

  45. gooddaysharma

    i am nuts about nuts ..any/all nuts & if Nuts taste mildly salty & roasted. They do make my anytime anywhere snack..so enjoy roasted salty [not salted] cashewnuts….& to make the same Lo/No Sodium,substitute Nacl Common Salt with Kcl….Indian Rock salt called Sendha namak. Anyone finding difficult to source it, may contact me.my pleasure to help There is a popular saying in India abt Salt..salt eaten by one, given by me make loyality,sincerity & allegience towards me as a true forever friend.

  46. Sunanda

    We are cashew producing country (Sri Lanka) Mainly we have three different varieties growing here. Hybrid one is bigger. But that one is less palatable comparatively. Smallest one is our native and its really really more palatable. cashew outer layer people are using for mosquito repellent. rural areas people are collecting cashew nuts for sale and they remove apple fruit like storage stalk as a sugary fruit. after sprinkling pinch of salt on it (Cut pieces). Most of domestic alcohol producers they are taking this for alcohol production and they are commenting alcohol is in good smelt after adding and fermentation etc process after distillation. therefore cashew nuts are traditionally very good and tasteful snack from the history and gives more calories specially for winter seasonal workers in that region. Eat more cashew nuts still its a fully organic food because it does not adding any chemical fertilizers during entire process of cultivation. thanks all

  47. lbq

    Cashew nuts grow as an appendage on the bottom of a fleshy tropical fruit. The process of extracting the nuts from their double shell involves roasting them to destroy the toxin that the nuts and shells contain. This must be done outdoors as the smoke contains urushiol droplets that can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening, reactions by irritating the lungs. Of course, this is all done somewhere in the tropics where the nuts are harvested, before the “raw” cashews ever get close to your market. I heard this admonition against roasting cashews because it could be deadly when I lived in the tropics, but it referred to trying to roast the unshelled nuts that might have been available there. We never see those in US markets.

  48. Glenna

    Great info! My dad loves cashews, but the high sodium in salted cashews is no good for him. I’m sharing this with my mom.

  49. Patricia

    The cashews that you purchased cannot be raw cashews! They may be plain cashews though. A single raw cashew can kill you! They have already been ‘roasted’ in their shell to kill off the toxic liquid that surrounds the nut. These great nuts are part of the poison ivy and poison oak family.

  50. Anonymous

    You just saved me a package of cashews. I accidentally bought raw cashews from the store and I just can’t compare them to the roasted/salted variety and was actually going to give them away and buy the right kind. I’m gonna roast em tonight instead, thanks for saving me the money!

  51. Jane

    My cashews are also labeled “raw”. I bought them knowing they were raw, (and because they were half price) and I thought I would try roasting them myself. Thanks for the info. BTW, my husband says the raw cashews taste kind of soapy, so he is thrilled that I planned to roast them.

  52. Sencho

    Thanks man, I’ll give this a try. I like them raw, but for toppings I think they’re better toasted.

  53. Anonymous

    Thank you so much, my Dad knows how to make these, and although it was straightforward i wanted to replenish the roasted stock! As i ate them all. This is about the most useful page on the net for it!!!

  54. Anonymous

    I have been roasting my own almonds by adding a tablespoon of olive oil and one of salt, shaken in a plastic bag with 2 cups of almonds and roasted on a baking sheet in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes (turn the almonds every 5 min). Works great. I tried this with the cashews and they were a little over done although not greatly so. I’m going to try them at 20 min and 25 min next time. I like a fine ground salt (popcorn salt) better that regular table salt. I had trouble finding popcorn salt so my wife made some by putting regular salt in a food processor.

  55. Anonymous

    I contacted the Krema Nut Company about offering fire-roasted cashews. (The HEB near us carried them along with roasted cashews from a company in Boerne, TX, but switched companies and they do not offer the fire-roasted type. The difference in fire-roasted process is roasting without oils.) They do taste dramatically different and they were salt-free. They had a wonderful rich flavor. Mr. Brian Giunta from the Krema Nut Company said, ” Cashews do cook faster than most nuts, less than 5 minutes, typically….” I wanted to try roasting them over a hot open fire, maybe with a hot oil basket for deep frying with a wire mesh of some sort. Still looking.