How to Toast Pistachios

by M.H. Dyer ; Updated November 15, 2017

Toasting enhances the flavor and crunchy texture of pistachios and brings out the warm, fragrant aroma of the nuts. If you want to toast pistachio nuts at home, look for raw pistachios with slightly opened shells because tightly closed shells are difficult to open and indicate immature or unripe nuts. Once you remove the hard shells, you're ready to toast the meaty pistachio nuts, which can be done by roasting in the oven or sauteeing on the stovetop. Pistachios are available in supermarkets year round.

Spread a single layer of shelled pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the pistachios in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast the nuts for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts have browned lightly. Check the nuts often and stir them or shake the pan every few minutes to prevent burning.

Transfer the pistachios from the hot pan to a plate or tray, then allow the nuts to cool. Place a handful of pistachios on a clean kitchen towel, then bring the towel up around the nuts to create a loose bundle. Hold the bundle your hands and rub the nuts together vigorously to remove the papery shells.

Placed toasted pistachios in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also store them in the freezer, where they keep up to three months.


  • Remove the nuts from the oven when they are slightly undercooked. Toasting continues for a few seconds after the nuts are removed from the oven.

    When a nutty smell penetrates the air, remove one or two nuts from the oven and cut them open to check the color. You will know the nuts are finished roasting when they are an even pale-brown color throughout.

    To toast a handful of pistachios quickly, heat them in a skillet over medium heat. Shake or stir the nuts constantly to prevent scorching.

    For the best flavor and quality, toast only as many pistachios as you need at a time.

    Whichever cooking method you choose, allow the nuts to cool for at least 2 to 3 minutes before eating. Nuts directly out of the oven or pan can be extremely hot and may burn your hands or mouth.

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About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.