29 Nut-Based Recipes We Can't Wait To Get Cracking On

There may be no more versatile ingredient in the kitchen than the humble nut. Whether you turn them into a savory dinner dish, a sweet treat for the holidays, or a protein pack to spread for bread and biscuits, there's practically nothing nuts can't do. On their own, they're a snack-sized wonder that brings an abundance of flavor, especially when given a bit of spicy seasoning. When used as an ingredient in a more complex recipe, they impart warmth and texture that help define the finished dish. And as a topping, they bring their distinct personalities to any plate they grace.

With such a variety to choose from, you might need a little guidance to find recipes that make the most of raw and roasted nuts of every shape and size. From cookies and muffins to pilafs, and even a few ingenious plant-based recipes, these recipes bring nuts out of their shells and get them ready for crunch time, which means delicious bites all around. Crack on for a collection of nut-centered creations that put these modest morsels squarely in the spotlight.

Quick Easy Pecan Pie Bar

Make bite-sized bars that taste just like pecan pie with a recipe that simplifies the process. In 10 minutes, you can craft a homemade pastry dough, chewy brown sugar, and corn syrup filling loaded with pecans and ready for baking. Another 25 minutes in the oven, and you have a pan filled with brownie-like bars that feel like autumn on a plate.

For a dash of added sweetness, drizzle a bit of homemade caramel sauce on top before serving.

Recipe: Quick Easy Pecan Pie Bar

15-Minute Homemade Granola

It isn't difficult to create your own nut-rich breakfast cereal that you can feel good about serving your family. It only takes a handful of ingredients and a quick 15 minutes to bring it all together. With pecans and almonds mixed into honey-sweetened oats, you'll have a healthier version of the granola from the cereal aisle featuring two of the most nutritious nuts on the planet.

Feeling ambitious about your homemade breakfast? Whip up some Instant Pot yogurt and surprise the house with a custom granola parfait bar!

Recipe: 15-Minute Homemade Granola

Vegan Cashew Cheese

Cashews are an all-around superhero in a plant-based diet, standing in for meat, dairy, and even cheese. Try this easy recipe for creating a cashew-based cheese that lets herbivores enjoy a spreadable topping that replaces cream cheese. The base flavor accommodates a range of seasonings that can transform the finished product into an earthy, herbaceous accent for bread, crackers, and fresh vegetables.

The key to this crafty creation's cheesy flavor is nutritional yeast, a flaky ingredient you can find in the baking or health food section of your local grocery store.

Recipe: Vegan Cashew Cheese

Easy Granola Bar

Skip the snack section next time you're shopping and make your own granola bars for your family to nosh on instead. With peanut butter, almond butter, and chopped almonds on the ingredient list, you'll get a triple dose of nutty flavor, plus a slew of protein and healthy fats. The best part: the almonds and coconut get toasted beforehand to bring out even more of their natural magic.

You can store these bars for a few months in the freezer, perfect for having healthy treats for lunch boxes or afterschool enjoyment.

Recipe: Easy Granola Bar

Homemade Cashew Butter

If you're avoiding the strange additives found in some store-bought nut butters, this homemade cashew butter will help you make a smooth transition. There are no thickeners, extra oils, or unwanted sweeteners in this mix, just the sophisticated flavor of cashews and a bit of sea salt for good measure. Four cups of cashews may sound like a lot, but it blends down into a manageable amount of butter when complete.

Though this recipe is sugar-free, you can toss in a teaspoon or two of cinnamon or ginger for added flavor.

Recipe: Homemade Cashew Butter

Strawberry Walnut Salad

A simple salad flavored with sweet strawberries becomes a reason to celebrate with a sprinkle of walnuts in the bowl. Toasting the walnuts lightly before adding them to the salad will help ramp up the flavor and crunch. The strawberry vinaigrette makes sure there's enough sweet zest on the plate, while a sprinkle of goat cheese adds creamy notes for a well-rounded bite.

Turn this salad into more of a meal by baking your own crisp rosemary flatbread to serve alongside.

Recipe: Strawberry Walnut Salad

Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter pecan is a winning combination, whether used as an ice cream flavor or turned into a nutty homemade cookie. Fans of sweets made with a lighter touch will appreciate the buttery flavor blending with the gentle pecan essence. You'll get four dozen chewy cookies studded with pecan halves for a substantial crunch.

Rather than simply baking the pecans after adding them to the dough, you'll roast the pecans with butter ahead of time for a full-flavored butter pecan experience.

Recipe: Butter Pecan Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These classic cookies are a tropical upgrade to the usual chocolate chippers, with chunks of mellow macadamia nuts adding island goodness to the recipe. A delicate drizzle of white chocolate on top adds zig-zag décor for a fanciful finish. Though they might look like a complicated bake, you can complete the entire process in under 30 minutes.

If you make these for friends, they're likely to be gone in a flash. Be prepared to double the recipe so you can save some for yourself!

Recipe: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Best Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

If anything can add a delicious new dimension to chocolate chip cookies, hazelnuts top the list. Rather than blitzing the nuts into the chocolate for a Nutella-like spread, this recipe keeps the two separated for the ultimate in texture. Extra hazelnuts in powder form ramp up the flavor to make sure the nutty goodness shines through.

Looking for even more chocolate? Turn out a batch of no-churn chocolate ice cream and transform these cookies into hazelnut chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.

Recipe: Best Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

If you've ever gotten a whiff of cinnamon-glazed pecans at a farmer's market or craft fair, you know how intoxicating the aroma can be. With six easy-to-grab ingredients and five whole minutes of prep time, you can whip together a batch for yourself to enjoy as a fun fall snack. Make a few batches and wrap them up in colorful treat sacks for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts.

These pecans will take an hour to cook, which is the perfect amount of time to enjoy a homemade gingerbread latte while you wait.

Recipe: Easy Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

Mushroom-Mixed Nut Vegetarian Meatloaf

Turn nuts and mushrooms into a delicious stand-in for traditional meatloaf to serve your meat-free eaters. The blend of nuts, cremini mushrooms, and chopped vegetables packs such a flavorful punch, that even the non-vegetarians at the table will appreciate having a slice on their plates. Preparation is a study in layering flavors, with each element requiring proper attention to achieve maximum taste.

Serve this entrée with traditional mashed potatoes for a homestyle weeknight dinner. You can replace the usual butter and milk with plant-based alternatives for a vegan version.

Recipe: Mushroom-Mixed Nut Vegetarian "Meatloaf"

Classic Banana Nut Bread

No list of nut recipes would be complete without a banana nut bread recipe. Ripe bananas and chopped walnuts are happy flavor friends in this moist and tender quick bread base. Add a sprinkle of extra walnut pieces on top, and you have a familiar bake that's easy to prepare and a delight to serve, even if you're the only one enjoying it!

Make your own homemade peanut butter and spread it between two slices of toasted banana nut bread for an indulgent dessert sandwich.

Recipe: Classic Banana Nut Bread

Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding

Cherries and pecans bring fun texture and rich flavor to classic bread pudding. While traditional bread pudding uses stale bread, you can toast your cubes in this recipe to keep things fresh and tasty. With a cinnamon-brown sugar glaze for the pecans to nestle in, you have a bake that can serve equally well as a special breakfast or a nifty dessert.

Get extra fancy with your cherry-nut dish by adding a dollop of homemade whipped cream to the top of each slice before serving.

Recipe: Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding

Easy Pecan Pie

This simple pecan pie lets you serve a classic, candy-like filling in a tender pastry crust just in time for your coziest winter festivities. Despite its sophisticated presence, you'll spend about 10 minutes putting your crust and ingredients together. There's an hour of baking time plus at least a few hours of cooling time, so be sure to plan ahead for this one to be ready by dessert time.

Create elegant designs before serving by topping each slice with stabilized whipped cream made from scratch.

Recipe: Easy Pecan Pie

Candied Pecans

These praline-like pecans are a perfect bake for you to give as a special foodie gift, serve on a holiday table, or simply enjoy as a crunchy snack. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves provide the quintessential combination of spices, while both brown and white sugar give a double dose of sweetness. But it's the egg white that makes these crunchy creations really crackle.

In the unlikely event that you end up with leftovers, keep them on hand in the fridge for topping future desserts.

Recipe: Candied Pecan

Holiday Roasted Nuts

Whether you scatter them in crystal dishes during your holiday dinners or wrap them up in jars to give as gifts, these roasted nuts are sure to make your holidays a tastier occasion. With cashews, almonds, and peanuts sharing the baking sheet, you'll have a trio of popular nut pieces made all the more decadent with a crisp, spiced candy coating.

Schedule this bake well ahead of your special occasion. Though it only takes 8 minutes to assemble the ingredients, they'll need an hour to bake and another hour to cool.

Recipe: Holiday Roasted Nuts

Homemade Cashew Coffee Creamer

Plant-based coffee creamer may be one of the most unique and unexpected uses of cashews ever. The cashew cream base lets coffee lovers who keep things dairy-free enjoy a splash of something smooth to sweeten their java. Using honey and cinnamon for flavor lets you control the sugar content while infusing the liquid with spicy sweetness.

Try out your finished cashew coffee creamer in a pot of cinnamon coffee. You'll have a festive double-shot of warm spices with the subtle earthiness of cashew delivered in every sip.

Recipe: Homemade Cashew Coffee Creamer

Fruit And Nut Basmati Rice Pilaf

The complexity of fruits and nuts hidden among fluffy basmati rice creates an intriguing side dish or bed for meat and vegetables. Slivered almonds, sliced apples, and dried cranberries create delicious harmony while bringing a toothy texture to the fluffy rice. A bit of shallot and parsley lend flavors that will merge nicely with chicken or beef.

In addition to tasting wonderful, this delicate pilaf also lends an artful look to the table when served in a small dish beside your guests' main plates.

Recipe: Fruit And Nut Basmati Rice Pilaf

Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts

This Southern staple is an easy creation to warm your body and soul. Rather than spending up to four hours to finish your soft-cooked protein-packed snack, use an Instant Pot to finish in a fraction of the time. With Cajun spices and salt, you'll have a trouble-free treat to savor during the cold months, or whenever you have an appetite for a healthy nibble.

The peanuts used in this recipe are still in the shell, so be prepared to do some extra work before tasting your creation.

Recipe: Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts

Slow Cooker Chocolate Nut Clusters

What candy lover doesn't adore the combination of crisp chocolate and crunchy nuts? With these slow cooker chocolate nut clusters, you can concoct your own homemade take while letting your most valuable kitchen appliance do the cooking! A blend of semi-sweet and milk chocolate ensures a rich complexity, while your choice of peanuts, almonds, or other nuts provides a crunchy base ready for enrobing.

Go deluxe with your clusters by adding dried cherries or cranberries for a bit of fruity zing.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chocolate Nut Clusters

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

The sweet essence of pistachios makes an ideal choice for adding a fun crunch to your next salmon dinner. The contrast of tender salmon and crunchy pistachios adds variety to the dish, while a honey-mustard glaze featuring fresh herbs introduces an elegant flavor that brings the recipe into balance. It's a step up from the filet you're used to and an intriguing way to bring a gourmet touch to your usual home dining selections.

Fire up the backyard barbie or the grill pan, and cook an order of lemony grilled asparagus to serve on the side.

Recipe: Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

Zucchini Walnut Bread With Lemon Glaze

The duet of zucchini and walnuts is a classic pairing that turns quick bread into a moist treat loaded with texture. Despite the name, zucchini bread has the density and flavor profile of a cake, which makes this recipe a highly versatile bake. Topped with sweet and tangy lemon glaze, you have a tempting slice for brunch or afternoon tea.

Though walnuts are featured in the name, the nuts could easily be swapped for pecans, cashews, or even sunflower seeds.

Recipe: Zucchini Walnut Bread With Lemon Glaze

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Become a home confectioner without needing a candy thermometer with this easy peanut brittle recipe. The microwave becomes your best friend, heating ingredients to the perfect temperature without having to hover over a hot pot. Six simple elements come together to create a crackly candy that's practically foolproof. It's a perfect choice for homemade holiday presents or a tasty surprise for the kids.

Though prep only takes 15 minutes, your brittle will require an hour to fully cool. After that comes the fun part: breaking the brittle into bite-size pieces.

Recipe: Microwave Peanut Brittle

Extra Moist Banana Nut Muffins

Banana bread gets a muffin makeover in this fun bake that's easy to pull off. Using bananas that are ripe enough to freckle will ensure a rich dose of banana flavor in every muffin. Walnut pieces sprinkled on the top will get toasted in the oven to ensure they pull their weight!

Invite friends over to enjoy these muffins with you and serve them up with homemade orange-cinnamon hot buttered rum for a cold weather combo that will make everyone warmer.

Recipe: Extra Moist Banana Nut Muffins

Easy Candied Walnuts

Transforming the umami notes of walnuts into a sweeter treat is a simple task with this candied walnut recipe. It takes only walnuts, sugar, and salt to create these gleaming gems, a tasty addition to your home snack collection or a Thanksgiving dessert tray. You can cook up to 6 servings in under 30 minutes for a quick, delicious treat that will make nut fans swoon.

Use your candied walnuts to dress up chocolate cakes, blueberry muffins, and even homemade pumpkin ice cream.

Recipe: Easy Candied Walnuts

Chocolate Chip Walnut Crescent Cookie

Ground walnuts help form the dough for these clever moon-shaped cookies. This ensures the nutty flavor is present in every bite. Mini chocolate chips are just the right size for peppering throughout each delicate baked arc. A dusting of confectioner's sugar will make the whole dish look like a dessert fit for a midwinter celebration.

If you need a dipping sauce to take your crescents to next-level goodness, try serving them with a homemade chocolate gravy that's sure to get your guests chattering!

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Walnut Crescent Cookie

West African Peanut Stew

Expand your taste for nut-rich global fare by assembling a chunky West African stew that makes bold use of roasted peanuts. Both whole peanuts and peanut butter are present in this traditional dish, bringing smooth earthiness to a satisfying blend of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. If you've never tried cuisine from this region before, this mouthwatering mix is a perfect introduction.

Keep the nutty presence of your stew front and center by serving it atop a simple white rice.

Recipe: West African Peanut Stew

Apple Walnut Salad

Feeling like a light yet satisfying lunch or dinner bite? Apple walnut salad provides a wealth of nutrition in a recipe that won't leave you feeling stuffed. The zing of arugula and the sweetness of chopped apples make perfect partners for chopped walnut pieces scattered throughout. The dressing is a zesty vinaigrette sweetened with a honey touch to keep things from getting too heavy.

Throw together a crusty Italian bread to serve this with. The rustic texture will go great with the walnuts in the salad while helping soak up extra dressing.

Recipe: Apple Walnut Salad

15-Minute Cashew Chicken

This hearty Asian dish provides a simple way to add a nutty flavor to your dinner table. It may look like a simple dish, but the blend of spicy, umami, and sweet flavorings from the seasoning becomes a fabulously complex bite with the addition of cashews. It also cooks up in under 20 minutes, perfect for a no-fuss meal after work or during a busy weekend.

If you need an equally easy side dish, try an easy egg fried rice. It cooks up in 7 minutes from start to finish.

Recipe: 15-Minute Cashew Chicken