These spiced roasted walnuts make the perfect salad topper or healthy snack. Easy, versatile, and done in 20 minutes. They are gluten-free and 100% vegan.

These spiced roasted walnuts make the perfect salad topper or healthy snack. Easy, versatile, and done in 20 minutes. They are gluten-free and 100% vegan.

The thought of walnuts brings me back to one of my favorite childhood memories growing up in China: cracking walnuts straight out of the shell.

Have you ever tried this before? If you have, I’ll bet you used a different method than my family and I used—which was a very, very strong door.

That’s right. Whenever we’d want to eat raw walnuts, any door in our house would suddenly transform into a nutcracker. We’d pick any door in the house and open it slightly, just until the gap between the hinges was wide enough to hold a walnut. Then we’d place the walnut in the gap, give the door a push, and voila! As the door closed, the walnut cracked to perfection with barely any effort.

I had a ton of fun cracking walnuts when I was a kid. The sound of the shell cracking open was like music to my ears. But to be honest, I enjoyed the cracking process far more than I enjoyed eating them. The thin, light brown skin that covers the walnut lobe is actually quite bitter, not such a treat for my taste buds. I prefer the buttery and nutty lobes underneath the walnut skin.

Why not peel off the skin, you ask?

Because my mom says, “All of the nutrients are in the skin!”

99 percent of the time that woman is right, even though she can’t always explain why. So, when I researched this, I found that while the inside of walnuts are rich in omega-3 healthy fats, approximately 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts are indeed found in the skin. This includes tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids—all of which are really good for the cardiovascular system, brain, and reducing inflammation.

100% vegan and gluten free, these Roasted Spiced Walnuts are one of the easiest, tastiest, and most versatile things you can make at home.

It wasn’t until I finally found an easy recipe for spiced roasted walnuts (via my friend Herb), that I no longer needed to mask the bitter taste of the skin with a heavy salad dressing or by blending it into a smoothie.

This has quickly become one of my favorite walnut recipes. These vegan and gluten-free spiced walnuts are easy to make, generously spiced, and roasted to perfection. The spices naturally decrease the bitterness, and the buttery taste from the walnut lobes follows immediately, making them a dangerously addictive but great snack.

Best of all, these spiced walnuts are in the complete form—skin and all—which means you get to soak up all the nutrients that walnut skin is just waiting to gift your body.

These spiced roasted walnuts make the perfect salad topper or healthy snack. Easy, versatile, and done in 20 minutes. They are gluten-free and 100% vegan.

Feel free to play around with the spices based on your liking. Want some heat? Add cayenne pepper. Want some sweet? Ground cinnamon, brown sugar, or coconut sugar make great additions. If you want an exotic flavor, add some taco seasoning, Creole, or Cajun spice. You get the idea.

PS: If exotic flavors are your jam, you might also want to check out these Szechuan-Style Toasted Walnuts. The article covers how to toast walnuts two ways in great detail.

You can wrap them in a cute paper box as a healthy Valentine’s Day gift or other holiday gifts.

Now, go roast your own walnuts and let me know how you spice them up in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

These spiced roasted walnuts make the perfect salad topper or healthy snack. Easy, versatile, and done in 20 minutes. They are gluten-free and 100% vegan.
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Spiced Roasted Walnuts (Vegan & GF)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 16 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Snacks, Gluten Free, Vegan
  • Method: Oven / Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

These spiced roasted walnuts make the perfect salad topper or healthy snack. Easy, versatile, and done in 20 minutes. They are gluten-free and 100% vegan.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter if not vegan
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped)

Instructions

Oven method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place walnuts in a large bowl and toss walnuts with olive oil.
  3. Add all spices in the bowl and toss well.
  4. Lay the spiced walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Optional: use aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Stovetop method:

  1. Heat olive oil or melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add walnuts, sprinkle with desired seasonings. Stir frequently to prevent walnuts from burning. Toast for 1-2 minutes or until the walnuts are golden brown. Transfer to a cookie sheet or a plate to let cool.

Notes

  • Optional spices: Teaspoon of kosher salt, sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper.
  • Store the roasted walnuts in an airtight glass container at room temperature for up to three months or refrigerate for longer.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 388mg
  • Fat: 29.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.6g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 5.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.