Do you crave pesto pasta this weekend? If yes, don’t forget to add pine nuts to enhance the overall flavor of this dish.
But what if you can’t find pine nut or don’t like the flavor they offer? In that case, you can easily look for some interesting substitutes.
Pine nuts can be expensive, but they are replaceable, thanks to some great substitutes. Instead of pine nuts, you can add cashews, almonds, or pistachios to your recipe, making your food taste as good as pine nuts.
In this writing piece, let’s learn more about each substitute, so you can know which one to get.
8 Top Substitutes for Pine Nut
Before you pick any items from this list, ensure that you know the quantity and the recipe. Some nuts get along with all the ingredients, but a few don’t. Do your homework and research before adding these options to your dish.
If you want the same sweet mildness, color, and texture in your dish, replace pine nuts with cashews. Chopped cashews taste great in pesto and spread the same warmth as pine nuts.
However, always use unsalted ones. We recommend you get the raw cashews and then toast them properly for additional flavor. Before roasting, chop them properly, so they resemble pine nuts in every way.
To toast cashews, add them to a pan and cook for three to five minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat as soon as the cashews turn slightly brown and fragrant.
Cashews not only enhance the dish's overall flavor but also make it healthy. These nuts are rich in magnesium and copper, which are effective for immunity and bone health.
Besides, cashews have low sugar levels and high heart-healthy fats, making them an ideal component of your diet.
Although almonds don’t have the same rich flavor as pine nuts, they still make an excellent substitute. This is because almonds contain many healthy fats, proteins, fibers, and vitamins. In addition, they are effective in reducing blood pressure and keeping cholesterol and sugar levels low.
When sliced, silvered, or chopped, almonds add a perfect touch to your recipe. Ensure to toast them properly before introducing them to a dish.
For best results, soak almonds in water and leave them overnight. This process makes removing their skin easy and gives their texture a much-needed softness.
Almonds can be used in pesto, salads, rice, and even gravies. Use the correct quantity to give your dish a balanced texture and flavor.
Pistachios have a much more robust and sweeter flavor than pine nuts. But these two factors increase their chances of replacing pine nuts any day.
Many cooking experts use pistachios in various Italian dishes, which are considered pretty appropriate for them. For example, you can use them in salads, pasta, and pesto and witness a remarkable taste. Plus, the green color of pistachios makes a dish quite appetizing and appealing.
Since pistachios burst with lots of minerals, vitamins, and fiber, they keep your health in check. Additionally, using them in your diet keeps unhealthy bacteria at bay, maintaining the overall health of your digestive system.
Because of their rich flavor and high nutritional value, walnuts have always been cherished and accepted. They have some fantastic qualities which make them a crucial part of most diet plans.
These nuts are rich in fats and proteins. They also have many antioxidants that prevent any cell damage.
But most importantly, you can use walnuts to replace pine nuts in your recipes. Since walnuts have skin that makes them taste bitter, it is wise to remove them for better results.
To do that, toast the walnuts before cooling them. Then remove their skin and soak them in water overnight. The entire process gives them a creamier and softer consistency, making them ideal for different recipes.
The next top substitute for pine nuts are pecans. Pecans are an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats to maintain cholesterol levels as low as possible.
Although pecans are much sweeter than pine nuts, they can easily replace the latter in almost all types of recipes. They give an excellent nutty flavor. For the most robust taste, make sure to toast pecans before introducing them to your dish.
If you have leftovers, you can use them to make Air Fryer Candied Pecans.
Originating from Eurasia, hazelnuts are edible nuts with a glossy and smooth texture. The nut has a creamy and rich flavor and can be enjoyed roasted or raw.
Hazelnuts are also an excellent source of healthy vitamins, fats, and minerals.
Similar to walnuts, hazelnuts have a shell that makes them very bitter. Before you use them to replace pine nuts, toast them and then remove their skin. Then leave them in water for a night before peeling off the hard, bitter skin.
Since these nuts have an intense flavor, you can also use them in your desserts. They taste great in recipes, including lots of chocolate.
7. Sunflower Seeds
Are you on a strict budget and can’t afford all the expensive nutty substitutes? If yes, you may like sunflower seeds to replace pine nuts.
These seeds are affordable and readily available. In addition, they are rich in minerals and vitamins, making them helpful for a strong immune system.
Sunflower seeds may dull out the overall look of your pesto, but they taste as good as pine nuts. Take the seeds out of their shells before using them. Additionally, be careful about the quantity because, at times, too many seeds may ruin your dish.
8. Brazil Nuts
They are not very popular and known, but Brazil nuts are just as good as the rest of the substitutes. They are large, so ensure to chop them before using them.
Brazil nuts have a meaty texture and feel just like a coconut. However, their buttery and rich flavor make them a close competitor of pine nuts.
If you use them for the first time, be mindful of the quantity. In addition, toast them before adding to your food.
If you think pine nuts are not your cup of tea, know that many substitutes available can replace them any day. From walnuts and almonds to sunflower seeds, you can pick any of the options mentioned above and elevate the flavor of your pesto, salads, and soups.
Pine Nut Substitute
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts