If you’re the sort of person who prepares for the holidays by buying too much food, then you’re likely to have a bag of walnuts hanging around, forgotten, at the back of a shelf.
And you might be wondering exactly what to do with them.
Walnuts are great snack foods, but they can also be used to enhance both sweet and savory dishes.
Pulsed walnuts can be used as a dip or as a meat substitute, opening up the possibilities of what to do with walnuts.
We’ve rounded up our favorite walnut recipes, from brownies to salads. Enjoy!
30+ Delicious Walnut Recipes
1. Candied Walnuts
Learn how to make candied walnuts, and you’ll have an excellent cake topping, a fantastic salad mix-in, and a quick and easy snack.
They’re also easy gifts, so make up a big batch around the holiday season, and send to all your loved ones!
Candied walnuts can be sweet, but this recipe cuts down the sugar to allow the natural nutty taste of walnuts, combined with the cinnamon spicing, to shine through.
There’s also a touch of cayenne, for an intriguing heat!
2. 5-Minute Espresso Walnut Brownies
Nutty walnuts are an excellent complement for both coffee and chocolate, making them an amazing brownie ingredient.
Try mixing a handful of chopped walnuts into your boxed brownie recipe, and enjoy the new texture they bring to the dish.
For something a little unusual, we love these 5-minute espresso walnut brownies.
Walnuts are blitzed into a fine powder to act as a flour/binding ingredient, and the mixture is cooled, rather than baked. Quick and yummy!
3. Maple Walnut Butter
It’s hard to get tired of peanut butter, but if you’re feeling the need to broaden your horizons, maple walnut butter is a good way to start.
Combining maple and walnuts, this creamy spread tastes like you’ve captured fall in a jar.
The walnuts are roasted to bring out the oils, and to enhance the natural nutty flavor.
These are then placed in a food processor with maple sugar and a pinch of salt, and blitz until runny.
Enjoy with baked goods, fruits, oatmeal, or your fingers!
4. Brown Sugar Walnut Apple Pie
Looking for pie to bring to a holiday potluck? Brown sugar walnut apple pie combines traditional fall ingredients with a touch of spicing, for a crowd pleasing treat that’s fantastic for novice bakers.
Use a pre-bought pie crust, or make your own, and pile in toasted walnuts, sliced apples, and a rich blend of spices.
A sprinkle of brown sugar brings the flavors out, and adds a touch of caramel to the finished pie.
5. Walnut Chorizo
Did you know walnut can be used as a vegan substitute for some of your favorite meats?
Pulsed into a paste, they give texture and flavor to this vegan chorizo replacement that’s perfect for your favorite Mexican dishes.
Use your walnut chorizo as a topping for nachos and tacos, on tostadas and burrito bowls, or even on homemade pizza!
The recipe is so simple that you can taste and adjust the spices until you have the perfect flavor for you.
6. Pear Salad With Walnuts, Prosciutto And Goat Cheese
If you haven’t tried mixing walnuts into your favorite salad just yet, then what are you waiting for?
Walnuts add not only texture and crunch, but a delicious touch of sweetness and nuttiness.
Combined with juicy pears and salty goat cheese, walnuts are used to balance a dish that’s ideal as a Thanksgiving side or appetizer.
Sweet and savory come together perfectly on the plate, and it looks just as sophisticated as it tastes.
7. Apple Walnut Sausage Stuffing
Everyone will be thankful you agreed to host if you serve this exceptional walnut stuffing.
And you’ll be thankful you picked such an easy and rewarding recipe that can (and should) be made ahead of time.
A heavy helping of butter adds to the comforting and decadent taste of this stuffing dish, which brings together savory and sweet.
Aromatic herbs such as sage and thyme work wonderfully with the crunch of walnut.
8. Carrot Walnut Cake
Deliciously dense carrot cake is given a fresh wave of texture with the addition of chopped walnuts.
The recipe is super easy, as all you need to do is mix the ingredients and bake in the oven.
Enjoy a slice with your mid-morning coffee, or when you need an afternoon pick-me-up.
For a more decadent dessert, make your favorite cream cheese frosting, and spread onto the cooled cake.
9. Walnut Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers tend to use ground beef as a filling, which is lovely, but isn’t right for all diets.
Instead, make your stuffed peppers vegan friendly with a blended walnut filling.
This recipe uses walnuts and cauliflower florets to create a spiced filling for halved bell peppers.
Walnut stuffed peppers are incredibly adaptable, as you can change the level of spicing to suit your liking.
Keep things vegan and serve with nutritional yeast and guacamole.
Or finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
10. Cinnamon Walnut Muffins
Say “hello” to your new favorite breakfast! These cinnamon walnut muffins are soft and moist, and just what you need to warm you up on a cold winter morning.
The ingredients list is short and simple, making this an excellent recipe for first-time bakers.
To keep these muffins light and airy, be careful not to over mix your batter.
Chop the walnuts small before you start baking, so you can mix them in quickly.
11. Walnut Banana Bread
If you’re tired of overpaying for a slice of bland banana bread in your favorite coffee shop, then you need to learn to make your own.
Banana bread is a very easy recipe, relying on overripe bananas to provide texture and sweetness.
Somewhere between bread and cake, banana loaf is a one-bowl recipe that’s very hard to get wrong.
With the addition of chopped walnuts, and a cup of hot coffee, you won’t miss the coffee shop at all.
12. Walnut Halva Cookies
For fans of soft and chewy cookies, these walnut halva cookies are going to be a dream.
The soft base dough is contrasted by the crunch of walnuts, and the honey-sweetness of halva.
Halva is a sweet treat with a texture similar to fudge. It’s dense and chewy, and traditionally made with sesame for a nutty undertone.
If you’re looking for a holiday cookie with a bit of a difference, then check this recipe out.
13. Creamed Spaghetti Squash With Browned Butter Walnuts
Spaghetti squash can seem intimidating, but it’s actually really easy to cook.
Put it in the microwave to soften, slice and remove the seeds, and then roast.
Once roasted, the spaghetti squash takes on buttery flavors that are just right for cold fall evenings.
This recipe pairs spaghetti squash with a creamy sauce and a sprinkling of walnuts.
These are toasted in butter with a few leaves of fresh sage, turning golden and taking on a deep flavor.
14. Walnut Pesto
Once you’ve started making your own pesto, you’ll never go back to store bought.
And once you’ve tried making this walnut pesto, you might abandon basil pesto as well!
Making your own walnut pesto is deceptively simple, but it’s almost guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party.
Keep things easy by blending the ingredients together, or add a touch of depth by toasting the walnuts beforehand. Serve on grilled bread.
15. Persian Walnut Salad
You have to be careful when toasting walnuts. Look away for two minutes, and you’ll find your golden brown walnuts have turned blackened and charred.
But it’s so worth the effort, because toasting walnuts brings out their savory, almost meat-like depth, which is fantastic in this Persian salad (see also ‘Traditional Persian Recipes: 13 Of The Best‘).
Several large handfuls of herbs, plus a big squeeze of lemon juice, give this salad plenty of tang. Enjoy it at a summer barbecue.
16. Chocolate Chip And Walnut Blondies
The soft and dense texture of blondies are given a new dimension with the addition of walnuts, providing an incredible crunch to a traditional sweet snack.
Blondies are easy to make, needing just one bowl and one pan to achieve perfection.
Brown sugar is used for a depth similar to molasses, and to enhance the flavor in both the chocolate chips and the walnuts.
17. Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins
We all love a sugar-filled muffin, but they aren’t always the best way to start your day.
Tuck into a massive sugary muffin at 8am, and you might find your energy levels have crashed before 10am.
Instead, try these whole wheat banana walnut muffins. They’re healthy, hearty, and the best way to start the day right.
18. Apple Walnut Phyllo Pies
Flaky phyllo is a dough with a difference. Layers of pastry sheets, phyllo has a buttery crunch that adds an amazing texture to a traditional pie.
And because you’re only using the phyllo pastry as a topping, it’s not as difficult to work with as you might imagine.
These phyllo pies use macerated apples and toasted walnuts to create a fall flavor feast.
An easy recipe to scale up and down, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
19. Hup Toh Soh (Chinese Walnut Cookies)
Hup Toh Soh are walnut cookies that are traditionally eaten to celebrate Chinese New Year.
But once you’ve tried them, you’ll want to bake these cookies any time you have anything to celebrate.
Birthdays, exam results, holidays, Thursdays… there’s really no occasion when these cookies aren’t right.
Toasted and chopped walnuts are combined with toasted sesame seeds.
The cookies are shaped into a small bowl shape, and you can prepare a large batch in one go.
20. Grilled Peach And Walnut Crumble
Although grilled peaches are delicious, the real star of this dish is the walnut crumble topping.
It’s made using crushed walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, with a touch of flour sometimes needed to nail the texture.
The flavors are simple and delicious, and the crumble will go with almost any fruit.
So when peaches are out of season, sub them for your favorite flavors, and enjoy this dessert year round.
21. Venetian Chocolate Walnut Cake
Walnuts aren’t a flavor we traditionally associate with light and moist textures, but that’s just what you get from this Venetian cake.
The Italian-style recipe somehow manages to combine rustic presentation with sophisticated flavors, for a cake that you’ll enjoy on lazy afternoons and special occasions.
It isn’t too sweet, so you can enjoy a slice with a glass of red wine.
22. No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread With Honey
Many of us dream of making our own bread, but are put-off by the long kneading process.
If that sounds like you, then it’s time to give no-knead bread a try.
You want to make sure you have a good quality Dutch Oven pot, to achieve a soft center and crispy outer crust.
Other than that, this recipe is all about patience. Give the dough time to rise, and the finished bread time to cool, and you’ll have a bakery-style loaf.
23. Walnut Mushroom Veggie Burgers
Veggie burgers can be so disappointing. The worst veggie burgers are dry, bland, and either awkwardly chewy, or crumbling apart in the bun.
But not these walnut and mushroom veggie burgers. Walnut and mushroom are both veggie friendly ingredients with a meaty taste and a robust texture.
It doesn’t taste like a pale imitation of a beef burger. Instead, this vegetarian substitute is so good that even meat-lovers will be going for seconds.
24. Easy Muhammara Dip
Muhammara is a roasted red pepper and walnut dip that’s thought to have originated in Syria.
Chili flakes give it a kick of heat, making it a fun alternative to classic hummus.
The pulsed walnuts provide this dip a thicker texture, ideal for scooping onto toasted pitas and flatbread.
The blend of sweet and savory flavors are also amazing with fresh cut veggies.
If you’re planning a picnic, bring along this dip with a twist.
25. Walnut Shrimp
Walnut and seafood might not be the most obvious combination, but trust us, it’s a good one.
Walnut shrimp is a classic dish for Chinese celebrations, and tends to be served as an early course in a banquet dinner.
Walnuts are at the heart of this recipe, and they’re quickly fried for a golden color, before being tossed in a warm simple syrup.
These candied walnuts are good enough to eat on their own, so we recommend making extra for snacking!
26. Coffee And Walnut Cake
Planning a tea party? Coffee and walnut cake is a classic choice for a traditional English afternoon tea, and is, surprisingly, best served with a cup of English Breakfast!
But if you happen to have any cake left, you’ll enjoy the leftovers the next day with a cappuccino!
Finish your coffee and walnut cake with an espresso buttercream, and decorate with walnut halves.
It’s an excellent birthday cake for adults who want something slightly less sweet than the traditional choices.
27. Chunky Monkey Banana Baked Oatmeal
Walnuts are often eaten during the holiday season, which is when we all find ourselves spending a lot of time in the kitchen!
If you feel like you never get anytime away from the oven, then whip up a batch of this chunky monkey baked oatmeal!
It has all the flavors of banana bread, is a total crowd pleaser, and can keep in the fridge for several days.
Make it on a Sunday evening, and relax, as breakfast is sorted for the week!
28. Fesenjoon (Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
Fesenjoon is a Persian stew (see also ‘Traditional Persian Recipes: 13 Of The Best‘), using aromatic and sweet flavors alongside savory ingredients in a way that’s typical to this cuisine.
A big bowl of this stew will make you feel warm and cozy, while also bringing your taste buds to life with a diverse range of flavors.
The ingredients list is also quite simple, and if you’re struggling to find pomegranate molasses, it’s easy enough to make your own!
Simply slowly simmer pomegranate juice until it thickens, and then leave to cool.
29. Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is an incredible dessert because it’s easy, everyone loves it, and did we mention how easy it is?
Day old bread is cooked in custard, and you can throw in whatever additions catch your eye.
We love this recipe, which uses walnut and chocolate chips, plus an irresistible caramel sauce.
You can either drench your bread in custard for a thick and spongy finish, or leave the top uncovered, for some added crunch.
30. Honey Walnut Nut Roll
Ground walnuts and honey are used to make the filling for honey walnut nut rolls, which are sure to become a holiday favorite.
A yeasted dough, this isn’t the easiest way to use walnuts, but it is one of the most delicious.
With a swirl of walnuts and honey running through, these nut rolls are absolutely picture-perfect.
Enjoy as-is, or serve a slice with a thick spread of butter.
31. Pesto Spaghetti With Chickpea Walnut Meatballs
This recipe uses chickpeas and walnuts to make a protein-rich but vegan friendly version of meatballs.
They come together surprisingly quickly, and after being chilled and baked, they maintain a moist and delicious texture.
Enjoy with pesto pasta, or use these meatballs to make a vegan-friendly version of your favorite marinara meatball sub!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Do With Walnuts?
There are many ways to enjoy walnuts, both savory and sweet!
Try mixing chopped walnuts into brownies and chocolate chip cookies, or add a sprinkle to your favorite salad.
Walnuts can be pulsed and spiced, to be used as a meat substitute, or toasted in simple syrup and eaten as a sweet snack!
Should Walnuts Be Toasted Before Eating?
Walnuts don’t need to be toasted before eating, but it can bring out the natural flavors of the walnut.
Toasting walnuts also helps to release the oils, which can be useful for certain methods of cooking.
What Is The Best Way To Toast Walnuts?
There are two easy ways to toast walnuts: in a pan, or in the oven.
For the pan method, use a large, flat frying pan over a medium-high heat.
Spread the walnuts in an even layer in the dry pan, and toast for roughly five minutes, or until golden. Stir frequently.
To toast walnuts in the oven, set the temperature to 375 degrees F.
Lay the walnuts on a foil lined baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
What Is Good To Eat With Walnuts?
The butty flavor of walnuts, with a light sweetness, make them a good addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
Chocolate, apple, cranberry, and cinnamon are good sweet flavors to enjoy with walnuts.
For savory meals, walnuts pair well with deli meats and cream cheeses.
Walnuts are an excellent pairing for many fall foods, and are often enjoyed around the holidays.
We hope this guide has helped you find some excellent walnut recipes to add to your life!
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