In This article we cover substitute for pine nuts as well as how they taste and other information you may want to know about.

Pine nuts–the teardrop-shaped, delicious little nut often used to make pesto and in the cooking of other dishes–are commonly eaten in areas where pines grow.

The edible parts of pine cones (as well as of many other plants) are the seeds within the ovary of the pine cone.

Pine nuts are among the most expensive nuts on the market because of how long they take to grow and how difficult it is to collect the seeds from the tough shell.

If you’ve been looking for Pine nut substitutes then continue reading!

12 Of The Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts

pine nut substitutes

Here are 12 of the best substitutes for pine nuts.

If you want to make a pesto sauce, but you don’t have or don’t want to use pine nuts, there are almost infinite options for substitutions.

There are many nuts that can act as alternatives, because pine nuts do not have a strong taste. A few popular replacements include:

Cashews

There is a reason cashews are incredibly popular.

In addition to being highly nutritious, they are remarkably versatile.

Their slightly sweet taste, nice crunch, and buttery texture work well with a range of flavors and culinary uses.

Cashews are typically grouped with other types of tree nuts, but legumes and seeds still have a lot in common with them.

Almonds

The edible seeds of the almond tree, Prunus dulcis, are called almonds.

The US has become the world’s largest producer of them, although they originated in the Middle East.

Almonds you buy in stores are usually shell-free and sold raw or roasted.

Almonds can also be used to make almond milk, oil, butter, flour, or paste — also called marzipan.

Due to the similarity, Almonds are a great replacement for Pine Nuts.

Pistachios

The seeds of the pistachio tree are pistachios. Usually, they are green and slightly sweet. They are called nuts, but pistachios are seeds, botanically speaking.

The kernels may have various colors, ranging from yellow to green shades. Usually, they’re about an inch long and half an inch in diameter. But if you want to taste one first you’re going to have to break the hard shell open.

The pistachio tree originated in West Asia, and archaeologists assume that as early as 7,000 B.C., pistachios were a snack. In the mid-19th century, they came to the United States and commercial development started in the 1970s. 

All of America’s commercial pistachio development is made up of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. You can buy shelled or unshelled, roasted, or salted pistachios. In most grocery stores, they’re affordable, and you can buy them in bulk from pistachio growers.

Walnuts

The walnut tree (Juglans regia) belongs to the walnut family.

Humans have been consuming them for thousands of years, originating in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia.

Eating walnuts may improve brain health and lower the chance of heart disease and cancer, since the nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

Walnuts are usually eaten as a snack, but they also go well in salads, pastas, breakfast cereals, soups, and baked goods.

Walnut oil is also made from walnuts, and is frequently used in salad dressings.

A walnut is a nut from any tree of the genus Juglans.

The eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra), native to North America, is another species of commercial interest.

Pecan Nuts

Pecans are a type of nut produced by pecan trees, which come from North America.

The U.S. is the world’s largest pecan producer, and Mexico is second.

Pecans have been cultivated commercially since the 1880s, and they were a major food source for Native Americans.

Roasted pecans, also called “in-shell” pecans, have a sweet, nutty, buttery flavor, and can be eaten fresh or used in many sweet dishes, especially desserts.

Pecan pie is the quintessential sweet-savory concoction in American cuisine.

Hazelnuts

The hazelnut is the seed of the hazel and, therefore, includes any of the nuts deriving from the Corylus avellana species, especially the Corylus avellana fruits.

It’s also known as cobnut or filbert nut depending on the species.

The cob is more or less spherical to oval, with an outer fibrous husk around a hard shell and a nut that is half as long as its diameter.

The nut falls from the husk when ripe, about seven to eight months after pollination.

The edible part of the seed is used raw, roasted, or ground into a paste. The skin, which is thin, dark brown, and brittle, is sometimes removed before cooking.

Hazelnuts are mostly used in sweets and baking to make praline, in combination with chocolate to make chocolate truffles, and also in Frangelico liqueur.

Turkey produces more hazelnut than other countries. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavored and is used in cooking.

Hazelnuts contain a lot of protein, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and manganese, as well as numerous other essential nutrients.

Peanuts

The cheapest replacement for pine nuts is known to be peanuts. To add a pleasurable flavour to your dish, use unsalted or honey-roasted peanuts.

However if you are allergic to peanuts, it is safe to avoid them.

Peanuts are also a great substitute for pine nuts.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are a kind of tree nut that has a subtle, buttery flavor and creamy texture.

The Macadamia trees are grown in various places around the world, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and New Zealand.

Macadamia nuts are rich, like most other nuts, in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Many advantages, including improved digestion, cardiac health, weight loss, and blood sugar control, are also linked to them.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are actually fruits of the sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus).

The seeds are harvested directly from the large flower heads, which can measure more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide. A single sunflower head may have as many as 2,000 seeds.

There are two main types of sunflowers. One type is grown for its seeds, while the other — which is larger in size — is grown for its oil.

The sunflower seeds you eat are wrapped in inedible black and white striped shells, also known as hulls.

The shells used for extracting sunflower oil are black and solid.

Sunflower seeds have a delicate, nutty taste and a tender, yet crunchy, texture.

They are often roasted for added flavor, but you can buy them raw as well.

Sesame Seeds

A member of the Pedaliaceae family, Sesame is native to Africa and parts of southern Asia.

It grows in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods.

The total quantity of world production in 2018 was 6 million tonnes, with Sudan, Myanmar, and India as the leading producers.

Sesamum indicum, also called sesame seed, is an annual herbaceous plant of the genus Sesamum, in the Pedaliaceae family.

Sesame is a seed high in oil. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient across cuisines throughout the world.

Like other foods and seeds, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Pumpkin Seeds

Usually roasted for consumption, pumpkin seeds are an edible crop. In Mexican cuisine, they are a popular ingredient and are sometimes eaten as a healthy snack. 

Often they are referred to as pepitas, Spanish for little squash seed.” 

This function is part of a series of papers on common foods’ health benefits. 

The potential health benefits of pumpkin seeds, the nutritional value, how to use pumpkin seeds in the diet, and potential health hazards are discussed.

Homemade Kale Chips

Believe it or not, Crispy homemade Kale Chips are a great alternative and substitute for pine nuts. This works especially great if you have a peanut allergy or can’t eat any nuts.

What Does Pine Nuts Taste Like

how does pine nuts taste

Pine nuts are very high in oil, giving them a texture that is almost buttery. Crunch a few on your own and you might be able to taste a pine-like flavor that is slightly resinous. Their taste is more mild and sweet until mixed with other ingredients.

This is an ambidextrous nut, in savory dishes and in sweet preparations, equally at home. A classic ingredient in pesto is pine nuts. Try them sprinkled over salads, tossed with pasta and pilafs, or for a simple side dish folded into wilted greens. Pine nuts can be ground into cookies on the sweet front, used in biscotti, or added to cakes.

Pine nuts can be eaten as they are, but their flavor will be brought out by a little toasting. Keep a close eye on them as they toast: they can quickly scorch and burn because they are so tiny and high in oil. Their high oil content also leads them very easily to go rancid. Before purchasing them, smell your pine nuts if possible and then place them in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge or freezer.

Nutritional Info: What goes into a serving of Pine Nuts?

pine nut nutrition

The following nutritional information is provided by the USDA for 1 ounce (28g) of dried pine nuts (approximately 167 kernels).

  • Calories: 191
  • Fat: 19g
  • Sodium: 0.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3.7g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 3.9g

Interesting Facts About Pine Nuts

pine nut facts

Pine nuts are one of the oldest nuts, tracing back to Greek history, where not only dry but often preserved in honey were eaten.

Pine nuts, however, are also enjoyed by many other people aside from the Greeks, and are commonly used in baked goods, sweets, and salads.

They are known for their elevated content of protein and calories. Moreover, they provide the body with many essential minerals and nutrients.

Around the world, pine nuts are different. Each sort of type of pine nut tastes distinct from the other.

For instance, while Chinese pine nuts have a bitter aftertaste, Asian pine nuts have a sweet taste and a triangular appearance.

The most expensive are European pine nuts and they have a very good fragrance. They are uniform in color and have an ivory look, unlike Asian pine nuts.

Pine nuts are pine tree seeds which are permitted to mature for at least three years. They are not the tree’s berries.

They are grown in the cone of the pine and left there before harvesting for years, which is why they are very costly.

For the most part, pine trees are cultivated for the sole purpose of harvesting pine nuts and are planted and harvested so that pine nuts are available every year for harvesting.

Health Benefits of Pine Nuts

pine nut health benefits

Due to their protein, iron and magnesium, pine nuts will raise your energy levels. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E contained in them can help to keep your skin looking healthy and young. 

In addition, consuming pine nuts or other seeds and nuts regularly may help decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The kind of fats commonly found in seeds and nuts may be the explanation for this benefit. 

Pine nuts can bring other health benefits as well such as.

Your risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation can be decreased by eating at least three servings of pine nuts a week.

The unsaturated fats in nuts help increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol and lower the levels of LDL or ‘bad cholesterol. Found in pine nuts, omega-3 fatty acids can help build and regenerate brain cells.

Due to the combination of fats, fiber and protein, pine nuts, along with other seeds and nuts, can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

For more health benefits for pine nuts check out: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-pine-nuts#1

Bottom Line

Due to how long they take to grow and how hard it is to collect the seeds from the tough shell, pine nuts are among the most expensive nuts on the market.

Pine nuts are very high in oil, giving them an almost buttery feel.

Their flavor, until combined with other ingredients, is more mild and sweet. Try them scattered over salads, tossed with pasta and pilafs, or folded in wilted greens for a simple side dish.

On the sweet front, these can be ground into cookies, used in biscotti, or added to cakes. 

Pine nuts are one of the oldest, dating back to the history of Greece. They are known for their elevated protein and calorie content.

Each kind of pine nut type tastes distinct from the other. Found in pine nuts, omega-3 fatty acids can help create and regenerate brain cells.

The unsaturated fats in nuts help to increase HDL or good cholesterol levels and lower LDL or ‘poor cholesterol’ levels. The vitamin E antioxidant properties contained in them may help keep you healthy.

Check out some of our other substitutes such as white pepper substitute