How to Roast and Toast Macadamia Nuts: Cooking Tips and Hints

Ground macadamias may be used as a filler to stretch meat

Macadamia nuts
Jessica Merz/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Macadamia nuts are one of the sweetest and flavorful edible nuts to eat. Botanically, macadamias are called Macadamia integrifolia. They belong to the family of Proteaceae, in the genus: Macadamia. Common names include Australia nut, Queensland nut, and bush nut. They are native to the East Coast of Australia, but also grow and are popular in the Hawaiian Islands, South Africa, Brazil and the Middle Americas.

Macadamia nuts are harvested year round on Hawaii, the largest producer of macadamia nuts in the world, and are a popular gift for tourists who visit the islands to take home. Macadamia nuts pair particularly well with coconut, chocolate, and fish. Macadamia nuts can also be substituted for other nuts, measure for measure, in most recipes and vice versa. 

How to Roast Macadamia Nuts

Place your shelled macadamia nuts in a 225F pre-heated oven. In a spray bottle, add 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter. Be sure that the macadamia nuts you choose are similar in size so that they can cook evenly. Roast for 10-12 minutes. Check them often and remove the nuts when they turn golden brown. Let the nuts cool completely before storing them in a dry container.

Ground Macadamia Nuts

Some recipes call for ground macadamia nuts. Use ground nuts in pastry dough or sprinkle on the bottom of pie shells for a delightful change of taste.

Simply put them in a food processor and pulse at short intervals until desired consistency is achieved. Beware over-processing -- you'll end up with nut butter. 

If you do over-process, macadamia nut butter is delicious as a spread. Add a touch of vegetable oil and a bit of honey for smoothness and added flavor.

 Ground macadamia nuts can be used as a filler and flavor enhancer in ground meat, poultry and seafood dishes as well.

How to Toast Macadamia Nuts

Toasting nuts before adding to the recipe will yield a brighter flavor. It's best to toast only what you need at the time as toasted nuts will not store as well as raw nuts. To toast macadamia nuts: Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in 350F preheated oven. Toast until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. When using a toaster oven, cut the time in half. Always let toasted nuts cool down before grinding or chopping to prevent them from becoming oily or pasty in texture.​

More About Macadamia Nuts

• Macadamia Nut Selection and Storage
Macadamia Nut Equivalents
• Macadamia Nut History
Macadamia Nuts and Health
• Macadamia Nuts Recipes

Cookbooks

The Mauna Loa Macadamia Cooking Treasury
Remembering Diamond Head, Remembering Hawaii
Sam Choy's Island Flavors
The New Food Lover's Tiptionary
More Cookbooks