How To Roast Hazelnuts and Remove Hazelnut Skin

Few nuts are as notably improved by roasting as the hazelnut.

Most raw hazelnuts you find at the store are, in truth, a little chewy and a little bland, like a draft version of themselves. But a healthy roasting fixes that, boosting the flavor and allowing the excess water to evaporate, thereby leaving you with wonderfully crisp nuggets of pure nuttiness.

The bonus advantage when you roast hazelnuts is that it gives you the opportunity to skin them while you’re at it, rubbing them in a kitchen towel as the bitter husk easily detaches into a million little flakes you do not want to accidentally spill on your kitchen floor, trust me.

How to roast hazelnuts, and what to do with them?

I confess that most of the hazelnuts I roast and skin in this fashion, I end up snacking on with dried fruit such as prunes, figs, pears, or dates, as mentioned in this post about food gifts. But I also love to eat them on Roasted Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste, use them for a Hazelnut and Nectarine Gratin, or grind them to make Dukkah, this fantastic spice mix from Egypt. (More hazelnut recipes?)

Join the conversation!

Do you usually roast and skin the nuts you cook and bake with? And what’s your favorite way to enjoy hazelnuts?

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How To Roast Hazelnuts and Remove Hazelnut Skin

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes 4 cups.

How To Roast Hazelnuts and Remove Hazelnut Skin


  • 500 grams (about 4 cups, a little over 1 pound) raw hazelnuts with skin


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  2. Arrange the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving the nuts a little -- but not too much -- wiggle room.
  3. Raw hazelnuts with skin
  4. Insert the baking sheet in the oven and leave the nuts in for 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes or so. They are done when they are fragrant, their skin cracked and glistening. Because the husk is pretty dark, it can be hard to tell if it's starting to turn black and burn, so if you're unsure, it's best to err on the side of under-roasted.
  5. Note: To make optimal use of the now heated oven, I may roast a batch of almonds or pumpkin seeds to follow, or schedule the roasting when I have another dish to bake.
  6. Drape a clean kitchen towel over a large bowl, and pour in the nuts (they may over-roast if left on the baking sheet). Let cool.
  7. Roasted hazelnut in towel
  8. Close the towel up into a bundle.
  9. Roasted hazelnuts in bundled towel
  10. Give it an energetic massage so the hazelnuts will rub against one another and the skin will come off in little flakes.
  11. Roasted and skinned hazelnuts
  12. Transfer the hazelnuts to a big jar, collecting them delicately from the towel with cupped hands and making sure you leave the skin flakes behind.
  13. Hazelnut skins


How long the roasted hazelnuts will keep before going rancid depends on how fresh they were to begin with -- in most cases, you should be good for a couple of months.
  • Elizabeth

    Yes! The other nut improved by roasting is the jungle peanut. I prefer all the other nuts raw.

    • I had to look up jungle peanuts as I had never heard of them, and now I don’t think I can rest until I lay my hands on them. Thanks, really! :)

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  • Great primer!! Thanks for sharing, this will come in handy when I come up with something calling for hazelnuts, which I love!

    • The way it works in my kitchen is that I toast the nuts first, with no particular purpose, and once they’re toasted and on hand I find plenty of uses for them. Otherwise the toasting just feels like one extra step between me and dinner, and it seems more bothersome to take care of it.

  • James

    Very interesting and helpful, but since you mentioned chestnuts, what’s your handy tip on skinning them? I have a pile of them that I have been dreading skinning for weeks…

  • Have you ever tried making pesto with hazelnuts? Just wondering. I do love hazelnuts, maybe that would be too many intense flavors, not sure…

    • I do love hazelnut pesto! It is indeed more intense than with pine nuts, but I like it a lot. I’ve made it with flat-leaf parsley instead of basil, which I think works better, and a strip of lemon zest to brighten the flavors.

  • Very interesting…reminds me of seeing the French food magic guy, Herve This.
    Clotilde, i wonder if youve done nything eith the pretty noisette fraiche in the markets just now?
    I’m mystified…
    Merci Carolg

  • Wow, those hazelnuts look sooo tasty!!! :)

  • I do the tea towel trick too! (Can’t remember where I learned about it, but I’ve been using it for years.) I usually roast or toast the nuts I cook with, but hazelnuts are the only ones I ever bother to peel. (I once tried blanching my own almonds, but it was a lot more fiddly and time-consuming than peeling hazelnuts so I don’t mind paying a few more pence for blanched almonds.)

    • I agree! I just use unblanched almonds and call it fiber. :)

  • Judy

    Hazelnut pesto? I have never heard of this. Sounds great, think I might have to try this on the weekend, thanks!

  • Marsha

    Here’s how I skin the roasted hazelnuts.
    After they cool I will put 2 pieces of paper towel in a gallon ziploc bag and pour the nuts in between the two towels. Seal the bag and rub away! It works great and no towel to wash!

    • I’d never heard about that technique, thanks for sharing!

  • Emilia

    I am a hazelnut addict (probably to related to my chocolate vice). I have an extra step between skinning and storing. Once I rub the hazelnuts with the towel, I transfer them to a colander, which I shake to get rid if as much of the little skin pieces as possible.

    • Good tip, I’ll try that next time! To clarify, do the flecks of skin fall through the holes of the colander, or is it just to loosen them further?

  • Eric

    This video says 5-10 minutes?

    • In my experience, 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F is definitely not enough.

  • Certainly 5 to 10 Minutes at 350°F will not be enough.

  • gpbudin

    This came out just perfect. I cooked for exactly 13 minutes, stirring after 5 and 10.

  • BakerK

    I have whole, pre-skinned hazelnuts and was asked to use them in a brownie recipe. Should I roast them first or would they have come from the nut company roasted? They are light in color. Thanks!

    • If they seem light in color, with no golden hints, they are most likely unroasted. But the best way to tell is to trust your taste buds. Try one and see what you think: is it tender and mild (unroasted), or crisp and more assertive in flavor (roasted)?

      • BakerK

        Thank you for your fast response!!! They seem tender. I think roasting a bit would make the brownies much better. They asked for a “very hazelnut flavor” in them!

        • Definitely give them a roast, then. Happy baking, I hope your brownies turn out great!

  • Momo

    15 minutes at 360F and they were burned black. of course, I should have been checking on them, but still they got destroyed.
    I did a 2nd batch at 360F and after only 6minutes they were again burnt. I should have also been checking in on them, but it was still too long.
    Maybe a minute or too at this temperature, or maybe my oven is just very powerful.

    • I am sorry your hazelnuts burnt, Momo. It sounds like your oven runs very, very hot! I would recommend getting or borrowing an oven thermometer to know for sure how it’s calibrated.

    • Neil_hyg

      When the oven is first heating up, the fire (or heating elements) stay on constantly. The constant radiated heat will toast rather than bake.

      If you pre-heat first, then after the oven heats up, the hazelnuts will bake. The heating elements will only come on periodically, and that will help avoid the burning.

      Also, use the rack in the middle of the oven. More regulated 350 degree heat in the middle, less radiated heat compared to the top where the fire is.

      • Thank you for sharing this, Neil, that’s most interesting.

        • Neil_hyg

          You’re pretty cute, Clotilde. Go get a hug from your esposo.

  • Shivangni

    I want to know with so much delicious food, how do you keep your weight in check?

    • Thanks for writing, Shivangni. I think the key is to strive to be in tune with your appetite, eat only when hungry and stop when you no longer are. Also, eating only very good things, mostly homemade, made from very good, fresh ingredients that have so much flavor you don’t need to eat a lot to feel happy and satisfied.

      • Shivangni

        Its very nice of you to reply that too so promptly. Thanks for the tips, now that you’ve told me they make sense and not very difficult to follow. Hope I can emulate. Warm Regards

  • akh2oguy

    Once you roast and “towel” the nuts, put them in a salad spinner. It’s the easiest way to separate the nuts and skin flakes.

  • I’ve tried your method and it works very well. Thanks and Happy 2017!

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