8 Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are great seeds that many people enjoy in salads, coffee, and desserts. Most recipes that do justice to pine nuts are pesto.

Pine nuts have many health and nutritional benefits that make them outstanding.

And if you want to meet pine nuts at their peak, toast them and enjoy them. It has such a yummy and satisfying taste. Your taste bud would have you wonder at the delight of roasted pine nuts.

But what if you want to do other nuts other than pine nuts? Are there substitutes for pine nuts? Well, yes, there are plenty of substitutes for pine nuts.

However, you need substitutes that are like pine nuts. And this we shall treat in our guide today!


What are pine nuts?

Also called pinon, pinoli, or pignoli, pine nuts are edible seeds that we can find in the pine cones. These pine cones grow on some varieties of pine trees.

Pine nuts have a tear-drop shape that makes them easy to locate. However, other pine nuts have an elongated shape.

Pine nuts are grown in Asia, Europe, and New Zealand. Afghanistan is one of the largest exporters of pine nuts alongside Russia, Mongolia, Korea, and China.

This edible seed is rich in vitamin E and despite that, it is high in calories it is choke-filled with benefits and nutrients; fibers, vitamins, minerals as well as oxidants. Little wonder, it has gained versatility in Italian cuisines.

With about 20 varieties of pine trees, there are quite enough seeds to harvest.

Taste of pine nuts: pinoli have a soft texture that makes them chewable. To add to it, pine nuts have a defined nutty flavor, and some heightened sweetness similar to cashews.

This is quite amazing qualities for just pine nuts.

So, since you know that even with all these qualities, you can replace pine nuts in a pinch, how do you know the perfect substitute for pine nuts?

How to know the best substitutes for pine nuts

Finding substitutes would heavily depend on what you want to use the substitutes for. More so, the recipe would determine what can replace pine nuts.

To find the best substitutes for pine nuts, you must look out for nuts that are similar in flavor and nutrition filled. Since pine nuts have a soft texture, find a substitute with a soft texture.

Look out for the taste as well. Some nuts with nutty flavor with deepened sweetness are a way to go.

So, now are you ready to have the best substitute?

Substitutes for pine nuts

1. Cashew nuts

cashew nuts

The cashew tree is an evergreen tree that makes cashew seeds. And though it is native to Brazil, it has gained popularity around the world. It does great in sandy soil. The Portuguese refer to it as Caju.

Cashew is a wonderful source of healthy fats, including monosaturated varieties. Cashew, even as fruit, is quite juicy and nutritious. When it’s ripe, it is pink, red, or yellow and the nuts become dark grey.

The cashew nuts are not healthy until it is roasted and the shell guarding the nuts is off. Cashew nuts have this slightly sweet flavor and a soft texture just like pine nuts.

To get a nutty flavor like pine nuts, toast the nuts until it is light brown.

Cashew nut is one exceptional and great substitute for pine nuts.

Although cashew nuts are larger than pine nuts, you can trim them down into chunks that are acceptable to you.

Do you know cashews can be processed into cashew butter or cheese? You can learn about the uses of cashew.

2. Almonds


Almond is a type of tree that is native to Iran. It is an edible seed that is choke-filled with many health and nutritional benefits.

Almond is a vast source of fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. if you wish for some bone-building food, then almond is beckoning on you.

More so, you can extract oil from almonds. This you can incorporate into your skincare routine. Also, upgrade your healthy hair game.

When it’s time to replace pine nuts in your recipe, then these nuts are quite beneficial. Although almonds have different flavor, they can be a wonderful substitute for pine nuts.

Almond is slightly sweet. However, you can enhance the taste to better replace pine nuts by toasting the nuts. You’ll get some nutty flavor that is almost similar to pine nuts.

3. Hazelnuts


Also known as filbert, cobnut, or hazel, hazelnut is fruit from the hazel tree. It has about 15 species of trees in the birch family. Hazelnuts like pine nuts and almonds are edible too!

Confectioneries bake cakes, desserts, and other many recipes with hazelnuts. It has many health benefits.

Hazelnuts have a flavor that is quite similar to chocolate. No wonder many people use it for their chocolate. Hazelnut has this nutty taste and soft texture that is virtually similar to pine nuts.

And this makes hazelnuts great substitutes for pine nuts.

4. Walnuts


This is yet another edible seed that can substitute for pine nuts. Although walnuts are not nuts, the shapes of walnuts are quite subtle; look more like a brain.

Walnuts have a slightly bitter flavor. However, the nut is mild and tangy it has this earthy taste too! To get the best out of these roasted walnuts would make a great substitute for your pine nuts.

It is by roasting it you improve its earthy flavor while reducing the bitterness. Pine nuts are great substitutes for hazelnuts as well!

5. Pistachios


Pistachios have a distinct flavor from pine nuts. However, it does so well in pesto, pasta, and salad. Many people use both almond and pistachios in Italian recipes.

Pistachio is a member of the cashew family. It is native to Asia and the Middle East. Pistachios are available in the stress, whether roasted, salted, shelled, or unshelled.

6. Pecan


Native to the southern United States and northern Mexico, pecan is a great nut that is filled with fiber. It aids in curbing toxins and waste from the body, improving the appearance of your skin.

Pecans have this buttery flavor yet deepen in sweetness it has a nutty flavor as well that deems it fit to replace pine nuts.

7. Peanuts


Popularly known as groundnut, peanuts are a legume crop that many people enjoy because it is edible seeds. This widely grown crop is important to both small and large commercial producers, because of its versatility.

Peanuts are rich in protein, fat, and fiber, it is recommendable because of their huge nutritional value.

When it’s raw, it tastes more like peas than nuts. However, when you toast them, you can get out of it this nutty flavor; you can use seasonings to enhance the taste.

8. Macadamia nuts

 macadamia nuts

Here’s another great option for your pine nuts. This nut has a strong flavor than pine nuts. With their rich and creamy texture, you can easily make some sweet and tasty desserts with them.

Read: 10 Best Substitutes For Provolone Cheese

Frequently asked questions

Are cashew nuts and pine nuts the same?

Cashew nuts and pine nuts are both rich in nutrients and have a similar nutty flavor when you toast them. Both can substitute each other respectively in recipes that call for it.

However, they are not the same. Cashew nut has a larger shape than pine nuts.

Further Tips

Sometimes most of these nuts would not produce a similar flavor as pine nuts unless you roast or toast them. So, we advise you to roast the nuts that you deem perfect for a replacement so you can get that nutty flavor.

Read: 11 Best Substitutes For Soy Flour


Now you know how easy it is to find substitutes for pine nuts. Here in this guide, we discussed what pine nuts are and the best substitutes for them.

It might seem hard to choose from the many options. However, if you are sure of what you want in your recipe, it would be as easy as a piece of cake.

We hope you can make the right choice!