Once you’ve introduced roasted salted almonds, there’s no turning back. If they’re not on the table, people will reminisce about them, hoping they’ll appear next time. Luckily, they’re easy to make!
Why this is one of my most popular recipes – year after year
I first made these after coming across a recipe towards the back end of Joshua McFadden’s brilliant cookbook Six Seasons. I’d always wondered how they made the salted almonds I’d sometimes bought from the spice market. Seeing the roasted almonds recipe, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.
Eager to share my discovery, I posted the recipe to my Norwegian language blog soon after, expecting nothing more than a recipe I could reshare on Facebook a couple of weekends of the year.
Instead, I’m now inundated with messages every advent and Christmas. So many have made it a tradition to prepare these roasted salted almonds for the holidays.
Some make them together with my Middle Eastern spiced nuts, and most make multiple batches. They then package them neatly in cellophane and go on a pre-Christmas tour of friends and family, gifting each a batch of roasted salted almonds.
I’ve even had childhood friends I’ve not been in touch with for 20 years send me messages of making them. Such a wonderful way of staying in each other’s lives when we’ve otherwise gone in different directions.
So easy to make, it almost feels like you’re cheating.
Why has this simple snack become so popular?
Of course, they’re crazy tasty. Crunchy, salty and so much better than anything you can buy in the shop.
But equally important: They’re so easy to make, it almost feels like you’re cheating.
How to make easy roasted salted almonds
There are two steps to perfect salted almonds.
First, you soak them in a hot and super salty brine. This allows the salt to penetrate the almond, giving them a lot of flavour from the inside – not just on the surface.
Then, you roast them in the oven to make them crispy.
As a bonus, they’ll come out of the oven as if they’ve been brushed with the dust of diamonds.
Et voila – the best snack in the world!
Two things to keep in mind
Now, there are two things you need to pay attention to during this process. Or, I say, pay attention, but it’s really a rather lowkey attention. Just set your timer and you’ll be fine.
The first is the soaking.
Since we want the salt, not the water, to get into the almonds, the brine is super salty.
The saltiness of your almonds depend on how long you leave them in the brine.
Many find that 15 minutes is enough, for a lightly salted (but still very more-ish) snack.
Others prefer a slightly longer soak of 20–25 minutes. This is my sweet spot.
Don’t leave them for more than 30 minutes, though. After that, they’ll just become too salty.
The second is the roasting. You want to roast them long enough for them to get properly crispy and snappy.
Each oven is different, so roasting times may vary by a minute or two either way.
I find the best way to figure out when they’re just right, is to remove an almond and crack it in half. If it’s starting to get very lightly brown in the middle, it’s ready. If it’s still white, leave another minute.
The almonds won’t feel completely crispy yet, but don’t worry. They’ll crisp up nicely as they cool down.
How to serve roasted almonds
In Turkey, it’s customary to serve nuts and dried fruit when you have guests. I think this is a brilliant alternative to chocolate, biscuits and other processed stuff from the shop. Much healthier, too, though I prefer to let the flavour be the main argument!
And I assure you, if you put these roasted salted almonds in the mix, not a single person will complain. Except to ask if you’ve got any more of the almonds.
A lot of people make these for the holiday season. They’re brilliant as a small gift if you’ve been invited somewhere, or just to tell someone you’re thinking of them during the holiday season.
The recipe can be scaled up very easily, so you can make a big batch to share with friends and family.
I am myself one of those who make multiple batches during November and December, and even into the new year. Even in Istanbul, there are few things that can beat freshly roasted salted almonds and a hot cup of chocolate.
To be honest, I make it quite often throughout the rest of the year, too.
I keep them as a snack, but they’re excellent in salads, too. Especially fruity, summery ones. They also go really well with roasted beetroot.
The recipe makes a generous bowl of almonds, though I recommend being on standby to make a second batch rather quickly.
- 450 ml water (2 cups)
- 100 g salt (scant ½ cup)
- 225 g almonds (½ lbs / generous 1 cup)
- Add the water and salt to a small pan and bring to the boil. Stir until dissolved.
- Once the salt is dissolved, add almonds and take off the heat. Let sit for 15–30 minutes, depending on desired saltiness. If left for a full half hour, they'll be very salty, so I suggest trying 20 minutes the first time.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Drain the almonds and spread them on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the middle of the oven until the almonds start to turn light brown in the middle, 10–12 minutes. It's best to crack one almond to check the colour. The almonds will still be a little soft, but will crisp up as they cool.
- Cool completely before serving. Store in a tightly sealed jar in a dark spot.