How To Roast Raw Hazelnuts In Their Shells

How To Roast Raw Hazelnuts by @SpicieFoodie | #hazelnuts #roasted #raw #nuts #autumn

In the Northern Hemisphere the official start of autumn is just 17 days away. With the new season comes the changing of the leaves, warm-soft scarves, soothing drinks made from apples and pears, comforting hot meals, and fresh nuts. Hazelnuts will soon fall from the trees ready to be roasted and enjoyed by many. Yes, those creamy nuts that compliment chocolate so well and that give a crunchiness to all sorts of sweets will soon be arriving.

My extended neighborhood is lined with hazelnut trees, I believe the Common Hazel and Filbert variety. I can’t tell you how many times, on late summer and early autumn days, I’ve walked those quiet streets and come across some strange looking nuts on the ground. I figured they were something native to the area and ones that I had never heard of. It wasn’t until I saw the same nuts at the green grocers with a sign saying hazelnuts that I learned what they were. I never realized that they were fresh, raw hazelnuts right from the tree; of course I had to buy a small bag and give them a taste.

The internet confirmed that they were indeed raw hazelnuts right from the tree. What a lucky find for me. Apparently most hazelnuts are not sold in this exact state, still encased in their green leaves. Hazelnut growers wait until the nuts have fallen from the trees on their own before being harvested. By this time the leaves and nut shell have turned brown and are ready to be eaten. Though hazelnuts may be eaten raw it is customary to roast them to bring out more flavour and their distinct aroma.

How To Roast Raw Hazelnuts by @SpicieFoodie | #hazelnuts #roasted #raw #nuts #autumn


How I roasted the raw hazelnuts still in their shell:

I allowed my raw hazelnuts to sit for a few more days before roasting, so the leaves dried out a bit more. I then removed each nut from the inside the green leaf pockets. Since I wanted to roast in their shell I wanted to make sure they were clean, they were quickly rinsed under water. Then I pat dried them and left to sit and completely air dry before roasting. The oven was heated to 135C or 275F, the nuts where laid on a baking sheet in one layer. They roasted for 20 minutes, I then cracked one open to check on the colour. When they are ready to be removed from the oven the colour will be slightly golden, the shell will turn a dark brown like in these photos. I then poured the roasted hazelnuts onto a separate cool baking sheet to allow to cool before eating. Of course it goes without saying that they need to cool before handling. You’ll also want to rub off the brown skin from the nuts as it gives them a slight bitter taste. I did so by placing some nuts on a clean kitchen towel and rubbing together until the skin came off.

How To Roast Raw Hazelnuts by @SpicieFoodie | #hazelnuts #roasted #raw #nuts #autumn

The smell of the hazelnuts roasting was incredible, and the taste doesn’t even compare to ready roasted store bought nuts. I hope to find them raw like this again this year. Though they are plenty around my neighborhood I just wouldn’t feel right taking food away from the local wild life. Regardless, I know I’ll definately be roasting hazelnuts again.

How To Roast Raw Hazelnuts by @SpicieFoodie | #hazelnuts #roasted #raw #nuts #autumn


How about you, have you ever gone hazelnut picking or roasted your own raw hazelnuts?

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



  1. says

    Nice post! There are also some hazelnut trees in my neighborhood, so I should start picking those lovely nuts (they always seem to disappear before I get there, though)…



  2. says

    A couple of years ago I roasted my first chestnuts. They turned out quite good, but not perfect. Looks like this might be the year for hazelnuts. Thanks for the tutorial! It’s something I’ve never done before.

  3. Carl says

    a tip for removing the skins: boil enough water to fully cover the nuts, add a couple tablespoons of baking soda, along with the nuts to the water. boil three minutes. rinse and the skins will come right off. then dry and roast.

    a plus: with this method, the baking soda will spit everywhere. it looks like a mess, but with one wipe of a paper towel, you’ll reveal a brand-new looking stovetop.

  4. says

    I’ve been harvesting wild fruit and vegetables since I was a small child but never picked or roasted hazelnuts! Yours look delicious! I’m feeling a little envious of the roasting aroma, so will have to find some at the market to roast for myself. Your photos are simply stunning! I’m in awe! Thanks for sharing the tutorial and your lovely pics!

  5. says

    What a find! Your hazelnuts with the leaf covering are just beautiful. And how wonderful to have freshly roasted nuts to use :) Happy weekend, Nancy!

  6. thhq says

    Thanks for the recipe! This year I beat the squirrels, filbert worms and bluejays to the Duchillys in our declining filbert orchard by picking them straight off the tree. I picked and shelled a quart in mid August, which I froze and use in stir frys. They’re tender after cooking, similar to peas or boiled peanuts. Today September 7 I picked more, but this time only shelled half of them. They’re almost mature and within 2 weeks of falling, but the various critters have begun their annual attack, and if I wait any longer there will be nothing left. I’ll try your 275F – 20 min approach for the ones in the shell, but will pull back to 10 minutes for the shelled ones. I’ll let them dry out for a couple days before roasting, as they were wet inside the shells.

  7. Jayme says

    Hi Nancy! I am a little confused by your post, and its something that has been echoed again and again in any post I find about roasting hazelnuts. It seems like the steps go straight from roasting the hazelnuts in their shells to rubbing the skin off. I am assuming you had to individually crack each hazelnut open? Thanks so much for the post – it’s been really helpful!

  8. wendos says

    Hi, Thanks for your info! I’ve just followed all the steps but thought it would be easy to open them but alas they are still hard as a rock. Once they’ve been cooked, should they be easier to open?

    • says

      Hi Wendos,
      I left mine in the shells before roasting. Like all nuts they can be hard to crack but I wouldn’t say they were more difficult to do so before or after. Perhaps your chestnuts were too old or dry?

    • says

      Hi Peter,

      I just crack the hazelnuts and discard the shells. However, I know people break them down further and use them in composts or in gardens. Good luck, hope you find a fun way to recycle them.

  9. tamie says

    A dear friend of mine just bought 8 1/2 acres in West Virginia and we found these funny looking nut trees this past weekend. They are hazelnut trees. Also found chestnut and black walnut trees. Can’t wait for the harvest!!!

  10. Peter Tampsett says

    Going to try this with Cob nuts, these are a member of the hazelnut family.
    grown here in Kent SE UK, sweeter in taste and no brown skin.

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