How to Roast Hazelnuts

How to Roast Hazelnuts and the secret to removing those pesky skins. Learn both Julia Childs blanched hazelnuts and Lisa Aheir’s roasting hazelnuts methods.

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a tray of raw hazelnuts about to be roasted.

Have you ever wondered about roasted hazelnuts? Like how the heck do you make them? Their skins don’t peel off at all and they sure don’t taste like Nutella one bit when they are raw. So how do you take these delicious nuts from hard and bitter to crunchy and sweet?

Read on!

Back when I visited Tofino, I bought a cookbook at Sobo, a local hot spot for foodies. One of the recipes I wanted to try called for toasted hazelnuts and included the chef, Lisa Ahier’s, method.

So I thought I would test out two different methods for roasting and peeling and see which one worked the best.

hazelnuts in a bag

I did a little research on how to remove those stubborn skins and get those lovely nuts toasted up and ready to enjoy as a snack or in some fabulous recipes with hazelnuts.

hazelnuts being held in a hand


First up is the Julia Child method of boiling and ice bathing the nuts. It is called blanching hazelnuts.

Baking soda is added to the boiling water and the nuts follow.

They are then boiled for a quick few minutes, then transferred to a bowl of ice water. The peels then just rub off in your hand and then they are roasted in the oven.

Note: If you try and take a picture of the baking soda being dumped into the water, the whole pot WILL bubble over and create a huge mess to clean up.

Just sayin’.

This was the steam filled shot I just had to have:

a bubbling saucepan on a stove.
a peeled hazelnut from an ice bath


For the second method, I followed the steps laid out by Lisa Aheir, as I mentioned earlier she is the head chef of Sobo and author of the cookbook I had bought.

First, place the nuts on a baking sheet.

a tray of raw nuts ready for the oven.

Her directions are to then roast the nuts with the skins on. Next, rub them off in a clean tea towel.

roasted hazelnuts on a clean tea towel.
skins being rubbed off roasted hazelnuts
skinned hazelnuts

While I liked the fun, science-y aspect of the bubbling water, etc. with the Julia Child method, because it involved quite a few more dishes and a lot more steps.

Finally, I’m going to go with the Lisa Aheir method as my preferred pick.

Try them both out for fun!


  • hazelnuts are packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin E and zinc.
  • they are rich in atioxidants to prevent cell damage.
  • hazelnuts are good sources of unsaturated fats and lack cholesterol which is great news for your heart.
raw nuts with skins on a baking tray.

**This recipe was originally posted on October 3, 2014, and updated on December 12, 2018, and again on April 13, 2021, with recipe notes, writing, and new photos.**

If you’ve tried either method to toast hazelnuts, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

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a tray of raw hazelnuts about to be roasted.

How to Roast Hazelnuts – TWO EASY METHODS

Sharon Rhodes
How to Roast Hazelnuts and the secret to removing those pesky skins. Learn both Julia Childs blanched hazelnuts and Lisa Aheir's roasting hazelnuts methods.
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 188 kcal


  • medium saucepan
  • tea towel
  • large baking sheet



  • Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan
  • Add the baking soda to the boiling water and then immediately add the nuts. BE READY! The water will foam up right away. If it looks like it will bubble over, quickly lower the heat and lift the pot off the element. Don’t let the pot boil over.
  • Boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • To test if they’re ready to peel, lift one out with your slotted spoon and place it in the ice water. When the skins peel off easily, you’re ready to roll.
  • Transfer the remaining nuts to the ice bath and peel off the skins. Place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels as you go so they can dry.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread the nuts out onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, shaking them around about halfway. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they aren’t burning. They are expensive!!
  • Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.


  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread out the nuts and bake for 5 minutes, keeping an eye to make sure they aren’t burning.
  3. Let them cool for 3-4 minutes, and then rub them vigorously in a clean tea towel to remove the skins.


Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3295mgPotassium: 204mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 1.9mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword how to roast hazelnuts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 4 stars
    Experiment: Done.
    Results?: Better results with Julia Child method although my water:baking soda:nuts ratio came from a different source ( 2C:3 T:1 C). Much better results in thoroughness & ease of getting the peel off. BUT… 1. I haven’t roasted them yet. The color of the nut darkened a bit and softened the nut a tad. I don’t know if either the blanch or the baking soda will alter the taste…
    The Roasting technique with tea towel rub method: I had far too much skin still left on the nuts and I definitely didn’t have the patience to get it all done. My Romesco had a bit of a bitter taste because of it.
    My conclusion: Pay the extra $$ for already peeled raw nuts and toast them beautifully when needed..

  2. Hi Sharon! Which method do you recommend for a hazelnut spread, similar to a nutella? I’m afraid blanching them will change the texture. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Claudia! To be honest, I haven’t made a hazelnut spread. I might recommend the roasting method for flavour. 🙂 Let me know if you try it!

  3. I’ve done both methods, unfortunately the Julia Childs method does not work if the goal is to make hazelnut butter. The blanching changes the nuts in a way that doesn’t make butter. The oven roasting method as time consuming as it is, has been the only way.

    I’ve considered testing oven roasting and then boiling briefly to see if this would work. Since I wasted two cups of nuts doing the boil first, I’ve been reticent to waste expensive organic nuts.

    Any thoughts or experiences from others simplifying the roasting, peeling, then grinding process?

    1. Interesting! I haven’t actually made hazelnut butter so this is definitely good to know. I found the oven roasting much easier anyways so I will stick with that method. Thanks Jon!

  4. 5 stars
    Well, now, I am going to have to try Julia’s method of peeling hazelnuts, Sharon. I have peeled a ton of hazelnuts (literally!) over the years in my career. There are always some stubborn bits adhering to the nut. But, the hazelnut is so wonderful in baked goods, it is worth the trouble. Thanks so much for sharing these techniques.

    1. I’m not surprised that the chef would be the one seeking perfection! It was definitely a fun experiment. 🙂 Thanks Denise!

  5. 5 stars
    I have roasted and peeled hazelnuts as in the second method. While there’s still considerable picking through to clean them up, I think I prefer it to boiling in water, too.

  6. I’ve always used the tea towel method too, but like Nicoletta above, there are always some stubborn ones! Mine don’t come out as clean as yours! This is a useful post, Sharon, because the skins are bitter and can really ruin a recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    We ate at Sobo and also bought the cookbook! Love it. I’ve always followed the second method, even before reading about it in the cookbook. It’s easy and fast, although I find you cannot remove all the skin from the hazelnuts. Still good for me 🙂 .

    1. Isn’t Tofino a magical place? And you’re right, even with a few stubborn skins left behind, I still love hazelnuts. 🙂 Thanks Nicoletta!

  8. I’ve never tried hazel nuts before so I’m really looking forward to see what tricks you’ve got up your sleeves. Bring on the hazel nut recipes! Have a great weekend Sharon!

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