Thyme Roasted Almonds are addictively good and good for you! With olive oil and sea salt, this is a snack that you can feel good about. Filling and satisfying, roasted almonds are so easy to make.
The first time I made these almonds, I made them to give as gifts to a few friends over the holidays. Simple and a necessary change from all the usual sweet stuff that comes with holiday baking, these thyme-scented almonds make a sophisticated treat.
I've made these roasted almonds several times since. They are just so good. Perfect for snacking, grabbing to stash in your bag as you head out the door, or nibble on when thinking about what to make for dinner. Even more perfect with a cocktail or a glass of wine on a Friday night - maybe next to these balsamic mushrooms. These almonds are vegan, gluten-free and even keto-friendly.
The best part is that these roasted almonds are so simple to make, you can literally make a batch while you are cleaning the kitchen or packing lunches.
I adapted this recipe very slightly from the Barefoot Contessa. Ina Gartner uses Marcona almonds. I have never in my life seen or tasted a Marcona almond. I'm sure they are beautiful and delicious and all of that. But I believe in making do with what you have. And I always have a bag of plain, unroasted almonds from Costco in my freezer.
Costco is my favourite place to buy shelled, unroasted nuts of any variety. The price is good, better than I find in most grocery stores, even my beloved Bulk Barn. But also, the nuts are just so fresh. I cannot tell you how many times I have purchased small portions of nuts from the grocery store and they are already bitter and rancid.
When buying almonds be careful with buying roasted and salted. They should be in a sealed, air-tight container and have an expiration date. Be careful with those bulk sections. Often roasted nuts and seeds found here will be rancid. And I always avoid those little packages of chopped or whole nuts found in the baking aisle I'm just not convinced that the inventory turns over quickly enough for these to be truly fresh.
Costco almonds are always fresh - and this is true of pecans and walnuts too. Yes, they come in large 2 lbs bags. But the quality is worth the trouble managing this inventory in your pantry and freezer.
Keep all fresh nuts and seeds in the freezer or the refrigerator to keep them freshest as long as possible.
TIP: I keep all fresh nuts and seeds - walnuts, pecans, and almonds - in the freezer. They will last at least 6-8 months in the freezer and will be ready when you need them. This is particularly helpful when you buy these giant Costco bags!
TIP: Measure out smaller portions - say 8-16 oz mason jars full - to keep some handy for immediate use for salads, snacking or adding to smoothies. These smaller jars fit nicely in the door of my refrigerator. If I need a larger amount for baking or something, I just use them frozen.
What you need for roasted almonds
You will need a few, very basic ingredients:
Almonds - of course! you will need about 1 pound of almonds. As I noted above, I prefer Costco for my almonds. They are so fresh. Buy plain, unsalted and unroasted.
Olive oil - a good quality oil, your favorite variety, it will go well with the thyme.
Thyme - fresh or dried. Fresh by far as the best fragrance and flavour. But dried thyme will work too. Don't skimp on the thyme.
Sea Salt - I usually salt with fine sea salt before these go into the oven for baking. Fine gain salt sticks best. Then I salt them again when they come out of the oven with slightly coarser salt. Like a Himalayan Pink salt. But you can use whatever you have.
Cayenne - not in the original Barefoot Contessa recipe, but we like this. It gives the almonds a little bit of a kick.
How to roast almonds
Spread 1 lb of almonds, (yes! - leave the skins on. Don't waste your time with removing the skins.), a 9x13 baking tray lined with parchment or a Silpat.
Toss with 1 tablspoon of good olive oil. Use your hands to get every almond covered with a little bit of the oil.
Season with fresh thyme and about 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Again toss well, use your hands and get everything covered.
Roast in 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Set a timer! Stir and then continue to roast for another 5 minutes. Set a timer!
Watch the almonds carefully while they are roasting! These almonds will go from not-yet done to burnt very quickly. Don't leave the kitchen.
Allow to cool. Remove from the oven and let them sit. After a few minutes, sprinkle with a little more salt. This is where I use a little medium grind salt. Stir a little and then let them cool completely.
They will take a good hour or two to cool. You will hear them crackle and pop as they cool.
Pack in an airtight container. Make sure they are completely cool before packing away
These roasted almonds will keep for 10-14 days in an air-tight container at room temperature. Make only as much as you think you will use in a couple of weeks. You can cut the recipe in half if needed, or share with friends ☺️.
Do not refrigerate. They will lose their crunch if refrigerated.
Yes! This recipe is so easy to double or even more -- you will need to use more than one baking try though. In my experience, 1 lb of nuts fits on one 9x13 baking tray. If you double the recipe, you will need 2 baking trays.
Of course - try rosemary, oregano, or even just black pepper and sea salt! Use the same amount of any fresh herbs as noted in the recipe of Thyme - about 2 tablespoons. If using black pepper - use about 1 teaspoon per pound of nuts.
Absolutely! This basic technique works just as well with pecans, walnuts or cashews!
Watch all nuts carefully while roasting in the oven and check after 8 minutes to make sure they are not browning too quickly. Stir a couple of times and check again. You may find different nuts roast more quickly than almonds.
Pecans specifically are a bit more delicate so set the oven temperature to 325-degrees instead of 350-degrees.
Serving and storage
These roasted almonds will keep for 10-14 days in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Do not refrigerate! They will lose their crisp in the refrigerator.
This recipe can easily be cut in half (for a smaller amount) or doubled (if you want to share and make a few gifts). Don't make more than you think you can use in a couple of weeks.
I like to serve these roasted almonds while we enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine before dinner. They can be served slightly warm out of the oven or once they are completely cooled. They are good either way.
I love these almonds on a charcuterie board or small platter with some olives or other pre-dinner nibbles with cocktails.
These almonds are also great packed in your purse for a quick snack when you know you will be away from home for a while. I like to measure out the single serving size in little plastic sealable containers - like these - so they are ready to grab-and-go for busy days. The whole family loves them.
Add a handful of roasted almonds to a packed lunch or slightly chop and sprinkle over a salad for a little crunch.
Thyme Sea Salt Roasted Almonds
- 1 lb unsalted, unroasted almonds see post for my recommendations
- 2-3 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 tsp sea salt fine grain
- ⅛-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or other slightly coarse grain salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Toss measured amount of almonds onto the baking tray and toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, thyme and cayenne pepper if using. Massage gently with your hands to ensure all the almonds are well coated with the herbs, salt and olive oil. Place in heated oven and roast for about 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, stir and return to the oven and roast for another 5-8 minutes. Watch them carefully the almonds will burn quickly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle with Himalayan pink salt and set aside to completely cool before packing in an air-tight container for storage. Can be served freshly roasted and slightly warm. Do not pack in an air-tight container until completely cool, which can take a couple of hours. Do not refrigerate.
I am loving these little tin containers for packing in lunches. I use them for dressings, dips and sauces. They are leakproof too. And the perfect size for a single-serve of these almonds.