How to Roast Peanuts

Two Methods:Roasting PeanutsOptional Variations

What's better than the savory, salty crunch of a handful of roasted peanuts in the summer? Roasted peanuts have a more intense flavor than raw peanuts and make ideal snacks for parties and seasonal events. They can even lend their flavor to some baking recipes. Believe it or not, roasting your own peanuts is fun and easy. Follow just a few simple steps to prepare this Southern treat at home in no time.


  • Shelled or unshelled peanuts (as many as you wish)
  • Salt, to taste (optional)
  • Additional seasonings, to taste (optional)

Method 1
Roasting Peanuts

  1. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 1
    Preheat an oven to 350ºF (177ºC). While you wait for your oven to warm up, you can proceed to the next few steps.
  2. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 2
    Decide whether you want shelled or in-shell peanuts. The procedures for roasting both types of peanuts are very similar. However, there are just a few things to consider before beginning:
    • Shelled peanuts are much easier to use for peanut butter and baking recipes because you don't need to remove their shells later. If making peanut butter, use Spanish peanuts, which have higher oil content.[2] If you wish, you can peel shelled peanuts' skins off with your fingers before beginning, though it's also easy to do this after roasting (see below).
    • In-shell peanuts should be rinsed in cold water briefly to remove excess dirt.[3] Pat dry with a paper towel and allow to dry for about five extra minutes on a wire rack.
  3. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 3
    Spread the peanuts on a baking tray or cookie sheet. The peanuts must all be sitting flat in one layer to ensure even roasting. If you have too many peanuts to make just one layer, cook them in batches.
    • For easier clean-up, line the sheet with baking paper or foil. This isn't required like it is with other recipes, however — the peanuts won't stick to the tray.
  4. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 4
    Bake the peanuts. Place the baking tray or sheet on the middle shelf of the oven. This will help ensure they are cooked evenly throughout. Set a timer and relax — there's no need to turn peanuts while they cook. Depending on which type of peanut you're roasting, cooking times will vary:[4]
    • For shelled peanuts, cook 15-20 minutes.
    • For in-shell peanuts, cook 20-25 minutes.
  5. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 5
    Remove the nuts from the oven. The peanuts will cook a little bit more after you take them out of the oven. Be careful here — both the tray and the peanuts themselves will be extremely hot (especially shelled peanuts). Set the tray somewhere safe where it can cool, like on top of the stove.
  6. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 6
    Cool and season before eating. When the peanuts are cool enough to hold in your hands, they're ready to eat. Roasted peanuts taste great plain, but you can also toss them with a light sprinkling of salt at this point (you shouldn't need more than a teaspoon or two). Enjoy!

Method 2
Optional Variations

  1. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 7
    Try skinning shelled peanuts. The thin skin around each peanut isn't harmful — in fact, some people prefer leaving it on to eating "naked" nuts. However, if you wish, you can remove the skins easily with a salad spinner. Roll the roasted peanuts in your hands over an open salad spinner, letting them gradually fall out and into the device. Once you've rolled all of the peanuts, close the spinner and run it until most (if not all) of the skins have been separated. You may need to peel a few skins off by hand.[5]
    • Here's another method for skinning peanuts: first, place the roasted peanuts in a jar or container and shake them or wrap them in a clean dish towel and rub them. Pour the peanuts out, then take the jar, container, or towel outside and let the wind blow away the loose skins.
  2. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 8
    Use creative seasonings. You only need a little seasoning to make natural, roasted peanuts even more delicious. There's no "right answer" here, but just a few seasoning suggestions are included below:
    • A light dusting of brown sugar and cinnamon makes a delicious sweet treat.
    • Combining Cajun seasoning mix with a little salt makes for intensely flavorful peanuts.
    • Cayenne powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika can give you red-hot Southwestern-style peanuts.[6]
  3. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 9
    Make glazed peanuts. Liquid flavorings can be used as glazes to give the peanuts intense, alluring flavors. However, for best results, these should be applied before the roasting process. Paint the prepared peanuts with a thin layer of your glaze and roast them as normal to give them the glaze's flavor. Since you're using liquid ingredients here, lining your pan with foil or baking paper is a wise idea.
    • Here, again, there are hundreds of possibilities. One easy classic example is honey-roasted peanuts. To make the glaze, just combine equal parts honey and melted butter and stir until uniform. About two tablespoons of each ingredient should be enough for a pound of peanuts. Paint the peanuts with the glaze and sprinkle with salt before they go into the oven. Roast as normal.[7]
  4. Image titled Roast Peanuts Step 10
    Grind your roasted peanuts to make peanut butter. Believe it or not, making all-natural peanut butter from (shelled) peanuts is as simple as crushing, chopping, or grinding them into a thick but smooth paste. See our peanut butter recipe for step-by-step directions. As noted above, Spanish peanuts are best for this as they contain the most oil. You can use a food processor, a blender, or a manual solution like a mortar and pestle to get the peanuts to a smooth, creamy consistency.
    • For chunky peanut butter, chop up a handful of peanuts and add them to the finished peanut butter.
    • Some chefs like to add a dash of honey, molasses, salt, or other seasonings to their peanut butter for flavor. However, it should be fine on its own.


  • Peanuts are technically legumes, not nuts. They have high nutritional value and contain healthy monounsaturated fat.
  • Because the peanuts have a high fat content, it is best to season them when they've just come out of the oven. You don't need much — the hot fat will absorb the flavors instead of leaving you a salty/seasoned baking tray and flavorless peanuts.
  • If you want to take off the skins, freeze them. You should take off the skins while still frozen.


  • Peanuts are extremely hot when freshly roasted due to their high fat content. Handle with care and always supervise children in the kitchen when using heat, etc.
  • Roasting peanuts does not in any way make them safe for people with a nut allergy.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Nuts and Seeds