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The 7 Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are a delicious ingredient that can be used in many dishes, from salads to pesto.

They have an unmistakable flavor that adds a crunchy texture and nutty taste to whatever you’re cooking.

Unfortunately, pine nuts can be expensive and hard to find in some areas.

But don’t worry – there are plenty of other ingredients that make great substitutes for pine nuts!

In this article, I will discuss the seven best substitutes for pine nuts so you can still enjoy your favorite recipes without breaking the bank.

What Are Pine Nuts?

Pine nuts

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of various species of pine trees found in the Northern Hemisphere.

They have a creamy, buttery texture and a mild flavor that is slightly sweet and nutty.

The most common variety used in cooking is the Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea), which has an oval shape and ranges from yellowish-white to grayish-brown in color depending on its maturity.

These small, hard kernels must be shelled before they can be eaten or used as an ingredient in recipes like pesto sauce, salads, and stuffing.

Pine nuts are also popularly served as part of antipasti platters or simply roasted for snacking purposes.

The 7 Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are an incredibly versatile ingredient, but they can be expensive and sometimes difficult to find.

Fortunately, there are some great substitutes for pine nuts that will give your recipes the same texture and flavor.

Here we take a look at seven of the best alternatives to pine nuts:

1 – Pistachios


Pistachios have a unique flavor that adds a delicious nuttiness to dishes, making them popular in many cuisines.

They are naturally sweet and creamy, which makes them great for snacking on their own or as part of an appetizer platter.

Their color also adds an attractive visual element to any dish; they come in both green and purple varieties so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

The substitution ratio for pine nuts is 1:1 since they both have similar textures when cooked and offer similar flavors when eaten raw.

2 – Walnuts


Walnuts are one of the most popular nuts in the world due to their versatility and unique flavor.

The nut has a crunchy texture, with an earthy taste that makes it perfect for both sweet and savory dishes.

Walnuts pair particularly well with other ingredients like blue cheese, mushrooms, and apples.

Their mild flavor is also a great complement to desserts like brownies or truffles.

Plus, walnuts can be used as a topping on salads or yogurt bowls for added nutrition and texture.

Walnuts make for an excellent substitute for pine nuts because they have similar flavors but are much more cost-effective than pine nuts.

They also have a firmer texture which makes them perfect for creating pesto sauces or adding crunch to any dish without compromising on flavor!

3 – Almonds


Almonds are a popular ingredient for many recipes because of their creamy, buttery texture and subtle nutty flavor.

They can be used in numerous ways, from being chopped up and added to salads or baked goods, to creating almond milk or ground into almond flour.

The versatility of almonds is why they have become so popular among home cooks – you can find them fresh or roasted in almost any grocery store and use them for virtually anything!

When it comes to using almonds instead of pine nuts, the major difference lies in the taste; almonds have more sweetness compared to pine nuts which tend to be richer and more intense.

If you’re looking for an alternative that will provide a milder but still distinct flavor profile then try using almonds as your go-to nut instead of pine nuts.

4 – Cashews


Cashews are so popular because of their distinct flavor and texture.

They have a slightly sweet taste that comes with a buttery-smooth texture, making them perfect for snacking, baking, or cooking.

Compared to pine nuts, cashews are more affordable and widely available in the market.

Plus, they’re way easier to prepare since you don’t need to toast or roast them before adding them to your dishes like you would with pine nuts.

Cashews also make a great substitute if you want something nuttier than what pine nuts can provide but still mild enough not to overpower the flavors of other ingredients in your dish – such as salads or pestos.

5 – Hazelnuts


Hazelnuts are increasingly becoming a favorite among foodies because of their unique flavor and versatility.

Unlike other nuts, they have an intense earthy-sweet taste that is just as delicious when eaten raw as it is when cooked or toasted.

Their crunchy texture also makes them perfect for baking and cooking, adding a delightful nutty character to dishes like cookies, cakes, salads, and pesto.

They’re also perfect for snacking on the go since they come in small packages that are convenient to take with you wherever you need to go.

If you’re looking for something different from the usual pine nuts then hazelnuts can be a great alternative which has its own distinct flavor profile that will add complexity to your dish without overpowering it.

For instance, baked goods made with hazelnut flour will have a much richer depth and sweetness than those made with standard all-purpose flour.

6 – Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a popular snack and topper, with a mild nutty flavor that pairs well with salads and other dishes.

The crunchy texture of the seeds adds an interesting contrast to soft ingredients like avocado or feta cheese, making them ideal for sprinkling on top of salads or into wraps.

In addition to providing a nice textural element, sunflower seeds can be used as a substitute for pine nuts in baking recipes like focaccia bread or pesto sauce.

They’re also much more affordable than pine nuts, which can make them an attractive option when you’re looking for ways to save money without compromising on taste.

Sunflower seeds are incredibly versatile too: they work just as well in savory dishes like tacos and burritos as they do in sweet desserts such as cookies and muffins.

So if you’re looking for something new to add flavor, texture and variety to your meals, why not try using sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts?

7 – Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an incredibly versatile snack and culinary ingredient, with the ability to be sweet or savory depending on how they’re prepared.

This is why they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years – their flavor profiles are so diverse that they can easily be added to a variety of different dishes.

One great thing about pumpkin seeds is that they don’t cost as much as pine nuts, making them an economical and budget-friendly alternative.

Plus, their crunchy texture makes them a great topping for salads and soups or baked into breads and muffins for extra crunchiness.

They also have a mild nutty flavor that works well with other ingredients like herbs, spices, cheese, and more.

Overall, pumpkin seeds offer the same deliciousness as pine nuts but at a fraction of the price point – definitely something worth trying out!


In conclusion, pine nuts can be expensive and hard to find, but fortunately, there are plenty of suitable substitutes for pine nuts.

Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are all suitable alternatives that provide a similar texture and flavor to pine nuts.

With these options, you can still enjoy your favorite recipes without breaking the bank.

Pine nuts

The 7 Best Substitutes For Pine Nuts

When you don't have pine nuts on hand, you don't have to give up your favorite recipes. In this article, I'm sharing the 7 best substitutes for pine nuts. I'll explain why each one is a good alternative, as well as how to use them to get the same flavor and texture you expect from pine nuts. With these ideas, you can get creative in the kitchen and still enjoy the same delicious dishes you love.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 650 kcal


  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
CEO at Happy Muncher | | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.