Homemade Nut Butter

If you’ve got nuts, salt, and oil, you’re only 15 minutes away from creamy homemade nut butter. It’s cheaper than store-bought and free of chemicals and preservatives.

Three jars of homemade nut butter made with different nuts.

When I started making homemade nut butter in my own kitchen, I was surprised at how easy it was. Not only that, I was surprised at how many other people were blown away by the idea! Sure, the concept is easy—grind up the nuts, add flavors and spices, and you’re done—however, I found most people I talked to still didn’t believe how easy it was.

If you’ve never made nut butter before, you might give up prematurely when you see a grainy blob in your food processor. Don’t worry! Just keep processing. You will end up with a smooth nut butter, but sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes or longer, depending on the strength of your machine and your choice of nut. I have found a powerful food processor to be the most effective machine for making nut butters. Others use high-powered blenders and have great results.–Mary Loudermilk

How long does homemade nut butter last?

Homemade nut butter can be kept in the fridge for up to several weeks in a closed container.

Homemade Nut Butter

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 8 | Makes about 1 cup
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes. You should be able to smell a delicious nutty flavor when they’re ready. (The softer the nut, the less time you’ll need. Pecans and walnuts cook quickest, almonds and hazelnuts take longest.)

Remove the nuts from the oven and immediately dump them in your food processor along with the salt. Process the nuts for 5 to 20 minutes, or until you have a true nut butter. The nut mixture will be grainy at first, and it may seem as if it will never come together into a cohesive nut butter, but keep scraping down the sides and bottom of your processor with a spatula and you will eventually get there. Really.

Tester tip: Your food processor may make some really quite dreadful sounds along the way. If the nut butter seems really dry, add a small dribble oil to help the gritty nut particles adhere to one another in a paste.

Taste and add salt as desired. (Sometimes a little extra salt can make all the difference in turning a good nut butter into a great nut butter.) Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate for up to several weeks. Some nut butters will thicken substantially upon cooling so bring to room temperature if you need a spreadable consistency. Originally published August 10, 2015. 

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    Tuxedo Variations

    • Chai Cashew Butter
    • Tux variation

      After turning cashews into cashew butter in your food processor, stir in 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and, if desired, add more salt as needed.

    • Chocolate Pecan Butter
    • Tux variation

      After turning pecans into pecan butter in your food processor, add 1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process for another 2 minutes. Taste and, if desired, add more salt as needed. The mixture may appear quite liquidy but it will thicken after being refrigerated.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    With a little patience, you, too, can make homemade nut butter. It's really super easy, and my one piece of advice is, when you think it's not working out, just keep going. I chose to do the classic almond butter, and since I like the "roasty toasty" taste, I roasted the nuts for about 10 minutes. There were several stages the nuts went through before reaching a creamy, smooth nut butter. This is the "keep going" part.

    In less than a minute, the racket of the almonds whirling around turned into a constant hum. The mixture was grainy and started to rise up the sides of the processor. Keep scraping down the sides. Then the nuts turned into the consistency of wet sand. Just keep going. At the 5-minute mark, a large ball of almond mass was whipping around. Here is where you have to have a little faith. It will, in time, turn into a rich lovely creamy smooth nut butter.

    It's been a couple of days, and the almond butter hasn't separated. I don't know if making your own nut butter is truly less expensive than buying it ready-made, but I like the option of choosing how much salt I use and also like how I can make my own varieties by using a different mix of nuts and seeds.

    I’ve never made my own homemade nut butter because every recipe I find makes the process sound so difficult. I should've known better. There’s a darn good chance I won’t be buying much peanut or almond butter anymore when I’ve got a perfectly good food processor at home.

    The grocery store where we usually shop doesn’t sell many raw nuts, so I went with salted roasted peanuts. In 2 minutes (I’m not kidding, 2 minutes), I had peanut butter. I seasoned it with a fat pinch of sea salt and let it go for another minute. It wasn’t store-bought smooth after 3 minutes, but it had lost that grainy texture that I’m not so keen on.

    2 cups peanuts gave me 1 cup peanut butter for $3.40. I kept it tightly sealed in the fridge. A bit of oil glistened on the surface, but that’s nothing a little stir can’t take care of.

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    Comments

    1. Regarding the Chocolate Pecan butter – won’t that result in a pecan butter with bits of chocolate or does the chocolate melt? Can I use cocoa powder?

      1. Lari, because you’re processing the nuts when they’re hot, the residual heat will help to melt the chocolate. It has been a while since I last made it, but my recollection is that it becomes quite a smooth butter. I think you might find that using cocoa powder results in a more bitter-tasting nut butter.

    2. I soak my nuts overnight and the creaminess is indescribable!! To that batch, I pulse a handful of basil or cilantro. Oh my…what a dip it makes.

    3. I make pecan butter regularly and have it on my breakfast toast. I use my microwave to toast the pecans. For my full size microwave I put 2 cups of pecan halves on a dinner plate and microwave on my regular setting for 2 minutes. I leave them for 5-10 minutes, or all day, mix them up with my hands and microwave for another 1 minute. Beautifully, fragrantly toasted with little effort! I add orange oil and lots of cinnamon to the butter.

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