A bowl filled with Ina Garten's rosemary cashews with a sprig of rosemary on the side.

This recipe for Ina Garten’s rosemary cashews deftly handles the issue of what to make as the requisite pre-dinner nosh. That is, something that’s enticing enough to nibble yet not so compelling as to satiate. So if you’re already accustomed to plunking down a bowl of salted nuts and some olives, then maybe you take things to the next level with this easy, elegant, impressive answer to a once-vexing question. Inspired by the bar nuts found at New York City’s Union Square Cafe.–Renee Schettler Rossi

A bowl filled with Ina Garten's rosemary cashews with a sprig of rosemary on the side.

Barefoot Contessa Rosemary Cashews

4.64 / 33 votes
Ina Garten’s rosemary cashews are sweet and spicy and certain to start conversations. The inspired blend of cayenne, brown sugar, rosemary, and salt is perfectly spiced and just salty enough to be perfect with cocktails.
David Leite
CourseHors d’Oeuvres
Servings8 servings
Calories344 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Spread the cashews on a rimmed sheet pan and place in the oven until warm, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the melted butter, rosemary, cayenne, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the warm cashews to the butter mixture and toss to combine. Serve while still warm.
Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

Adapted From

Barefoot in Paris

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 344 kcalCarbohydrates: 20 gProtein: 9 gFat: 28 gSaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 4 mgSodium: 290 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2004 Ina Garten. Photo © 2004 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

So easy and so delicious. This seems to be the theme for Barefoot Contessa. These rosemary cashews were so simple to make yet so satisfying and pleasurable. The smell of the roasted cashews when they hit the rosemary and butter mixture was intoxicating. This appetizer will definitely be added to my arsenal of recipes.

These are the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, salty, and savory, and the perfect cocktail party nosh!

I accidentally bought raw cashews at the store and was looking for a tasty way to remedy my error. This fit the bill perfectly. I had all the ingredients at home. I simply toasted the cashews for about 7 to 8 extra minutes before adding them to the herb and spice mixture.

This is one of those recipes that is so much more than the sum of its parts. Let’s be clear, each of these parts on their own make up some of my favorite flavors, and cashews are easily my favorite nut, but some kind of witchcraft happens when the warm cashews are tossed in the spiced butter mixture and spread out to cool. Everyone gives you the side-eye when you show up with a humble little container of them at a party, and then when they disappear before anything else, you have to apologize for upstaging the host’s offerings. I have been making them for years (especially because you can throw them together in 10 minutes) and they have never let me down.

Plan to leave some at home (or make a double batch) so you can enjoy them without competition. I have successfully made them with olive oil once or twice in place of the butter for vegans, but just know that the coating won’t stick as well since olive oil won’t harden like butter as it cools.

This is an instance where you MUST use kosher salt, or plan to cut the amount of salt in half if you’re using table salt. I also personally prefer the nuts once they’ve cooled, since they get their crunch back as they cool.

As for 8 servings, sure? What is a proper serving of nuts? When they are this good, there is never enough.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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    1. Barb, I’d reduce the salt to about 1/2 teaspoon. After you’re finished tossing them with the butter mixture, give them a taste and if you think they need more salt, season with extra, but use a fine grain salt or table salt at that point.