Smoky Cashews

February 24, 2009

Whenever I plan a dinner party, I put a lot of thought into the menu. Because I like to bake and so many of our friends do not, I usually start with dessert. Based on how rich or light that is, I plan the rest of the menu. It is only when I am writing up my shopping list that I realize that I had better have something for people to munch on before we sit down at the table.

Because appetizers are kind of after-thought for me (not that they are not important), I like to have a few go-to recipes that are winners and not too filling. I usually plan a big dinner, so I like to have something light to nibble on – cheese plates are not usually found at my house. Olives seem obvious but I love that they are a quick salty bite that is very satisfying.

To along with olives, these cashews are great for many reasons. They are salty and sweet, but also smoky (from pimenton) and piney (from rosemary). They are quick and I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like cashews. And, if you have raw cashews in your freezer (where you should store your nuts), smoked paprika in your spice cabinet, and a (in my case, half-dead) rosemary bush in your yard, you always have the ingredients on hand.

Other quick appetizers found at DanaTreat:
Spinach and Lemon Stuffed Mushrooms

Parmesan and Thyme Crackers
Deviled Eggs

Smoky Cashews
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s The New Classics

Makes 2 cups

2 cups raw, unsalted cashews (about 9 ounces)\
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. smoked hot paprika (
DN: I used smoked sweet)
2 tbsp. light brown sugar

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the cashews in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 10-12 minutes. Place remaining ingredients in a medium heat-proof bowl. Remove the cashews from the oven and immediately place them in the bowl and stir them continuously until the butter melts and the cashews are coated with the the other flavors.


  1. Oooooohhhh!!!!!! (Usually, I have an articulate comment to leave with you. But today your recipe idea is too incredible for me to form coherent sentences. I cannot articulate how excited I am to try these! I could see myself making these in the dorm even! And the versatility of the recipe is so obvious! Nutritional yeast and lime zest?! I can taste it now!)

    THANK YOU :)

    (Sorry, the last comment had a typo)

    Comment by Chris @ Beyond Ramen — February 25, 2009 @ 3:57 am

  2. What a great recipe. Thank you for sharing. ;o}

    Comment by Val — February 25, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  3. These sound great. I always have some kind of nuts in my freezer. It’s so handy for snacks and baking.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — February 25, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  4. I love your site – your photos and recipes are excellent. The cashews look really tasty.

    Comment by Pam — February 25, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  5. yum, these look so good! i love snacking on nuts and spiced ones especially.

    Comment by kickpleat — February 25, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

  6. Okay. I’m in. Send me some . ….Um…like NOW.

    Comment by Babette — May 17, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

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