Crunchy Goodness: Try These Hazelnut Substitutes in Your Recipes!
We love them in chocolate chip cookies and biscuits. We love them in salads and savory dishes for that extra crunch and texture. And yet sometimes we don’t have them to hand.
Also, some of us are allergic to them so always need to find ingredients to replace them. Here we cover all the really excellent alternatives to hazelnuts.
If you want to obtain the same flavor as raw or roasted hazelnuts, butters, oils, and extracts are your go-to solution. If you’re trying to substitute the hazelnut when it comes to appearance, Macadamia nuts are your perfect choice.
If you want to replicate the crunch and bite of hazelnuts, you can always add other types of nuts, and we’ve got them all covered below. But if you are allergic to nuts, we also offer some amazing alternatives.
Hazelnut Flavor, Texture & Nutritional Value
One ounce of hazelnuts contains:
- 175 calories
- 4.7 carbs, 2.7 of which are fiber
- 17 grams of fat
- 4.2 grams of protein
Hazelnuts have a high nutritional value. Just like any other nut, they are packed with many nutrients such as proteins, healthy fats, dietary fibers, vitamin E, and antioxidants. These fruit of the hazel tree have become rather famous due to Nutella and all the beverages that contain them.
We love them in chocolate, baked goods, in breads and cakes, in muffins, cookies and yes, in our coffees and hot cocoas. We add them to salads, curries, pasta, and roasted veggies, in ice creams and in delicious spreads. We even pair them with cheeses and fruit. So versatile!
When it comes to texture, hazelnuts are crunchy and oh, so creamy. When it comes to flavor, they have a delicate aroma, with a mild sweetness and a rather floral taste. They have an earthy, woody undertone and a rich, onctuous, buttery texture, due to their high oil content. They are a great snack and they can be a meal in themselves, when you have no time to grab a bite.
Roasted or raw, in sweet or savory dishes, hazelnuts are a must-have in your kitchen. But sometimes, you just run out. And if you’re allergic, you might think you’ll never get to taste all the amazing dishes we mentioned above. It doesn’t have to be like that, though! Here’s how to substitute hazelnuts, depending on your needs.
Try these hazelnut substitutes to get the same flavor
Hazelnuts are more nutty than your average nut. Their earthy aroma is more intense. Their sweet taste provides a fragrance you just don’t get in other nuts. So, if you’d like to keep that earthy-nutty-floral-sweet taste of hazelnuts, try out some of the following ingredients!
1. Hazelnut Extract
Hazelnut extract will give your dish all the flavor. Keep in mind, though, that it won’t give you the crunch or texture.
It’s ideal for frosting, cakes, and ice cream.
Another great advantage of using the extract rather than the oil is that you’ll have all the flavor without the calories and fat. The downside: while extract is a light way to bring that nutty taste to your food, there’s no nutrient intake.
It’s ideal for frosting, cakes, and ice cream. And if you add other ingredients such as some oil or butter and some crunch, such as oats, you will get the full hazelnut experience without having the actual nuts around. Extra tip: with proper documentation to make sure you’ll be safe, you can also find imitation extracts that could be ideal for those of you who are allergic.
2. Hazelnut Oil
Keeping hazelnut oil in your pantry at all times is a good tip. You’ll have the perfect substitute for hazelnuts when it comes to flavor and you can add it to plenty of dishes.
Hazelnut oil is made from roasted nuts and it provides that nutty sweetness and the same amount of fatty richness you’re looking for.
3. Hazelnut Butter
One of the best hazelnut substitutes is the butter made from the nuts. It has the same flavor and the same nutritional profile but it will give you a different texture.
If you make your own batch of hazelnut butter, you can leave in some of the crunch. But on the whole, it will be rather creamy and onctuous and not so crunchy.
Also, a good idea is to buy raw, natural butters and spreads without any added oils or sugar that change hazelnut taste.
Well, we’ll give you this option because it’s Nutella and we can always use an excuse to eat more of it. All jokes aside, this spread is sweeter and contains a lot of chocolate along with the hazelnut aroma. So, if you’re making chocolate chip and hazelnut dessert goodies, Nutella is a great alternative.
The best hazelnut replacements to get the same crunch and texture
Raw hazelnuts have a solid, firm, crunchy, and somehow chewy texture. When they are roasted, hazelnuts become more crunchy and crispy. They also get this buttery, rich flavor and they seem to melt in your mouth.
If you don’t like the flavor of hazelnuts but you’d love to keep that bite and crunchy texture, there are ways. So if you’ve run out of hazelnuts but want to keep to your recipe, the following nuts will do the trick. And keep scrolling and reading in order to discover some amazing hazelnut substitutes for those of you with allergies!
Nuts you can use instead of hazelnuts
We’re pretty sure you’ve thought of it yourself. After all, replacing one nut with another, when you’ve run out or simply when you don’t like the taste of one, is quite intuitive. But remember that not all nuts are the same when it comes to fat intake, texture, and flavor. Here are some of the best matches for hazelnuts in terms of flavor, crunch, and sometimes appearance:
Chances are you’ve got almonds lying around the house. And if you’re looking for a hazelnut alternative, almonds are a great match. Almonds are similar to raw hazelnuts when it comes to crunch and bite. They have the same bite and the same creaminess and chewiness as hazelnuts.
They do, however, have a different flavor. While hazelnuts are earthy, floral and sweet, almonds are slightly bitter, with a deep, intense flavor. Raw almonds are better than roasted ones when it comes to flavor. Extra tip: if you blanch the almonds, you will get rid of their bitter taste and their astringency and you’ll keep the taste and bite that is similar to hazelnuts.
6. Pecan Nuts
Pecans come quite close to hazelnuts, but there are some differences in terms of taste and texture. Pecans have the same sweetness as hazelnuts and they have a similar bite and chewiness.
These provide almost the same chewiness and crunch as hazelnuts. However, cashew nuts are sweeter than hazelnuts.
Also, while they are more nutty, they are not as earthy in taste. Furthermore, hazelnuts have a certain bite and firmness to them while cashews can be more delicate in texture. They are both creamy and rich due to their similar fat content.
8. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are the closest hazelnut substitute when it comes to texture and appearance. They are crispy and crunchy and they resemble roasted hazelnuts.
They are, however, more unctuous, buttery and rich, fat-wise. They are, actually, the fattest of the nuts but they can replace hazelnuts if you have them around. Another detail to be kept in mind when replacing hazelnuts with Macadamia nuts is that the latter are sweeter than the former.
Walnuts are a great alternative if you don’t have hazelnuts since they have a similar flavor and the same crunchy texture.
However, walnuts have a certain iodine, mouth puckering taste, while hazelnuts are rather more palatable and flowery-sweet. Also, walnuts can be richer, more unctuous and creamier, and have a crumbly-bite while hazelnuts have more crispiness and chewiness.
What can you replace hazelnuts with if you’re allergic to nuts?
If you have nut allergies, you’ll have to find the perfect non-nut hazelnut substitutes, and what you use will depend on the dish you’re preparing. Whether you’re trying to replicate the texture and crunch or looking to match the depth in flavor, there are some great alternatives to cook with.
10. Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds, flax seeds or chia seeds)
Any type of seed will give you the same crunch and oil content, without having the substances that cause allergies and inflammation as nuts.
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are your go-to choices to add an earthy taste and crunchy texture to your food, especially when roasted. Sesame seeds are great as well for adding depth and flavor. Flax seeds and chia seeds are great alternatives for texture and bite, but they don’t have so much flavor.
11. Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
If you are not able to eat nuts or you simply don’t like them, oats are a great choice for adding some crunch. Roasting the oats or rolled oats with some butter beforehand will give them a great nutty flavor. They can be added to baked dishes but they can also be added as toppings to your salads or curries.
Just as oats are a great option for adding some texture to your dishes, so is granola. No nuts, but quite some bite and crispness! Extra trick: toast granola with some butter, let it chill, and you’ll have some nutty flavor to go with your crunch. And no nuts!
13. Sweet Chips
When it comes to sweet alternatives for hazelnuts, there are plenty. Even nut free! Chocolate, butterscotch, caramel, and candy chips will add flavor and a little crunch to your baked goodies, and no nuts! Extra tip: white chocolate chips do not melt as fast as regular chocolate chips so they will add more bite and texture to your desserts.
14. Crisp Rice Cereal
Crisp rice cereal will give the crunch and well, yeah, crispiness you get from nuts. Of course, they only match the texture of nuts and wont give the same taste or aroma.
15. Dried Cranberries
Dried cranberries are great substitutes for hazelnuts in desserts and sweet treats. Muffins, cookies, cakes can get a little extra bite with dried cranberries.
If you’re replacing hazelnuts in sweet baked goods such as cookies, raisins can substitute them visually and texture wise. Just make sure to calibrate quantities, since raisins are a lot sweeter than hazelnuts.
What can you use instead of hazelnut flour
Hazelnut flour is a great option for breading, pie crusts, muffins, cupcakes, and cookies. It’s perfect for macaroons, waffles, and even for savory baked goods or pesto for that matter. If the recipe mentions hazelnut and hazelnut flour, but you don’t have any, don’t fancy the taste, or are allergic, there are other ways to get the same goodness.
17. Almond Flour
Almond flour is, just like raw almonds, the closest substitute for hazelnut flour. You can substitute it in exact measurements in most of recipes that mentioning hazelnut flour.
18. Chestnut Flour
Not many people know that chestnuts are rich in carbohydrates. When it comes to nut flours, chestnut is the richest in carbs. Just like hazelnut flour, chestnut flour is sweet. It also has a deep, nutty flavor and can remind you of hazelnuts.
19. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is another option for replacing hazelnut flour. The flavor will be different, of course, so make sure to adjust the quantities. With coconut flour you get no-gluten and extra depth and flavor to your baking goods.
20. Nut-Free: Quinoa Flour
If you’re trying to avoid any nut flour, quinoa is a great option. It has that nutty and earthy flavor most nuts have, it’s robust and full-bodied, providing that depth specific to hazelnuts, and is gluten- and nut-free. Not too shabby for a sub!
While hazelnuts are some of the most versatile nuts out there (they can be made into liqueurs, they can be used to enhance baked goods or to add texture to many dishes, they can be added to coffee and they are a great snack, either raw or toasted), it doesn’t mean they are the most popular. It doesn’t make them everyone’s best choice. That is why we gathered and tested all the hazelnut substitutes we could think of. For nut aficionados and nut-free seekers, make sure to try out our suggestions. And if you find more replacements, do let us know so that we can complete our list.