How to Make Nut Butter

How to Make Nut Butter

If only I had known how quick and easy it was to make my own nut butters, I would have started doing it a long time ago!

I think that for most people, the idea of making smooth and creamy nut butters feels daunting. They’re the kind of thing that, even if you love making food from scratch, you just buy anyways- like hard cheeses and macaroni noodles.

The truth is, they require little more than absent-mindedly watching a cookie sheet of nuts in the oven with a timer, turning on your food processor, and scraping the finished product into a jar at the end.

My Method for Making Quick and Easy Nut Butters

peanuts half roasted
My sheet of peanuts half-roasted

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 and fill up a cookie sheet with your nut of choice (already shelled, of course). It’s fine if the nuts are a couple of layers deep, it just means you’ll need to mix them around a bit during roasting.

Good choices are peanuts (we prefer organic, Valencia peanuts, but any are fine), almonds, cashews, or even more exotic nuts like hazelnuts or walnuts. Just note that the times I’m giving you are for peanuts (and almonds are quite similar) but if you want to try other nuts you’ll just have to watch the roasting process carefully since some nuts will take less or more time in the oven.

I should also note here that ideally, your nuts should be “crispy nuts”, or nuts that have been soaked for 12-24 hours and then dehydrated. This is to reduce phytate content. Phytates put a strain on the digestive system and also pull nutrients out of our bodies so that we absorb them less. It’s the same idea as preparing grains by soaking/sprouting/sourdough. You can definitely still do this if you haven’t soaked and dehydrated the nuts first, but this is a good bonus step for even better nutrition and digestion.

2. Put the cookie sheet in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Go do something else in the kitchen (note: this is a perfect amount of time for unloading the dishwasher, a task I detest and always put off).

3. When the beeper goes, pull out your cookie sheet and give the nuts a good shake. Sometimes I move them around with my hands to mix them well, just beware that they will be a bit hot by this point and you don’t want to burn yourself.

4. Pop them back in the oven for another 8-12 minutes. At this point, I start to go by smell more than anything. I find that 18-20 minutes of total oven time is pretty good for roasting my Valencia peanuts. Once that rich, roasted nut smell starts to really fill my kitchen, I know that they’re done. They also get a slightly shiny look, because the oils are being released (it’s a subtle thing, but you can sort of see it in this picture).

And now fully roasted
And now fully roasted

5. Let them cool for a little while and then dump them all into your food processor (one cookie sheet comfortably fills my processor). Turn it on to a medium speed and let it process for several minutes. If necessary, stop and scrape down the sides, but I usually only do this once or twice during the entire process.

peanut butter in food processor

The video below shows this in detail, but basically just keep processing the nuts until the oils are further released by the grinding, and it turns into a smooth paste. It takes at least 5 minutes for it to really starting to turn into nut butter and not just ground up nuts. Be patient.

At this point, it becomes a matter of preference how smooth or chunky you like it and how long you process it for. The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes for me. It is also so simple that my 6 year old can do it with hardly any supervision or help from me!

abbie scooping peanut butter

Finishing Up Your Nut Butter

Although not necessary at all, I like to flavor my nut butter slightly. I usually add in about a tablespoon of coconut oil, a sprinkle of salt (to taste- start with a just a little, blend and taste, add more if desired), and a spoonful of raw honey. I add this once it’s already nice and smooth, then I turn it back on for another minute to fully incorporate my extra ingredients.

For those who are really visual, go ahead and watch the video to see how it looks as it’s grinding. I show you my whole process and do my best to give you a close-up look at my food processor.

What types of nut butter does your family prefer? Have you ever tried making it yourself?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

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  1. Because of peanut and tree nut allergies, I have never make my own. I have thought of trying sunflower seeds or soy.

    1. Margaret,
      Sunflower seeds sound like a good idea – I know many people love Sunbutter. Soy is definitely NOT a good idea. The only way to consume soy is fermented like miso or soy sauce.

  2. LOVE this! I remember making peanut butter when I was in kindergarten at a Montessori school, and I’ve been wanting to do it with my girls, but I kinda assumed it was a lot harder than that!

    Do you refrigerate your nut butters or can they be stored just like the all-natural ones you buy, in the pantry?

    1. @Mandi @ Life…Your Way, I think that you could store it in the pantry, but I tend to keep it in my fridge. The natural ones that I have bought are often pretty hard in the fridge, but for some reasons my homemade stuff keeps softer even when cold. I think it just wouldn’t last as long in the cupboard, but hey, with 4 little girls I bet you go through it fast anyways! 🙂

  3. Thank you for this! I tried making some peanut butter but it ended up being the consistancy of peanut butter fudge with nuts. 🙂 The recipe I found had me adding EVOO which really gave it a strong taste. My husband is not a fan of crunchy PB or EVOO as a main flavor so it was a no go for him. I may try your recipe after vacation.


    1. @Danielle,
      Danielle, I recently saw a recipe – on CHEESESLAVE, I think, but maybe elsewhere – that adds a little bit of expeller-pressed coconut oil (or palm oil). I tried this and it is GREAT. Makes it nice and creamy, with no added flavor.

  4. just curious, if you buy already roasted nuts, can you just food process them this same way and get the same effect? is it better to buy raw nuts and then soak, dehydrate, and roast them yourself? thanks!

    1. @kellie, I think that you could use pre-roasted nuts and it would work pretty well, although there may be something to freshly roasting your nuts and having those oils just released that helps to make the process work so well. I think the health benefits are better, though, when you do the soaking and dehydrating yourself first, then roast them.

      1. thanks! we live in smaller city China, and i am not sure if i can get raw nuts here, i have looked everywhere! but, i will keep looking :0). i have also heard that it is better for you to eat raw nuts, is this true???

  5. Every time I make peanut butter I am afraid that I am burning my motor out (and I have a Bosch!). I have done it three times and both times my 6 yr old Bosch has started smelling and making a funny noise so I’ve stopped. Anyone have any issues like this? Then it takes a few uses (making bread, etc) to get it working well again (no odor and no whining noises).

    If I ever find an old food processor at a garage sale I think I’ll buy it just to make peanut butter as we go through a lot of it in our household.

  6. Yes, I’m also interested in how you store this. Thanks for the video. It helps a lot to know when it’s done. Where do you purchase your peanuts?

      1. @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, Stephanie, we actually eat mostly store bought natural peanut butter. The only butter I make regularly is almond butter. I wish we could afford to eat it all the time – it’s our favorite but definitely too expensive for every day.

  7. This post came just at the right time for me. Have you ever tried it with peanuts already roasted in the shell (shells removed of course 🙂 ). My husband purchased a jumbo cosco bag of unsalted roasted peanuts and no one liked them without the salt so I was thinking about shelling them and making pb. The added coconut oil sounds yummy. I can’t wait to try it!

  8. I have made nut butters for quite a while, but never thought of roasting my nuts. I will definitely be adding that step. I am sure that it would make it taste even better. Great post!!

  9. I never realized how easy it would be…I thought you’d have to have some sort of special grinder! Will definitely be trying this out as we’ve got a big bag of organic almonds from Costco!
    On a slightly different note, anyone got any tips for getting a bit of salt to stick to roasted nuts? We buy raw and roast ourselves but I’m always wishing the salt didn’t end up at the bottom of the bag…

  10. I love natural peanut butter though I have never made my own but I would love to try. Here is a tip for those who by natural peanut butter. One day after shopping I was in a hurry while putting a way my grocery’s and accidentally put the peanut butter in the fridge upside down. Well when I went to open it a couple days later, the oil had worked its way through the peanut butter, NO oily mess! no need to stir every time you use it and once the oil has worked through it does not separate again so you don’t have to keep storing it upside down :)I can not tell you how excited I was about it – try it out, you will be amazed!

  11. I would love to try this with almonds and add flax seeds. Trader Joes makes a really yummy almond flax seed butter that is delicious but kind of expensive. My question is how do I dehydrate the nuts. Do I need a special machine?

    1. @sharon, I do use a dehydrator, a small kitchen appliance made just for drying foods. I do know that people also do it straight out in the sunshine (the old fashioned way!) or also in their oven (if their oven goes down to very, very low temps- around 100-120). If you don’t have a dehydrator, I would suggest keeping your eyes open at garage sales and thrift stores. You can often find them really, really cheap that way.

      1. @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, I’ve always wondered… if you’re going to roast nuts at a higher temperature anyway, is it necessary to dehydrate them first at a low temperature? It seems like you could skip the dehydrating step and go straight from soaking to drying/roasting in the oven. Do you have any thoughts about this? I would LOVE to decrease the process by a step and save some time too. 🙂

        1. @Jen, I haven’t tried doing this, but it’s possible. My fear is that the nuts wouldn’t roast well. I just don’t know how they would go from being soaking wet to roasted. But if you decide to try it, I’d love to know how it works!

          For me, it doesn’t usually feel like a big deal to do the extra step because I soak/dry my nuts when I first buy them, and then I make the nut butter at some later point, when I feel like doing it. So they’re already ready for me to use with (what feels like) no extra effort.

        2. @Jen, I tried to roast right after soaking & my peanuts burned & tasted gross. 🙁

          I have a new batch in the dehydrator now…hoping they turn out better!

  12. I had almonds coming in my bulk food order yesterday and planned to try my hand a nut butter using it. So I’m toasting nuts right now. Thanks for the timely tips!

    1. @Milly B, In a large bowl, I simply add the nuts and then fill it with water that goes a couple inches above the nuts. I let it sit at least overnight, and up to a full 24 hours (anywhere between 12-24 is fine). Then I drain the nuts, spread them on dehydrator trays, and dehydrate them at a low heat (usually around 105) until they are dry and crispy.

  13. I’m so glad I saw this! I’d tried to make nut butter at home, but all I did was throw cold nuts in the food processor and chop them up for a minute or two. I didn’t follow these directions at all, and I definitely didn’t keep at it long enough!

    Now, as soon as I can find where my toddler hid my cuisinart lid, I’m trying this!

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing everyone how to make nut butter!!! I do not like to pay what it costs to buy almond butter, and am happy to know a more cost effective way to have it on-hand. Being that my family and I are new to eating almond butter, I never put that much thought into how easy it would be to make.

  15. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making nut butters and you gave me that little push I needed. We made almond butter today in my Vita-mix. I added a bit of coconut oil, some honey and some hemp seeds and it is so delicious!!! And I know it’s a very healthy snack or my kids. Thanks for the post.


  16. How does this compare in price to buying storebought peanut butter? Lately I’ve just been buying the Smuckers natural kind and I just wonder what the price comparison would be.

  17. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I really want to try making almond butter because it seems to be SO pricey in my area compared to peanut butter!

    I have a question–would a food chopper or blender work, or do I have to use a food processor? The most I get into real food, the more I’m thinking I need to put a food processor on my Christmas list! lol 🙂

    Love the video….your accent makes me miss our time in Vancouver (spent a semester there 2 years ago!). I <3 Canada!!

  18. How important is it to get the skin off the peanuts before grinding them? Seems like it would just affect the “color” of the peanut butter? Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. @Julie, I don’t really bother trying to get the skins off. If I can get some easily, I do, but I don’t get picky about it. I don’t find that it affects the taste, really, unless you burn the peanuts a bit. It does make it slightly darker, but it’s not very noticeable.

  19. I have continued to buy store bought nut butters because I do not have the proper equipment to gain the right consistency and I prefer the taste better. If I lacto fermented the nut butter before using, do you think that would help to reduce the phytates?

  20. To Kait Palmer’s post:

    When I roast my almonds (SO much better than buying them roasted in a can), on taking the hot nuts out of the oven, I then coat them with real butter (it takes only about a tablespoon for a large iron skillet-full) and then toss them with powdered salt. I powder the salt in a coffee grinder (which MOSTLY powders it). Let them cool completely before putting them in a closed jar in the fridge. They really are great that way!

  21. I would love to roast my own nuts and make my own butter. I have just never soaked, dehydrated or roasted them before. And I am nervous I won’t do it right, do you have any tips for newbies getting into making at home products…I tried soaking and boiling black beans once…that didn’t turn out so well 🙁

    Thanks for any advice you could give.

  22. Dear Stephanie,

    Thank you very very much for this post. I have bought almond butter for many years believing that it was too hard to make at home. After stumbling across your web site and reading your encouraging words I decided to take the plunge and try to make some almond butter myself. I followed all the steps, and what do you know, I had delicious almond butter at the end! It was SOOO easy. So cheers!

  23. Question 1:
    Is there another way to dehydrate the nuts if you do not have a dehydrator?
    Question 2:
    I usually buy organic walnuts, almonds and pecan nuts, but not always. Does organic and/or kind of nut make a difference?
    Question 3:
    How do I store the nut butter container wise and refrigerate or no?
    Question 4:
    How long will it last according to how your advise to store it?
    Also, ‘Just want to make sure I have this right. So, I should soak them overnight in cool water. Then, I should drain them (maybe blot them with a paper towel to get off the excess water). Dehydrate them. Then roast them is the oven, cool them and process them in the food processor and I will have nut butter? That’s pretty cool if it’s that easy.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions I really do appreciate. Can’t wait to hear to try….

    1. 1) Without a dehydrator, you can do it in the oven at a very low temperature (or even overnight), but not all ovens go that low. You might consider trying it overnight with your oven light on (but the oven turned off). It actually warms up the oven better than you would think.
      2) Organic is always best, but of course, not necessary. The kind of nut mostly just changes how long you roast them for (something like walnuts requires less time, for example), and also how long it takes to grind them (again, walnuts or pecans would grind faster than almonds).
      3) Personally, I refrigerate. I keep them in a glass pyrex container with a lid, or a mason jar.
      4) It lasts a good 3-4 weeks, in the fridge.
      And yes, it seems like you’ve got it right. Hope it works well for you! 🙂

  24. So I followed all the directions about soaking, dehydrating and roasting the nuts. I used almonds. I put them in my food processor for an hour and it still didn’t turn into nut butter. Any idea what I did wrong?

  25. I just blogged about my experience making cashew butter based on your recipe. It was delicious, and so worth the effort! Thank you for posting such clear instructions!!!

  26. Hi Stephanie,
    You mentioned that you prefer to roast the nuts because it gives them a deeper flavour. Wouldn’t the roasting at 350 degrees kill some nutrients in the nuts? I guess that I have to choose between less flavour but more healthy and more flavour but less healthy?
    Thank you.

    1. Alina, I have the same question. Did you ever find an answer? I have been buying sprouted nuts and roasting them to use, but I’m sprouting my own nuts now in an effort to save a little money. I am scared of killing off the good stuff I’m making available by sprouting them (enzymes, etc)!

      1. Hi guys. I have read that roasting nuts destroys about half of their nutritional content. Many people prefer the taste of roasted nuts, but raw is far more nutritious.

  27. Newbie here but hope to be a master very soon – you demonstrated making peanut butter, starting with soaking and dedydrating, I want to venture into almond, cashew and pecan butter as well as peanut butter, would you suggest the soaking and dehydrating steps for any nut, regardless of the type?
    Thank for you knowledge.

  28. Thanks, Stephanie. I make almond butter in my Vitamix and have now started making walnut butter. Walnuts are so soft that I don’t think they would put a strain on a blender’s motor, but almonds are much harder and sometimes can. I start with frozen nuts which helps keep the blender from overheating.

  29. What a great article, so practical and useful. Well done for explaining how to make home made nut butters. We’ve recently bought a new food processor and, with your article, we will be attempting to make our own versions of nut butter.

    I had one question, what would be the average shelf life of a home made nut butter? And how do you store them, i.e in a fridge or in a cupboard?

    Keep up the great writing and if you’d like to cast a critical eye on our blog, please do.


    1. I store mine in the fridge. You could keep it in the cupboard, but it the oils from the nuts would go rancid faster. In the fridge, I’ve kept it up to a month with no problems. In the cupboard, I bet it would only last a couple weeks at most.

  30. hi,
    I’m in UK. Have tried several times to make nut butters but my grinder gets overheated and the result aren’t so good. What make of processor do you use? It looks strong!

    thanks for sharing

  31. Wow, this is very helpful! Thanks! We just learned that my son has food sensitivities to various nuts, so we’re suddenly off peanut butter. He can have hazelnuts so I need to find a way to make nut butter for him. I’m thinking of adding in maple syrup as he can also have that.

    Thanks for helping guide me with your descriptive article!

  32. Thanks so much for the instructions on the nut butter! You inspired me to actually make some walnut butter and it was fantastic. I need to be making my own nut butters because the ready-made store bought varieties are processed along with peanuts. etc. which cause an adrenal response for me.
    Who new it was so easy!!

  33. thanks for a wonderful post! Any suggestions as to how to make my walnut butter creamier? (it keeps turning out too mealy)

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