16 Cheaper Pine Nuts Substitute That Will Not Make You Broke

Pine nuts seem to be a favorite in recipes. They have this sweet flavor thats subtle but long-lasting. Eating a handful of these nuts will leave you with this distinct aftertaste, which makes the dish memorable. For every 100 grams of pine nuts, you get around 673 calories.

Unfortunately, theyre also one of the most expensive nuts on the market today. If youre working within a budget or just dont have any available there are cheaper options. Here are some of the perfect pine nut substitutes available today.

  1. Almonds
  2. Brazil Nuts
  3. Cashews
  4. Hazelnuts
  5. Macadamia Nuts
  6. Pecan Nuts
  7. Peanuts
  8. Pistachios
  9. Walnuts

They are, nonetheless, one of the most costly nuts on the market today. If you’re on a tight budget or just don’t have any, there are less expensive solutions. Here are some of the best pine nut replacements on the market today.

But first, let us understand why is pine nuts so expensive.

16 Best Substitute For Pine Nuts 

Pine nuts are expensive because it takes time to grow pine nuts for harvest. Youll need to wait around 18 months for pines to mature for harvest. The species that can be grown and harvested for cooking purposes is also limited.

Currently, one ounce of pine nuts can cost around 1.44 USD. In comparison, one ounce of almonds costs just 42 cents.

Luckily, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives that you can use as pine nuts replacements.


Pine nuts can help increase your energy, thanks to their high iron and protein content. They’re also great for your skin!

Almonds have a subtler flavor than pine nuts. However, the texture is largely similar, making it perfect when sprinkled on top of desserts.

You can also roast almonds to really bring out the flavor and texture of the nuts. Theyre slightly harder than pine nuts so try soaking them overnight. This helps remove the skin and slightly softens the almond for a softer texture.

Of course, if you like the crunch of almonds in your dessert, you can just toast them directly. Compared to pine nuts, almonds have a slightly lower calorie count of just 579 calories per 100 grams. Just stick to a 1:1 ratio.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts have an almost meaty texture. When blended, they get this beautiful buttery texture thats perfect for baking or cooking savory dishes.

They function much like coconuts but you can also use them as a pine nut substitute.

Do NOT eat too much of Brazil nuts as they contain selenium, which can be harmful when taken in large quantities. You need to limit yourself to just 4 Brazil nuts per day for safety reasons.

Each nut measures around 5 grams so limit your recipes to just 20 grams at a time. For every 20 grams of Brazil Nuts, you get around 130 calories. If the recipe calls for more than 20 grams, you might want to find another substitute!

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Close up shot of heap of cashews, isolated on white background.

If youre after a near-identical replacement for pine nuts, cashew is the way to go. Plus theyre also inexpensive and easily available in many stores.

Large chunks of cashew are typically more expensive so just get the crushed ones, especially if you plan to crush them in the first place.

When buying cashew, make sure youre getting the unsalted version. Toast them a little before adding to the dish. Should give your food a stronger and earthier taste. For every 100 grams of cashew, you get 553 calories.


Hazelnuts arent as common in the market but theyre definitely easier to find than pine nuts. They blend well with Mediterranean and Italian cuisines with its slightly sweet and earthy taste.

It has a pretty strong aftertaste and goes well with many dishes including chocolate!

If youre baking chocolate cake, hazelnut makes for a perfect topping to help balance out the sweetness and add texture. Use a 1:1 ratio for substitution. Every 100 grams of Hazelnut has 628 calories.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are also expensive but you can find them easily in many grocery stores. They work well with mint and parsley, so theyre best used for pesto sauce.

The flavor is pretty strong with these nuts much more than pine nut.

When blended, they have this creamy texture thats perfect for dessert dishes. Theyre pretty high on calories, though every 100 grams has 728 calories. Add them if youre only using a small amount for the dish. Stick with a 1:1 ratio for substitution.

Pecan Nuts

Pecan nuts are another excellent option! They also have this subtly sweet flavor that makes them similar to pine nuts. The mild sweetness makes them an ideal topping for bread and desserts.

Adding pecan nuts to the dish guarantees theyll be able to add texture to the food without altering the overall flavor. You can also roast them for a stronger taste and an even more amazing aroma.

Every 100 grams of pecan nuts gives you around 690 calories. It comes with a 1:1 ratio.


If youre looking for really cheap pine nut substitutes peanuts are your best bet. Theyre available in practically any store and can be bought unsalted and roasted.

You can roast them yourself or if you want added flavor you can choose honey-roasted peanuts off the shelf.

Since theyre so popular, you can find numerous flavors for peanut. This helps you experiment with the overall taste of the dish you plan to add them on.

Like walnuts, the bitter taste of peanuts come from its brown skin. If you can take those off, youll have a richer taste with less bitterness.

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One in every 50 kids in the US have a peanut allergy, so keep that in mind when cooking. There are 567 calories in 100 grams of peanuts.


Pistachios are a good pine nut substitute for pesto sauces. The green coloring really makes your pesto sauce stand out and look more delicious than ever. Pistachio also carries a sweet and nutty taste that balances out well with the parsley.

You can find pistachio easily in most grocery stores, and the price is more reasonable than pine nuts. Just follow a 1:1 ratio for the substitution. At 100 grams, you can get around 562 calories.


Walnuts have a slight bitter taste to them. Preparation is the key you want to remove the skin and roast them for a nuttier and less-bitter flavor. Its also a good idea to chop or crush the walnuts to spread out the flavor.

Theyre perfect for bread or other recipes with a strong flavor. This way, any leftover bitterness can be quickly masked. Every cup of walnut has around 654 calories. Follow a 1:1 ratio.

Apricot Seeds

Pine nuts dont always need a nut substitute. The truth is that you can find non-nut substitutes for the ingredient. This is ideal for people who suffer from nut allergies or those who maybe just want to cook something that everyone can safely eat. Apricot seeds are a good example but theyre not exactly abundant.

If you manage to find them, apricot seeds can be added in almost any dish. Try not to add them to pesto, however as the resulting sweetness doesnt blend well with the pasta.

One upside of apricot seeds is that they taste best when raw no need to roast them beforehand. Add them in dessert and ice cream dishes where their sweetness will blend well. Note that theyre very heavy on calories. 100 grams of apricot seeds contains around 884 calories.


Edamame also known as vegetarian soy bean is a popular ingredient taken from immature soybean pods. Theyre good for making pesto sauces as the natural green color helps add vitality to your pasta.

They can also be roasted and lightly salted for that perfect crunch.You can put them as toppings on baked goods, added in salad, or used with savory dishes. It has just 122 calories per 100 grams.

However, dont eat too much of it as excessive edamame can actually compromise your ability to absorb nutrients.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a great substitute, thanks to their high nutrition. Their naturally nutty taste means you wont completely alter the overall flavor of whatever youre cooking.

Even better theres hemp powder available in many stores. This means that if youre using pine nuts for the flavor, you can just add hemp powder and save yourself the trouble of crushing or blending the seeds.

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If youre after the crunchy texture toast the hemp seeds and youll get that satisfying bite. Do not use hemp seeds for pesto sauces but theyre a good choice for practically everything else.

Around 30 grams of hemp seeds will give you 166 calories.

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are a great substitute if you have a nut allergy. They have a slightly nutty taste with that added crunch thats satisfying in many baked recipes.

The flavor comes out better when roasted. Make sure to buy the unsalted version when using this as a substitute. Theyre definitely cheaper and easier to find in many stores.

Compared to others in this list, pumpkin seeds have a lower calorie count of just 446 calories for every 100 grams.

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are a good substitute if youre making salads, sauces, or desserts. They can be roasted or fried in the same way as nuts. Doing so helps enhance the flavor and create a crispy consistency similar to pine nuts.

They also have this slightly sweet flavor. Use the 1:1 substitution ratio for substitution. Every 100 grams of sesame seeds gives you 573 calories.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds help add texture to your food with their distinctive crunch. Theyre great when added in salads, cakes, and other desserts. You can also blend it up for sauces.

Note that the grayish hue of sunflower seeds can subtly alter the color of your final product. On the plus side theyre easy enough to find in many stores! There are 584 calories in 100 grams.

White Beans

White beans are a good substitute if youre making pesto. Their texture after being blended is very similar to pine nuts.

They also have this nutty and earthy flavor that helps you maintain the overall taste of any dish. They dont offer the nutty crunch, so you cant drizzle them raw over the food.

White beans can be added to any dish if the goal is achieving a creamy texture without triggering any nut allergies. Its also a good low-calorie substitute since 100 grams of white beans contains only 67 calories.

Pine Nuts Substitute Related FAQs

Can people have pine nut allergy?

Pine nut allergy isnt quite as common although it can definitely happen. Estimates suggest less than 5% of the total population is allergic to pine nuts.

Can pine nuts be toxic?

The Food and Drug Administration agrees that there is no lasting negative effect to eating pine nuts. However, those who eat pine nuts have reported a slightly bitter and metallic taste after eating the nuts.

This usually lasts up to 48 hours and is called pine nut syndrome. There is no life threatening effect to the bitter taste.


What is a cheap alternative to pine nuts?

Sunflower Seeds

These seeds are a great inexpensive swap for pine nuts, but if using them to make pesto, keep in mind that they will dull the overall color. Be sure to get sunflower seeds out of their shells.

What is the best alternative to pine nuts?

Hazelnuts are an excellent substitute for pine nuts since they have a sweet taste.
Pecans are a great substitute for pine nuts, thanks to their buttery consistency and sweet taste.
Pumpkin seeds are the best nut-free substitute for pine nuts, thanks to their versatility.

What can I substitute for pine nuts if I have an allergy?

Sunflower seeds

While cashew nuts make the best substitute for pine nuts in pesto, sunflower seeds are great if you have a nut allergy. You won’t have the same buttery flavour, but sunflower seeds add texture and fat to balance all that herbaceous basil goodness.

What is the best nut to substitute for pine nuts in pesto?

Pine nuts in pesto can easily be replaced by other nuts: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and even sunflower seeds, are all a perfect pine nut replacement. You can even make your pesto based on otherwise wasted food, such as carrot greens.

What nuts are in the same family as pine nuts?

Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. An allergy to one tree nut doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual is allergic to all types of tree nuts. However, the individual should speak with an allergist before consuming other tree nuts.

What can I substitute for pine nuts in pignoli cookies?

Substitutions. Nuts- If you leave out the pignoli, they wouldn’t be Pignoli cookies! If you need to substitute the pinenuts, you can substitute chopped or slivered almonds or chopped cashews for the pine nuts.

Why pine nuts are so expensive?

Pine nuts are one of the more expensive nuts on the market because of the time required to grow the nuts and the effort to harvest the seeds from their protective encasement.

What is the disadvantage of pine nuts?

The Cons of Pine Nuts

It causes itchiness, rashes, hives, watery eyes, running nose, dizziness, vomiting and abdominal pains if ingested or gotten in contact with.

What is so special about pine nuts?

Pine nuts are rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein, which can help with diabetes management, heart health, and brain health. Other nutrients in pine nuts include: Phosphorus. The vitamin K.

Do pine nuts trigger nut allergies?

Pine nut allergies are similar to other tree nut allergies, and can cause mild, moderate, and severe allergic responses including anaphylaxis. Cross-reactivity has been reported between pine nuts and peanuts and between pine nuts and pine pollen.

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