Walnut Butter

by Mary on July 23, 2012

jar of freshly made walnut butter with walnuts

freshly made walnut butter

Walnuts are so soft and rich that they blend up easily in a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix. Start with good walnuts and you’ll like the results. Look for a store that refrigerates its nuts or that has a high turnover. Walnuts go rancid quickly when shelled, and I’ve been unhappy with the quality and price of the typical supermarket walnuts.  Avoid bags of nuts that have shreds of the bitter papery membrane that attaches the walnut to the shell. I’ve found Costco’s walnuts to be fresh, and I like the price.

Some people soak walnuts overnight before using them to remove most of the tannins found in the walnuts’ skin, then dehydrate the nuts before blending. That improves their digestibility and takes away the astringent, bitter note that the tannins give. I like the taste of plain, ordinary walnuts just fine, and it’s unclear to me that soaking the walnuts is a net benefit nutritionally, so I don’t soak them. (For more on walnuts’ nutritional benefits, see The World’s Healthiest Foods).

You could toast the walnuts in the oven first to add toasted flavor to your nut butter. I haven’t tried that. This is just your basic, easy walnut butter. No salt, no added oil, no spices like cinnamon.

If you like, go ahead and add things to customize the recipe. Though a warning: walnut oil is very strong-flavored, much more so than the walnuts themselves. I’ve ruined other recipes with it so be careful if you use it.

If you don’t have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, I’ve read this will work just fine in a food processor, though you may have to stop and scrape it down a few times. The texture will probably not be quite as smooth.

3.8 from 4 reviews
Walnut Butter
Prep time
Total time
A quick, easy method for making your own walnut butter.
Recipe type: spread
  • 5 cups walnut
  1. Start with frozen nuts to keep them cool as they blend.
  2. Put nuts in Vitamix. Blend, starting at a low variable speed, raising the speed to a high variable speed, then switching to high power.
  3. Blend until smooth, tamping and stirring the nuts with the tamper.
  4. The walnut butter ought to be smooth in about one minute.
  5. Yield: about 1¾ cups.

Related recipe: almond butter.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara July 24, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I have a new Blendtec but I haven’t made nut butter in it yet. I’ll have to give it a try.
Barbara recently posted..Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini BreadMy Profile


mary July 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I’ll bet your new blender will quickly become indispensable. Enjoy!


Liz July 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I’m trying to find a nut butter that I enjoy…I seem to only like pb in cookies…and wasn’t thrilled with almond butter either. I could use the extra protein and do it without increasing my animal fat intake. I may give this a whirl 🙂
Liz recently posted..Maple Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Crispy Smashed Potatoes~My Profile


mary July 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I’m allergic to peanuts so that’s always out for me. For baking I’m thinking macadamia nut butter has possibilities. Got my imagination piqued by a macadamia nut butter frosting on The Cupcake Project.


Yankeepants July 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Your mention on my granola recipe of using walnut butter in granola made my mouth water! The Gent is allergic to walnuts, but I’m going to try your recipe using pecans, which I think could result in a similar texture (have you tried it?) Thanks for the inspiration!
Yankeepants recently posted..Superstar Stuffed Summer SquashMy Profile


mary July 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I haven’t tried pecans yet, but I’ve done it with walnut butter and almond butter. Let me know how it works with the pecans.


Marc November 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

Oooh, this reminds me of the wonderful days that I spent in Blue Lake, California. I live in Austria, Europe, so I don’t get to eat peanut (or walnut) butter too often. :/


Shannen July 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Bei uns in Österreich gibts doch auch Walnüsse und Erdnüsse. Nur Pecans sind schwer zu finden. Die Auswahl wird in Kalifornien sicher größer sein, aber du musst auch bei uns nicht drauf verzichten 😉


Mary July 31, 2019 at 5:30 am

Thanks for commenting, Shannen! I’ll translate your comment for my readers who need that: There are also walnuts and peanuts in Austria. Only pecans are hard to find. The selection will certainly be bigger in California, but you do not have to do without here.


MAK October 8, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I love nut butters.. I tried making walnut butter in a Vitamix blender..It was an oily mess.. It extracts lots of oil which I kept, but the rest turned into cement. I think it is just easier to buy… Maybe I did something wrong..


Mary October 12, 2017 at 1:51 am

Thanks for your comment. The Vitamix is so powerful that sometimes it makes things harder, not easier. I would try the walnut butter in a food processor instead and see what happens.


Frankie September 5, 2021 at 11:03 pm

I want to make walnut butter in my vitamix. Is there a recipe to follow?


Mary November 15, 2021 at 6:37 pm

There is a very simple one-ingredient recipe in the post above.


Ayoub's Dried Fruits and Nuts October 28, 2021 at 9:11 pm

Great insightful post! We completely agree with looking for the right quality, the high omega-3 concentration in walnuts turns them rancid really fast, and a lot of folks don’t know refrigeration is key! We feel so strongly about this, we actually wrote a post on how to make sure you’re getting high quality walnuts, you can check it out here!


Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: