That’s the good stuff you find in chocolates like Ferrero Rocher and Nutella!
This type of nut brings out a unique, rich flavor that works amazingly with chocolate desserts.
But you’ll be surprised that they also work in savory dishes, adding that extra crunch to salads and slightly salty flavors.
Unfortunately, some people are allergic to hazelnuts or have none in the kitchen or supermarket. If you’re one of them, then it sucks for you!
Nah, we’re just kidding.
You can use so many hazelnut substitutes and still capture the flavor this nutritious nut offers.
Read on to find the best hazelnut substitute that suits you the most!
The Best Substitutes for Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are seeds from the hazel tree, commonly known as hazels in the US.
Fun fact: Hazelnuts are known as cobnuts and filberts in Europe!
Like other nuts, hazelnuts have a high oil content, along with a creamy, nutty flavor many people love.
Hazelnuts are made to create hazelnut oil and are commonly used as an ingredient in sweet dishes and baked goods, particularly those with chocolate and vanilla flavors.
You can also find hazelnuts in cooked and uncooked savory dishes, like salads, pasta, and curries. Alternatively, they can be eaten raw, with people enjoying them as a filling snack.
What do hazelnuts taste like?
Hazelnuts have a delicate aroma with a floral taste and mild sweetness. Expect an earthy and woody undertone, too.
In terms of texture, hazelnuts are crunchy and very creamy with a rich buttery texture, thanks to the high-fat content.
You can’t mimic the hazelnut taste entirely, but you can get pretty close to it with these best substitutes for hazelnuts:
1. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are the best ingredient to substitute hazelnuts with as they have a similar appearance and texture.
Macadamia nuts are also crunchy and crispy, resembling roasted hazelnuts.
However, Macadamia nuts are more rich, buttery, and unctuous, fat-wise. In fact, Macadamia nuts are the fattiest among all the nuts.
They are also sweeter than hazelnuts, which is something to consider.
Even then, we recommend Macadamia nuts when substituting hazelnuts in sweet, baked goods!
2. Cashew Nuts
Cashews have a similar crunch and chewiness to hazelnuts, but the former is much sweeter and nuttier.
We still like that both these nuts are equally rich and creamy because of their fat content.
While cashews taste nuttier, they aren’t as earthy as hazelnuts. Also, while hazelnuts are a bit firmer with a unique bute, cashews tend to have a more delicate texture.
3. Hazelnut Butter
One of the best hazelnut substitutes goes out to hazelnut butter. It’s butter made from the nut you’re trying to replace; what’s not to love?
While you get a similar nutritional value and creamy texture, you don’t get much crunch. You do get a creamy and buttery texture, which also gives your dishes a good consistency.
We recommend purchasing raw and natural butter or spreads without added sugars or oils, which would alter the hazelnut taste.
4. Hazelnut Flour
Hazelnut flour is a suitable option for breadings, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, or pie crusts that need hazelnuts or the flavor.
Besides hazelnut flour, you can also use other nut flours, like coconut flour, almond flour, and even almond meal.
Almond flour is a closer substitute to hazelnut than coconut flour, which has a more different flavor.
Chestnut flour also works, tasting sweet, though it is the highest in carbs.
If you need something nut-free, you can try quinoa flour, which has a nutty and earthy flavor comparable to nuts. It also has a robust and full-bodied flavor, matching hazelnuts’ depth. Plus, it’s nut AND gluten-free.
5. Hazelnut Oil
Hazelnut oil is a great kitchen staple because it’s a good substitute for hazelnuts and is valuable in many other dishes.
This oil comes from roasted hazelnuts, providing the similar nutty sweetness and fat you want from hazelnuts.
It’s one of the best hazelnut substitutes for both flavor and consistency, but without much of the crunchy texture.
You might find raw or cold-pressed hazelnut oil, but these are made best for external use, such as on the skin, hair, or in beauty products.
6. Hazelnut Extract
Hazelnut extract gives your dish all the hazelnut flavor you need. However, you don’t get the same crunchy texture you would expect from raw hazelnuts.
We love this substitution because you receive all the flavor without any calories and fat. That said, you won’t get any of the nutritional value you usually find from hazelnuts.
Well, if you’re out of hazelnuts, then hazelnut extract is the best replacement for baking cookies and cakes or for making frosting and ice creams.
We also like putting a few drops of extract in our mugs to create hazelnut-flavored coffee!
If you’re after a more authentic flavor and consistency, you can always add oil or butter for added nutty creaminess and oats for the crunchy texture.
If you’re allergic to hazelnuts, don’t worry! Imitation hazelnut extracts are available, so you can still get the nutty flavor without risking your health.
If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to buy Nutella and keep stock of it at home, this is it!
Nutella is an addicting spread with a rich chocolate and hazelnut flavor we can’t get enough of!
All right, but all jokes and cravings aside, you can substitute hazelnuts with Nutella successfully in unique dishes.
It works in a pinch though you should definitely steer clear from it when naming savory dishes that ask for the versatile nuts.
But, if you’re creating sweet treats, like chocolate chip cookies, cakes, or any other hazelnut-based dessert, then you’ll love the sweet taste of Nutella.
If you don’t have Nutella, you can find a variety of other hazelnut spreads available in your supermarket.
Also, while you won’t get a crunch, you get more of the sugar and oil, affecting your recipe’s consistency and sweetness.
You’ll probably need to adjust the amount of oil and sugar you add to your recipe if you plan on using hazelnut spreads.
You probably already have almonds in the house already since it’s the most well-known, average nut.
Almonds are one of the best hazelnut substitutes when talking about other nuts to use, as it’s one of the most versatile nuts with a very similar texture.
You get the same creamy and chewy texture with almonds as you would from hazelnuts, though they have a very different flavor.
Hazelnuts are earthy, floral, and sweet, whereas almonds have a deep and intense flavor and are even slightly bitter.
We suggest using raw almonds over roasted ones for better flavor. Also, try to blanch almonds to remove the bitter taste and astringency. That way, you can keep a taste and bite more similar to hazelnuts.
Walnuts are another excellent alternative if you have no hazelnuts, as they have the same flavor and crunch.
But what makes walnuts different is the presence of iodine, which results in a mouth-puckering flavor, whereas hazelnuts offer palatable and floral sweetness.
Adding to that, walnuts are a bit richer and creamier with a crumblier bite, while hazelnuts are a bit crisper and chewier.
10. Pecan Nuts
Pecans are closer to hazelnuts but with some differences in flavor and texture. Both have the same sweetness with a similar bite and chewiness.
Are You Allergic to Nuts?
Around 2 in 100 people are allergic to nuts. That’s over 1.5 billion people with some form of nut allergy right there!
Fun fact: Hazelnut is considered a tree nut, and tree nut allergy is the most common in children and adults. (*)
That’s why we totally understand those who have nut allergies but need something just as delicious as hazelnuts to complete their recipe.
Don’t worry; we didn’t only tackle nut-based hazelnut substitutes.
You can replace hazelnuts with these nut-free ingredients, too!
Hazelnuts are seeds, so you can expect other kinds of seeds to give the same crunch and fat content without an allergic reaction.
We recommend using pumpkin or sunflower seeds, which have an earthy taste and crunch that works well in food, especially when you roast them.
You can also go for sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds, adding more depth and flavor. While you can try flax seeds or chia seeds, they don’t add too much flavor, but you can substitute hazelnut with it for a good bite and texture.
2. Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
If you don’t eat nuts, but the recipe asks for chopped hazelnuts or ground hazelnuts, you can also try oats. Roasting oats or rolled oats with butter will give it a nuttier flavor.
We recommend using oatmeal in baked goods, though you can also add this as a topping to salads and curries.
Oats are also naturally without gluten, making them suitable for gluten-free desserts. That said, they can come into contact with wheat, so it’s best to purchase pure oats and ask your doctor if you can consume oats. (*)
We mentioned oats for adding texture, and it’s not right to exclude granola from this list. There are no nuts in granola, but you can get the bite and crispiness you want!
If you want a bit of nutty flavor to your dishes, we recommend toasting granola with butter and letting it chill before using it in your recipes.
If you have no oats or granola, you can always go for crisp rice cereal. However, this only adds crunch and crispiness; there isn’t any hazelnut aroma or flavor.
4. Sweet Chips
You can try chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, or candy chips, which add flavor and some crunch to your baked goods, all without nuts!
Note that white chocolate chips won’t melt as quickly as regular chocolate chips, which will add a bit more bite and texture to your sweet recipes.
5. Dried Fruit
You can always use dried fruits as a substitute for sweet dishes, like dried cranberries or raisins.
Dried cranberries are a great option when creating cookies, cakes, or muffins that ask for hazelnuts, as you get that extra bite.
Raisins are also a good option in sweet baked goods like cookies, as they offer similar chewiness.
However, dried fruits are much sweeter and have a very different taste than hazelnuts, which you must keep in mind. You will end up with a different flavor, but it might be an excellent final product, so it’s worth trying!
6. Other Kinds of Flour
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you left with more questions about hazelnuts and their best substitutes? We’ve got you!
Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more about hazelnuts.
Wrapping It Up
Who knew that there were so many substitutes for hazelnuts you could use for your recipes? You can easily find these in grocery stores or sitting in the pantry, waiting to be used from Macadamia nuts to quinoa flour!
We hope you found the best replacement for hazelnuts based on our list. So what are you waiting for? Start cooking and try any of these alternatives so you can still achieve a delicious dish!