Skip to Content

Substitute For Macadamia Nuts: 6 Best Nutty Alternatives

Need a substitute for macadamia nuts? Several other nuts exist in case you’re allergic or can’t find them.

I’ve tried several macadamia nut replacements and discovered a few I like. So I’ll list my top options for delicious dishes.

Best Substitutes For Macadamia Nuts featured image | Girl Meets Food

What are macadamia nuts?

Hawaii and South Africa grow macadamia nuts, which are native to Australia. They are oval-shaped and have strong, woody shells. Rich, creamy, and buttery, the kernel inside the shell tastes somewhat sweet.

The benefits of macadamia nuts include healthy fats, protein, fiber, and minerals – magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

They’re heavy in calories, so they should be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Substitute for macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts on a white surface | Girl Meets Food

Let’s review the top macadamia nut replacements to choose your favorite.

  • Cashews

Cashews are a fantastic macadamia replacement because of their creamy texture and moderate taste. They’re perfect for producing vegan macadamia nut cheese and macadamia nut butter.

Cashews break easier than macadamia nuts and have a sweeter taste. Before usage, soak raw cashews in water for two hours. This softens and makes blending or chopping simpler.

Cashews are available in most supermarkets and health food stores. If you ever find yourself lacking this ingredient, my article on cashew substitutes might be useful.

  • Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts make an excellent macadamia nut alternative. They’re creamier than macadamia nuts but taste nuttier. They’re fantastic in cookies, desserts, and savory dishes.

My white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe was delicious with hazelnuts! Hazelnuts gave them a nutty, buttery taste.

  • Pecans

Pecans taste like macadamia nuts but are sweeter. They’re more fragile than macadamia nuts, so handle them carefully. In some recipes, they can intensify the taste.

Substituting pecans for macadamia nuts in my brittle recipe was a nice surprise! The sweet and crispy brittle went well with the nuts’ nutty taste and delightful crunch.

You can also try pecans in a sweet potato casserole. While we’re on that note, I have an article with additional suggestions for sweet potato alternatives.

  • Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts’ nutty flavor and texture make them an ideal substitute for macadamia nut. They’re full of healthy fats and selenium.

They’re good in vegan macadamia nut cheesecake or yogurt bowl toppings.

  • Almonds

Almonds are common tree nuts. They’re crunchier than macadamia nuts but still work in recipes like macadamia-crusted chicken and smoothie bowl toppings.

Macadamia nuts are creamier than almonds, therefore the end product may be different. To emulate macadamia nuts’ silky feel, consider blanched almonds or almond butter.

Almond butter can be substituted, but check for added sugars and oils which could alter the recipe’s taste.

Almonds can also make a perfect substitute for roasted macadamia nuts. Try making this sweet treat for a rich nutty flavor.

  • Pine nuts

Pine nuts are small, mild-flavored tree nuts. When substituting them for macadamia nuts in a recipe, you’ll want to consider the difference in flavor.

Pine nuts can be more subtle than macadamia nuts. Try using a touch of almond or cashew butter to intensify the flavor.

Substitutes for macadamia nuts FAQs

A plate of shelled macadamia nuts and a plate of whole macadamia nuts on a white surface | Girl Meets Food
What is the flavor of macadamia nuts?

Macadamia nuts have a mild, buttery flavor with a slight sweetness.

Are cashews and macadamia nuts the same?

No, cashews and macadamia nuts aren’t the same. Cashews are softer than macadamia nuts and have a sweeter taste.

What is the difference between macadamia nuts and walnuts?

Macadamia nuts and walnuts are both tree nuts, however, there are some key distinctions between them. Macadamia nuts taste buttery and tender. Compared to walnuts, they have more beneficial fats but also more calories per ounce.

What are the top 5 healthiest nuts?

The top 5 healthiest nuts are almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.

Why are macadamia nuts so expensive?

Macadamia nuts are pricey due to their scarcity. They grow in certain climates, limiting production and raising prices. They’re found in Australia, Hawaii, and Central America. The crops have a long gestation period and the yield is low.

BOTTOM LINE: If you don’t like macadamia nuts, there are lots of other possibilities. Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts and cashews are good macadamia nut substitutes. Find your favorite types of nuts by trying new ones. You’re welcome!

Which alternatives to macadamia nuts did you like the most? Share your favorite foods in the comments!

Looking for more culinary ideas? You can also learn what to use instead of strawberry extract, discover the best substitutes for halloumi cheese, or find out how to swap out avocado oil in your cooking.