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The 5 Best Substitutes for Macadamia Nuts

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When it comes to nuts, there are a lot of different kinds to choose from.

But when it comes to the king of all nuts, macadamia nuts reign supreme.

Not only do they have a delicious and unique flavor, but they’re also loaded with nutrients that are good for your health.

These little nuts are packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

You can easily add them to your diet by eating them as a snack or adding them to recipes.

So, if you’re a fan of macadamia nuts but looking for a substitute that’s a little bit easier on the wallet, you’re in luck.

Plenty of other nuts can give your recipes the same great flavor.

Here are some of our favorites.

What is Macadamia Nut?

what is macadamia nut

Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and have been enjoyed by locals for centuries.

The macadamia nut is encased in a hard shell that must be cracked open to eat the nut.

The shell is dark brown and has a smooth, glossy surface.

The nuts have a creamy texture and a rich, nutty flavor, making them a popular ingredient in many dishes.

In recent years, macadamia nuts have become more widely available as they have become a popular substitute for other types of nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts.

In terms of nutrition, macadamia nuts are a good source of fiber and protein.

Macadamia nuts can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or used as an ingredient in recipes.

When baking, macadamia nuts can be used in place of other nuts like pecans or almonds.

They can also be chopped and added to salads or used as a garnish on top of desserts.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Macadamia Nuts

Spanish onions are known for their mild flavor and versatility in various culinary applications.

However, if you’re looking for alternatives to Spanish onions or need substitutes due to preference or availability, there are several options to consider.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for Spanish onions, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Brazil NutsCreamy and slightly sweet flavor; rich in selenium; similar texture to macadamia nutsUse an equal amount of Brazil nuts as a substitute for macadamia nuts
CandlenutsMild and slightly sweet flavor; commonly used in Indonesian cuisine; similar texture to macadamia nutsUse an equal amount of candlenuts as a substitute for macadamia nuts
CashewsCreamy and buttery flavor; widely available; softer texture compared to macadamia nutsUse an equal amount of cashews as a substitute for macadamia nuts
AlmondsNutty and slightly sweet flavor; versatile and widely used; crunchier texture than macadamia nutsUse an equal amount of almonds as a substitute for macadamia nuts
PecansRich and buttery flavor; slightly sweeter than macadamia nuts; similar textureUse an equal amount of pecans as a substitute for macadamia nuts

Now let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:

1. Brazil Nuts

brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are an interesting variety of nuts, not only in terms of their appearance and taste but also in their nutrition.

These nuts are native to South America and get their name because they are often found in Brazil.

Brazil nuts are relatively large and have a hard, brown shell.

The nuts themselves are white and have a creamy texture.

Brazil nuts are fairly sweet, with a slightly bitter aftertaste in terms of taste.

They are also a good source of healthy fats, including oleic acid.

Interestingly, Brazil nuts are often an ideal substitute for macadamia nuts.

This is because they have a similar texture and taste, making them a good option for those looking for a macadamia nut alternative.

You can use Brazil nuts in various ways, including topping for salads or desserts or as a snack on your own.

  • Key Characteristics: Brazil nuts have a creamy and slightly sweet flavor, with a texture similar to macadamia nuts. They are also rich in selenium, offering a nutritional boost.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Brazil nuts as a substitute for macadamia nuts. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and the desired taste profile.

2. Candlenuts


Candlenuts are a type of macadamia nut that is native to Southeast Asia.

These small, round nuts have a hard shell that encases a creamy, white flesh.

Candlenuts are used in both sweet and savory dishes, and they can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground into a paste.

When used in cooking, candlenuts are often boiled or roasted to release their flavor.

They are also used as a thickening agent, and their oil is prized for its high smoke point.

When substituting candlenuts for macadamia nuts, it is important to chop them finely so they will not overpower the other ingredients in the recipe.

Candlenuts can be used in place of macadamia nuts in cookies, cakes, and other desserts.

They can also be used in savory dishes such as curries and stir-fries.

  • Key Characteristics: Candlenuts have a mild and slightly sweet flavor, commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. They have a similar texture to macadamia nuts and can provide a unique taste to dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of candlenuts as a substitute for macadamia nuts. Keep in mind that candlenuts are typically roasted or cooked before use.

3. Cashews


Cashews are a popular nut, often used in snacks and desserts.

But did you know that they’re not nuts at all? Cashews are the seeds of a fruit called the cashew apple.

The fruit is native to Brazil, but today cashews are grown worldwide.

If you’re looking for a nutty substitution for macadamia nuts, cashews are a great option.

Like macadamia nuts, they have a creamy texture and mild flavor that makes them versatile enough to use in sweet and savory dishes.

They’re packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

So if you’re looking to switch things up in your baking or add a new dimension to your favorite sauce, give cashews a try.

  • Key Characteristics: Cashews have a creamy and buttery flavor, with a softer texture compared to macadamia nuts. They are widely available and can be a suitable alternative in various recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of cashews as a substitute for macadamia nuts. Adjust cooking times or blending techniques, if necessary, to achieve a similar consistency.

4. Almonds


Did you know that almonds are a type of stone fruit related to peaches and plums? Interestingly, macadamia nuts are also in the same family.

Almonds are native to the Mediterranean region and have been cultivated for centuries.

They were even mentioned in the Bible.

Today, nearly 80% of the world’s almonds come from California.

The nutty-tasting kernels can be eaten whole or ground into flour, often used in baking.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider substitute almonds for macadamia nuts.

Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and magnesium, and they have a similar taste and texture to macadamia nuts.

Plus, they’re more widely available and tend to be less expensive.

Just be sure to use them in recipes that call for chopped or ground nuts, as whole almonds may be too large.

  • Key Characteristics: Almonds have a nutty and slightly sweet flavor, commonly used in both sweet and savory dishes. They have a crunchier texture compared to macadamia nuts but can still provide depth and richness.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of almonds as a substitute for macadamia nuts. Consider using blanched almonds for a smoother texture in recipes such as sauces or spreads.

5. Pecans


For a nut with such a small footprint, the pecan has impacted American culture.

First domesticated by Native Americans in the Mississippi Valley, this tasty treat quickly became a staple in many southern dishes.

Pecans are a type of nut native to North America and are related to walnuts and hickory nuts.

They are typically oval or oblong and have a brownish-gray color.

Pecans have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with savory dishes like stuffing or gravy while adding some crunchy texture.

They’re easier to find than macadamias if you don’t live near a specialty grocery store.

So why not give them a try this year? You may love the results.

  • Key Characteristics: Pecans have a rich and buttery flavor, slightly sweeter than macadamia nuts. They offer a similar texture and can be used as a substitute in various recipes, especially in desserts and baked goods.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of pecans as a substitute for macadamia nuts. Adjust the sweetness level in recipes based on the naturally sweeter taste of pecans.


Substitutes are a great way to enjoy the same flavors and textures of your favorite foods without all the guilt.

When it comes to Macadamia nuts, a few different substitutes can be used in recipes.

For example, cashews or almonds can be used in place of Macadamia nuts in most dishes.

If you’re looking for a more health-conscious alternative, you can try using roasted pecans or Brazil nuts.

These substitutes will provide similar flavors and textures to Macadamia nuts but fewer calories and fat.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a Macadamia nut-based dish, don’t be afraid to experiment with one of these substitutes.

You may be surprised at how delicious they can be.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Macadamia Nuts

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Brazil Nuts

  • Candlenuts

  • Cashews

  • Almonds

  • Pecans


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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