Six Easy California Walnut Recipes for Summer

Wednesday 26th May 2021 |

For those looking forward to having friends over this summer, California Walnuts has six delicious summer recipes to help make the most of the season, whether you’re eating inside or out.

Summer is the ideal time to try out new flavour combinations and add fresh recipes to your repertoire and the mild and creamy flavour of California Walnuts means they can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

So why not invite your favourite people over and treat them to these tasty ideas that are certain to brighten up any gathering?

Kick things off with the California Walnut Meat-Free Mince Loaded Nachos by Healthy Living James and for an exciting twist on a salad, try making the Balsamic Strawberry, California Walnuts and Rocket Salad. Enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean, with the California Walnuts Aubergine & Walnut Parmigiano recipe or delight guests with the Korean California Walnut Bowl by Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen.

For a more relaxed dish that’s perfect to share with mates, try the BBQ California Walnut ‘Meat’ Pizza by So Vegan, and for something sweeter, indulge in the tempting Walnut & Strawberry Pavlova.

California Walnuts are the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), 2.7g/30g (approx. a handful) and offer 4.4g of protein and 1.4g of fibre[1]. Walnuts are also low in sugar and very low in salt[2].

California Walnut Meat-Free Mince Loaded Nachos, by Healthy Living James

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes. Serves 2

California Walnuts


  • 100g California Walnuts
  • 200g mushrooms 
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 can black beans (drained) you could swap for other beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 juice of lime
  • Guacamole Topping:
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ juice of lime
  • handful fresh coriander
  • large pinch salt & pepper


  • 1 packet corn nachos/tortillas
  • 100g vegan cheese
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 1 lime for serving
  1. Firstly, prepare your walnut mince by adding your walnuts and mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until crumbled
  2. Now heat a large pot with olive oil, add in the crushed garlic and walnut mince mixture to fry off for 2-3 minutes
  3. Now add in the spices, black beans, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, tamari and lime juice and stir until well combined
  4. Simmer these for 5-10 minutes until it thickens
  5. Now prepare the guacamole (optional) by smashing the avocados in a bowl and then simply adding the lime juice, fresh coriander salt & pepper until well combined
  6. Once the mince is ready, add a handful of nachos to a baking dish, top with a spoon of mince and a sprinkle of cheese, continue to do this until everything is used up
  7. Place in the oven at 180C (360F) for 12 minutes
  8. Finally top with the guacamole, lime juice and fresh coriander and it’s ready to serve!

Balsamic Strawberry, California Walnuts & Rocket Salad 

California Walnuts

Prep: 10 minutes plus marinating. Cook: 3-4 minutes. Serves 4


  • 400g strawberries, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g pack halloumi, diced
  • 75g California Walnuts
  • 75g rocket
  1. Mix the strawberries with the pepper and balsamic glaze and marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the halloumi and walnuts for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally until golden.  Toss into the rocket with the oil from the pan and then toss in the marinated strawberries.

Cooks tip: Try swapping the rocket for watercress or a mixed salad bag. Prepare the strawberries ahead and mix into the salad just before serving.

Aubergine & California Walnut Parmigiano

Prep Time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: 30 minutes. Serves 4

California Walnuts


  • 2 aubergines thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper finely diced
  • 100g broccoli florets finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 125g California Walnuts finely chopped plus 15 whole Walnuts
  • 125g pack reduced fat mozzarella thinly sliced
  • 400g passata
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan finely grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.
  2. Brush the aubergine slices with a little oil and griddle or fry for 1-2 minutes each side.
  3. Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and fry the pepper, broccoli, tomatoes and chopped walnuts for 4-5 minutes until softened, season well.
  4. Select the 12 largest aubergine slices and place half a slice of mozzarella in the centre, divide the filling between the slices and roll up, placing them seal side down in a greased ovenproof serving dish. Finely chop any remaining aubergine slices and stir into the passata, pour this over the aubergine rolls and scatter over the remaining mozzarella, torn and the whole walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes until golden and tender.

Cooks tip: Great served with a salad and crusty bread. Make this dish in advance and simply cook when needed.

Korean California Walnut Bowl, by Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen

Serves 2-4

California Walnuts


  • 130g California Walnuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 140g firm tofu, crumbled
  • 60g frozen peas, thawed


  • Chopped spring onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chilli flakes (optional)
  1. Place the California Walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until crumbly. Don’t blend for too long. You don’t want the texture to be too fine.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes, then drain.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a frying pan, then add in the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute, then add in the soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice and sriracha. Cook for another minute, then add in the drained walnuts and crumbled tofu. Mix to combine and continue cooking on a medium-low heat until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes).
  4. Once the mixture is cooked through, take off the heat and garnish with sesame, chilli flakes (if using any) and more chopped spring onions. Serve with rice and enjoy!

BBQ California Walnut ‘Meat’ Pizza by So Vegan

Makes 2 large pizzas (serves 4)

California Walnuts


Pizza dough:

  • 420g strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and topping


  • 140g pizza sauce (shop-bought or see below for our homemade version)
  • 200g vegan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 100g marinated artichokes in oil, quartered (fresh or jarred)
  • 2 pinches of chilli flakes
  • 1 small handful of fresh basil
  • Walnut meat:
  • 120g California walnuts
  • 2tbsp bbq sauce
  • 2tsp soy sauce
  1. Add the flour, yeast and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and make a well in the middle.
  2. Pour in the water and olive oil and stir to combine, then empty the dough onto a clean work surface.
  3. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead for 10 minutes until you can stretch the dough without it tearing (note: you shouldn’t have to flour the work surface – this might make the dough too dry). When you’re ready, lightly oil the mixing bowl you used earlier, add the dough and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Leave somewhere warm to prove for 45 minutes to an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 240°C. Lightly punch the air out of the dough and divide it into two pieces. Place one piece underneath the damp tea towel or freeze it for another time. Then drop the other piece of dough in a cast-iron pan (we use a 26cm pan). Use your hands to gently push the dough to the edges of the pan. Then add half of the pizza sauce, using the back of a ladle or spoon to push the sauce to the edges of the base. Sprinkle over half of the cheese, followed by half of the yellow pepper, red pepper, red onion and artichokes. Bake for 17 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, add the walnut meat ingredients to a food processor and blend into a mince-like texture, then leave to one side.
  6. Take the pizza out of the oven, scatter half of the walnut meat mixture on top and place the pizza back in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  7. When the pizza is ready, sprinkle over a pinch of chilli flakes, add half a dozen or so fresh basil leaves and drizzle over some olive oil. Slice and serve, then start building the remaining pizza if you’re still hungry!

Simple Pizza Sauce Recipe:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt + pepper
  1. Add the olive oil to a saucepan on a low-medium heat. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry for a minute or two, or until the garlic begins to turn golden.
  2. Then add the chopped tomatoes, dried oregano and pinches of salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat. Use straight away or store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

California Walnut & Strawberry Pavlova 

Prep Time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: 1 hour. Serves 8

California Walnuts


  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g California Walnuts
  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g strawberries quartered
  1. Preheat the oven to 140oC, gas mark 1. Draw a 23cm circle onto a sheet of baking paper and place on a large baking tray.
  2. Blend the cornflour with the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and gradually whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whisk in the cornflour mixture and continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes until stiff and glossy.
  3. Chop 75g of the walnuts and stir all but 1 tbsp of this into the meringue. Spoon onto the paper up to the line with a slight hollow in the centre. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp chopped walnuts and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside until cooled.
  4. Whisk the cream to soft peaks and spoon over the pavlova leaving a 3cm border round the edges, top with the strawberries and remaining walnuts.
  5. Cooks tip: Try making 6-8 individual pavlovas instead of a large one and top with other summer fruits.

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