Making Nutella at Home Is a Lot Easier Than You Think—Here's How to Do It Right

PSA: you could be eating homemade hazelnut spread in less than 30 minutes. What are you waiting for?

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When did you first get into Nutella? For me, it was when I was studying abroad in France. My host mother would leave breakfast ingredients out for her kids—and me, basically an overgrown child messing up French verbs at the dinner table. Anyway, madame would often be out running errands when I got up, so there weren’t any witnesses as I greedily slathered slices of white bread with Nutella. Served with a cup of strong black tea in a quiet kitchen in Paris, Nutella on toast augured another day spent wandering around my favorite city on earth. To this day, the flavor of Nutella puts me in a good mood.

In the years since I said au revoir to France, I kicked my two-toast-a-day habit—but Nutella’s popularity has exploded. You can buy Nutella clothing, visit a Nutella cafe, or even join 31 million other people and become a fan of it on Facebook (that’s more fans than U2 has!).

I still have Nutella for breakfast every once in a while (and, um, eat it straight out of the jar), but there are lots of reasons to lighten up on your consumption. Palm oil is not good for the rainforests—and all that sugar certainly isn’t good for us—but Nutella remains an undeniably delicious treat.

So what’s a responsible Nutella lover to do? Make it yourself, of course!

My homemade version goes heavy on the hazelnuts, and relies on milk chocolate for sweetness and texture. It requires five ingredients, requires less time than it takes to watch an episode of Queer Eye, and is (incredibly) even more delicious than the original. Since I’ve made this, I’ve served it on fruit, on ice cream, and, yes, on toast. A high-powered blender is practically born for this task (remember the SNL skit about nut butter?), but a food processor works just fine.

A note about hazelnuts: some stores sell blanched hazelnuts, meaning the skins are already removed. If you find them this way, you can skip the step of rubbing them in a kitchen towel, but you’ll still want to toast the nuts, because it makes them much more flavorful. I always toast a few extra—they’re delicious on salads (try them with beets), sundaes, and even on pasta. Store any extra hazelnuts in the freezer, as their high oil content means they can spoil within a few months at room temperature.

Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread Recipe

Hands-on time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Yield: 1 ½ cups


  • 8 ounces hazelnuts (2 cups)
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate (about 1 ¼ cups chopped), melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, and toast for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan periodically, until the nuts are fragrant and the skin is flaking off in places. Immediately pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel and fold the towel over to cover them. Let stand for a minute or two so they steam a bit, then rub the nuts vigorously to remove as much of the skin as possible (it’s ok if some remains).
  2. Place the nuts in a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until a paste forms, then blend in the melted milk chocolate, oil, vanilla and salt until smooth. The mixture will be runny, but it will firm up in the fridge. Transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate to store.
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