The Best Store-Bought Almond Butters, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
We tasted over a dozen almond butters to find the best ones for your lunch, snack or non-peanut butter needs.
Written by Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen
Though peanut butter might be the OG of all nut butters (you can find the very best ones listed here!), nowadays almond butter is just as popular. Not only has it become the go-to swap for individuals allergic to peanuts, but almond butter is also a great option to reach for when you’re craving a little something different. You’ve probably already noticed that grocery stores are stocked full of endless almond butter options, each with their own unique colors, flavor profiles and textures. But what makes one brand of almond butter better than the other? That’s the nut we tried to crack in this taste test. After trying over a dozen different brands of almond butters, here are the top 5 we think you should reach for next time you're in the grocery store.
How We Tested
We tasted 13 different varieties of store-bought almond butter for this roundup. Each almond butter was stored at room temperature before opening. They were then stirred — if needed — and judged on consistency, flavor, smell, color and texture. Each almond butter option was sampled plain as well as spread over saltine crackers.
Most of the almond butters we tasted for this roundup had between 1 and 4 ingredients, but the differences in flavors and textures were really astonishing! From bland to sweet to oily, we tasted it all! While some of these characteristics made the almond butters good for certain uses, when it came to which one would work best for any use (snacking, cooking, baking, etc.), Good & Gather Creamy Almond Butter rose to the top. There was no oil separation and it was easy to spread right out of the jar. Food Network Kitchen Test Kitchen Director Steve Jackson even noted this offering as his favorite of the smooth varieties, saying that it had "a nice texture — not too thick or sticky." You heard the man!
If you’re someone who likes to spread almond butter on apple slices or eat it directly from the jar, MaraNatha No Stir Creamy California Almond Butter is the right choice for you! Our Editorial Director Lauren Piro found it to be the "smoothest and silkiest" of all the almond butters we tried. It wasn't too thick or runny, making it the perfect choice for dipping or loading onto a spoon, and the overall almond flavor was also pretty well-balanced.
If you like the smooth texture of regular peanut butter, Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter is the best almond butter equivalent. This almond butter option has a light color and a smooth, no-stir-needed texture, thanks to its use of blanched almonds. Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter also looks and has a mouthfeel that’s a lot like classic peanut butter. The overall almond flavor is mild thanks to the inclusion of salt and sugar, which gives it a balanced, rich and buttery consistency. Almost every one of our testers agreed that this almond butter would be great in a sandwich!
This category was new to many of our taste testers, who noted that the biggest pitfall of the almond butters they tried was the crispness of the almonds included. Our panel found a lot of them to be a bit too chewy and lacking in overall freshness. Nonetheless, Fix & Fogg Crunchy Almond Butter stood out. This variety is made in New Zealand with Australian almonds and New Zealand salt. The nuts are steel-cut and had the biggest chunks of any we tried. There is no added oil or sugar in this almond butter either, which really lets the salt shine through. Our testers all noted that you’ll need to stir this almond butter together quite a bit before digging into the jar, but once you do, it’s not the least bit oily. Food Network Recipe Developer Amy Stevenson echoed the sentiments of many others in our testing group, stating, it "tasted really almondy with a nice roasted flavor."
The dark roasted almonds and hint of salt used in Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Almond Butter makes it the ideal option to drizzle over anything, from a simple bowl of hot oatmeal to a big stack of pancakes. This two-ingredient almond butter has a somewhat looser texture; despite that, it's really rich, so drizzling, more than spreading, is where it shines. Its bold roasted flavor also stands up pretty nicely against the other ingredients listed on the back label.