How to roast chestnuts in the oven using only 1 ingredient and a simple method – for perfectly tender, nutty, flavorful roasted chestnuts at home!
Around this time last year, I was wandering through London’s finest Christmas markets, buying way too much food to nibble on, including delicious roasted chestnuts. This year may be slightly different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to cook chestnuts easily at home and get in the Christmas spirit. You’ll even save some money at the same time!
In place of “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, this method teaches you how to make roasted chestnuts in an oven at home. While it may not be quite as traditional as roasting them over hot coals or any flame – it is simple and easy for anyone to achieve (as long as they have an oven, of course).
Best of all – here in the UK, chestnuts are always available in the major supermarkets in the lead-up to Christmas – so there’s no struggle to find them. As far as I’m aware, this is also the case in the US, Canada, and Italy among other places.
Roasted chestnuts are slightly sweet, nutty, and naturally gluten-free and vegan! So enjoy these oven-roasted chestnuts this Christmas!
How To Roast Chestnuts In Oven
First, preheat the oven to 360ºF/180ºC.
Then, wash the chestnuts well and pat them dry.
With a sharp knife (serrated works best but I also have a small, slightly curved knife I often use – as pictured), carefully slice an ‘X’ onto the rounded side of the chestnut. Make sure to cut through the outer shell of the chestnut, but try to avoid cutting into the chestnut.
Don’t make the x too small, or they’ll be harder to peel, even after roasting. There are differing opinions on which side of the chestnuts you should cut – some say the flat side. However, cutting the round side makes them easier to place on the baking tray without rolling about.
If any of the chestnuts smell bad/moldy as you cut into them, don’t proceed with roasting those.
Place X-side up on a large baking sheet or oven-safe dish and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. This can take a different amount of time, based on the size of the chestnuts and your particular oven, so the first time you follow this recipe, it’s best to pay close attention to the oven after the first 10 minutes. They are done when the chestnut shell is peeling back away from the cut.
How To Peel Chestnuts
Once you remove the chestnuts from the oven, place a kitchen towel over the pan for 10-15 minutes. This will allow them to gently steam and make them even easier to peel.
Allow the chestnuts to cool just enough so that they’re easy to handle, and then you can peel them. They will be easier to peel when hot – so you can even use a kitchen towel to help hold the hot nuts as you peel.
While peeling, there is also a papery skin between the outer shell and the chestnut. Remove this too. If you come across any that are squishy/gooey, then discard them.
How To Store
Chestnuts spoil fairly quickly, so it’s best to roast them within a few days of buying them. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them.
Once roasted, it’s best to eat the chestnuts immediately, while they’re warm. Though they can be kept, peeled, in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. They may last longer but are always best within the first few days.
The peeled, cooked chestnuts can also be frozen for up to a month.
To reheat, you can heat on the stovetop with a little butter.
How To Serve Roasted Chestnuts
Alone as a snack or within other recipes – like stuffing, within these Vegetarian Stuffed Carrots (Tree Logs), along with roasted veg, or even desserts (as a puree or candied chestnuts).
You can also serve these roasted chestnuts along with your favorite seasonings, like cinnamon sugar or rosemary and salt. You can also serve the roasted chestnuts with melted butter and some salt.
- Choosing Chestnuts: Make sure to use chestnuts that are firm all the way around. Avoid any which have air pockets between the shell and nut or rattle when shaken. Also, avoid any nuts containing pinholes (which can mean they have worms inside) and look out for damage-free shells.
- If you continue to have issues peeling the chestnuts’ inner skin, you can try to bring the chestnuts to a boil before baking them. Cut the X in the chestnuts, place in a pan, and bring water to a boil. Remove the chestnuts once the water is boiling, and then continue to roast in the oven.
- It’s best to make batches of roasted chestnuts that are similar in size, so they take the same amount of time to be ready.
- Don’t be tempted to reheat the chestnuts in the microwave as they dry out when chilled and become unsafe to microwave.
- These sweet chestnuts and horse chestnuts (conkers) are definitely not the same thing. The latter are poisonous for human consumption, so if foraging, make sure only to use chestnuts.
- Vegetarian Stuffed Carrots (Tree Logs)
- Christmas Vegetarian OR Vegan Mushroom Wellington
- Christmas Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash
- The Ultimate Guide to the best Christmas gingerbread house
- 15+ Healthy, Easy Christmas Recipes & Edible Gifts
- Gluten-Free Brownie in a Jar Recipe (Edible Christmas Gift)
If you try this roasted chestnut recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.
For more information, please see more information about How to do roast chestnuts