Have you ever wondered how to roast chestnuts? Surprisingly, there is no special equipment required. All it takes is 20 minutes and 5 Easy Steps for Oven Roasted Chestnuts.
I spotted them last week-end and I felt like a kid in a candy store!
The holidays would not be the holidays without them. So, if you have ever asked yourself how to roast chestnuts, I would like to show you my 5 Easy Steps for Oven Roasted Chestnuts.
I feel like I should include a disclaimer – as the saying goes, perfection is not of this world. Believe me when I tell you that I have tried all kinds of methods in my “how to roast chestnuts”quest. I have come to the conclusion that no one method is 100% perfect.
In other words, what I’m trying to say is that there will always be a few chestnuts that will get stuck to their shell. But despite that, the method I’m about to share with you is the best that I’ve found.
What do I need to make Roasted Chestnuts?
- Chestnuts! No surprise here. You can use as many chestnuts as you like. Make sure they are firm to the touch.
- Water. That’s right, our chestnuts are going to get boiled before getting baked.
As far as accessories are concerned, you need a cutting board, a sharp serrated knife, a large pot and a baking pan.
How to Roast Chestnuts:
1- Preheat oven to 425°F: A very hot oven is key for the chestnut to separate from its woodsy skin. Make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle.
2- Make an incision: Lay the chestnut flat on your cutting board. With a serrated knife, make a lengthwise slit down the entire middle surface, on the long side. Make sure you hold down the chestnut firmly on the cutting board (be careful not to cut yourself as the outer shell is very slippery).
You must also make sure that the incision cuts through the inner skin of the chestnuts. The incision will allow the steam to escape from the nut as it is being heated. If the chestnuts are not properly scored, they will explode in the oven… that’s a fact I’ve confirmed myself…
3- Boil the chestnuts: Place the chestnuts in a pot of cold water. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and place on a shallow baking pan. This quick boil will create the perfect environment for steam to be created once they hit the hot oven.
4- Roasting chestnuts in oven: Place the chestnuts with the flat side down, the cut side up in a single layer in your baking pan. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. This time can vary based on the size of your chestnuts. I will give the pan a few shakes throughout the roasting time. You will notice that the shell splits open as they roast. The only way to know if they are cooked through is by eating one of the roasted chestnuts.
5-Wrap them up: Once you have obtained perfectly oven roasted chestnuts, remove from the oven and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Allow the wrapped chestnuts to sit in the towel for about 10-15 minutes.
Your perfectly roasted chestnuts are now ready to be served.
Tips, Tricks and Recipe Notes:
Chestnuts are easier to remove from their shell when they are warm. If you have leftover chestnuts, you can peel them and refrigerate them for a day or two. Your peeled chestnuts can also be frozen.
When purchasing look for chestnuts that
- have a glossy look;
- are unblemished;
- are firm to the touch and
- feel heavy for their size.
Always try to roast your store bought chestnuts within 2-3 days as the freshness will not last very long, even in the fridge. If you uncover moldy or bad chestnuts, they need to be discarded. Unfortunately, this can only be discovered once they are roasted and removed from the shell.
Looking back, I think my whole family was obsessed with how to roast Italian chestnuts.
I remember my Mom trying to grow chestnut trees. She successfully started a few from seed. The trees had a couple of good, chestnut-full years, but unfortunately, the chestnuts would fall before they had a chance to completely ripen.
More often than not, the store bought chestnuts were roasted –oven or fire roasted. My parents had all the gadgets and the pots and the pans to make the best roasted chestnuts.
Sometimes, my mom would just boil them and we would have them as after school snacks.
Did you know that they make absolutely wonderful desserts once they are pureed? Have you ever had chocolate and chestnuts together? Italians desserts from the South are notorious for stuffing these gems in pastry dough.
Of course, chestnuts can just as easily be prepared in savory dishes. Did someone say stuffing?
I adapted this method on how to roast chestnuts from Chef John Mitzewich. Chef John uses no fancy gadgets or knives. Just a serrated knife, a pot and a simple roasting pan. Thanks Chef John!
The holidays would not be the holidays without chestnuts. I know they’ll be part of my Thanksgiving meal. Just 5 Easy Steps for Oven Roasted Chestnuts and they can also be part of your Thanksgiving.
Thanks for allowing me the possibility to share some of my favorite recipes with all of you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones ♥
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have used this method to roast chestnuts, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
5 Easy Steps for Oven Roasted Chestnuts
- 16 ounces Chestnuts or as many as desired
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the oven rack in the middle.
- Make an incision by laying the chestnut flat on your cutting board. With a serrated knife, make a lengthwise slit down the entire middle surface on the long side. Make sure you hold down the chestnut firmly on the cutting board (be careful not to cut yourself as the outer shell is very slippery).
- Place the chestnuts in a pot of cold water. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and place them on a shallow baking pan.
- Place the chestnuts with the flat side down, and the cut side up in a single layer in your baking pan. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
- Once you have obtained perfectly oven-roasted chestnuts, remove them from the oven and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Allow the wrapped chestnuts to sit in the towel for about 10-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
First found your site way back, when I happened across your calzone recipe and decided to try it, and it turned out the best I’d tried for many years. Now, feeling nostalgic with the state of things lately I guess, I happened across some real Italian chestnuts in the store and bought them on a whim (just to get a bit of nice smell/feeling/mood in the house, as much as for actually eating them!). When I saw that your site had a recipe listed, I didn’t even bother checking others, just went with it. And they turned out perfect, first time. Great method, thank you(again). Will continue making these whenever the opportunity pops up.
I have fond memories of my father taking my brother and me to NEw York City in the winter and buying us roasted chestnuts from the street vendors. I saw some chestnuts in the market today and followed your recipe and they came out great. Thanks for taking the time to share a straightforward easy recipe that works well a
I always boil mine for 3 minutes and roast for around 15. Love them!
I am part of a big Italian family. This is just how my Mom prepared roasted chestnuts for the holidays. Thanks bunches for posting. Bernadette
Happy holidays Bernadette!
So delicious! Boiling them first keeps them so moist and tender.
Can I boil them and leave them to roast later before company arrives?
To be honest I have never tried and I’m not sure it will provide the same results.
If you do decide to try this method, I would love to hear about your results.
Chestnuts came out perfect, my family always just baked them without boiling first and the chestnuts were dried out. I like your method and will be using it from now on! Thanks!
My pleasure Evicka! Thanks for sharing.
I’ve been looking for the perfect way to make chestnuts and I’ve finally found it!!! My grandmother used to roast them when I was little and I never learned how to when I grew up. Now that I’m older I’ve missed them. Thank you for bringing my childhood back! This technique turned out PERFECT!
I am so thrilled to read this! Thanks for sharing Sarah!
This was the best method that I have tried, over, say 40-odd years!
Thank you very much!
How wonderful Nancy! So happy to read this!
The best recipe I’ve ever used
How wonderful Virgil! Thanks so much for sharing!
Tried your process and was very happy with the results. On a few of the chestnuts we tried putting a cross shaped cut rather than a straight cut and it worked better!
Great Linda! Thanks for sharing!