A close up photo of chestnuts without their shells.

Boiled Chestnuts

Here is an easy recipe on how to make boiled chestnuts. Only 5 steps to enjoy this fall favorite snack food. It's also great as an ingredient in sweet or savory dishes. 
Course Snack
Cuisine Italian
Keyword boiled chestnuts, boiling chestnuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 222kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD


  • 1 pound chestnuts with shell
  • water


  • Fill a large pot with water.
  • Rinse the chestnuts.
  • Place one chestnut on a damp tea towel with the flat side down. Hold it firmly between your thumb and finger and score through the two layers. That is to say, the outer hard shell and the soft inner membrane. Take extra caution in cutting them.
  • Place the scored chestnuts in the pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to obtain a nice gentle simmer and place a cover, tilted slightly open. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The total boiling time will depend on their size and what you plan on making with them.
  • Test one chestnut to make sure it has reached your desired texture. Turn off the heat. Leave the chestnuts in the pot with the water to cool down. 
    When cool enough to handle, work quickly with one chestnut at a time to remove the outer shell as it hardens quickly.
    With the tip of a knife, remove the outer shell and then peel off the inner skin. Repeat until there are no more nuts.


  • 1 pound of chestnuts (with the shell) yields approximately 2 cups of pureed chestnuts.
  • 1 serving size is calculated as ½ cup.
  • The total boiling time will depend on their size and what you plan on making with them.
    • Par-boil for about 10-15 minutes if planning to use the chestnuts as an ingredient that will subsequently be cooked (for example, in a stuffing).
    • Cook completely if planning to eat them as a snack or as an ingredient in a recipe (for example, in a salad).
  • When placing chestnuts in the water, they should sink to the bottom. Any chestnuts that float are usually a sign that there is mold on the inside.
  • Leave the cooked chestnuts in the water to keep the outer shell soft which in turn makes it easier to peel them.
  • If you are having a hard time peeling off the inner skin, place them back in the pot of hot water; wait a few minutes and try again. 
How to store boiled chestnuts: Refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 549mg | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg