No special equipment is necessary to enjoy delicious perfectly roasted chestnuts! Learn all the tricks and tips on how to roast chestnuts at home.
Sweet, with a delicate nutty flavour, roasted chestnuts are a fantastic winter snack to enjoy by yourself or share with friends on a cosy night in.
They’re highly nutritious and also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Chestnut season starts in early October and runs through until late December. They only have a short season and autumn is just the perfect time to enjoy them freshly roasted!
Whether you’re lucky to have a wood nearby or you simply buy them at your local grocery store, you should definitely give homemade roasted chestnuts a try.
Roasted Chestnuts: A Super Popular Italian Treat
These delicious nuts are particularly popular in Italy ( which is actually the biggest producer in Europe), and we have actually two names for chestnuts: castagne (they’re small and most widely available), and marroni (larger in size, tricker to find and more luxurious).
In Italy, you can often find roasted chestnuts stalls in every piazza, from Milan to Palermo (in Rome they’re literally everywhere!), especially around the holidays between Christmas and New Years.
But we basically eat them as soon as autumn knocks at the door, and we mostly roast them at home.
What Is The Best Way To Roast Chestnuts?
There are actually two fool-proof ways to make them. Use a chestnut pan or roast them in the oven.
The traditional way to roast chestnuts is by using a chestnut roasting pan (affiliate link) or a rimmed baking pan, and cook them for about 30 minutes on the open fire, shaking the pan occasionally. This works if you have gas hobs.
If you don’t have these specific pans, opt for oven roasting chestnuts instead.
This is actually the best way to roast chestnuts at home, as you don’t need any special equipment to do that.
Place them on a single layer over a baking tray covered with aluminium foil, and gather up the edges to form a parcel slightly open on top.
Bake them in the oven to 425°F/210°C for 20 minutes up to 25 minutes.
Tips For Perfectly Roasted Chestnuts
Choose good chestnuts:
Not all the chestnuts were created equal and are good for roasting.
When buying chestnuts, look for even-sized nuts with undamaged shells and no pinholes ( which indicate there’re worms inside). They should also feel quite heavy in your hand.
Cross the chestnuts:
Arrange the chestnuts flat side down on a cutting board.
Use a sharp knife ( a serrated knife or a pairing knife will do the trick) to score a cross through the skin on each chestnut. You can also simply score a line, it works too. Do not skip this step!
When you score the shells you help the steam to escape and prevent the explosion of the fruit due to expansion.
Peel them off quickly:
They’re easy to peel whilst they’re still hot, as the shells become hard to peel when they’re cold.
Remove the skin with the help of a pairing knife as soon as they are cold enough to handle.
Soak them before roasting them:
Some people recommend soaking the chestnuts for 30 minutes before roasting them. Some others say it doesn’t make much difference. I tend to compromise and soak them for a minute, just to make them easier to steam.
Once you have scored the outer shell, place the chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for 1 minute then drain and pat dry. This will help speed the cooking process and avoid burnt chestnuts.
How Long Do Roasted Chestnuts Last?
You can enjoy chestnuts right away or store them in an airtight container in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They should last approximately 1-2 weeks.
Hope you guys have fun making some delicious roasted chestnuts this season!
And if you’re a massive fan of these delicious nuts, check these recipes out for more scrumptious ways to enjoy them.
More Winter Recipes To Try:
How To Make Perfectly Roasted Chestnuts
- 1/2 kg chestnuts
- sea salt to season
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/210°C.
- Using a small pairing knife, cut a cross or a line into the skin of each chestnut.
- Once you have scored the outer shell, place the chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for 1 minute then drain and pat dry. This will help speed the cooking process and avoid burnt chestnuts.
- Place the chestnuts in a single layer over a baking tray covered with aluminium foil, and gather up the edges to form a parcel slightly open on top. Bake them for 20 - 25 minutes, or until they tender.
- You can also roast them in a traditional chestnut pan. Simply cook them over medium heat with a lid on, shaking the pan occasionally for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Once they're ready, peel the skin off as soon as they cold enough to handle. Do it straight away as it's harder to peel them when they're cold.