How To Roast Fresh Chestnuts

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

Post image for How To Roast Fresh Chestnuts

My mother-in law always serves her turkey stuffing with fresh roasted chestnuts. This makes her stuffing one step more rich with the earthy roasted flavors of the chestnuts.  I do love lots and lots of chestnuts in my stuffing and gravy. So make sure you have several hands ready to do the peeling process. Once they cool, it’s very difficult to get the peel off the nut. If not, work in small batches at a time.


When shopping for chestnuts look for plump and shiny ones. Choose carefully, avoid those with small holes because they can be wormy. Chestnuts can be cooked many different ways. You can roast them in the oven (what I do),over charcoal, or in the fireplace. I once had them on the streets of Greece, roasted and I still dream of those warm toasty chestnuts on that cold day in the city. Once roasted, you can do many things with them. They can be braised, boiled, and pureed.

You can purchase chestnuts dehydrated, but they do not compare to fresh. Just remember, all chestnuts must to be peeled before serving. It’s important to know Chestnuts need to be simmered for 30 minutes in water to become soft for cooking. This step is not necessary if you are adding them gravy or stuffing that will be cooked for longer than 30 minutes. Let’s get started. Step 1. Make a cross-like slice on the flat side of the chestnut. Be careful not to cut yourself.  Slice only through the tough skin, not the flesh.


Step 1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees towards the end of the recipe.

Step 2.  Place chestnuts on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3. While still warm peel the chestnuts. Keep the others under a warm towel. As they cool they become hard to peel.

IMG_5211 (1)

Step 4. If you cannot peel the chestnuts place them back into the oven for a few minutes to warm up and try again.



Important! Both the outer skin and inner skin need to be peeled. Many chestnuts do not come out easily and will break into pieces. It’s all right to use these in the stuffing.


You may enjoy my other chestnut recipes and posts for the holidays.

Thanksgiving Family Favorites:
Turkey Stuffing
Chestnut Soup Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving to All!


© 2013 – 2018, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lizthechef

I haven’t roasted chestnuts in ages – you inspire me, Mary. Maybe for Christmas…

2 Oge | healthy food delivery

Thanks for the step by step instructions and beautiful pictures Mary! I love chestnuts, but never roast them myself, I think this needs to change 🙂

3 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Oge, this isn’t hard to do but use must peel them warm. Tough on the hands so use a towel! Try it their delicious fresh!

4 Oge | healthy food delivery

Thanks for this tip Mary. Definitely trying it.

5 Mary Papoulias-Platis

Liz, it’s a fun activity and it’s worth the effort!

Leave a Comment