Appetizers & Snacks

How To Boil Chestnuts

Creamy and sweet boiled chestnuts is one of the most delicious and easy fall snacks you can make at home.

Cooked chestnuts in general are very characteristic of fall (October, November).

Sometimes, depending on the region, you can still enjoy chestnuts even during December.

Delicate, sweet and buttery flavor of cooked chestnuts is why many look so much forward to the chestnut season.

There are 4 ways to cook chestnuts: boiling, pan roasting, roasting in the oven, and, if you’re lucky enough, you can roast chestnuts on open fire or right in the fireplace.

The aroma and comforting FEELING when peeling lightly char-coaled chestnuts IS amazing.

But except for char-coaled part, you can get equally delicious result with other cooking methods.

Boiling chestnuts is probably one of the easiest ways, and also the quickest one.

Here are some tips and tricks to make delicious boiled chestnuts at home.

How to boil chestnuts

You start by rinsing fresh chestnuts in cold water.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step1

Score Chestnuts

Scoring chestnuts is a simple but very important step.

You can do it in a couple of different ways.

Choose the method depending on what you’re planning to do with your boiled chestnuts next. How you score chestnuts will determine how they peel when cooked.

Method #1

If you’re making boiled chestnuts just for eating or for a chestnuts necklace, it’s enough just to dig in a tip of the knife as shown on the photo.

Below I will also show you how you peel chestnuts scored with this method.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step2

Method #2

If you need to boil chestnuts to use them in the recipes, you also have 2 options.

If you need just the pulp you can easily method #1.

Once cooked, cut in half.

And squeeze out the pulp.

It’s easier to do this while chestnuts are still warm.

It gets trickier when you need to preserve a whole chestnut and peel the inner thin skin without breaking the chestnut.

In this last case the best method is to let chestnuts soak in water for 30 minutes to soften the outer shell. Then make a long slit cut all around the chestnut. The easiest AND safest way to do that is by using this chestnut knife.

If you need to use whole chestnuts it’s also best to under-cook them a little. So just 15-20 minutes of boiling will be enough.

After you scored the chestnuts, transfer them to a large pan and fill it with cold drinking water. Add bay leaves and a drop of olive oil.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step3

Bring to boil and cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of chestnuts. The large the nuts more time it need to be cooked.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step4

To test, take out one chestnut at 25 minute mark and cut it open. If the pulp is soft and creamy chestnuts are done. If not let cook for another 10 minutes and taste again.

Once ready, drain chestnuts and pass them quickly under running water.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step5

Wrap first, in a large piece of parchment paper (to absorb excess water), then wrap in a kitchen linen towel and let rest for a few minutes.

How To Boil Chestnuts - Step6

Did you know that boiled chestnuts are used to make Italian “Halloween” Chestnut Necklace? It’s one of least known but truly meaningful traditions.

How to peel boiled chestnuts

We added a drop of olive oil exactly for this – to let chestnuts peel off easily.

Another trick is to peel them while they’re still warm.

The easiest way to peel and eat boiled chestnuts is simply cut them in halves and squeeze the mushy pulp out (see picture above). The inner skin which is otherwise a pain to remove will remove attached to the hard shell of the chestnuts.

But again, as I mentioned before there’s more than one method to score and peel boiled chestnuts (see notes above).

Recipes with Chestnuts

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms, Roasted Meat & Chestnuts

Creamy Pumpkin Soup With Mushrooms & Chestnuts

There you have it, nutty, mushy and butterly, delicious boiled chestnuts made at home.

You might also like: How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven {Soft and easy peel}

How To Make Delicious Boiled Chestnuts At Home

How To Boil Chestnuts

Creamy and sweet boiled chestnuts is one of the most delicious and easy snacks you can easily make at home.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Finger Food, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh chestnuts , approx 1 kg
  • ¾ gallon water , approx 3 liters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional, for extra flavor)
  • Olive oil or other vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Start by rinsing fresh chestnuts in cold water.
  • Using a small sharp knife make a small cut on each chestnut. For boiled chestnuts It’s enough just to dig in a tip of the knife.
  • Transfer chestnuts to a large pan and fill it with cold drinking water. Add bay leaves and a drop of olive oil.
  • Bring to boil and cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of chestnuts. The large the nuts more time it need to be cooked.
  • To test, take out one chestnut at 25 minute mark and cut it open. If the pulp is soft and creamy chestnuts are done. If not let cook for another 10 minutes and taste again.
  • Once ready, drain chestnuts and pass them quickly under running water.
  • Wrap first, in a large piece of parchment paper (to absorb excess water), then wrap in a kitchen linen towel and let rest for a few minutes.
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How To Boil Chestnuts

Have you ever wanted to roast chestnuts at home?
With delicious soft pulp and easy peel like chestnuts you get from a street vendor?
Here are all the tips and tricks how to do it!

How To Roast Chestnuts {Soft & Easy Peel}

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