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How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven {Soft & Easy Peel}

How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven {Soft & Easy Peel}

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Have you ever wondered how to roast chestnuts in the oven so that they don’t become dry and peel in a snap?

Today, I’ll be sharing with you my tips and tricks on how to make perfect roasted chestnuts.

With the same look, taste and easy peel as you get them from street vendor at the street market.

I really enjoy boiled chestnuts – a foolproof method for super soft and buttery chestnuts every single time.

My in laws love to roast them in the pan. A very common method to cook chestnuts in Italy, but honestly, they turn out too dry that way.

So I decided to try to roast chestnuts in the oven and see how it goes.

I’ve roasted a dozen of pounds of chestnuts this year and tried many different methods to prep them for the oven and perfected the technique to a T.

Roasted Chestnuts

What I learned is that small things make huge difference.

Today, I’ll be sharing with you all the secrets to oven roasted chestnuts that you’ll love to make and eat during the holiday season.

The best part?

You don’t need any special tools or equipment whatsoever.!

You can make roasted chestnuts at home with kitchen tools you already have.

But since chestnut cutters seem to be a popular thing lately, I’ll say a couple of words about them.

Roasted Chestnut

Chestnut Cutter or Chestnut Knife?

If you’re a chestnut addict (like I am!) you might be tempted to get a chestnut cutter.

There are a couple of version on the market. What they all do (or suppose to do) is score chestnut in one single move.

If you decide to get one, make sure you get a robust stainless steel cutter, like this one for example or better yet an Italian Chestnut Knife.

It is designed specifically for scoring and peeling chestnuts and it’ll serve you a lifetime.

But, please, avoid this kind of chestnut cutter! I had a similar one and it was a completely useless tool, waste of money.

How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven Step By Step

Rinse chestnuts in cold water.

Score Chestnuts

Using a small sharp knife or Italian Chestnut Knife make a long slit cut across the rounded side of a chestnut trying not to cut too deep into the nut.

You can perform the cut positioning chestnut on a cutting board flat side down.

But like to hold the chestnut with my fingers as I get a better grip and control over a slippery chestnut and can rotate it easily to make that long cut all across the rounded side.

Be very careful doing that, you can cut yourself. If for any reason it doesn’t feel safe, hold chestnuts in place on a cutting board (photos 1-6).

How To Score Chestnuts

Dip scored chestnuts in a bowl with water.

Repeat the process with remaining chestnuts (photo 7).

You’ll need about 10 minutes to score 2 pounds (about 1 kilo) of chestnuts.

Let chestnuts soak in water for 1-2 hours. You can leave them in water up to 24 hours (photo 8).

How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven

Roast Chestnuts

Preheat oven to 430-450F (220-230C).

Drain the water and arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet, possibly slit side up to prevent chestnuts from exploding (photo 9).

Roast chestnuts in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. It might take a little more or less time depending on the size and quality of the chestnuts.

Once cooked, transfer chestnuts in an empty bowl or leave them on a baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10-20 minutes (photo 10).

How To Peel Chestnuts

The easiest way to remove chestnuts shell is to press on the shell on both ends of the cut and around it. This move will separate the inner skin and outer shell from the pulp.

Now you can easily squeeze the chestnut and take out the fruit (photos 11-13).

How To Peel Chestnuts

What Do Roasted Chestnuts Taste Like?

Chestnuts roasted in the oven have sweet, buttery pulp with a light crunch full of earthly aromas & flavors. In some way their taste remind somewhat that of a sweet potato but tastier and snack-like.

Roasted Chestnuts FAQs 

Do You Have To Soak Chestnuts Before Roasting

It’s not necessary to soak chestnuts before toasting but it’s highly recommended. Soaking chestnuts at least for an hour help them peel so much easier. They also become much softer due to the steam that was created between the shell and the pulp.

Do You Have To Score Chestnuts For Roasting?

Absolutely! Besides scoring chestnuts using one of the methods described above you also need to make sure that you place chestnuts on a baking sheet slit side up.

Heads up: non scored chestnuts explode in the oven making a huge mess.

How To Store Roasted Chestnuts

Peel roasted chestnuts while they are still warm. It get harder to peel chestnuts as the get cold.

Let cool completely.

Store in a zip-lock plastic bag in the fridge or in the freezer.

Roasted chestnuts last up to 4 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.

Frozen roasted chestnuts need to be defrosted first to be used in recipes or for snacks.

How To Store Raw Chestnuts In A Shell For Roasting

Raw chestnuts can be stored in the fridge for up tp 1 month.

Make sure wash chestnuts thoroughly and soak them for a few hours first. Discard any (or roast them first thing) that come afloat. Dry thoroughly all good chestnusts and store them in the fridge in a plastic or juta bag.

Can You Freeze Chestnuts?

Absolutely. Do all the steps for storage in the fridge plus score each chestnut before freezing.

How To Cook Frozen Chestnuts?

Frozen raw chestnuts can be cooked directly in the oven following this recipe. There’s no need to defrost chestnuts in a shell.

Tips & Tricks For Roasting Chestnuts

  • Make sure to make a long slit cut across the rounded side of a chestnut. This is one of the tricks for easy peeling. Sometimes you’ll have a chestnut with both rounded sides or with both flat side. Do the cut on either one.
  • Let slit chestnuts soak in water at least for an hour and up to 24 hours. The longer you soak chestnuts the softer roasted chestnuts you will get.This will facilitate peeling of the inner skin and will also protect chestnuts from becoming dry when roasted in the oven.
  • To score chestnuts with less effort – soak whole chestnuts in water for 30 minutes before scoring.  This will soften the outer shell and help cut chestnuts almost effortless.
  • If you don’t have time for soaking you can simply bring slit chestnuts to a boil, drain and proceed with the recipe. It helps with peeling BUT with this method they’ll still turn out somewhat dry. I like to line baking sheet with a parchment paper as it makes it super easy to transfer chestnuts in a bowl for cooling. But.
  • You can also let chestnuts rest directly on a sheet pan where they were roasted. Once you take it out of the oven simply cover chestnuts with a few kitchen towels to keep the warmth and the steam that will also help chestnuts peel off easily.
  • Don’t rush to peel chestnuts immediately after roasting.
    First, they’re too hot to handle with bare hands.
    Second, letting them rest for 10-20 minutes will make peeling easier.
Roasted Peeled Chestnuts
How To Roast Chestnuts
5 from 3 votes

How To Roast Chestnuts In The Oven {Soft & Easy To Peel}

The perfect recipe for roasted chestnuts that are super soft to taste and peel off easily.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Soaking Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh chestnuts
  • Salt (optional)

Equipment:

Instructions

Prepare chestnuts for roasting

  • Rinse chestnuts in cold water.
  • Using a small sharp knife or Italian Chestnut Knife make a long slit cut across the rounded side of a chestnut trying not to cut too deep into the nut.
  • You can perform the cut positioning chestnut on a cutting board flat side down.
  • But like to hold the chestnut with my fingers as I get a better grip and control over a slippery chestnut and can rotate it easily to make that long cut all across the rounded side.
  • Be very careful doing that, you can cut yourself. If for any reason it doesn’t feel safe, hold chestnuts in place on a cutting board.
  • Dip scored chestnuts in a bowl with water.
  • Repeat the process with remaining chestnuts.
  • You’ll need about 10 minutes to score 2 pounds (about 1 kilo) of chestnuts.
  • Let chestnuts soak in water for 2 hours.

Roast chestnuts

  • Preheat oven to 430-450F (220-230C).
  • Drain the water and arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet, slit side up. Confirm they all chestnuts are scored.
  • Roast chestnuts in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. It might take a little more or less time depending on the size and quality of the chestnuts.
  • Once cooked, transfer chestnuts in an empty bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

Video

Liked this recipe?Follow @italianrecipeb for more!

Nutrition

Serving: 20chestnuts
Roasted Chestnuts Pin

Buon Appetito!

Recipe Rating




Gayle

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Great recipe. They came out moist and tender

Italian Recipe Book

Thursday 14th of January 2021

Glad to hear that. Thanks for stopping by!

Manal

Thursday 24th of December 2020

Thank you soooo much for posting this!! I have NEVER, EVER had chestnuts turn out this perfect. They were an absolute breeze to peel. You have solved a decades old mystery for our family. Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!!

Italian Recipe Book

Friday 15th of January 2021

Ahah, I'm glad to hear you've finally found THE recipe for roasted chestnuts. I appreciate you stopping by and letting me know.

P.S. Apologies for my slow reply, I'm just seeing this now!

Annie

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

After roasting and peeling, is that when you toss with a bit of salt?

Italian Recipe Book

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

Hi Annie, you can sprinkle chestnuts with salt right after arranged them on a baking sheet to be baked in the oven or you can do so after after roasting and peeling.

Lisa

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

What is the shelf life for these? I want to give these as Christmas gifts.

Italian Recipe Book

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Hi Lisa, that's a great question! If you want to give roasted chestnuts as Christmas gifts you can. Here's a few tips how to do it. 1. Roast chestnuts in the oven following the recipe above. 2. Peel them as soon as they're warm and manageable to handle with hands. 3. Loosely arrange peeled chestnuts on a tray and let them cool completely. 4. Store roasted chestnuts in airtight container or a ziploc freezer bag in the fridge for about one month. 5. Package them for gifts the last moment before gifting.

Happy Holidays!

Maria V

Thursday 26th of November 2020

I have been looking and tried so-called "fool-proof" recipes for Roasted Chestnuts for years! This is the one! It worked flawlessly! Thank you!!!

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Yay!!! So happy you've finally found it Maria:D Happy Holidays!