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

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

Oven roasted chestnuts is one of the most delicious 1-ingredient winter snacks that you can easily make at home.

Discover all the secrets on how to roast chestnuts that are soft, fragrant and peel in a snap!

Whether it’s your first time roasting chestnuts or you’ve tried it before and for some reason chestnuts turned out dry and were super hard to peel, this recipe for roasted chestnuts will grantee the best result and wonderful soft, chewy and easy peeling chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts

Why Roasting Chestnuts In The Oven Works

  • These oven roasted chestnuts taste just as the ones you get from a street vendor at the street market, except for the charcoal smell.
  • You don’t need any special tools or equipment!
  • You can make roasted chestnuts at home with kitchen tools you already have – a small sharp knife and a baking sheet.
  • If you roast chestnuts often and want to take it to the next level, you’ll also find tools and tips to help you with that.
  • This recipe was tested to perfection, while roasting a dozen of pounds of chestnuts this year.
  • Oven roasted chestnuts are super easy to make.
  • You’ll love making this snack during the holiday season!
Roasted Chestnut

Chestnut cutters seem to be a popular thing lately, so let’s see if they absolutely necessary and best chestnuts knife that won’t be another cool useless tool.

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

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.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

Roasted Chestnuts FAQs 

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.

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.

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.

Roasted Peeled Chestnuts

Other Ways To Cook Chestnuts

  • Boil chestnuts. Boiling is the the best cooking method for chestnut quality that won’t peel no matter what you do. It also makes the softest and butter-y chestnuts out of all methods. You can boil chestnuts if you need to use them in the recipes too.
  • Roast chestnuts on an open fire. The best way to roast chestnuts if you have a fireplace, outdoor fire-pit, and even simply on a campfire. Check out this recipe for grilled chestnuts as well.
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

Now you have all the secrets and the best technique to roast chestnuts in the oven.

Roasted Chestnuts Pin

Buon Appetito!

Recipe Rating




John

Sunday 26th of December 2021

I tried your recipe again, exactly this time and the chestnuts were the best ones ever. I'll pass it on. Thanks.

John

Saturday 18th of December 2021

I used your recipe but I still had trouble withe the skin that stuck to the nut. Next time I will soak them overnight instead of an hour as that might help.

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 18th of December 2021

Hello John, you can certainly try soaking chestnuts for a longer time. However sometimes you just have a quality of chestnuts that won't peel whatever you do. In this case I recommend you boil chestnuts instead of roasting. This way you can simply cut them in half and scoop the flesh with a spoon.

NanceG

Wednesday 1st of December 2021

Thanks for sharing! I bought some chestnuts yesterday at the Italian Market and look forward to trying your recipe. The methodology sounds perfect and I'm anticipating being able to create a perfect treat, thanks to your tips. Happy holidays!

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 18th of December 2021

You're most welcome, Nance. Glad you found my tips & tricks for roasted chestnuts helpful :) Happy Holidaysto you!

Richard

Saturday 27th of November 2021

I love roasting chestnuts, I usually make 4 dozen and then proceed toeat at least 2 doz at one sitting of course with red wine and I savor every bite, once in awhile i will bnoil them with burbon, they come out nice and soft with a slight burbon sweet taste.

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 18th of December 2021

I totally agree, Richard. This is also my favorite way to eat roasted chestnuts - with a glass of quality red wine! Your method of boiling them with burbon also asounds very interesting. Thank you for sharing it. Happy Holidays!

Teresa Pompa

Friday 26th of November 2021

Can I put the salt while soaking the chestnuts instead of after roasting? Thank you.

Italian Recipe Book

Saturday 18th of December 2021

Hello Teresa, yes, sure you can soak chestnuts in salted water if you prefer. Happy Holidays!