How to Roast Chestnuts

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Mike and I have a strange Christmas tradition.  Every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we watch The Godfather and roast chestnuts.  I’m not sure how or why this became our tradition (as far as I know The Godfather has no ties to Christmas), and I have no idea what the relationship between the movie and roasted chestnuts is, but Mike always insists on chestnuts along with the movie.  And so, because I love him (and roasted chestnuts), I oblige him.

If you’ve never roasted chestnuts at home before, they’re much easier than you might expect…no open fire required!

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, and a joyous New Year!

How to Roast Chestnuts

Chestnuts (1 lb will serve about 4 people)

1.  Preheat oven to 425F.

2.  Put the chestnuts in a colander and rinse with cold running water, then pat dry.

3.  Use a sharp paring knife to cut a large “X” on the flat side of each chestnut; to help stabilize the chestnut, place a kitchen towel on a cutting board, then put the chestnut on top of the towel before cutting.  (Don’t skip this step – the “Xs” are pretty important since they let the steam escape and also make peeling the chestnuts much easier.)

Resting the Chestnuts on a Kitchen Towel Stabilizes Them When You Want to Cut Your “X”

4.  Arrange the chestnuts “X” side up on a baking sheet.  Bake until they’re tender and the shells curl open, about 20 to 30 minutes.

The Chestnuts Should Look Like This When They’re Done Roasting

5.  Tightly wrap the chestnuts in a kitchen towel and cool just until you can handle them without burning your hands, about 10 minutes, then peel them (don’t wait too long because they’re much easier to peel when they’re still warm).

Peeling Chestnuts

6.  Discard any chestnuts that are moldy or spoiled and enjoy the rest!

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  1. says

    I always cheat and buy the ones that are already peeled! This looks more fun though and I should give it a try. My husband loves roasted chestnuts and I had never had them before until we got married – they are delicious though.

  2. says

    Guess what? I’m adding this to my bucket list recipes! You’re on a roll! LOL! I’ve never had a chestnut in my life and I wish I would have seen this before I saw them for sale at a Medi restaurant b/c they will probably be gone by the time I return. I so want to try them now-your pictures really captivated me! Next year!

  3. says

    I found this very useful. I, like Amy above, always buy them prepared and ready to use. But this sounds easy, and of course, better. Merci!
    Wishing you a very Happy New Year Faith!

  4. says

    What an informative and visually stunning tutorial! Happy New Year Sweet Friend! Thank you for knowing how to make me smile with your words, your food, and your presence in my life. Blessings in the year to come!

  5. says

    Well nothing says holidays like the Godfather! Very cute tradition and great snack. I found out how to make them last year but thanks for the refresher. I want to wish you a wonderful New Year for 2012 filled with health, loved ones and success in your endeavors.

  6. says

    I love this space for all these small yet wonderful info on food and recipe..and am glad that I have come to know such a passionate foodie through my blogging journey. Hope to have more of foodie adventure with you the coming days.
    Love and hugs.

  7. says

    We saw chestnuts roasting on the streets on our recent trip to Rome and I just love them. It’s been years since I made them at home but as I recall they were not easy to peel so thanks for your tips;-)

  8. says

    I must confess that I have never roasted chestnuts–and your tutorial is perfect, Faith. Thanks for sharing your tradition–I think we all have fun ones, that we aren’t even sure how they got started.

    Happy New Year to both of you–

  9. says

    It’s absolutely not the holiday season without plenty of roasted chestnuts! We still haven’t quite mastered the technique for making them at home though… Usually, they come out less than tender in the center but fairly scorched on the outside. I’ll have to try your method next time.

  10. says

    Whenever I made chestnuts, I would let them go cold and peel them as I ate them and they were so hard to peel. Next time I’ll peel them while they are warmer. Thank you

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