Roasted Chestnuts

5 from 7 votes
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This roasted chestnuts recipe is so simple, you don’t even need to peel the chestnuts first! This classic Christmas treat is totally irresistible. Enjoy creamy, sweet nuts perfect for snacking.

Close-up photo of roasted chestnuts, some outside of the shell and some are inside of their shells.


Roasting chestnuts is a classic Christmas tradition. If you’ve never done it, this is the year to give it a go! You may also want to try my Salt and Pepper Roasted Chestnuts for a savory version.

Why You’ll Love This Roasted Chestnuts Recipe

  • Easy. You’ll only need one ingredient – chestnuts – to make this recipe.
  • No peeling needed. Unlike other recipes, you don’t need to fuss with peeling the chestnuts before roasting.
  • Cozy and festive. Once the chestnuts have roasted for a bit, your home will smell incredible.
  • Delicious. Roasted chestnuts are slightly sweet and softer than other kinds of nuts.

What Are Chestnuts?

Fresh chestnuts are a kind of nut similar to hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts, but they are harvested from chestnut trees that belong to the Castanea genus. Chestnuts have a unique flavor and texture profile compared to these other nuts. They are often less oily and have a more starchy texture, which makes them distinct in taste and culinary uses. They have a slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture when cooked.

How to Roast Chestnuts

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a pan with foil.
  2. Prepare the chestnuts. Run a sharp knife, making a cut across the flat side of the shell of each chestnut, scoring it with an “X”.
  3. Roast. Arrange the chestnuts on the baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes. They’re done when tender and the shells are open. Remove from oven and immediately cover the pan with a kitchen towel.
  4. Cool, then dig in. When cool enough to handle, remove kitchen towel and peel each chestnut before eating.

Can I Roast Chestnuts On An Open Fire?

Yes! Prepare the chestnuts as the recipe directs and get a hot fire going. Once the fire has died down and you only have hot coals remaining, place the chestnuts in one layer in a cast iron skillet and roast them for about 10 minutes. Stir a couple of times to make sure all the chestnuts get exposed to the heat.

Close-up photo of roasted chestnuts served in a bowl.

How Do I Peel Roasted Chestnuts?

When you cover the cooked chestnuts with a kitchen towel (as directed above), you are letting steam build up, and this helps loosen the skins. After the chestnuts have “steamed” for 10 to 15 minutes, gently squeeze each with a kitchen towel to remove the skins. Be careful not to singe your hands as they will still be hot inside, even after cooling.

Recipe Tips

  • Where do you buy chestnuts? You can usually find them at grocery stores around the holidays. Barring that, you can also find them online on Amazon. Just make sure you buy edible nuts.
  • How to choose chestnuts. Select chestnuts that are firm, shiny, and that don’t have any tiny holes. Store them in the fridge for up to 2 days before roasting.
  • Don’t skip scoring the outside of each chestnut. The most important part is running a sharp knife on the flat side of the shell to make an X. You can also just make one cut. Doesn’t matter how you cut it, as long as you cut. it. If you don’t, the chestnuts will pop in your oven and you’ll hear a loud popping sound as they bounce around.
  • Peel while hot. The heat makes the skins more pliable, so they are easier to remove.
A hand holding up a roasted and peeled chestnut.

How to Store

Roasted chestnuts are best when warm from the oven, but you can make them ahead of time and keep the cooked chestnuts in a paper bag on the counter for 2 days. You could also store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Christmas Appetizer Ideas

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5 from 7 votes

Roasted Chestnuts

This easy roasted chestnuts recipe is the best way to make a classic Christmas treat!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8


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  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  • Line a jelly-roll pan with foil; set aside.
  • Run a sharp knife, making a cut across the flat side of the shell of each chestnut, scoring an "X".
  • Arrange the chestnuts on the pan and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender and the shells are open.
  • Remove the chestnuts from the oven and immediately cover the pan with a kitchen towel. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • When cool enough to handle, remove the kitchen towel and peel each chestnut before eating.


  • Scoring the chestnuts is crucial to prevent them from bursting due to steam buildup when cooking.
  • Open Fire: You can also roast the chestnuts in a pan over an open fire, frequently shaking the pan until they are done.
  • Peel While Warm: It’s easier to peel chestnuts when they are warm. Let them cool inside the towel until just enough to handle. Begin peeling at the scored X, removing the hard outer shell and the papery inner skin.
  • To serve cooked chestnuts, they can be eaten as is or added to various dishes such as stuffings, soups, and desserts.
  • Store uncooked chestnuts in a cool, dry place or the refrigerator.


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 548mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 45.6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Catalina says:

    I receive as a gift some chestnuts and I wasn’t sure how to make them! I am making your recipe right now!

  2. Tisha says:

    Perfect snack for the holiday season!

  3. Allyson Zea says:

    My grandmother used to make these all the time over the holidays and I’ve never tried myself, I can’t wait to try your instructions, thank you!