Roasted chestnuts are so tasty and mark the beginning of the winter holidays. Roasted chestnuts have such wonderful and delicately sweet flavour, with a soft interior. They taste similar to a roasted sweet potato and are perfect as a snack, appetiser or just as street food from many winter markets around the world.
Roasted chestnuts can be made at home, in your own oven. They start appearing in supermarkets in autumn, and you can find them on many street food stalls all around the world. In Europe, you'll find chestnuts roasted in an outdoor roasting pit. At home, you can get the same result by roasting the chestnuts in the oven. There is no need for special equipment to enjoy these popular winter snacks at home.
Roasted chestnuts can be enjoyed as a snack, on their own. There's something magical about enjoying Paris in winter and purchasing a cone of roasted chestnuts. It marks the beginning of the magical winter season full of so many festivities and celebrations. Roasted chestnuts can be eaten at home as an appetiser or as a dessert, as an after-dinner healthy treat. We often eat them like a snack during cosy movie night.
Steps to make the perfect roasted chestnuts in the oven
You won't believe how easy it is to make the perfect roasted chestnuts. Here are our step by step instructions to ensure you get the best results.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 220C/ 425F.
Step 2: Using a sharp knife, score an X on each chestnut on its roaded side. We do this to ensure the chestnuts don't explode in the oven from the pressure forming under the skin. Also, it helps with peeling the chestnuts.
Step 3: Place chestnuts on a baking sheet with the scored, rounded side up!
Step 4: Roast chestnuts in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes. You know they are ready when the skin starts to pull back a little and the beautiful golden chestnut is revealed.
Step 5: Place the chestnuts in a towel (I use a clean cotton towel) and wrap and squeeze them hard. This step helps peel the skin with ease. You should hear the chestnuts crack as you squeeze them.
Step 6: Allow the chestnuts to cool so you can handle them with your fingers. Peel the skin off! You can now enjoy your roasted chestnuts!
Tips for making roasted chestnuts
There are a few tips I have for you to ensure you enjoy the best ever roasted chestnuts made home.
- Buy larger chestnuts - Larger chestnuts are easier to peel so they are ideal for home roasting. If your chestnuts come preselected in a bag, check them in the shop to ensure they are fairly large. Avoid really small chestnuts as they are difficult to peel.
- Look for Italian chestnuts - Italy is the largest producer of chestnuts in the whole of Europe. Chances are, your chestnuts are from the Tuscan region. I always recommend buying chestnuts when they are in season. Seasonal food is so much better. Expect to see chestnuts starting from the end of September. In Romanian, we call them castane, which comes from the Italian castagne.
- Preheat your oven - You will want your oven to be hot when you add your chestnuts. This will help roast them evenly and nicely. It will also help all chestnuts get easier skin to peel.
- Pressure cook the chestnuts - Do you have only small chestnuts available in your local store? Since they are so difficult to peel, there's a trick to use before roasting your chestnuts: pressure cook them in water for 20 minutes.
- Don't pick horse chestnuts - You might be tempted to pick your own chestnuts. Just note that most chestnuts we see around during autumn are horse chestnuts and are poisonous. Unless you know how to differentiate between edible sweet chestnuts and horse chestnuts, it's best to purchase them from your local store.
You are now ready to make the best ever roasted chestnuts at home. I can't wait to hear how you liked them so make sure to leave us a review and a comment in the comments section below. Enjoy!
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.