15 Chestnut Recipes That Are Holiday Worthy

No Open Fire Needed

Traditional Tuscan chestnut cake castagnaccio recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

We’ve all heard of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but a lot of other delicious recipes exist that also make use of the seasonal tree nut. Chestnuts come to mind especially around the holidays, but they have a delicate umami and nutty flavor that work great as part of any festive meal. You can use chestnuts in both sweet and savory preparations, so try a few of these recipes to learn a new ingredient to add to your repertoire.

  • 01 of 15

    Oven-Roasted Chestnuts

    Oven Roasted Chestnuts

    The Spruce

     

    If you live in or visit many major cities across Europe and the U.S., you will see roasted chestnuts appear at street stalls throughout the late autumn and winter. Recreate that mouthwatering scent and signature flavor at home right in your oven, for a simple and satisfying snack.

  • 02 of 15

    Chestnut Pasta in Butter and Sage Sauce

    Chestnut tagliatelle
    crummblle/Getty Images

    While traditionally associated with Italian peasants, flour made from chestnuts originally came about as an alternative for those who couldn’t afford wheat flour. Try it to make your own uniquely nutty pasta that goes perfectly with a velvety butter and sage sauce. It comes together easily enough for novice pasta-makers and just tastes like fall on a plate.

  • 03 of 15

    Vegan Chestnut Soup

    Easy vegan roasted chestnut soup

    The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak

    This smooth roasted chestnut soup has all the subtle flavors of the tree nut, with added nutrition from carrots and veggie broth, all lightly spiced with cloves and bay leaves. Make it vegan by using non-dairy milk and vegan margarine or oil and serve with crusty bread for soaking it all up.

  • 04 of 15

    Chestnut Stuffing

    Traditional Chestnut Stuffing

    Manny Rodriguez-Getty Images

     

    Whether you make this tasty stuffing as a Thanksgiving side or a comfort food dish for another meal, you’ll love the addition of meaty chestnuts for a different texture and flavor. It comes out very similarly to your traditional stuffing, but the chestnuts make it extra hearty. Either fresh or jarred chestnuts work just as well, although the prepared variety require much less effort.

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  • 05 of 15

    Marrons Glacé

    candied chestnuts
    =. Jose A. Bernat Bacete - Getty Images

    In France, these decadent candied chestnuts sell out quickly, because the flavor is so popular. Create them at home for an indulgent treat that would work great as a party or even wedding flavor. They do take some time to make, but one taste makes it all worth it.

  • 06 of 15

    Karyoka Truffles

    Fotolia_23588461_L-crop.jpg
    Photo © sattriani - Fotolia.com

    Try karyoka or Turkish truffles made from chocolate-covered chestnut puree sprinkled with chopped pistachios, for a different twist on holiday candy. These make beautiful gifts when wrapped in a pretty candy box, or lovely elegant desserts when placed in little paper wrappers. Use high-quality chocolate for best results.

  • 07 of 15

    Tuscan Chestnut Cake

    Traditional Tuscan chestnut cake castagnaccio recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    This unleavened chestnut dessert tastes like a cross between a slightly sweet cake and a flatbread, and usually appears on fall tables in Tuscany. Using ingredients like olive oil and rosemary gives it a savory note that makes it an excellent addition to your dessert table for a little earthy contrast.

  • 08 of 15

    Roast Goose and Chestnut Stuffing

    Stuffed-roast-goose
    Getty

    Before turkey took over, goose often starred as the centerpiece at holiday meals. Stuffed with a savory chestnut filling, this rolled goose roast comes out tender and moist thanks to a water bath that keeps it from drying out. For an even fancier presentation, try adding foie gras or even black truffle to the filling. Ask your butcher to debone the goose for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.

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  • 09 of 15

    Sweetened Chestnut Purée

    Chestnut puree
    Riou, Jean-Christophe / Getty Images

    Used in a variety of Italian, French, and Hungarian desserts, sweetened chestnut puree has a nutty, subtle flavor that levels up a range of desserts. Try it as part of a pound cake, to fill truffles, or even just spread on toast as a sweet snack.

  • 10 of 15

    Roasting Chestnuts on the Grill

    Chestnuts on Grill cooked
    Regarding BBQ Inc.

    Forget about an open fire—roast your chestnuts on the grill for a smoky, toasty flavor. The high, intense heat your grill can deliver will result in a deliciously sweet taste. Rinse the chestnuts before cooking to keep the shells from charring too much and make them easier to open at the end.

  • 11 of 15

    Mont Blanc Dessert

    Mont Blanc on Plate
    Yoshika Sakai/Getty Images

    The classic French mont blanc (or “white mountain” ) features chestnut puree on top of pillowy meringue discs that are piled high with fluffy whipped cream. It tastes as wonderful as it looks and makes a fancy dessert for a special meal. Make your own chestnut puree or find it at European specialty stores or online.

  • 12 of 15

    Chestnut Flour Pound Cakes

    Homemade Pound cake
    MelindaChan / Getty Images

    Make this subtly sweet and nutty chestnut flour pound cake for a tea-time snack or the perfect coffee or cocoa companion. This recipe makes a loaf pan-sized cake or several smaller cakes, which would look adorable on a little platter or as individual desserts for an afternoon gathering.

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  • 13 of 15

    Candied Chestnuts

    candied chestnuts
    Photo © M.studio - Fotolia.com

    These Turkish candied chestnuts date all the way back to the Ottoman Empire and once you try them, you’ll understand why. They come out sweet, slightly umami, with a tender, meaty texture. Peeling and boiling them takes the most time, but the rest of the recipe comes together quite easily.

  • 14 of 15

    Gluten-free Chestnut Flour

    Chestnut flour

     

    al62 / Getty Images 

    If you need to avoid gluten, try making your own flour. Chestnuts have a signature nutty taste and when milled, the resulting chestnut flour works great in a variety of recipes. Try it in flatbreads, polenta, or pasta for a rural Italian flavor.

  • 15 of 15

    Boiling Chestnuts

    turkish roasted chestnuts
    Photo © kab-vision - Fotolia.com

    Most of us know about roasted chestnuts, but not everyone has tried them boiled. Doing so prepares the tree nut for use in recipes like purées, as a dessert ingredient, or to grind into flour. They don’t taste as great as roasted or grilled for eating plain though, so steer clear of this method for snacking.