How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts

Bowl of Fresh Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

I have waited an entire year to share this blog post. I suppose I could have posted it any time. But, way back when, I thought it would be better to share it when it made the most sense... in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

You see, I took the photos featured in this post while I was making last year's Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to capture step-by-step photos depicting how to roast and peel chestnuts so I could share an updated version of this post here.

I headed into November with my motivation high. I scheduled this how-to post on my content calendar and started feeling pretty proud of myself for being so on the ball. But, as life would have it in 2020, nothing went according to plan.

Work has been especially busy over the past few months. And I've been coming home more and more tired... with little energy to do anything productive after the kids went to bed. Every time I sat down to write this post, I struggled because I was too tired to put a coherent sentence together.

So here we are. A little over a week before Thanksgiving... and I'm pushing myself to finish this post so I don't have to wait another year to share it!

Bowl of Fresh Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

The number of COVID-19 cases in our area is on the rise again. Anticipating this, I've been strategic about how I've been ordering grocery deliveries. I already have most of the ingredients I'll need for our Thanksgiving dinner... But I know there's one thing I'll have to go to the store for -- fresh chestnuts so I can make my Apple Chestnut Stuffing.

Apple Chestnut Stuffing | Taste As You Go

I look forward to Thanksgiving all year. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving for me without that stuffing... because I associate so many wonderful memories with it. 

We're keeping the holiday small this year, only the four of us. So I'm going to do everything I can to make sure the Apple Chestnut Stuffing makes it to the table!

Naturally, I've made this stuffing a bunch of times, and now I've changed how I peel the chestnuts. No. More. Microwaving.

It's all about roasting the chestnuts in the oven. Raw chestnuts have a bitter taste to them, and roasting them transforms them... roasting gives them a slightly sweet flavor.

Bowl of Peeled Fresh Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

Here's how you do it.

How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts (with pictures)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  2. Using a sharp, cut a deep X on the round side of each chestnut, taking care not to cut through the entire chestnut. This prevents the chestnuts from exploding from internal pressure when heated and makes peeling easier after roasting.

    How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

  3. Arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet.

    How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

  4. Place the chestnuts in the oven and roast them until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and the nutmeats have softened. The actual time required will depend on the chestnuts but will be at least 15-20 minutes.

    How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

  5. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and pile them into a mound in a kitchen towel. Wrap them up, squeeze hard—the chestnuts should crackle—and let them sit for a few minutes.

    How To: Roast and Peel Chestnuts | Taste As You Go

  6. Pull and snap off the dark shells to reveal the yellowish chestnuts. While peeling, you also want to remove the papery skin between the shell and the chestnut.

  7. Peeling is easier when the chestnuts are still warm, so move as quickly as possible.

  8. Once you're done peeling the chestnuts, they're ready to eat as is or ready to use in a recipe like my Apple Chestnut Stuffing!

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