16 chestnut recipes
Make the most of seasonal chestnuts with our best ever recipes. Try a classic stuffing, vibrant salad packed with flavour, or stunning vegetarian centrepiece.
Chestnuts are incredibly versatile. They work in anything from soups to salads or, as in the famous French dessert Mont Blanc, blended into a sweet chestnut purée piled on meringues with whipped cream.
When are chestnuts in season?
UK chestnut season starts in September and ends in January. Chestnuts are at their best between October and December.
Why we love chestnuts
Although chestnuts start to fall in autumn, their creamy, nutty flavour is synonymous with festive recipes, and their deep mahogany shells makes them easy to store until December. Find them glacéed as treasured sweets, puréed and folded into cream for desserts or simply sold in their shells ready for roasting on the open fire (I serve mine with a little dipping dish of salt ready for dunking once roasted). You can buy them cooked and vacuum packed (great to have on hand) or make a cross in the shells with a sharp knife and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 20 mins until their shells start to peel back to reveal the softened, creamy yellow flesh inside.
How to cook chestnuts
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Use a small sharp knife to cut along the tops of the skin of the chestnuts, being careful not to cut through into the flesh. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25- 30 minutes, tossing half way until lightly browned and the skins have burst open. Leave to cool, then peel.
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What are the health benefits of chestnuts?
Chestnuts, also known as sweet chestnuts, are native to southern Europe, western Asia and north Africa. Grown in green, spikey shells, they are typically in peak season between October and December in the UK. They’re higher in carbohydrates than other nuts and provide a source of fibre and unsaturated fat. Chestnuts contain all of the B vitamins which are important to support energy and brain function, while also offering calcium, iron and zinc.
Easy chestnut recipes
Salty bacon and sweet chestnuts take the bitterness out of sprouts in this easy recipe. It's the perfect side dish to complement your roast turkey.
Chestnuts are roasted in a tin-foil bowl with a sweet and herby butter – they make a great snack for chilly winter evenings.
These flavourful stuffing bites are ideal for serving with your roast dinner. Balls of dried cranberries, sausagemeat and chestnuts wrapped in streaky bacon can be popped into the oven during the last 30 minutes of the roast potato cooking time. Watch everyone devour them when you bring them to the table.
Waxy potatoes, mushrooms and chestnuts – these are three ingredients that sit very well together on a plate. Add a slosh of sherry, and you have a midweek meal that is as impressive as it is easy.
This showstopping soup delivers big, earthy flavours for a warming winter starter. Jerusalem artichoke and chestnuts create a beautifully rich mix in this silky-smooth soup.
These chocolate and chestnut truffles are really easy to make, and are a lovely edible gift to give over the festive season.
Check out this vegan chestnut, squash and sweet potato loaf recipe. Precise layering makes this meat-free main look really smart, but it’s actually easy to put together. This can be made the day before then heated through before serving
Simple and comforting, this wintry hash is ideal for busy weeknights. Fry sausages until crisp and brown, and stir through spiced red cabbage and chestnuts for a warming winter one-pot.
If you need a vegetarian main for your next dinner party, look no further! This layered cake of butternut squash, potato and fresh sage stuffed with a cranberry and chestnut stuffing looks impressive and tastes delicious.
Who doesn't love bubble 'n' squeak? Posh it up with pancetta and cooked chestnuts, and you've got yourself the perfect Boxing Day brunch.
This easy vegetarian main is packed with texture and flavour, and it's healthy to boot. Get a taste of the season with this squash, cranberry and chestnut combo.
There's more to chestnuts than roasting them on an open fire. Why not try this decadent chocolate-chestnut mousse for dessert at Christmas time? A festive twist on a classic chocolate mousse.
Warm up this winter with a hearty stew. You can't go wrong with chunks of beef, chestnuts and carrots slow-cooked together in red wine.
A warm salad for cold days. Quickly roast the chestnuts and beetroot, then assemble with lettuce and blue cheese to make a speedy meal for two. Add crusty bread if you like.
If you can get hold of fresh shiitake mushrooms, this dish can be on the table in just 20 minutes, perfect for midweek! Alternatively, you can use vacuum-packed ones with the tender pumpkin and earthy chestnuts for a satisfying supper.
An Indian twist on an English classic: roasted chestnuts and lamb shanks are spiced with chilli powder, coriander and garam masala, then served on the side of spinach and parsnip mash.