Try our date, chestnut and molasses stuffing, then check out more ways with chestnuts and our best sage and onion stuffing recipe.

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 (serve 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.

Date, chestnut and molasses stuffing recipe


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 100ml milk
  • ½ tsp ground mace
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 500g pork sausagemeat
  • 300g cooked chestnuts (vacuum-packed or roasted and shelled), roughly chopped
  • 100g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 6 sage leaves (or up to 8), chopped
  • 3 tbsp sour cherry, date or pomegranate molasses, plus extra to glaze
  • 3 bay leaves (or up to 4)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a small frying pan and fry the onion with a pinch of salt until softened but not golden. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, put the breadcrumbs in a large bowl and stir in the milk and spices. Leave to soak for 5 mins, then stir in the sausagemeat, chestnuts, dates, sage and molasses. Season well. Fold in the cooled onions.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the mixture into a lined or oiled 25cm x 15cm baking dish. Smooth the top and bake for 30 mins. Put the bay leaves on the stuffing and brush the top with a drizzle more of the molasses. Roast for a further 10 mins until golden brown (cover with foil if the sugar starts to catch) and the centre reads 70C on a thermometer, or a metal skewer comes out piping hot when inserted into the middle. Cover with foil and rest for 10 mins before serving.


Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

Alternative ways with chestnuts


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