These quick and easy Grilled Roasted Chestnuts are the yummiest seasonal snack whipped up in 20 minutes. They are perfect for a classic chestnut stuffing. When you are looking for a fresh, nutty addition to your recipes, this perennial favorite will win you over.
You can hear The Christmas Song by Nat King “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose” when you are outside in the brisk fall or early winter. There is something nostalgic about it that makes us want to step back and enjoy slower times and old traditions.
Roasted chestnuts offer a mild nutty flavor and can have a sponge-like texture instead of being really crunchy like a traditional nut. As the chestnuts roast, they release a nutty and spiced fragrance that smells incredible.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Quick and Easy – Just following a couple of steps, these are so easy to make to snack on or put into stuffing. The longest step in this recipe is to peel them.
Delicious – These taste sweet and slightly nutty. They are great to serve for people whole like a mild snack.
Holiday Baking – Use these in stuffing and desserts during the holidays. They bring a lot to the table in terms of flavor for your recipes.
Affordable – If you roast your own nuts (boy, that sounds bad!), you will save money! By making them yourself, you have control over how much you need and it can be an affordable decision compared to buying pre-roasted.
Chestnuts – That’s it, you guys. It’s a one ingredient recipe! You can sprinkle them with salt or fresh herbs when you serve, but that is up to you. Most people eat them plain or with a little salt.
Step One: Start off by heating up the grill to about 400 degrees over direct heat.
Step Two: While the grill is heating up, rinse the chestnuts and make an “X” across each nut with a sharp serrated knife. Place the nuts on the cast iron skillet and place it on the grill for about 10-15 minutes, turning halfway.
Note: It is critical that you cut the shell in an X pattern. If you don’t, the heat from the grill will form steam inside the nut and it will explode. Cutting the X shape give the steam a chance to escape without creating a mess.
I suggest that you stick close by to watch as they can burn quickly if you aren’t careful. The cast-iron heats up and retains that heat, so it could turn on you in a skinny minute. My grill got a little warm and I was able to take them off after ten minutes. You may need a little more. When you start to smell the nutty aroma, that is when they are finished.
Step Three: Remove from the grill. While they are still warm, remove the shells from the chestnuts. Removing the hard outer shell is fairly easy, but removing the dark papery inner skin took a bit more work. Make sure you peel it all the way to the center where the nut is a light tan color. Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator for adding to holiday meals.
When you buy the chestnuts, bring them home and store them in the refrigerator. Once cooked, they can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for about 3-4 days. It’s key to buy and make these in a short period of time.
Chestnuts are high in starch so making sure you eat them quickly.
- Chestnuts go bad fast, so make sure to cook them shortly after purchase, or they will spoil.
- Using a serrated knife score your nuts before roasting to help make peeling them a breeze.
- Eat the nuts plain, mix with some sugar and add to a food processor for chestnut cream, use in desserts, stuffing, and more.
- Alternatively, boil chestnuts in water or roast in the oven or on a gas stove. If you own a gas stove they make special pans for roasting chestnuts.
- Keep an eye out for bad chestnuts. I included a picture below of a chestnut that started to mold. Many stores won’t refrigerate these and that causes them to go bad more quickly. Avoid these nuts and throw them away.
📌 Recipe FAQ
Good chestnuts will sink to the bottom of a bowl of water. The rotten ones will rise to the top. When buying them, make sure to buy them loose or in a mesh bag. Most grocery stores don’t keep refrigerated and so they can go bad quicker.
Yep, this common and oftentimes you just have to break the nut and it helps it come out of those crevices. Use a set of nut pickers, a fork, or even a toothpick.
All chestnuts should be rinsed in water, before roasting. While rinsing is required, you can skip the soaking.
Roasting chestnuts is a traditional way to cook up your nuts. They are a bit of work but grilled roasted chestnuts make wonderful snacks, in addition to holiday stuffing, or topping salads.
You will find that roasting a chestnut brings out so much more flavor than boiling.
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Grilled Roasted Chestnuts
- 1 lb Chestnuts
- Set up your grill to 375-400 degrees using direct heat. You are looking for a hot grill or the chestnuts won't open up.
- While the grilling is heating up, cut an X shape across the chestnuts and place them on a cast iron skillet.
- Place the cast iron skillet with the chestnuts on the grill for about 10-15 minutes and turn them over at the half way point. You can tell they are done as they smell nutty and the X shaped cut has peeled open.
- When they come off the grill, allow them to cool slightly and start peeling the outer shell off. Don't wait too long or it is really hard to get the shell off. Enjoy on their own or add to your favorite stuffing.