Make a batch of oven roasted chestnuts with a drizzle of sage browned butter this winter.
The sweet smell of chestnuts roasting in the air is one of those scents of the season that truly embodies the spirit of the holidays.
A special treat enjoyed only around this time of year, the warm cozy aroma leaves the house smelling so wonderfully inviting as they crackle and pop in the heat. It never feels quite like the holidays without digging into a pile of roasted chestnuts at least once or twice.
Of course, I can’t help but think of the classic “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole when I think of chestnuts, and while yes they are quite wonderful roasted over an open fire if you’ve got one, they’re also just as easy to make in the oven.
How to roast chestnuts in the oven:
- Roasting chestnuts is quite a bit simpler than you might think; the fiddly bit for the most part is that you’ll need to mark each chestnut with an X before they go into the oven. A quick soak in hot water, a sharp knife and kitchen towel will help tremendously with that, however, and the rest of the work is left to the heat of the oven.
- As the chestnuts roast their shells will crack and pull away from where you've scored them making them easier to peel.
- I like to finish mine of with a nice drizzle of browned sage butter for an extra layer of savory nuttiness. The fresh sage leaves crisp up as the butter browns and the whole thing is poured over the roasted chestnuts as they come out of the oven. A generous shower of salt is the final flourish and you’re ready to dig in with your hands and start peeling and popping those warm chestnuts into your mouth.
If you’ve never bought chestnuts before I suggest you keep an eye out for ones with smooth, shiny shells that feel heavy for their size. They should give just a little when you press on them but not feel hollow inside or else they will already be past their prime.
Here’s to the holidays!
More holiday recipes:
Roasting chestnuts in the oven is quite a bit simpler than you might think! These are served with a drizzle of browned sage butter for extra flavor.
- 1 pound/454g fresh unshelled chestnuts
- 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
- 3 Tablespoons/42g butter
- A hefty pinch of fleur de sel
- Preheat oven to 400°. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil and turn off heat.
- Soak the scored chestnuts in the hot water for 1 minute then drain chestnuts and pat dry. (This softens the shells and makes them easier to score.)
- Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut an X on the rounded side of each chestnut while holding them down firmly on a kitchen towel.
- Arrange the scored chestnuts in a single layer, X side up on a sheet pan or cast iron pan.
- Roast until the peel begins to curl up, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Three minutes before the chestnuts are done, make the sage browned butter.
Make the Sage Browned Butter:
- Heat the butter and sage leaves in a medium sized skillet until bubbly. Reduce heat to low and let bubble until the mixture turns light brown and fragrant and the sage leaves are crispy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Remove chestnuts from the oven and place then X side up in a serving dish or platter. Pour the browned sage butter over making sure to get the sauce into the cracks of the chestnuts. Place a clean towel or napkin over the chestnuts and left sit for 2 to 3 minutes until the chestnuts are cool enough to handle.
- Season generously with salt and serve immediately.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Paleo
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 252Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.