18 Chestnut Recipes to Make Throughout Sweater Season

Chicken and Chestnut Soup

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Best known for their cameo in the classic Christmas song, chestnuts truly are delicious when roasted over an open fire. But they can also be turned into flour, candied, deep-fried, or pureed. Chestnuts are quite starchy when cooked, with a buttery, sweet flavor — perfect for both desserts such as chestnut pavlova and savory dishes like porcini-chestnut soup. Here, all of our best recipes featuring chestnuts.

01 of 18

Wine-Braised Pork with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes


© Christina Holmes

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with stock, wine, chestnuts, and sweet potatoes until it's meltingly tender.

02 of 18

Chestnut Stuffing with Fennel

Chestnut Stuffing with Fennel

© John Kernick

When chef Suzanne Goin was a child, making stuffing for the holidays was one of her first forays into cooking. "My mom always used store-bought crumbs, and it became my job to doctor them up," says Goin. "I'd just raid the spice cabinet and the first batches were a little [wild]. But I figured out what I liked best." The crispy olive oil-soaked bread cubes on top of this chestnut-laced stuffing with pancetta and fennel are especially delectable.

03 of 18

Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples, and Leeks

Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks
© Alexandra Rowley

Halved acorn squash make perfect single-serving bowls. These are a great vegetarian main course for any winter holiday, but they're also a festive accompaniment to turkey, ham, or roast goose.

04 of 18

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Salsify, Chestnuts, and Ham

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Salsify, Chestnuts and Ham

© Lucy Schaeffer

Chef Michel Nischan transforms a traditional Italian dish with local produce and country ham. "This satisfies people's yearning for pasta but with a more American approach," he says.

05 of 18

Chestnut Pavlova

Chestnut Pavlova
Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This chestnut pavlova recipe from television cook Nigella Lawson is fabulously festive: an exuberant, rich, and luxurious treat for the holidays. The meringue base is crisp on the outside with a soft, marshmallowy interior. It's topped with sweetened chestnut puree (sometimes labeled "chestnut spread;" seek out Clement Faugier brand) followed by swaths of softly whipped cream and splinters of bitter chocolate. 

06 of 18

Roasted Squash with Chestnuts and Pomegranate

Roasted Squash with Chestnuts and Pomegranate
© James Baigrie

A drizzle of tangy pomegranate molasses makes this oven-roasted squash, an archetypal fall recipe, even more delicious.

07 of 18

Sautéed Chicken with Celery Root Puree and Chestnuts

Sautéed Chicken with Celery-Root Puree and Chesnuts
© James Baigrie

Chef Mourad Lahlou poaches fresh chestnuts sous vide to accompany chicken breasts and buttery celery root puree. F&W's adaptation calls for store-bought chestnuts that are already peeled and cooked.

08 of 18

Porcini and Chestnut Soup

Porcini-and-Chestnut Soup

© Jonny Valiant

Chef Michael Tusk uses porcini in two forms in this velvety soup. He blends dried ones with chestnuts for a deep layer of earthy flavor, then adds sautéed ones at the end as a topping.

09 of 18

Orecchiette Bolognese with Chestnuts

Orecchiette Bolognese with Chestnuts

© Frances Janisch

Store-bought dried orecchiette gets tossed with a bolognese sauce made with just ham and ground chuck. Finishing the dish with chestnuts adds a delicious and unexpected touch.

10 of 18

Chicken and Chestnut Soup

Chicken and Chestnut Soup

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Tender, falling-off-the-bone slow-cooked chicken thighs simmer alongside roasted chestnuts and smoky black cardamom to form the base of this satisfying soup. There’s no need to discard the cardamom pods — just give the soup a couple of minutes to settle before serving and they will sink to the bottom of the pot.

11 of 18

Flambéed Candied Chestnut Cake

Flambéed Candied Chestnut Cake
William Hereford

This rich cake from 2017 F&W Best New Chef Angie Mar is delicious served with a dollop of crème fraîche or, as it was served at The Beatrice Inn in New York City, with a scoop of white truffle ice cream and shaved white truffles.

12 of 18

Wild Mushroom Shepherd's Pie with Potato-Chestnut Topping

Wild Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie with Potato-Chestnut Topping
© Michael Turek

Star chef Grant Achatz swaps in mushrooms for the usual meat and adds woodsy chestnuts to the potato topping in his vegetarian take on shepherd's pie. 

13 of 18

Scallops with Chestnut Sauce and Crisp Sage

Scallops with Chestnut Sauce and Crisp Sage
© Anna Williams

"In 1994, when I enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, I had to catch up on so much — it was like I had [an inexperienced] palate for food and wine," says winemaker Rajat Parr. "For instance, I'd never had a scallop before; I didn't even know what they were. I had never seen a chestnut before, either. So cooking school was an eye-opening experience."

14 of 18

Japanese Chestnut Tea Cake

Japanese Chestnut Tea Cake
Greg DuPree

Ayako Watanabe, the founding pastry chef of Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo, created this not-too-sweet chestnut cake with a fine, light crumb. Using cold butter and chestnut paste incorporates plenty of air and volume when whipping the batter, which will make the cake nice and light. 

15 of 18

Wild Rice with Mushrooms, Cranberries, and Chestnuts

Wild Rice with Mushrooms, Cranberries, and Chestnuts Recipe
Marcus Nilsson

With just enough cranberries in each bite to balance out the earthiness in the rice blend and mushrooms, this rice salad can be served warm or at room temperature.

16 of 18

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon
© John Kernick

You can use vacuum-packed chestnuts for this recipe, or roast fresh ones yourself.

17 of 18

Root Vegetable Pan Roast with Chestnuts and Apples

Root Vegetable Pan Roast with Chestnuts and Apples
© Victoria Pearson

Seasoned with thyme and sweetened with syrup, this complexly flavorful side dish may just steal the show from the main course.

18 of 18

Tofu Salad with Chestnuts and Apple Dashi

Tofu Salad with Chestnuts and Apple Dashi
© Chris Court

Chef David Chang’s light and elegant no-cook dish features custardy silken tofu in a sweet and savory Fuji apple broth with thinly sliced chestnuts and frisée.

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