How to roast chestnuts in the oven

Roasting chestnuts is something I have never attempted properly before. I love the smell of them when they're wafting through Christmas markets. Mine were delivered with my Oddbox delivery on Friday so I thought I would give it a try.

Sweet chestnuts come from the fuzzy spiky shells as opposed to horse chestnuts which have a hard spiky shell - this is where conkers come from.

From doing some research I have found out that cooking them in the oven stops them from drying out as much, rather than cooking them in a pan.

You will need:

  • A bowlful of chestnuts

  • Baking paper

  • A sharp knife

  • A tea towel


Rinse off the chestnuts with cold water in a colander.

Chestnuts have a flat side and a curved side.

Using a sharp knife score through the shell of each nut across the curved side and across the middle. I rested mine on a tea towel for better grip. be very careful, no one needs a trip to A&E!

It is quite time consuming but will help you be able to easily peel the chestnuts afterwards.

Leave the scored chestnuts to soak in a bowl of water - best to do this for an hour or two. This will ensure the nuts don't dry out too much when they are roasted.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees centigrade.

After the nuts have soaked for an hour or two, drain them off and place them scored side up on a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper.

Roast the chestnuts in the oven for 25 minutes, check to see how they look, they may need a little longer, depending on their size. The shells will be gaping open and the nut inside should be soft.

Once the nuts are roasted, take them out of the oven and allow them to rest in a bowl or on the tray. Cover them with a tea towel. Never peel them straight away, they will burn you!

To peel the chestnut, once cooled, squeeze the shell at each end of the slit and remove the soft nut. Enjoy!

You could add a little salt or some icing sugar, depending on what you favour. I put these in a paper bag with some icing sugar and they taste really good.

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