5 Irresistible Chestnut Recipes (That Don’t Involve an Open Fire)

Dishes to help you (finally) understand all the melodic fuss about chestnuts.

Around this time of year, we’re serenaded by the symphonic voices of Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, professing their love for chestnuts.

But no matter how many times I’ve sung along to “The Christmas Song,” I’ve never actually tried to roast chestnuts “over an open fire.” I blame my parents for this—since we have a gas fireplace that would break in the off chance that chestnut (or marshmallow) drippings landed in its ceramic hearth. But since chestnuts don’t exactly have the allure of S’mores, I never felt too bent out of shape about it.

But it turns out you can do a lot more with chestnuts than “The Christmas Song” would have you believe. You can incorporate them into tarts, pastas, stuffings and many more decadent, holiday treats.

Nutritionally, they pack a powerful punch, offering 3 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving (more than walnuts, pecans or pistachios), and a high dose of potassium, amino acids and antioxidants. They’re also lower in kidney stone forming oxalate compounds than most other nuts.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start incorporating this illustrious nut into your holiday menu. Here are five recipes to help you (finally) understand what all the fuss about.

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Vegan Mushroom, Chestnut and Cranberry Tart

For a holiday dish that’s sure to stun your guests with its rich, flavorful taste, whip up this tart topped with redcurrant gravy. Whether you bring this dish to Christmas dinner, or your neighborhood potluck, it’s sure to outshine the meat-heavy counterparts.

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Squash, Chestnut, and Brioche Stuffing

Leave Thanksgiving’s stuffing in the dust with this delicious holiday side-dish. Nothing says Christmas quite like sage, and this recipe incorporates three generous sprigs.

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Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

If you’re struggling to find a veg-friendly option for the herbivore at your Christmas table, blow them away with this gorgeous, plant-based wellington. Bonus points if you can recreate those artful leaves on top.

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Pasta with Chestnuts, Mushrooms and Parsley Pesto

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a simple pasta dish. You can whip up this easy recipe in just 25 minutes for a filling, holiday dinner.

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Roasted Beets with Bacon, Garlic, and Chestnuts

Pair this side-dish with your Christmas ham for a colorful holiday plate. You’re going to want to go back for seconds.

 

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