Grilled Chestnuts with Rosemary Garlic Butter

Grilled Chestnuts with Rosemary Garlic Butter

Everybody knows that you’re supposed to roast chestnuts over an open fire. It’s the law. Or y’know, at least that’s how that one Christmas song made it sound. Regardless, it seemed like a good plan. Although I’m not quite ready for Christmas, I ended up with dozens of chestnuts because the apple orchard I visited last week also had u-pick chestnuts, and obviously that was something I needed to do. But let’s be real – the closest I’m getting to cooking on an open fire is a grill. So that’s what I did.

If you’ve never had a chestnut before, you’re in for a treat. They’re a starchy nut with a mild flavor that’s sort of smoky and buttery. I first fell in love with them when I bought some freshly roasted chestnuts from a street vendor in Istanbul. I found them to be wonderfully comforting, and could immediately see why they were a wintertime staple.

NOTE… this recipe sort of has a choose your own adventure vibe to it. As I was in the midst of preparing it, I realized that large quantities of chestnuts are an absolute nightmare to peel. So I’m giving you two options. Either you take the more flavorful but also horribly annoying route and peel all the chestnuts before tossing them in butter, or you double the butter and peel as you eat. They’re honestly both good options. That said, one is definitely less painful. Especially if you’ll be enjoying these with guests.

Grilled Chestnuts with Rosemary Garlic Butter

Grilled Chestnuts with Rosemary Garlic Butter


  • 1-2 lbs chestnuts (make as many as you want to eat!)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted buter
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 pinches of smoked sea salt (though I guess regular will do if you don’t have that)


  1. Give your chestnuts a good rinse. Then cut large X shapes into each of them with a serrated knife. This will keep them from exploding as they cook, so it’s not a step you’ll want to skip.
  2. Roughly chop the butter. Put it in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic and rosemary. Add a pinch of smoked sea salt, and process until the ingredients are incorporated and the butter forms a clump. Set this to the side.
  3. Now put the prepped chestnuts on the grill. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, jostling them every so often until the shells peel back and you can see the flesh underneath. You’ll also get some nice char on the shell and start to smell a lovely nutty aroma.
  4. If you don’t feel like doing a ton of peeling, add 2 tbsp of rosemary garlic butter to the cooked chestnuts and toss to combine. Alternately, if you want to bite the bullet and peel them first, do that. Add 1 tbsp of rosemary garlic butter to the chestnuts and toss to combine. (Though if you take this route you may need to heat them up a bit to get ’em nice and buttery.)
  5. Now sprinkle a bit more smoky sea salt on top and try one. If you’re happy with it, great! If you’re craving a bit more richness, add more rosemary garlic butter. You’ll have extra, anyway.

And that’s it! If you’ve gotten this far and took the hard route, I’d like to issue a formal apology to your poor fingers. I hope it was worth your pain and suffering. (I know it was for me.) As always, if you make this, leave me a comment or let me know on Instagram!

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