This honey vanilla chestnut spread is a wonderful seasonal alternative to nut butter. It’s delicious slathered on toast and great as a fruit dip too!

I didn’t eat a roasted chestnut until I was 20.

It took living in another country and walking past a food cart that sold them everyday for 2 months before I finally caved.

I have no idea how or why I resisted their intoxicating winter smell that permeated the entire block for so long because one bite into the first one and I was a chestnut fan for life.

They were sold in a cone made of newspaper so by the time you finished the last one your hands were completely black from the ink.

I think that’s about the only time in my life I haven’t minded having “newspaper hands” (major annoyance usually).

Honey Vanilla Chestnut Spread
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I don’t know what I expected them to taste like but I do remember being completely shocked upon the first bite and my initial thought being that they kind of tasted like a potato!

Not like a nut at all.

Tricky little suckers.

They’re a wonderful middle ground of sweet and savory with an addicting starchy texture.

Those roasted chestnuts along with the gazpacho my host family made weekly were two of my favorite food memories from my time in Spain.

Vanilla chestnut spread

Since “nut” is in their name, I wanted to see if I could butterize these babies like the rest of them and make a “chestnut butter” if you will.

I figured if almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc. could be turned into butter, why couldn’t chestnuts?

So here we are with this chestnut spread.

Chestnut spread

The thing is apparently chestnuts don’t really get creamy.

I’m assuming it’s because they have a lower oil content than other nuts and more starch.

Although, I can’t fully rule out that maybe I was just too impatient (15 minutes, however, is about all I can take of hearing a food processor whirl around) in my attempts? 

But, honestly, I don’t even care because the result, this chestnut spread, was still edible, still spreadable and still totally delicious in a roasted “potatoe-y” sweet kind of way.

That’s probably not a great description because who really wants to spread potatoes on their toast, but just trust me on this.

It’s a good kind of “potatoe-y”.

In less than 12 hours I’ve already eaten it on toast, spread on a pear, in a chestnut smoothie and stuffed in a date.

So it’s got some potential.

Also, there were 2 full meals consumed in that time frame in addition to those things.

I guess I eat a lot.

Chestnut butter

The smell and ambience of roasting them in your oven doesn’t quite compare to the smoky food cart on a Christmas lit corner in Malaga, Spain, but the taste is just as good.

Maybe even better since there’s no black newspaper hands to deal with afterwards.

Chestnuts are really such a seasonal gem so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate them while I can find them in the store.

While this recipe instructs you to roast and peel them yourself, they’re also sold vacuumed packed pre-roasted and peeled.

It makes life a lot easier and is great for using in recipes like this cornbread chestnut stuffing and in the filling of this turkey roulade.


Java Almond Butter
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Coconut Date Spread
Gingerbread Peanut Butter

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Honey Vanilla Chestnut Spread

Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
This honey vanilla chestnut spread is delicious on toast and great on fruit.


  • 1 1/4 cup chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Carefully score chestnuts with an “x” just piercing the shell and place on baking sheet. It’ll take some force to get through the outer shell. Use a sharp knife and keep fingers out of the way!
  • Roast for 30 minutes until chestnuts have split open and peeled back a bit.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes until you can handle them. Remove shell from chestnuts and place flesh in a food processor. Make sure to peel them while they’re still warm/hot as it’s much easier than when they cool.
  • Add walnuts and pecans to the food processor and process for about 2-3 minutes until finely chopped.
  • With the food processor running, add the coconut oil. Let it continue processing for about 2-3 more minutes then add honey, vanilla and salt.
  • Scrape down if needed then continue processing and add water until the mixture starts to come together a bit more.
  • Stop the food processor when the mixture can be pinched together with your finger and is essentially “spreadable”. It will not be as creamy as a regular nut butter.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 18mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Sauces, Dressings & Spreads
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. Chestnuts have a wonderful flavour, and very much associated with Christmas. This paste is a lovely idea for a homemade gift. So easy to make.

  2. I’m going to give this a try for christmas gifts. I’m thinking of including a jar of pear cardamom butter to go with it and a seeded cracker. I’ve seen recipes for the butter that use reisling, brandy, or ginger that all spun appealing Any take on what would go best with the chestnut spread?

  3. Oh my! I absolutely LOVE the sound of this, and I know this will be made in my kitchen sometime this holiday season, especially since I think this would make a lovely present, too! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yummy! I don’t have a ton of experience with chestnuts either. I don’t know why, I just never had them growing up… Maybe once or twice. Anyways, I’ve been meaning to do more with them lately(I hope I can still get some at the store, I don’t want to wait till next winter, haha). I love the idea of using it in a nut butter even if it’s not as smooth as regular nut butter :)

  5. Chestnuts are seriously one of the most under rated nuts out there, and they’re by FAR the best! I cannot wait until NEXT WEEK when I will be stuffing my face with them, omg I am so excited :) This recipe looks great too, I would love to spread chestnuts on EVERYTHING … lol