Chestnuts, Pearl Onions, And Celery

Chestnuts, Pearl Onions, And Celery

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Chestnuts, Pearl Onions and Celery may sound like an unusual combination of ingredients; but there is a real umami to this dish! The chestnuts are rich and creamy. The onions are slightly caramelized; and the celery adds crunch. Add in the flavors of wine and thyme and you’re in heaven!
For those who can’t eat chestnuts: Save some of the chopped celery and add it to the shallot and pearl onion mix. It is still delicious!

Note: The first time I played with the ingredients for this recipe, I used fresh Chestnuts, Pearl Onions and Celery. The next time, I used bottled chestnuts, defrosted pearl onions and retained the fresh celery. My hands thanked me; and my recipe didn’t suffer one bit. If you love chestnuts like I do, click on the link for Chestnut Soup with Beer; which can also be made with bottled chestnuts.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Chestnuts, Pearl Onions, And Celery

By Gloria Kobrin Published: December 17, 2013

  • Yield:

  • 12 Servings


  • 2 1/2 pounds Roasted and Peeled Whole Chestnuts fresh, bottled or packaged
  • 5 Large Celery Stalks
  • 7 ounces Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh/frozen pearl onions peeled
  • 4 Large Shallots
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Thyme tied in butcher twine
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth boxed/fresh
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine


  • 2 Large Skillets


  1. Wash celery stalks and halve them lengthwise. Slice stalks into ¼ inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Peel shallots and chop coarsely. Set aside.
  3. Pour five ounces of oil in one skillet. Heat over medium flame. Add chestnuts and heat through for about 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and celery and simmer until liquid has been reduced to about ½ cup.
  4. Heat remaining oil in the other skillet over high heat. Add shallots and pearl onions with salt and thyme sprigs. Sauté until onions are tender and somewhat browned. Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes. The wine not only flavors the onions; but also deglazes the pan.
  5. Stir onions into chestnut mixture. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  6. Note 1: I use defrosted peeled pearl onions which cuts down the preparation time enormously. DO NOT USE bottled onions. Make sure to pat onions dry before adding them to the pan so that they can brown properly. Note 2: Peeling fresh chestnuts is very labor intensive especially if you are cooking for a large crowd. I use packaged peeled and roasted chestnuts.