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Braised chestnuts and red pearl onions on white plate with fresh thyme

Braised Chestnuts and Pearl Onions

Valentina K. Wein
Braised Chestnuts and Pearl Onions combine beautifully to create a Thanksgiving chestnut side dish that will totally wow your guests! And it's also fantastic mixed into pasta, to serve over bread, and to make a tart with.
*Please see notes below.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6
Calories 297 kcal



  • Brown the chestnuts. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a large pot fitted with a lid (a Dutch oven is perfect). Over medium heat, melt the butter to coat the bottom of the pot. Over medium-high heat, add the roasted, peeled chestnuts and sauté them until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onions. Add the peeled pearl onions and stir to combine. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté for another 5 minutes or so, until the onions are slightly tender and golden brown.
  • Add thyme and liquids and simmer. Add the thyme, stock, and red wine and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the liquid. Remove the lid, and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook to reduce the liquid until all but about 3 tablespoons remain, about 20 minutes. (Gently stir the mixture from time to time during the cooking process. Cooking times may vary.)
  • Add remaining ingredients. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, pecans, sugar, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve!


Please note that the prep time listed above does not include peeling the onions (about 20 minutes), or roasting and peeling the chestnuts (about 40 minutes). Both can be done ahead of time: the onions up to 2 days before and then wrapped well and refrigerated, and the chestnuts 1 day ahead, also wrapped well and refrigerated.
For detailed, step by step instructions and photographs of how to roast and peel chestnuts, click here.
For detailed, step by step instructions and photographs of how to peel pearl onions, click here.
Calorie count is only an estimate.
Keywords great for Thanksgiving, chestnut recipes
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