Chestnut Risotto with Pancetta and Sage

If there’s one risotto that embodies holiday spirit, it’s this one. Chestnuts used to intimidate me, but trust me, this is not intimidating or difficult and it gives restaurant quality vibes. You can use store bought chestnuts that are pre boiled and roasted or you can boil and roast them on your own. If you do want to take that route, I have a tutorial on my Instagram page in the highlight story section. So how do we achieve a creamy, toasty, elegant Chestnut sauce? Well, we sauté some of the chestnuts (which are chopped) and then we blend some of the chestnuts with milk to create a delicious, aromatic purée.


It’s giving all your relatives asking “omg you made this?” 🌰😍 recipe in bio 🤎 #diningwithskyler

♬ The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) – Nat King Cole Trio

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Adjust Servings
7 oz. chestnuts, peeled and ready to eat
1cup whole milk
7 oz. pancetta, small dice
1 yellow onion, small dice
1tbsp unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
Kosher salt, to taste
2cups arborio rice
7cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock (if buying cartons, buy two 32 oz. cartons)
1/4cup thinly sliced sage leaves
2cups grated Parmesan
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, for garnish



Add 2/3 of the chestnuts to a blender with whole milk. Blend on the highest setting until smooth. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/3 of the chestnuts and set aside. 
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Heat a large pan or pot on medium high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5-6 minutes until it becomes crispy and the fat has rendered into the pan. Remove and keep the remaining rendered fat in the pan. 
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Adjust the heat to medium. Add the onions and chopped chestnuts and cook for 3-4 minutes, cooked through and translucent. If you need more fat, add 1 tbsp of unsalted butter. Season with a pinch of kosher salt.
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Add the garlic and half of the sage. Season with a pinch of salt and ground nutmeg, then stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the rice and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Toast for 2-3 minutes. Then, add half of the pancetta back into the rice and mix until combined.
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Ladle in the stock (I do 2 ladles at a time), then mix with the rice. Let the rice absorb the liquid. Once the liquid is absorbed, keep repeating until the rice is al dente and creamy. Taste and make sure the rice is cooked through to your liking with a little bite to it.
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Turn off the heat and mix in the chestnut puree. Stir for 1-2 minutes (the rice will absorb some of the milk) and then quickly whip the Parmesan into the risotto until melted and combined. If you want a creamier/more liquid consistency to your risotto, feel free to add more stock. 
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Serve risotto and top with crispy reserved pancetta, reserved sage, Parmesan and freshly grated nutmeg! 
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1 Comment

  • Anna

    This was INCREDIBLE. So creative and restaurant quality! Thank you for the recipe!

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