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Best Substitutes For Chestnuts

Best Substitutes For Chestnuts

If you are making a recipe that calls for chestnuts but you’re all out or the store just doesn’t have them in stock, have no fear! There are some great substitutes you can use in place of chestnuts in any recipe.

If you have ever read any of my articles then you know I refuse to make a special trip to the store for a single ingredient and that means I have become an expert on alternatives and ingredient replacements. And chestnuts are no different! I will let you know exactly what to use in place of chestnuts for your dish.

So what are the best substitutes for chestnuts?

The top substitutes for chestnuts are pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, tiger nuts, jackfruit seeds and pistachios.

Read on for more info on each of these chestnut alternatives and how to use them in your recipe.

Top Chestnut Substitutes

chestnut substitutes infographic


Pecans are a very close relative of chestnuts and they have a similar taste and texture making them an excellent replacement. Just use 1 cup of pecan halves in place of 1 cup of chopped chestnuts. If you are using larger, whole pieces of pecans, it might be best to use less than a cup because they tend to be more expensive than shelled chestnuts.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are another great option for chestnut substitutes and they add an extra nutty flavor to your recipe. But be careful not to over use them because they have a very strong taste. Use 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts in place of 1 cup of chestnuts.


Hazelnuts and chestnuts have very similar texture and taste. Use 1 cup of chopped hazelnuts in place of 1 cup of chopped chestnuts. Hazelnut meal is also a good option to replace shells, but it tends to be a little bit more expensive. I love using hazelnuts in all types of desserts for this is one of my favorite alternatives.

Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts are actually the seeds of the fruit from the traveler’s palm tree. They are a good substitute for chestnut desserts because they have a similar taste and texture to them. Use 1/2 cup of chopped tiger nuts in place of 1 cup of chestnuts.

Jackfruit Seeds

This is my favorite alternative to chestnuts because they are so unique! Jackfruit seeds have a crunchy texture and taste that is similar to chestnuts. Use 2 cups of chopped jackfruit seeds in place of 1 cup of chestnuts.


Pistachio nuts are the perfect substitute for chestnuts in desserts and savory dishes. They have a similar taste and texture to them which makes it an excellent substitute. Just use 1 cup of chopped pistachio nuts in place of 1 cup of chestnuts.

What Are The Cheapest Substitutes For Chestnuts

While local prices will vary I have found that pecans and jackfruit seeds are the cheapest chestnut substitute. They are available in most locales and are generally less than a dollar an ounce.

On the other side of the spectrum, tiger nuts and macadamias tend to be the most expensive of the best chestnut substitutes. They offer great flavor though so if you find them in your area at a good price then grab some!

How To Use Chestnuts

Chestnuts are well known as a holiday season nut but they are great in so many desserts and savory meals. I love using them in cookies and ice cream! The flavor is perfect for so many great combinations that you should consider keeping stocked up on them year round.

Some other recipes to try using chestnuts are:

Lucky Charms Cookies {Cookies & Cups}

Creamy Chestnut Soup (Vegan) {Fork and Beans}

Chestnut Sausage with Lentils {Chocolate Moosey}

Chestnuts also make great additions to your holiday meals. Not only can you add them to stuffing but they are also perfect for other sides like cornbread, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.

What Chestnut Substitute is Best For Those With Nut Allergies?

Chestnuts are not a tree nut so those with nut allergies may not also be allergic to chestnuts. Always know exactly what nuts you are allergic to but in general jackfruit seeds should be a safe alternative to use by those who have nut allergies. They are seeds and not nuts at all!

Bottom Line

These are the best chestnut substitutes for those who are looking for a one stop shop for all their chestnut needs. These particular foods have a very similar taste and texture to them that makes them excellent in recipes that call for chestnuts. They will work well in sweet or savory recipes!