Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts

James Beard

Author and Educator

"In several states where the chestnut crop was fine, Brussels sprouts and chestnuts became tradition with turkey or goose for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's an extraordinarily good combination and one which nowadays is very easy to prepare."

–James Beard


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 can whole chestnuts in brine (these are imported from France)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Soak the sprouts in water for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Put a small amount of salted water (about a 1/4-inch) in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the prepared sprouts, cover tightly, and steam 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are just crisply tender. Test carefully, for there are few things more unpleasant than an overcooked sprout. Drain the sprouts well.

Drain the chestnuts well and wash them in a small amount of water. Heat, covered, in a heavy saucepan, and drain again. Combine the chestnuts and Brussels sprouts. Melt the butter, add the pepper and nutmeg, and pour over the vegetables. Shake the pan gently. Transfer to a heated serving dish, and serve. Add a little chopped parsley and additional butter if you like.


4 servings