Festive Chestnut Bites

Oh look, another Christmas nibble. I’m not sorry. Finger food is what I live for, so I assume most of you vegans feel me when I just want to make more and more snacks! Following my Spelt Pretzel Sausage Roll recipe (which is to die for, by the way), I have bought to you Festive Chestnut Bites. These savoury Christmas treats are creamy, moreish and perfect for finger food over the holiday period, which I can’t believe is already upon us!
Time has flown crazy speeds over the last two months and here we are just a few days from Christmas day itself! I better get wrapping! Although I don’t get excited about anything until it is actually happening – sad reality of being a take-it-as-it-comes kind of gal – I am looking forward the vast amounts of food throughout the Christmas week where calories don’t matter and I am quite literally forced to eat delicious food no matter how full I am. I know everyone goes through this over Christmas, but me and my family feed the thousands. What makes it worse is that everyone is such good cooks, therefore the food is too great to deny! Tough life I lead…

I’m going out with a bang. This is my last Christmas recipe of the year. Over the last month, I’ve been trying to twist a festive theme through my recipe, producing more savoury recipes like: Cranberry Stuffing Festive Pot Pies, Sage Onion and White Bean Soup & Split Pea and Squash Stew. I’ve also treated your sweet tooth with: Gingerbread Tiramisu, Almond and Cranberry fudge & Caramel Apple Milkshakes . To top off your Herbivores Xmas, I’ve given you a present! Have you not heard? I’m giving away a Vitamix Professional Series 750! This machine is to die for, so make sure you head over to this Instagram post to enter!

Enough about the other Christmas stuff, let’s talk about these bad boys! Chestnuts are the taste of Christmas for me. These nuts are so creamy and have such a distinctive, woody flavour. The chestnuts are combined with onion, garlic and winter spices, then rolled in cornmeal for a crispy coating. This recipe is so simple, it won’t add to your cooking stress on Christmas day! After tasting these, you won’t believe how simple they are to knock up!

Save yourself a hassle and grab pre cooked chestnuts. Merchant Gourmet sell roasted chestnuts ready for eating – simple. I love this product and recommend for this recipe and any other chestnut recipes you have planned over the Xmas period!

Get rolling up your Chestnut Bites and satisfy your bellies. Hot or cold, these mini bites are great whatever temperature!

Festive Chestnut Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A nibble of Christmas! Chestnuts, onion, garlic and winter spices packed into bite-sized balls and coated with crispy cornmeal. Simple appetizer fit for santas stop off snack.
Recipe type: Appetizer, Christmas
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free, Party
Serves: 20 bites
Chestnut Bites
  • 2 cups Chestnuts, roasted (I used pre-cooked Chestnuts)
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • ½ tbsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp salt & pepper
Cornmeal Coating
  • ¼ cup fine cornmeal
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • olive oil for frying
  1. Add your hazelnuts and chestnuts to a food processor and blitz until a fine, crumbly texture. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice.
  2. In a large frying pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil over med-high and fry onions until just turning brown.
  3. Add the garlic, stir and fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the rice flour and coat the garlic and onion with the flour. Then pour in your non-dairy milk. Stir to combine and let thicken - remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the sage, salt, pepper and the chestnut & hazelnut meal. Once combined, spread the mixture out on a tray to cool down so you can handle.
  6. In the meanwhile, place the non-dairy milk in one bowl, cornflour in another and the cornmeal in another.
  7. Roll your cooled chestnut mixture into balls and roll in cornflour, then non-dairy milk then into the cornmeal. Repeat for each ball.
  8. Once they are all coated, heat a few inches of oil in a frying pan for a shallow fry on med-high heat. To test if it is ready drop a small piece of bread into the oil and it should sizzle and rise.
  9. In batches, place the balls into the oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, then roll and continue to fry - you want an even golden brown coating on the outside of the balls*
  10. Transfer to a kitchen towel to remove excess oil and serve hot or cold with cranberry sauce
* Some cornmeal will come off of the balls while frying - this is normal. Don't try and remove from the oil.


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