Apple Risotto with Roasted Chestnuts

Sweet, savory, and creamy

fresh juiced apples, and roasted chestnuts together in a creamy risotto

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We all love risotto but adding a little apple juice to the cooking liquid is next level. This isn’t a sweet treat, but a sweet and savory dance accompanied by the natural sweetness of apples. Roasted chestnuts bring a soft nutty note to the risotto as well. It’s creamy, it’s cozy, and oh-so-apple-y. Roasting the chestnuts, and juicing the apples may be a little extra work, but trust me it’s worth it. And the best part? You can make it uniquely yours.

Apple risotto with roasted chestnut prep

Comforting Apple Risotto

One of my absolute favorites to whip up on a chilly evening is a comforting bowl of apple risotto. It can sound close to a dessert but this risotto is staying in the savory lane. A delightful savory dish that’s apple-forward without being too sugary. The key is to balance the natural sweetness of the apples with the creaminess of the risotto. For a fun twist, try adding in juiced apples. It’s optional, but trust me, it’s a game-changer. You’ll be left with a risotto that’s subtly sweet, beautifully creamy, and undeniably apple-y.

Fresh Apple juice for Risotto

One of the joys of making apple risotto is exploring the myriad of apple varieties out there. Each one brings its unique flavor to the dish. Isn’t it amazing how different an apple can taste from one variety to the next? It’s a culinary adventure! I love heading to my local farmers market and discovering new and exciting apple varieties to experiment with in my risotto. The farmers are always so knowledgeable and eager to share their apple insights. If you’re planning on juicing your apples for the risotto, I’d recommend going for a sweeter variety rather than a tart one. It really brings out that subtle sweetness in the dish. So, next time you’re at the market, why not pick up a few different apple varieties and see how they transform your risotto? Happy apple hunting!

Make it your own

Now, let’s talk about making this apple risotto uniquely yours. Trust me, it’s all about adding a personal touch. Got some kale wilting in the fridge? Throw it in. A handful of mushrooms? Perfect. Found some roasted squash from last night’s dinner? Even better. Fancy some pomegranate? Oh, you’re speaking my language. The beauty of this dish is its versatility – it’s all about that apple-forward flavor, but it’s also a canvas for whatever veggies you have on hand. Think of it as an edible playground for flavors. The key is to balance the additional flavors with the apple so it remains the star of the show. So, go on, get creative, and make this risotto your own. Cooking is all about having fun, after all!

Apple risotto with roasted chestnut prep

Roasted Chestnuts for the Apple Risotto

Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts are a sweet, and nutty addition to the risotto. They are a little extra prep task, best done a day or two ahead. You can totally substitute for a different nut but chestnuts are an interesting ingredient. I never had much experience with them myself so this recipe was some fun education. You’ll want to buy them from a good grocery. The fresher and better stored the chestnuts are, the easier they will be to work with. I found a fair amount of rotten chestnuts after roasting and peeling while recipe testing. If you can find them in a small amount stored properly pay the extra cash for them. Another nut will taste great here but chestnuts have their own magic.

Apple risotto is not only an incredibly comforting and delightful dish to prepare, but it’s also a culinary journey. From exploring the diverse range of apple varieties to adding your personal touch with additional ingredients, the possibilities are endless. The key is to let the apple take center stage while harmoniously blending with the other flavors. So why wait? Embrace the culinary adventure, have fun, and create your own version of apple risotto. Remember, it’s all about balance, creativity, and most importantly, enjoying the process. Happy cooking!

Apple risotto

Sweet and savory apple risotto. Paired with chestnuts, and thyme, this creamy risotto is perfect for a cozy dinner.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1C (195g) arborio rice
  • 2C (366g) Apple juice
  • 3C (703g) Vegetable stock
  • 2&1/3 Tbsp (14g) ginger
  • 3 (16g) Garlic clove
  • 1/4C (50g) shallot
  • 1/8C (7g) picked thyme
  • 1/3C (43) roasted chessnuts
  • 1/4C (60g) Butter
  • 1/4C (27) Pecorino
  • 1C (118) Diced apple garnish


Roasted Chestnuts

  • Score the chestnuts with an X and soak them in water for 12 to 24 hours.
    After soaking set the oven to 425F. Drain the chestnuts and roast for 25 to 20 minutes. The chestnuts should be bursting out of the score marks. Wrap the roasted chestnuts in a towel and steam for 10 minutes. After steaming, peel the chestnut shell and save them for later.
  • Juice apples until you have two cups. Finely dice the shallot and ginger. Finely slice the garlic. Pick the thyme and give it a rough chop. Small dice 1 cup of apples. Roughly chop the chestnuts into small pieces. Add the apple juice and vegetable stock to a pot and set to low heat until warm.
  • Add olive oil to a wide pan and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Bring to medium heat and add garlic, shallot, ginger, and thyme. Once aromatic add the arborio rice. Toast in the pan for a minutes then add a small laddel of your cooking liquid. Mix the water in and cook until almost gone. Add another small ladle of the cooking liquid and cook until the rice is almost dry. Repeat this step until it is all gone and the risotto is fully cooked and creamy. If the risotto is still not done add a splash of water, and cook until tender. Add the grated cheese, apples, butter, and chestnuts and mix in. If the risotto gets too thick from the cheese, add a splash of water.
  • Finish the risotto in a bowl with grated pecorino, picked thyme leaves, and a drizzel of olive oil.
Author: Anfernee Milton
Course: dinner, entree
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: apple juice, apples, arancini, chestnut, mushroom, rice, risotto, short grain rice

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