Substitute for chestnuts in stuffing?

I'm testing out a stuffing recipe before Thanksgiving and can't find any chestnuts in my local grocery store yet. What would be a good sub? Here are the ingredients: onions, red bell pepper, breadcrumbs, sage, parsley, veg oil

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Smaug
Smaug October 24, 2016

Pecans would be good. Pecans are always good.

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ChefJune
ChefJune October 24, 2016

I agree with Smaug, pecans are always good, but I might go with hazelnuts here. Whichever nut you choose,I would toast them first.

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Trena Heinrich
Trena Heinrich October 24, 2016

Since you're testing the recipe for Thanksgiving, you might leave the chestnuts out without a substitution. Then decide if it's really missing the nutty crunch from the chestnuts or if you like it without.

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Susan W
Susan W October 24, 2016

For pure testing purpose, I'd probably go for a small can of water chestnuts. I actually used them one year when I totally forgot the chestnuts. The water chestnuts took on the stuffing flavors and the crunch was perfect.

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LFragola
LFragola October 24, 2016

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I may have to test a couple of times to try out the different options. ;)

Evan
Evan October 24, 2016

Japanese sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes both have a remarkably similar taste and somewhat similar texture to chestnuts, if you're able to find them. Perhaps if you peel, cut into cubes, and roast them, they can be incorporated. Nuts like hazelnuts or pecans would be delicious too but are missing the unique subtle sweet taste of chestnuts.

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Smaug
Smaug October 24, 2016

Well, if we're going crazy here, it's national pumpkin month- go with toasted Pepitas.

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Nancy
Nancy October 25, 2016

Another way to think of substitutions.
I thought chestnuts were mainly carbohydrate, and would use a potato as a substitute to keep a similar textural and nutritional profile.
Sure enough, checking the usda data base, chestnuts have 92% carb (the remainder is 5% fat and 3% protein), while potatoes also happen to have 92% carb (the remainder is 1% fat and 7% protein).
The water chestnuts used by Susan W are also close in nutrient profile to the original (89% carb, 4% fat and 7% protein).

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