Cocoa roasted almonds are so easy to make at home! And with just 4 simple ingredients – honey, cocoa powder, salt and the almonds themselves – they’re much healthier than the store bought kind. They’re a healthy, cocoa dusted, holiday-inspired snack so tasty you’ll find yourself making it all year long. Sweet, savory, and so easy to create, they’re perfect to serve at parties, wrap up as gifts, or snack on all by yourself!
Cocoa roasted almonds are sweet, chocolatey, and nutty, with a tinge of saltiness. They’re so incredibly easy to make too! All you need is about 15 minutes and four ingredients.
Have you ever tried the store bought cocoa roasted almonds? My sister got me hooked on the Blue Diamond cocoa dusted almonds sold in 100-calorie packs years ago. Emerald Nuts has a great version too. BUT, like most off the shelf items, they’re full of junk that your body doesn’t need. In my version we do away with all those extra hard to pronounce ingredients and just use natural honey, salt, and cocoa instead.
Not only are they one of my favorite healthy snacks, but roasted nuts always bring back memories of Christmas time for me, and I know I can’t be the only one! Between those and my sweet and spicy pecans recipe, having nutritious high protein treats on hand keeps me from overdoing it on unhealthy snacks.
Of course they can satisfy chocolate cravings any time of year, but there’s just something about the holidays that makes them even more delicious. They fill the house with a nutty aroma too!
This cocoa almonds recipe took some testing. I wanted them to be a good balance of sweetness, rich chocolate flavor, and saltiness without adding too much sugar. After four or five recipe attempts, I got this one just right. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!
Are Cocoa Roasted Almonds Healthy?
Yes! Unlike pre-made varieties that often contain loads of added sugar and weird preservatives, these cocoa dusted almonds are made with all natural ingredients that are loaded with nutrients. As a result, they’re a great way to curb your sweet tooth while also fueling your body with healthy fats, fiber, Vitamin E and antioxidants.
While I love chocolate coated almonds, this version is lightly dusted in cocoa powder instead of dipped in actual chocolate, making it a much healthier snack alternative. It’s a sweet treat without all of the added sugar and preservatives. If you’re truly craving something decadent though, these pomegranate dark chocolates make for a delicious snack too.
This healthy snack recipe is naturally gluten free, dairy free, paleo and low carb to meet a variety of dietary needs. They’re vegetarian and can be vegan by swapping the honey for agave syrup too.
- Almonds – make sure to use raw unsalted almonds or they’ll get over toasted! I buy mine at Costco where they’re cheapest and good quality, free from any shell fragments.
- Cocoa powder – Technically, any unsweetened pure cocoa powder will do. However, given that there are so few ingredients, why not go all out with a truly decadent real cocoa option like Ghiradelli? Trust me, you can taste the difference with this one, and the rich flavor makes your almonds even more irresistible.
- Honey – Just a touch of honey helps sweeten the nuts and balance out the bitter taste of cocoa. To keep this recipe vegan, you could easily swap it out for agave syrup or pure maple syrup if you prefer.
- Sea salt – The finishing touch to create the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
How to Make the Best Cocoa Roasted Almonds
Once you realize how easy these cocoa almonds are to make, you’ll never go back to store-bought again! They only take about 10-15 minutes of active time and under 20 minutes total.
- Bake the almonds in a single layer on a baking tray for 6 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven, give them a shake, and roast them again for 5-6 minutes. You can use parchment paper for less clean up but the pan rinses easily so there isn’t really a need to.
- Once roasted, let the almonds cool for just a few minutes before placing them in a bowl and tossing them with honey.
- Add the cocoa powder and salt to the bowl, and toss again, making sure they are coated evenly.
- Arrange the cocoa dusted almonds in a single layer on the baking sheet. Let them cool completely before digging in. Happy snacking!
Personally, I love the simplicity of this recipe for cocoa roasted almonds. However, if you want to switch it up, some of my favorite variations include:
Spice: Add a dusting of cinnamon along with the cocoa powder for a little extra warmth. You can add a touch of cayenne pepper for some spice too.
Sugar: After coating the almonds, you can toss them in sparkling raw sugar to make them extra sweet and add a festive touch.
Peanut butter: If you’ve ever made my healthy peanut butter banana muffins, you already know I’m an advocate for chocolate and peanut butter together. You just can’t go wrong! If you agree, cut the cocoa powder in half, and swap it out with powdered peanut butter instead.
Trail mix: If you feel like going all out with snacking, use these roasted almonds as the base for trail mix! Just combine them with popcorn, pretzels, cereal, dried fruit, and more!
Once they have cooled completely, transfer the cocoa almonds to an airtight container or jar and keep. Keep them at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, if you can get them to last that long!
More Nut Recipes & Treats
In the mood for more festive nuts or sweet snack ideas? I’ve got you covered! Try out some more of my favorite recipes like these:
- Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).
- Spread almonds out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and shake pan lightly to make sure they get roasted evenly. Put pan back in oven and roast for 5-6 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and let almonds cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes. Place almonds into a medium sized bowl and toss with honey.
- Add cocoa powder and sea salt to almonds and toss to coat evenly.
- Dump the almonds back out onto the baking sheet and spread out to cool (this prevents them from sticking together or having plain spots without cocoa powder).
- Once fully cool, store in an airtight container or jar for up to a week.
Originally published 12/4/2014. Recipe remains the same but post content has been updated since then.