Chili And Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan, gluten-free)

Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds are a quick, easy, and healthy snack. Perfect for munching on at home in place of junk food, or great for a party. They make an elegant homemade addition to a fruit and cheese platter. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.

Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan and gluten-free) | Will Cook For Friends

You’ve made it this far into January. You’ve been trying to eat healthier, you’ve been good… but if you’re like me, you miss good ol’ fashioned snacking.

Snack foods are my weak spot. And often times, they’re my downfall when I’m trying to eat well. Good old salty, crunchy, munchy… junk food. Resistance is futile.

Or is it? These chili and Chinese five spice toasted almonds are a simple, healthy snack I’ve been making to ward off cravings. They’re salty, smoky, a little bit spicy, and with just a hint of sweetness. They hit all the right spots to satisfy my need for snacking.

Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan and gluten-free) | Will Cook For Friends

Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan and gluten-free) | Will Cook For Friends

Chinese five spice is one of those flavors that always intrigues me, but I can rarely put my finger on. Five spice powder is a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns… and they come together to make their own, unique flavor.

The fennel, clove, and star anise give it a natural sweetness, while the cinnamon and peppercorn balance the flavor and turn it into something so much more tantalizing. Add a little smoky heat from the chili powder, and you’ve got a winning combination.

You can make these just to keep around for when cravings strike, but I’ve also found they make a great party food. Keep a bowl of them on the table for munching, or you can serve them up with fruits and cheeses for a fancy, no fuss appetizer.

Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan and gluten-free) | Will Cook For Friends

Do you have a favorite way to use Chinese Five Spice? Share in the comments below!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chili And Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan, gluten-free)
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: vegan, gluten-free, paleo, low-carb, whole 30
Serves: makes 2 cups
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (you can use a bit less or more, depending on how strong your powder is)
  • 1 tsp, chinese five spice powder
  • ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt, or more to taste
  • optional: ⅛th-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on how hot your chili powder is)
  • optional: 1 tsp. coconut sugar, sucanat, or brown sugar, if you want the nuts a little sweeter
  1. Add oil and nuts to a large skillet, and sprinkle with the spices and salt (you can leave out the cayenne and add it at the end, if you want a little more kick). Set over medium heat and cook, stirring or shaking often, until the nuts have started to darken slightly and smell toasty, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the coconut sugar, if using. Taste, and add add cayenne or additional chili powder if you want more heat, while the nuts are still hot. (Keep in mind that the nuts will have a soft, mealy texture while warm, but will become crunchy again once they've cooled.) Do not add seasoning once the nuts have cooled, or it won't stick. While the nuts are hot, taste for salt and add more if needed.
  3. Allow to cool completely. Nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few weeks.


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16 Responses to Chili And Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds (vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Christine | Vermilion Roots January 20, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    Yay, love Chinese five spice! I’m really enjoying your 31 days of healthy recipes. Feels like I’m unwrapping a gift every morning. I’ve been snacking on nuts when the energy is low. I’ll have to make these soon!

    • Willow Arlen January 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

      Aw, thank you, Christine! That’s the sweetest compliment. I’m so glad you’re liking the 31 Days of healthy recipes… and I can’t believe we’re two thirds of the way through January! It’ll be over so soon.

  2. Mary January 20, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    I love this idea–Chinese five spice is a great way to add loads of flavor! And your photos are gorgeous!

    • Willow Arlen January 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

      Thank you, Mary! I so rarely use Chinese Five Spice, it’s about time I created something with it. Will definitely be using it more in the future!

  3. Dannii January 20, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    That sounds like a snack I could eat right now. I just love spiced nuts. Your photos are beautiful too.

  4. sue | theviewfromgreatisland January 20, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    Love this Willow! I just bought five spice powder the other day, in fact, and was wondering what to do with it! We’re on the same Chinese fusion page today :)

    • Willow Arlen January 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

      Haha, yay! Great minds think alike. I’m always telling myself I should use Chinese five spice more, but then when I’m cooking I just don’t think of it. So glad I made these nuts, because I will definitely be using five spice more often now!

  5. Tina Dawson | Love is in my Tummy January 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    Such pretty pictures! I love spiced and roasted nuts! The spices here are just fabulous!

  6. Thanh | Eat, Little Bird January 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    These nuts sound divine! I love munching on spicy nuts but rarely make my own. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Willow Arlen January 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

      You’re welcome. I hope you give them a try, they really are so easy to make!

  7. Kearin January 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Chinese five spice is my secret savoury food weapon – just a pinch adds a nice note to almost everything!

    • Willow Arlen January 26, 2017 at 10:20 am #

      That’s awesome, Kearin! I really need to remember to add it to more things. I’m still pretty new to using Chinese five spice, so I haven’t been super adventurous with it yet. What are some of your favorite places to use it?

  8. vivian February 19, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    These are really tasty and will make a great addition to our Sunday dinner appetizers (as long as I don’t eat them all first). They are so fast and simple to make, that I’m sure we will have them again. I might try adding some finely grated lime peel to the next batch, just for something different. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Willow Arlen February 27, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      Thank you, Vivian! So glad to hear you liked them. :)

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