Chipotle Cumin Roasted Almonds Recipe

I am ordinarily immune to the pre-holiday rush everyone talks about. I am not in charge of cooking an elaborate Christmas meal (I contribute but don’t host), I don’t attend a trillion holiday functions, and we don’t go crazy with the presents in my family, so the lead-up to the holidays isn’t significantly busier than other times of the year.

For some reason though, the end of this year has felt particularly intense. Not with holiday-related stuff, but with various work projects I was striving to complete before taking a little time off to cuddle up at the foot of the Christmas tree and sip hot cocoa while humming Petit Papa Noël (you’re welcome).

Few people actually take the time to make their own spiced and roasted nuts, yet they are so much tastier homemade than store-bought.

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

Of course, when you’re a freelancer, having a lot of work is something to rejoice — not complain — about, but what it means is that I have had zero time to get my act together and prepare edible gifts as I aspire to.

Fortunately I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and just a couple of days ago I decided I was going to be giving little bags of the chipotle cumin roasted almonds I’ve been making for myself (and love love loving) lately.

They are a great example of something simple and easy that is still absolutely lovely to receive: few people actually take the time to make their own spiced and roasted nuts, yet they are so much tastier homemade than store-bought. They disappear in an instant when you offer them with a pre-dinner cocktail, and I also love to nibble on them in the afternoon, or chop them coarsely and add them to my lunch salads.

So if you’re sitting here wondering whether there’s still time to whip something up before the gift-giving commences, chances are there is: all you need is a handful of pantry ingredients and half an hour.

And if you want more edible gift ideas, here is a selection from the Chocolate & Zucchini archives:

Food Gift Ideas

Food Gift Ideas

– A batch of Almond and Orange Blossom Croquants,
– A box of Ginger and Almond Chocolate Clusters,
– Some Spiced Chocolate Peanut Butter using your very own mix of spices,
– The ever-delicious Yves Camdeborde’s Sablés (these are what I made and gave away last year).

Join the conversation!

Have your pre-holiday weeks been crazy or cozy? And are you on top of your game with edible presents this year? What’s your favorite last-minute food gift to make?

Happy Holidays!

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Chipotle Cumin Roasted Almonds Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 cups; enough for 3 food gift recipients.

Chipotle Cumin Roasted Almonds Recipe


  • 500 grams (4 cups) whole unblanched almonds, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground chipotle, depending on how hot you want them (I buy it at L'Epicerie de Bruno; you can substitute smoked paprika, preferably hot, or any other mild, ground chili)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  2. Place the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil (it helps the seasoning to adhere and the almonds to roast evenly), and add the salt, chipotle, and cumin. Stir until evenly coated; I find it's easiest to do this with your (clean) hands. Taste one almond and adjust the seasoning. Spread the almonds out in a single layer and insert the baking sheet into the oven.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them and stirring halfway through, until the almonds are nicely browned and fragrant.
  4. Let cool completely before serving or dividing among three gift bags. The almonds will keep for a few weeks in an airtight bag or container.


If there is cumin chipotle salt left at the bottom of the baking sheet, collect and keep it for seasoning avocados.
  • Looks delicious–I love making roasted nuts. They really are so much better than store bought, especially when they’re still warm from the oven!

    • Thanks Catherine! I actually like them best when they’ve cooled completely. I love how crunchy they get then.

  • msue

    Perfect timing as I’d purchased a giant heap of raw almonds and wanted to use them today! I make spiced nuts almost every Christmas, but my go-to version uses butter. I love your olive oil method! Regarding the spice mix, I adjusted by using 4 tsp ras el hanout plus extra cinnamon and another spice blend (mostly because they were handy.) It was really tasty. In my oven 15 minutes was about perfect, though I let it cook almost 20. The nuts are toastier than I’d prefer, but are still perfectly nice to munch on or to give as a gift. Thanks, Clotilde, and a Joyeux Noel to you and yours!

    • I’m so glad, Mary Sue, thank you for reporting back! Merry Christmas to you too. ^^

  • Yum, I do love a flavoured nut!
    I have however this year made your goats cheese and rosemary sables
    (though I substituted Danish feta for the goats cheese)from your new book to give as gifts and chow down on ourselves on Christmas day, yum!
    Thanks Clotilde. Merry Christmas :)

    • I’m so glad you like those sablés Christiana, and hope the recipients enjoy them too!

  • Posie

    Thanks for all these wonderful ideas Clotilde – we pretty much owe all our Christmas gift inspiration to your blog! We made the Lightly Salted Crunchy Almond Butter as a gift for one of my my nephews, and to be honest it was so delicious, we were almost tempted to keep it! We also made the Abricots au Chocolat which was so straightforward to put together and yet so beautiful in presentation. As well as these lovely gifts, we also made bath salts for my mother and sister – suggested by a generous reader and commenter on your website in response to your home-made deodorant posting. If anyone is interested it’s in the “other recipes” section.
    Thank you for 10 years of wonderful writing, fantastic recipes and your very generous spirit which permeates everything you do. Merry Christmas to you and your family Clotilde.
    With best wishes, Posie

    • Your comment made my day, Posie, thank you so much!

  • Connie

    These taste great and will be a nice compliment to my hostess gifts this season. That doesn’t matter…I would make these no matter how good they taste because my house smells so good right now.

    • That’s great to hear, Connie, thank you!

  • Christina Oldenburg

    Thank you for the Almond recipe. We have been enjoying them! They don’t “keep” well at our house!!
    I ordered some of the Earlywood products on your advice. They are lovely!
    Bonnes Fêtes!

    • I’m so pleased, on both counts! Happy holidays to you too!

  • Hello Clotilde,

    Thanks for your nice share. I like your recipe. I think it will be testy. Lets try my self then I let you know.


  • Amy

    Hi! I’m slightly confused and have a question. The top of the recipe says “makes 2 cups,” but then the recipe calls for 4 cups of almonds. . If you could clarify how many cups it’s supposed to be, I’d love that. Thank you! Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you for catching this, Amy! It is indeed 4 cups, both in the ingredients list and in the yield. Happy holidays!

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