Dark Chocolate Granola (Grain-Free) – Living Healthy With Chocolate

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My dark chocolate granola recipe is a delicious granola with dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack, especially for chocolate lovers! Just 30 minutes to prepare and bake! So easy!

wooden bowl filled with chocolate granola sprinkled with large chocolate chips and a spoon next to it.
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I bet you’re not surprised I’m sharing a recipe for chocolate granola! By now you probably know I love chocolate, and I love making granola at home. This recipe in particular has been buried on the blog for years (since 2013!) so I wanted to give this post a face lift so you all can make it.

Just as flavorful as my banana granola, this healthy chocolate granola combines superfoods like dark chocolate and cocoa powder with nuts and seeds for a delicious oat free and grain free granola.

The result is a much healthier chocolaty granola recipe with just the right amount of sweetness, great for breakfast or as a snack, and perfect as a crunchy topping for acai bowls, smoothies, milkshakes, or for adding to yogurt with some fresh fruit (my own). favorites!).

Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love this chocolate granola recipe:

  • Chocolaty and nutty.
  • Crunchy, crispy and chunky.
  • Super easy to make with basic kitchen tools and pantry ingredients.
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Stores beautifully making it a great homemade gift.
  • Much healthier and better than store-bought. It’s Vegan, Paleo, Keto (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free).

Ready to make some? Let’s get started!

Ingredients & substitutions

This recipe is simple, requiring just a few regular pantry ingredients. And we’ll be making this granola with almond butter and without oats to keep it grain-free, gluten-free and Paleo-friendly.

ingredients to make chocolate granola in small white dishes on a wooden table.

It has a nice healthy base of almonds, pecans, unsweetened coconut flakes, and sunflower seeds. Then raw cacao powder is mixed in to add that lovely dark chocolate flavor.

To sweeten things up, a dash of maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla are added. Not too much sweetener is added because all the ingredients are already sweet giving this granola a natural sweet taste.

And then everything gets sprinkled with dark chocolate! I like adding cacao nibs for a boost of antioxidants, but sometimes I make it with Vegan and Paleo chocolate chips. And when I’m not feeling lazy, I also make my homemade dark chocolate chips to add to this granola.

Possible substitutions

  • Almonds and pecans: use any other type of nuts you like. For example, cashews and hazelnuts are delicious alternatives!
  • Sunflower seeds: use pumpkin seeds.
  • Coconut oil: use avocado oil or almond oil.
  • Shredded coconut: add gluten-free rolled oats (not grain-free or Paleo but delicious).
  • Almond butter: use cashew or hazelnut butter, peanut butter or coconut butter.

Equipment you need

Here are the few kitchen tools you need to make this dark chocolate granola:

  • Food processor, blender or knife to chop nuts and seeds.
  • Mixing bowls.
  • Large baking sheets.
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat (optional).
  • Mixing spoon, silicone spatula works best.
  • Tin foil

How to make it

You’re going to love how easy it is to make this healthy chocolate granola recipe. Below is an overview and I’ll show you how to bake it 2 different ways. Be sure to print out the recipe and watch me make it in this video.

Coarsely chop (step 1): Coarsely chop (leaving some large chunks) the almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds in your food processor, blender or using a knife. If you’re using a food processor or blender, pulse to chop them coarsely.

collage showing recipe steps from one to three.

Mix together (step 2): Add the chopped nuts to a mixing mixing bowl and using a spatula, mix together with the shredded coconut, almond butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla and maple syrup until everything is combined.

Spread on baking sheets (step 3): Line a baking sheet with parchment (or silicone baking mat) and spread the mixture in an even layer on the pan leaving some spaces in between so it bakes evenly.

Bake: There are two ways to bake this chocolate granola, fast bake or slow bake. Here’s how to bake with each and you can choose the method that works best for you:

  • Fast bake: Bake in a preheated oven to 350°F covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes.
  • Slow Bake: Bake in a preheated oven to 200°F uncovered for 4 hours or until dry and crispy. Because of the lower temperature, this method may preserve more of the nutrients in the ingredients.

Lastly, set the pan on a wire rack to cool and break into pieces with a spoon, leaving large chunks if you like. Then after completely cooled, stir in some dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or both.

chocolate granola in a baking pan sprinkled with cacao nibs and chocolate chips and a wooden spoon on top.

Important notes & tips

Almond butter: Make sure to mix the contents in the jar very well before measuring the amount needed so that you don’t end up adding more oil to the recipe. To make mixing easier you can use an immersion blender.

Cocoa: I recommend using raw cacao powder instead of processed Dutch cocoa. Raw cacao is naturally sweeter, does not contain added ingredients and is made from cold-pressed unroasted cocoa beans, which means it is full of healthy antioxidants and minerals.

Tips for the best chocolate granola

  • Like yours sweeter? Simply add more sweetener, as much as you like. I usually add just 3 to 6 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey so it’s not too sweet to eat for breakfast, but if I want to have it as a snack add about 6 to 10 tablespoons instead. Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, dates sugar, or any keto sweetener, all work great in this recipe.
  • Add-ons: Sprinkle flakes of sea salt after baking. Chia seeds, dried dates and cranberries are other great additions!
  • Make clusters: Love big clumps in your granola? After baking, break your granola leaving some large chunky clusters.
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate after it comes out of the oven, then refrigerate it and break it into large and chunky chocolate granola clusters. Yum!
  • Serving ideas: The possibilities are endless! Eat it on its own, use it as a topping for ice cream and smoothies, enjoy it with some fruit, or as a cereal with your favorite dairy-free milk or yogurt.
wooden bowl filled with chocolate granola being drizzled with coconut milk and a spoon next to it.
Serving Chocolate Granola with coconut milk

How to store it

How long does this homemade granola last?

It depends on how you store it. In your pantry, store it in a large mason jar or airtight container and it should stay crunchy and fresh for roughly 4 to 6 months. You can also keep it refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container or ziplock bag, and it will keep well for at least 1 year.

chocolate granola with large chocolate chips in a mason jar with the lid opened.

Granola variations

This dark chocolate granola recipe is so much better then even the popular grain-free brand, Purely Elizabeth. Once you try it, you won’t go back to store-bought. So for inspiration, here are some more delicious granola recipes I’ve come up with for you to try:

Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you and hope this chocolate granola recipe becomes your new favorite.

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Dark Chocolate Granola (Grain-Free)

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Servings :15 (Serving size = ⅓ cup. Recipe makes a total of 5 cups)

Prep :10 minutes

Cook :20 minutes

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

  • Coarsely chop (leaving some large chunks) the almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds in your food processor, blender or using a knife. If you’re using a food processor or blender, pulse to chop them coarsely.

  • Add the chopped nuts to a mixing mixing bowl and using a spatula, mix together with the shredded coconut, almond butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla and maple syrup until everything is combined.

  • Spread the mixture in an even layer on the pan leaving some small spaces in between so it bakes evenly.

  • Bake in a preheated oven, covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes or until dry and crispy.

  • Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool and break into pieces with a spoon, leaving large chunks if you like. Then after completely cooled, mix in some dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or both.

Notes

Storage: In your pantry, store it in a large mason jar or airtight container and it should stay crunchy and fresh for roughly 4 to 6 months. You can also keep it refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container or ziplock bag, and it will keep well for at least 1 year.
Baking: There are two ways to bake this chocolate granola, fast bake or slow bake. Here’s how to bake with each and you can choose the method that works best for you:

  • Fast bake: Bake in a preheated oven to 350°F covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes.
  • Slow bake: Bake in a preheated oven to 200°F uncovered for 4 hours or until dry and crispy. Because of the lower temperature, this method may preserve more of the nutrients in the ingredients.

Tips:

  • Almond butter: Make sure to mix the contents in the jar very well before measuring the amount needed so that you don’t end up adding more oil to the recipe.
  • Like yours sweeter? Add more sweetener, as much as you like. I usually add just 3 to 6 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey so it’s not too sweet to eat for breakfast, but if I want to have it as a snack add about 6 to 10 tablespoons instead. Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, dates sugar, or any keto sweetener, all work great in this recipe.
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate after it comes out of the oven, then refrigerate it and break it into large, chunky clusters. Yum!
  • Other add-ons: Sprinkle with flaky sea salt after baking. Also mix in chia seeds, dried dates or cranberries.

Nutrition facts: The recipe makes a total of 5 cups (15 servings). The nutrition facts were calculated per serving (serving size = ⅓ cup). The dark chocolate chips were not included in the calculation.

Nutrition per serving

Calories: 250kcalProteins: 6.4gFats: 21gSaturated Fat: 4.6gSugar: 6gFibers: 4.4gCarbohydrates: 12.6gNet Carbs: 8.2g

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Made this recipe?Please leave a review and photo in the comments below.

This recipe was originally published on Mar 5, 2013 and this post has been updated with new information, photos and recipe videos. Original recipe updates: Added an extra tablespoon of cacao powder (from 3 to 4 tbswhich is ¼ cup); Replaced honey with maple syrup to make it Vegan and changed the amount added from 2 tbs to 3 to 6 tbs; Changed baking time and temperature from 200°F baked uncovered for 4 hours to 350°F baked covered for 20 minutes.

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