Savory Paleo Granola

You know what says “New Year’s Eve”? Chex Mix!

You know what I’m not eating on New Year’s Eve? Chex Mix!

Need something spicy, crispy, crunchy, flavorful, and totally snackable for a special occasion or, ya know, a random Wednesday? Let me introduce you to Serundeng Katjang, or what I like to call Savory Granola.

Traditionally, serundeng katjang is an Indonesian condiment made from roasted peanuts, shredded coconut, and spices. It can be chopped into a flavorful fairy dust and sprinkled over rice dishes to add zing and texture. I adapted a recipe from the cookbook Natural Food Feasts, and instead of crushing it up, I left the ingredients whole to make a bowl of nutty, spicy goodness — flavorful, a little onion-y, but not hot — that’s as close as you can get to Chex Mix without eating those offensive grains.

Happy New Year!


Paleo Serundeng Katjang, a.k.a. Savory Granola

Makes 1 1/2 cups | Prep 5 minutes | Sauté 10 minutes | Bake 45 minutes| Whole30 compliant

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, very finely diced

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 3/4 cup coconut flakes

  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted almonds

  • 1/3 cup dry-roasted cashews


Preheat oven to 300F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.


Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until melted, then add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook 2-3 minutes until the onions begin to soften and its fragrant.


In a small bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, salt, and turmeric. Add to the onions, stir to combine, and cook an additional 5-7 minutes until the onions are very soft. Add the lemon juice and cook until the mixture forms a paste, about 2 minutes.


Add the coconut chips to the pan and stir until they’re coated with the onions and spices. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and add the nuts to the baking pan. Roast an additional 10-15 minutes until the coconut/onion flakes are very brown and the nuts are toasted.


Allow to cool completely, then mix together and store in an air-tight container. Eat as-is (Chex Mix Replacement!) or chop in a food processor until it’s the texture of coarse sand and use as a flavoring condiment on cooked vegetables, meats, soups, and salads.

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  • Wendy says:

    Yeah, thanks for this. I only ate 10 LBS of chex mix in December. LOL. Seriously, thanks!

  • Stompy says:

    This sounds like it would be incredibly nummers over veggies

  • Oh, I wish I had time to stop by the store before going home tonight! This would be a perfectly nibbleable before our New Year’s dinner. Ah well, there’s always another party 🙂

  • Barb says:

    Awesome idea. Would go great with our NYE feast of skinless gyoza, bacon wrapped chicken thighs & grass fed beef meatballs in home made sauce.

    Thanks for an inspiring 2012 Mel. Thanks for sharing all your thyroid wonkiness. You truly help keep me on the right track.


  • Michelle says:

    Yay! I am forwarding this on to my Dad, in hopes that the next time he makes a batch of Chex Mix for my sisters, he will consider making some of this for me. Its a holiday tradition I have felt left out of because of our grain-free lifestyle. Thanks Melissa!

  • Monique M. says:

    I never would have thought to add onion and garlic to a snack mix, but it seems so obvious, now — can’t wait to try it. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Kate Dutton-Gillett says:

    Made it!! It is seriously good eats!! Thank you Melissa!!

  • Mom says:

    Delicious but I still want my Russian Tea Cakes! Love you!! Mom

  • Annette says:

    Delicious! My new go-to snack. My only regret is I didn’t double it. Thanks 🙂

  • Katie L. says:


  • Tracie says:

    could you give any additional tips? I’m pretty good in the kitchen but I’m not sure this recipe went as planned. Mine was getting pasty early. Also the coconut and spices started charring at 20 min in oven : ( Didn’t think oven was too high, but then maybe I still need to reduce heat. Does not look as beautiful as yours

    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure how to help you… sorry! I’ve made it three times with these instructions, and it came out just fine. Perhaps your oven is hotter than you think? I have a separate thermometer in my oven to monitor the temp. Nuts are pretty sensitive, so if you’re oven is even off by 10 degrees, that could make a difference.

      • Tracie says:

        thanks! I was determined so I tried again and switched from old non-stick to regular skillet. That made things better from the beginning – not sure why. btw, on day 20 of whole30 and new to your blog – made Best Ever Chicken and it was amazing!

  • Kirsty says:

    This blew both mine and my hubbie’s minds!!! Wowser!! Although I did add some chili flakes to the mix as just fancied something a bit spicy.
    Hands down the best moreish munchie ever… I will be passing this on to family and friends. Mel, everything I’ve made of yours is a taste sensation and I thank you (and Diane Sanfilippo) for making my Paleo transition so delicious and life changing.


  • Audrey says:

    What do you do if you have nut allergies, so you can’t use things like almond flour? Also how can you substitute for avocado if you are allergic?

    • Mel says:

      I you’re allergic to nuts, you can’t make this recipe. For a granola substitute, you might try mixing dried cranberries and coconut flakes for a nut-less trail mix.

      A substitute for avocado would depend on the individual recipe.

  • Jo says:

    Have a Coconut allergy any suggestions on a substitute?

  • TDC says:

    Yum! I don’t know what Chex Mix is but this looks lovely. I’m from Malaysia and Serunding is usually made there using shredded beef or chicken. I’m vague about how it’s made but essentially the meat is boiled then shredded then cooked with coconut milk and lots of lovely spices until very dry and very tender. I’ve never made it — far too much hassle! — and it’s easily available in markets in Malaysia. It lasts FOREVER once cooked (well, a few months anyway). I have two packets in my cupboard bought for me by a friend but I’m sure there’s sugar in it so I haven’t eaten it. Here’s a recipe I’ve found online (I think some people would say the palm sugar is essential as it is usually quite sweet but I reckon you could do a version without the palm sugar):

  • Christine says:

    Wow, this was amazing! I’m on a clean eating plan right now and grilled chicken and greens got really boring, until I course-chopped this amazing mix and sprinkled on top! I’m addicted, hard to not snack on it and eat the whole bowl!

  • TDC says:

    How long d’you reckon this would last if put in a jar? Wondering about making this as Christmas presents this year (I’m so skint!)

    • Mel says:

      If it’s in an air-tight jar, it will last weeks, if not months.

      • TDC says:

        Oh wow, great! This is going in my Christmas pressie pack containing a jar of mango pickle, vindaloo curry spice and this. And maybe if I’m feeling REALLY generous a jar of your caramelised coconut chips. Joy!

        • Mel says:

          I love that! And great minds think alike… Dave and I are working on a post with ideas for edible gifts made with Well Fed and Well Fed 2 recipes. So glad we’ll be a small part of your holiday gifting. YAY!

          • TDC says:

            Oooo that’ll be interesting to read. My boyfriend suggested doing some sort of tomato chutney and I said well the problem with that is it usually has a lot of sugar and although none of my family eat paleo it seems a bit hypocritical to be so against certain food and then give it out as a present! Besides, I want to be able to eat any leftovers… anyway, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your suggestions. Last year I gave a basket hamper filled with: Chilli sauce, coconut jam (a Malaysian delight!), green tomato chutney, crackers. None of them were paleo OK so I’ll do better this year!

  • Becky Ray says:

    I put some chopped kale into the pan with the coconut flakes and then put all of it in the oven to roast. Yum! I started making just a bit because I was sure no one would eat it with me. But by the time it was cool enough for the fridge most of it was already gone. I had to make some more right away!

  • Colleen Arrigo says:

    Hi, Mel:

    Saw this and then also found your Persian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup recipe; in your expert opinion, would this savory granola recipe be a suitable topping for the soup? Both sound really fabulous. I plan to make the soup for an upcoming dinner party . . .

    • Definitely yes! Make the granola and when it’s cool, pulse it in a food processor so it’s like chunky dust. Maybe add a little minced parsley or cilantro (or both) on top of the soup, too. Enjoy!

  • Andria says:

    I would NOT recommend following the total oven bake time in step 4!! Everything was near charring @ 300 F and only 15 min! I have a separate oven thermometer and my oven temp is accurate. Not sure how coconut flakes don’t scorch at the recommended bake time of 40-45 min (total time listed in the final step).

    Not too happy that I may have wasted time and ruined good ingredients. Waiting to cool to taste.

  • Chris B says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I made it this afternoon, and love the spice combo.

  • Amy says:

    Dang, this stuff is phenomenal! I should have made a double batch! Delicious on its own or on top of soup/salads.