These chia seed crackers are light and crispy with a slightly nutty flavor. They are also sturdy enough to scoop up the thickest dip. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.
Chia seeds are one of the most popular binders. They are a type of hydrophilic binder, which means that they gel upon contact with water-based liquids. When surrounded in liquid for as little as 15 minutes, each chia seed develops a jelly-like coating and can expand up to 10 times its normal size. These swollen chia seeds (aka chia gel) are often used as a binding agent in baked goods.
Compared to other hydrophilic binders – flax seeds and psyllium – chia seeds have a moderately strong binding effect. They are almost 3 times stronger than flax seeds and 3 times weaker than psyllium. This means that if you decide to substitute the chia seeds for flax or psyllium in the chia seed crackers recipe, you will need to adjust the amount of the binder.
Tips for Making Chia Seed Crackers
One of the things I appreciate about seed crackers is the short and simple ingredient list.
- Almond flour: nut flours are very popular in seed crackers. Almond flour particularly crisps up really nicely and provides a slightly sweet flavor. To keep the chia seed crackers nut-free, sunflower seed flour is an excellent alternative.
- Chia seeds: you can use either black or white chia seeds (other than the color, they are pretty much the same). The flavor of chia seeds is very subtle and mild, making them quite inconspicuous in both savory and sweet dishes. In raw form, the texture is crunchy, but in gel form, when the chia seeds have absorbed liquid, they become soft and slightly chewy.
- Hemp hearts: unlike most seeds, hemp hearts have a uniquely soft texture. Their flavor is slightly nutty, like a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut. If you don’t have hemp hearts on hand, you can substitute them for white sesame seeds.
- Salt: don’t skip the salt. It gives the chia seeds crackers a wonderful savory flavor.
How to Make Chia Seed Crackers
- Soak the chia seeds. Add the chia seeds to a small bowl and cover them with water. It is really important to soak the chia seeds beforehand. As the chia seeds absorb all the water, they will lose their crunch and become gelatinous.
- Make the dough. Add the hemp heart, almond flour, and salt into the bowl with the soaked chia seeds, and mix until well combined. All the seeds will sort of clump together.
- Roll out the dough. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Place the center of your rolling pin on the center of the disk. Press firmly into the dough, rolling towards yourself and away from you. Repeat until the dough is about ⅛ inch/3 mm thin. Rolling the dough evenly is particularly important. If the dough is thicker in some places and thinner in others, the crackers will bake unevenly, and some may burn or not quite crisp up.
- Score the dough. Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Using a knife, cut the dough into desired shapes. I cut the chia seed crackers into squares, but it’s up to you. You can also use cookie cutters for more interesting shapes.
- Bake. Carefully transfer the dough (with the bottom sheet of parchment paper) onto a large baking sheet and bake it at 275°F/135°C until crispy and golden brown, about 80 minutes, flipping halfway through baking. If one side of the crackers is more golden than the other, rotate the baking sheet for the best chance of all the crackers baking evenly. I usually only do this once, halfway through baking time.
- Cool. Transfer the cracker onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before breaking it along the scored lines. Baked goods with nut or seed flours continue to crisp and firm up as they cool.
Chia Seed Crackers Variations
One of the advantages of making your own crackers is that you can customize them in any way you like – swap the hemp hearts for sesame seeds, almond flour for sunflower seed flour, salt for Everything Bagel Seasoning (a mix of flakes sea salt, dehydrated minced onion, dehydrated minced garlic, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds)…
You can also add herbs, spices, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, or any other flavoring ingredient you like. I have to say; I love these recipes where the main flavoring element is so versatile, you could take it in just about any direction you desire.
How to Store Chia Seed Crackers
- Room temperature: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 1 week.
- Refrigerating: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 month.
- Freezing: transfer the crackers into an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months.
If the crackers soften while storing (they shouldn’t if you keep them in an airtight container), toast them in the oven on a baking sheet at 225°F/107°C for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through baking. After cooling, the crackers will become crispy again.
More Seed Cracker Recipes
I have plenty of seed cracker recipes on the blog:
- Flaxseed crackers: these crackers are perhaps the most popular on the blog. They are made entirely from flaxseed meal, so other than being slightly nutty, they are also very neutral in flavor. Flax seeds are a weak binder, but since there are no ingredients to bind (other than the flax seeds themselves), the crackers are quite sturdy.
- Nut & seed crackers: my absolute favorite seed crackers. Nutty, crunchy, and because the main binder is psyllium – a strong binder – the crackers are also very sturdy.
- Seed crackers: quite the opposite from the nut & seed crackers, these crackers are light and quite delicate because the only binder is flax seeds.
- Flackers: crackers made entirely from whole flax seeds. They are nutty and incredibly crunchy – similar to sesame brittle but without the sweetness.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Chia Seed Crackers
- 1/4 cup chia seeds *
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup almond flour , finely ground
- 1/4 cup hemp hearts
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Preheat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 275°F/135°C.
- Soak the chia seeds. Add the chia seeds and water to a small bowl. Stir and let rest until the chia seeds swell and become gelatinous, about 10 minutes.
- Prepare the dough. Add the almond flour, hemp heart, and salt into the bowl with the chia seeds, and mix until well combined. You should end up with a soft ball of dough.
- Roll out the dough. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Place the center of your rolling pin on the center of the disk. Press firmly into the dough, rolling towards yourself and away from you. Repeat until the dough is about ⅛ inch/3 mm thin.
- Score the dough. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Using a knife, cut the dough into desired shapes.
- Bake. Transfer the dough (with the bottom sheet of parchment paper) onto a large baking sheet and bake until crispy and golden brown, about 80 minutes, flipping halfway through baking**. If one side of the crackers is more golden than the other, rotate the baking sheet.
- Cool. Transfer the cracker onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Once cool, break the cracker along the scored lines.
- Store. Leftover chia seed crackers keep well in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to 1 week (or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month). For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
instead of the whole chia seed, can i use them ground? i buy them whole and grind them for use…..
Hi Carlo – you can, but the texture of the crackers will be slightly different. Ground chia seeds will make the crackers denser.
How about if i roll them thinner? like wheat thins is what i was thinking….
Yes, that might work. I would give it a try. I am going to post a video for these crackers by the end of the week. But just so that you know (if you make the crackers before then), the consistency of the dough is not like regular bread-like dough. It is very moist and soft. You could almost spread it out with a spatula.
These sound great. Can I omit the hemp hearts (or sesame seeds) all together? Or do they play an important role in the recipe? Would another seed be ok to add like ground pumpkin seed? I’m looking forward to trying them!
Hi Lisa – definitely! Any non-gelatinous seeds or nuts (chopped if too big) will work as a substitute for the hemp hearts.
Should they really cook for 80 minutes at 275?
Hi Janet – I am sure you could bake the crackers at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, but this is what I do 🙂
This is my first time making homemade crackers and I am amazed! I’ve always had a slight fear of making crackers myself, because I’m kind of clumsy and I was afraid everything would break right away.
The ingredients are super nutritious and so simple. Also the preparation.
But what I liked most was that rolling the dough between 2 baking papers was really no problem. It rolled flat in one go.
Thank you so much for your recipe, and I can’t thank you enough for your high-quality videos, tips, blog posts, eye for DETAIL and general attitude! You are just great! 😀
Aw, thank you so much, Sanjeev! Your comment mande me so happy! I really appreciate your kind words and feedback.
These crackers look yummy, I just want to try them right away. Do you think ground almonds would work instead of almond flour? I’m out of almond flour but I have ground almonds. I think the almond flour is defatted whereas ground almonds are not. That’s why I wanted to check in with you. Thank you!
I am sorry for the rather late reply, Deniz! Yes, almond flour is a bit tricky term. Most almond flour products are made from defatted ground almonds. The end product is drier which allows a much finer degree of grinding. The texture of defatted almond flour is very fine – pretty much the same as that of traditional grain-based flours. Bob’s Red Mill almond flour (which is the one I use) is indeed partially defatted. Ground almonds have 56 g of fat (per 100 g) whereas Bob’s Red Mill almond flour has 36 g of fat (per 100 g). If you’d like to still try the recipe with ground almonds, your best bet would be to reduce the amount of moisture in the recipe.
Thank you so much Petra! Good to know. I love your technical explanations and so learning the science behind it. I went ahead and bought almond flour when I saw your reply :))
So glad it is helpful, Deniz 🙂 Hope the crackers turn out amazing!
This recipe is foolproof – if I can make them without messing it up, anyone can! These turned out better than I expected. They are a little bland (which is to be expected) so if you’re planning to make them as written I’d personally recommend upping the salt a little. However the neutralness of the crackers pairs really well with whatever dip you want, I’ve had these with an artichoke garlic dip and guac and they work perfectly. I just made another batch and loaded it with Everything Bagel seasoning and it’s great.
That’s amazing! I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Lauren! Thank you so much for the feedback and rating!❤️
Could this recipe be done in a dehydrator at 45°C instead to retain all the nutrition and enzymes?…obviously it would take hours but I wondered if you had tried.
Hi Katy – I have not tried this recipe in a dehydrator, but I am pretty sure it would work. Technically, none of the ingredients need to be cooked, so it is just about the crackers crisping up properly. Please, let me know how the crackers turn out if you give them a try.
Super easy to make, texture and flavor are really good
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, Cynthia!
I made these today during a marathon baking day. I used almond meal, not flour, because that’s what I had on hand. I put them on the bottom rack while baking other things, at 350F, convection bake. I didn’t time them, but I’m guessing they were in about 50 minutes. I removed them when they started to show some golden color around the edges. They are even better than I anticipated. I’m trying to find ways to add chia to my diet, I don’t do smoothies, don’t appreciate the gelatinous texture in puddings. These are perfect little crunchies to accompany my lunch salad. Winner!!!
Thank you for the feedback and for sharing your modifications, Linda! So happy the crackers were a winner!