A facile and green route was introduced to synthesize Au nanoparticles immobilized on halloysite nanotubes (AuNPs/HNTs) used for surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates. The naturally occurring HNTs were firstly functionalized with a large amount of –NH2 groups by N-(β-aminoethyl)-γ-aminopropyl trimethoxysilane (AEAPTES), which possesses one lone electron pair and will “anchor” Au ions to form a chelate complex. Then, with the addition of tea polyphenols (TP), the Au ions were reduced on the surface of the previously formed Au–NH2 chelate complex to form AuNPs. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) observations indicate that a large amount of AuNPs were synthesized on HNTs. The AuNPs are irregularly spherical and densely dispersed on HNTs and the diameter of the nanoparticles varies from 20 to 40 nm. The interactions between AuNPs and –NH2 groups were verified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and the results showed that the functional groups can “anchor” AuNPs through the chelating effect. The as-prepared AuNPs/HNTs nanomaterials with several nanometers gaps among nanoparticles were used as a unique surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrate, which possessed strong and distinctive Raman signals for R6G, indicating the remarkable enhancement effect of the AuNPs/HNTs.