Granola Recipe (how to make granola)
Granola is an irresistible healthy snack. Learning how to make it from scratch is as easy as combining crunchy, sweet, and salty ingredients, giving it a stir, then baking until golden brown!
Good granola begins with a base of rolled oats and then the goodies are added, a hearty combination of textures and flavors including nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. This flexible granola recipe can be a healthy part of breakfast or an alternative to indulgent snacks. Full disclosure: this granola is so good that it’s hard not to eat it right off the baking tray!
Serve homemade granola as a layer in a yogurt parfait, in a bowl with milk as a cereal, or just as it is for a satisfying snack. Use granola as a topping for a smoothie bowl. Make your smoothie slightly thicker and top it with fresh fruit and granola. This granola is perfect on a pumpkin pie smoothie, a nectarine smoothie, or a blueberry smoothie. You could also add it to a smoothie bar!
About this recipe
Whether you enjoy it for breakfast, a healthy snack, or even dessert, granola is comfort food. The crunchy textures of toasted oats, nuts, dried fruit, and seeds are a perfect contrast to creamy yogurt (or ice cream!).
There is something so satisfying and cozy about making your own granola. When it’s baking, granola gives off a mouthwatering aroma thanks to the toasted coconut, nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
This recipe has loads of protein and good fats from the nuts, omega-3s and fiber from the flaxseed, and antioxidant properties from the cinnamon. It’s crazy healthy but doesn’t taste like it!
Granola stores well on the counter without losing its crunch so go ahead and double or triple the recipe to make a lot. Just make sure to cool it completely before putting a lid on the container you’re storing it in. If the granola is still warm, condensation will form in the container and cause the granola to get soft or even spoil.
This is an easy recipe that comes together quickly and is ready for a taste test in under one hour. It’s easy to customize: add, swap, or omit ingredients to make it just how you like it. You’ll enjoy this tasty crunchy snack for weeks!
What you need
- Rolled Oats – We suggest old-fashioned rolled oats for granola. Quick oats will work in a pinch but the results will not be as chewy and delicious. Steel cut oats will not work for this recipe.
- Raw Shelled Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are high in protein and healthy fats.
- Chopped Raw Walnuts, Pecans, & Sliced Raw Almonds – This trio of deliciously crunchy nuts add earthy, good for the soul flavor. Of course, you can use any combination you’d like or leave out the nuts completely. We recommend raw nuts because they’ll get toasted during the baking process. If you only have toasted nuts, you may want to add them in towards the very end so that they do not burn.
- Flaked Unsweetened Coconut – Using unsweetened coconut cuts down on added sugar. Coconut is high in fiber and when toasted, adds tons of flavor to the granola.
- Ground Flaxseed – Flaxseed has so many health benefits. Some doctors recommend eating 2 tablespoons per day.
- Wheat Germ – A source of many nutrients such as folate and zinc. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, feel free to leave this out.
- Ground Cinnamon – A tasty warming spice that adds flavor to everything it touches. Who doesn’t love this stuff? For a more unique twist, try using pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.
- Salt – Balances flavors and enhances the overall taste of the recipe.
- Canola or Coconut Oil – Both are goo choices although coconut oil may be the healthier choice when used in moderation. We also love the subtle coconut flavor it brings to the party and it yields a crunchier end result.
- Honey & Brown Sugar – For a touch of sweetness and lots of flavor.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – Vanilla rounds out the flavor profile.
- Dried Cranberries – A tart and chewy contrast to the crunchy textures. Raisins or dried cherries are also a good choice. The cranberries get stirred in after the granola has baked.
This may sound like a lot of ingredients, and it is! This is a loaded granola and we packed it full with all kinds of good stuff. It also gives you lots of room to make changes to suit your tastes or to use what you already have in your pantry.
How to make granola from scratch
Combine oats, seeds, nuts, coconut, flaxseed, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir.
In a microwave-safe bowl, mix oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla together and heat for 45 seconds in the microwave. If you are using coconut oil, heat in 30-second increments until the oil is melted. Stir to combine.
Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir well until everything is coated.
Spread into an even layer on a prepared rimmed baking sheet coated with nonstick spray.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Stir in cranberries once the granola has cooled.
TIP: If you like big chunks, press down with a spatula and let cool completely on the pan. If you prefer not to have large chunks, stir 3-4 times as granola cools.
Usually making anything at home is cheaper than buying it already made. Commercial granola means you’re paying for a lot of the added “junk” that you don’t need (i.e., the packaging, lots of sugar, sodium, and lower quality of ingredients). When you make granola from scratch, you can choose exactly what you want in your granola and you can buy each ingredient in bulk. An added bonus is that granola has a long shelf life so there’s no waste!
Why is my homemade granola not crunchy?
There could be a few reasons as to why your granola isn’t crunchy. Don’t try to speed the baking process up by baking the granola on high heat. It will brown too quickly before it has a chance to crisp up nicely. Make sure you stir the granola every once in a while to make sure it’s baking evenly. The granola should be dry and crisp when you remove it from the oven, not soft and sticky. Last, if you haven’t let it cool completely before packing it away, the residual trapped heat will create condensation, causing the granola to get soggy.
Oh yes! As with anything, moderation is key but there are so many nutrients in every bite. Fiber, protein, healthy fat, omega 3s, vitamins, minerals, you name it. You can increase the nutrient content by adding a few extras like chia seeds or goji berries.
How to make this recipe your own
- Add chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth, add mini chocolate chips or all the chocolate chips: white, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, you name it. Add cacao nibs after baking for chocolate flavor without the added sugar.
- Make it nut-free. If you want granola with no nuts, you can either omit them completely and keep everything as is or up the amount of seeds or rolled oats instead. Try adding shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas).
- Maple syrup is a great alternative to honey as a sweetener.
- Gluten-free granola. Granola is naturally gluten-free but make sure that your rolled oats are certified gluten-free.
- Dried fruit. Dried cranberries are great but so are goji berries, dried cherries, and raisins!
Once completely cooled, granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. When stored in a cute glass jar, it’s quite enticing. It probably won’t hang around too long! Granola makes a welcome gift too.
More recipes using oats
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (tiktok style)
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
- Homemade Instant Oatmeal Recipe
- Oat Flour Pancakes
- Oatmeal Pancakes
Get the Recipe: Granola Recipe
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
- 1/2 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons canola or coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray a sheet pan (rimmed baking sheet) with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut, flaxseed, wheat germ, ground cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a 2 cup microwave-safe measuring cup (or small bowl), mix oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds on 50% power. Stir to combine. If using coconut oil, continue to heat in 30 second increments until coconut oil is completely melted. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated. Spread into an even layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown (see note).
- If you like big chunks, press down with spatula and let cool completely on pan. If you prefer not to have large chunks, stir 3-4 times as granola cools. Stir in cranberries once the granola has cooled.
- Serving size: 1/2 cup.
- Don’t underbake the granola. It should look dry and crisp, not wet and sticky.
- Once completely cooled, granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.