Homemade Granola

4.97 from 26 votes
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This homemade granola recipe is easy and only takes a few simple pantry items. Combine rolled oats, a sweetener, oil, and your favorite mix-ins for a healthy whole-grain breakfast or snack. Then bake until crispy clusters form. That’s it!

Easy homemade granola recipe with dried fruit and crunchy nuts.

I love having a stash of granola to grab as a wholesome snack or to use for my breakfast cereal. Store-bought versions may be convenient but often pricey for the amount in the bag. The ingredients you need are all shelf-stable, so loading up on oats, sweetener, and oil in bulk allows you to make large batches of granola at home anytime. You’ll get way more yield for your hard-earned dollar.

There’s no stirring involved in this baked method. Combine the ingredients, press them into a sheet pan, and let the oven do its magic. I use whole almonds, sweet cranberries, and salty roasted pepitas for various textures and tastes. Once you learn the base ratio of essential ingredients, you can customize the recipe any way you like!

The essential ingredients you need

Granola recipe ingredients portioned out in several small bowls.

The only ingredients to make granola are old-fashioned rolled oats, a sweetener, and some oil or fat. I like to follow a ratio of 5 cups oats, ½ cup sweetener, and ½ cup oil for the base. Keeping the balance of 1 part sweetener to 1 part oil allows you to scale the recipe up or down. Make sure there’s enough to coat the oats and add-ins.

Use a neutral oil

Fat is needed to ensure the granola becomes crispy but not dry, brittle, or burnt. Any type of cooking oil that’s neutral-tasting can be selected with a moderate smoke point above 325ºF. My top picks are avocado oil, melted coconut oil, light olive oil, and vegetable oil.

Sweeteners enhance the crunchiness

Spatula stirring oats and nuts in a aluminum mixing bowl.

Using a sweetener like a maple syrup or honey to coat the oats adds a touch of sweetness and crispiness. The type you chose is based on your flavor preference. I like maple for its deep molasses notes. The sugar solids remain as the water in the sweetener gets driven off in the hot oven.

The sugar lightly cooks and caramelizes with deep candied flavors, creating that sought-out crunch as the granola cools. To increase the base’s sweetness level, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, granulated sugar, or coconut sugar to the mix.

Compress for hearty clusters

Making homemade granola allows you to control the size and shape of the oat clusters. The grains pack closer and stick together with the sugar in the maple syrup by compressing the oats on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, similar to making granola bars.

Wait until after the granola cools before you break them apart so that the sugars can bind, harden, and hold the oats together. Unlike most recipes, do not stir during the baking process unless you want the mixture to be more separate and pourable.

Elevate and cool to dry

Homemade granola cooling in a sheet pan that's elevated on a wire rack.

When removed from the oven, the granola will look golden brown but not dry and crisp. This is where heat transfer from the warm pan helps to dry out the rest of the moisture.

Place the tray on a wire rack to help circulate air under and around so the oats can gradually cool completely at room temperature. After about an hour, they’ll become super crunchy. Patience is important!

Get creative with different add-ins

This recipe uses whole almonds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), dried cranberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg to add flavor to the mix. However, any type of nuts, seeds, spices, and dried fruit can be substituted.

  • Nuts: Almonds (raw, roasted, sliced, slivered), pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, coconut flakes (toasted is delicious!). Use 1 to 1 ½ cups total of any combination.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, or chili powder. Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of the spice mix.
  • Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds. Use ½ cup of the bulkier seeds and 1 to 4 tablespoons of flax or chia.
  • Dried fruit: Cherries, cranberry, raisin, apricot, pineapple, papaya, banana chips. Use ½ to 1 cup of dried fruit.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate chips (Dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet, white, mini chips), cocoa nibs, or cocoa powder. Use about ¼ to ½ cup chips and nibs and ¼ to ⅓ cup powder.
An airtight glass jar filled with homemade granola.

Recipe Science

Use these oats in particular

The only type of oats that should be used is old-fashioned rolled oats. There are instant and quick-cooking options, but when mixed with liquid, they hydrate too much and can become mushy if not baked immediately. Use rolled oats as they don’t get immediately soggy when added to milk or yogurt.

Homemade Granola

Looking for a delicious and healthy breakfast option? Try this homemade granola recipe! It's easy to make and customizable. Perfect for topping yogurt or eating with milk.
4.97 from 26 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 18 servings
Course Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups almonds, raw or roasted
  • ½ cup roasted pepitas, (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the upper-middle position. Preheat to 325ºF (163ºC). Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Whisk the Sweetener and Spices – In a large bowl whisk together maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the oil and whisk together until combined and slightly thickened.
  • Add the Oats and Nuts – Add the rolled oats, almonds, and pepitas, and stir to thoroughly coat the dried ingredients with the maple syrup mixture.
  • Spread onto Baking Sheet – Evenly spread the granola mixture onto the sheet pan. Use the bottom of a spatula to firmly press down on the mixture until the layer is about ½-inch thick. This will create granola clusters after baking and cooling.
  • Bake the Granola – Bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through. The granola should feel dry, but won't be completely crunchy when removed from the oven.
  • Let it Cool – Place the sheet pan on a wire cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The granola will dry and harden during this time.
  • Finish and Store – Break the granola into clusters, then add in dried cranberries, and stir to combine. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 9 cups
  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Oil Substitute: Coconut oil, light olive oil, or vegetable oil can be substituted for avocado oil.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 18 servings
Calories 271kcal (14%)Carbohydrates 30g (10%)Protein 6g (12%)Fat 15g (23%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Sodium 269mg (11%)Potassium 214mg (6%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 10g (11%)Vitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 55mg (6%)Iron 2mg (11%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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25 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Suzanne B. says

    This is a great recipe. I discovered it quite recently and have already made it five times! The basic recipe is perfect. I use avocado oil (healthier than coconut) and add dried cherries, pecans (as well as almonds, walnuts, or cashews), and pumpkin seeds. So much better than store-bought granola!
    P.S. 35 minutes is enough time in my oven.

  2. Mar Paski says

    I used butter and brown sugar/ honey mix. I didn’t have oil on hand, but it came out great. I did add an extra tablespoon of butter. Pecans, sliced almonds and some dried blueberry and cranberry at the end. Thank you for the detailed instructions! Big hit, it was gone within 2 days.

  3. Angela Gambaccini says

    I read through your recipe and it sounds delicious! I want to try it but I have one question. Can I use Sunflower Oil? I don’t want to ruin recipe.
    Thank you!

  4. Sandy says

    Yummy and so easy to throw together. I’ve been wasting money on crappy tasting store bought granola. Not anymore! Thank you!

  5. Christine Potthast says

    Dear Jessica, I love your granola recipe. It worked perfectly as described using the regular bake setting for my oven and I am so happy. I will never buy granola again.

    My question: Could I use the convection setting as well? How would that change temperature and/or time? Kind regards. Christine

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question! The fan used on the convection setting will cook the granola faster. I would lower to oven temperature to 300ºF and check for doneness around 25 to 30 minutes, adding more time as needed. Let me know if you use that setting!

  6. Felecia B says

    This really IS the best granola ever! My family loves it, too.
    Question – I’d like to try making a different version with peanut butter and peanuts instead of almonds for my family members who have an allergy to tree nuts.
    Could you recommend the amounts to use for each for the substitution?
    Thank you, Jessica!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you, Felicia! I would recommend 1/3 to 1/2 cup of peanut butter, depending on how strong you like the flavor. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of peanuts.

  7. Carol Costabile says

    I would like the receipe for the cinnamon granola… neither of my grands eat nuts or seeds and they cant tell if there are almonds In it… thank you they love this granola in a blueberry smoothie bowl!!!!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You’re welcome Carol! you could increase the cinnamon level to 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon for a stronger spice flavor.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Avocado oil is really neutral and has a high smoke point. However, you can use light or regular olive oil (not extra-virgin) for the recipe and have tasty results.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I would use old fashioned rolled oats for the best texture. You can add more sugar to make the granola stick together more, and then just break into bigger clusters.

  8. James says

    Jessica said, “only old fashioned rolled oats should be used.” I’d take her word for it. She is the culinary graduate – not you, not me. Whenever I follow her recipes to the letter, they always turn out perfectly. Those are my thoughts on your question. Enjoy your day. God bless.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Jim- I think it’s best to use rolled oats. The instant oats are much more dusty and small, so you may not get the nice crunchy flake texture.