This spiced slow cooker granola with fruit and nuts is the easiest one pot recipe! Let the machine do all the work to create this wholesome, tasty granola.
Did you know that your slow cooker is not just for savory meals, but it can also make some incredible crunchy granola? I’m a big fan of meal prepping, and this is one super simple way to create a large batch of granola that you can grab and go for a quick breakfast or snack.
I’ve added lots of warm spices, oats, nuts and superfoods for extra nutritional benefit in each serving. The autumn-inspired flavors for this slow cooker granola will pair perfectly, in any way you chose to enjoy your granola bounty. Let’s grab our handy slow cooker, wholesome ingredients, and we’ll be on the road to granola bliss!
Let’s chat SUPERFOODS! You may have heard the buzzword, and even eaten them before, but what are they?
Superfoods are nutrient-rich ingredients that are considered to be especially beneficial for well-being. For this recipe, I chose chia seeds, oats, dried cranberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Collectively these ingredients provide extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Now let’s have some fun and make some granola.
Ever since my husband bought me a slow cooker last winter, I’ve been finding new tasty ways to take advantage of the equipment. If this is your first time using one or thinking if you should ask Santa for a stocking stuffer, check out my Slow Cooker 101 guide to help you get started.
I’ve been making breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals like pumpkin steel cut oats, grandma’s meatball recipe and the most delicious pork chili you’ll ever taste (at least my family thinks so, ha). Here are the essential tips for slow cooker granola success!
Essential Tips for Making Slow Cooker Granola
Ingredient Quantity – Making granola in a slow cooker can be customizable for your favorite add-in’s, but make sure to use around the same amount of dry (oats, nuts, seeds) to liquid (oil and sweetener). I recommend a ratio of about five dry:1 wet. For example, 4 cups oats, about 1 cup nuts/seeds, 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey.
Let Air Escape – Normally I would tell you never to take the lid off when using your slow cooker, but this time, be a rebel! You need to allow the hot steam generated from the pot to escape, or you’ll end up with oatmeal instead of crunchy granola. Put the cover on, but leave it ajar about 1/4 to 1/2-inch on one side throughout the entire cook time.
Stir and Cool – About every 30 minutes, check in on the granola and give the mixture a stir. This will ensure even cooking and minimizes the chance for portions of the granola to get too toasty if left stuck to the sides of the pot for too long. Once the granola feels dry to the touch and crisp, scoop a single layer on a sheet pan until no longer warm. This will achieve maximum crunch as it cools. Transfer to an air-tight container, if you leave it out too long, it can pick up moisture.
Slow cooker granola is excellent because it only needs one pot to cook. You add the dry and wet ingredients right into one vessel, stir, turn the heat up to high, and it’s doing work.
I’ve found my 6-quart Crock-Pot to be very efficient, so you don’t waste a lot of energy. This size is versatile and can cook a big batch of granola. Good for your dish situation and your wallet!
Check out that fresh batch of granola just waiting to be devoured! You’ll catch me grabbing a nibble or two as it cools on the tray, I won’t tell if you do too. What are your favorite ways to enjoy granola? Do you enjoy it for breakfast as a cereal topped with fruit? Do you like to add it as a topping for yogurt or get fancy and make a layered parfait? I’d love to hear your favorite way to enjoy granola in the comments section. Happy crunching!
What Are Different Ways to Make Granola?
I’ve made granola three ways; traditional baked method, rapid stove top granola, and now slow cooker. Each has their unique advantages, but all yield a delicious product! Baked granola oven cooks the oat mixture at moderate heat, about 325 degrees F for just under an hour with a little bit of stirring. The only downside is you need to use more energy to prepare the granola. Stove top granola is by far the quickest method, just 10 minutes to cook. The only setback is you may be limited to the amount you can make at one time. Slow cooker granola is made all in one pot, uses minimal energy, can make an enormous amount, but takes about double the time and more stirring. Depending on the equipment and time you have, give the different methods a try to see what you prefer. Experimenting with techniques and flavors is fun!
Slow Cooker Granola with Fruit and Nuts
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup nuts, , pecans, almonds, walnuts or a combination
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, or honey
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Coat the sides and bottom of a 5-quart or larger sized slow cooker with cooking spray or some vegetable oil.
- Add oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. Add to slow cooker and stir until evenly combined.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker with it slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, about a 1/4-inch opening, the entire duration of cooking. If you do not do this, the steam will not escape and make the granola soggy.
- Cook mixture on HIGH setting for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes and leaving the lid ajar. The granola should feel dry when touched, and the nuts will be toasted and crunchy. When the granola is done cooking, add in coconut flakes and cranberries, stir to combine.
- Transfer granola to a sheet pan and allow to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for two weeks, or freeze in resealable bags for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost before serving. Enjoy!
- You can substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans, or use a mixture!
- Grapeseed or light olive oil can be substituted for coconut oil.
- Any dried fruit can be substituted for the cranberries like blueberries, apricot, mango or chopped figs.
- Make sure to buy old-fashioned rolled oats that are labeled "gluten-free" if you are making a gluten free recipe.