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Granola Recipe ~ Fast, Easy and Versatile

Granola Recipe ~ Fast, Easy and Versatile

Use this easy granola recipe for a great-tasting breakfast. You’ll never need to buy store-bought granola again. There are only a few granolas I buy because most brands contain Tocopherols or Vitamin E, typically derived from palm oil. Palm oil makes my son sick so I don’t buy foods with it.

Store-bought granola also contains a lot of extra preservatives and sugars. The “better” ones are expensive. Making this granola recipe at home has been a game-changer. It is fast and easy to make. I’ve made this over 20 times, and I get quicker each time. It’s a very forgiving recipe. Best of all, it’s delicious! 

Granola Recipe

Having oats and the other ingredients on hand means I can make crunchy granola easily, anytime. Homemade granola makes for a great snack as well as a filling breakfast. My family enjoys it without milk.

This recipe takes just 10 minutes or less to prep and 24 minutes to bake. Rest time is 45 minutes as the granola will firm up once out of the oven. It makes 7 cups of granola.

easy granola recipe

You can make this easy granola recipe in less than an hour. You will need a large bowl. ~ Image credit: Dawn Head

The great thing about making this at home is there are many substitutions you can use, and it will still taste great. It is also fun to experiment with different flavors. You can do this easily using different dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

Also, if you don’t have avocado oil, you can substitute with soybean oil or other vegetable oil. Olive oil is another option, however, it has a stronger taste than using avocado oil or other oils with a mild taste.

You can also use either honey, maple syrup or both to make this granola.

Granola Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 ½ cups nuts and seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain salt or ¾ teaspoon of table salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup, honey or combination
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cups dried fruit

Ideas for dried fruits, nuts, seeds:

  • Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pepitas, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds
  • Dried apricots, prunes, dates – Roughly chop
  • Raisins, dried cranberries, shredded coconut
  • Cut up a fresh apple or dates into small pieces

How to Make Granola

  1. Set oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Take out a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Add oats, salt, cinnamon, nuts, and seeds. Mix together.
  5. Add coconut oil or other oil, maple syrup or honey, and pure vanilla extract. Mix together.
  6. If using large dried fruit, roughly chop. Add in dried fruit. Combine. 
  7. Spread on prepared baking sheet.
  8. Set in preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  9. Remove from oven. Use spatula to gently flip granola to bake the other side. (If adding chocolate chips, put them in now.)
  10. Flatten granola with spatula to have larger pieces and chunks of granola.
  11. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven. Set out on stovetop or cooling rack to cool for 45 minutes. It will come together and harden as it cools.
Homemade granola

Homemade granola is easy to make. Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. ~ Image credit: Dawn Head

How to Store Granola

When it comes to storing homemade granola, I use glass containers with plastic lids. This recipe makes almost 8 cups so I use two containers to store. Usually, my family is already snacking on it though.

It’s easy to store granola in a sealed container in the fridge. I have kept it up to a week and it was still fresh, delicious and crunchy. Another option is to cover it and leave it on the counter, not refrigerated, for 3 – 5 days. 

Pro Tips

Some granola recipes add in the dried fruit at the end, after baking. You don’t have to do that. The dried fruit is fine in the oven. It does not loose any flavor or become dry. I like mixing everything together before putting it in the oven because the dried fruit helps the granola to become more clumpy.

If using almonds

I will roughly chop up some whole almonds before putting them in this granola recipe. This isn’t required but I find it makes them less hard. Softer nuts to use for granola are walnuts, pistachios, and cashews.

Choosing dried fruit:

I don’t recommend using drier types of dried fruit such as mango and papaya. These fruits will dry out when baking. You can always add them at the end, after baking, as the granola cools. I love baking with dates because they provide a bit of added moisture. With the nuts and harder chunks of granola, soft, juicy dates (they dry a bit when baked) add flavor and texture.

Granola with chocolate chips:

If you want to make granola with chocolate chips, you can toss in the chocolate chips when it’s halfway done, when you turn the granola over. 

How to make honey granola:

To make honey granola recipe, use honey instead of maple syrup.

Gluten free granola:

To make gluten free granola, use certified gluten free oats. I recommend Red Bob Mill Gluten Free Oats. You can find their oats at Target or online on Red Bob Mill’s website.

I’d also like to make a comment about nuts. While nuts are naturally gluten free, they are often processed in plants where they process gluten-containing ingredients. If you are severely gluten free, I advise you to buy nuts still in their shells (such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds). If you live near Costco, their Kirkland nuts tend to be gluten free as well. 

Nut free granola: 

If you want to make nut-free granola, simply add seeds or peanuts (a legume, not a nut, if peanuts are safe for you and allowed). You can also add more dried fruit.

How to make crunchy granola:

Most everyone loves crunchy, chunky granola. To make crunchy granola:

  1. When you take the granola out of the oven for the first time, press down with the spatula.
  2. When you take it out of the oven after it’s done baking, do not disturb it until it cools.
  3. Once completely cooled, carefully remove with a spatula to retain the chunks.
  4. For added crunch, add larger nuts. I find walnuts do not harden like larger pieces of almonds do. 
healthy granola recipe

Flatten the granola mixture before baking to make chunky granola ~ This picture is so dark! ~ Image credit: Dawn Head

Buying Ingredients for Healthy Granola Recipe

My family eats oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit often so I usually have ingredients to make granola. Change up flavors and buy what you enjoy. You can combine lots of fruits, seeds and nuts or just use a few. It’s totally up to you.


I buy a few bags at a time of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats because I am gluten free. Oats are a gluten free food; however, they are usually processed in facilities that process wheat-containing ingredients. You can use regular oats if you aren’t making gluten free granola.

I only buy Red Bob Mill Gluten Free Oats from Target or directly from Red Bob Mill’s website when I buy enough to get free shipping.

  • Red Bob Mill’s Gluten Free Oats

Nuts and Seeds

 A big snack in my house is nuts from Costco. I buy the Kirkland brand of almonds and walnuts and use them in this granola recipe. Another good value is their pistachios and cashews which we buy often as well.

In addition, I buy smaller bags of non-organic and organic seeds from Target. You can easily omit nuts and seeds for nut free granola and granola without seeds. This is a great way to add in flax seeds and chia seeds into a kid-friendly food. 

Nuts and seeds I use for this granola are:

  • Kirkland Signature Almonds
  • Kirkland Signature Walnuts
  • Good & Gather Organic Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Kirkland Signature Cashews
  • Kirkland Signature Pistachios with Shell (be sure to shell before using)

Pure Maple Syrup and Real Honey

I only buy pure maple syrup. You can get it from most any grocery store. I always have pure maple syrup from Costco in my refrigerator. Using maple syrup for this granola is easy but sometimes I’ll switch out and use honey to make this as a honey granola recipe. You can use both honey and maple syrup if you want. Just use a quarter cup of each.

I buy Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup from Costco. If I run out, I will buy pure maple syrup in a glass bottle from my local grocery store, Safeway or Albertson’s.

  • Kirkland Signature Organic Pure Maple Syrup

I buy local honey from a person who sells it roadside near my home or at my local Friday farmer’s market. You can also find local honey at a farmer’s market or in your grocery store.

how to make granola

Learning how to make granola at home can be a healthy and inexpensive way to enjoy granola for breakfast and as a snack. ~ Image credit: Dawn Head

Pantry Staples: Salt, Cinnamon, Oil, Vanilla Extract

Then there are the pantry staples: salt, cinnamon, and oil. I use avocado oil because it is tasteless. Avocado oil is considered to be healthier than vegetable oils so I use it when making granola. However, you can use olive oil, melted coconut oil, or a vegetable oil such as soybean oil. 

  • Kirkland Signature Avocado Oil

Choose pure vanilla extract over imitation vanilla extract to avoid palm oil. Pure vanilla extract will not contain Glycerin which is made from palm oil. There are many brands of vanilla extract to use. I’ve used McCormick, O Organics and many store brands.

I use Red Ape Cinnamon because it is certified Palm Oil Free and it’s delicious. It’s real cinnamon.

  • Red Ape Cinnamon

You can use table salt or sea salt. Really, whatever salt you have is fine to use. 

Dried Fruit

Just a note if you are avoiding palm oil: Read labels on dried fruit just to be sure. I purchase dried cranberries from the grocery store and from Target or Walmart that just include the fruit, sunflower oil and sometimes cane sugar. I will buy larger bags of prunes, dates, and dried apricots from Costco. 

Watch for Glycerin in dried cranberries and other dried fruit. Glycerin is typically made from palm oil and helps the fruit not stick to the machines. I buy the following which don’t contain Glycerin:

  • SunSweet Dried Apricots
  • Sunsweet Prunes
  • Good & Gather Dried Cranberries
  • Sunmaid Raisins or O Organics Organic Raisins
  • Hadley Organic Pitted Dates (I get them at Costco.)

Chocolate Chips

Buy real chocolate chips labeled “milk chocolate” or “dark chocolate.” White chocolate chips and other flavors contain palm oil. I buy Enjoy Life Mini Dark Chocolate Chips from Target. (However, I usually make this granola without chocolate chips.)

  • Enjoy Life Mini Dark Chocolate Chips

Making Granola Inexpensively

I know I touched on brands I use to make granola but you can get these ingredients at most any grocery store. 

I buy lots of the granola ingredients from Costco in order to make it cost effective. Buying in bulk from Costco or Sam’s Club can save you money. Certainly, you need room to store large bags of nuts, dried fruit, etc. However, it is an affordable way to make granola inexpensively and conveniently. Walmart and Target are other places to buy ingredients. 

In my household, we eat these foods so regularly, we are sure they won’t go to waste. I make this granola recipe several times each month.

Favorite Combinations

Really, you can use a combination of whatever you have at home. If I have 5 nuts and seeds and 4 dried fruits, I will use all 9 of them at once. However, you can experiment to find what you like the best.

  • Apricots, raisins, walnuts
  • Prunes, apricots, almonds, cashews
  • Dried sweetened cranberries, dried apricots, dates, almonds
  • Cut up apples with peanuts
  • Add chia seeds to any of these
  • Adding chocolate chips to anything adds sweetness and makes this granola more of a dessert. Chocolate chips and almonds or chocolate chips and walnuts with dried cranberries and/or dried apricots is especially delicious

Really, you can toss in all of the above for lots of flavor, fiber, and nutrients. You can also chop up a fresh apple and include it. This is the same idea as if you make homemade date bars with dried fruit and nuts. Make it your own.

Whatever you have, it will make the granola have different flavors, textures and taste great. You can’t go wrong. Choose whatever your family can eat safely. If you want to change up the taste, in addition to cinnamon, you can add a dash of nutmeg.

Making Granola at Home

This granola recipe is very easy to make. Pull all the ingredients out, measure them, and combine in a bowl. There isn’t a precise order in which you need to add the ingredients. 

My son gets sick from palm oil. He loves granola. It was getting very expensive to find the precise brands that didn’t contain palm oil ingredients such as Tocopherols. I thought to myself, “I need to learn to make this myself.” In addition to being less expensive, it isn’t processed. My son thinks my homemade granola tastes better than any store-bought versions.

I was shocked how easy it is to make granola at home. Prior to making it myself, I used to buy Purely Elizabeth granola from Target. Some of the flavors do not contain palm oil. 

Once you have some of the staples to make granola, you’ll find it is quick and easy to make. Enjoy it for breakfast, brunch or a snack anytime. I love how I can change the flavors so easily by changing the add ins. Experiment to see what your family enjoys. If you need to avoid nuts or peanuts, you can simply add in more dried fruit.

I like also like this contains natural sweeteners — maple syrup or honey and dried fruits — instead of added granulated sugar or brown sugar.

Learn about finding palm oil free cereal as well as granola bars without palm oil for specific products to choose, such as Nature Valley Granola Bars and ingredients to avoid.  

I love that I can make palm oil free granola and gluten free granola at the same time.

If you make this homemade granola recipe, please leave a note in the Comments. What did you add in?

While I love homemade, I trust the brand Seven Sundays for muesli — different than granola but we eat it the same way. Check out my review of Seven Sundays muesli

granola recipe

Granola Recipe ~ Easy and Healthy

Use this easy granola recipe for a fast and healthy alternative to store-bought granola. There are lots of add-ins you can use which makes it convenient.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword easy granola recipe, granola recipe, healthy granola, healthy granola recipe, homemade granola, honey granola recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Rest time 45 minutes
Servings 14


  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 ½ cups nuts and seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain salt or ¾ teaspoon of table salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or honey or combination of both
  • ½ cup avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • cups dried fruit raisins, cranberries, chopped dates, apricots, etc.


  • cup chocolate chips These are completely optional. Your family won't miss them.


  • Set oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take out a large mixing bowl.
  • Add oats, salt, cinnamon, nuts, seeds. Mix together.
  • Add avocado oil, maple syrup or honey, and pure vanilla extract. Mix together.
  • Chop up larger dried fruit. Add in dried fruit. Combine.
  • Spread on prepared baking sheet.
  • Set in preheated oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Remove from oven. Use spatula to gently flip granola to bake the other side. (If adding chocolate chips, put them in now.)
  • Flatten granola with spatula to have larger pieces (chunks of granola).
  • Return to oven for another 12 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Set out on stovetop or cooling rack to cool for 45 minutes. It will come together and harden as it cools.


  • To make honey granola recipe, use honey instead of maple syrup.
  • To make gluten free granola, use certified gluten free oats.
  • If you want to make nut-free granola, simply add seeds or peanuts.
  • For chunky granola, press down on the granola before baking. 
  • Using parchment paper really makes this healthy granola easy to make!
  • Store granola in an airtight container.
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