The Very Best Granola
There’s a lot to love about this homemade healthy granola recipe. It’s easy to make, it’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it will make your kitchen smell amazing!
Do you love granola? Me, too! Today, I’m sharing my “basic” granola recipe, which is also the best granola recipe. Granted, I’m partial, but it really is the best and I use that term sparingly. Over two hundred five-star reviews agree!
Alright, time to pin, print, save, tag, or bookmark this recipe however in the world you prefer. Because I’m telling you, this one is a total keeper.
Friends…meet my all-time favorite homemade granola recipe!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, our little household has a borderline out-of-control granola obsession. We’re constantly whipping up various kinds of granola (or granola bars) to keep on hand for easy breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and — let’s be real — our fair share of lazy weeknight dinners cozied up on the couch with a bowl and a side of Netflix. We love it plain, we love it drowning in almond milk, we love mixing it with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt into parfaits, and we love sprinkling it on everything from desserts to mashed potatoes to salads (<– yes, surprisingly good). We just freaking love granola.
And while I have shared over a dozen kinds of fun and quirky granola recipes here on the blog over the years, I will be the first to admit that the vast majority of the time, we usually keep things simple and default to this classic healthy granola recipe right here.
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In my granola-obsessed opinion, it’s simply the best.
Partly because it’s super quick and easy to make, with ingredients you probably already keep in your pantry. Second, it’s full of feel-good ingredients, including lots of protein and omega-3s. Partly because it isn’t overly sweet, just lightly tossed with a bit of honey or maple syrup. Partly because it’s perfectly crunchy and easy to customize with whatever ingredients you love most. But mainly, I just love this granola recipe because it is downright delicious.
So if you’re on the search for a back-pocket, tried-and-true, perfectly-crunchy, all-kinds-of-flavorful, feel-good granola recipe of your own, I highly recommend giving this one a try. I think you’re going to love it!
In fact, I love this recipe so much that I shared it in my cookbook, Love Real Food. This granola makes a wonderful snack or breakfast (add your milk of choice and maybe some fresh fruit). It also stores beautifully, so it makes a great homemade gift.
Once you try homemade granola, you won’t go back to store-bought granola. It’s so much better!
This granola recipe is also a far more healthy granola option since it’s made with whole grains, unrefined oil, and naturally sweetened. You just can’t beat freshly baked granola packed with delicious and good-for-you ingredients.
Plus, homemade granola is super easy to make. You’ll only need one bowl and some basic pantry ingredients. Ready to make some?
My homemade granola recipe! Instead of using white or brown sugar, I sweeten it naturally with a modest amount of maple syrup, so it’s just the right amount of sweet. I spice it generously with cinnamon, and I add a scoop of almond butter to form lots of nutty clusters. It’s also customizable, a yummy template for whatever dried fruits and nuts I (or you) might be craving.
Watch How to Make Healthy Granola
Now that you have my base recipe, you can play around with the mix-ins and spices to make it your favorite granola.
By the way, you can preserve that freshly baked flavor by storing this granola in the freezer. Just let it warm to room temperature for a few minutes, and enjoy.
Homemade Granola Tips
- More nutty clusters = better granola. Big clusters of oats and nuts are hands down the best part of granola. To encourage these clumps to form, press the oats mixture into a 1-inch thick oval for the first 15 minutes of baking. Then, remove the pan from the oven and use a fork to gently break the oval apart. Bake for 15 minutes more, and you’ll end up with lots of delicious clusters!
- Let it cool before diving in. Your homemade granola will continue to crisp up as it cools. It’s tempting to start eating it as soon as it comes out of the oven, but if you let it rest for 15 minutes on the sheet pan, it’ll be extra crisp and toasty – totally worth the wait!
- Add the dried fruit at the end. You don’t want to run the risk of burning your dried fruit in the oven, so stir it into the granola after it cools. That way, you know any dried fruit you add will be soft and chewy, not crisp. (P.S. It doesn’t hurt to add a handful of chocolate chips at this stage, either!)
Healthy Granola Ingredients
Heart-healthy, hearty, whole-grain old-fashioned oats keep their shape during baking. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need gluten-free granola.
Nuts and/or Seeds
I used pecans and pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) to make this batch. Other options include walnuts, which are rich in Omega-3s, whole or slivered almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and sunflower seeds.
Oil helps make this granola crisp and irresistible. I prefer unrefined coconut oil, which is delicious (you can barely taste the coconut, if at all) and produces the perfect texture.
You can use extra-virgin olive oil instead if you’d like your granola to be a little more on the savory side. If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, olive oil is a better choice!
I love using real maple syrup in my granola. Honey works great, too. As a bonus, these natural sweeteners infuse your granola with an extra-delicious flavor that sugar would not.
Salt and Spice
For flavorful granola, don’t skip the salt! Too little and your flavors won’t sing. I prefer using fine-grain sea salt in this one (I always cook with fine-grain sea salt), but regular salt will do, too (just use a little less).
I added cinnamon to this batch for some subtle warming spice. Ground ginger (use half as much) and pumpkin spice blends are other options.
Dried fruit lends some extra sweetness, chewy texture, and irresistible fruity flavor. I used dried cranberries for this batch. I also love tart dried cherries, raisins, and chopped dried apricots.
For fresh citrus flavor, stir fresh citrus zest (up to 2 teaspoons) into the mixture before baking. I love adding orange zest, in particular.
You can add chocolate chips after the granola has completely cooled (otherwise, they’ll melt).
If you’d like to add unsweetened coconut flakes, you can add them halfway through baking for perfectly toasted results (see recipe note).
Chunky Granola Tips
Some of you, like me, love big clumps in your granola. Here are my tips for achieving the best clumps:
- Your oats need to be a little crowded in the pan so they can stick together, but not so crowded that they don’t toast evenly. I recommend using a basic half sheet pan (affiliate link) for this granola recipe. It’s a perfect size and the rimmed edges make sure no granola falls overboard.
- Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper so the sweetener sticks to your oats rather than the pan.
- For maximum clumps, gently press down on the granola with the back of a spatula after stirring the mixture at the halfway baking point. Then put the pan back into the oven to finish baking.
- Don’t bake the granola too long—just until it’s lightly golden on top, as described. It might not seem like it’s done yet, but it will continue to crisp up as it cools. Over-baking the granola seems to break the sugar bonds.
- Lastly, let the granola cool completely before breaking it up. I’ve even left it on the pan overnight, covered.
Even with all those techniques in place, I occasionally end up with a batch of granola that isn’t as clumpy as my others, for reasons that I can’t explain. It’s always delicious, though!
This recipe is my favorite, go-to granola recipe. Over the years, I’ve played around with it to create a bunch of fun variations. Here they are for inspiration:
- Orange and Almond Granola: This recipe includes orange zest (2 teaspoons), whole almonds, and golden raisins.
- Triple Coconut Granola: This recipe calls for coconut oil, large coconut flakes, and shredded coconut.
- Cranberry Orange Granola: This recipe is quite(healthy granola recipe) similar to this one, but a little sweeter and full of vibrant orange flavor.
- Honey Almond Granola: Just what it sounds like, plus chopped dried apricots! Delightful.
- Gingerbread Granola: This granola includes molasses and extra warming spices, plus coconut flakes, dried cranberries, and chopped candied ginger.
This granola has up to 30 percent fewer calories and up to 60 percent less fat than most store-bought brands.
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Want to customize your granola a bit more? Feel free to add in extra:
- Almond butter – The key ingredient for creating (healthy granola recipe)delicious nutty clusters! Plus, it packs this granola recipe with protein.
- Chopped walnuts – They add crunch, protein, and healthy fats! Walnuts are my go-to here, but I often swap them for another nut or seed or use a mix. Chopped or slivered almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and sunflower seeds are some of my favorites.
- Unsweetened coconut flakes – If you’re not a coconut person, feel free to leave these out, but I love the toasty, buttery flavor and crispy texture in this recipe.
- Dried cranberries – For a pop of sweetness and yummy chewy texture! I’m a cranberry fan, but goji berries, raisins, chopped dried apricots, dried currants, tart cherries, and blueberries would all be great. And if you prefer your granola without dried fruit, go ahead and skip it!
- Dried fruit: Any kind of chopped dried fruit would be delicious here.
- Chocolate chips: As would, of course, your favorite kind of chocolate chips.
- Peanut butter: Feel free to stir in 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (stir it into the melted coconut mixture) if you would like.
- Warming spices: I’ve kept the recipe simple below by just using ground cinnamon. But feel free to add in any other additional warming spices that you love, such as ground nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and/or allspice.
Let me know what variations you try!
Storing and Serving Homemade Granola
For the longest shelf life, completely cool the granola on the pan before transferring it to a storage container. When stored in an airtight container, this granola will keep for up to a month.
Eat it like cereal with milk or sprinkle it over yogurt for a simple breakfast you can take anywhere. Try this recipe straight up or tweak it slightly using different sweeteners, and seasonings, or swapping the nuts or fruit for your favorite. With this simple easy(healthy granola recipe) granola, the possibilities are almost endless.
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Granola is considered unhealthy because it is high in sugar and calories. It also often contains unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors.
The healthiest way to eat granola is to mix it with yogurt or milk and eat it as a breakfast cereal. You can also eat it as a snack, but be careful not to eat too much because it can be high in calories.
Yes, homemade granola can be a healthy breakfast option. It is typically made with oats, nuts, and dried fruit, which are all healthy ingredients. However, it is important to watch the sugar and calorie content of store-bought granola mixes, as they can be high in both.