This is one of our base recipes. Homemade granola is easy, delicious, and made with pantry staple ingredients! When you make your own, you get to control the ingredients, including the amount of sugar added (store bought granola usually has way too much!). Use this granola base recipe as a guide, and then play with the ingredients to make it your own!
Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Homemade Granola
This recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons – ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup oil, and ¼ cup natural liquid sweetener. Measure the ingredients in that order to make clean-up easier! Technically, you should use a liquid measuring cup for the oil and sweetener, but dry measuring cups will work in this case. Measure the brown sugar first; it needs to be measured in a clean cup, otherwise it will stick to the bottom. Then, by measuring the oil before the liquid sweetener, the liquid sweetener will just slide right out!
While we prefer rolled or old fashioned oats, you can make this granola recipe with quick oats too!
A 13 x 18 baking sheet will hold a full batch of granola. Any smaller, and you will need two pans. Spreading the granola out thinly allows it to cook evenly and get nice and crunchy!
Cook the granola until golden, but don’t expect it to be hard when you remove it from the oven. It will harden as it cools.
Be sure to stir and re-spread the granola immediately after you remove it from the oven, otherwise it will stick to the pan. If you prefer chunkier granola, cook the mixture on parchment paper, don’t stir it while it cooks, and allow it to cool slightly before stirring once removed from the oven.
You don’t have to stir the granola every 15 minutes. If you’re like us, you have crazy toddlers or kids running around, and you don’t want to be stuck near your oven, so just let it cook! It will still brown nicely and taste delicious.
Add the dried fruit once the granola cools to prevent it from hardening.
If you have kids, let them help you with this recipe! It’s very kid-friendly.
- Liquid Sweetener: use honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar.
- Canola Oil: substitute avocado oil.
- Spices: if using, use cinnamon, pumpkin spice, apple pie spice, allspice, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, or ginger. If using stronger spices, such as cloves and nutmeg, only use 1/4 teaspoon.
- Flavor Extract: use vanilla, almond, or coconut. Use smaller portions of almond and coconut, as these have stronger flavors.
- Oats: while we prefer rolled or old-fashioned oats, quick oats work too! We don’t recommend using steel cut oats.
- Nuts: use any single nut or a combination of raw nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and/or peanuts. Don’t use toasted nuts, as they will burn in the oven!
- Dried Fruit: use any dried fruit – raisins, chopped figs, cranberries, cherries, and dried blueberries all work well. If using larger fruits such as dried apricots, figs, or prunes, dice into smaller pieces before adding.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! The recipe is very forgiving. Think outside the (granola) box!
Don’t want to turn your oven on? Try our stovetop granola base recipe!
Want your granola vegan? Don’t use honey.
Prefer a higher protein granola? Add more nuts in place of oats.
Looking for a granola recipe without nuts? Replace the nuts with more oats.
Need some granola inspiration?
Check out our other healthy granola recipe variations!
Equipment Recommendations for the Best Granola
You just need a few simple pieces of kitchen equipment for this recipe!
Is Granola Healthy?
Granola can definitely be part of a healthy diet. The star ingredients in this crunchy granola recipe are oats, nuts, and dried fruit.
Oats are whole grains, making them rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Any variety of oats provide a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Complex carbohydrates are important for steady energy and focus. (1, 2)
Learn about the different types of oats in this article!
Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein and healthy fat. Almonds and pecans are high in monounsaturated fats which are good for heart health. Walnuts contain healthy omega-3 fats.
Dried Fruit & Less Sugar
Dried fruit contains carbohydrates, vitamins, and antioxidants. The sugar in most dried fruit is naturally occurring and is paired with fiber and other plant compounds, making it a healthier option than refined sugars and sweets. (3) For optimal nutrition, choose unsulphured and unsweetened varieties, such as raisins, dates, or figs.
While this recipe does call for natural sweeteners, the amount used only adds up to 1 teaspoon (4 grams) per 1/4 cup serving of granola.
Serving Suggestions for Homemade Granola
- Top a yogurt parfait made with plain yogurt and fresh fruit
- Garnish a smoothie bowl
- Sprinkle on top of peanut butter coated apples or bananas
- Eat by itself for a tasty, balanced snack!
How to Store Granola
Homemade granola will keep for at least a month in an airtight container at room temperature.
Want more healthy oat recipes?
Do you love oats as much as we do? Check out our other favorite base recipes made with oats, and as always, adjust to your taste!
Homemade Granola Base Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons – ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil or nut butter
- ¼ cup natural liquid sweetener (honey, agave, or maple syrup)
- ½-2 teaspoons flavor extract and/or
- ½-1 teaspoon spice (cinnamon, pumpkin spice, apple pie spice, etc.)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 2-3 cups raw nuts, seeds, or coconut
- 1 cup dried fruit (optional)
- Preheat oven to 250° F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, liquid sweetener, flavor extract and/or spice, and salt.
- Add the oats and nuts to the bowl. Using a spatula, stir until well-combined.
- Spread granola in an even layer on one or two baking sheets (depending on the size). Cook for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.*
- Remove from oven and stir one more time. Add optional dried fruit. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!