This is the best healthy & easy homemade granola: crunchy, chunky, full of flavor, and just sweet enough. Swap out the nuts and add your favorite mix-ins to make it your own!
Quick note: This is an updated version of a recipe that first appeared on Bright-Eyed Baker in 2012. I've added some helpful recipe tips to the intro and changed the recipe just slightly. See the recipe notes for more details!
Let's talk about granola. Do you love it? Do you eat it every day for breakfast? Do you hate that it costs so much money for such a small little bag you can devour in 3 days? If so, you need this: my go-to, super-easy homemade granola recipe. It's loaded with big, crunchy clumps of oats, nuts, and coconut, sweetened with just a lil' honey, and perfect for breakfast/all-day snacking.
Why make your own granola
In case you're not convinced yet, here's why you should be making your own granola:
It's so much cheaper! Especially if you get your oats, nuts, coconut, and mix-ins from the bulk bins, you can save money and make way more granola than you get from a single bag.
It's healthier. When's the last time you've checked the list of ingredients on the back of a bag of granola? You think you're making a healthy choice, but many store-bought granolas are heavily sweetened and loaded with unhealthy oils. When you make your own, you can control exactly what ingredients go into it, and how much. Which brings me to my next point...
It's customizable! Do you LOVE macadamia nuts? Use them in this recipe. Hate raisins? Don't add them. It's easy to make this recipe your own.
It's super simple. Like, you can whip up a batch of granola in less than 20 minutes simple. And once you make it, you're set for breakfast all week.
There are a few key ingredients that go into almost every granola recipe, most of which you can customize to your liking:
Oats & Nuts: The base of any granola recipe typically starts with oats, but what you add to that is totally up to you. Use any combination of your favorite nuts in this recipe: pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.. I also add coconut to mine, but you can omit it if you're not a fan. Can't eat nuts? Just skip them! Seeds would also be a good swap.
Oil: Any healthy, liquid oil should work well in this recipe. I like the flavor that coconut oil adds here, but avocado oil or melted grass-fed butter/ghee could also be good options.
Sweeteners: Try honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or whatever liquid sweetener you prefer. They should all work here and will each add a unique flavor to the finished product.
Spices: Get creative with this! Cinnamon is always a safe bet, but you could also try nutmeg, ginger, all spice, cloves, cardamom, vanilla powder, etc. This is where I use my secret ingredient: just a touch of cayenne pepper. It adds a little bit of heat that pairs perfectly with the cinnamon. It's subtle, but gives the granola a distinct flavor I love. Try it!!
Mix-ins: Once you've baked your granola, you can go crazy with the mix-ins! Think dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, or chocolate chips. Again - the bulk bins are a great place to get these ingredients.
How to make homemade granola
Making this granola recipe involves three simple steps:
Step 1: Mix together your dry ingredients. In this case I'm using gluten-free oats, chopped pecans, sliced almonds, dessicated coconut threads, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Step 2: Whisk together your liquid ingredients. We have honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and egg whites (more on the egg whites later).
Step 3: Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they're evenly coated. (This one's pretty self-explanatory.)
From there, all you do is transfer the granola to your baking trays and bake!
Making it extra chunky
You know those big, chunky clumps and clusters you get with some granola? Those are my fave. Here's how we duplicate that in this recipe:
Egg whites get mixed into the wet ingredients to act as a binder. They'll help hold the whole mixture together as it bakes. Then, when you transfer the granola to your baking sheets, you'll pat down each portion into a big "O" shape before baking. By doing so, you're compacting your granola to help it bake as one solid piece, and leaving the hole in the center to make sure all the granola gets evenly cooked into golden, crunchy perfection. Lastly, you want to avoid touching the granola until after it's cooled for 20 minutes. This gives it time to set, so that when you finally do break it apart, you're left with big granola clusters.
Shelf life of homemade granola
This granola should stay fresh for at least 2 weeks when kept in an airtight container at dry room temperature. (But you'll probably eat it before then, let's be real.) :p
More granola recipes
Looking for some creative flavor combos? Here are a few of my favorites:
Double Chocolate, Almond, & Coconut Granola: Perfect if you're like me and can't get enough chocolate no matter the time of day. It has cocoa powder added to the dry ingredients and dark chocolate chunks mixed in at the end for maximum chocolate flavor.
Apricot Almond Granola: I've never met an apricot almond recipe I didn't love, and this one is no exception. It has uses sliced almonds AND almond extract to boost the almond goodness.
Sesame Seed Tahini Granola: If you're feeling a little adventurous (or you just like seeds in your granola), this recipe is loaded with sesame seeds and tahini! The mixture of the two adds a nutty taste that's totally different than what you get with most granola.Print
Easy Homemade Granola
This is the best healthy homemade granola: crunchy, chunky, full of flavor, and just sweet enough. Swap out the nuts and add your favorite mix-ins to make it your own!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
- Total Time: 50-55 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups granola 1x
- Category: breakfast
- Method: baking
- 4 cups (13 ounces) gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup nuts, chopped (I like ½ cup each pecans and sliced almonds)
- ¾ cup (1 ⅞ ounces) unsweetened dessicated coconut threads
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 egg whites
- ⅓ cup (4 ounces) honey (preferably raw & unfiltered)
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried fruit or other mix-ins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300ºF with oven racks in the top and bottom third positions. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
- In a large bowl, whisk or toss together the rolled oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper until well-mixed.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites, honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract until well-combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and mix in until the dry ingredients are uniformly moistened.
- Divide the granola evenly between the two baking sheets, using a wooden spoon or spatula to pat each portion into an "O" shape (see photos), compacting the granola together as you do so.
- Bake granola in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Let granola sit untouched for 20 minutes before breaking into clumps with your hands. Toss in dry fruit or other mix-ins (if using).
- Store granola in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature. It should stay fresh for at least 2 weeks.
This granola is very easy to customize. Feel free to use your favorite nuts, spices, and mix-ins to make this your own!
This recipe was originally posted in 2012 and has since been slightly modified. I've added desiccated coconut to the dry ingredients, changed the oil to coconut oil and reduced the amount used by 1 tablespoon, and recommended adding any dried fruit to the granola after baking rather than before.
Recipe adapted from Frantically Simple
Keywords: chunky granola recipe, sweet and spicy granola, easy granola recipe, healthy granola recipe, homemade granola recipe, gluten-free granola
I've done a million things to figure out how to make my granola clumpy - and the egg white trick plus the "O" shape has been a life saver! My roommates and I have used these tricks for a variety of different granola combinations. SO much better than store bought and SO easy. Love it!
Alexis Morin says
Can you use olive oil instead of coconut oil?
Sure! Any liquid oil that you would typically bake/cook with should work. Personally I prefer not to use olive oil in baked goods because I often feel like I can taste it, but if that doesn't bother you, then it will work just fine.
How much tahini would one use and in what form? You know I've made this "Have It Your Way Granola" many many times as it's my favorite! We eat it every other day with yogurt and fresh fruit. It's the best! I also had not thought of cardamom seeds. Do let me know. Thanks.
If you check this recipe that should answer your question. :)
I made this today because I've got a kid who can't digest sucrose (aka sugar) and I need a breakfast that I don't have to cook, because OMG I'm sick of cooking all day. This is DELICIOUS and I have a house of beautiful quiet right now as the kids devour it. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
That is so cool to hear! Glad you're all loving it :)
Never thought to put cayenne in granola....it tastes great!
I also put extra cinnamon because I like a strong flavor. Coconut oil adds a nice flavor too. Thanks
So glad you like it! The cayenne adds a fun little kick, I think. :)