Basic {Easy!} Homemade Granola with Lots of Variations

It never even occurred to me to make my own granola cereal just a few short years ago.  Yes, I was the dork buying the expensive stuff in the box.  For shame!

Homemade granola is about the easiest and most versatile food ever to make, especially when using the lazy method introduced to me by my friend Crystal.  We eat it as cereal or in yogurt parfaits.  ***This particular recipe makes a huge batch of granola, perfect for stocking the pantry or freezer!***

 

Perfectly delicious in its basic form, I can never leave well enough alone.  Feel free to add in all sorts of yummy and healthy ingredients, either before of after baking.  Granola variety is the spice of life!

Add ins before baking:

  • chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans
  • shredded coconut
  • sunflower seeds

Add ins after baking/before serving:

  • raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
  • dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips (white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips…)

Granola Variations

  • Pumpkin Pie Granola ~ sub some pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and add pumpkin puree to the saucepan; toss some pumpkin seeds in with the oats
  • Chocolate Granola  ~ add cocoa powder and chocolate chips; I’d vote for some dried cranberries on top of all that
  • Peanut Butter Granola ~ add a cup of peanut butter (crunchy for me!) and reduce the oil by 1/2; make it a treat with chocolate chips before serving
  • Apple Cinnamon Granola ~ a less sweet version for the sensitive sweet tooth
  • Tropical Granola ~ add coconut before baking, and some dried tropical fruit (pineapple, bananas, mangos) before serving

Do you make your own granola?  What’s your favorite variation? 

 

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Comments

  1. Yum! That bowl with the chocolate and cranberries looks divine. I love, love, love homemade granola– that’s my breakfast most weekdays. :)

  2. We LOVE granola! I’ve made several duds from trying to be creative. :-) Your granola pictures make me hungry….

  3. What a brilliant idea to just turn off the oven and let it sit overnight. I usually bake mine on low heat and have to stir it half a dozen times. Not any more. THANK you!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a recipe I can make even with my dietary limitations because it’s so easy to adapt.

  5. I love granola – the homemade kind especially. Now I know how to make it! I tried one a few years ago but it didn’t turn out so well, so I bookmarked this recipe so I can try it tonight. I love the nuts and raisins in it too, and the cranberries. Thanks so much for this!!

  6. Hi Amy — do you find that this ever gives you or the kiddos tummy aches? I have tried a similar recipe, but we also end up bloated with stomach pains. I have read that possibly it’s because the oats are not cooked and then they expand in the stomach. Have you found a way around this? store bought don’t seem to bother, not sure if it’s something in the preparation I’m doing wrong?

    • Ann, you can soak the oats first, which helps them be more digestible. If you google it, you will find instructions.

      • Okay. I’ve soaked grains before using for breads, etc, but I thought soaking oats before using in the granola would entirely change the type of granola I end up with…as in make it more mushy. I will google and try to figure out – thank you!

        • It is definitely different. I’ve tried it, and it turns out clumpier. I went back to the non-soaked kind, b/c it doesn’t bother my tummy and I like the texture better.

        • Ann,
          If you haven’t already tried it, just do a 3:1 oats to water ratio and soak, then proceed with the other ingredients as written. I actually prefer the texture of the soaked. I guess I like it clumpy. Then I dehydrate so I don’t have to worry about burning it b/c it will take much longer to dry out and you have to use a lower temp – Amy’s magic overnight trick only works once it’s mainly dried. Good luck!
          :) Katie

    • No stomach pains here, but it does make us quite “regular.” ;)

    • You can try toasting the oatmeal in the oven first for about 15 min. in a 350 o
      oven stir in around and then cook for about ten min. longer till lightly browned.
      Then proceed with the recipe. I have always made my granola this way and it
      comes out good. I thought all granola recipes were this way. I know it takes a little longer but it eliminates the problem

  7. I make homemade granola, but I do it at 300 and stir every 10 minutes. This sounds so much EASIER! Def gonna try it. I have a recipe on my site, it is similar but no brown sugar – only honey. And I add sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and nuts.

    • EASY is what sold me in the first place. I’m the girl who thinks “I don’t need to set the timer because I’m standing right here…” and we all know how that ends. LOL

  8. I just made this the other night! I’ve made it several times and we’ve basically given up on all boxed cereal, not just granola, now that we have this around all the time :) Thanks so much for sharing the recipe way back when. I added nuts and some flax seed but I’ll definitely give some of those variations a try!

  9. What a fun recipe! I am going shopping tomorrow so I am going to try it out. Thanks!

  10. Thank you for the recipe! I want to try making this and was wondering if anyone knows if this would work with the quick 1 minute oatmeal? I have a whole bunch of that that I need to use up.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Lisa

    • I think it will work, but the texture will just be different. I have a friend who says her children prefer the texture of 1/2 rolled oats and 1/2 quick oats.

  11. I make my own granola, but I like this version’s overnight easiness. Thanks!

  12. Your granola recipe is my FAVORITE, so easy! I’ve been making it for years. I usually leave it plain and have successfully used maple syrup or sucanat instead of brown sugar. Actually, we have some downstairs now and I think I’ll have some with chocolate chips, dried cherries and raw milk. A perfect nighttime snack!

  13. I made it tonight!! Hubby is wanting to eat it tonight and not wait for the morning. I may give him a lil handful, just to keep him happy.

  14. I made this today but using quick oats (that is what I had on hand). Really, really good. I’m going to buy regular oats and make it that way from now on. My 8 year old daughter and I both liked it. Just need to get my 3 boys (DH, 6 yr old and 3 yr old) to try it, but I am sure they will like it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this and saying how easy it is to make. Can’t wait to get all the extra ingredients to add into the next batch. Definitely a finer thing and definitely a goodbye to store bought cereal. :D

    Hugs,
    Lisa

    • One of my friends says her children prefer the texture of 1/2 regular and 1/2 quick oats. I say do what works for you! :)

  15. I made this last night, let it sit in the turned-off oven ;) and magically had granola this morning!! It is soooo good! I didn’t even have any of the add-ins, and it still tastes so good. I had mine with vanilla yogurt.

  16. I made this a couple of days ago and now its gone and so is all my yogurt! I have been eating as my dessert after dinner! I LOVE it!!

  17. I’ve made this for our breakfasts for the last couple weeks. My whole family likes it, even the one-year old. My hubby did mention that he prefers granola that’s crunchier. Is there an easy way to accomplish that? Maybe by baking it longer before I let it sit? I’m pretty much a beginner cook, so I don’t always know how to achieve the change I want in a recipe.

    • Hmmm, I would just make sure you’ve got it spread in a few pans so it’s in a thin layer. (Maybe add another pan?) Also, after the 10 minutes and stirring, switch the pans on the oven racks. Hope that helps!

    • I bake mine in a 17×11 jelly roll-type pan. I’ve always done that since finding this recipe so I can’t compare it to how it turns out in 13×9. Not sure if it’s crunchier or not. I use the same time–bake for 10, stir & turn off oven. Hope this helps!

      • I actually use two bigger (maybe 17×11) pans and a little one. It’s crowded in my oven, but I didn’t have 3-4 9x13s to spare.

    • I know this is an old comment, but I thought I’d share how I get mine crunchier. After the ingredients come to a boil, I let them boil for a minute or so. That seems to help the end product have more crunch.

  18. Amy, I found this recipe on your blog towards the end of last year. It was such a hit at my house that I now buy my rolled oats in a 50 lb. bag! ;-)

  19. I am so excited to find this recipe. I think that I will make it tomorrow night so that I have a yummy treat on Mother’s Day :) Now I just have to decide if I want to use the basic recipe or go with the peanut butter one… so hard to decide!!! I haven’t ever found a recipe this easy but I have a freezer full of oats so I am excited to try it out but I don’t have coconut oil. Funny that I was looking at it on the shelf at the store the other day but it didn’t follow me home :) I guess I will have to see if it works with some PB and Smart Balance Oil or Butter!! Thanks for the great ideas :)

  20. Meredith says:

    Would it still taste good without the honey? We don’t like the taste. Should I substitute with something else?

    • I honestly have no idea. Not willing to try that experiment. ;) I think someone in the comments said it works fine with maple syrup, though. You’ll definitely need a liquid sweetener.

  21. We make our own granola – love it even on ice cream.
    Here’s a great way to make your own granola bars:
    http://sistersplayinghouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/rachaels-chewy-granola-bars-day-1-week.html

  22. This recipe was excellent! I was however thrown off by the “15″ cups on the ingredient list for the oats. I assume that’s just supposed to say 5?

    • Nope. I use 15 cups to make a big batch at once. Can’t fathom only 5 cups with all that liquid…

      • Gotcha, I was just thrown off by the (one 42 oz box). Isn’t 42 oz just 5.25 cups, or am I missing something? Either way, I’ve made a few variations of this recipe and it always comes out awesome.

        • Ah, I see! If we were talking liquid, yes. I just checked my oatmeal box again, though. 42 oz. (2 lb. 10 oz.) 1.19 kg is what it says, and it holds 15 cups of oatmeal. Glad you like the recipe. It works great for us!

  23. Christine says:

    On my last pan in the oven (only 1 oven and had to rotate out a bit) but from the smell (ok ok and i tried a bit before even popping it in the oven,) i am loving this! SO excited to taste what it comes out to be in the end after the oven cools. C’mon, c’mon c’mon!!!!!!

    • Christine says:

      ok, just had to say that it’s not every day – or with every THING – that your 9yo son comes home from school and said his buddies tell him they wish they had his mom, or they hope he knows how awesome his mom is, and all because of GRANOLA. The only thing I added to your basic was some chopped up dried berry mix (cranberries, cherries and blueberries.)

      As a mom, I hope you appreciate that as much as I did and I wanted to thank you for sharing this (it really is the little things!)

  24. Anne Marie Hobbi says:

    Coconut allergy here as well as nut allergies, is there any substitution for the coconut oil?

  25. Thanks for posting this easy method. I have my first batch in the oven and I can’t wait till morning to mix it in my yogurt. I haven’t been able to eat granola in ages because most brands add things i’m allergic too. Now I can control what goes into it and not have to babysit the oven for hours. My kitchen already smells awesome =D

  26. I just made this last night, and my husband is already requesting another batch!!! :) I made it without any additions, but will likely be making at least one more batch tonight. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  27. is this a lowfat granola it sound like it is

  28. is this a low fat granola recipe and where can you get the coconut oil cheaper then a grocery store or is using canola oil ok to use

    • Canola oil works, but coconut oil is definitely a healthier option. It is pricey, though. I order my coconut oil online through Tropical Traditions or the Nutiva brand on Amazon.com. Hope that helps!

  29. pleasetell me if this is a lowfat granola thankyou

    • I have no idea if this would be considered low fat. As long as it’s a high quality fat like butter or coconut oil, I worry very little over fat content. Our bodies need good fats. :)

  30. Hi! I have never made homemade granola before but am excited about learning! I was wondering if you could tell me if this is very crunchy or not? I know this is weird, but kind of like my granola a little chewier. :)

    • If you like it chewier, I would suggest two things: 1) bake it all in one pan, and 2) maybe don’t let it set in the oven all night. I spread it in a couple pans because I like it crunchier. :)

  31. can this be made into bars using 2 13 by 9 pans and baking for 30 or so minutes at 325 or 350.

  32. LOVE this granola!!! Even my very picky kiddos loved it! I used mostly rice krispies and then added oats and chopped nuts. I halved the recipe so I didn’t have to rotate pans or worry about crowded pans. Came out extremely crunchy and oh-so-good. Love that I can use coconut oil.

  33. my daughter gave me this sight and has made this ‘easy granola’ which ALL of them LOVE!! i have a DELICIOUS recipe from my mother-in-law that we USED to make. but “EASY IT WAS NOT”! looking forward to trying this; making plain for others THEN adding MY yummies!! ;-)

  34. What if you use quick oats?

  35. I absolutely love this! I have been trying recipe after recipe of granola to find a simple recipe that could be used as a cereal or snack, and that wasn’t overly complicated with tons of add ins. I am so happy I found your site. I cut the recipe down and only did a third of it to start, just in case it didn’t turn out (like so many before). Well it’s only been 3 days since I made it and I’m already going to have to make more this weekend!

    Has anyone tried using raw sunflower seeds or do they need to be toasted/roasted beforehand? Just wondering if they would get crunchy enough if they cooked in with the oats.

    Thanks!

  36. do you have any idea of the calorie count for this recipe?
    thanks
    Dianne

  37. Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this recipe! I’ve made it at least once a month since I discovered it after the beginning of the year. Its easy, relatively inexpensive, and my husband and boys love it! A total winner.

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