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This simple and easy granola recipe is nut free, but loaded with nutritious flavor thanks to the sweet honey, chewy dried fruit, and buttery coconut. Best of all, the crunchy, chunky granola is ready for the oven in about 10 minutes!

Two glasses of nut free granola recipe with milk and spoons

I have made many, many varieties of granola over the years, but this recipe is our absolute favorite. I developed it back in 2010, when we thought that my oldest son had a nut allergy. I was struggling to find a store-bought granola that was safe for him to eat, so this crunchy granola recipe was our easy solution!

It turns out that this allergy-friendly version is better than any other previous recipes I had tried. Although we have since learned that Gibbs is not allergic to nuts, the granola is here to stay!

Homemade crunchy granola in glasses with milk

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE GRANOLA RECIPE WITHOUT NUTS:

First, combine oats and wheat germ in a large bowl.

Wheat germs and oats in glass mixing bowl

Next, bring honey, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, and pour the sweet syrup over the oat mixture. Stir until all of the oats are coated.

Pouring honey mixture over bowl of oats

Add dried fruit of your choice (I used dried cranberries here, but chopped, dried apricots are also a favorite) plus shredded coconut.

Cranberries and coconut in bowl of granola

Spread the oat mixture in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. I like to use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to press down clumps of granola.

Granola spread on baking sheet before oven

After about 15-20 minutes in a 325-degree oven, you’ll have a beautiful, golden brown, fragrant batch of crunchy, nut free granola!

Crunchy granola clusters on baking sheet with wooden spoon

Allow the granola to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. The granola will continue to get crispier and crunchier as it cools!

Overhead image of jar of nut free granola

How do you make homemade granola crunchy and full of clusters?!

So, how do you make those delicious granola clusters?! The honey and oil mixture help the oats stick together. By pressing the oat mixture into clumps with a wooden spoon or spatula before and after baking, you’ll score those coveted crunchy clusters that we all love best!

Overhead image of two glasses of granola with bottle of milk

How to eat granola:

  • This granola recipe is perfect when consumed by the handful — like a snack mix!
  • It’s also delicious as a cereal with milk in the morning, or on top of a hot bowl of oatmeal.
  • For snack, try topping your yogurt with a few spoonfuls of granola. It’s a satisfying combination of protein, carbs, and healthy fats!
  • Ready for dessert? The granola adds a delicious crunch when sprinkled on top of ice cream!

Pouring milk over homemade easy granola recipe

Recipe Variations:

  • This granola recipe is made with honey, but you can substitute with maple syrup if you prefer.
  • I’ve used dried cranberries here, but you can swap them out for your favorite dried fruit. Try raisins, chopped dried apricots, or chopped dates!
  • If you have tree nut allergies, omit the coconut and substitute a different oil in lieu of the coconut oil.
  • We prefer the sweet taste of the sweetened shredded coconut, but unsweetened coconut also works.
  • I used coconut oil here, but you can also use canola oil or avocado oil.
  • No nut allergies? You can stir in some chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds during the final few minutes of baking! Just don’t add them at the beginning, because they will probably burn.

Two glasses of homemade nut free granola on a wooden board

Another tip: This granola recipe makes a great holiday gift for neighbors or friends if you package it into individual containers. It’s truly THE BEST recipe for homemade granola!

Jar of chunky granola

You might also like these granola recipes:

Simply THE BEST Nut Free Granola Recipe

4.38 from 8 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 32 servings (1/4 cup each)
Calories 223 kcal
This simple and easy granola recipe is nut free, but loaded with nutritious flavor thanks to the sweet honey, chewy dried fruit, and buttery coconut. Best of all, the crunchy, chunky granola is ready for the oven in about 10 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 4 c. old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ c. wheat germ
  • 1 t. salt
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. honey
  • ½ c. coconut oil, canola oil, or avocado oil
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. dried cranberries or other dried fruit of your choice
  • ½ c. shredded, sweetened coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together oats and wheat germ.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together salt, brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once the honey mixture boils, remove from heat.
  • Pour honey mixture over the oats and stir until the oats are completely coated. Add cranberries and coconut and stir to combine.
  • Spread oat mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet. I like to use a wooden spoon to gently press together clumps of the oats to get those great crunchy clusters at the end!
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven, press oats gently again with a wooden spoon to form those clusters, and allow to cool completely before storing granola in an air-tight container. The granola will continue to get crispier and crunchier as it cools.

Notes

Recipe Variations:
  • This granola recipe is made with honey, but you can substitute with maple syrup if you prefer.
  • I've used dried cranberries here, but you can swap them out for your favorite dried fruit. Try raisins, chopped dried apricots, or chopped dates!
  • If you have tree nut allergies, omit the coconut and substitute a different oil in lieu of the coconut oil.
  • We prefer the sweet taste of the sweetened shredded coconut, but unsweetened coconut also works.
  • I used coconut oil here, but you can also use canola oil or avocado oil.
  • No nut allergies? You can stir in some chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds during the final few minutes of baking! Just don't add them at the beginning, because they will probably burn.
NOTE: If you are dealing with nut allergies, make sure that all of your ingredients are not processed in factories that also process tree nuts or peanuts. While there are no nuts in this recipe, some ingredients can be cross-contaminated if they are processed alongside nuts. This can cause problems for folks with very sensitive nut allergies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 cupsCalories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1.8mg
Keyword: Crunchy Granola Recipe, easy granola recipe, Nut Free Granola
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in November, 2012. It was updated in November, 2018.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. A point of consideration for people with tree nut allergies. Many of us are allergic to coconut. You may wish to qualify this in your postings. Fortunately, with this recipe it is easy enough to leave out the coconut and substitute the coconut oil. But, all too often I am searching for nut-free recipes and many people do not know or acknowledge that coconut is a tree-nut.

    1. 5 stars
      This granola recipe is delicious! I have made it several times for family and to give as gifts to teachers and friends. I reduce the brown sugar by about half and use 1/2 honey/pure maple syrup. I bake for a longer time at a lower temp. I get good sized crunchy clusters after letting it fully cool and then break it up. I have two trays in the oven as we speak. Making a batch for my oldest daughter who requested more, even though she just left 4 days ago to return to college with a bag of this granola!

      1. That’s amazing, Lynda! I love to hear that you’re sharing it with friends and family, too. I always think that granola is a great gift as well. It’s something that most people really enjoy, but we don’t always make ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to leave such a kind note!

  2. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe but did not get any clumps at all. Toasted granola tastes good but wish it would have made clusters.

  3. Made a half batch to try. It was super easy, clumped well, and tastes great, but is a bit sweet for my taste. Do you think it would be still clump well if I reduced the amount of brown sugar, leaving the honey amount the same?

  4. I am looking for a recipe that does not use nuts or raisins (most recipes have one or both) and only honey or maple syrup as the sweetener.

    The ingredients I am considering include rolled oats, wheat germ, honey, likely canola oil, and vanilla extract all of which will more than likely be organic.

    A couple questions, do I need the salt/sea salt? I am not a fan of coconut or their oils, but would love a better suggestion, that doesn’t affect the flavor. Also, is there a way to adjust the amount of honey to use so that no other sugars have to be added, but it’s not overly sweet like some have suggested? I also will not be adding any fruits or nuts, if that helps, at all.

    I like the recipe, and just not good at adjusting these things 🙂

    1. Hi, Kris! You do not need the salt at all. I much prefer the taste with the salt, but leaving it out won’t impact the consistency or texture of the granola.

      Any other oil will work in place of the coconut oil, so pick your favorite. I’ve listed avocado and canola oils as options as well in the recipe, because they’re both mild in taste.

      If you’re omitting the dried cranberries and you only want to use honey, I would test it first with just the 1/2 cup of honey and see how the texture works. Since you don’t want it too sweet, that will probably be enough sweetener. I haven’t tried it without that little bit of brown sugar, so I’m not sure how the texture will vary.

      Hope I’ve answered all of your questions. Enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe workwd great for me… clumps and all! I’ve tried other recipes and had no success in achieving those yummy hunks of granola. I used maple syrup in place of honey, coconut oil, sweetened shredded coconut, and dried bananas! I may use dried pineapple or mango next time, in addition ro banana.

    1. Sounds delicious, Raquel! I’m glad that you can use the recipe as a base and then adjust the flavor combinations to suit your mood and tastes! Enjoy! 🙂

    1. Absolutely! Granola is very forgiving in that way. 🙂 You might want to throw in something else in place of the coconut — extra oats, extra cranberries/raisins/dried fruit, etc. I just finished making a batch of this a few minutes ago. It’s definitely a favorite!

  6. On my third batch. Kids who usually hate granola now take to school as a snack! Replaced dried raisins with dried mango which makes extra crunch. Delicious.

  7. Is there something I could substitute for wheat germ? we are avoiding gluten. Do you think flax would work? Looks so good!

      1. Thanks for the note on a gluten free alternative. I’m giving granola as a Christmas gift – one of the recipients has a nut and gluten allergy.

  8. 4 stars
    A little on the sweet side for me. I have been making this almost same recipe for years. However, I use a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon plus one and a half ounces of vanilla. Also, I cook on parchment paper which I reuse. Less waste and you don’t have to use cooking spray.

  9. I dont know if it happends to others, but my tip is to put the coconut and (i use dried cherries) like 10 minutes into the process, the first time around the coconut kind of burned a little and the dried cherries got a little too hard!

    other than that great recipe

    1. Hi, Patricia! Either way is fine. If you plan to enjoy it within the next couple of weeks, I’d keep it in the fridge. If you want to store it for longer, freeze it. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I’m a mom and a grandmother who was introduced to the seasoned mom by daughter. I have a nut allergy- onset later in life- and I so miss having granola for my yogurt!

    When my daughter starting making this granola recipe, I was in heaven. So began my make your own granola journey. I confess I did switch out the cranberries for semi sweet chocolate bites. All the more delicious for me!

    thank you for your inventiveness