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A big batch of homemade granola makes a delicious afternoon snack, a convenient prep-ahead breakfast, and a perfect gift to share with friends and family. Whether you need a hostess gift, a holiday treat for neighbors, or a nutritious meal for a loved one, a jar of granola is always well-received. You’ll love the variety of flavors and textures from the toasted oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, and raisins. It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy!

Overhead shot of a bowl of homemade granola with yogurt and maple syrup on a breakfast table

Chunky Granola Recipe

Homemade granola has always been a favorite pantry staple. The more big, chunky clusters the better! Reach right into the jar and grab a handful for quick snacks, sprinkle it over yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, add it to a bowl of fresh fruit, use it as a topping on warm baked fruit for dessert — the options are endless. It’s even a lovely gift to share with friends and family at the holidays!

Square image of hands holding a jar of homemade granola

Award Winning Granola Recipe

This award winning granola recipe comes from the Red Truck Bakery, a famous little shop here in rural Warrenton, Virginia, which is loved by presidents, Oprah Winfrey, and other celebrities looking for an escape to the Piedmont countryside…and some delicious baked goods. The Red Truck Bakery granola has been lauded as “the best granola in North America” by the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, and lucky for you, you can now prepare a batch in your own kitchen.

I used the Red Truck Bakery granola as inspiration for this version, which maintains the same process and basic formula, but substitutes a handful of different ingredients. We love the combination of oats, almonds, pecans, coconut, dried cranberries, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, dried dates, and golden raisins — but you can totally adapt this recipe to make it your own. What do you love to throw into your homemade granola?!

Side shot of a breakfast table with granola yogurt and coffee

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to a few of your common questions about granola!

Is eating homemade granola healthy?

Homemade recipes are almost always healthier than their store-bought counterparts, since you can control the quality of the ingredients, as well as the amount of sugar, fat, and salt added to the recipe. While granola includes added sugar and fat for flavor and texture, it’s also full of quick pick-me-up energy sources — like the dried fruit — as well as chunky proteins and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.

Is granola healthier than oats?

Both oatmeal and granola make for a healthy, satisfying breakfast, but the added nuts, seeds, and dried fruits give you a source of fiber and healthy fats that oatmeal can’t quite compete with. Plus, granola just tastes way better than plain oats!

Stirring together ingredients for homemade granola

Why is my homemade granola not crunchy?

If you’ve been unsuccessful in creating crunchy clusters of homemade granola in the past, it’s probably because you were cooking it at too high a temperature (that will cause the ingredients to burn), or not cooking it for long enough. This recipe gets it just right, since you’ll bake the granola at a low temperature for an extended period, stirring a couple of times so that all of the ingredients are evenly toasted, and then allowing it to cool completely before storing.

There’s a special trick to achieve those chunky clusters, too! Pressing the warm granola with the bottom of a glass, spatula, or measuring cup helps it stick together, so that when it cools you can break the sheet of granola apart into bite-size chunks. It’s heavenly!

Pouring wet ingredients over dry ingredients

Is granola cheaper to make or buy?

I suppose it depends on where you buy your ingredients and which store-bought granola you’re comparing it to. I buy the granola ingredients in bulk from a local country market, so the cost stays relatively low. You’re also getting a huge batch of very high-quality granola when you make it at home — nothing like the dry, stale, grocery store packaged stuff!

Granola on a baking sheet

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of the best homemade granola. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Sweetened shredded coconut: adds great flavor and texture to the granola.
  • Nuts and seeds: we like a combination of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds, but this is flexible. You can use just about any combination of nuts and seeds that you prefer, including walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, cashews, chia seeds, or sesame seeds.
  • Kosher salt: to balance the sweetness and enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Light brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey: sweeteners that add different flavors to the granola, and also help it clump together.
  • Cinnamon: for cozy warmth.
  • Vegetable oil: or use another neutral oil, such as canola oil. The fat is an important ingredient in granola, because it helps bind the ingredients and it aids in the toasting process.
  • Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
  • Old fashioned rolled oats: don’t use steel-cut oats, quick oats, or instant oats for this recipe.
  • Dried fruit: we prefer a combination of cranberries, cherries, golden raisins, apricots, and dates — but this recipe is very flexible! Mix it up and use any combination of dried fruit that you prefer, so long as the total amount comes to about 2 ½ cups.
Adding dried fruit to granola

How to Make Granola

This recipe makes a lot of granola (as in…at least 12 cups worth)! That means that if you spend a few minutes preparing a batch on the weekend, you’ll have plenty of granola to snack on, toss into your salads, sprinkle on your yogurt, and just gobble by the handful. Or, you can do what I do — and share! Friends, neighbors, and teachers will never turn down a jar of homemade granola.

  1. Mix together the coconut, nuts, and seeds in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla in a separate large bowl.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine.
  4. Add the oats, and stir until all of the ingredients are completely coated.
  5. Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet that’s coated with cooking spray or parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake for 15 more minutes.
  7. Stir again, and then press down on the granola to flatten it.
  8. Bake the granola for 10 more minutes, or until it’s toasted and golden brown.
  9. Cool completely on the tray.
  10. Break apart the granola into small clusters over a large bowl.
  11. Add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.
  12. Store in an airtight container.
Close overhead shot of a bowl of homemade granola

Serving Suggestions

This granola is perfect when consumed by the handful — like a snack mix! It’s also delicious as a cereal with milk in the morning, or sprinkled on top of smoothie bowls. Pair it with yogurt in a yogurt parfait for breakfast or snack. 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!

Side shot of a bowl of homemade granola on a table

Storage

Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Homemade Granola Recipe Variations

  • Use any combination of nuts and seeds that you prefer. Instead of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds, try walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, sesame seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds.
  • Try different combinations of dried fruit. Regular raisins, dried blueberries, dried apples, or dried strawberries are all good options, too.
  • We prefer the sweet taste of the sweetened shredded coconut, but unsweetened coconut also works.
  • Chocolate chips are a great addition to the granola, too. Wait to add them at the end when you add the dried fruits.
  • Any mild, neutral-flavored oil will work. Instead of vegetable oil, try canola oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
  • Cut the ingredients in half to prepare a smaller batch of granola.
Square overhead image of a bowl of yogurt and homemade granola

Tips for the Best Granola Recipe

  • Spread the granola in an even layer on the pan, and stir a couple of times while it’s baking so that the ingredients toast evenly.
  • The total baking time will vary, but you’ll know that the granola is done when it’s toasted, golden brown, and fragrant. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Don’t pull it out of the oven too soon, or it won’t have that great crunchy texture once it’s cool.
  • Always add the dried fruit at the end, after the granola is baked and cooled. This way the fruit stays soft and chewy, rather than getting hard and dry.
Front shot of hands holding a glass jar full of homemade granola

More Granola Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of a bowl of yogurt and homemade granola

Homemade Granola

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 217 kcal
A big batch of homemade granola makes a delicious afternoon snack, a convenient prep-ahead breakfast, and a perfect gift to share with friends and family!

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss together the coconut, almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; use a rubber spatula to combine. Add the oats; stir to coat.
  • Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, stir, and bake for 15 more minutes.
  • Stir again, and then use a spatula, wooden spoon, or the flat bottom of a measuring cup to press down on the granola and flatten it (this will help to form those delicious, crunchy clusters). Bake for 10-20 more minutes, until the granola is toasted, golden brown, and fragrant.
  • Cool completely on the tray.
  • In a large bowl, break apart the granola into small clusters. Add the dried cranberries, dried cherries, raisins, dried apricots, and dried dates. Stir to combine, breaking up any large chunks of granola so that it’s in bite-sized pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • Use any combination of nuts and seeds that you prefer. Instead of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds, try walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, sesame seeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds.
  • Try different combinations of dried fruit. Regular raisins, dried blueberries, dried apples, or dried strawberries are all good options, too.
  • We prefer the sweet taste of the sweetened shredded coconut, but unsweetened coconut also works.
  • Chocolate chips are a great addition to the granola, too. Wait to add them at the end when you add the dried fruits.
  • Any mild, neutral-flavored oil will work. Instead of vegetable oil, try canola oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
  • Cut the ingredients in half to prepare a smaller batch of granola.
  • Spread the granola in an even layer on the pan, and stir a couple of times while it’s baking so that the ingredients toast evenly.
  • The total baking time will vary, but you’ll know that the granola is done when it’s toasted, golden brown, and fragrant. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Don’t pull it out of the oven too soon, or it won’t have that great crunchy texture once it’s cool.
  • Always add the dried fruit at the end, after the granola is baked and cooled. This way the fruit stays soft and chewy, rather than getting hard and dry.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.001gSodium: 84mgPotassium: 208mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 189IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: best granola recipe, easy granola recipe, easy granola recipe for yogurt, homemade granola
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in January, 2016. It was updated in October, 2022.

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!

Read More

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ok, this pics are just drop dead gorgeous, Blair. You could convert every non-granola lover on the planet with these images! Lots of yumminess and crunch. Love it! Sharing 🙂

    1. You sure know the way to this girl’s heart, Robyn! Thank you so much for your kind words (and for sharing the post)!! xoxo

  2. Granola is seriously one of my favorite foods ever. Handfuls of it. In yogurt. With a splash of milk. I just love it. It’s a perfect on-the-go snack too.
    Personally, I don’t think I would share 🙂

  3. Hi, Megan! Happy Monday! The maple flavor is definitely perfect for this combination of ingredients! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. Homemade granola is 10x better than store-bought! I love the plethora of nuts and seeds for extra crunch!

    1. Thanks, Jessica. I think I add maple syrup to just about anything that I can think of! It’s such a delicious flavor — especially at this time of year!

  5. This.looks.amazing. Your photos are so beautiful too! My husband loves homemade granola. He calls it “crack”. Hehehe. I KNOW he will be aaaaaaall over this version Blair!

  6. Used to make this but got lazy. You have inspired me to do it again. Thank you, love all your recipes, keep up the good work.