How To Make Granola

updated Oct 16, 2023

A simple easy granola recipe for beginners and seasoned breakfast bakers alike.


Makes5 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Recently I was walking my younger brother through the basics of making granola at home. Over the phone, he lamented that most recipes felt too fussy and ingredient-heavy for the simple, not-too-sweet, easy granola he craved.

Basic (but very good) granola requires just a handful of ingredients: rolled oats, a sweetener, some cooking oil, and maybe nuts or dried fruit. Once you master that basic formula, it’s easy to customize a mix for your own preferences.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Ingredients for Granola

What every granola-loving home cook needs is a simple, straightforward recipe that can be memorized and made from heart. This recipe is just that — a very basic granola that will teach you the basics of cooking oats with a little sweetener, seasoning, and a few additions. Our formula uses seven ingredients.

You’ll end up with a simple granola to eat by the handful or in a bowl with yogurt or milk. Start by learning this basic method so you can customize all your future batches with whatever you’re in the mood for.

Once you’re comfortable with this basic recipe, you’re ready to experiment. Swap in cashews, hazelnuts, or pistachios. Dice some dried apricots, dates, or figs. Try cardamom or allspice instead of cinnamon. The variations are almost endless.

Tips for Making Homemade Granola

  • Keep it 50-50. The coating for your granola should be about half sweetener and half oil. Honey and maple syrup are two of the best sweeteners you can use for granola because their liquid state coats each oat well. This recipe will give you granola with a familiar level of sweetness, but you can reduce the honey and oil by as much as half and still have excellent granola.
  • Get as clumpy as you like. The internet is littered with tricks for clumpy granola, but you don’t need special ingredients for nice, simple chunks — just a few steps. First, press the granola into an even layer before you put it in the oven. Then, stir it only once halfway through cooking. For really good clumps, press down on the finished granola before it cools and avoid jostling it on the pan until cooled completely.
  • Know when the granola is done. Arguably the hardest part of baking granola is knowing when it’s done. Using a low oven temperature helps dry out the granola without over-baking it. Keep in mind that the granola won’t be dry right out of the oven — it will dry as it cools. So take it out of the oven when it looks lightly toasted and smells like cooked honey. We’re going for a toasty smell here.
  • Add dried fruit after baking. You can toast most nuts with the oats in the oven, but dried fruit will burn on the pan, so be sure to add it after baking.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Storing and Serving Homemade Granola

For the longest shelf life, completely cool the granola on the pan before transferring to a storage container. When stored in an airtight container, this granola will keep for up to a month.

Eat it like cereal with milk or sprinkle over yogurt for a simple breakfast you can take anywhere. Try this recipe straight up or tweak it slightly using different sweeteners, seasonings, or swapping the nuts or fruit for your favorite. With this simple easy granola, the possibilities are almost endless.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Granola Variations

Once you’ve learned the basics, there are endless granola possibilities!

Easy Homemade Granola Recipe

A simple easy granola recipe for beginners and seasoned breakfast bakers alike.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Makes 5 cups

Serves 10

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup

    neutral oil, such as sunflower or grapeseed

  • 1/2 cup

    honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 3 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 cup

    sliced almonds

  • 1 cup

    raisins or other dried, chopped fruit


  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Large bowl

  • Whisk

  • Rimmed baking sheet

  • Parchment paper


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  1. Heat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Whisk together the oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Place the oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Add the oats and almonds and stir to coat. Go ahead and measure the oats and almonds right into the oil mixture — don’t worry if you add a little more oats or almonds — granola is very forgiving. Stir to coat well.

  4. Spread the oats out onto the prepared baking sheet. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. If the granola is clumpy, use a spatula to press it into the pan.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Bake, stirring halfway through, for about 20 minutes total. The granola is ready when golden-brown and the almonds have toasted — it will still feel wet coming out of the oven but will dry as it cools.

  6. Remove from the oven, add the fruit, tamp down, and cool. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and sprinkle on the raisins or fruit. If you want clumps of granola, press and tamp down the granola before it cools, which will help it stick together. Cool completely before storing.

  7. Store in an airtight container. Transfer the cooled granola to an airtight container for long-term storage at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Gluten-free: For gluten-free granola, make sure the oats were processed in a gluten-free facility.

Storage: Granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.