Basic Homemade Granola

A bowl of homemade granola with fruit

Most store-bought granola is basically candy. Way too much sugar. This recipe has a touch of sweetness so you can enjoy all that whole-grain goodness without worrying about your blood glucose levels.

Granola is endlessly customizable. Apart from the base of rolled whole grains, you can mix it up with your choice of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, sweeteners and flavors. See the variations for all the ways you can make this basic granola recipe your own.

Grains for Granola

While rolled oats are most common, try mixing in some rolled rye or rolled barley flakes.


Honey or maple syrup are amazing, but you can use agave nectar, piloncillo or palm sugar too. I would just avoid anything that’s too processed or artificial. Avoid honey if you want a vegan granola.

Fats and Oils

A nice fat or oil rounds out the nutrition on this recipe and adds that special richness of flavor. Any neutral oil works fine, but I personally use a good olive oil. Or swap in some coconut oil for a tinge of the tropics.


Walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts…use whatever you have on hand to add some health texture to your granola. Or stir in some natural peanut or almond butter.

Dried Fruit

Raisins are classic, but chopped dates, dried plums, dried apples or shredded coconut are excellent too.


I like to mix some chia seeds and flax seeds into my granola. They’re a great way to add easy fiber, and flax has omega-3 fatty acids. Sunflower seeds are another option.

Spices and Flavorings

Vanilla adds an irresistable flavor and aroma to the basic recipe, but I often add some ground cinnamon and turmeric. A pinch of ground cloves, allspice or nutmeg would be tasty too.

Basic Homemade Granola

Basic Homemade Granola

Recipe by Chef Brad HarveyCourse: Breakfast
Makes about



Papi’s favorite recipe for making a lightly sweet homemade granola, full of nuts, seeds, dried fruits and goodness.


  • Rolled whole grains — 8 cups

  • Maple syrup or honey — 1/2 cup

  • Oil — 1/4 cup

  • Vanilla — 1 teaspoon

  • Salt — 1/2 teaspoon

  • Nuts — 1 cup

  • Dried fruit — 1/2 cup

  • Seeds (optional) — 2 tablespoons


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the grains, syrup or honey, oil, vanilla and salt together well in a large bowl. Then stir in the nuts, fruit and any seeds and flavorings.
  • Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper, and then spread the granola mix evenly onto the pans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely. Break up any large clumps and store in an airtight container for one or two months.
  • To serve: Mix with milk, fruit juice or water. Top with a dollop of yogurt and some fresh fruit.