Our homemade granola recipe is tasty, crunchy, healthy, and without oil or refined sugar.

You’ll love this healthy granola recipe because it’s easy to make in less than 30 minutes and will give you sustained energy for many hours thanks to its wholesome ingredients.

homemade granola

Check out our best vegan breakfast recipe collection!

We’ve never been big fans of store-bought granola because most have way too much refined oil and sugar.

Would you believe us if we told you that you could make tasty and crunchy granola without oil and well within 30 minutes?

We couldn’t believe it until we tried substituting tahini and maple syrup for oil and sugar.

And let me tell you; we are obsessed with this homemade granola because:

  1. It tastes so good, with bitter-sweet-nutty-savory notes that will get you hooked;
  2. It’s crazy crunchy, and it stays so for weeks;
  3. You can make it in less than 30 minutes;
  4. Did I already tell you there’s no refined oil?

We have nothing against oil and happily use good quality extra virgin olive oil in most of our recipes. It’s just that oily granola is not our thing, especially when having it for breakfast or as a casual snack.

Give this a try, and let us know. We think you’ll fall in love with it and won’t make any other granola recipe.

Granola with yogurt and berries

Ingredients

ingredients for granola

Rolled oats

Use rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats. They are so healthy and tasty, and they keep their shape well and crisp up without burning.

Old-fashioned oats are a wholesome and healthy ingredient because they are unrefined, fiber-rich (about 12%), heart-healthy, and have a high protein content (11 to 15%).

Combined with nuts and seeds, they are one of the most nourishing breakfasts we can think of.

Oats are theoretically gluten-free; however, if you are allergic to gluten, read the label for certified gluten-free oats.

Nuts

You can use any nuts for this homemade granola recipe. Since we make this recipe all the time and want to keep the cost down, we like to use almonds and walnuts because they are cheaper than most other nuts, at least where we live.

Hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, peanuts, pistachios, and pinenuts work equally well.

Seeds

We use a mix of chia seeds, flaxseed, and sunflower seeds. They are crunchy and packed with healthy fats, and we love them.

You can also use pepitas, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds.

Tahini

Tahini is a natural and wholesome ingredient that allows us to replace oil in one fell swoop. It also adds a ton of flavor and nutty, earthy notes and makes the granola crunchy.

Use tahini from 100% hulled sesame seeds for the best results. It should look light in color and have a pourable consistency. Avoid dark sesame paste because its flavor can get too bitter.

Substitute 1/3 cup of avocado oil, coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or extra virgin olive oil for tahini.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the perfect sugar replacement here. However, while it is a natural sweetener, it still counts as added sugar, so go easy with it.

Substitute honey or agave syrup for maple syrup. We find syrups to be better for granola than white or brown sugar.

Cinnamon

Add more or less cinnamon based on your preferences. Also, if you make this homemade granola recipe close to the winter holiday, you can add other spices like ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, all-spice, or cloves to make it extra festive and wintery.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is optional, and this recipe is undoubtedly delicious without it. However, we like to add some when we have it in our pantry because it makes the granola more aromatic.

Salt

A pinch of salt – we recommend sea salt – helps make the other flavors pop as the granola touches your tongue. Therefore, we strongly recommend it; however, if you are on a low-sodium diet, you can omit the salt.

Optional mix-ins

  • Raisins or other dried fruit like dried cranberries, cherries, dates, figs, apricots, and mango. Chop them up if large;
  • Dark chocolate chips;
  • Coconut flakes: add them when you stir the granola after baking for 15 minutes.
  • Orange zest or lemon zest to make a fruity, citrusy granola.

We recommend mixing chocolate chips, orange zest, or coconut flakes and dried mango pieces.

homemade granola with pomegranate

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. We recommend using a standard US 18×13-Inch half-sheet pan (about 45 x 35 cm in Europe).

Add tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside. You should have a thick and smooth paste that tastes delicious.

tahini mix in a bowl

Coarsely chop the nuts with a knife or crush them with your hands.

chopped nuts and knife

To a large bowl, add rolled oats, chopped nuts, and seeds, and mix to combine.

nuts and oats in a glass bowl

Pour the tahini-maple mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

oats and tahini mix in a bowl

Stir and mix with a spatula until your homemade granola mixture is well combined.

spatula and granola mix in a bowl

Spread the granola mix onto the baking sheet. It should cover almost the whole tray. Flatten it with a spatula and try to make one single large compact slab.

nuts and oats before baking

Bake in the oven at 350°F or 180°C for 15 minutes; take it out, break it off and stir it with a spatula, flatten it and recompact it on the same tray.

Tip: if you like extra clumpy granola, press it down into a compact layer after stirring it.

baked granola

Bake for 5 – 10 more minutes, until lightly golden brown, then take it out of the oven and let it cool down at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Your homemade granola won’t be crunchy right out of the oven and will crisp up as it cools down.

Granola after baking and hands

Once cold, you’ll have big chunks of super crunchy granola with a light and crisp texture.

Break off larger pieces with your hands and store the granola in an airtight container like a mason jar or Tupperware to keep the crunch.

Granola with spoon and almonds

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy homemade granola whenever you want to! It’s healthy, wholesome, and delicious. Of course, it’s perfect for breakfast with yogurt and fresh fruit; but it’s also delicious as a healthy snack during the day.

We recommend it with dairy-free milk instead of sugary cereal or with plain Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt, topped with either blueberries and raspberries or with pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Granola with pomegranate seeds

Make Ahead & Storage

Make Ahead: this healthy granola is the queen of make-ahead meals. It stays crunchy for weeks if you keep it in an airtight container.

Room temperature: we keep this at room temperature in a sealed jar or airtight container for up to 3 weeks, although it never lasts more than one week in our home. The granola stays crunchy, no problem. We don’t recommend keeping it in the refrigerator.

Freezer: to store homemade granola for longer, let it cool down completely, then transfer it into a freezer-friendly bag and freeze it for up to 6 months.

Thaw: let it defrost at room temperature for a few hours, or overnight, before eating it.

Granola in glass

More Oats Recipes

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Sweet or savory breakfast? Get inspired by these nourishing and tasty breakfast ideas:

For many more breakfast ideas, check out our breakfast category page.

Granola with yogurt and blueberries

Homemade Granola (Oil-Free)

By: Nico Pallotta
4.82 from 11 votes
Our homemade granola recipe is tasty, crunchy, healthy, and without oil or refined sugar.
You'll love this healthy granola recipe because it's easy to make in less than 30 minutes and will give you sustained energy for many hours thanks to its wholesome ingredients.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American

Equipment

  • 1 half-sheet pan 18×13-Inch or 45×35 cm

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 3 tablespoons mixed seeds we use 1tbsp chia, 1tbsp flax, 1tbsp sunflower
  • ½ cup tahini
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
    To a medium bowl, add tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
    tahini mix in a bowl
  • Coarsely chop almonds and walnuts with a knife or crush them with your hands.
    chopped nuts and knife
  • To a large mixing bowl, add chopped nuts, rolled oats, and mixed seeds. Mix to combine.
    nuts and oats in a glass bowl
  • Pour in the tahini-maple mixture.
    oats and tahini mix in a bowl
  • Stir and mix with a spatula until well combined.
    spatula and granola mix in a bowl
  • Spread the granola mix onto the baking sheet, pressing it down with the spatula until you get one flat compact slab.
    nuts and oats before baking
  • Bake at 350°F or 180°C for 15 minutes; take it out, break it off and stir it with a spatula.
    Then press it down, recompact it and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until lightly golden brown.
    baked granola
  • Let cool down for 20 minutes. The granola won't be crunchy right out of the oven, but it will crisp up as it cools down.
    baked homemade granola
  • When cold, you'll have big chunks of super crunchy granola with a light and crisp texture.
    Break it off with your hands and store it in a jar or airtight container to keep the crunch.
    Granola after baking and hands
  • Serve with dairy-free milk, yogurt, and fresh fruit, or eat as is.
    Granola with pomegranate seeds

Video

Oil-free Granola (super crunchy)

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 serving out of 16 servings of homemade granola.
SUBSTITUTIONS
– Nuts: substitute hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, peanuts, pistachios, and pinenuts for walnuts and almonds. To make it nut-free, substitute mixed seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for nuts.
– Seeds: we use chia, flax, and sunflower seeds but pepitas, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds also work well.
– Tahini: Tahini is incredible in this recipe, and we recommend not replacing it. However, if you must, you can substitute smooth peanut butter for tahini; we find that store-bought peanut butter works best here. You can also use 1/3 cup of avocado oil, coconut oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, or extra virgin olive oil.
– Maple syrup: substitute agave syrup or honey.
– Aromas: cinnamon is a classic, however, you can also use grated nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin spice, all-spice, and cloves.
OPTIONAL MIX-INS
– Dried fruit: add some chopped-up raisins, cranberries, apricots, mango, dates, figs, cherries, and bananas.
– Chocolate: mix in dark chocolate chips or a chopped-up bar of dark chocolate. We recommend 70% and up.
– Coconut flakes: stir them in halfway through baking.
– Citrus zest: add the grated zest of an orange or lemon. 
We recommend mixing in chocolate chips + orange zest or coconut flakes + dried mango pieces.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
– Make ahead: this healthy granola is the queen of make-ahead meals. It stays crunchy for weeks if you keep it in an airtight container.
– Room temperature: we keep this at room temperature in a sealed jar or airtight container for up to 3 weeks, although it never lasts more than one week in our home. The granola stays crunchy, no problem. We don’t recommend keeping it in the refrigerator.
– Freezer: to store the granola for longer, let it cool down completely, then transfer it into a freezer-friendly bag and freeze it for up to 6 months.
– Thaw: let it defrost at room temperature for a few hours, or overnight, before eating it.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 152mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6IU, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 0.4µg, Calcium: 44mg, Folate: 18µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 48mg, Zinc: 1mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice, once with honey and once with maple syrup. So easy and delicious. Much better than bagged store bought.

    1. So happy you liked the granola, Shelly!
      Thanks very much for your comment, and have a great week ahead.
      Best,
      Louise

  2. 5 stars
    This is by far the best granola I have ever tasted! I have made this several times now. Sometimes I use almond extract instead of vanilla, both are excellent. I have also added more cinnamon, and sometimes hemp seeds.
    Thank you very much for this!! 🇨🇦

    1. Hi Jackie,
      That is wonderful, I’m super happy you liked the granola. It’s a good idea with almond extract and hemp seeds, we have to test those variations the next time we make a batch!
      Thanks so much for your ideas and for your comment – and have a great weekend when you get there!
      All the best, Louise