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How to Make Granola: Breakfast Cereal That Won’t Break the Bank

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Here’s how to make granola at home for a breakfast that’s heartier than boxed cereal, healthier than boxed cereal, and less expensive than boxed cereal. Plus? Less packaging. This homemade granola recipe doesn’t require any measuring and you can alter it to suit your preferences.

healthy homemade granola in a white bowl

Why learn how to make granola at home?

Packaged cereal has become a breakfast staple in America, but we gave it up long ago. In fact, we stopped buying cereal regularly long before I before I began this whole sustainable quest of mine, mostly because even after two (expensive) bowls full of cereal, my boys were hungry again by mid-morning. It just didn’t stick with them.

Instead, I make this honey granola recipe and I do it without a recipe. That means no measuring. Which means I can throw together a batch really quickly.

Homemade granola recipe, no measuring required

  • Oil the bottom of a large roasting pan to prevent sticking.
  • Fill the pan to the halfway point with rolled oats.
  • Add “extra” ingredients like puffed rice, chopped nuts, flaked coconut, or sesame seeds (whatever you have in the cupboard) so that the pan is about 3/4 full. The great thing about learning how to make granola at home is that you can customize it to suit your family’s preferences.
puffed rice, foreground, more granola ingredients behind: How to make granola
  • Pour one-half to one cup of honey (or maple syrup, if you prefer) over the dry ingredients, stirring it in as you pour.
  • Bake in an oven set between 300-350 (F) degrees. (The variable oven temperature allows you to cook the granola while you’ve got something else in the oven, making the most of your heat.)
  • Stir every 10-15 minutes* for about an hour or until the granola is toasty brown.
  • Once the granola cools down, you can stir dried fruit like cranberries or raisins into this honey granola recipe if you like.
  • Store granola in an airtight container.
 ingredients for honey granola recipe: puffed rice, flax, coconut,

If you don’t have a large roasting pan or just want to make a smaller batch of this homemade granola recipe, these instructions will still work. Just use less sweetener than what I call for here. (Unless you like your breakfast cereal really sweet, in which case you don’t need to make any changes.)

A smaller batch will likely take less time to brown, too, so keep an eye on it.

How to make this homemade granola recipe without burning it

*Use a timer or I guarantee you will step outside only to find that the dog has run off with one of your shoes and while you’re off looking for it you’ll discover that someone left the hose on causing a minor flooding issue that you need to remedy Right Now and while you’re here you might as well put a load of laundry going.

And when you smell something burning you will think, “Oh, those neighbors! Burning something again!” until you realize that the smell is actually coming from your own kitchen even though you can’t quite remember if you have anything on the stove.

I know of which I speak.

Does your family eat granola? Or are they stuck on boxed cereals? Do you think they’d be willing to make a switch?

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

13 comments… add one
  • Jane Feb 14, 2011, 6:03 pm

    My kids loved the batch of granola we made together after reading this post. The “no measure” recipe made it easy for my 3 and 5 year-old children to help me put it together. I used what I had on hand, and best of all no packaging to deal with. I’ll be skipping the cereal aisle at the store from now on!

  • Kris Bordessa Feb 17, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Glad you liked it!

  • Sheryl K Feb 23, 2011, 2:24 am

    I know of what you speak, too…too well. Home-made granola, on the other hand, is something I’ve never attempted. I will now (but will only do that…no laundry or chasing the dog in between)!

  • MyKidsEatSquid Feb 23, 2011, 6:12 pm

    I’ve been looking for a recipe like this–when I made it in the oven, I don’t know it just didn’t turn out how I wanted it too. Do you think if I used a wok this would still work?

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 23, 2011, 6:14 pm

      I’d never thought of using a wok. I think it could work, but you’d have to be pretty judicious about making sure to stir it so that it didn’t burn. Report back if you try it!

  • Jennifer Margulis Feb 24, 2011, 6:53 pm

    I’m inspired by this post! I’ve been making granola for the family for maybe four years now. It cuts down on packaging and is so much cheaper. But I’m stuck in my ways and glad to try a new recipe.

    Cool website by the way!

  • Leslie Lang Feb 27, 2011, 4:55 pm

    I love this and am going to make a batch tonight. Hey everybody, did you know that if you’re in the grocery store and can’t remember what she suggested in this (or any) post, you can just CALL KRIS UP and ask? Really! I know this because I did it. Really, go ahead. Any time of the day or night. Her number is 29834729834729. 🙂

  • Stephen Aug 15, 2011, 2:09 pm

    Approximately how much (weight) of the oats and other ingredients does this recipe use? I typically don’t buy any more that I need when trying out recipes and wanted to try this.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 15, 2011, 2:25 pm

      Stephen, you know the plastic produce bags that most stores have? I use one of those about 3/4 full of oats – I’d guess it’s 1-1.5 pounds? The other ingredients combined will be roughly equal to the quantity of oats. But if it’s not, no worries. Truly, this is a very forgiving “recipe.” I just made some yesterday with local honey – yum.

      • Stephen Aug 15, 2011, 3:49 pm

        Thank you.

  • Lisa Jul 14, 2014, 3:15 pm

    I tried making this at 350 and it was burnt by the first 15 minutes. I had oats, almonds, flax seed meal, honey, maple syrup, coconut, and cinnamon. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 14, 2014, 5:28 pm

      Have you checked your oven thermostat? In my experience, at 350, the top of the grains might start to just brown in 15 minutes. Then we stir. You might try cooking at a lower temp…

  • Shelly Oct 10, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Been craving granola, remembered that you had a recipe, found it and laughed out loud at your knowing of which you speak. How I miss you!

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