a small bowl healthy vegan granola cup of coffee and yellow apple

In this easy granola recipe, we’re going to tell you how to make simple, healthy, optionally gluten-free, can’t stop eating it, vegan granola, in minutes! In addition to the healthy vegan granola recipe, we’re going to share new recipes suggesting smart ways to use granola!

Reader Beware: this Easy Granola Recipe is liable to make you stop buying store-bought granola forever! 

Making healthy homemade gluten-free granola may be a bit of a life-changer. Just imagine all of the time you’ll save reading nutritional labels in tiny print!

At the end of this easy to follow, step by step instructional for fool-proof granola, we provide complete nutritional information about this recipe for homemade gluten-free granola.

What is Granola and What Makes This Easy Granola Recipe Gluten-Free?

The definition of granola is that it is a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners such as brown sugar, and sometimes puffed rice.

Traditional granolas cook until it appears toasty and crisp and turns a lovely golden brown color. During the baking process, the mixture often gets a stir or a flip to ensure that the granola to maintains a loose breakfast cereal kind of consistency.

The thing that makes this easy granola recipe gluten-free is simply the matter of the choice of oats.

If you are following a gluten-free diet, you are likely aware that all oatmeal is not gluten-free.

So, be sure that your oats are clearly certified as gluten-free if gluten is of concern.

On a Personal Note

Even though I grew up in what I would describe best as a conservative family, at the same time, my parents were also sort of some unique brand of hippie.

For example, even though we lived in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, I cannot remember a summer when our backyard didn’t have a rather large vegetable garden. Sure, we had a few beautiful petunias growing in the front of the house, of which my Dad was always particularly proud. But overall, we were about harvesting those veggies.

I remember a deck just beyond the sliding door off of the dining room and the patio below lined with plump ripening tomatoes getting in that last bit of sun at the end of the growing season. And I remember zucchini casseroles, cabbage rolls, and homemade soup made with summer canned tomatoes all winter long.

And I remember pickles. Especially the ones my Mom called bread and butter pickles. Those super sweet neon-hued yellow-green pickles tasted like candy to me.

Oh, and there were my Mom’s quick pickles, too, the ones she’d make right before dinner. Those are the ones that inspired the recipe for these pickles. 

Healthy (Not Yet Vegan) Granola Roots

So, though my parents were very earthy, and very much like some today would think of as hippies, we were more of a veggie-based crowd than grain. On the rare occasion when we had granola in the house, it was something we’d picked up at a bake sale or the neighborhood health food store located a few blocks from our house.

That store was the only thing remotely suggesting the possibility that there were possibly other Chicagoans with massive gardens in their backyards too. Mom and I would shop at that friendly little shop to get those vitamin C tablets that I remember being as big as nickels, that, again, tasted like candy to me.

a vintage measuring cup filled with walnuts on a cutting board showing how to make granola with some raw oatmeal scattered

Is Granola Healthy?

Granola, though it is a very healthy alternative for those times when you are craving an energizing sweet, should not be consumed without measure. In other words, whenever it’s sweet, it may be best to enjoy with limits. 

From what I understand, when ingredients transform, even when they are just ground down and combined with other ground down ingredients to make something new, you have to think about how all of the little parts of what you are eating interact. 

It’s kind of a bummer, and I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but I think it’s likely correct. 

Our bodies thrive when fueled with whole foods rather than foods that have been ground down, heated, filtered, and mashed into something completely different from the way they began.

Anyhow, I Googled the question and read that one cup of gluten-free granola has around the same number of calories as four cups of oatmeal with fresh fruit. That’s a lot of grain!

How Much is Too Much?

So, if weight loss fuels your search for the healthiest food choices, here’s the deal.

You want whatever calories you eat to satisfy your hunger the most. Eating whole foods, such as four cups of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit as the only sweetener, provides the most hunger satisfaction per calorie consumed.

Weight loss is primarily about math, which explains why so many of us are so bad at it.

Hence one cup of granola is not as ‘healthy’ as four cups of plain oatmeal with some fruit. But at the same time, one cup of homemade, healthy vegan granola is not junk food either. So, to me, you have to take every ideal with a grain of salt.

But seriously, what is life without a little something sweet once in a while? And who wants to eat four entire cups of oatmeal anyway? 

And on that note, I bid you, enjoy a bite of healthy vegan granola; it’s a wonderfully healthy option when you crave a sweet treat. And please, by all means, check the nutritional chart for this recipe – it’s pretty freaking amazing!

Also, this homemade gluten-free granola is purer than most store-bought varieties as it uses only unrefined sweeteners. And bonus: this healthy vegan granola contains not an ounce of fattening, artery-clogging, hormone-laden, dairy, or refined oils, either.

Aren’t All Granolas Actually Healthy Vegan Granola?

In a quick minute, answer to that question, no.

All granola is not healthy vegan granola.

But when you enjoy a serving of this easy granola, you give yourself a wonderful helping of iron, fiber and protein!

Many store-bought varieties contain preservatives and extra, unnecessary oils and overly processed and refined sweeteners as mentioned above.

spatula scooping up freshly baked granola off of a baking sheet

How to Make Granola:

Now we are at one of those ‘I did it my way’ sections where I just have to tell you like it is.  

Believe it or not, there are about a bazillion recipes out there to help you make decent granola. 

But this recipe is really about how to make healthy vegan granola that tastes exceptional, not just decent. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s about more than taste. There are nutritional differences in granolas, even homemade granolas.

You want to end up with granola that tastes sweet, which this recipe does, but doesn’t contain refined sweeteners, which this healthy vegan granola recipe, does not.

5 Simple Steps to Make Homemade, Gluten-Free Granola:

  1. First you preheat the oven and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. We recently found this terrific deal on parchment paper. You can also opt to bake on a reusable silicone mat to avoid using oil to grease your baking pans.
  2. Then you combine the dry ingredients as well as the dried fruit.
  3. Next, you use a food processor or blender,  to combine the remaining ‘wet’ ingredients. Once the wet stuff is in there, you give it a taste to make sure the saltiness is to your liking.  Don’t skip that part – tasting is important!
  4. Now you stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Then, you plop portions of the unbaked granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheets and bake stopping midway to give it a stir.

How Does itTaste?

This gluten-free granola tastes out of this world! It’s perfectly sweet in a wonderfully balanced, not too sweet, sort of way.  

And it’s crunchy, but not so crunchy that you fear the possibility of breaking your pearly whites. So again, both the taste and crunch are just right.

It’s also nicely salted, and that is all thanks to you tasting it as you made it, as suggested.

And the fruity bits combined with the oats give it a gentle little chewiness of which I believe you will find incredibly satisfying.

One ingredient may surprise you, but it makes this gluten-free granola stand out. We’ll skip sharing what that ingredient is right now, but it rhymes with Mr. Feeny. (Mr. Feeny is a character in the classic ABC sitcom Boy Meets World.)

Finally, this is the kind of homemade granola that you will crave once the batch runs out, so get ready to add this recipe to your keeper, repeater, file. 

Pin this recipe for safe keeping and sharing.

Creative and Easy Ways to Use Granola

As you might imagine, I spend a large portion of my time researching and reading about recipes and then trying various cooking methods when creating new recipes.

Lately, whenever I work on an idea for a recipe post, I try to think of how the recipe I am working on can be useful in more ways than one. I figure we’re all busy people, so as many duo purpose recipes as I can dream up, I expect they’ll be appreciated. This easy granola recipe is the perfect example of that scenario.

Below are fantastic recipes highlighting ten easy ways to use this granola or other granola-like ingredients well beyond the breakfast bowl or afternoon snack.

Most of the recipes are one hundred percent plant-based vegan and gluten-free. If any ingredient doesn’t align with those dietary values, the changes you’ll need to make are minimal. Each recipe is from a talented food blogger that is veggie-forward through and through.

baking pan filled with homemade granola and a spatula full

Ten Fantastic Ways to Enjoy Granola:


This Vegan Yogurt Parfait is not only delicious, but it’s healthy too! Layering dairy-free yogurt, chia jam, and granola, it makes a delicious breakfast (or snack) for the whole family.


Chocolate Granola Bark is an easy dessert that you can make in just 5 minutes! With plenty of substitution options, you’ll be able to make this with the ingredients you already have in your pantry.


Need a fabulous no-fuss crust? Granola is in the delicious crust for this rich and creamy, gluten-free, Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake.


Chocolate Granola Clusters have just three ingredients and are a favorite vegan “chocolate bar” treat.


Skillet Blueberry Crisp is a pure fruit crisp recipe for two that’s gluten-free, vegan, and “Top 8” allergy-free. So get out that cast iron skillet and make this easy healthy treat when you need something sweet and comforting!

Use whatever fruit you like, but promise you’ll stay true to the fantastic granola crumb topping on this quick and easy, 30-Minute Lemon Oat Crumble!

In true granola form, as this vegan and gluten-free Apple Crisp Crumble bakes, the house smells like heaven. You’ll love that it takes only minutes to make (thanks to so few ingredients), and bonus; it’s nutritious enough to call breakfast!


Tahini Mango Granola Bars are simply the best when you’re craving an easy-breezy, healthy snack or even a grab and go breakfast! Loaded with protein-packed seeds, fruit, and savory tahini, they’re the perfect way to fuel your day and satisfy your hunger.

Healthy Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars are a delicious, easily customizable, and portable snack or breakfast packed with nutrients and flavor!


This recipe uses granola to create a no-bake Apple Crisp Topping – it’s a great camping hack or just a fun and easy dessert for a backyard BBQ! (It’s vegan and gluten-free depending on specific ingredient choices.)


Want to fancy up your pumpkin spice mousse? Serve a dessert treat for guests? Or have a Bed & Breakfast-worthy breakfast? This Pumpkin Spice Parfait is gluten-free and vegan. And fancy. And delicious – especially when topped with granola.


Move over lemon, apple poppy seed pancakes are the new healthy breakfast pairing in town! A steaming plate of these Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancakes For One delivers a little crunch and all the sweetness!


Vegan Granola Cookies are healthy! They’re so healthy that you could enjoy them for breakfast! And these cookies are made using only pure, nutritious ingredients – the gluten-free granola is baked right in!

Vegan Trail Mix Cookies, made with hearty and wholesome Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut Granola, are a deliciously easy to make, satisfying treat!

Thank you for Reading About How to Make Healthy Homemade Gluten-Free Granola!

Out of all of the places you could be reading about how to make granola, you chose to spend these moments with us, and we’re grateful.

And in case you are wondering why I occasionally switch between ‘I’ and we, in the article portion of each recipe, my son creates this content with me.

While I am busily researching, writing, and creating new plant-based flavors to explore with all of you, Mike is busy shooting and editing photos, maintaining the functionality and look of our blog while also building the vision for the next integration of this site.

So this is a partnered venture that sometimes requires the use of ‘we’ rather than I.

The bottom line is that we’re both so happy that you are here. We can tell by your actions that you are supportive and appreciate what we do.

We want you to know that the kind and generous comments you leave mean the world to us. And when you share our recipes on your favorite social media venues, believe me, our smiles could not be any wider!

So, in turn, we intend to be as helpful as any passionate plant-based vegan recipe sharers can be.

Happy Eating!

a scoop of granola being served for easy ways to use granola
plastic scoop of gluten-free granola pouring into a small serving bowl

Easy Granola

  • 10
  • 20
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 10 Servings

When we first set out to make our version of this classic vegan dish, we didn’t expect to fall head over heels in love with our homemade, gluten-free, easy granola, but that’s what we did! Easy granola is sweet, but not too sweet.  And it’s salty, crunchy, earthy, and chewy in all of the best ways. We enjoy using this granola as a crisp crumble-like topping on a generous scoop of plant-based dairy-free yogurt. And in the article above, we share ten other creative ways to use this easy granola. This recipe makes roughly 5 cups of homemade granola which is enough for 10 generous 1/2 cup servings.


  • 2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats - We prefer to avoid pesticides so we use organic oats in our recipes. Make sure that your oats are certified gluten-free if needed, too, like this brand.
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, or another nut or seed of choice - We used walnuts, and here is a bulk buy offer we found for three whole pounds of organic walnuts.  We keep our extras in the freezer. 
  • 1/3 cup of hulled hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup, more or less to preference, of dried, bite-size fruit such as raisins or another dried fruit chopped small - We used these organic raisins.
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, raw agave or another unrefined liquid sweetener
  • 1/3 cup of tahini 
  • 1/2 cup of fresh apple, chopped - Alternatively, you could use unsweetened applesauce in place of the apple or another chopped fresh fruit.
  • three Medjool dates, pitted - We like this organic brand the best!  And if you like to stock up, here is a terrific bulk buy deal on five pounds of organic Medjool dates.
  • 1 tbsp of freshly ground flax seeds or flaxseed meal - We prefer to use freshly ground flax seeds in  our dishes and we use a grinder, like this one, to grind our flax seeds as needed.
  • about 1/4 tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt or another salt, more or less, to taste


  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350º F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking sheet. We tend to use parchment paper when we bake for easy clean up. We recently found this bulk deal on parchment paper - we've been very happy with it! 
  2. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients, which include the oats, walnuts or another nut or seed, hemp seeds, and dried fruit of choice - In our granola, we used a scant 1/2 cup full of walnuts and these organic raisins.
  3. Next, using  a food processor or blender, combine the remaining ingredients, which are the water, syrup, tahini, apple, pitted dates, ground flax, and salt. Once blended, give it a taste to make sure the salt is how you like it.
  4. Now, stir the blended ingredients into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl until everything is combined.
  5. Drop or plop portions of the wet granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat if neither of those items is available, lightly oil the baking pan to keep the granola from sticking.   Bake at 350º F for about 15 minutes and stir, or flip, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes. Watch for color - when it's golden, your healthy vegan granola is ready to enjoy!


  • When your granola first comes out of the oven, it might seem a bit soft; it tends to firm up as it cools.
  • Since oven performance varies, watch the progress of your granola carefully. And be sure to bake your easy granola to the crispness you prefer.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 240
  • Total Fat 8.9 g 14 %
  • Saturated Fat 1.3 g 6 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 58 mg 2 %
  • Carbohydrates 36.6 g 12 %
  • Fiber 4.9 g 20 %
  • Sugar 15.5 g ---
  • Protein 6.4 g 13 %
  • Vitamin A 0 %
  • Vitamin C 2 %
  • Iron 11 %
  • Calcium 3 %

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