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This toasted homemade muesli with pecans is a homemade breakfast cereal that’s healthier than granola, and even more delicious!

Homemade muesli
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This post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own. 

As a child, my family called me “cereal monster” for the massive quantities of breakfast cereal I ate. My daily routine was a few bowls for breakfast, a bowl for an after-school snack, and what about a bedtime snack? Cereal. Moving on to college, I developed an addiction to a certain cinnamon-flavored breakfast cereal as a study snack. Eating it straight out of the box gave me a cinnamon-sugar film under my fingernails, a sure sign of a late night cramming session. This was around the time Alex and I met, and to this day he teases me about my cereal obsession. So it’s with this history of cereal mania that I bring you this homemade muesli recipe!

Related: 18 Delicious Healthy Snack Recipes

Toasted muesli recipe

How to make homemade muesli

Homemade muesli is essentially a recipe for homemade breakfast cereal! Growing up, I had no interest in thinking about my food and what went into it, and least of all cooking. Since then, Alex and I have come to appreciate the joy and pleasure of making simple, natural foods in our kitchen. Not only is this toasted muesli delicious, it’s actually pretty simple to make. In contrast to the cereal of my youth, this homemade muesli recipe is:

  • Non-processed, with no additives or chemicals
  • Naturally gluten-free, made of oats and nuts
  • Naturally sweet, with only a touch of maple syrup
  • Oil-free, in contrast to granola, which is doused with loads of sugar and oil
  • Nutrient-dense; pecans contain a combination of protein, heart-healthy* unsaturated fats and fiber that can help you stay fuller longer
  • Vegan, if you use a non-dairy milk when serving
  • Simple to whip up: it takes about 10 minutes of active time and 30 minutes total
  • Delicious in a way that I never dreamed cereal could be; natural and pure, with a sweetness from tart dried cherries and bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Related: Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone

Homemade muesli with pecans

How to store pecans

We’ve chosen to use pecans in this homemade muesli for their naturally sweet taste and buttery texture. Also, we like that most of the world’s supply of pecans come from the US; they’re grown on farms in over a dozen Southern states. Pro tip: we recently learned that for best quality, shelled pecans should be stored in the refrigerator! You also can keep them refrigerated for up to 9 months, or up to 2 years in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.

And, pecans don’t need to be thawed before using them in recipes (unless you’re grinding them to make pecan meal). If you’re wondering, pecans in the shell can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year. This was actually great news for us, since our refrigerator has a bit more room than our stuffed pantry! For more information and recipes with pecans, head over to the American Pecan Council website.

How to eat muesli

How to eat muesli

In contrast to granola, which is covered in sugar and oil and baked, homemade muesli uses raw oats and nuts. Our version here is a toasted muesli: it toasts the oats and nuts very lightly for a little texture, but without oil, which keeps them raw. We hope it will be a welcome new treat for the “cereal monsters” in your life! How to eat muesli? Our favorite way is with milk, just like a normal cereal: use your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk. You can also sprinkle it over yogurt like a granola. Or, I sometimes eat handfuls right out of the bag! 

*American Pecans American Pecans are certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Certification Program. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Related: 28-Day Healthy Meal Plan | Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Looking for breakfast recipes?

This toasted pecan homemade muesli recipe is one of our favorite breakfast recipes to date! Here are a few more breakfast recipes.

Toasted homemade muesli

Looking for pecan recipes?

The pecan is one of our favorite nuts and we love working it into recipes. Here are a few of our favorite pecan recipes:

This homemade muesli recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, naturally sweet, refined sugar free.

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Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Breakfast Cereal | A Couple Cooks

Cinnamon Pecan Homemade Muesli


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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x

Description

This toasted homemade muesli with pecans is a homemade breakfast cereal that’s healthier than granola, and even more delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus additional to serve
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Non-dairy milk or 2% milk, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Roughly chop the dried cherries and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the oats evenly on a baking sheet, then place the coconut in another even layer over the top. On another baking sheet, place the pecan pieces. Bake both trays for about 10 minutes, watching closely, until the coconut is evenly golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and vanilla, then heat it in the microwave until warmed through, about 20 seconds (alternatively, heat on the stovetop). In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats, coconut, and pecans with the cherries, spices, and maple mixture, then stir to thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture back onto the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer to allow to fully dry, about 10 minutes. Stir to break up any clumps, then transfer to a sealable container.
  5. To serve, pour over milk and drizzle with a touch of maple syrup. (For one serving, we used ¾ cup cereal, ½ cup milk, and 2 teaspoons maple syrup.) Adding the maple syrup when serving adds the final bit of sweetness, so adjust as desired. Store in a sealed container or bag in the freezer; it thaws immediately so no need to defrost.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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18 Comments

  1. Teresa Riedlinger (pronounced Reed-linger) says:

    I stumbled across your website looking for breakfast cereals. I too am a cereal fan but now I am preferring better options. Do you have a cookbook for purchase or are you two strictly web-based? There are a couple of BBQs coming up and it’s my turn at the RV Park to host and will be bringing some of your recipes to the table. Thanks so much. Teresa






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear that! You’ll have to try our toasted oatmeal recipe on the website which is our daily morning recipe. We do have a cookbook! You can read about it here and buy everywhere books are sold: https://www.acouplecooks.com/pretty-simple-cooking/

  2. Wendy says:

    I’ve been making this for a few weeks, its lovely and so versatile, even my teenage son eats it! Can you tell me how many calories per 1 cup serving please?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I added the nutrition data.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Having a bowl right now! It’s a great alternative to my daily bowl of oatmeal

  4. Erin says:

    So easy and so good! I should have kept a better eye on mine while toasting, I left it in about a minute too long, but it still tastes delicious and will be a staple recipe for me from now on!






    1. Sonja says:

      Haha oops! That’s good to know, it can be a little touchy depending on the oven. Thanks for making the recipe!

  5. Liz says:

    Can’t wait to make this recipe! Where do you get your dried tart cherries from? I can only find ones that have been prepared with oil and sugar (same for cranberries!).

    1. Sonja says:

      Oh yes, I’ve seen those! We can find them at our grocery; you can look for cherries labeled “tart,” “sour” or “Montmorency” on labels. If you aren’t able to find them, you can ask your store manager to source them as well — sometimes consumer demand helps to get them into a store. Also, you could browse a list of processors at CherryProcessor.com — many of these processors do have online ordering options too. Let me know if you can find some!

      1. Liz says:

        Thanks so much, Sonja!

  6. Colleen says:

    I love this recipe for many reasons. First, no oil, very little sugar and its amazingly easy to make and tastes incredible. My new go-to breakfast cereal recipe.






    1. Sonja says:

      Ahhh perfect! Ours too, and it really disappears SO FAST in our house. Hope that yours sticks around a little longer!

  7. Anwen says:

    I made this and was not disappointed! I am also a huge cereal fan, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve lost appreciation for the super sweet ones. It’s hard to find healthier ones, so I like the idea of making my own! I love that this is close to granola (another thing I adore) but without the oil and excess sugar!

    I really love the flavor combo, too. It’s simple, but very effective! The vanilla carries through very well. I didn’t have any pecans on hand, so I used walnuts instead, but it worked really well. I started munching on it as soon as it cooled down enough from the oven!

    Now I need to restock on ingredients to make it again once it’s all gone. ;)






    1. Sonja says:

      This is fantastic! Thank you so much for making it, and I’m so glad you found, like we did, that it is so satisfying despite much less sugar and oil versus granola. Walnuts sounds perfect — and you’ll have to try with pecans next!

  8. Claire says:

    Looks so good! Once I run out of my current granola supply, I’ll give this a go. And yes, I now always store raw almonds and pecans in the fridge or freezer because I found they were going stale quickly in my warm apartment. Same goes for my almond flour!
    -Claire






    1. Sonja says:

      Yes, let us know what you think! And you absolutely have the right idea on nut storage. Too bad we are so late to the game on this!

  9. Maggie says:

    Yum! We were on vacation last week in Michigan… I’m making this to ease us back into the daily grind for tomorrow morning.

    1. Sonja says:

      Ooo perfect! Let me know what you think of it! Serving with a little drizzle of maple is perfect in my book.