Healthy Granola Recipe

Want a healthy granola recipe that’s actually healthy? Here’s a healthy homemade granola that’s low calorie and still nutrient dense.

Healthy granola recipe

Let’s talk about healthy granola for a second. As a rule: granola is not healthy. Many storebought granolas and homemade granola recipes are full of sugar and oil. Many are also super high calorie. We’re not sure where granola got away with the image of being “healthy person food”, because many of the recipes are far from it. But! This healthy granola recipe came about because we wanted to feed our son Larson something that was actually healthy. It ended up being healthier than most granolas, and easy to make too. And it’s so delicious: perfectly crunchy, warmly spiced, and just the right amount of sweetness. Keep reading for all our healthy granola secrets!

Related: 28 Day Plant Based Diet Meal Plan | Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Healthy homemade granola

What makes a granola healthy?

This recipe about because our son Larson loves granola with his yogurt every morning. Alex and I realized that so many granolas out there are too full of sugar and oil. Also, a lot of granola recipes have lots and lots of nuts, making them super high calorie. Now, nuts are not bad! But if you’re trying not to eat 500 calories per serving (1/2 cup), going lower on the nut ratio is key. Our goal for making this recipe was to stay around 200 calories per serving.

In researching for our healthy granola recipe, Alex found that puffed rice is a great way to add texture to a granola using a whole grain that doesn’t add a ton of calories. I didn’t realize that puffed rice was a whole food, but it is: it’s simply rice that’s been puffed so that it’s crunchy! Alex was able to find puffed rice cereal at our local grocery store (I didn’t realize it was easy to find).

Another way to reduce the calories in our healthy granola is to only use 1 cup of pecan halves. It’s just the right amount of nuts to be another texture, but not so much that it overwhelms the granola. We’ve also used a reduced amount of oil and maple syrup versus other granola recipes with the same volume of ingredients. Together, all these components work out to make a delicious and healthy granola recipe!

Related: Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone | Easy Breakfast Ideas

Spoon on baking sheet of health granola

How to make this healthy granola recipe

So, how to make this healthy granola recipe? It’s truly easy: in a large bowl first mix together the wet ingredients: neutral oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Also add your cinnamon and allspice: the allspice is optional, but adds a nice warmth to the granola. Then stir in the dry ingredients: oats, puffed rice cereal, and pecan halves. If you’d like, you can use a different type of nut, but we’ve used pecans because we like the flavor in granola. We’ve measured them by halves because measuring the nuts already chopped adds quite a bit more nuts.

Pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once. Once you remove the granola from the oven, it will feel a bit soggy to the touch. Allow it to cool completely, and it will become crispy as it cools. Then place it in a sealed container: we like to store ours in a jar on our countertop.

Related: Granola Instant Pot Apple Crisp

milk pouring into bowl of healthy granola

And that’s it: how to make healthy granola!

This healthy granola recipe is our new go to. And I’m serious! It’s super crunchy, with just the right textures, warm spices, and light sweetness from the maple. The puffed rice brings in a crunch without adding too many calories, and the toasted pecans are cinammon-y sweet. We’re bringing it to new moms, friends and neighbors, and our son Larson eats it on the daily. It’s the perfect homemade gift–or breakfast–or snack–that’s also wholesome at the same time.

Healthy granola recipe

Looking for breakfast recipes?

Outside of this healthy granola recipe, here are a few breakfast recipes we love:

how to make granola

This recipe is…

This healthy granola recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, plant-based, dairy-free, vegan, naturally sweet, and has no refined sugar.

Healthy granola recipe

Healthy Granola Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 14 servings (about 7 cups) 1x


Want a healthy granola recipe that’s actually healthy? Here’s a healthy homemade granola that’s low calorie and nutrient dense.



  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups old fashioned organic rolled oats
  • 3 cups puffed rice
  • 1 cup pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
  3. Add the rolled oats, puffed rice, and pecans. Stir with wooden spoon to evenly coat.
  4. Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake around 25 to 30 minutes until golden and toasted, stirring once. 
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely: the granola becomes crispy as it cools. Store in airtight container.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Healthy granola recipe, Homemade granola, Granola Recipes, Vegan Granola, Gluten Free Granola, Best Granola Recipe, Easy Granola,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    March 27, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Hello. Do you think this recipe would turn out well with puffed amaranth in place of the rice krispies? I always have that around the house but not puffed rice cereal. Thanks!

    • Reply
      March 27, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Yes, we think puffed amaranth would work great! Let us know if you try it.

  • Reply
    Jamie Scarlett
    March 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    So many intresting Facts about granola. I Love making things at home compared to shop brought because of all the nasty aditives. Your recipe here is awesome, Healthy granola that is actually healthy! Suprising how many people think that certain foods straight from the shop are instantly healthy! Cant beat home made :) Thanks for sharing, looking forward to giving this recipe a go :)

    • Reply
      March 27, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Totally! It’s funny how something with a healthy reputation can sometimes be loaded with sugars or additives. Let us know if you try this one out!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2019 at 9:39 am

    This was delicious! Simple but flavourful and so quick to make. My 4 year old approves!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Oh we are SO glad to hear this!!! It’s always a huge win if the kiddos approve too – yay!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2019 at 11:56 am

    I’m having a hard time finding puffed rice anywhere! All I can find are rice krispy-type cereal— would this work? Or any suggestions on where to find puffed rice? Thanks !

    • Reply
      March 31, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Hi! We can usually find it in bags in our cereal aisle. Check a health food store if not at your regular grocer! I think a rice-krispy type would work as long as it isn’t sweetened.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Cinnamon and pecan is my absolute favourite combination for granola – I just love it! I can’t wait to give this a go. I love the idea of giving it as a gift (although I will definitely be in danger of eating it all myself or using it for baking).

    • Reply
      April 22, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Haha yes it’s hard not to eat it all yourself! Let us know if you try it!

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