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Want a healthy granola recipe that’s actually good for you? Here’s the only recipe you need! The maple pecan flavor is nutrient rich and 100% delicious.

Healthy Granola recipe
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Hey granola fans! Ready for your new go-to granola recipe? This maple pecan healthy granola has been a favorite at our house for years. Now: most granola is not healthy. Store-bought and homemade granola recipes can be full of sugar and oil, and very high in calories. How does granola get away with being “healthy person food”? We’re not sure. So Alex and I set out to make a recipe that was actually healthy. It turned out so delicious: perfectly crunchy, warmly spiced, and just the right amount of sweetness. We’ve been making it on repeat to this day.

Healthy homemade granola

What’s healthy when it comes to granola?

This recipe came about because our son Larson loves granola with his yogurt every morning. Alex and I realized that so many brands and recipes out there are too full of sugar and oil. Many recipes are also high calorie. Some of them are 500 calories per ½ cup serving! Our goal for making a healthy granola recipe was to stay around 200 calories per serving. The following tricks helped us to create a nutrient-rich healthy granola that met our calorie goal:

  • Puffed rice is a great way to add texture to a granola using a low calorie whole grain! Puffed rice is actually a minimally processed whole food: it’s simply rice that’s been puffed so that it’s crunchy. You should be able to find puffed rice cereal at your local grocery store.
  • Lowering the ratio of nuts helps reduce the calories in a healthy granola. It’s just the right amount of nuts to be a texture contrast and pack the granola with protein, but not so much that it overwhelms the granola.
  • Reduced oil and maple syrup versus other granola recipes also helps to reduce the calories and sugar. Together, all these components work out to make a delicious and healthy granola recipe!
Spoon on baking sheet of healthy granola

How to make a healthy granola recipe (basic steps)

How to make this healthy granola recipe? If you’ve never made homemade granola: now is the time to start! It’s so easy, and you know exactly the ingredients that go into it. No sneaky additives or preservatives here! Here are the basic steps to making granola at home:

  • Mix the wets. In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: neutral oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add cinnamon and allspice: the allspice is optional, but adds a nice warmth to the granola.
  • Add the dries. Then stir in the dry ingredients: oats, puffed rice cereal, and pecan halves. You can use any type of nut, but we especially love the flavor of pecans in granola.
  • Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this helps with cleanup). Then spread the granola in an even layer on top.
  • Bake! Pop it in the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once.
  • Cool. 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 store ours in a jar on our counter.
How to make granola

Ways to serve healthy granola

This healthy granola recipe is our new go to! I don’t think we’ll ever make another recipe again (really). It’s super crunchy, with just the right texture, 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 cinnamon-y sweet. There are so many ways to serve it:

  • On yogurt. Try plain Greek yogurt, with a bit of honey or maple syrup stirred in. Top with berries!
  • With milk or plant-based milk. This works well as a vegan breakfast idea or snack, with almond milk or oat milk (our favorite).
  • On a smoothie bowl. Try on our Homemade Acai Bowl, or use it to top an Easy Smoothie Bowl.
  • Sprinkle on muffins before baking. Use up leftovers on our Blender Muffins or Banana Blueberry Muffins.
  • On apple crisp. Did you know can make Instant Pot apple crisp with granola? Or saute some apples with cinnamon, then throw the granola on top (vanilla ice cream optional!).

Or, use it as a homemade gift idea!

A more thing about this healthy granola recipe: it’s also a fun homemade gift idea! Throw it in a glass jar and it’s a gift idea for new moms, or a housewarming gift for friends or neighbors. It’s the perfect homemade gift–or breakfast–or snack–that’s wholesome at the same time. Let us know if you try it out in the comments below!

Healthy granola recipe

This healthy granola recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, plant-based, dairy-free, vegan, naturally sweet, and has no refined sugar.

Healthy granola recipe
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Healthy granola

*Favorite* Healthy Granola

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • 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 good for you? Here’s the only recipe you need! The maple pecan flavor is nutrient rich and 100% delicious.


  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups old fashioned organic rolled oats
  • 3 cups puffed rice (substitute rolled oats if you can’t find puffed grains!)
  • 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

Looking for breakfast recipes?

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

Last updated: April 2020

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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  1. Pam Smith says:

    I love this recipe and make it weekly. I vary the puffed cereal variety and what nuts I use. I cut the maple syrup back some and it still tastes great!


    The best granola ever! I have it every morning with my Greek yogurt. It has become my favorite meal of the day. Thanks so much for the recipe. I have loved every recipe I’ve tried from your website.

  3. Valerie VanBergeijk says:

    Scrumptious! I make this recipe often. My husband loves to sprinkle it on homemade yogurt. It’s not too sweet or salty, plus it’s way more economical than the bags of Kind granola we used to buy. We double bag it and freeze so it stays fresh for months. Another great recipe 👍

  4. Emily says:

    I’ve made this recipe many times, usually subbing the oil for butter (I’m very sensitive to oily tastes, and it’s such a small amount anyway), and the maple syrup for honey. It’s outstanding! Crunchy and light at the same time. I usually enjoy just a small amount at a time (maybe 1/4 cup) with greek yogurt and berries as an afternoon snack. A bakery near me makes granola with puffed kamut, honey, pepitas, and cardamon – this recipe allowed me to recreate it at home and save so much money. Thank you!

  5. Rubina Naeem says:

    Indian grocery stores sells puffed rice, are these same ones?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, that should work!

  6. Kate Fernandes says:

    I had to leave a comment because this granola is AMAZING! I’ve never finished a pack of granola from the store, so I was shocked at how delicious and healthy this granola was. I devoured it in a couple of weeks with greek yogurt as a healthy afternoon snack. It was also ridiculously simple to make. It is definitely a new staple. Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoy it! Thanks for making :)

  7. Roxanne Teddy says:

    You’re right, this is the perfect granola. I love the flavor, not too sweet, but richly flavored. I especially love the texture. I used crispy puffed rice and it made the granola have a nice, light crunch with every bite. I appreciate that there’s no refined sugar in it. That’s important to me. I added hemp and flax seeds for a little added nutrition. Thank you for this great recipe. I’ll be making this again and again!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear this! Thanks for making :)

  8. Helen Williams says:

    I love this healthy granola recipe and have been making it forever with a few changes.
    I don’t add the oil and I add sunflower seeds and pepitas and it’s delicious
    Thanks for your brilliant recipes

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoy it! You’re welcome :)

  9. Stephanie says:

    Does this have to have oil? I have greatly reduced my oil intake, and would rather not add it if the recipe will work without it.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there! We haven’t tried without oil. We think it would probably work, though the ingredients will not toast as well. It will likely need less bake time so watch it while baking. Let us know how it goes!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can you use almonds instead of pecans?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:


  11. Jess says:

    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).

    1. Sonja says:

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

  12. Britt says:

    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 !

    1. Alex says:

      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.

  13. Jackie says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

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

  14. Jamie Scarlett says:

    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 :)

    1. Sonja says:

      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!

  15. Greg says:

    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!

    1. Sonja says:

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

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