cranberry granola
Cranberry Granola is an easy-to-make, perfectly spiced breakfast or portable snack that's better than a bag bought from the store. Healthy, homemade, and filled with delicious flavor, it's a great way to fuel for the day.
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Table of Contents
  1. Homemade Healthy Granola
  2. Why We Love This Cranberry Granola Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Homemade Granola
  7. Storage Tips
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Other Easy Healthy Recipes
  10. Cranberry Granola Recipe

Homemade Granola is a wholesome and satisfying addition to your morning meal or a perfectly portable on-the-go snack that combines hearty whole grain oats, crunchy almonds, pecans, and chewy dried cranberries that are slightly sweetened and cinnamon-spiced. Easily made with good-for-you ingredients and so many cozy flavors baked into each bite, this granola recipe can be prepared in mere minutes and is healthier and less expensive than a grocery store bag.

cranberry granola

Homemade Healthy Granola

There is lots to love about this healthy granola recipe, with its crunchy, brown-sugary-sweet cranberry chew. But best of all, it’s so much healthier (and less expensive) when you make your own at home because you can control the ingredients and customize it with your favorite nutrient-dense mix-ins and fun flavors.

This recipe is so easy to make: simply combine the dry ingredients, coat it with a butter mixture, and bake it until golden brown. Yes, it does contain a bit of brown sugar, but it’s balanced with natural sweetness from agave and cranberries which bring out the delicious citrus flavor of the orange zest.

Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it’s the perfectly clumpy breakfast or snack food that will keep you full and fueled for hours.

You will be amazed by the freshness and flavor (as well as how easy and quick it is) when you make your own granola at home. Use my basic recipe as a starting point for your own creativity–with some oats, nuts, a sweetener, some spices, and dried fruit, you can customize your clusters.

Cranberry Granola is a healthy breakfast option when served over Greek yogurt or in a bowl with milk; pack it into portable snack bags for hikes or outdoor adventures; eat it my favorite way by the handful, straight from the jar!

Why We Love This Cranberry Granola Recipe

  • Quick and super easy to make with simple nutrient-dense ingredients.
  • Packed with healthy oats, nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Oats are are a good source of fiber and high in so many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 
  • Vegan (if using vegan butter substitute) and gluten free (if using certified GF oats) recipe.
  • Deliciously sweet clusters with a satisfying crunch.
  • Customizable and flexible recipe that you can fill with your favorite mix-ins.
  • Perfect for make-ahead breakfasts and after-school snacks.
cranberry granola

Ingredients

  • Rolled oats: Instant oats won’t work for this recipe, so make sure to use rolled oats. This is also known as old fashioned oats.
  • Whole almonds: You can use salted or unsalted almonds.
  • Whole pecans: If you don’t have any pecans, walnuts are a great substitute. You can also use more almonds or pistachios. 
  • Dried cranberries: Feel free to replace this with raisins.
  • Dark brown sugar: Light brown sugar can easily be used instead. You could also use granulated white sugar.
  • Salted butter: Feel free to use unsalted butter or coconut oil. If you use either of these options, add an extra pinch of salt for that kick of extra flavor.
  • Agave nectar: Substitute this with either honey or maple syrup. 
  • Orange juice: You can use fresh or from concentrate orange juice.
  • Ground ginger 
  • Allspice
  • Orange zest (optional garnish) 
cranberry granola ingredients

Substitutions and Additions

  • Swap The Sweetener: Pure maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or molasses can replace the sweeteners in this recipe.
  • Seeds: Add some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds for a boost of nutrition and texture.
  • Add-Ins: Raisins, dried blueberries, dried cherries, shredded coconut.
  • Nuts: You can replace the almonds with pistachios, walnuts, cashews, or more pecans. If you choose to add pistachios, mix them in with the almonds and pecans. I would decrease the almonds and pecans by ¼ cup each, then add ½ cup of pistachios. To replace the almonds or pecans with cashews, or decrease both by ½ cup and add 1 cup of cashews.
  • Chocolate Chips: Feel free to add about ¾ cup of chocolate chips to the granola after it has been baked and cooled. You can use dark chocolate morsels for a healthier option, or add milk chocolate, white chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips. TIP: Be sure to add this after the granola has baked otherwise the chocolate will melt.
  • Cinnamon and salt – add a touch of cinnamon and a sprinkle of salt to enhance the rich warm sweet and salty flavors.
cranberry granola
  • Large sheet pan (18×13 inches)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium sized skillet or saucepan
  • Measuring tools
  • Mixing tools

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How to Make Homemade Granola

This homemade granola recipe is so quick and easy to make at home using wholesome ingredients that are deliciously flavored. A spiced butter mixture binds the simple combination of oats, nuts, and dried fruit together and bakes into delicious sweet cinnamon clusters. You are going to love this granola!

  1. Mix together the rolled oats, almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries in a large bowl and set aside.
    mix ingredients in a bowl
  2. Heat the dark brown sugar, butter, agave nectar, orange juice, ground ginger, and allspice in a skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted, whisk everything together until completely combined and remove from heat. 
    mix the sauce
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the granola mixture and toss together until the dry ingredients are well coated. 
    Pro-Tip: Mix the orange zest into the melted butter mixture before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. You can also sprinkle the zest on top of the granola, right out of the oven for a more intense flavor. 
    mix ingredients
  5. Spread the granola on a 18×13 sheet pan.
    Pro-Tip: Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper so the sweetener sticks to your oats rather than the pan.
    granola in baking pan
  6. Bake at 320 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
    TIP: All ovens cook differently. Cooking time will be between 15 minutes and 25 minutes. Watch for the top to start browning) 
    cranberry granola
  7. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!
    Pro Tip: For a chunkier granola, make sure not to stir the granola until it is completely cooled.

Storage Tips

  • To Store: You can store this granola at room temperature in an airtight plastic bag for around 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze your granola in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Let the granola thaw on the counter at room temperature over night before serving.
cranberry granola

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I eat this Homemade Granola?

Granola is enjoyed in many ways. I particularly love just eating it by itself, which is especially great to do on hikes or trips. However, you can also use this granola as cereal and add milk for a delicious and healthy breakfast. Granola is also excellent on top of yogurt or ice cream. I also love to pair granolas with fruit or smoothies.

Why should I make my own granola?

Making your own homemade granola is tastier, healthier, and cheaper than the store-bought version. And because you have full control of what goes into it, you can customize your recipe with ingredients you love. Store-bought varieties are often loaded with sugar; homemade granola can be made much healthier and you can add seeds and nuts for extra nutrition. It’s quick to make a huge batch and it will keep fresh for days.

Is granola healthy?

While granola is often touted as a health food, the calories of nuts, sweeteners, and dried fruit can add up quickly to a higher calorie breakfast or snack. When eaten in moderation, using a healthy homemade recipe like this one, granola is an excellent source of fiber, iron, heart-healthy fats, and protein.

Why isn’t my granola crunchy?

Your granola may not be crunchy if you baked it at a high temperature which can cause ingredients like nuts and seeds to burn before the batch has a chance to properly dry out and crisp up. Make sure you use a low temperature and keep an eye on your mixture.

How to make a chunky granola

In order to make chunky clumps or granola, you will need to crowd the pan a bit. Press the granola into an even layer (I like to use the back of a spatula to do this.) Don’t overcrowd it or it will not bake all the way through. If it is really crowded, give the granola a stir about halfway through and press down with the spatula again. When you remove it from the oven, give it one last press down before it begins to cool.

cranberry granola

Other Easy Healthy Recipes

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cranberry granola

Cranberry Granola

Serves — 5
Cranberry Granola is an easy-to-make, perfectly spiced breakfast or portable snack that's better than a bag bought from the store. Healthy, homemade, and filled with delicious flavor, it's a great way to fuel for the day.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 28 mins

Ingredients
  

  • cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole almonds (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • cup dark brown sugar lightly packed
  • 5 tbsp salted butter
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • Orange zest, optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the rolled oats, almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries together in a large bowl. Mix together well. Set aside for now.
  • In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat, heat up the dark brown sugar, salted butter, agave nectar, orange juice, ground ginger, and allspice.
  • Heat until the salted butter has melted and then whisk everything together until completely combined. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the butter mixture over the granola mixture in the large bowl and then toss together until everything is well coated.
  • Spread the granola out on a large sheet pan (18×13 inches) lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
  • Let cool to room temperature before serving. For a chunkier granola, make sure not to stir the granola until it is completely cooled.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: You can store this granola at room temperature in an airtight plastic bag for around 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze your granola in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Let the granola thaw on the counter at room temperature over night before serving.
Tips:
  • Mix the orange zest into the melted butter mixture before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. You can also sprinkle the zest on top of the granola, right out of the oven for a more intense flavor.
  • If you choose to add pistachios, mix them in with the almonds and pecans. I would decrease the almonds and pecans by ¼ cup each, then add ½ cup of pistachios.
  • Feel free to replace the almonds or pecans with cashews, or decrease both by ½ cup and add 1 cup of cashews.
  • Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper so the sweetener sticks to your oats rather than the pan.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 786kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 4mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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