Homemade chunky granola makes a tasty addition to yogurt, a bowl of cereal, or just grab a handful for a quick snack! Store-bought granola can have loads of refined sugar and added preservatives you just don’t need. You’ll love how toasty The Best Gluten-Free Chunky Granola turns out! Read on to find my secrets to baking up good size chunks and getting that “just-right” crispy crunch that we all love.
Homemade Chunky Granola
I am addicted to granola. There I said it. There’s something about that crunch and toasty oat flavor that keeps me coming back for more! In the past few months I’ve enjoyed treating myself to a teeny bowl of granola and milk every night before bed. Now, that may or may not explain the “quarantine 15” that I’ve gained, but that’s neither here nor there!
I think my granola love started when I bought a bag of apple-cinnamon granola maybe from Trader Joe’s? Wherever you’re buying granola, it can get pricey. Also, store-bought granola isn’t as clean. There can be lots of extra sugar and in some cases preservatives.
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Check out this popular brand of granola. It contains several things that I try to steer clear of like sugar syrups, canola oil and soy.
Making granola myself just makes sense. And once I realized how simple the ingredients were, I had a facepalm moment over how much money I’ve spent buying bags of the stuff in the past.
Secrets to Chunky Granola
One of the best parts of granola is all the texture you get in each bit. Having larger chunks make it easier to eat by hand and enjoy more goodness in every bite.
In my recipe below you’ll see that I add ground flax seed to the granola. This addition is one of the secrets to making the clusters stick together. Don’t omit it! If you don’t have ground flax, I have used the same amount of ground chia seed with good results too.
The next step to getting those chunky bits is how you put the granola on the pan to bake. Be sure to check the pictures below and you’ll see that I create sort of mounded rows on each pan. After I make the rows I go back and press the mounds down with a spatula or my hand. Compressing the granola a bit makes those ingredients stick together better. Finally, allowing the oven air to circulate around the rows instead of one flat sheet of granola allows it to bake really evenly.
- 2 C Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
- 2 C Shaved or Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
- 2-3 C Nuts, chopped
- 1/2 C ground flaxseed
- 1 t. Cinnamon
- 1 t. Pumpkin Pie spice (*optional)
- 1/4 t. Salt
- 2 T. Coconut Sugar
- 4 T. Coconut Oil, melted
- 1/2 C. honey or maple syrup
- *Optional: dried fruit, chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- In a large mixing bowl toss together the oats, coconut, chopped nuts, ground flaxseed, spices, and salt.
- On the stovetop at a low temperature, use a small pan to melt the coconut oil and honey together. Stir frequently.
- Add the coconut sugar to the oil and honey. Stir until dissolved.
- Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully coated.
- Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide the coated mixture onto the two sheet pans.
- Flatten the mixture using your spoon to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Don't forget the outside edges or they will burn.
- After compacting the mixture to 1/2 inch thickness, use your spoon to create a well down the center of the pan. This well allows the heat to crisp up the center of the granola so that it all becomes crispy. Don't skip this step!
- Place the pans in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, rotate and swap the pan's positions. Bake for another 15 minutes or until deep golden in color.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g
Tips for Homemade Chunky Granola
- Always use rolled oats for granola. Quick-cooking oats are too fine and will burn in the oven. Also, quick-cooking varieties won’t give you a crunchy texture since they’re fine cut.
- You can add more sweetener to taste before baking the granola. Most sweeteners work well. If using stevia or other liquid sweeteners be sure to mix them into the wet ingredients before coating the granola.
- Oils other than coconut oil work well in the recipe. Just use whatever you have on hand that’s lightly flavored. I wouldn’t recommend olive oil here.
- Don’t mix the granola during baking. I would recommend turning the pan and possibly swapping it to a higher or lower rack about halfway through cooking.
- The cooking time listed in the recipe is approximate. All ovens are different so you’ll want to look for a deep golden brown color over all the granola.
- Allow the granola to cool completely before breaking it up. This will give you the largest clusters.
- You can break the granola into as large or small bits and bites that you like.
- Store your homemade chunky granola in an air-tight container for up to 7-10 days.
- Be sure the granola is completely cooled to room temperature before storing it.
Great Granola Add-ins
There are tons of options when it comes to flavoring or jazzing up your homemade chunky granola. Keep the baked part simple and mix in your additions once the granola is cooled and ready for storage.
Here are some tasty additions:
- Dried fruit- raisins, apples, chopped dates, currants, cranberries, cherries
- Chocolate- chocolate chunks, chips, M&M candies
- Cacao nibs
- Edible dried flowers
I hope that you’ll love this homemade chunky granola. It’s one of those recipes that’s simple to make your own. Try out different flavor combinations that you love. Let me know what you’d add to your recipe!
Don’t forget to check out my other recipes here 🙂
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