Learn how to make granola with this super easy Homemade Granola recipe that relies on a lower baking temperature to avoid the risk of burning—and increases the chances of a completely fool-proof and delicious batch! (Plus, it’s easy to make added sugar free.)

homemade granola in jar

Homemade Granola

I love to have homemade granola on hand as an easy way to meal prep breakfast, but I have a habit of getting involved with the kids and not hearing the timer go off when it’s time to stir it…which can lead to it burning. This easy recipe avoids that all together! It’s a simple combination of oats, nuts or seeds, applesauce, oil, and spices.

No hard to find ingredients—just pantry staples for families that taste so good when baked together and served over yogurt or with milk.

This granola recipe is actually sweetened with applesauce, so it has a much lower amount of added sugar than most commercial granolas. And, since it isn’t as crunchy as some store-bought granolas, it’s a great option for toddlers. You can also make it added sugar-free if you prefer.

And if you miss the timer? It won’t instantly burn since its baked on a low temperature.

(You may also like Mini Muffin Recipes, Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Granola Bites, and Homemade Granola Bars.)

Ingredients You Need

To make this homemade granola recipe you’ll need the following ingredients.

ingredients in homemade granola
  • Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned” oats.
  • Nuts or seeds: I like to use hemp seeds or sesame seeds, or chopped cashews or walnuts
  • Applesauce: Either homemade or purchased works well here. Try my Instant Pot Applesauce or Crockpot Applesauce.
  • Neutral oil: You can use canola or avocado oil, or melted coconut oil.
  • Cinnamon and vanilla extract for flavor
  • Honey or maple syrup: This is optional for added sweetness and crunch. (I do usually add it as I think it tastes better with it, but it’s up to you!)

TIP: To make this gluten-free, use certified gluten-free rolled oats.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s what you need to do to make this homemade granola recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

homemade granola in yellow bowl
  1. Grind or chop nuts for kids to make them small enough that they’re safe for little eaters.
  2. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Spread onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges. No need to stir it!

TIP: I like to use unsweetened smooth applesauce in my granola as it adds nice flavor and sweetness.

homemade granola on pan

Tips for Crunchy Granola

You can add a lot of oil and honey and sugar to a homemade granola recipe to make it crispy—or you can bake it low and slow in the oven to give the ingredients a chance to crisp up.

This healthy granola recipe uses the latter technique, and it results in a crunchy granola that’s not too crunchy for toddlers.

TIP: This granola recipe doesn’t have giant chunks (which could be a choking hazard for toddlers), but instead has an overall crunchiness that’s really pleasant to eat.

granola on yogurt in kids bowl

How to Make Granola Easy to Chew for Toddlers

I chop any nuts I add to my granola (though sunflower seeds could go in whole). If you need to soften the finished granola slightly before serving, stir it into yogurt or milk and let it sit for a few minutes first.

Or, try  grinding up the cooled granola in the food processor to make granola “sprinkles.” Those will be easier to chew.

How to Store

Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month at room temperature, up to 2 months in the fridge, or store in freezer containers or zip top freezer bags for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Best Tips for Success

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

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homemade granola in jar

Easy Homemade Granola (Added Sugar Free)

This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges. Plus, find an option to make it without added sugar id desired.
4.97 from 27 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 117kcal
Servings 24 (Makes about 6 cups)


  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped seeds or nuts (such as hemp seeds, chopped cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or chopped walnuts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil (like canola or coconut; if using coconut, melt it first)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, dried cherries, or other diced dried fruit, optional)
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  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • If using cashews or walnuts, chop in a blender or food processor.
  • Stir all ingredients together, except the dried fruit if using, well in a medium bowl. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (You can stir halfway through if you're around but it's optional!)
  • Remove from oven and let cool fully on the pan.
  • Stir in dried fruit if using.



  • Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month or store in freezer containers or zip top freezer bags for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Use unsweetened, smooth applesauce.
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking and for easy clean up.
  • Use sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts to avoid choking hazards for kids.
  • Chop any larger pieces of dried fruit to make sure it’s easy for the kids to eat.
  • Grind the cooled granola in a food processor to make granola “sprinkle” for little kids.
  • Serve over yogurt or cottage cheese, or anyway you like it.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Nut-free: Use sunflower seeds.


Calories: 117kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Potassium: 90mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published September 2018.


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4.97 from 27 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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  1. Great recipe! My daughter loves it. Can I suggest you amend step 3 to read “all ingredients excluding the dried fruit”?

    1. Thank you for adding this comment. I was going to add the raisins to the mixture before baking, but now I see it goes at the end.

  2. Hi! Do you think making this with quick/instant oats would make it even easier to chew, or would it just be soggy maybe? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t tried it with instant oats and I worry that they would absorb the wet ingredients more and be more difficult to dry fully. It might be possible, but it may take longer to bake. Let me know if you test it out!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I tried it today using quick oats and followed everything else including the optional maple syrup and it turned out perfectly! I split it between two baking sheets so I could spread it out very well to help it dry more, and it needed about 50 mins in the oven. Turned out so light and crispy it practically seems to melt in your mouth! My two year old was a huge fan and we will be making more for my mom. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe did not disappoint! It’s great over yogurt or with milk! It’s super easy to make and toddler and husband loved it – win, win, win!!

  4. 5 stars
    We have made this recipe as is (nut free version) and my son loves it but has recently been asking for chocolate chips in it since we had a store bought that had them. Would you suggest storing them in/sprinkling them after removing from the oven? Or would I be best to add to his snacks at the time of use?

    1. You could stir them in after the granola has cooled and then add it to the storage container together. Or add them when you’re ready to use it.

  5. Silly question… total of 1 cup hemp seeds, nuts etc combined or 1 cup each ( 1 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup nuts etc)?
    Can’t wait to try making and eating this with my toddler!

  6. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious, easy to make with my toddler and both she and my husband are devouring it! For storing, does it last in just the fridge for a few days, or should I freeze right away? Is any defrost time required or can it be eaten straight out of the freezer?

    1. I’m glad you all enjoy it! It is fine in the fridge for a while (I’ve kept it up to 2 weeks) so you don’t have to freeze it right away. If you freeze it, I’d probably let it sit at room temp a bit or it would be super cold (which I guess might not bother you!)

  7. 5 stars
    Super quick & easy granola recipe that this busy mama loves! I opted for no nuts but did sunflower seeds and even added craisins! Everything came out perfect. So thankful for your blog Amy and all your healthy recipes!!

  8. 4 stars
    Really tasty! I did a quick taste before baking and I’m glad because it definitely needed a good bit of sea salt. I realize if your making this for only toddlers this won’t necessarily but the whole family plans on eating. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Hi there, can you use quick cook oats for this granola recipe? Thank you so much! Excited to try something that isn’t store-bought aka loaded with added sugar 🙂

    1. Hi. I haven’t tried it with quick oats and I worry a little that they would absorb the moisture differently (they absorb moisture more readily than rolled oats and might be a lot mushier when you put into the oven). If you try it, you may need to bake longer. Report back and let me know if you give it a try!

  10. Hi enjoying your recipes and looking forward to trying some out for my 21 month old.
    Can I use olive oil ? Will it taste weird? Also can i sub applesauce with banana+milk mixture? thanks!

    1. Olive oil should work as long as it has a light flavor. I haven’t tried it with anything other than applesauce so I can’t say for sure how it would work with banana and milk but I suspect it wouldn’t be the same texture. Let me know if you try it!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe was easy and delicious! I used olive oil and the flavor was agreeable. Definitely will be making my own granola from now on instead of buying it at the store!