This Apple Cinnamon Granola is packed with pecans, old-fashioned oats, dried apples, and cinnamon. Easy-to-make, and gluten-free!
Why Make This Recipe
- This granola is so versatile! Serve over yogurt for breakfast or over ice cream for dessert. Or eat it by itself as a healthy snack. See below for more ideas.
- Ingredients come together quickly, and it bakes for just 25 minutes
- Cinnamon and baked apple chips make your house smell delicious!
- Granola is so much less expensive to make than to buy. If you like this version, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Seed Granola with Almonds too!
- Perfect for gifting too! Make a batch, put it in some glass jars, tie a pretty ribbon around the base of the lid, and you have the perfect holiday, house-warming, or hostess gift. This is right up there with my favorite DIY gift, along with my Chocolate Bark with Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds.
- Old-Fashioned Oats: Old-fashioned oats are also called rolled oats. These are the best oats to use for granola. Instant oats will not give you the texture you're looking for, and steel cut oats may not cook through in this baking time. Also, make sure that if you are looking for a gluten-free recipe, you confirm that your oats are certified gluten-free.
- Pecans: You could replace these with almonds, walnuts, or cashews.
- Brown Sugar: You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar for this recipe. Or try a combination of the two!
- Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon is critical in this apple-cinnamon recipe, but you could also add ginger, nutmeg or cardamom to lean into those warming winter spices.
- Dried Apples: Look for the dried apples that are dried but still soft. When you add these to your granola part way through baking, they will crisp up and brown lightly after 10 minutes in the oven. If you have crunchy dried apples, just chop up and add in after you have baked and cooled your granola.
- Chia Seeds: These are totally optional in this recipe, but I love to add chia seeds to my granola. You can't really taste them, but they add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and are packed with antioxidants.
First, line a sheet pan (or a cookie sheet with sides) with foil or parchment paper. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius).
Then mix all your dry ingredients (except dried apples) together in a large bowl: oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and chia seeds (if using).
Chop apple slices into small (¼-inch) chunks, and set aside.
Pour honey and oil into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low. When the liquid starts to gently bubble and comes together smoothly, pour it into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Then mix until all the liquid is incorporated. Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle dried apples over mixture, then stir. Bake for another 10 minutes, and stir again. If the granola is nicely browned, remove it from the oven.
If not, add another 5 minutes and check again.
When it's done, cool it on the pan on a cooling rack. Then crumble it with a spatula or your fingers and store in an airtight container.
🧐 Recipe FAQs
Stored in an airtight container, this apple cinnamon granola will last a few weeks at least, though mine never sits around that long—I doubt yours will either! I like to use a heavy-duty ziplock bag or Tupperware-type container to store my granola.
Besides topping yogurt or ice cream, you can of course eat granola on its own or with your milk of choice. But I like to get creative with it. Try granola as a replacement for the crunchy bits in my Strawberry Parfait with Mascarpone Cream or my Mango Coconut Yogurt Parfait.
This granola would also make a delicious topping for baked apples or for a fruit crisp or crumble like my Peach Blueberry Crisp. You can even try adding it into cookie or muffin batter or using it for a savory-sweet salad topping.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
See my ingredient notes above about the dried apples you choose—these are the trickiest part of this recipe. If you stir the soft dried apples in with the rest of the ingredients, they will burn before the granola is baked.
If instead you stir them in after you have baked and cooled your granola, they will soften the granola. This is the reason for adding them halfway through the bake time!
Watch closely when you are heating the honey and oil. You just want the two liquids to blend together and warm up—you don't want it to boil or burn. Bringing to a low simmer is perfect!
Spread out the granola in a thin layer on the sheet pan so that it all bakes evenly. If your pan isn't big enough to spread out in one layer, use two pans.
Similarly, stirring the granola a couple of times while it's baking ensures that all of the granola will turn golden brown at the same time. If you don't do this, you may find the underside of your oats is barely cooked while the top is over brown.
Want more delicious fall-inspired breakfast options using old-fashioned oats? Try these Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats! Or, get a jump start on your protein for the day with this protein-packed Maple Pecan Oatmeal.
Other Delicious Breakfast Recipes
Or try one one of these delicious breakfast recipes:
Looking for more? More great recipes can be found in my Breakfast archive.
If you try this apple cinnamon granola, I would love to hear from you! Leave a star rating and comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me.
- 3 c. old-fashioned oats (9.5 oz)
- 1 c. pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) (5.1 oz)
- 1 c. pecans (3.8 oz)
- 3 T. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ t. ground cinnamon
- ½ t. kosher salt
- 2 T. chia seeds (optional)
- ½ c. honey (5.6 oz)
- 2 T. vegetable oil
- 1 c. dried apple slices (2.8 oz)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Mix oats in a large bowl with the next 6 ingredients (through chia seeds).
- Chop apple slices into small (¼-inch) chunks, and set aside.
- Pour honey and vegetable oil into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low until the honey and oil start to bubble and come together smoothly.
- Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir until the liquid is incorporated.
- Spread on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle dried apples over mixture, then stir.
- Bake for another 10 minutes, and stir again. If the granola is nicely browned, remove it from the oven. If not, add another 5 minutes and check again.
- Cool sheet pan on rack, stir granola, and store in airtight container or ziplock bag when cool.
If you are looking for a gluten-free recipe, make sure your oat package confirms that the oats are completely gluten-free. Oats themselves are, but some commercially produced oats can be contaminated by being processed in a facility that also processes wheat.
For this recipe, soft dried apples work best. If your dried apples are crunchy and hard, just stir them into the final baked and cooled granola. (This does not work with the soft dried apples because they will soften the rest of your granola unless they are baked first.)
Spread the granola out in a thin layer on the sheet pan so that it all bakes evenly. If your pan isn't big enough to spread out in one layer, use two pans. Similarly, stirring the granola a couple of times while it's baking ensures that all of the granola will turn golden brown at the same time. If you don't do this, you may find the underside of your oats is barely cooked while the top is over brown.
Granola can be stored for 3 weeks at room temperature in a sealed container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 6gSugar: 23gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.