Granola Bars / Cereal (the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals)

132 Reviews / 4.8 Average
This is the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals. This homemade granola recipe was adapted from Anson Mills, and can also be made into granola bars. Make it your own by adding in your favorite ingredients and be sure to make a large batch to keep for the week.
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This recipe is super yummy and so flexible! Below is our favorite cereal version, but there are many ways to tweak the recipe depending on your preferences.

granola in a bowl topped with fresh raspberries
100 Days of Real Food Cookbook, photo courtesy of Carrie Vitt

For the nuts you can put either all almonds or all cashews (or split them as listed below or even try a totally different type of nut). Also, the same thing works for the seeds – you can either put in all pumpkin seeds or all sesame seeds or put in half and half. You could easily play around with the amounts of sesame seeds and flaxseeds as well. If you can’t find unsweetened shredded coconut you can leave it out completely.

If you want granola cereal make it with rolled oats. If you want granola bars then substitute steel cut oats for the rolled oats, and I also like to add dried fruit bits before baking the bars.

For the cereal, once it has baked and cooled completely, you want to put it in a gallon zip lock to break it up into small cereal pieces. If you are making granola bars just break off big chunks instead of using a bag. Don’t expect perfectly uniform rectangles for your granola bars – these are homemade after all!


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1,209 thoughts on “Granola Bars / Cereal (the perfect substitute for all those boxed cereals)”

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Recipe Rating

  1. Can this granola be frozen in batches? I am not sure we could get through all of it in two weeks and definitely don’t want it to go to waste?

  2. This is a great recipe that I am now fond of. It is very easy to make too. I was able to keep the large batch I made for two months. I just wanted to let you know that it keeps without going rancid in airtight container. for busy mums, you can make big portions to keep in the fridge without fear.

  3. My husband is dairy free and we have been using EarthBalance soy free dairy free butter substitute for a lot of things. It’s an oil blend of Palm fruit oil, canola, safflower, etc…
    Does anyone know if this type of thing would work in this recipe? I may end of trying it anyway, but I wanted to see if anyone had experience with this. Thanks in advance!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Lisa,

    I just made this granola and it turned out pretty good. Thank you! I added chia and hemp seeds (1/4 of each). Your recipe says it makes 3 lbs, what do you do for a serving? 1:/4 cup, 1/2 cup.

    Thank you!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. Anywhere between 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup, depending upon the individual, the appetite, and the meal. :)

  5. Hi there! I want to make this granola recipe but have a kid who is allergic to nuts. Would you still at the same amount of butter if you didn’t add the nuts? Thx!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You could add more seeds and oats and keep the butter amount the same.

  6. Hi,

    Is there any way to make this without nuts and coconut? My daughter has allergies but I would love to make this. Will it taste too bland without them? Anything else I can put in it instead?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. You can replace the nuts with more of various seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, flax, chia, etc. and just leave out the coconut.

  7. I just tried this recipe using steel cut oats and subbing coconut oil for the butter. I also added chocolate chips and raisins since we have those on hand. I baked the granola at 250 for the time allowed, but nothing has stuck together. I even tried to put it back in the oven for 20-30 more minutes. It is just very loose. It’s delicious and will probably be ok as cereal but wondering if you have any suggestions on why my granola bars never formed together. Thank you!!

    1. 4 stars
      You have to use butter as the coconut oil is too viscous and at above room temps will turn to liquid. Ive made this recipe many times and it binds pretty well considering the agent is just butter and honey.

    2. Yes, I read that coconut oil turns to liquid at about 76 degrees, so baking it would for sure give you that problem.

    3. I used butter in mine and it wouldn’t stick either. I am still going to use it as cereal, but I would also like some tips on how to make them into bars.

  8. Hi, thanks for adding me to your site. I love the idea of eating in a more healthy way and eliminating processed foods. My son has gluten allergies and I have some weight to lose and was looking where I could substitute whole wheat things for coconut flour, etc.. Which I think would work well. While I understand eating this way isn’t intended for weight loss, but is it feasible that one could eat this way and have great results in losing weight?

  9. Hi there! I just tried this recipe for the first time. I had a blast making it with my 3 year old, and it smelled incredible going in the oven and while baking, however, it was burnt to a crisp when it came out. I followed your instructions completely (rolled oats version). The only difference was that I used a silicone baking mat instead of parchment paper…do you think that’s where I messed up? I would love to try again, but I don’t want to ruin another batch!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Dawn. It may just be that you need to adjust the temperature/cooking time down a bit. All ovens are a little different.

      1. Thanks so much. I tried again, and this time I baked it for 60 min at 200 degrees and it turned out perfectly!

  10. Lindsay Babcock

    My 3 year-old chose this cereal over her beloved Lucky Charms this morning. I’m so proud! I never get tired of this cereal, and my favorite way to eat it is with whole milk and a bunch of fresh blueberries on top. Can’t beat it. Also, I like to throw the nuts and seeds in the food processor and pulse them a few times because I prefer smaller pieces. Thanks for all the great recipes and information!

  11. I made this recipe and immediately fell in love with it. It is delicious. Bet I will continue to make it my number one cereal. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Karen. We really do not break things down into serving sizes but 1/2c to 3/4c is pretty common among readers. ;)

  12. I’ve noticed it happens with rolled oatmeal, I wonder why…it tastes goog before going into the oven…I even beked for less time the second time..
    I would like to make your granola but I don’t want to waste the ingredients for the third time.

  13. Hello, I’ve tried to make granola cereals a few times, very good at the beginning but with a bad bitter taste after I ate it.
    Any idea why?

  14. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe two weeks ago. Not only did it make the house smell absolutely incredible while it was baking, it made a decent sized amount and it tastes delicious. I swapped in roughly chopped hazelnuts for the almonds because I love hazelnuts, they were on sale, and I’m a little sick of almonds at the moment.
    This is a fantastic recipe. It’s especially delicious with berries and Greek Yogurt. Thank you for sharing!

      1. This is great. I like crunchy in my oatmeal. I was looking for store brand granola but couldn’t find a good one. I am new to all of this eating better. Would the nuts in this give plenty of protein or is there something extra to add protein?

  15. 5 stars
    I finally got around to making this last night. It is so good & easy! I did tweak it a bit. My son doesn’t like his granola with any sort of seeds in it so I omitted them completely. When I took it out of the oven, it was still a bit moist (but didn’t want it to burn). I was relieved that it did get crunchy after it cooled off.

  16. Hi Lisa Leake and assistants,
    I was very disappointed in this granola recipe, my first recipe I attempted. I checked the book out of the library and was very excited with the healthy ideas and recipes. When I followed the granola recipe, I had to take it out of the oven after barely 30 minutes because it was starting to burn. Now, I’m a little hesitant to try the other recipes or to buy the book as I was seriously planning to do.

    Have the recipes been carefully kitchen tested?

    Thanks, Gloria

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Gloria. Absolutely, all the recipes have been kitchen tested. Some ovens just burn hotter than others. I have made this at my Mom’s and have burnt it, but it works out when I make it in my own oven.

  17. What about freezing the granola? I freeze about everything, but I’m afraid the granola may be soggy if frozen… Has it been tried?

  18. I’m making granola and it’s not getting chunky, it is still just a pile of random oats and nuts sitting on a tray and kind of damp with butter and honey. Does that happen when it cools off? or do I need to add more honey/butter mixture? I didn’t use exact measurements, i just used the nuts and seeds around my house (1/2 of each). It should come up to about 8 cups total though, which should be about the same size batch.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Emily. Does it look dramatically different from Lisa’s picture above. This recipe, as is, makes more of a cereal than a really chunky granola.

  19. I made the granola a few times and played around with different variations and my daughter and I loved it so I thought I would give the bars with steel cut oats a shot. They stayed together fine by the oats are very hard and tase like they aren’t cooked all the way. It’s almost like eating mini raw popcorn kernels. The flavor is very good but eating them hurts my teeth. Did I screw something up or is that how they are suppose to come out? I know you said they are supposed to be chewy but these taste like hard uncooked steel cut oats. I thought maybe they needed to be cooked longer. Is there anything I can do to fix them?

  20. Amy – I read in a few of your responses to comments that you have added dark chocolate to your granola. Genius!! Do you mix it in before baking or after? :-)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Kim. Oh, I’ve played around with doing both. I like to make bars and have sometimes added the chocolate toward the end of the baking to melt it as a top layer. :)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We’ve not tried this recipe with anything other than butter and coconut oil.

  21. I just thought I’d leave a comment to share that this is the best granola recipe ever! This is the recipe I have kept coming back to over and over again over the past several years! It is so good, and my whole family loves it too! I have to double the batch when I make it!

  22. Hi. I’m really interested in the 5 wk mealplan. However, my son is severely allergic to all nuts. Any thoughts on what I could add instead to make this granola? Thanks!

  23. Love this recipe and have been keeping a regular supply in the house since the first batch. We even traveled with it last week; tip: don’t break it up much as it will break up along the route … a lot. But it was great to have as a go-to snack vs. something store bought.

    Does this recipe need the oatmeal to bind? Would like to cut down on the oatmeal ratio or try something else in it’s place to reduce the carb count in this recipe. It’s been a great night time snack but am trying to reduce carb (cravings) in the evenings. I’ve been using steel cut oats and though it is fragile it has been binding well.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You might try using My Fitness Pal or a similar online tool to help you figure that out those details.

  24. If I made this with coconut oil, instead of butter do you think it would keep longer? Have you ever tried to freeze this? I love this recipe with the butter, but I’m wondering if I can make it in bulk and store it for months? Thank you!

  25. Jessica–I’m having the same problem with it being too crumbly for bays, but I didn’t try with steel cut oats. Did you? Interested to hear how others experiment with bars.

  26. I have made this several times, and each time it is very crumbly. It is great as cereal, but bever works as granola bars. Is there something I could add more of to make it stickier? Have you heard of others having this problem?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jessica. I typically use steel cut for bars and really press them together. I also often have mixed in some dark chocolate which really works well. :)

  27. 5 stars
    I have been wanting to make this for months and just got around to it last week. My husband has yogurt/granola almost every morning and I was hoping to replace the granola we usually purchase with a homemade version. He was out of town all last week and there was barely any of it left by the time he got back. My daughter and I kept snacking on it and she was also happy to have it for a snack at school (yes, we are allowed to send nuts to school). I’m hoping to make a second batch tomorrow. Now, if I could just convince my ultra-picky six year old to give it a try.

  28. 5 stars
    I looked back a few pages, but with so many comments, I apologize if this has already been asked. Has anyone tried putting some peanut butter in these? We LOVE these granola bars (THANK YOU for sharing this recipe!!) and have been thinking about ways to add different flavors.

  29. Can I dry this in a food dehydrator instead of in my oven? I just got one and I’d love to start using it, just not quite sure what I can use it for yet. Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jori. I do know that people make granola in a dehydrator but we’ve not tried. Let us know if you experiment with it.

  30. We make this weekly, but the kids are wanting to try a chocolate version. Is there a way to add cocoa powder or something as a treat?

  31. Is it possible or has anyone gained weight while changing over to this way of eating? I seem to have even while giving up soda and sweets???

    1. I prefer to make meusli, to not have butter and sweets (honey) in my breakfast cereal. Basically the same ingredients but leave out the butter, honey, vanilla and salt; no baking needed then. I also add ground flax to the mix. Add fresh diced bananas, strawberries, blueberries to your bowl, or any other fresh or frozen fruit. I’ve been totally addicted to this for years!

  32. I bought some honey. It says it is Clover Honey…Grade A 100% Pure

    Is this the same as Raw Honey? I plan on making this granola which I see requires honey. The Raw Honey was more expensive…maybe it was better…

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Darlett. Raw honey will be mark as such and is usually a more expensive honey. You can use clover honey, though. ;)

  33. 4 stars
    I’ve been making this every week for a few months now using butter. My whole family loves it! I tried making it with the coconut oil today and it burnt beyond belief after less than an hour in the oven? Has anyone else had this problem?

  34. This is a favorite in my house. I cook it for exactly 68 minutes, and it comes out perfectly. My crew mixes it with yogurt, has it as cereal, or just munches on it during the day!!

  35. Hello,
    How many cups is acceptable to eat for cereal? How much is acceptable to top on yogurt? I want to make this but want to make sure my portions are accurate.

      1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi Cassandra. Refrigerating it is fine. You can even freeze it to prolong freshness. It just depends on how fast you eat it. Ours is kept in the pantry but is generally completed eaten within a week.

  36. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Made it twice so far. It is fragile but didn’t have issues of it not binding. We let it cool down completely before touching it. Maybe that helps. Freezes awesome! We couldn’t find the raw pumpkin seeds so we did use roasted and salted; they were fine. Otherwise followed recipe exactly.

  37. All I can say is OMG so delicious! I was a little afraid of the amount of ginger so I just did a sprinkle instead. The flavors blend so beautifully. I mixed the liquids into the dry in a bowl instead then spread on to baking sheet lined with parchment.

  38. My daughter is allergic to cinnamon. Are there any recommendations for substituting it? I know it’s a large part of the spices.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Ticiana. I’ve not made these in bar form for a while but I think I get about a dozen and a half.

  39. I apologize if this was already asked but I don’t have time to search through all the comments. :) is there a way to make the granola nut free since we have a nut allergy in our house? Thanks so much for all your work and info…I am new to the blog and am enjoying it!

  40. Like another commenter I was looking for a replacement for Cheerios for my 17 month old. I made the granola and we have not looked back. We love it! I make it almost weekly/bi-weekly so we always have a supply. Thanks so much!

  41. 5 stars
    This is THE best granola recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed making and eating this! The time it took to bake warmed my house, which is nice considering it is winter. Thank you!

  42. 4 stars
    There are 68 pages of comments so I apologize if this was asked…do you know the nutritional breakdown of the granola? I could go through each ingredient but I was wondering if anyone has done this already. I am adding non processed foods to my diet (eliminating processed would be better to say) and I like to log nutrients (carbs and fats etc) for tracking as weight loss is also a goal. Thanks for any help. I really enjoy the blog, website and facebook posts so thank Lisa for me. I am a guy and I think there are not many that follow. I talk to friends about non-processed food choices often and always refer them here as a starting point. Thanks again, JP PS, I made this last year and it was great, just looking to make it again and track ingredients.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We do not provide nutrition information because we really don’t focus much on numbers. I do think I recall a reader providing that info somewhere in the comments, though. You can also import recipes into My Fitness Pal and it will give you the break down. :)

      1. Thanks Amy, that was my plan but I was trying to skip the work and hoping someone had already done it. :) I use my fitness pal and will load it all in as a “meal”. I appreciate that you don’t like to focus on the numbers, I get that. For me though, right now I need to. I appreciate the quick reply and thanks again to Lisa, you and your team for providing such great information. SHared it today with a group of guys actually. Have a great day, JP

  43. Do you have to add the honey and butter? Just wondering if you can just mix all the dry ingredients and eat it that way? (without baking)

  44. I made this for the first time today and was not disappointed. One little tip for anybody making it for the first time would be to watch the cooking time. 75 minutes was a little too long for mine. Still delicious though. Can’t wait to try it again with some different ingredient variations!

  45. When making the granola cereal ( to bars), if I want to add dried fruit, should I add it before baking or after?

      1. Do you need to do anything to the dried fruit to keep it from drying out? I’ve read some recipes that suggest soaking the fruit in water in advance of baking it in granola…

      2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi Leigh. I’ve not soaked the dried fruit and have not have a problem. You don’t have to add it before cooking, however. I do because I prefer to make bars.

      1. 4 stars
        Amy, there are 65 pages of comments so I apologize if this was asked…do you know the nutritional breakdown of the granola? I could go through each ingredient but I was wondering if anyone has done this already. I am adding non processed foods to my diet (eliminating processed would be better to say) and I like to log nutrients (and fats etc) for tracking as weight loss is also a goal. Thanks for any help. I really enjoy the blog, website and facebook posts so thank Lisa for me. I am a guy and I think there are not many that follow. I talk to friends about non-processed food choices often and always refer them here as a starting point. Thanks again, JP PS, I made this last year and it was great, just looking to it again and track ingredients.

  46. Has anyone tried freezing this? It makes a huge batch and I don’t know if we’ll get through it all in two weeks! Also, not sure why, but mine didn’t really stick together that well.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You can totally freeze this. This cereal doesn’t really clump unless you press it into bars.

  47. 5 stars
    I’ve made this once before and crumbled it by hand (for granola). I’m making it again and I’d love any tips from anyone about breaking it up more easily.

  48. 5 stars
    I made this morning and it is fantastic! It hardened perfectly for me and is very delicious. I will definitely be making this a staple item. Super easy and yummy!

  49. I can’t see the recipe, today. Just the first part of the post and the comments. I saw it a few days ago, then tried to look it up to make it and it was gone. Tried on two different devices. Any ideas?

  50. Just made these today and they are great!! I let it sit on the counter to cool for about an hour and it broke into bars nicely. I wasn’t sure I was going to like them before I baked them because i didn’t care for the smell too much. Apparently cooking them makes a big difference! Now I just need my 4 year old to try them…thanks!!

  51. I love this recipe! (As well as all of the other recipes of yours I have tried.) They are easy and so delicious. I have tried dozens of other granola recipes and they never turn out well…this one never fails me!

  52. If I omit the coconut, nuts & seeds- so basically just oats & spices, about how much liquid should I use? I’m hoping for just a very plain & basic granola that my son will eat. Thanks much!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Chrissie. We have not tried adapting the recipe to that extreme. If you decide to experiment, please let us know what worked for you as I’m sure others might want to try it, too. ~Amy

  53. I tried this recipe for the first time, tonight, and it turned out perfect. Would this keep longer than two weeks if it was refrigerated or frozen?

  54. 5 stars
    Love this granola! It turned out perfect for me. It hardened as it cooled and I was able to break it into large chunks for bars or small chunks for granola. I did substitute coconut oil for butter.

  55. I have made this multiple times. I have never been successful with getting bars out of it, but I LOVE it as a cereal or over yogurt. I make a new batch every week. I am so glad my family is not eating cereal with BHT in it anymore.

  56. I made this over the weekend and was so disappointed. It never hardened! I followed the directions to the letter. What a waste of money and ingredients!

  57. I just made this granola and am a bit disappointed! :( It did not stick together at all and I followed the directions exactly.. there are no chunks. I also cooked it for the exact amount of time at the exact temperature and it seems a bit burnt. Maybe I’ll have to try it again but first experience is a bit disappointing.

    1. Kelli, did you try this recipe again? I am trying to figure out where I went wrong, it looks like we both had the same reult…no hardening. It’s great out of a tub but would rather have it as a bar.

  58. I didn’t read through all the comments so this might have been covered, but I’m asking anyway. Will this freeze well? My 6’5 husband is a vanilla addict and I think he’ll eat it all up before anyone else gets it! I’d like to freeze some for lunch boxes and such. Thanks!

  59. 4 stars
    My doctor applauded my dedication to eating healthier and giving up the sugars and processed foods, but told me my lack of weigh loss might be due to NOT watching the number of calories I’m taking in each day. I plugged the ingredients I used to make this recipe (which we LOVE, by the way)into a calorie calculator and WOW! A half cup of this (16 servings) is over 300 calories before adding milk.
    Along with the 3.5 cups of rolled oats and the spices/honey/butter I used a half cup each of steel cut oats, pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds, and 2 TBSP of sesame seeds.
    I didn’t lose any, but Daughter and Hubby lost nearly 10 lbs each our first month.

  60. Why when I make half a recipe it stays is a bar shape and when i make a whole recipe it falls apart? I used steel cut oats in both and all the same ingredients. Help.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Julie. I have found it helpful to add just a little more honey and butter when trying to do bars. ~Amy

  61. I make a homemade granola similar to this one, but it calls for melted coconut oil, which I would assume could replace the butter in this recipe. I realize that real butter is not truly bad, but I still like the idea of using the coconut oil.

    1. 5 stars
      I really don’t like coconut either, but I gave it a try with unsweetened coconut flakes (that’s all we had in bulk at my store) and it turned out great. The coconut flakes are not nearly as flavorful as the traditional sweetened, shredded coconut (I’ve never been able to find unsweetened shredded to know how it compares in taste to the flakes).

      Otherwise I’ve made this a number of different ways, just making sure that I keep the amount of solids (grains, nuts, etc) around 7 1/2 cups like it is in the original recipe so I don’t need to modify the amount of liquids. So you could substitute anything you like, just keep the same 7 1/2 cups total.

    2. I don’t like coconut either. I just leave it out entirely, no substituting, and mine turns out beautifully every time. I do it as granola. I get nice big chunks. I think it would stick together as a bar just fine, too. I also do not modify the amount of liquids. I keep the recipe exactly as-is, just no coconut.

  62. I just made this granola and it does smell amazing! However, I didn’t need to “break” it into pieces when it finished baking. It is still delicious but I was hoping for a chunkier pieces. I followed the directions exactly. Thanks

  63. I am baking these right now and can’t wait to eat it…the ingredients just smell amazing! Question: has anyone tried dark chocolate chips in it? Not sure it would taste good with the nutmeg and ginger but maybe it those are omitted and the chocolate is added. Anyone try that? Thanks for this great “real” granola recipe.

    1. I think tossing in dark chocolate chips after it cools is a great idea…even with the spices. Chocolate loves warm spices and I think it would be a wonderful addition. Great thinking!

  64. Before jotting this note I’ve scrolled back a ways to look for the answer but have come up empty. Can you please tell me how many servings and the serving size this 3lb recipe makes?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Annie. It makes close to 8 cups of granola. So, it depends on whether you want a 1/2 or 1/4 cup serving. :)

  65. 5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic! I love it as does my family. I used coconut oil in place of the butter and it worked out great. Will be making this for years to come! I will never buy store granola again!

  66. I made this cereal last night for the family and it was a big hit this morning! I was thinking about adding some raisins or other dried fruit next time. Would I need to use less nuts or make more of the wet ingredients so that it cooked the same? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Justine. I’ve added dried fruit without changing anything and it worked just fine. You could always up the wet ingredients a bit, too, however. ~Amy

  67. Do you have any suggestions on what I can use instead of nuts and seeds? I have a child allergic to both. I will definitely try raisins and maybe other dried fruit, but other ideas would be welcomed. thanks!