Protein Granola is the perfect healthier breakfast, snack or after-dinner treat! This homemade granola recipe is packed with 12g of protein, whole grains, crunchy nuts and seeds and is sweet, sticky and crunchy! (Vegan + Gluten-free)
Granola is a great healthy snack or breakfast to have prepared. When homemade, granola is simple to make, less expensive and not full of refined sugar and fats. This crunchy granola recipe is the recipe for successful granola so you can customize it on your own!
If you’re like me, buying granola is a huge treat, because it can be quite expensive. And it’s a treat I don’t often purchase, because I hate being hungry after eating it.
So, that's why I add protein powder to my granola to not only feel balanced, but to stay full for sooo much longer!
Once I started making sure every meal was balanced in proteins, carbs and lots of veggies/fruits, I struggled with breakfast ideas. That means my measly toast was replaced with protein granola, overnight oats/chia pudding with protein, meal prepped protein pancakes and protein vegan quinoa bowls. And on weekends, I ball out with some Chilaquiles topped with eggs and chorizo (because YUM!).
This protein granola recipe is so simple and is a foolproof way to incorporate more protein into your diet, and is so easy to meal prep! Plus, homemade granola can be used on smoothies or smoothie bowls, to make a mini parfait, or to eat by the handfuls! I love having it on hand for a healthier snack, or even as my breakfast with a little bit of greek yogurt!
Highlights of this Recipe
This recipe is:
- Refined sugar free
- Few ingredients
- High protein
Rolled Oats - Make sure to use rolled oats aka old fashioned oats. Quick oats or steel cut oats will burn much faster and won’t cook properly. You can substitute part of the rolled oats for pre-washed quinoa.
Protein Powder - Use an unflavored, vanilla or chocolate protein powder. Tips below for the cleanest protein powders out there!
Nut or Seed Butter - Use a nut or seed butter that has no added sugar and no added oils. You can use peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, or a nut free alternative like sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter. I prefer to make my own nut butter because it's so easy and less expensive per serving!
Sweetener - I use maple syrup to make this recipe vegan, but you can also use honey.
Mix-ins of choice
Making granola is so easy, it’s surprising!
First, you’re going to want to add all ingredients except nut butter into a large mixing bowl.
Next, microwave the nut butter in 30 second intervals until thinned out and loose.
Pour the nut butter over all other ingredients and stir well to combine.
Place the granola mixture onto a large 11x17 parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pack the granola together to get the crumbliest pieces.
Bake granola for 20-22 minutes in a 325ºF oven, stirring gently halfway.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, break into crumbles.
Add mix-in's and enjoy!
Mix In Ideas
The best part about granola is it’s really flexible! You can substitute your preference for nuts, dried fruits and other mixins!
- Coconut flakes
- Nuts like pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or cashews
- Dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots or raisins
- Freeze dried fruit like freeze dried strawberries
- Chocolate chips or chunks or cacao nibs
- Goji berries
- Flax seeds or hemp seeds
Clean Ingredient Tips
Clean Oat Brands
So, what is the cleanest oats brand? There are quite a few clean oats out there. Look for oats that have:
- Few ingredients (think: oats, water and salt - the fewer the better)
- No gums (like xanthan gum)
- Glyphosate* free oats or organic oats or gluten free oats
*Glyphosate (an ingredient in pesticides that is toxic to plants) is found in non-organic ingredients. Wheats and grains can have higher levels of glyphosate and are better if purchased as glyphosate free, organic or gluten free.
Are Oats Gluten Free?
Oats are not intrinsically gluten free.
Oats can be sometimes contaminated with gluten as they are processed in facilities with gluten. If you are celiac or have a stronger gluten intolerance, look for gluten-free certified oats.
Look for glyphosate free oats or gluten-free certified oats.
Best Clean Protein Powders
Protein powder and clean eating may seem like a direct contrast. While I prefer to get the majority of my nutrients directly from the food I eat, sometimes a protein powder is necessary for adding protein to my diet. I personally use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, but there are a good amount of options available - both whey and plant-based. When searching for a clean protein powder, ignore any marketing tools and look immediately at the label.
Make sure your protein powder has:
- Whey or a plant-based protein source as the first ingredient
- Limited added sugar
- At least 20g protein per serving, aim for 25g
- Testing by a third-party like NSF Certified for Sport
Can I use a flavored protein powder?
Unflavored protein powders are going to give you the most natural ingredients. Aim for the unflavored protein powders if possible, but if you are going to use a flavored protein powder just check the ingredients labeled!
💭 Top Tips
Spread Out Mixture Evenly
You want the granola ingredients to be semi crowded but still even so that all ingredients can toast evenly. I like to pack mine together to get the granola crumbles.
Use Parchment Paper
You don’t want the granola mixture to stick to the pan and parchment paper helps.
Let the Granola Cool
Let the granola cool completely before removing from the pan and breaking into little crumbles.
Mix’ins Once Granola is Cooled
If you like adding mix-ins, wait until the granola has cooled completely. Then it’s time to add your dried fruits, chocolate chips, or
How to Store
Store granola in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2-4 weeks.
Keep homemade granola by freezing it immediately. Put cooked granola into airtight containers or bags. Remove as much air as possible and keep in the freezer for close to 6 months.
To thaw frozen granola, simply leave container on the counter. It should take 1-2 hours to dethaw.
Read more about freezing homemade granola here.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can add dried fruits instead of nuts after the granola cools.
You can use old fashioned oats or rolled oats. These are best because they’re softer.
Too hot of an oven can cause some of the ingredients to burn, while others won’t get crispy enough. Stick to the lower temperature of the oven to make sure that ingredients crisp up and dry out enough to be crunchy.
You can store homemade or store bought granola at room temperature or in the fridge for 2 weeks. Freeze granola for up to 6 months.
How to Use
Eat granola with dairy or nondairy milk as a homemade cereal!
Toss into pancake batter or on top of baked goods like blueberry lemon bread.
Sprinkle on top of roasted vegetables, like carrots.
Use on top of breakfasts like chia pudding, or on top of yogurts.
Eat with fresh fruit like strawberries or cherries.
Add crunch onto homemade ice cream sundaes or in Greek yogurt popsicles.
Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- Savory Breakfast Quinoa Bowl
- 3 Ingredient Chia Pudding
- Oat Milk Pancakes
- Greek Yogurt Blackberry Popsicles
High Protein Granola
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- ½ Cup Protein Powder
- ½ Cup Nut Butter
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¾-1 Cup Mix-ins of Choice optional
Optional Mix-In’s I Used
- ½ Cup Nuts I used half slivered almonds and half pumpkin seeds
- ½ Cup Freeze Dried Fruit I used freeze dried strawberries
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set to the side.
- Add the nut butter and maple syrup into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second chunks of time, until the peanut butter is thinned out and melted.
- Pour the nut butter/maple syrup mixture over the rolled oats, protein powder and spices into a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine completely, you may even use your hands to squish the granola together.
- Spread granola mixture onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Flatten down into one large flat clump to make the granola have large crumbles.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes in the oven, stirring halfway gently, re-flatten the granola together and put back in oven.
- Remove the granola from the oven once fully cooked. Once granola reaches room temperature, break into large crumbles and transfer into a mixing bowl to add mix-ins of choice.
- Store homemade granola in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Granola is good for 2 weeks.