This quick and easy cranberry walnut grain-free granola is crunchy and naturally sweet - a perfect gluten-free, low carb breakfast or snack.
This easy cranberry walnut granola is crunchy and sweet with a hint of tartness from the cranberries - everything you want in a granola and perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack.
What makes this granola paleo? Not using any oats or other grains. And not loading it up with brown sugar or other refined sweeteners. Unlike traditional granola or muesli, this healthy cereal recipe is grain-free and refined sugar-free. Nuts, seeds, and coconut replace the grains and it is sweetened with just a touch of honey or maple syrup and a little dried fruit.
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This granola is one of my favorite recipes. The recipe is so simple you can make it for breakfast on the weekend and have it ready to grab and go all week. Homemade granola takes less than 30 minutes start to finish for a big batch. It's perfect for meal prep - just pack in single serve containers (like these plastic-free bags) for portable snacks.
And you can change up the flavors depending on what you have on hand. Cranberry and walnut is a classic combination I made with the ingredients I had in the pantry - dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice) walnut halves, slivered almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and coconut oil. I think hazelnut apricot or pistachio date might be next flavor I try. I've already done variations with cinnamon and raisins, dried blueberries, and dried cherries.
- Nuts - Chopped walnuts and slivered almonds are full of healthy fats. They also give this recipe protein, crunch and flavor.
- Seeds - Raw pepitas or pumpkin seeds are full of fiber and healthy nutrients. They pair with the nuts for a satisfying crunch.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut - Adds fiber and texture to the mix.
- Sea salt - Salt is a seasoning that always helps to enhance the sweetness.
- Coconut oil - Melted coconut oil helps the ingredients become crisp as they roast in the oven. Use unrefined if you don't want a pronounced coconut flavor.
- Sweetener - Honey or maple syrup, for a vegan option, will not only give a delicate sweetness to the granola, but will help it clump together as it roasts.
- Dried cranberries - Make sure you use cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice to keep it refined sugar-free.
Refer to the recipe card down below for exact measurements
How To Make The Granola
It's super easy to assemble this grain-free granola for the oven. Here's how:
- Preheat your oven to 300° F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Chop your walnuts. I use pre-slivered almonds, but if you don't, make sure you chop or slice them rather than leaving them whole.
- Add the chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and salt to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Melt the coconut oil. I just microwave mine for a few seconds.
- To the bowl of nuts, seeds and coconut, add the melted coconut oil along with either honey or maple syrup and stir to combine, making sure everything is coated. If clusters form, that's great. That's what granola is supposed to do!
- Spread the mixed granola on your prepared baking sheet, in a single layer, and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes.
- Check on it about 15 minutes in and give it a slight stir with a spatula and continue baking another 5 minutes or so, or until it's golden brown.
- Remove it from the oven and add the dried cranberries to it and gently stir to combine.
- Let it cool completely before serving or packaging for storage.
Tips For Making Grain Free Granola
- Space: Be sure to use a large baking sheet so the granola can be spread out in a single layer.
- Line: Do line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Once that honey and/or maple syrup heats up in the oven, it gets sticky, which is awesome for granola, but not when you have to scrape it off of a baking sheet. Parchment paper is the way to go.
- Check: Check on the granola about halfway through. Each oven is different, and depending on your nuts, oil and which type of sweetener you used, you don't want the granola to bake too quickly and burn. So just give it a check and a stir about halfway through to check on its progress. Once it starts turning golden, you're close!
- Clumps: If your baked granola isn't clumpy enough for you, simply scrunch it with your fingers once out of the oven. Let it cool off enough to touch it and form the clumps while still warm.
Can I Substitute Another Oil For Coconut Oil?
For a neutral-flavored substitution, try avocado oil instead of coconut oil.
How Do I Chop The Nuts?
I chop the nuts by hand, but you can also use a food processor. If you do, just pulse, in 1-second increments, to rough chop them. They will still be different sizes, but that's fine because you want them to form clusters once everything is mixed.
How To Customize This Granola Recipe
This grain-free granola recipe is completely adaptable so you can change up the flavors depending on what you have on hand. This recipe, cranberry and walnut, is a classic combination that I made with the ingredients I had in the pantry.
Be sure and try my cinnamon and raisins, dried blueberries and dried cherries versions, too!
Here are a few more ideas that will all be equally delicious. Play around with combinations of nuts, fruits, seeds, spices and other add-ins to create a grain-free mixture that's uniquely yours.
When adding the fruits or other sweet add-ins, you'll mix those in after the granola has baked and is out of the oven. Make sure you're choosing dried fruit with no added sugar or that has been sweetened naturally.
- Swap out the dried cranberries for any other dried fruit that's been naturally sweetened, such as raisins, cherries, pineapples, apricots, dates, blueberries, and mango.
- Swap out the unsweetened shredded coconut for the larger unsweetened coconut flakes for more coconut goodness.
- Swap out the dried cranberries for sugar-free chocolate chips or cacao nibs. Let the granola cool completely before adding the chips, unless you want them to be melted.
Instead of walnuts, you might try pecans, cashews, macadamias, pistachios, hazelnuts, and/or almonds.
Try adding a creamy nut butter, such as almond, sunflower, or cashew to the granola for another layer of deliciousness. Mix it in with the melted coconut oil to help it combine before adding it to your nut and seed mixture.
Instead of pumpkin seeds, you might want to try sunflower seeds, chia, hemp, or flax seeds.
If you're wondering about chia seeds in granola, they are a wonderful healthy addition since they develop a subtle crunch when baked. Give them a try!
Ground spices can add a warming touch, especially if you're going for a seasonal flavor. Try cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom or a blend of pumpkin pie spices for a fall-inspired granola.
A teaspoon of an extract can add another layer of flavor and enhancement to your granola, Here are a few to try:
- Vanilla extract is always a good idea for a general flavor booster to any sweet granola mix.
- If you're going for a tropical vibe, try coconut extract.
- Almond extract is also a good choice, especially if you're adding dried cherries, as those flavors tend to complement each other.
How To Serve Granola
No doubt you'll find many ways to enjoy this grain-free granola recipe, but here are a few of my favorites:
- As cereal. This granola makes a healthy gluten-free cereal alternative with almond milk, homemade cashew milk, coconut milk, or your favorite dairy-free milk.
- As a snack. I love to grab a handful when I'm looking for something crunchy to snack on. It's great on its own straight out of the jar.
- As a topping. I also love it sprinkled on top of dairy-free coconut yogurt, parfait, applesauce, ice cream, pudding, or a smoothie bowl.
- As an add-in. Try it stirred into my paleo oatmeal.
How To Store Granola
Make sure your granola is cool before packaging it for storage. I like to use a glass jar or glass container with an airtight lid. You can keep it in the fridge where it will stay good for a month (although it never lasts that long in my house). This granola is also freezer-friendly.
More Grain Free Granola Recipes
Love homemade granola? Here are some more easy granola flavors to try!
- Blueberry Pecan Granola
- Cinnamon Raisin Spice Granola
- Pecan Chocolate Chip Coconut Granola
- Cherry Almond Granola
Cranberry Walnut Paleo Granola
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup raw pepitas or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup dried cranberries apple juice sweetened
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine nuts, seeds, coconut and salt in large bowl.
- Add coconut oil and honey and mix until well combined.
- Bake on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or prepared with cooking spray) for 18 - 20 minutes, until just lightly browned.
- Add the dried cranberries and toss to combine. Cool completely before serving.
All I added was half a tangerine peel, minced. I had no idea it was so easy to make crack. Why didn't you warn us!
It is addictive - I'll have to try the tangerine peel!
That was a pretty funny response Andi. Anyway, what it the calorie count per serving
and what is a serving size. Thanks. Jennifer
I can't wait to make this tonight!!!! Thanks for the recipe!
You're welcome - I hope you enjoy it!
GOOD LORD! This is THE best granola I have ever had in my life! Just made it... and I'm WAY too addicted!!!! Thanks for such a yummy and easy recipe!!!
Hi Lisa. Do you soak your nuts and seeds first? I'm soaking some now and I'm wondering about cooking time for this recipe. Should I dry them out and then cook for 18 mins? Or just cook them for longer?
Can't wait to try this!
Hi Carolyn. I didn't soak the nuts for this recipe, but I think you should probably dry them out first. Let me know how it turns out!
Jana @ ohthatstasty.com
I've made this three or four times now. Love it! So happy to find a grain-free granola!
Since we're just a household of two, I make half a recipe: a 4-cup measuring cup works perfectly for the mixing bowl, and a 10x15 cookie sheet is the perfect size to bake it in.
It's good as is, but also a great base for experimenting. Thanks for posting!
Thank you - I'm so glad you're enjoying it! This is one of my favorites and I make half a recipe sometimes as well. I'll have to try mixing it in a measuring cup next time!
curious how long it is good for? and best way to store. thanks!
I keep it in a glass jar in the pantry. I can't tell you how long it is good for because it never lasts more than a few days in my house. 🙂
Hi Lisa Please let me know calorie count per serving
and what a serving size would be. Thanks. Jennifer
Jesus, you are a little needy, Jennifer. Add up the calories and divide by serving. For example, for ME, this recipie would be maybe two servings!!
Couldn't wait till breakfast... Had to try straight from cooling from the oven. Delicious!
Thanks! This is one of my favorites - it's so addictive!
I added a touch of cinnamon and allspice too.
That sounds good - I'll have to try it that way!
This looks so yummy, but many folks with a corn sensitivity/allergy can't find nuts or cranberries that are corn free. Almost everything has been washed or coated with a corn mixture. Just fyi.
A corn wash? Never heard of that.
Hmmm... me either.
Made this, this afternoon, and I almost ate it all still warm from the pan! Absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much for the recipe!
Thanks, Jenny! This is recipe is a favorite in my house - I have to hide it or it disappears in one day. 🙂
What a scrumptious treat! I love it so much, I'm adding a link to this recipe to my meal plan to subscribers this month and also to the meal plan I do for The Better Mom. I hope it brings lots of new friends your way! Looking forward to trying more of your beautiful recipes!
Blessings, Kelly at The Nourishing Home
Sooo delicious! I LOVE this stuff! Thanks for this recipe!
Any idea what the calorie intake of this is? I love it. I have it with it a bowl of berries and add a little coconut milk. yummy
this is so yummy. My husband, two year old daughter and I all love this recipe.
BEST granola EVER! Super easy and beyond yummy. I could easily eat the entire batch... uh oh. I think this should be renamed Paleo Candy.... Fantastic recipe and super easy! Thanks!
This will be a staple snack food in our household! Hubby and I both love it with a bit of almond milk or skim milk! Made it with dried blueberries too and was just as good!
What other dried fruit would be acceptable?
I am allergic to walnuts. Any suggestions to use as a substitute?
Hi Emily, pecans would be a good substitute.
I have made it so many times now. This is the best granola ever. Even made a big batch by adding cashews, pecans, raisins and took it to my family and everyone got into it like crazy. I put it in everything from salads to cereals to yogurt with fruits. Thankyou Lisa for this recipe.
Yay! I'm so glad you love it as much as I do! 🙂
Tastes great! Was wondering what the apple juice is used for. The recipe didn't include it. How is the granola stored?
Hi, I'm not crazy about cranberries. What is a good substitute for them? thanks!
Here are some more paleo granola recipes with raisins, dried blueberries, and dried cherries.
A++ ! This is on regular rotation at our house - I even have a special designated "walnut granola jar" for it. 🙂 ! started using maple syrup instead of honey as I just find it easier to work with. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Yay! I love the "walnut granola jar" idea 🙂
Me too! I’m totally copying ☺️🙌🏽
store bought high quality granolas are sooo expensive so this homemade recipe is perfect!! They look awesome 🙂 and healthy! can't wait to try with yogurt or oatmeal. thank you for sharing with us! I hope you will have a great day!
Lisa, This was my first time trying this recipe…..I was a bit skeptical, thinkn no way this is going to be good. Ooooo I was so wrong! This granola was the best I’ve ever had! Do u think it would stay fresh in the pantry for more than a week? I was thinkn about storing it in the fridge to hopefully keep it fresh longer.
I'm so glad you loved it, Terry! It's never lasted a week in my house 😉