New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Olive oil granola

Sat, 21 January, 2023

Olive oil and maple syrup granola: those two ingredients are non-negotiable but all the add-ons can be whatever you like best.

olive oil granola

Olive oil granola? Seriously?

Olive oil for breakfast is not exactly a popular concept, even less so proposed in a sweet oat concoction.

When I first found Melissa Clark’s recipe in NY Times Cooking section, I was very sceptical.

It’s going to be so greasy! And smell like olive oil, which is all very well in a mixed salad but not in my breakfast bowl! And it will be bitter, as olive oil can be in large quantities!

None of the above is true. The fragrance is there but it’s a beautiful fragrance, rather than full-on smell.

No grease: this granola gets super crispy and crunchy by absorbing all the oil. You can scoop it with your fingers when trying if it’s toasted enough (you’ll do that several times), and they’ll remain clean.

And it’s amazingly good in a breakfast bowl, with the sweetness of the dried fruit and maple syrup. Certainly the best granola recipe that I have ever come across and/or made.

granola with olive oil and maple syrup

Granola, Melissa and I

Not without tweaks though. Melissa suggests putting an awful lot of pistachios into it, which might be delightful but makes it very costly – and that’s adverse to the point of making granola at home.

I add pistachios when I have any but the bulk of the nuts and seeds is made up with more modest sunflower and pumpkin.

And instead of coconut, I add flaked almonds but that’s just a personal preference.

Another thing I tweak is the sugar content. Melissa adds quite a lot of brown sugar on top of the maple syrup, which I think is redundant.

It’s supposed to be healthy breakfast, after all, and it’s plenty sweet already with the maple syrup and dried fruit.

olive oil granola with apricots

The granola mix

The seeds and nuts should be added to the oats and toasted in the oven, but the fruit needs to come in after the baking. Otherwise it will get dried out and hard.

Whatever nuts and seeds you use, make the total amount about 250g (3 cups). They can be really anything you like beside what’s in the recipe: walnuts or hazelnuts, cashews or pecans, hemp, flaxseed or sesame.

Add some coconut chips if you’re partial to them, and/or almonds in the form of flakes, nibs or simply chopped, blanched or not.

All of that should be mixed in a bowl with the oats, the spices and the salt before the liquids are added. Once you pour in the oil and maple syrup, make sure it’s mixed very well again, so everything is evenly coated.

making granola mix

Toast till crunchy

This granola won’t clump up into clusters as in some other recipes but the taste makes up for it.

You can stir it halfway through the baking, to make it crispen up more evenly, but you’ll know when it’s ready: it’ll look dry, feel crisp and slide around the parchment easily.

And it will smell divine, of course.

toasting granola

Dried fruit mix

Melissa uses only dried apricots in her recipe but I like more variety, so it’s half and half with raisins. And it can be varied further, with dried cherries or cranberries, or any other dried fruit you prefer. Just make sure larger pieces are chopped into chunks roughly the size of raisins.

If you use mainly apricots, do try to buy organic ones. They look much darker and not quite so vibrant but the difference in the taste is incredible. Plus they are obviously much better for you.

Once the granola comes out of the oven, you can return it into the mixing bowl to toss it with the fruit.


I have practically been writing about possible variations in every sentence above, but this is a versatile recipe for a versatile breakfast cereal. So if maple syrup is not your thing, try it with runny honey.

Skip the dried fruit in summer time and serve your granola with fresh fruit. You can’t beat it when topped with berries and cold yoghurt!

Olive oil is non-negotiable, but use lighter, not extra virgin type. It’s more budget-friendly and won’t make much difference to the flavour.

olive oil and maple syrup granola

More breakfast cereal recipes

Banana and nut granola clusters, crunchy and fragrant homemade cereal for those who like it ultra-crisp. The mix bakes into one large bar to be broken up into crunchy clusters.

Homemade muesli with oat, wheat and barley flakes, nuts, seeds and fruit and a good pinch of cinnamon. That’s the way to start the day!

Overnight oats with yoghurt and fresh fruit, the healthiest breakfast and a source of fibre. Overnight oats bowl is the simplest breakfast to prepare ahead and it will benefit from being soaked in homemade yoghurt.

More breakfast recipes

Semolina porridge not just for babies. With dried cranberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon, naturally sweet or with honey, it makes a nice change from oatmeal. Who said it was only fit for babies?

Lemon and blueberry flapjacks, easy to make and much healthier than off-the-shelf bars. Naturally flavoured with lemon juice and zest, with freeze-dried blueberries.

Cinnamon and raisin buns rolled up from challah dough are not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. Assemble, freeze, then get in the oven the night before for a breakfast treat!

melissa clarks olive oil and maple granola

Olive oil granola

Servings: 10-12Time: 50 minutes


  • 300g (312 cups) jumbo rolled oats
  • 50g (13 cup) raw pistachio kernels
  • 70g (23 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 70g (23 cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 60g (12 cup) flaked or nibbed almonds (250g or 213 cups of nuts and seeds in total)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 100g (12 cup or 125 ml) light olive oil
  • 150g (12 cup minus 1 tbsp) maple syrup
  • 150-200g (34 cup) chopped dried apricots and raisins


1. Preheat the oven to 150C fan if available/300F/gas 2. Line a large baking tray with parchment.

2. Place the oats in a large bowl.

3. Roughly chop the pistachios and add to the oats with the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir well with a large spoon.

4. Pour in the oil and the maple syrup, mix it all very well to coat the oats. Spread the mix on the prepared tray in an even layer. Keep the bowl for later use.

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the granola looks crisp and feels dry when you stir it on the tray.

6. While it’s baking, chop the apricots and place with the raisins in the mixing bowl you used for the oats.

7. Remove the granola from the oven, let it cool down for a few minutes then pour it all back into the bowl with raisins and apricots. Give it a very good stir making sure the fruit doesn’t clump together.

8. Let granola cool completely in the bowl before transferring it to an airtight tub.

9. Serve with milk, yoghurt or kefir, plus seasonal fruit if desired.

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend