This healthy honey almond quinoa granola made with puffed quinoa and oats is crunchy, lightly sweetened, and full of big clusters. With just 8 ingredients, it's simple to make and perfect for meal prep! (gluten-free)
If you love eating granola on top of yogurt or by the handful, homemade is the way to go. You know exactly what goes into it, and you can control the flavors and the sugar content - most store-bought granolas are notoriously high in sugar. Homemade granola is also much more affordable, so you can enjoy the healthy snack every day! I like to mix up the grains I use, so I thought I'd add nutrient-rich quinoa to the mix. It's absolutely delicious for snacking on and using as a breakfast topper.
Why You'll Love Honey Almond Quinoa Granola
This is not your average granola recipe. It includes DIY popped quinoa for a texture change-up (and added protein!), and has a delicious honey almond flavor that's not overly sweet. Unlike many granola recipes, the sugar and oil are kept to a respectable level. They serve their purpose of nailing the texture without going overboard. The crunchy, chunky texture is the best part - once cooled, you can almost break the granola into granola bar - sized pieces if that strikes your fancy! But of course, you can also crunch it up smaller for more sprinkle-ability.
How To Use Quinoa In Granola
Quinoa in granola might sound a little strange, but it's actually quite genius. The key is to pop the raw quinoa first. A minutes or so in a hot skillet makes quinoa puff and pop like popcorn, giving it a crispy but light texture and a tasty nutty flavor. Though the difference won't be very visible, you can hear the sound of the quinoa popping, and you'll be able to tell the difference if you sneak a taste. It's not unlike using crispy rice cereal in granola (which I also love) except in a small-but-mighty package.
Using regular raw quinoa in granola is a little too crunchy. And while I've never tried it, using cooked quinoa seems like it would yield too soft of an end product. If you're feeling lazy, or just happen to have some around, you can certainly use pre-popped or puffed quinoa in place of popping it yourself.
- Raw Quinoa - white or multicolor
- Rolled Oats - also called old fashioned oats
- Sliced Almonds - You can also use raw whole almonds and chop them.
- Honey - Use maple syrup in place of honey if you'd like.
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Extract - For extra almond flavor!
- Oil - I like neutral flavored avocado oil. Melted coconut oil also works well.
How To Make It
- Pop the quinoa. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Once hot, add ½ cup quinoa and listen for it to 'pop', giving it a couple of shakes as needed. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then immediately remove to a large bowl. Then pop the remaining ½ cup of quinoa and add to the bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the quinoa. Stir until everything is well coated.
- Press the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. It should be in a thin, tight, single layer with no space showing beneath it.
- Bake at 300°F for 20-25 minutes without stirring. Once golden, remove it from the oven and cool completely, still without stirring.
- Once the granola is completely cooled, you can break it into clusters.
Tip: The key to getting big, chunky clusters is pressing the granola into a single tight layer and NOT stirring while it bakes or cools. The granola will harden as it cools and allow you to break it into giant, glorious chunks!
Ideas For Using Quinoa Granola
- Use it to top yogurt bowls or parfaits for a balanced breakfast or snack.
- Place a bowl with frozen blueberries and top with milk or kefir for a refreshing breakfast!
- Drizzle sliced apples with your favorite nut butter and sprinkle granola on top for apple 'nachos'.
- Enjoy on top of ice cream or a bowl of your favorite fruit.
- Eat by the handful for a quick snack!
More Delicious Homemade Granola Recipes
- Healthy Banana Nut Granola
- Vegan Coconut Tahini Granola
- Sourdough Discard Granola
- Chunky Chocolate Hazelnut Granola
- Healthy Pumpkin Granola
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the comments!Print
Honey Almond Quinoa Granola
This healthy honey almond quinoa granola made with puffed quinoa and oats is crunchy, lightly sweetened, and full of big clusters. With just 8 ingredients, it's simple to make and perfect for meal prep!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: about 4 ½ cups 1x
- Category: breakfast
- Method: baked
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- ⅔ cup sliced almonds or roughly chopped almonds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tbsp neutral oil (such as avocado oil), or melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
- Pop the quinoa. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the quinoa, working ½ cup at a time, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the quinoa puffs. You won't see much of a difference, especially if you're using white quinoa, but you will hear the pops. Immediately remove the quinoa from the skillet and pour into a large bowl to prevent burning.
- Add the oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt to the bowl with the quinoa. Add honey, oil, vanilla and almond extract. Stir until well mixed.
- Pour mixture onto the baking sheet and press into a single even layer with little white space showing underneath.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes WITHOUT stirring, until granola is golden but not burned.
- Allow granola to cool completely without stirring. Once cooled, break into clusters.
- Store granola in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- When popping the granola, be sure to get the skillet nice and hot before adding the quinoa. You want the quinoa to pop immediately to avoid burning. Working in batches also helps, so that more of the quinoa touches the hot surface directly.
- If you can find it, you can use pre-popped or puffed quinoa and skip the popping step.
- Feel free to add any other nuts, seeds, or spices.
Keywords: honey almond quinoa granola, granola with quinoa, puffed quinoa granola, quinoa granola with honey
This post was originally published September 2015 and has been updated.