Make Ahead

Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil & Maple Granola

August 10, 2021
4.7 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This recipe, adapted very slightly from Early Bird Foods' best-selling Farmhand's Choice Granola, is like muesli after a vampy makeover. Olive oil, maple, brown sugar, and coarse salt form a rich, shaggy crust on wholesome innards like oats, pecans, and coconut shards.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Five Two Wooden Spoons
- Food52 x Rosti Ultimate Melamine Mixing Bowl
- Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheets

Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

Granola might be one of those snacks you tend to buy packaged, which is fine, of course, but once I started making my own granola—specifically, olive oil and maple syrup granola—it’s very hard to go back to the store-bought stuff. This Genius recipe from Nekisia Davis was actually inspired by a brand’s granola with a comparable ingredients list; however, when you make your own granola, there are a few major upsides.

First of all, you have more control over flavor: You can add an extra handful of your favorite nuts and seeds in the ingredients list, or if you want to swap in different nuts (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts would be amazing), no one’s going to stop you! Regardless, when you’re toasting your own nuts, the flavor is just always going to be better than the packaged alternative. Plus, if you feel like adding a bit of extra seasoning, like ground cinnamon or cardamom, or stirring in some dried fruit after baking, you’re only doing the granola a favor. And did you notice the yield here? Seven whole cups! Take that, 12-ounce bag of packaged granola.

But perhaps the best thing about homemade granola is that you ultimately control the price. While a box or bag of the stuff may run you over $10 a pop at the store, when you’re buying the ingredients, you can shop at the bulk bin for the individual components, which is nearly always the more affordable option at the store already. Plus, you probably already have at least a few of this recipe’s ingredients already in your kitchen. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil & Maple Granola
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes About 7 cups
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups raw pecans, left whole or coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, mix the oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, syrup, oil, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt until well combined.
  2. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, for about 45 minutes total, until the granola is toasted.
  3. Remove the granola from the oven; season with salt to taste. Let cool completely before serving.
  4. Do Ahead: The granola can be made 1 month ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie Steyer
    Stephanie Steyer
  • Pam Whitlock
    Pam Whitlock
  • Suzi Freitas
    Suzi Freitas
  • Ann Pagel
    Ann Pagel
  • Eve B
    Eve B
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

239 Reviews

jaos April 29, 2022
I have been making this wonderful granola recipe for years. It is easy to make but the wholesome goodness is beyond compare! My family & friends enjoy this granola. I am preparing a batch now.
Jill R. April 10, 2022
I questioned whether this REALLY is the best recipe for granola before trying it. It IS.
That said, knowing my taste preferences, I used half the amount of both brown sugar and maple syrup, and threw in raw walnuts, almonds and went heavy on the coconut - for spectacular results. Don't hesitate to try this recipe. It belongs in the 'genius' category.
Susan S. April 2, 2022
I reduce the brown sugar, olive oil and maple syrup and add chopped dried dates, apricots and cranberries. Delicious!!
Dianerquinn March 28, 2022
This is HANDS DOWN the best granola I have ever made, had or given as a gift. I simply love it for breakfast or on ice cream. I make it at least once per month. Delicious!
Stephanie S. March 28, 2022
This. Is. THE. Best. Granola... ever!! I've been making it for many years and I just love it so much! I've found cooking it slowly at 300° for almost two hours creates the crunch I love. So so good!
Stephanie S. April 2, 2022
Btw… I leave out the brown sugar all together. It’s perfect without.
Gail March 28, 2022
We’ve been making this for about 5 years and never tire of it. We double the recipe, mixing and cooking it in a turkey pan (much easier than a cookie sheet!).
Leslyj March 28, 2022
I've been making this for a couple years. I often use less oil, sugar and maple syrup and it's still delicious. Be careful it's very addicting!
Haeng L. February 10, 2022
I've tried this recipe many times with some variation. Always delicious!
Cbrickerc November 18, 2021
Best granola ever! I make a double batch every three weeks, baked on three sheet pans, rotated every 20 minutes for an hour. After baking, I stir in dried dates, dried cherries & a substantial amount of chopped crystallized ginger. The zing makes it!
Tanya J. October 20, 2021
10/10 MAKE IT!!!!!!!!!
Pam W. September 27, 2021
I have made this many times and it is excellent. I usually add sliced almonds (because I have a huge bag from Costco.) Sometimes I add a couple of beaten egg whites to encourage clumping. Oh, and mine is NEVER done in 45 minutes.
[email protected] March 29, 2022
Do egg whites provide clusters?
Ann P. April 17, 2022
Halirn September 14, 2021
Just made this and I've gotta say, this is the best granola ever! If anyone has the nutritional values, it would be most helpful. I'm especially interested in how many carbs per 1 cup serving. I have type 1 diabetes and it's a guessing game as to how much insulin to program into my insulin pump when eating this.
Eve B. March 28, 2022
Here's a link to a program that will give you the exact calorie count based on what you put into the granola:
Paul L. September 6, 2021
In Eleven Madison Park, you bring the oil, brown sugar and maple syrup up to a low boil first, then stir into the dry ingredients. I want to try it this way as it will skip that messy step. I always add extracts and spices. Cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon etc.
Judy August 15, 2021
I have a recipe very close to this that I got from The NY Times website. I make it frequently with just a few changes. I add dried cherries after baking after it has cooled slightly. I cut the brown sugar to 1/4 cup. It is eaten with plain Greek yogurt. The combo of sweet salty and tart are perfect!
coco August 15, 2021
Is it by chance the Eleven Madison Park granola? I feel like a cross between that one and this are my favorite!
Judy August 15, 2021
It's called Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios. I use different nuts and dried fruit-what I happen to have in the house at the time. It's so close to this recipe!
coco August 15, 2021
Thank you for the tip!
susan September 18, 2021
Melissa Clark - NYT!
Suzi F. June 4, 2021
Is it possible to make bars from this recipe?
carol June 4, 2021
I did! I added peanut butter and whipped egg whites- pressed them into a pan. They were delicious.
kimmiebeck May 28, 2021
Way too sweet! Leave out the brown sugar and reduce the maple syrup to 1/2 cup.
Haeng L. May 1, 2021
I used 7:3 olive and coconut oil. Reduced brown sugar by one third. Added some nutritional yeast flake. Tasted amazing.
cpc March 16, 2021
I should have read the reviews first 😆. This was definitely too sweet but halving the maple syrup and brown sugar or replacing the brown sugar with all maple syrup would help.
Matt February 14, 2021
The best granola I've ever tasted and have to have it in our pantry at all times or a riot will break out. I do find it a bit rich so I stir in 3 cups of rice krispies to water it down a bit.
Sara February 13, 2021
I cut both sweeteners (syrup and brown sugar) in half and it is borderline too sweet. The listed amounts of syrup and sugar would have been inedible. That said, it’s really good! The olive oil gives it a really unique flavor.