Make Ahead

Brown Butter Granola with Honey and Sumac

November 30, 2015
7 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 7 cups
Author Notes

This granola straddles the line between sweet and savory and is yet another example of the glory of brown butter. It's a liberal riff on Nekisia Davis' Maple and Olive Oil Granola, which I've made too many times to count. The sumac lends a subtle fruity sourness, and the honey and pomegranate molasses a sweet-tart finish. It’s downright addictive. Packaged in small jars, it’d make a great holiday gift. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: EmilyC is a Virginia-based environmental scientist whose recipes have "flavor" writ large.
WHAT: A toasty, buttery take on an old favorite granola recipe—updated with zingy sumac and pomegranate molasses.
HOW: Melt together the butter, honey, and pomegranate molasses; then toss it with the oats, spices, and other dry ingredients. Bake until golden and crisp (and just try to stop eating it).
WHY WE LOVE IT: EmilyC gives a classic granola recipe a subtle Middle Eastern twist with the additions of pomegranate molasses and sumac. The brown butter adds a richness and complexity that granola made with olive oil misses. Adding some dried fruit, as suggested, rounds out this crunchy chewy treat. (And, like EmilyC notes, it really does make the perfect holiday gift.) —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw, shelled pistachios pieces (or unsalted, roasted pistachios)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sumac, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used wildflower)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • about 3/4 cup dried fruit (such as currants, tart cherries, or chopped dates), optional
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, sea salt, and sumac.
  3. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty, about 4 to 6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom so they don't burn. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add honey and pomegranate molasses, stirring until they dissolve. Pour over the granola mixture, mixing until evenly incorporated. (This is a good time to taste for sweetness, salt, and spice and adjust to your personal preferences.)
  4. Spread the granola mixture into a single, even layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, and transfer to oven. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until the granola is toasted and golden brown.
  5. Remove granola from oven. Let cool, then break into clumps or small pieces with your hands. Mix in dried fruit, if using. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cynthia Card
    Cynthia Card
  • Sue MacIntosh Kassem
    Sue MacIntosh Kassem
  • patrick
  • Niknud
  • JanetFL

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

24 Reviews

JuliaM May 14, 2023
my favourite recipe!
Cynthia C. July 28, 2022
This is my go-to granola recipe. Not so sweet as many recipes and a breeze to clean up if you use parchment paper both under and on top of the granola and press a second rimmed sheet pan on top. Read that tip on this site - brilliant! Food52 always has wonderful recipes and it is such a beautiful site!
Sue M. May 22, 2019
Delicious! Even better than I thought it would be. I skipped the pepitas and increased the coconut, walnuts, and pistachios to make up for it. I also used dried cherries. I've been looking for a reason to try the pomegranate molasses, and now I have one. I love the tartness of the molasses/sumac combination. I look forward to my next batch. I love it just to munch on or with fresh blueberries and vanilla yogurt for breakfast. Yum!
jenncc April 28, 2018
Very tasty, crisp granola. I enjoy pomegranate molasses but didn't love it in this - felt it overpowered the sumac (which I practically doubled) and the brown butter. I did not stir my granola while baking (I prefer clumpy granola) and it was done at around 35 minutes.
Christine November 6, 2016
I've been making this since I ran across it a couple months ago, and I'm addicted! I also annoy people by forcing it on them, but they're always glad. My mods: amp up the salt slightly and give it a healthy dusting of cayenne, not enough to actually taste but enough to light up your mouth for a little while after consuming. The result is savory, sweet and satisfying! Also, I've subbed hazelnuts for the walnuts on occasion. And I used Earth Balance for the first few batches, before the vegan son moved out. It wouldn't brown, but it worked fine. Brown butter is a nice note, but there's enough going on here to make it still special without. Thanks so much for this!
patrick August 15, 2016
just wanted to echo some previous comments, this was a stellar recipe, i did make some modifications, including brown sugar vs honey, no pepitas, a little less coconut and salt and no dried fruit. this was fantastic. thanks for sharing and read more here -
Ali W. March 25, 2016
Oh wow, I made a batch of this granola last night, and it is the BEST granola I've ever had! Brown butter just makes everything better, and sumac is right up my alley.... You're a genius Emily!
EmilyC March 25, 2016
Aww thank you -- your comment just made my day!
cpc December 22, 2015
I've made lots of different granola recipes over the years but this one is by far the best recipe I've tried! The combination of flavours were just fantastic, sort of a Middle East inspired granola. I will definitely make this over and over.
EmilyC December 22, 2015
So happy to hear this, cpc! Thank you so much for trying it and for your nice note.
Niknud December 22, 2015
This is like granola with all of my favorite things - oh how I love pistachios. Great recipe - congratulations!
EmilyC December 22, 2015
Thanks Niknud! I hear you on pistachios -- I go through them at an alarming rate, especially this time of year!
JanetFL December 22, 2015
Congratulations, Emily! Delicious recipe!
EmilyC December 22, 2015
Thanks so much Janet!!
Madhuja December 21, 2015
What a great recipe, Emily! Congratulations on being a finalist - so well deserved! :)
EmilyC December 21, 2015
Thank you Madhuja! : )
Cathyarshadi December 21, 2015
This granola is fantastic! What a great combination of flavors and textures. It is hands down the best granola I've ever made. I loved the sumac idea so much I actually doubled the amount. Thanks for such a great recipe!
EmilyC December 21, 2015
What a nice note Cathyarshadi -- thanks so much! Really appreciate the feedback!
Jamie S. December 21, 2015
I've never seen sumac in stores. Where do you get it, or what form (seed, oil, etc.) does it even come in?
EmilyC December 21, 2015
Hi Jamie -- you can find sumac at Middle-Eastern groceries, Penzey's and other spice stores, and more and more grocery stores are carrying it as well. (Here's more information --
It adds a nice tart-lemony flavor here, but the granola will be delicious without it (no substitutions needed) if you can't find it.
Hope this helps!
LeBec F. December 19, 2015
wow, em, what great thinking. I myself have never warmed to sumac but the rest of it looks so terrific for its textures and savory tartness! thx so much for the inspiration; you have my vote!
EmilyC December 19, 2015
Thank you!
drbabs December 1, 2015
Sumac in granola! What a great idea!
EmilyC December 1, 2015
Thanks drbabs! I wasn't sure it was a good idea when I tried it, but now I'm hooked!