Vegan Oil-Free Granola (Healthy and Easy!)


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Two images of oil-free granola.

This vegan oil-free granola is delicious! It’s healthy, easy, and full of crunchy granola clusters. This is a basic granola recipe that you can add all your favorite mix-ins to!

Vegan maple pecan granola that's oil-free!

I will only eat breakfast on weekdays if it’s been prepped in advance. It’s not that I’m not into mornings, it’s just that I never find time in the mornings to make a breakfast from scratch. It needs to be ready to go, and it needs to be healthy. That’s why this easy vegan oil-free granola that’s naturally sweetened has become such a staple for Shane and me.

This recipe is healthy and simple. I love that I can use the same base recipe and still change up the flavorful add-ins every time. If you love granola, you may also love my grain free granola recipe.

If I’m really on top of my breakfast game, I’ll even make a healthy parfait in the mornings (like the one in the picture below). It’s made with this granola and layered with fruit and chia pudding.

Vegan oil-free granola and chia pudding parfait.

How to make granola clusters:

Applesauce replaces the oil in this recipe, and helps hold the granola together. The maple syrup is critical for making the granola clusters because it’s sticky. If you replace it with granulated sugar, you’ll end up with something closer to toasted oat cereal.

There are two important steps for getting crunchy granola clusters.

  1. Once you’ve spread the granola out on the silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet, press down on the granola with the back of a spatula. This squeezes everything together and helps clusters form.
  2. Don’t break the granola apart until it has completely cooled. If you try to break it apart too soon, the clusters will fall apart.

How to add different flavors to this granola:

Add in any spices, nuts, or seeds to your granola mixture before baking.

Once the granola has completely cooled, add in any dried fruits or chocolate.

Dried fruit will burn if you add it in before baking. If you want chocolate chips, you need to wait to add it in until the granola is completely cool. The chocolate can be stirred in while the already baked granola is still warm if you want granola that’s coated in melted chocolate. I love these vegan chocolate chips in this recipe!

How long will this oil-free granola recipe keep?

Store it in an airtight container at room temperature, and it should keep for 2-3 weeks. You can also store it in an airtight container in the freezer for 3 months.

Looking for more healthy vegan oat breakfasts? Try my pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe or my banana breakfast cookies recipe! They’re both reader favorites and are so delicious.

Pumpkin pie oatmeal.
Banana breakfast cookies made with oatmeal and ripe banana.

Are you making this recipe for someone that eats gluten free?

Oats are something that can frequently be cross contaminated with gluten.  Use certified gluten free oats to keep this recipe safe for gluten free people.

What you’ll need:

There are three ingredients and two tools that you’ll need to make the best oil-free granola.


The first ingredient is good quality oats. I use certified gluten free oats and love this brand.

The second ingredient is maple syrup. Seriously, maple syrup is absolutely critical to getting the classic granola crunchy clusters. I love this brand because the quality is incredible and it’s a great value!

The last ingredient is the secret to making granola without oil! This secret ingredient is healthy, delicious and affordable.


The first tool is a good quality baking sheet. This is the sheet I recommend using because it’s an affordable and versatile baking sheet. It will work perfectly for everything from cookies to pizza.

The second tool is a silicone baking mat. Using a silicone baking mat yields much crunchier granola with plenty of granola clusters.

Yield: 8 servings

Vegan Oil-Free Granola

Vegan maple pecan granola that's oil-free!

This vegan oil-free granola is delicious! It's healthy, easy, and full of crunchy granola clusters. A basic granola recipe you add your favorite flavors to!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 cups oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cardamom (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.  
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl so that the oats are evenly coated.  
  3. Pour the granola mixture onto a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Press down on the granola with the back of a spatula.  
  4. Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes (I bake it for 22 minutes).*  
  5. At the halfway point, stir the granola and press down on the granola with the back of a spatula.  
  6. Once it’s finished cooking, let cool completely before breaking it up.  
  7. Add in any additional fruit or chocolate at this point.**


*Keep a close eye on the granola in the last five minutes of baking to make sure it doesn’t burn.  

**If you add any chocolate or dried fruit, do so after the baking process once the granola has cooled, this prevents the chocolate from melting and the fruit from burning.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 7.9gCarbohydrates: 25.4gFiber: 3.2gSugar: 9.5gProtein: 3.6g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments and on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

Be sure to pin this recipe for later!

Vegan oil-free granola with sliced strawberry in a bowl.

Looking for more oil-free vegan breakfast recipes? From My Bowl has tons of delicious recipes that are worth checking out.

Try making this easy vegan oil-free granola!

Vegan oil-free granola with sliced strawberry in a bowl.

4 thoughts on “Vegan Oil-Free Granola (Healthy and Easy!)”

  1. I love the brightness the cardamom adds! I made this yesterday and it was crunchy out of the oven and an hour later when I transferred to an air tight container but this AM, all the crunch is gone. Any tips?

    • Hi Christine, Thanks so much! So happy to hear you enjoyed the flavors. The only things I can think of are 1) it wasn’t fully cooled before it was stored in the air tight container or 2) it needed a paper towel stored in there with it to absorb any extra moisture. Hope that helps! -Alexa

  2. I really love the bright flavors in your granola due to the cardamom! Yum! The only issue I had was the granola maintaining its crunch texture. I let it cool for over an hour then let it continue to cool in the container before putting the top on yet it lost its crunchiness. Any tips? Thank you so much!


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