Big Cluster Granola Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Big Cluster Granola Recipe

I had so many requests for this BIG CLUSTER GRANOLA that I created a blogpost for it.  It’s so much easier to find recipes on my website than to try to find them on Instagram, trust me!  But since I was not prepared to post here, I have no prep shots.  Sorry!!!  This is very similar to my original granola of many moons ago, but there are a couple of differences.  Let’s discuss.

First off, I combine the nuts with the oat mixture and pulse most of it in a food processor to break it down into small pieces.

Second, I no longer add dried fruit to my granola.  It’s sweet enough and we often eat in in smoothies (sweet), with yogurt and berries (sweet), and on oatmeal with fruit (sweet.)  If you want to add dried fruit, do so AFTER the granola comes out of the oven.

Third, I add flaky sea salt and quite a bit of it.  I’m into a saltier granola now.  There are options within the recipe so you can choose a “normal” level of salt.

Fourth and most important change, I bake it until it is just turning golden brown and then shut the heat off but still leave the granola to dry out in the oven.  Please read all my directions so you do not burn your granola.

You will achieve an entire sheet of granola that you can break up into whatever size pieces you want.  As many of you know if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, I store my granola in the freezer because we love eating it frozen.  It’s lighter, crispier and all around more delicious.  But it can certainly be stored for a few weeks in the pantry at room temp.

Thank you all so very much for your kind messages, emails, comments and DM’s about “Quicker Than Quick.”  I had a full-on cry session yesterday because I was so overcome with emotion and because I think the quarantine is getting to me LOL.  When I see pictures of you with your books, you making the recipes already, your kids dog-earing pages, my heart just swells with love and gratitude and a feeling of satisfaction that I am doing the thing I always set out to do – to help support people’s health through home cooking. I love you all more than you know!!  You know the drill, if you make this recipe, I want to know about it!  Tag me on Instagram @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman

If you make a recipe from Quicker Than Quick, I really want to know about it!  Tag me @pamelasalzman #quickerthanquick And if I may ask a giant favor, if you love my book, I would be so appreciative if you would leave a review on Amazon.  Even if you bought a signed copy at Pages Bookstore or your local bookstore, you can still leave a review.  I would appreciate it soooooo much!  Thank you!!  XOXO

Big Cluster Granola
Author: Pamela
Serves: 5 cups
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats* (not steel cut)
  • ½ cup unsweetened, dried coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds or sesame seeds
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts or your favorite nut, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, like Maldon (I personally like it a little salty, so I use 1 teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup or honey (brown rice syrup is stickier, though)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed “half sheet” baking sheet pan ( I used an 18 x 13) with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, coconut flakes, seeds, nuts, and cinnamon.
  3. Take 3 cups of the oat mixture and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer back to the bowl with the rest of the dry mixture. Stir in the flaky salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and vanilla. It is really important to mix the oil and syrups so that everything is well blended otherwise the syrups may burn. Add the oil and syrup mixture to the oat mixture and stir to coat well.
  5. Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared pan and spread out in an even layer. Try not to allow the edges to be too thin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown. Try not to stir at all. The mixture will not be crunchy yet. Turn the heat off but leave the pan in the oven for an hour or even longer. If your oven is designed to hold heat even after the oven is turned off, open the oven door until the heat drops to 250 and then shut the door. Oven is turned off though. You have to know your oven, so make sure you don’t burn the granola. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature before breaking into clusters.
*If you use gluten-free oats, you will have a gluten-free granola.

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  1. I’ve tried MANY granola recipes and this is by far my absolute favorite. We make a double-batch every week and my family of 7 loves it. Thank you!

    • Wonderful! Glad to hear this is a favorite. I love making a batch of this and storing it in the freezer.

  2. Have this resting in the turned off oven for the final hour and the house smells wonderful! After placing in the oven I realized I forgot the vanilla, doh! Based on my taste test pre-baking, I think it will be fine without it, but will definitely be sure to add next time. I combined Pamela’s peanut butter granola recipe with this recipe, so peanut butter was used instead of coconut oil. I followed the instructions on the peanut butter granola and whisked the syrup and honey (didn’t have brown rice syrup) in a pot on the stove at low. I can’t wait for the fully cooked taste test. If the pre-baked sweetness level remains, for my personal preference next time I’ll add a bit more cinnamon and maybe cut back the syrup a bit. Another great recipe that tastes good and makes me happy to provide to the family!

  3. What’s wrong with me? Haven’t made these until now. Since we are beekeepers- chose honey instead of rice syrup. There is one small problem- keeping them away from the men in the house until breakfast!
    Again, you knocked it out of the park.

    • Nice! This one is a favorite. We love storing the granola in the freezer for a great on the go snack.

  4. Hello,
    I am overweight and altering some eating patterns. I bake this instead of cookies. Buckwheat kernels are also a great addition. Thank you for the recipe and method. I am grateful.

    • I love the addition of buckwheat! 🙂

  5. Love this recipe! Perfect flavor and texture. I wanted to make some to gift a friend who is grain free (including quinoa). I am planning on just substituting various nuts in place of the oats. Will that work? Thank You!

    • You should make my grain-free granola from my first cookbook! You can try doing as you suggested though. 🙂

  6. Hi! I have been researching bio-availability of specific nuts and seeds and read that soaking them overnight and drying them out is the best way to increase the nutrient absorption. Is it a good idea to soak the nuts/seeds in this recipe before making the granola or is it not worth the extra effort? Thank you!

    • Yes, I have a blogpost about soaking nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. The thing about soaking them is that they then become a live food. When exposed to temperatures above 115 degrees (like for baking granola), the enzymes activated from soaking will be killed off. But the phytic acid will have been neutralized for better digestion. That said, some phytic acid is neutralized by roasting, although not as much as by soaking.

  7. Hi Pamela-
    I just made this granola last night and it is so delicious!! My kids and I love it and we’ll have to make another batch soon because it’s going to get gobbled up quickly! Thank you for all your wonderful healthful recipes, I have learned to cook a lot since I discovered your first book 2 years ago and I would say at least half of what we eat now regularly Is one of your recipes, seriously! I am so thankful for everything I’ve learned from you and will continue to be a fan forever!

    • Oh, thank you, Laura! That is just amazing and I love have you in my tribe!

  8. The perfect granola recipe! Not too sweet, crunchy from all the nuts, super delicious! Thanks Pamela!

    • Glad you thought so! Now when I eat granola in a restaurant or from a bag – it’s too sweet for me!

  9. Great granola, since I made it for the first time 4 weeks ago, I made a double batch every week. Not too sweet, nice crunch, big clusters. We love it!!

    • Great! The clusters and crunch are everything!

  10. Absolutely delicious!!! Cooking for extended family and this is a quick easy winner! Thank you for everything
    Would love to cook with you sometime! Carlsbad is so close.

    • So glad you enjoyed it! Maybe we can cook together one day!

  11. Best granola! Inspired to make after watching your IG Live. Yum! 5 stars!

    • Thanks!!

  12. I made it after watching your Instagram stories. It is so good and exactly what I’ve been trying to figure out! Thanks for sharing. I’m waiting for arrival of your new cookbook now and can’t wait to get into it.

    • I’m so glad! And thank you for ordering my book. I know you will LOVE cooking from it!

  13. Hi Pamela!
    I’m a huge fan and cook from your first book or site multiple times per week or sometimes every night! Quicker than Quick came in and I can’t wait to try some recipes.
    Question about the granola-I can’t eat nuts, so I’m going to assume that I just leave them out, but wanted to confirm with you that there are no other changes to be made.

    • Wow! Thank you, Kristen!! Yes, leave them out or add in more of the seeds. 🙂

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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