Air Fryer Granola Recipe (Plant-Based, Gluten-Free)

Can you make granola in an air fryer? Absolutely! This recipe for air fryer granola is not only vegan and gluten-free but also incredibly easy to make. Get ready to indulge in a batch of crispy, chunky, and delicious granola that will leave your taste buds satisfied. Don’t worry if you don’t have an air fryer – I’ll also share how to make oven-baked granola. This whole food plant-based granola is a healthy treat with no added sugar, oil, or refined grains.


Why choose this air fryer granola recipe? Here are some of the advantages:

  • No added sugar and no added oil: Unlike most granola recipes, this one doesn’t include any added sugar or oil. This is a significant nutritional benefit, particularly because many people consume excessive amounts of added sugar.

  • No refined grains: The oats used in this recipe are whole grains, whether you choose rolled oats or quick oats. Unlike refined grains, whole grains contribute to the overall quality of your diet.

  • Made with whole foods: This granola recipe is filled with whole, minimally processed ingredients. By using whole nuts and seeds rather than oils, you’re benefiting from the protein and fiber present in these whole foods.

  • Quick cooking time: Making granola in the air fryer takes about half the time compared to oven-baked granola. Save time while enjoying your homemade granola!

  • Customizable for different diets and preferences: This vegan air fryer granola recipe can be customized to suit various dietary needs. I’ll provide suggestions on how to personalize your granola below.

  • Great for gifting: Package your homemade granola in a beautiful mason jar, and you have a delightful gift to share with friends and loved ones. Spread the deliciousness!

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To make air fryer granola, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Dry oatmeal (rolled oats or quick oats)
  • Unsweetened applesauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • Ripe mashed banana
  • Creamy almond butter (no added sugar or oil)
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Chopped pecans
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Dried or freeze-dried apples (no added sugar or oil)

Make sure to choose gluten-free oats if you prefer a gluten-free granola. Additionally, double-check the labels of dried apple chips to ensure they don’t contain any added sugars or oils.

What type of oats do you use in granola?

For this granola recipe, I typically use old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats. These oats cook quickly and can be used in various dishes. Rolled oats, in particular, count as whole grains since they retain the bran, endosperm, and germ of the grain. Scottish oats and steel-cut oats are alternative options, each offering unique cooking times and textures.


The equipment required for this recipe depends on your chosen cooking method. If you’re using an air fryer, you’ll need an air fryer or an air fryer oven. Additionally, you’ll require parchment paper to line the air fryer tray or basket. If you prefer oven baking, you’ll need parchment paper and a large metal baking tray.

How to Make Air Fryer Granola

Let’s get started on making healthy granola in the air fryer! Begin by whisking together the mashed banana, applesauce, and almond butter until well-combined in a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (excluding the apple chips) – oats, walnuts, pecans, coconut flakes, and pumpkin pie spice. Once mixed, pour the applesauce mixture into the oatmeal mixture and combine thoroughly using a spoon. That’s it – your granola mixture is ready for baking!

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Cook Time and Temperature

When air frying granola, bake it for a total of 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer oven baking, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remember to line your air fryer trays or baking trays with parchment paper before spreading the granola evenly across them. During the cooking process, stir and flip the granola to ensure even browning.

Storing Granola

Store your granola in a mason jar on the countertop or in the pantry, where it will remain fresh for up to a week. Ensure the granola is fully dry before storing to prevent mold growth. If you prefer a crispy texture, store only completely dry granola.

Ways to Customize Granola

Feel free to get creative with your granola by adding or substituting ingredients. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pear sauce
  • Different nuts or legumes (pistachios, macadamias, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts)
  • Seeds (chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • Alternative nut or seed butters
  • Citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)
  • Wheat germ
  • Vanilla or almond extract
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners (for added sweetness without sugar)
  • Egg whites (for extra protein and clumpiness)

Avoid adding maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, molasses, or agave syrup if you prefer to keep your granola sugar-free. Oils like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or butter are unnecessary because the nuts, coconut, and nut butter provide sufficient healthy fats.

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

If you’re aiming for weight loss, be mindful of portion sizes when consuming granola. This recipe yields a high-energy food, so it’s essential to exercise portion control. Consider using granola as a condiment rather than a main component of your meal. For a low-calorie option, try topping fresh chopped apples and unsweetened Greek yogurt with a small amount of granola. This provides more overall food volume and protein, helping you feel satisfied with fewer calories. On the other hand, if you’re looking to gain weight, this granola recipe serves as an excellent high-calorie choice, thanks to its absence of added sugars, oils, and refined grains.

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Creating your own granola in an air fryer opens up a world of possibilities. This plant-based, gluten-free recipe provides a nutritious and delicious alternative to store-bought granola. With no added sugar, oil, or refined grains, this granola is a wholesome treat that can be easily customized to suit your dietary preferences. So gather your ingredients and start enjoying the irresistible crunch and flavor of homemade granola today!

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