Irresistible Chocolate Granola with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil

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Sneak Peek: This Chocolate Granola with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil is a sweet and salty experience that deserves to be your new breakfast habit or afternoon snack. It makes the BEST yogurt topping.

chocolate olive oil granola with a scoop and Mason Jar

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Do you find storebought granola disappointing? When I tear open a package of storebought granola, I like to see whole pieces. So please don’t give me a bunch of powdery and dry crumbs. It’s a sad way to start the day.

May I suggest this simple recipe for homemade chocolate-flavored granola? Not only is it FRESH, but each ingredient is identifiable, crunchy, and irresistibly tasty. Don’t miss my hint for making big chunks of granola if that’s the way you like it.

Although I eat granola mostly with homemade yogurt, that’s not the only way.

Seven ways to eat chocolate granola (besides yogurt):

  1. Treat it like cereal–pour it into a bowl and add milk. Call it breakfast.
  2. Sprinkle it on a peeled banana.
  3. Scatter it over ice cream.
  4. Use it to garnish a cup or dish of pudding.
  5. Add to cookie, brownie, or bread dough.
  6. Sprinkle on top of toast slathered with peanut butter or Nutella.
  7. Roll a dessert cream cheese ball in crushed chocolate granola and serve with fresh fruit, butter crackers, or thin shortbread.
chocolate granola with fruit and yogurt

Recipe inspiration:

Have you ever made granola? It’s not hard at all. All you need is a large bowl and a big spoon. But be warned. Once you make it, the texture will cause will spoil you against the grocery store variety.

My favorite granola recipe was introduced to me by Orangette and slightly adapted from Nekisia Davis’ Early Bird Granola and Food 52. I added cocoa to make this chocolate version.

Ingredients and substitutions:

Ingredients needed for this granola
  • OATMEAL: This recipe is written for old-fashioned rolled oats. Instant oats are thinner so the bake time would be different. Steel-cut oats are a completely different animal. Save those for another recipe.
  • OLIVE OIL: Extra-virgin olive oil that smells fruity will set this granola apart from the average. You could substitute avocado, grapeseed, or coconut oil.
  • BROWN SUGAR: Brown sugar adds a butterscotch flavor that plays well with the maple syrup. If you use artificial brown sugar as a substitute, watch your granola carefully in the oven. It has a tendency to brown faster than real brown sugar. Read the package for the specific amount recommended to replace regular brown sugar.
  • DARK COCOA POWDER: My favorite for this recipe is Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dark chocolate granola. You can substitute regular cocoa for Dutch-process cocoa. However, the finished product will not look or taste as chocolatey.

    You can also leave the cocoa out completely for delicious olive oil granola.
  • MAPLE SYRUP: Maple syrup is a distinctive feature of this recipe. Honey or molasses are both thicker than maple syrup, so they would not be a 1:1 replacement. Read more about how to substitute for maple syrup.
  • NUTS: When it comes to nuts, I play fast and loose. Substitute unroasted cashews, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, pinenuts, sliced almonds, etc.
  • SEEDS: Use raw seeds such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas) since you will add them before baking your granola. Chia seeds and flax seeds can be added after baking.
  • COCONUT: Coconut flakes (shaved coconut) are my favorite ingredient. Of course, you could substitute shreds, but coconut lovers will appreciate the bigger pieces of coconut. It’s fun to pick them out of the mix and eat those toasty babies individually when no one is looking.

If you want to keep your granola lean and mean (sans chocolate), check out my recipe for Skinny Granola. That name may be an oxymoron, but it’s leaner than this recipe.

How do you make homemade chocolate granola?

mixing granola in a bowl

Combine the first seven ingredients (all the oatmeal, nuts, shredded coconut, and seeds) into a large mixing bowl.

adding sugar and cocoa to granola

Add brown sugar and dark cocoa. Stir well.

adding maple syrup

Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Combine to coat all ingredients.

spreading granola on a cookie sheet

Transfer to foil-covered cookie sheets–it works better if the pan has sides. Smooth the granola into an even layer.

stirring granola

Bake at 300˚F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

mashing hot granola to create clumps

If you want clumps or small clusters: After stirring granola the second time, pat it down with a spoon. When finished baking, let the granola cool without stirring.

two hands holding a bowl of granola

Let the granola cool completely before storing.

FAQ about making homemade granola:

Does granola need to be refrigerated?

No. Refrigeration will cause granola to eventually lose its crispiness. If your granola somehow loses its crispiness, put it in the oven for a few minutes till it turns crunchy again.

Can I freeze chocolate granola?

Yes, Wrap granola securely in a freezer-weight zippered plastic bag.

How do you get granola to clump?

Only stir it once while baking. When done, press the granola down onto the tray with a spatula or your hand. Let it cool completely before you break it up.

Can I add dried fruit to granola?

Yes. Try dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, mangoes, etc.

Wait until after the granola is baked before you add any dried fruit. Otherwise, it can turn hard when it cools, as in hard enough to break a tooth.

How long will granola stay fresh?

Granola can be stored in the pantry for approximately one to two months. Store in a Mason jar or zippered plastic bag. Prolong the storage period by vacuum-sealing your granola into a Mason jar in much the same way I do lettuce.

What else can I do with oatmeal?

If you are looking for a fun project in the kitchen for your kids or grandkids, try these Homemade Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-Tarts. If you are a bread baker check out these Honey-Oatmeal Dinner Rolls or this Bread Machine Sunflower-Oatmeal Bread.

A Granola Riddle:

Question: How is granola like an oatmeal cookie?

Answer: Both are delicious and taste similar. Both contain heart-healthy oatmeal, some form of sugar and fat, and should be eaten in small quantities. (Speaking for myself here.) Want to test this for yourself? Try these chocolate oatmeal cookies.

Question: How is granola different from oatmeal cookies?

Answer: Oatmeal cookies usually contain flour and eggs. Granola does not. That means it is gluten-free. (This recipe just happens to be dairy-free, too.)

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite vices.


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

chocolate granola with fruit and yogurt on the side

Chocolate Granola Recipe with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil

This Chocolate Granola recipe is sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup. Olive oil makes it crispy and adds a subtle fruity flavor. Good for breakfast. Even better with yogurt.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 20 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats - not instant or quick
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2-3 tablespoons dark Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300˚F.
  • Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a large spoon or your hands.
  • Pour maple syrup and olive oil over oatmeal mixture and continue mixing.
  • Spread in a thin layer on a greased full-sheet cookie tray. Or, cover your tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet for easier clean-up.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Add dried fruit as you take the granola out of the oven the last time. Allow to cool completely before storing in glass jars or plastic bags.
  • Makes 1/2 gallon plus one pint.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Granola Recipe with Maple Syrup and Olive Oil
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
285
Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
18
g
28
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Sodium
 
122
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
28
g
9
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate granola, dark chocolate, maple syrup, olive oil granola
Like this recipe? Thanks for leaving a 5-star rating inside the recipe at the top! 🤩

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. christine says:

    5 stars
    I have been making this granola for years and it truly is perfection! I’ve tried it with many subs with different seeds/nuts to different amounts of brown sugar, maple syrup, and oil, but I always return to the original. Once you make this you will never buy granola again. It’s the BEST. Thanks Paula!?

  2. 5 stars
    My husband loves yogurt and even more so with this yummy granola. Have used almonds when I was out of pecans and occasionally omit the coconut as it is not one of my favorite items. Also, I use sugar free syrup. You would never know the difference! Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

    1. It’s like eating cookie crumbles. Right?

  3. 5 stars
    This is very much like the recipe that my mother used to make minus the chocolate. I don’t have her exact recipe any more, but I remember her mixing all the ingredients with maple syrup (maybe it was corn syrup, not sure) and oil. There were five of us so she made it in large batches and we had it as toppings for cereal. I’m going to try this recipe to see if it is my mother’s. Thanks.

    1. Hey Stephen,
      I made this for years without the chocolate. Whenever, I discovered chocolate granola, I never went back.

      1. 5 stars
        We now have 12 of the 13 grandchildren with us and I have been making your granola recipe almost non-stop. They have with their cereal, with ice cream, with jam, and sometimes just out of the bin as a snack. We even have a gluten=free version using flax and almond flour in place of the oats. Everyone thanks you especially me. This time I’ve added the chocolate.

        1. You are obviously having so much fun!! Happy to hear that your grands love the granola. Kudos to you for coming up with a gluten-free version!