This Crunchy Banana Nut Granola has all the warm comforting flavors of my favorite banana bread recipe (the one right here on Simply Recipes!), but it’s a little more suitable for weekday breakfasts.
The brown butter and brown sugar are perfectly matched with toasty oats and walnuts.
But the real secret to this granola’s magic is how the diced bananas get caramelized and chewy after a long slow cook in the oven. It's the perfect texture to contrast the crunch of oats and nuts.
The story of how I met Elise is a funny one. We were in Austin for a conference and Elise was sitting with a few people I knew in the hotel lobby. There were no seats, so I just plopped down on a sofa arm near my friend. Elise looked over and introduced herself, and I blurted out, “Omygosh I love your site.” I think I avoided full fangirl-dom, but barely.
Flash forward a few years, and now we live just a couple of miles apart. We’ve shared meals, baked muffins, seen a fantastic concert, and even spoken on a panel together. When Elise proposed that I start writing for Simply Recipes, I didn’t even have to think about my answer. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Elise asked me to start thinking of fun and interesting granola recipes to share with you, and my brain went into overdrive. Granola is something I make often and the combinations are virtually endless.
I think it’s pretty fitting that we decided on Banana Nut Granola, considering Elise's banana bread was one of the first recipes I ever made from this site. So, in a nod to the most popular thing on Simply Recipes and to one of my favorite treats, please enjoy this brown butter banana nut granola.
More Great Banana Recipes!
Crunchy Banana Nut Granola
I call for raw walnuts because they toast in the oven along with the granola, and nuts that have already been toasted can burn. If you can’t find raw walnuts, you can sub raw almonds or pecans, or simply add toasted walnuts in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
If you like your granola in big clusters, spread the granola in a single, even layer on the baking sheets and do not stir during baking. This way, the granola will bake into one solid piece and you can break it up to clusters once cool.
You can store this granola in airtight containers for about a week, though it rarely lasts so long in our house.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (If using salted butter, taste your mixture before adding salt)
- 1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (Certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts (See recipe notes)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium ripe bananas, diced
Preheat the oven to 275F with two racks placed in the upper and lower halves:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Brown the butter:
Slice the butter into small pats. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, the butter will start foam a bit, then it will begin to turn amber-colored and smell fragrant and nutty.
Watch closely, as the butter can go from browned to blackened fairly quickly. This whole process should only take about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat immediately, and pour the melted butter into a small heatproof bowl.
Melt the brown sugar:
In the same saucepan used to brown the butter, add the brown sugar, vanilla, and water.
Stir over medium-low heat until combined, then cook until the brown sugar is thoroughly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix the granola:
In a large bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt until they are combined and the ingredients look well-distributed.
Add the melted brown butter and brown sugar mix and stir to combine. Then add the diced bananas and stir very gently.
Bake the granola:
Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Place into the warm oven and bake the granola for 45 minutes.
Half way through baking, stir the granola, then swap the top and bottom baking sheets and rotate the pans to avoid any hotspots. (If you want big clusters of granola, do not stir the granola.)
Cool the granola:
Remove the granola from oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before stirring and serving. Store in airtight containers for up to a week.