How to Make Granola in the Slow Cooker

This recipe can be made in smaller slow cookers, but it requires a lot more checking and needs more time to cook; I also I find the results are a bit uneven. More surface area means more even cooking, so use larger one if possible when in doubt.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil, or cooking spray for greasing the slow cooker
  • 2 cups raw and unsalted nuts and seeds
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking oats; gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups freeze-dried fruit or 1 cup dried fruit, chopped if the fruits are larger than raisins (Or use a delicious mix of both!)

Special equipment:

Method

1 Lightly spray or grease the inside of the slow cooker with oil.

Slow Cooker Granola spray the inside of the cooker with oil

2 Add the ingredients to the slow cooker: Combine the oats, coconut, nuts and seeds, spices, and salt in the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Whisk together the oil, liquid sweetener, and vanilla extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix together.

Easy Granola in the Slow Cooker combine the spices, seeds, nuts, and oats

Easy Homemade Granola in the Slow Cooker add the wet ingredients and stir the granola

3 Slow cook the granola: Set the slow cooker to high and leave the lid a bit ajar. This will allow moisture to escape and encourage hot air to circulate.

Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring the mixture together thoroughly every 20 to 30 minutes. (For my decade-old slow cooker, the magic number for the total cooking time seems to be 2 hours and 15 minutes). Be aware that each slow cooker is different, so you may need more or less time.

Toward the end of cooking, keep a closer eye on it as the nuts and coconut may begin to burn if they’ve not been stirred enough. The granola is finished when it starts to smell fragrant and the ingredients take on a toasted color.

Slow Cooker Granola slow cook the granola

4 Cool the granola: Spread the granola out onto a few cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment (for easy transfer later) to encourage cooling. The granola will crisp further as it cools, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once cool, stir in any dried fruit as desired.

Homemade Granola in the Slow Cooker let the granola cool

5 Store the granola: Place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 2 weeks.

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Comments

  • Sarah

    I cant wait to try this! I am on a granola kick and can’t wait to send this to my daughter as well

  • KKH369

    I will definitely try this. Not sure how turning the oven on is a huge pain tho, lol. Seems a LOT easier to me than getting out the slow cooker!

    Speaking of slow cooker, the closest thing I have is a crock pot. Will that work?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, KKH! A crockpot is a type of slow cooker, so YES! As long as it’s 3 1/2 quarts or larger, you’re good to go. Enjoy!

      • KKH369

        That’s what I figured. It’s a REALLY old Crock Pot, like literally from the early 70s, but it still works! And it’s 4 quarts so yay!

  • Peppermint Dolly

    This is so clever!! I feel confident that granola will be in my pretty immediate future!! :-)

  • Lia

    O.M.G our oven has been broken since we moved in (6 weeks and counting) and our landlord is terrible so no idea when it will be fixed. This looks like a game changer – will report back.

  • Skatie

    What happens if you use quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats?

    • Garrett McCord

      Hi Skatie! Quick oats are cut into much finer, smaller pieces and have more powder in the mix, so it will have a tendency to burn easily. You can use it, but you may get a granola that’s extra toasty and requires much more attention on your part to ensure it doesn’t burn. However, you may find you prefer this flavor. I personally prefer the texture of old-fashioned oats for granola.

      • Skatie

        Okay, thanks! We’re a gluten-free family (celiac disease + other autoimmune issues) and I have a big 10lb bag of GF quick oats, and well, stuff ain’t cheap, sooo…I’ll give it a try and post another comment with the results. I really hope this works, because GF granola ain’t cheap either, and my kids go through it like your husband!

        • Garrett McCord

          I often buy my ingredients for granola in bulk when I can. Usually picking up whatever is cheapest at the time.

          • Skatie

            I do the same. Bulk buying is so much cheaper in the long run.

            SO. Took me longer to get to than I’d intended, but it worked out just fine. I used gluten-free quick oats and stirred every 20 min, until close to the end when I stirred every 10-15min. It took a little under two hours. Tastes great, my kids are already diving in. Thank you for this recipe, it’s definitely becoming a regular here!