Sweet and Salty Three-Seed Granola

This crunchy nut-free granola is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. It’s loaded with three types of seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame. It’ll soon be on your breakfast rotation!

Granola on tray with spoon.

Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

Supermarket shelves are saturated with so many types of bagged granola promising you a wonderful start to your day. So, what’s the case for homemade granola? Let me count the ways. Homemade granola is fresher (and tastier because of that!), cheaper, easy to make, a fun recipe to try with kids, and super customizable to your own personal likes and dislikes. Nut-free? No problem. 

A big jar of sweet and salty three-seed granola will keep everyone happy. Serve this granola for breakfast, eat it anytime of the day as a snack or sprinkle it over ice cream for dessert.

What is Sweet and Salty Three-Seed Granola?

With maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, and two kinds of salt this granola hops the fence from sweet to salty and back again. Like a bag of potato chips, it’ll have you coming back for more. 

Wholesome oats and lots of seeds make a rugged, substantial granola without bringing any crunchy, health-food store vibes. A lower and slower than usual bake temperature and time toasts the oats and seeds evenly from the inside out for a wonderfully robust, full flavor. 

Bowl of yogurt and fruit with granola.

Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

The Best Oats for Granola

This recipe was designed to use old-fashioned rolled oats. They give the granola a hearty texture and withstand the low, slow bake very well. Steel cuts oats would never cook through in the oven and turn out hard and crunchy. Quick-cooking oats sometimes absorb moisture rapidly and could throw off the recipe. 

Should the Seeds be Toasted or Untoasted?

This recipe calls for three types of seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame. The seeds are added to the granola mix untoasted. They become delicious and golden brown as they bake with the rest of the tasty ingredients. 

Adding the seeds in the mix as opposed to after baking gives them a chance to be coated in the sweet, syrupy, olive oil goodness so every mouthful is perfectly seasoned. 

Jar of granola!

Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

The Best Olive Oil for Granola

A mild, fruity, everyday extra virgin olive oil is best suited for this granola. You want the faintest edge of flavor from the olive oil without it coming across as bitter or vegetal. Save your super fine stuff for salads.

Flaky Salt for Pops of Flavor

Adding flaky salt as a finisher in this granola provides gentle pops of saltiness that complement the sweetness of the maple syrup and really brings the savory notes of the olive oil forward. Is it sweet? Is it salty? It’s simply addictive! 

If you don’t have flaky salt or don’t love it, simply skip it, and add up to 1/2 teaspoon extra kosher salt in the granola mixture.

Granola in spoon.

Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

How to Tell When Granola is Done Baking

The granola bakes at a low 325°F, which ensures the oats are well cooked and crisp throughout. When ready to remove from the oven, the surface of the granola will be evenly golden brown from edge to edge. Hold back about a tablespoon of the raw granola mixture, if desired, so you can compare the color before and after and better gauge doneness.

Clumpy vs. Crumbled Granola

Granola cluster fiends, raise your hands! This granola was designed for you. By packing in the granola firmly and not disturbing it while it bakes, you get a big sheet of granola at the end for you to break up into whatever size you fancy. 

The maple syrup and brown sugar caramelize in the oven and effectively “glue” the dry ingredients together. It’s super simple to get smaller crumbs or no clusters at all—don’t press the granola down in the baking sheet quite so firmly. Tossing the granola a few times while it bakes also helps prevent clumping. 

Two bowls of granola with yogurt and fruit.

Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

More Ways to Delicious Granola

The beauty of making your own granola is you can cycle through so many variations by changing just a few ingredients.

 Switch up the seeds! Try these instead:

  • Poppy seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds—add them to the granola after baking.
  • Stay away from chia seeds in this granola as they absorb so much moisture it can affect the final outcome. 

The Sweetener: Use agave instead of maple syrup for a milder flavor. 

The Oil: Substitute a neutral vegetable oil (such as canola or peanut) for the olive oil. 

Chocolate! Add up to 1 cup of mini or regular chocolate chips to the granola along with the dried fruit at the end.

Ways to Enjoy Granola

Admittedly, I usually eat it by the handful straight out of the jar! While that’s certainly one way to do it, you can also put your granola to use in different ways.

  • As a sundae topping over ice cream. I love pairing it with rum raisin flavor.
  • Slice a banana in half and spread the cut side with peanut butter. Sprinkle granola over the peanut butter and tuck in! This idea also works with apple wedges. 
  • With yogurt, more maple syrup and fresh fruit like berries, bananas, or thinly sliced pears.
  • Make granola bark! Melt some chocolate (milk or dark, whichever you prefer) in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Spread the chocolate in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle a handful of granola over the melted chocolate. Chill until firm then break into pieces for an instant pick-me-up. 

 Storing Your Granola

Transfer the fully cooled granola into an airtight container. It’ll keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. 

More Breakfast Crunchies to Try

Sweet and Salty Three-Seed Granola

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 12 to 14 servings
Yield 8 to 10 cups


  • 1/2 cup (150g) maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup (100g) extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 cups (400g) old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 cup (155g) shelled raw sunflower seeds

  • 1 cup (140g) shelled raw pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup (30g) raw sesame seeds

  • 1 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or currants

  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat it to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.

  2. Mix the granola: 

    In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, vanilla, cinnamon (if using), and salt until the oil is emulsified and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. 

    Using a large, sturdy spatula or your clean hands, fold in the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. Mix until combined well and the dry ingredients are evenly coated. 

    Combine ingredients.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

    Whisk ingredients.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

    Combine oats and seeds.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

    Toss granola together.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

  3. Bake the granola: 

    Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a measuring cup, firmly press oats down into a thin, even layer. 

    If you like crumbly granola, stir it with a wooden spoon or spatula every 15 minutes. 

    Bake until evenly light golden brown from edge to edge, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. 

    Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool fully, at least 1 hour. 

    Spread granola on baking sheet.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

    Bake granola.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

  4. Finish and store:

    Break up the fully cooled granola into bite-sized pieces using your hands. Stir in the dried fruit of your choice along with the flaky salt. 

    The granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. 

    Break up granola into smaller pieces.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

    Granola in glass container.

    Simply Recipes / Shilpa Uskokovic

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
358 Calories
19g Fat
42g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 14
Amount per serving
Calories 358
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 798mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 357mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.