Super-Simple Spiced “Overnight” Granola

I seem to be on the “auto-ship” plan for a lot of publishers thanks to Go Dairy Free, so random diet books and cookbooks often appear on my doorstep without warning. Last week, The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook by Erin Chase arrived. I confess, this one is not really up my alley. The recipes are very, very easy and have short ingredient lists … two things I love … but, there are a many pre-packaged short-cut ingredients used, lots of sugars, and the recipes are almost a bit too basic for our tastes. This cookbook really belongs in the homes of small families with little kids and even littler time.

Also, please note that this cookbook is not dairy-free or free-from in any fashion, not by a long shot. But the recipes are simple enough that some who are free-from and willing to use quite a few store-bought alternatives may find it quite useful.

That all said, I can’t resist looking through cookbooks, and a few recipes intrigued me. I ended up making two of the recipes before passing this cookbook onto my sister (who has a big family, but with small girls and on a budget), and both were a success.

First up was the Lemon & Dill Tuna Pasta Salad

I actually made this gluten-free, as I was testing out Goldbaum’s Brown Rice Pasta. Two thumbs up on the pasta. It was tender and delicious, and the spirals held up even when I let the pasta salad chill overnight! Most gluten-free pastas seem to break quite a bit if slightly overcooked or when stored overnight.

The pasta salad itself had a nice fresh taste (though it still uses some mayo! Just a heads up for you purists), and filled us up for lunch. I did double the tuna and the peas, and I added a grated carrot (keeping the dressing and pasta amounts the same). If I had made the recipe as is, it would have been a bit too carb-rich for us and I think our motors might have run out within an hour or so.

The next day, I decided to give her Overnight Granola a go …

Making granola is so easy, that I literally haven’t bought a box at the store in over three years. But this recipe … this recipe takes easy to a whole new level. I love Erin’s concept to simply “set it and forget it” with the granola, and the fact that she keeps the recipe so basic (just oats) leaves a lot of room for experimentation.

Though you could enjoy it as cereal, topped with fresh fruit and doused with some almond milk, I opted to saute up some apples and dates, and use the granola as a topping. It was a delicious sweet breakfast treat that my husband and I both loved!

Like the original recipe, I kept it simple, but did make a few modifications for taste and texture preferences and to make it dairy-free. I also tested it as a daytime recipe … and as it turns out, just a couple of hours will do …


Super-Simple Spiced “Overnight” Granola

Recipe adapted from The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook by Erin Chase. Erin recommends using a mixture of rolled oats and quick oats as it helps the granola clump a bit … and she was right! I changed the ratio, using more rolled oats, but it still clumped nicely.

This recipe is Vegan / Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free and optionally Gluten-Free (with the use of certified gluten-free oats).

  • 1/4 Cup Oil (I used melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Honey (can sub agave nectar for vegan)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Cups Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Quick Oats (not instant)

Preheat your oven to 300ºF (check to make sure your oven doesn’t run hot!).

Combine the oil, honey, vanilla, spices, and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the oats in a large bowl and stir to mix the two kinds up, then add the liquid ingredients and stir until all those little oats are nicely coated. Spread the oat mixture out on a baking sheet (preferably one with rimmed sides so the granola doesn’t slide off the sheet!) or large jelly roll pan.

Place the oats in the oven and allow them to bake for just 10 minutes, not a minute more, then turn off the oven and leave the granola inside to finish baking. Don’t peak! You can leave them there while you run errands, go to bed, etc. But I found that they were done (as in the oven was cold and the granola was golden) after about 2.5 hours. So 2 to 3 hours is plenty if you are awake and remember them. Stir to declump a bit and store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings

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38 thoughts on “Super-Simple Spiced “Overnight” Granola

  1. YES! I love granola and I used to make it all the time; but I haven’t made it since I stopped eating yogurt a few years ago. Because, really…what do you put granola on? Yogurt.

    I’m all over this one.

  2. The granola looks excellent, love the nutmeg spice here!

  3. I love granola so much… I haven’t made any in a while because I won some 18 Rabbits granola (which is definitely delicious!), but I look forward to making another batch of peanut butter granola sooner than later.

    • I haven’t tried 18 Rabbits, but have heard of it. You have me curious now … but even more so … mmm peanut butter granola …yummm. That’s going on the list 🙂

  4. Now I had heard of overnight oats, but never overnight granola- How intriguing!

  5. I love granola! I cut up fruit, top it with the granola and add a splash of almond milk. Thanks!

  6. Beth S.

    Finally a “normal” recipe sans nuts or wheat germ!! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks Alisa!

    • Straight up, I was tempted to add some cashews, but I thought of all you nut-free foodies out there, and decided to go “clean” and simple with it. Enjoy!

      • Beth S.

        You’re so thoughtful! 🙂

  7. Both the salad (great photo) and the granola look really good to me! Thanks for sharing, Alisa. 🙂


  8. Looks like a good granola recipe to me! I get a lot of books sent to me too, probably not as many as you though 🙂

  9. What a fantastic idea! I went through a big granola makeing phase late last year but have since forgotten somewhat about it (far too hot to have the oven on, really). I’ll have to remember this technique for when it cools down Down Under! 😛

  10. I generally hate cookbooks that use tons of pre-packaged foods as a general rule…but that pasta looks fantastic!

  11. Looks delicious! Great clusters! I love granola but I seem to only be able to make loose granola. I’m going to try this soon.

    • In the cookbook, she said the secret is using a combo of quick oats and rolled oats, but I think cooking it slowly and using enough honey helps too 🙂

  12. Wow. Both photos look awesome, but I am totally going to try this make it and forget it way of granola. What a great great idea. I am with you, I almost never buy granola anymore. One, because there are only a couple brands of GF granola that are good and, two, because it is SO stinking easy and cheap to make your own. My kids would eat granola every day for breakfast so I am always looking for new ways. Thanks for sharing, Alisa! 😉

  13. That granola looks amazing! yum!

  14. So, I don’t buy granola cause I’ll eat it… all of it. Exceptions must be made for this one. With the apples and dates like you did. Looks like apple pie filling! YUM.

    What an easy recipe. I love that you just bake and forget. (for the most part)

  15. Hi there Alisa!

    My name is Steve Walters and I recently started blogging at, which is currently being updated with recipes, but in the next few months will be my vehicle for covering the food and restaurant scene in Bangkok Thailand.

    I am now in the process of meeting as many food bloggers as I can and I found your site recently and was pretty impressed. I’ve added your site to my Foodie Blogs list here: and would also like to add you to my blogroll.

    If you could add my site to your blogroll and write back to let me know it has been added I will add you to mine as well and the exchange would be greatly appreciated!

    As you might imagine I am very excited to get moved to Bangkok and get started on covering the food scene there as I feel it is an area that isn’t well covered by English speaking bloggers. I plan on adding loads of great reviews, pictures and even video and will be holding contests as well. It should be fun, entertaining and informative for everyone that visits.

    Thank you so much in advance for adding me to your blogroll and I look forward to reading your posts (I’ve subscribed!) and maybe even featuring some of your own posts as I do plan on a weekly roundup of Thai themed recipes and posts from other food bloggers.

    Warm regards,

  16. This granola looks great!

  17. You are so smart! Love this idea. I’m going to have to make this tomorrow morning so it’s ready by the time I get home from yoga after lunch. Thank you for sharing this on Real Food Weekly.

    • Let me know if you do make it Diane and what you think! I’m going to tinker with this recipe some more myself. Hopw you enjoyed the SuperBowl!

  18. Alisa,

    I chose you for The Versitile Blogger awards. See the details on my blog here: and if you accept, post 7 things about yourself and pass the award on to your choice.

  19. Thats an interesting way to do the granola. I love the stuff…perhaps a little too much…

  20. Yay- linked!

  21. wow, i love this idea. and i need to make my own granola more often… this technique sounds great!

  22. This sounds really tasty. Interesting that she uses two varieties of oats in this!

  23. Ruthe

    Sounds delicious. If you want the granola to be gluten free, (regular oats are not gluten free – it’s a processing issue). Gluten free oats are available – Bob’s Red Mill is probably easiest to find.

  24. Can you believe I have only made granola once???/ Many years ago. This recipe looks so simple. I love how it has all ingredients that are in my kitchen right now! And it looks like it’s pretty low in sugar! I am a sucker for baked apples, so I need to try and make this granola and my baked apples the next night to pair it up with!! Amazing!

    • Oh girlfriend, you must get some homemade granola on the go! Easy peasy comfort food for moms 🙂

  25. I finally got around to trying this, but it didn’t come out as crunchy or “clumpy” as I would have liked. The oats are still pretty soft. I followed the ingredients and directions exactly. I can’t figure out what when wrong. The honey I had was too hard (crystallized), so I subbed agave nectar as you suggested–could that be the reason?

    • Hi Bethany, I haven’t made granola this way in a while, so I can’t quite recall if this was a “clumpy” type of granola. I believe it clumped just a bit, but it should be crispy, not soft regardless. I made it in a very dry climate. Do you live in a humid or semi-humid climate? If so, that can cause too much moisture to remain. Otherwise, I’m a bit baffled.

      To fix, you should be able to crisp-up the granola and can even “clump” it. Add a wet ingredient like more sweetener, nut or seed butter, or even chocolate chips! Toast it in the oven at 350 for just 10 minutes or so. The higher temp should help crisp it up. Let it sit too cool before breaking up.

      • Well, it was raining last night . . . and I left it in overnight, so I wonder if that made a difference.
        Thanks for the tips to “crisp it up”–I will try one!

        • That could be it! Ever since we moved to a very wet climate, I have so much trouble getting the moisture out of foods. Getting veggies to roast in the oven rather than steam is such a challenge.

          • Or maybe it’s my oven! I have trouble getting potatoes to crisp while roasting, but my mom (who lives in the same area) can do them perfectly. Or maybe it’s me!! 🙂

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