Find out if granola is safe for a gluten-free diet, what brands to look for at the grocery store, and get a gluten-free granola recipe to try at home.
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If you love granola, you know that this sweet, crunchy food can be full of healthy ingredients like oats, nuts, and seeds. It can be eaten plain straight out of your hand, sprinkled on yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt), or even eaten like cereal with milk poured over the top.
This delicious food can be store-bought or homemade, but the biggest question – if you follow a gluten-free diet like I do, is… Is granola gluten-free?
In this post, we’re going to dive deep into the topic of granola and find out if granola is safe for a gluten-free diet, talk about the ways to make sure the granola you’re buying or making is gluten-free, and what brands to look for next time you’re at the store.
We’re also going to talk about how to make your own granola so that it’s safe for your gluten-free diet, and you get to choose how to flavor it and make it your own with different ingredients. This recipe is both gluten-free and dairy-free.
First, let’s talk about the basics of granola, then go into the brands, and finish out the post with a delicious gluten-free granola recipe.
Is granola gluten-free?
Most store-bought granola is not gluten-free, as it contains either gluten-containing ingredients or oats that have been subject to cross contamination.
Are oats gluten-free?
Oats are a common ingredient in granola, so it’s important to know whether oats are safe for a gluten-free diet before buying a granola package off the grocery store shelf.
Oast are naturally gluten-free and on their own and processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility are safe for a gluten-free diet.
However, most oats aren’t considered gluten-free, because they can become contaminated with gluten in a shared facility with gluten-containing grains. Processing wheat, barley, or rye on the same equipment can result in cross contamination of gluten in oats.
Unfortunately, this is the case for all oats that aren’t specifically treated in gluten-free facilities and on gluten-free equipment, so if you follow a gluten-free diet, you’ll want to be aware of this.
Read on: Are Quaker Oats Gluten-free?
Read on: Is Oatmeal Gluten-free?
How to make sure your granola is gluten-free
While a lot of granola that is packaged and sold at grocery stores contains gluten, there are a number of options that are gluten-free. Here’s how to make sure that the granola you’re buying and making is gluten-free.
Look for a gluten-free label
If you’re buying packaged granola, be sure to look at the ingredients lists for gluten, as well as for a gluten-free label. Any packaged food has to have less than 20ppm of gluten in it for it to be considered gluten-free and allowed to carry this label.
Look for this so that you know it’s a safe option for you and your diet.
Use certified gluten-free oats
If you plan to make your own gluten-free granola at home, be sure that you’re using certified gluten-free oats.
Any package with a certified gluten-free label has been tested by a third party to ensure that the product meets the 20ppm or less level of gluten in the product.
Now that you know that most granola isn’t gluten-free unless there’s a specific gluten-free or certified gluten-free label, let’s talk about which brands you can look for at the grocery store.
Gluten free granola brands
Try one of these gluten-free granola brands next time you’re looking for a done-for-you granola to add to your breakfast routine.
These brands have gluten-free labels and are safe for a gluten-free diet. This list isn’t exhaustive and there are likely dozens of other gluten-free granola brands out there, but here are some to get you started.
Those marked with an asterisk below indicate both gluten-free and dairy-free.
- Decadent White Chip Raspberry Swirl*
- Decadent Monster Cookie*
- Dark Chocolate Sea Salt*
- Extreme Nut & Fruit Granola*
- Walnut Raisin Apple Granola*
- Cranberry Almond Maple Granola*
- Sprouted Grains & Honey Granola*
- Sprouted Blueberry Flax Granola*
- Sprouted Maple Quinoa Granola*
- Grain-free Maple Vanilla*
- Grain-free Chocolate*
- Cacao + Cashew Butter Soft Baked Granola*
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Granola
- Toasted Coconut Almond Fit Granola*
- Almond Coconut Grain Free Granola*
- Dark Chocolate Almond Grain Free Granola*
- Maple Cinnamon Grain Free Granola*
- Oatmeal Cookie Chunk Organic Protein Granola*
- Peanut Butter Toffee Crunch Organic Protein Granola
- Maple Sea Salt Homestyle Granola*
- Cranberry Almond Homestyle Granola*
- Coconut Spice Homestyle Granola*
- Lemon Blueberry Homestyle Granola*
- Gluten-free Honey Oat Granola*
- Gluten-free Apple Blueberry Granola*
- Pumpkin & Flax Seed Granola*
- Chocolate Coconut Crunch Granola*
- Fruit & Nut Granola*
- Endurance Crunch Granola*
- Double Chocolate Granola
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola*
- Vanilla Almond Quinoa Granola*
- Peanut Butter Granola*
- Oatmeal Raisin Granola*
- Honey Oat Clusters Granola*
- Coconut Chia Granola*
- Tri Berry Granola*
- Raisin Crunch Sprouted Granola*
- Coco Crunch Sprouted Granola*
- Apple Cinnamon Sprouted Granola*
- Almond Cherry Granola*
- Chocolate Chip Granola*
- Vanilla Maple Granola*
- Cherry & Berry Granola*
- Pecan Almond Granola*
- Chocolate Hazelnut Granola*
- Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Grain-free Granola*
- Cacao Coconut Granola*
- Strawberry Probiotic Clusters
- Vanilla Almond Probiotic Cluster
- Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters*
- Oats & Honey Granola with Toasted Coconut*
- Dark Chocolate Clusters*
- Cinnamon Oat Granola with Flax Seeds*
- Blueberry Granola with Flax Seeds*
- Raspberry Granola with Chia Seeds*
- Maple Quinoa Granola with Chia Seeds*
- Almond Butter Clusters*
- Gingerbread Grain free Granola Bites*
- Lemon Blueberry Grain free Granola Bites*
- Cacao Cherry Grain free Granola Bites*
- Vanilla Cinnamon Grain free Granola Bites*
- Pumpkin Fig Grain free Granola Bites*
- Maple Raisin Grain free Cereal*
- Berrylicious Grain free Granola Bites*
- Golden Turmeric Superfood Granola*
- Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola*
- Honey Almond Granola*
- Caramel Pecan Grain Free Granola*
- Coconut & Cashew Butter Granola*
- Summer Berries Granola*
- Vanilla Poppy Seed Grain Free Granola*
- Almond Cranberry Granola*
- Sprouted Oat Cinnamon Flax Granola*
- Sprouted Oat Honey Hemp Granola*
- Sprouted Oat Vanilla Chia Granola*
- The Original*
- Maple Pancake*
- Cinnamon Blueberry*
- Chocolate Fix*
- Apple Pie*
- Pina Colada*
- Pumpkin Pie*
- Chocolate Sea Salt Probiotic Granola*
- Original Ancient Grain Granola*
- Pumpkin CInnamon Ancient Grain Granola*
- Blueberry Hemp Ancient Grain Granola*
- Honey Almond Probiotic Granola*
- Maple + Almond Butter Nut Butter Granola*
- Cranberry Pecan Ancient Grain Granola*
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola*
- Maple Walnut Probiotic Granola*
- Vanilla Almond Butter Grain-free Granola + MCT Oil*
- Coconut Cashew Grain-free Granola*
- Banana Nut Butter Grain Free Granola*
- Cinnamon Peanut Butter Grain-free Granola + MCT Oil*
- Chocolate Hazelnut Grain-free Granola + MCT Oil*
- Vanilla Cinna-Yum*
- Pumpkin Punch*
- Berry Burst*
- Cherry Ca-Pow*
- Almond Butter Granola*
- Chocolate Coconut Granola*
- Au Naturel Granola*
- Cranberry Granola*
- Original Granola*
- Vanilla Granola*
Where to buy gluten-free granola
You can buy gluten-free granola at your local grocery store in the health food or gluten-free area of your store. You can also look at any local health food store if you have one nearby.
If you have a tough time finding gluten-free granola locally, you can buy it online through Amazon or Thrive Market.
If you aren’t familiar with Thrive Market, they have amazing gluten and dairy-free foods, as well as supplements and probiotics.
Make your own gluten-free granola
If you’d rather ensure that all ingredients are safe for your gluten-free diet, or if you just like to get creative with flavors, you can make your own gluten-free granola at home.
Here are the ingredients you’ll want to have on hand to make your own gluten-free granola and how to put it together step-by-step.
Ingredients in gluten-free granola
Gluten-free granola can be made with any variety of ingredients, including oats, nuts, and flavorings. You can even add dried fruit, nut butters, and dairy-free chocolate chips if you’d like to.
These are the ingredients in my base recipe for gluten-free granola, but you can feel free to add or swap out any of the ingredients that you’d like to!
Gluten-free Rolled Oats
Gluten-free rolled oats are the major ingredient in gluten-free granola. Be sure to choose a certified gluten-free oat option from the store to know for sure that there’s no gluten cross contamination in the package.
Choose rolled oats or old fashioned oats over instant oats, as these won’t hold up and give the right texture that we’re looking for with this recipe.
Unsweetened Coconut Chips
I always add coconut to my granola, because it gives it a depth of flavor and a subtle toasty sweetness after they’ve been cooked. I’ve used both coconut flakes and coconut chips and really enjoy both of them in my finished granola.
I use almonds in my gluten-free granola recipe, but any nuts are great for making your own granola at home. I’ve used pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios in some of my other batches of granola I’ve made.
Coconut oil is a great ingredient for gluten-free granola, because it has a high smoke point. When we cook this gluten-free granola in the oven, we’re only cooking at 250 degrees, so this oil does really well in this recipe. Plus it lends a subtle coconut flavor that is really delicious.
Maple syrup adds a depth of richness and sweetness to this homemade gluten-free granola. If you don’t have maple syrup on hand or if you prefer something different, you can swap this ingredient for honey as well.
Read on: Is Maple Syrup Gluten-free?
Flax meal is added to this recipe to give it some additional fiber. Though there is fiber in the oats, I feel good about adding even a little more to the recipe. Plus it soaks up some of the liquid from the maple syrup and coconut oil, infusing the flavor into the granola.
I don’t make much of anything sweet without adding vanilla extract. This ingredient gives the granola an overall homemade flavor that makes the house smell amazing. Pick a high quality vanilla extract since you’ll taste it in every bite.
Read on: Is vanilla extract gluten-free?
Salt is added to this recipe to balance out all the sweetness. A little goes a long way, but it plays nicely against the maple syrup.
Cinnamon is optional in this gluten-free granola recipe, but I like that it infuses the flavor of the granola and gives it an overall warm flavor without being too spicy. You can choose to keep this ingredient out if you wish when you make this recipe.
Best gluten-free granola mix-ins
When it comes to making gluten-free granola at home, one of the best things about it is that you can make it unique and custom to what you like!
Feel free to add in any and all of these mix-in ideas for extra flavor and texture:
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Chia seeds
- Different nuts, like pecans, cashews, almonds, or pistachios
- Chocolate chips (add this after cooking)
- Citrus Zest
- Dried fruit, like raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries
How to make gluten-free granola
Making gluten-free granola at home is pretty straightforward and only needs a little babysitting along the way. Follow these steps to a delicious granola every time.
Preheat the oven
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine ingredients in a bowl
Whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in oats, coconut chips, flax meal, and cinnamon. Combine everything until well incorporated.
Transfer the granola mixture
Transfer your combined granola ingredients to the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer. Transfer to the preheated oven.
Bake the granola
Bake the granola for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the granola out and sprinkle chopped almonds over the top of the oat mixture.
Mix almonds in completely using a spatula to then move the granola into an even layer again.
Check and stir the granola
Set a timer for 10 minute intervals and stir granola starting from the outer corners working in to make less of a mess. Check the granola after each 10 minute interval as you’re stirring for doneness.
You’ll know the granola is done when the oats are crunchy and most of the liquid is gone. My batch took about 55 minutes total.
Cool and store
Once the granola is done, remove it from the oven and cool on the counter completely. The granola will continue to harden as it cools so pull it when the oats are golden brown and most of the liquid has absorbed or cooked off.
Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid for up to two weeks in your pantry or fridge.
Tips on making gluten-free granola
If this is your first time making gluten-free granola, here are some tips on making it your own and making sure it turns out great.
- Use certified gluten free old fashioned oats or certified gluten free rolled oats. Don’t use quick oats or instant oats for this recipe
- You can substitute the coconut oil for any other oil or vegan butter. Olive oil, vegetable oil, and avocado oil all work well
- Swap the maple syrup for honey in this recipe if you prefer that flavor or you have one or other other on hand
- Use pure vanilla extract over imitation vanilla. The flavor really comes through so make sure you’re using good quality ingredients
How to enjoy gluten-free granola
You can enjoy this gluten-free granola the same way you’d eat any other granola. Here are a few delicious ideas for how to enjoy it.
- Plain by the handful as a snack
- With yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
- With milk or dairy-free milk
- Sprinkled on a smoothie bowl
- On top of fresh or cooked fruit
- Sprinkled on ice cream or dairy-free ice cream
How to store gluten free granola
Gluten-free granola will last about two weeks in your pantry after making it. You’ll want to store it in an airtight container, like a glass jar with a lid or a plastic food storage container.
You can also refrigerate or freeze granola if you wish to extend the life of it. This will work best if you use a vacuum sealer to get all the excess air out first.
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 2 tbsp flax meal
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- Heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in oats, coconut chips, flax meal, and cinnamon.
- Transfer the combined granola ingredients to the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer. Transfer to the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then open the oven and sprinkle chopped almonds over the top of the oat mixture. Mix almonds into the granola mixture, then put back in the oven.
- Set timer for 10 minute intervals and stir oats starting from the outer corners working it in. My batch took about 55 minutes total.
- The granola will continue to harden as it cools so pull it when they are golden brown. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid for up to two weeks in your pantry or fridge.
Whether you like to make or buy granola, I hope that this post has given you everything you need to continue enjoying this food on your gluten-free diet.