Peanut Butter Granola

Using a short ingredient list of pantry basics, this peanut butter granola is incredibly good. It features a peanut butter and maple syrup coating that bakes beautifully into crunchy oat clusters.

Peanut Butter Granola

This peanut butter granola is my granola of choice as the seasons change. If mornings are cold enough to need a sweater, the homemade granola I’m baking is getting an extra layer as well. In this case that extra layer is a warm mixture of peanut butter and maple syrup accented with lemon zest. Combine this with a bowl of old-fashioned oats, and the granola it forms while baking develops a peanut-centric, powdery soft coating. Cashmere and crunchy clusters. So good.
peanut butter granola topping yogurt in a ceramic bowl

If you’ve never baked homemade granola before, this would be the recipe to try. The ingredient list is short, and consists of items you might already have in your pantry - oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, lemon, vanilla extract. It’s not a lot of effort, you can bake a double batch, and you’ll likely be way ahead on cost compared to store-bought granolas which can be super pricey.peanut butter granola in a large mason jar

How To Make Peanut Butter Granola

Making peanut butter granola couldn’t be simpler! You gently heat a mixture of peanut butter and maple syrup along with a couple other ingredients into a beautiful molten mixture that will have you licking the pan. Pour this mixture over your oats and peanuts and bake into golden-edged clusters.a mixing bowl filled with granola ingredients and a large spoon

A Couple Tips

There are a couple things I pay close attention to when making this granola. I’m calling them out here, before you get down into the recipe, for emphasis.

  • Mixing matters: First, you want to mix the oats and peanut butter coating *really* well. Stir, stir, and then stir some more. This way you get a uniform granola that will bake more evenly.
  • No blond granola: For this granola (and most granolas, really) to be truly great you need it toasted. I’d rather over-bake this granola versus underbake. Go for golden edges, and stir the granola at least once to give some of the center a chance to toast out near the edges.

granola spread across a baking sheet prior to baking
Well mixed granola before baking (above). And nicely toasted granola after baking (below).
clumps of peanut butter granola on a rimmed baking sheet

Variations & Ideas

I've included the recipe down below, it's a great base recipe for peanut butter granola, but keep in mind you can use it to explore all sorts of other ideas and variations! For example:

  • Experiment with other nut butters: Of the nut butters, I prefer the strong flavor of peanut butter, but almond butter is another option especially if you or someone close to you has a peanut allergy. I want to do a pistachio butter version, but would have to name it Millionaires’ granola. The last small jar I bought was $25 - worth every penny, but so far it has been reserved for enjoying by the spoonful straight from the jar.
  • Add boosters:  You can add nutritional boosters here and/or spices. Adding a couple tablespoons of chia or hemp seeds to the oat mixture is one option. Adding a tablespoon of curry powder to granola is another favorite flavor boost.
  • Gluten Free Peanut Butter Granola: use gluten-free oats and follow the recipe as written.
  • Use granola in baking: Mix a couple cups of clumps of peanut butter granola into your next batch of chocolate chip cookies, or shortbread.

peanut butter granola topping yogurt in a ceramic bowl

Peanut butter granola served over Greek yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup and some crushed freeze-dried raspberries.

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Peanut Butter Granola

5 from 5 votes

You can use unsalted or salted peanut butter here. If using unsalted, you may want to use a bit more salt than the recipe calls for. It’s to your liking really.

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant oats)
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, well mixed
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F / 165°C with rack in the top third.
  2. Combine the oats and peanuts in a large bowl. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix together the lemon zest, peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until creamy and uniform in appearance, a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Taste and stir in a bit more salt if you think the mixture is under-seasoned.
  4. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats and stir well. Really go for it until everything is equally well-coated. Transfer to the prepared baking, flatten into the pan with the back of a spatula and bake for 25 minutes or until the granola at the edges is golden. Use a spatula to stir the granola, press and flatten back into place. Finish baking until golden all over, another 10 minutes or so.

  5. Allow to cool completely in the pan before serving. The granola can be kept in an air-tight container for a couple of weeks. You can divide it across two quart-sized mason jars.

Serves 12.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


Thoughts on using almond butter instead of peanut butter? My son is very allergic to peanuts so we do not use it in any cooking here at home.


    Yep! Go for it!

    Heidi Swanson

Omg, PB granola, brilliant Heidi!!! Made a riff on this today, part 101 Cookbooks, part Amy Chaplin granola recipe from her book; so good! No peanuts, no lemon zest. Subbed coconut oil for olive oil, added sprouted buckwheat groats, chia seeds, unhulled sesame seeds and coconut flakes. Upped the salt to 1 tsp. It’s soooo dreamy and delicious.


    Sounds delicious Ruby! I'm making another batch today with walnuts in place of the peanuts + 2 tablespoons chia seeds. If I had candied ginger per Dorothy's comment, I'd add a bit of that as well!

    Heidi Swanson

I just made this and added cinnamon and candies ginger. It was so good! Thank you Heidi :)

Dorothy T

    Hi Dorothy! Sounds amazing - love the candied ginger idea. I'm going to try it with the next batch.

    Heidi Swanson

Apologies for the dumb question - I'm making this today and wondering if I should use raw peanuts or roasted? Leaning towards roasted because I don't think they'll roast enough during baking.


    Hi Nivedita, you can use any you like, I typically use roasted.

    Heidi Swanson

can you use butter or coconut oil in place of olive oil and will it keep for a few weeks unrefrigerated ?


    Hi Sam - are you thinking of shipping somewhere? I like to use this granola within 2 weeks. And be sure to store it in an air-tight container. I haven't tested it with butter or coconut oil, but imagine both would be delicious.

    Heidi Swanson

Hi Heidi! I've been enjoying your Better Breakfast Cereal recipe (modified to gf) over the past few weeks. I needed to mix a new batch today, so I made this granola with some walnuts I had on hand instead of peanuts. It's super yummy on it's own and also mixed into the dry cereal blend! Thanks so much for your creativity. I look forward to your newsletter every weekend.


    !!!! I love this idea Leah - brilliant! And appreciate the note. xx!

    Heidi Swanson

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