Perfect as a crunchy topping for salads, soups, grain bowls, or as a wholesome snack, this savory granola is a cinch to make and will disappear quickly. 

Image of savory granola in a jar, spilling out. A pan of granola is also pictured in the background.

I’ve been making granola for breakfast and snacks for years. Ben loves granola and it disappears in a hurry. I even make a crunchy oat topping just for ice cream (only 3 ingredients and it’s so good!). 

I think pretty much everyone likes granola, right? Sweet crunchy oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, maybe some dried fruit: what’s not to like? Perfect for eating out of hand as a snack, sprinkled on a bowl of yogurt, or doused with milk. Totally satisfying and good for you, too.

But savory granola? I’ve been meaning to develop a savory granola recipe and I’m sorry I waited so long. This granola has many of the same ingredients as the granola we’re all accustomed to but it isn’t sweet–it’s savory and just a little salty.

Savory granola checks the same boxes as “regular” granola. Nutritious oats? Check. Crunchy? Check. Tasty? Check. Addictive? Oh, yes!

Sprinkle savory granola on your favorite salad for a real treat. I absolutely adore it on this kale and pear salad. Top your favorite creamy soup with savory granola or scatter some on a grain bowl to give it a nice toothsome bite. Or eat it by the handful! Keep reading for more suggestions. 

Close up image of nut-free granola made with sunflower seeds, pepitas, oats, and chia seeds.

About this savory granola:

This savory granola recipe is nut-free, has no added oils, and you can stir it together in about five minutes. You’ll need 35-40 minutes to toast it in the oven until your granola is beautifully crispy and browned.

Simply whisk together egg whites and salt until the mixture is frothy. Stir in rolled oats, pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds, and chia seeds. I season the mixture with 1/4 cup of sugar and chili powder. 

Spread the mixture onto a greased rimmed baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until the granola is browned and crispy. It will smell really, really good.

Let it cool completely–the granola will crisp up a bit more as it cools. Enjoy!

Image of nut free granola made with seeds and oats.

What to put this granola on:

Image of savory granola on a large sheet pan.

How to make this granola your own:

I like to make this granola nut-free because of the nut allergies in my household. However, this savory granola recipe is very versatile. Take a look at some of these ideas:

  • In place of the sunflower seeds and/or pepitas, use cashews, pistachios, sliced almonds, pine nuts, pecans, or walnuts. Any of these would be really delicious. NOTE: only use raw, not roasted nuts. If you use already roasted nuts, they will probably get too dark or burn when you bake the granola.
  • Try sesame seeds, cumin seeds, or fennel seeds. 
  • Not a fan of chili powder? Leave it out. Or add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or sriracha if you like spicy food. Other spices to consider would be red pepper flakes, coriander, turmeric, smoked paprika, or ginger.
  • Instead of white sugar, sweeten with a tablespoon or two of agave syrup or maple syrup.
  • Eating keto? Omit the sugar. 
  • Vegan? Make this granola with 1/4 cup olive oil instead of egg whites. 

Note: If you make any of these adjustments, make sure the ratio of dry ingredients and wet ingredients is about the same as written in the recipe. All of the dry ingredients should be well coated but there shouldn’t be liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl when you mix it up. If mixture is too wet, add more oats. If seems too dry, add a little extra egg white or oil. 

Image of granola in a jar.

Storage Tips:

After the savory granola has cooled completely, put it in an airtight container. I like to store mine in a clear glass jar on the counter. It looks so pretty! If you want to keep it longer than a week, I would store it in the fridge because of the high oil content of the seeds/nuts. You wouldn’t want it to go rancid! Granola can also be frozen pretty much indefinitely. 

Making your own granola

Homemade granola is much fresher tasting than store bought. It’s so easy to make and customize, plus you’ll know exactly what’s in it. Minimal effort, maximum effect. Try these recipes:

Image of granola in a jar.

Savory Granola (nut-free recipe)

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Perfect as a crunchy topping for salads, soups, grain bowls, or as a wholesome snack, this savory granola is a cinch to make and will disappear quickly.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw unsalted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  2. Combine salt and egg white in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until frothy. 
  3. Add oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds, sugar, and chili powder; stir well to coat.
  4. Spread mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. 

Notes

  • Try substituting sesame seeds for chia seeds if you’d like! 
  • Make sure you use raw, unsalted sunflower seeds and pepitas. If desired, you could substitute nuts such as pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, or cashews, as long as they are raw, not roasted.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 399mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 7g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I loooove this granola on a salad. It gives the perfect crunch to almost every salad. 
Husband’s take: Honestly, not really Ben’s thing. He calls it bird food.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but we gave you lots of ideas above if you want to have some fun with this recipe!
Difficulty: Easy!