Homemade Quinoa Granola Recipe and a Road Trip to France

I’ve cooked with quinoa for a while now, and I keep finding ways to use it in savory dishes. But what about sweet? I wanted to start using quinoa as a porridge in the mornings as I had been reading about, but since I have quite a lot of oatmeal around the house, and not much granola, I decided to make that instead.

Homemade Quinoa Granola Recipe

I find that granola is more personal than asking people how they take their coffee – everyone has a different answer. So make sure you tweak my recipe and any other you find until it’s your perfect blend. On the first try of this quinoa granola, I quickly discovered I do not like the taste of crunchy fruit, so I left them out until after the main toasting in the oven on future batches.

So what does granola have to do with a road trip? Just a few short days after getting back from a long work trip, I was on the road again, this time to France and to enjoy some wine country and visit a good friend. I thought bringing some quinoa would be a different kind of gift, and I found a pretty jar which I put it in. So the quinoa granola made the road trip with us.

We headed straight towards the Alps…

The French Alps

…we went through the Frejus tunnel, 12.8km / 8 miles of driving through mountains….

The Frejus Tunnel, France

…and made our road trip’s first stop in Lyon for lunch, coffee, and a walk around before continuing. (a few more Lyon pics on my mobile photo site)

In the center of Lyon, France

The road trip continued, but I want you to get straight to making the quinoa granola!

Quinoa Granola Recipe

Homemade Quinoa Granola spread on a baking sheet

These measurements aren’t rocket science, so you’ll want to play with the ratios and insert the fruit and nut mixtures you like best. Some others to try for next time: dried cherries, walnuts, cashews. And for spices, add some nutmeg and/or pumpkin pie spices, or even some ginger!

This granola is also not your classic “big chunks of clusters” version but that’s fine with me, at least this time around. It is still quite crunchy, and I use it to give a little extra crunch to yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream and other desserts. If you’d prefer a more cluster-y granola, try increasing the amount of honey used and/or experimenting with maple syrup and/or brown sugar as the sweeteners. I wanted to keep the added sugar low on this version.

1 c. raw/uncooked quinoa (red/white)
1 c. finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 c. rolled oats (larger flakes, the better)
1/4 c. ground flax meal
2 T. chia seeds
1 T. cinnamon
3 T. Honey
1/4 c. sunflower seeds (raw)
1/2 c. almonds (raw, chopped)
1/4 c. pistachios (raw, chopped)
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. dried cranberries

  1. Preheat oven to 300F / 150C.
  2. Mix quinoa, coconut, oats, flax meal, cinnamon and chia seeds together.
  3. Add honey, mixing well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add chopped nuts and mix to evenly distribute the mixture.
  4. Spread out the mixture onto a cookie sheet (with a lip) lined with parchment paper.
  5. Cook for 30-45 minutes. After 15 minutes and occasionally after if needed, take out the pan and stir the mixture so it gets browned evenly. Keep a close eye on the mixture and don’t let it burn! You may not need the entire 45 minutes.
  6. Let the quinoa cool for 10 minutes, then add in dried fruit and toss to coat evenly. Let cool completely, and you can store it in a glass jar or plastic container/bag in the cupboard.

How would you make this quinoa granola recipe your own?

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  1. says

    Yum. And Jealous. As long as the oats are gluten-free, this is a great celiac recipe for granola as well. Jealousy has to do with Lyon — I know it’s the gastronomic center of France. Or is supposed to be, anyway. I’ve only heard fabulous things about it. xo

  2. says

    I will try this yummy-sounding recipe, but I will never go through that freakin’ Frejus tunnel again. Tolls, tolls, tolls. Go Simplon. It’s free (almost).

  3. says

    Oh My!!!! I’ve just come across your blog today while researching Italy trips. I am in awe of all there is to read here and your photos??? Oh My again! I’m freelance and do appreciate good photography. Going to spend a month or two traveling the country in Sept,..,…so excited!! Looking for a cottage or apt to rent as a homebase….will be doing lots of day travels and want a place to come home to. I’ll be doing it alone…..kinda my bucket list cross-off!!! Cannot wait to read every word and hopefully find some info on places to rent!!! Thanky!!

  4. carol says

    You might want to soak the quinoa overnight to germinate/soften it up before baking… otherwise it won’t be digestible (just like flax seeds, which should always be groung/milled first — they just pass through your GI tract if whole/raw).

  5. says

    Quinoa is one of my staples but I never thought to use it in granola. Thank you for the recipe.
    I see you blog is so much more than that, though, so I will enjoy reading the rest as well!

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