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As a light-handed granola eater, I don’t often find myself making large batches of the stuff. Tossing the sweet and crunchy stuff into my yogurt three times a week means that about four cups last a solid two weeks. If you’re making single batches, or you like to switch up the flavor more frequently than large batches allow, you can make this quick and easy granola in your air fryer.
I’ve tried a couple different granola variations, and so far, they’ve all taken well to the air fryer. Whether you have the basket version or the hinge-door type of air fryer, both will toast up your granola more quickly than a conventional oven because of the convection air flow. The one caveat, however, is that when using an air fryer, all the heat will be blasting down on your granola from the top, making frequent stirring essential.
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How to make air fryer granola
Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann
Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, or the small air fryer sheet pan for the hinged-door version, you’ll want to keep the batch size around three cups or less. My air fryer is the 6-quart Instant Vortex. If you have the basket version, take out the grate or shelf. You’ll be pressing the granola directly into the basket.
1. Mix the ingredients together
Air fryer granola is mixed the same way as regular oven granola. For my recipe, I assemble the ingredients in a bowl and stir them together any which way. It’s not vital to adhere to an order, but I tend to add the liquid ingredients first, then pour in the rest before stirring it all together.
2. Add your granola to the air fryer basket or tray
Pour the granola into the air fryer basket and spread it out. If you want thick and chunky granola, use a spatula to compress it down into an even layer about a quarter-inch thick (and check out my other tips for creating big granola clusters).
If you’re adding dried fruit to your granola, I suggest tossing it in after the granola has cooked and cooled. A with oven granola, if you add it to the air fryer with the rest of the mix you’ll probably end up with overly dried, or even scorched, fruit.
3. Air fry and flip
After air frying, let the granola cool completely before breaking it into clusters. Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann
Set the air fryer to 330°F (I know, it’s weirdly precise, but this temperature works well for me) and cook your granola for 15 minutes, giving it a stir every five minutes. Flip it over in sections with a spatula so the bottoms get a chance to brown. Compress it into an even layer again if you want chunks, and return it to the heat for another five minutes until cooking is complete.
4. Cool and assess its crispiness
After 15 minutes have elapsed and you’ve stirred it twice, let the granola cool for about 10 minutes. Use a spatula to flip over big sections of the granola sheet. It’s normal for the granola to be soft and flexible straight out of the oven, but if the bottom looks too blonde and remains flexible after cooling, pop it back in the air fryer, bottoms-up, for another two minutes to eliminate the last bit of humidity.
Cool the granola completely for about 10 to 20 minutes. Break it up into clusters and toss in some dried fruit if desired. Seal it up in an airtight container to use as you wish.
Easy Air Fryer Granola Recipe
¼ cup neutral oil (I use canola)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon egg whites (optional for extra clumps)
1 ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
⅓ cup almond flour (substitute any nut flour or oat flour)
⅓ cup chopped cashews
½ teaspoon salt
A dash ground cinnamon
¼-½ cup dried fruit (optional)
1. Preheat the air fryer to 330°F on the “air fry” setting. This isn’t exactly necessary since air fryers only take a minute or so to reach their target temperature, but I usually do it.
2. Add all the ingredients except the dried fruit to a mixing bowl. Mix everything together with a rubber spatula until thoroughly moistened.
3. Pour the granola evenly into the air fryer basket or tray that you’re using. Using a spatula, flatten the granola into a solid layer about a quarter-inch thick (not necessary if you don’t care for large clusters). Cook the granola for 15 minutes, flipping and re-pressing the granola every five minutes. Cool the granola completely.
Flip it over to see if it needs another minute or two on the bottom-side. Note that even if some spots are slightly lighter, they’ll likely be crisp once they get a chance to cool completely. It’s normal for the granola to be flexible while hot, but it shouldn’t be once it’s room temperature.
4. Toss the cooled granola with the fruit, if using. Store it at room temperature in an airtight container.