As the days get longer and we get closer to summer, I find that I get up a lot earlier in the morning than I do in the winter. This is in part because it is light out so much earlier, but also because I like to beat the heat when it comes to outdoor activities. Getting up early on the weekends means that I have plenty of time to make tasty brunch dishes. Weekdays, I prefer a grab-and-go option when I’m literally trying to get out the door as quickly as possible. This Skillet Granola is an easy option for a quick, delicious and relatively healthy (at least, compared to a stack of waffles!) breakfast or snack option.
Most granola recipes are baked in the oven to dry out the ingredients, turning plain oats into crispy granola. In this recipe, an oat mixture is cooked in a skillet to produce similar results in just minutes. To make it even more delicious, I start the granola with a little bit of browned butter, which amplifies the natural nuttiness of the oats and helps them to crisp up as they cook.
As a sweetner – because ever granola needs a little bit of sweetener – I use a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup to give the granola a nice flavor profile while adding a little complexity, since both sweeteners have very different flavors themselves. Either light brown or dark brown sugar can be used, and I typically opt for light brown. You can also use honey, if you don’t have maple syrup on hand.
When it comes to mix-ins, you can get pretty creative and stir in almost any nut or dried fruit you can think of. Nuts are a great option for any granola recipe because they add crunch and protein to the mix, while dried fruits add a contrasting texture and a bit of natural sweetness. This batch uses toasted pecans and raisins – both of which go very well with the cinnamon in the oat mixture. If you want to use your own mix-ins, simply substitute out the ones I’ve used here for the nuts and fruit of your choosing, but keep the same method of adding them.
Cinnamon Raisin Skillet Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
In a medium bowl, stir together oats, cinnamon and salt.
In a large skillet (at least 10-inches), melt the butter over medium heat and cook just until it starts to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add in the brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir until the sugar has melted. Pour butter mixture over the oats and stir until oats are well-coated.
Pour the oat mixture into the pan and cook, stirring regularly, over medium heat until granola begins to toast and turn golden. This should take 5-8 minutes. Add in any nuts and cook for an additional minute. Remove granola from heat and stir in dried fruit (if using). Spread granola out on a large sheet of parchment paper or a large baking sheet and allow it to cool before serving or storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 cups