The perfect granola for fall! This Pumpkin Granola with maple syrup, toasted pecans, and warm spices is a delicious and easy treat. Great for snacking, breakfasts, and layering into parfaits.
One of my favorite snacks on the site is my Cherry Almond Granola. I’ve gotten so many great emails and social media comments about it over the past few years.
Some readers love making granola for a simple breakfast. Others have told me that they package it up with a pretty ribbon and give it as gifts during the holidays. (Can we be friends? I love homemade gifts!)
I thought it would be fun to adapt that granola recipe to include some of the best flavors of fall. This Pumpkin Granola has a cozy blend of pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, and toasted pecans. It doesn’t get more “fall” than that, does it?
Making Pumpkin Granola
As in my Cherry Almond Granola, I used a combination of oats and wheat germ for the base. Wheat germ is part of the wheat kernel that is responsible for germination of new wheat sprouts. When the wheat kernel is processed to make white flour, the wheat germ is usually removed.
Wheat germ is nutrient-dense and has a wonderful toasty, nutty flavor that works so well in recipes like granola. It has a fine texture and adds crunch to the granola when it’s baked.
To give the pumpkin granola it’s namesake flavor, I added pumpkin puree to the mix. This recipe is (by design) not as assertively pumpkin-y as something like a slice of pumpkin pie would be. The pumpkin puree lends a subtle flavor to the background that complements the sweet maple, brown sugar, spices, and pumpkin seeds.
In terms of technique, making this pumpkin granola couldn’t be easier. Just toss the dry ingredients together in one bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together in another, combine, and bake.
It’s important to note that while the pumpkin granola will look and smell toasty when it’s finished baking, it will not be crispy when it first comes out of the oven. The granola will crisp up as it cools.
Variations on Pumpkin Granola
One of the great things about granola is how endlessly customizable it is. For the fruit component, I used my favorite jumbo mixed raisins. You can substitute any dried fruit you love. Dried cranberries would also work well with the fall flavors, as would dried currants.
I love the flavor pairing of pumpkin and pecan, but have also made this recipe with walnuts and almonds. Not crazy about maple? Honey is also delicious with the pumpkin puree and the spices.
Basically, once you have the base, you can mix in just about anything you’d like. It’s fun to experiment and make this pumpkin granola your own!
Serving and Storing Pumpkin Granola
This pumpkin granola is more of a sprinkling, cereal-like recipe than one that will form big clusters. You will get some small clusters of granola after baking, but in general, it’s loosely-textured.
I love to snack on it by the handful, especially during the afternoons when I need a pick-me-up. It’s also one of my favorite granolas to sprinkle over a bowl of Greek yogurt (with a little extra drizzle of maple syrup over the whole thing), or layered into a parfait.
Looking for more ways to use your favorite granola recipes? Check out these ideas from Food & Wine.
I generally store this pumpkin granola at room temperature for a week or so. Keep it tightly-covered in a storage container, ziplock bag, or clip-top jar. It’s also freezable if you need to keep it for longer (though, I never seem to have enough leftovers in our house to freeze!).
Recipe & Video
Pumpkin Granola with Maple and Pecans
This pumpkin granola is a great way to enjoy the flavors of fall for snack or breakfast. Don't miss the variation ideas in the notes to customize this granola recipe!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar , lightly packed
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup neutral flavored oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup halved pecans
- 1 cup mixed raisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, light brown sugar, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into the oat mixture until fully distributed and no dry pockets remain.
Stir pecan halves into the granola mixture and spread onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the granola is light golden brown and fragrant. Keep a close eye toward the end of the baking time so the granola doesn't burn. (The granola will not be crisp when you take it out of the oven, it will crisp as it cools.)
Let granola stand at room temperature until completely cooled. Stir in raisins. For the freshest flavor and texture, store, tightly covered, at room temperature for about a week. For longer storage, freeze the granola.
Pumpkin-Cranberry Granola: Substitute dried cranberries for the raisins.
Pumpkin-Honey Granola: Substitute honey for the maple syrup. Depending on your personal preferences and the honey you've used, you might need to dial back the brown sugar to 1/4 cup. Some varieties of honey can be quite sweet.
Pumpkin-Coconut Granola: Add 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes when you add the pecans.
Pumpkin-Chocolate Granola: Add 1/2 to 1 cup of semisweet or white chocolate chips when the granola is completely cooled.
Different Nut Varieties: If you don't like pecans, you can substitute most halved or whole nuts (such as halved walnuts, or whole raw almonds). If you prefer sliced almonds, add them 10 minutes before the end of the baking time so they don't burn.