Chocolate Chilli Deep Fryer Granola is our crunchy go-to

I find granola to be a really inspired concept. It’s oats at their best, not mushy or wasted in an anemic energy bar. I can eat it sitting down, standing up, on the go, or whenever the mood strikes (read: all the time).

But even though I love granola, it was never easier than ABC to get the perfect crunch I was looking for. Then I discovered the key to hassle-free granola: make it in the air fryer, resulting in pieces that exceed even my crunchiest dreams.

Adding egg whites to the equation — a technique popularized by Liz Prueitt in “Tartine All Day” — turns the coins into fun-sized boulders. Each piece will vary in size, but I think that adds to the appeal.

A simple granola is good and good, but mix it with a cup of rich chocolate with fizzy flavors, such as chili oil, ginger and cinnamon, and you get a sweet heat that I compare to a cup of Mexican hot chocolate. Why stop there? For more texture, I also add whole almonds and large unsweetened coconut flakes. Go ahead and experiment with a myriad of dried goods occupying your pantry.

Once you’ve crafted your granola, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper with enough overhang to use as a sling for easy removal. Bake it for 20 minutes, then let it cool inside the unit for another 30 minutes for audible crispy clusters that make any granola lover’s heart beat faster.

Decidedly not too sweet and slightly salty, this air fryer granola is glorious in many applications. Pile bunches on your morning yogurt with fruits like bananas, berries, or pomegranate seeds. Finish a salad or soup like you would with croutons.

For dessert, crumble over vanilla ice cream. Offer it by the jar or eat it by the handful. Whichever path you choose, know this: there’s no wrong way to air fry granola.

Air Fryer Chocolate Chili Crisp Granola

⅓ cup whole unsalted, toasted almonds

⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ cup candied ginger, finely diced if large pieces

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola oil

2 teaspoons crispy chilli

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon fine salt

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 large egg white (see variations below)

In a medium bowl, combine almonds, chocolate, coconut flakes and candied ginger to combine. Line your air fryer basket with parchment paper with enough overhang to use as a wrap.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, maple syrup, sugar, oil, crispy pepper, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the oats until completely coated.

Add egg white and stir until well blended. Add almond mixture and stir until well blended. Spread the granola mixture onto the lined air fryer basket in a thin, even layer. Set the air fryer to 300 degrees and bake for 20 minutes, or until the granola is dark brown and dry to the touch.

Turn off the air fryer and let the granola sit in the closed basket for about 30 minutes, or until slightly cooled and hardened. Gently lift the granola using the parchment paper overhang and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Then break it into large pieces. Serve or transfer to an airtight container.


Oven variant: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread granola mixture in a thin, even layer on prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring gently halfway through baking and again spreading evenly, until the granola is dark brown and dry to the touch.

Turn off the oven and leave in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack until completely cooled, then break into large pieces. Serve or transfer to an airtight container.

Vegan version: Replace the egg white with 30 grams of canned aquafaba or homemade baked beans, such as chickpeas, and replace the vegan chocolate chips with semi-sweet chocolate.

Yield: 16 servings (makes 4 cups)

Storage Notes: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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