Deconstructed Breakfast Parfait with Sweet and Salty Granola

Deconstructed breakfast parfait. Just before serving, I like to pour over about a 1/4 cup of milk to bring all of the ingredients together. photo: Abigail Weber

The classic breakfast parfait. If you’ve frequented a Starbucks in the last several years (or for that matter, a McDonalds), you know what I’m referring to here. It’s a simple layered dish of yogurt, fruit, and granola. And it’s a ubiquitous option on most breakfast menus. More upscale restaurants will serve it to you in one of those old fashioned sundae cups, while fast food establishments stick with the utilitarian plastic cup with lid. Simple as it is, though, for some reason, I rarely make parfaits for myself at home. Which is a shame, really, because a purchased parfait is usually loaded up with unnecessary sugar and is generally priced loads higher than it should be. And did I mention, it’s a super simple dish? When blueberries showed up in my CSA bag this week, for some reason, all I could think of was breakfast parfait.

At its heart, this recipe is a set of instructions for making your own granola, topped off with instructions for assembling the dish. But if you want to make this a quick assembly-only dish, buy a good quality granola and just put the parts together. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, especially in the morning, so I like salted almonds in my granola. I love to taste a good hit of salt in all my sweet dishes (my heart belongs to salted caramel). If you are making the granola recipe, keep an eye on it in the oven. It tends to go from just perfectly toasted to burnt and bitter in the blink of an eye. And with that, I present you with, my ode to the humble yet decidedly delicious little treat that is the breakfast parfait.

Serves 4/Makes about 6 cups granola


Granola cooling on the tray.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups whole salted almonds
3/4 cup torn dried papaya pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cups 2 % Greek yogurt
1 vanilla bean
1 1/3 cups granola
2 cups blueberries

  1. First, make the granola: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the cinnamon. Add the sugar and honey and cook, stirring and without boiling, until sugar and honey are dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, and almonds. Pour in the butter mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet so that it is in an even layer.
  4. Bake the granola for 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while and checking to make sure that it does not get too browned. Stir in the papaya and dried cranberries and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The granola will still be soft and wet at first but will harden and dry as it air cools.
  5. Plate the parfait: Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Using a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center. Use the edge of the knife to gently scrape the seeds out of the bean, without taking the fibrous outer covering. Dump the seeds into the yogurt and stir to combine.
  6. Place four shallow bowls on your workspace. Fill each with 1/2 cup of yogurt next to 1/3 cup granola, and 1/2 cup blueberries. And serve.

Nutritional analysis based on 4 servings:
Calories 297, Fat 12g, Sodium 88mg, Carbohydrate 38g, Fiber 5g, Sugar 25g, Protein 11g




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