This chewy homemade granola bars recipe is so much tastier than store-bought! It’s one of our top healthy snacks to make at home.

Granola Bars

Here’s a DIY healthy snack recipe that’s 100% worth making at home, if you’re got the time: Homemade Granola Bars! Packaged bars are ultra convenient: we buy them for on-the-go snacks. But the flavor of a homemade bar is infinitely more delicious! The secret here? Lightly toasting the oats brings out a delightfully nutty undertone. Mix them with honey, peanut butter and cinnamon for a pure, wholesome flavor: and add any mix-ins you’d like. Mini-chocolate chips are our favorite: they add a hint of sweetness to what still qualifies as a healthy bar (we think).

Ingredients in this chewy granola bars recipe

This granola bars recipe results in a chewy bar: it’s a no bake recipe that’s the opposite of the crunchy, baked variety. But there’s one spot where you’ll fire up the oven: for toasting the oats. Otherwise, it’s a dump and stir method! Here’s what you’ll need for this healthy granola bars recipe:

  • Creamy peanut butter (or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • Honey (or agave syrup for vegan)
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Mix ins: nuts, dried fruit, seeds, or mini chocolate chips
Granola bars recipe

The flavor key: toasting the oats

This recipe is for no bake granola bars: with the exception of a quick 10-minute stint in the oven for the oats! Don’t even think about omitting this step. Here’s why:

  • Toasting the oats adds major nutty, irresistible flavor. You might be tempted to skip this part, but it’s absolutely worth it! The flavor it adds is incredible.
  • You’ll need just 10 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s quick and simple, and easiest in the oven because it lets you place all the oats in a single layer in a pan. (Technically you can toast oats on the stovetop, which we do in our Toasted Oatmeal recipe.)

Important note on granola bars mix-ins

Mix-ins are where you can get creative in these granola bars! A wide variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit will work. But here’s an important thing to remember:

  • Finely chop the mix-ins so the bars hold together. Huge nuts and seeds cause the texture of the granola bars to become more fragile, making them break more easily.
  • Use mini chocolate chips, not standard size. Same idea as above: the standard size may cause texture issues. Mini chocolate chips are just the right size for incorporating in a granola bar. Just ½ cup gives great bursts of chocolate flavor. You can chop standard sized chocolate chips if it’s all you have.
Homemade granola bars

Cutting granola bars

After you press your granola bars into a pan and freeze for 10 minutes, they’re ready to cut! You can cut them into different shapes, depending on what you’re looking for. The traditional granola bar rectangle is what you see here, but you can also do squares and get more servings out of it.

  • Cut 14 bar sized shapes: measure each to 4 ½ by 1 ¼ inches
  • Cut 20 rectangles: measure them to be 4 x 5 inches

Store refrigerated (chill a few hours before serving)

This chewy granola bars recipe is best after refrigerating for a few hours, which helps the texture to firm up. Technically you can eat them right away, but we prefer them chilled so they become more solid.

You can store homemade granola bars for up to 3 weeks in a sealed container. If you’d like, you can also individually wrap them in wax paper or parchment paper and secure them with tape.

Healthy granola bars

Granola bar flavor combinations

Our favorite flavor for this recipe? Chewy chocolate chip granola bars, of course! But there are so many more fun flavor combinations. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:

  • Peanut butter and jelly: add dried cherries or freeze dried strawberries
  • Dried cranberry and white chocolate chips
  • Pepita and cashew
  • Blueberry muffin: add dried blueberries and chopped almonds
  • Pecan pie: Add chopped pecans and ½ teaspoon allspice
  • Coconut mango: Add shredded coconut and chopped dried mango

What are you planning to add to your granola bars? Let us know in the comments below!

More healthy energy bars

There are so many ways to make a healthy energy bar recipe at home! Here are a few more to try starring peanut butter and oats:

This healthy granola bars recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, use agave syrup.

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Granola Bars

Granola Bars Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 14 to 20 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This chewy homemade granola bars recipe is so much tastier than store-bought! It’s one of our top healthy snacks to make at home.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added; substitute sunflower butter for nut free)
  • ½ cup honey (or ½ cup agave syrup for vegan)
  • 3 ½ cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Up to 1 cup finely chopped nuts, dried fruit and seeds, or ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Toast the oats: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oats in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them for 10 minutes until lightly golden. (This step adds incredible toasty flavor to the oats: don’t skip it!)
  2. Mix the ingredients: Transfer the oats to a large bowl and mix in the peanut butter, honey, oats, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in mix-ins.
  3. Form into bars: Add a sheet of parchment paper to a 9″ x 9″ pan, letting the edges drape over the sides. Place the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer. Add a few more mix-ins to the top of the bars, if you’d like. Use a small glass to roll over the top to make them as smooth at possible.
  4. Freeze and cut the bars: Freeze the bars for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the freezer and use the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut them into 20 rectangles (that are 4 x 5 inches) or 14 bar sized shapes (that are 4 ½ by 1 ¼ inches). Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The texture is most solid after you refrigerate for a few hours, so if you have time do that before tasting the first bar. If you’d like, you can individually wrap the bars with parchment paper or wax paper and secure the wrapper with tape.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Snack

Keywords: Granola bars, Granola bar recipe, Homemade granola bars, Chewy granola bars

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi. Thanks for the great recipe 🙂. If I reduce the amount of honey by half (trying to make it less sweet) 😄, does it affect the bars to hold together? Thanks!

    1. Yes this would affect the texture as the bars wouldn’t hold together as well! I would recommend making the recipe as is, removing chocolate chips and cut them into the 20 squares serving size — this would only be 1 teaspoon of honey per serving.