Superfood Pecan Energy Bars

Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? This superfood pecan energy bar recipe is 100% kid approved and the perfect wholesome snack recipe.

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

These Superfood Pecan Energy Bars were created in partnership with the American Pecan Council. All opinions are our own. 

Wholesome snacks is a topic Alex and I get asked about a lot. Now that we have a toddler, we think about it a lot too! These homemade pecan energy bars are our newest invention for nutritious snacking. And let me tell you, our son Larson is OBSESSED with them! Literally. Every time I ask if he wants a pecan energy bar, he shouts YES and gobbles it up before I turn around! Not only are these kid approved, they’re perfect for adult snacking too. The sweet flavor is reminiscent of pecan pie, and they’re full of superfoods like pecans and chia seeds. Making energy bars at home lets you control the ingredients and they’re slightly cheaper than purchased energy bars. Keep reading for how to make homemade energy bars–and some sweet photos of Larson enjoying them!

Related: 18 Delicious Healthy Snack Recipes

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

What’s great about pecans?

Pecans are the highlight ingredient in this recipe, and there are so many things we love about this nut! We eat pecans in just about everything, and loved highlighting them in this pecan energy bars recipe. Pecans are:

  • Nutritious: Pecans are very nutrient dense! They’re among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, and contain protein, fiber, flavonoids and essential minerals (copper, manganese and zinc).
  • Versatile: Pecans are not just for pecan pie! They’re an easy snack right out of the bag or mixed with dried fruit for
    a fast trail mix. We love tossing them into our morning oatmeal, on yogurt parfaits, and salads. And of course, using pecans in granola bars and energy bars is only natural.
  • Local: Of all the major tree nuts eaten in the US, pecans are the only ones indigenous to America! They were originally grown wild and enjoyed by Native Americans; now they’re harvested in over a dozen Southern states.
Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

How to make homemade energy bars?

Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? We prefer making homemade energy bars instead of granola bars, since they’re typically more nutrient dense and have less sugar.  The energy bars we like to make are similar to store bought Larabars. However, our homemade energy bars version is slightly cheaper (about 2/3 less cost) and you have ultimate control over the ingredients! The ingredient list is very short: the main ingredients are pecans, dates, and oats. A twist to these homemade energy bars is we added a new superfood: chia seeds! Adding chia seeds to energy bars gives a boost of protein, fiber and Omega 3s.

To make homemade energy bars, you’ll need a large size food processor for blending the ingredients. In our recipe, after blending we bake the bars for 30 minutes in a low oven. This helps to dry them out a bit and improves the texture so they’re not so sticky. (Alex’s idea, and a good one!) Below we’ve also included instructions on how to package them for on the go wholesome snacking!

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

Are they kid friendly?

YES. Larson is SO into these! To him, they’re the perfect kid friendly nutritious snack. Here are a few photos of him looking very grown up (!) and gnawing on these pecan energy bars. (Where did our baby go?)

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks
Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

Looking for pecan recipes?

The pecan is one of our favorite nuts and we love working it into recipes. Here are a few of our favorite pecan recipes:

This recipe is…

These Superfood Pecan Energy Bars are vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, plant based, dairy free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks
Superfood Pecan Energy Bars | A Couple Cooks

Superfood Pecan Energy Bars

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 14 1x


Wondering how to make homemade energy bars? These superfood pecan energy bars are 100% kid approved and the perfect wholesome snack recipe.



  • 15 Medjool dates (9 ounces)*
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  2. Remove the pits from the dates with your fingers (they come right out!). Place the dates in the food processor and process or pulse until they are mainly chopped and a rough texture forms. Then add the remaining ingredients and process for a minute or so until a crumbly dough forms.
  3. Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Dump the dough into the center of the parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle that is 6” x 10.5”. Cut the dough into 14 bars that are 1.5” x 3”. (You don’t have to be as precise as we were, but we found it was easiest for cutting uniform bars!)
  4. Bake the bars for 30 minutes (this step helps to make the texture more dry and less sticky). Cool the bars to room temperature, then store refrigerated in a sealed container between sheets of wax paper.
  5. If you’d like to package them for on the go snacking, cut out 4” x 6” rectangles of wax paper, wrap them around the bars, and secure them with tape. 


* We recommend using Medjool dates: they’re a large, tender and sweet variety of dates that create the perfect texture for these bars. They’re available at most grocery stores; many times they are in the bulk or produce section, or packaged in the dried fruit section.

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pecans, Pecan Bar, Larabar, Homemade Larabar, Energy Bar, Pecan Energy Bar, Superfood Bar, Healthy Snack, Healthy Pecan Bar, Healthy Granola Bar, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Snacks for Travel, Kid Friendly, Kid Foods, Kid Approved

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
    July 22, 2018 at 7:40 am

    They look delicious! Have loved making bliss balls so will have to give this kind of energy bar a try. Snacking is my weakness haha so good to have healthier ones around

  • Reply
    July 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    adorable photos! great recipe too, like making these from your recipe so I know what’s in them, thank you!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I had no idea that pecans are the only major tree nut indigenous to America! Also, Larson’s eyes get me every time. So precious.

  • Reply
    Todd Wagner
    July 23, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Awww…those pics are the cutest!! I agree, homemade energy bars at the way to go. Just too much junk in them otherwise. Can’t wait to give these ones a try.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Snixy Kitchen
    July 24, 2018 at 12:57 am

    You had me at “kid approved”! I bet Zoella would gobble these up too – I need to make them ASAP!

  • Reply
    Kristin M Burton
    August 29, 2018 at 10:06 am

    This recipe looks amazing. I have a nut allergy and pecans are the only not that I can eat so this is especially inspiring to me. However I am allergic to dates. Do you have a good substitute for dates? I can eat raisins and cranberries would that work?

    • Reply
      August 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Oh no, I’m sorry to hear you have a date allergy! We haven’t tested this type of bar with other types of fruit: the Medjool dates really have the perfect consistency for this sort of thing. So unfortunately I don’t know if this is the best recipe for you! You could certainly try, but we wouldn’t be able to guarantee it would work out because the texture is key here!

      • Reply
        December 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Try using figs instead of the dates. Not tried it put they are kind of the same texture.

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