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Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

A simple, soft and chewy granola bars recipe that’s delicious as-is or can be adapted based on your favorite dried fruits, nuts or chocolate. Jump to the Granola Bar Recipe or read on to see how we make them.

We have a history with granola bars. A while back, we shared a cooking failure. The subject was granola bars. They tasted great, but fell apart. So, we sort of gave up and moved on with the thought that one day, we would be ready to give them another shot. After two years, we’ve picked up where we left off and have now figured out how to make these simple, soft and chewy granola bars. We’re in love. They taste great, are incredibly easy to make and they absolutely do not fall apart (see our tips below).

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This Recipe is Flexible

We’ve made these many times now and every time, they’ve been just a little bit different.

Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

Here, you see whole almonds, dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips. We’ve also used dried cherries, apricots and unsweetened coconut. We’re even thinking about adding pistachios next time. The possibilities are endless — all you need to know is the base. Oats, butter, honey and brown sugar. After that, add what you like.

Chewy Granola Bar Recipe

Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE:How to make healthy banana blueberry muffins that actually taste good! We add whole grains, ripe bananas and reduce the sugar. Most importantly though, they taste great! Jump to our Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins Recipe.

Tips for Making the Bars

  • After a few tries, we’ve found that it’s really important to press the granola mixture into the pan. We’ve actually spent about a minute pressing before — the harder and longer you press, the less chance you’ll end up with granola instead of granola bars.
  • The honey and brown sugar really helps with keeping the bars together. Chocolate chips added to the mixture help, too. We add some to the granola mixture while it is still warm. You might notice some of the chocolate melts — this is totally okay, it acts as extra glue, holding the bars together. After that, we add more chocolate chips to the top — these don’t melt.
  • Finally, we like to refrigerate the granola mixture for about 2 hours. This hardens everything and makes it easy to cut the granola mixture into bars. Right out of the refrigerator the bars will be hard since they are cold. Leave them out for an hour and they will warm to room temperature and become a little softer and chewy.
  • The bars keep at room temperature for about 1 week (if they last that long). Just make sure they are tightly covered or sealed in a container.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: We’ve also shared a Homemade Vanilla, Almond and Honey Granola Recipe, which we bet you’ll like, too — it’s so easy

Recipe updated, originally posted March 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These granola bars are so much better than what you can by at the store, especially since you can substitute for your favorite dried fruit or nuts. While these are very simple to make, there is a 2-hour wait for the bars to firm up enough to cut. Feel free to add your favorite dried fruit, nuts or chocolate to these – it’s completely up to you. Since we use a 1/3 cup of honey, we like to splurge on higher quality honey.

Makes 12 bars

You Will Need

2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (113 grams) honey

1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams) mini chocolate chips

Directions

  • Toast Oats and Nuts
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.

    Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

    • Make Bars
    • Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.

      Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).

      Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).

      Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.

      Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 210 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 30 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 16 g / Total Fat 10 g / Saturated Fat 4 g / Cholesterol 10 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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496 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Vitaliia October 4, 2017, 8:03 pm

    Thanks Joanne for sharing this recipe.Those are delicious !!! I love them!!! p.s even better than ones you can buy in the store.

    Reply
  • Yasmin September 15, 2017, 9:31 pm

    Hi,Joanne. Thank you so much for the recipe, it’s simple and easy to follow. I already made some of these and they are so good. My friends and family loved it. I am making more this weekend. 🤗

    Reply
  • Rashmi Rai September 7, 2017, 2:35 pm

    Dear Joanne, I’ve always loved these granola bars &have varied the dried fruits according to various requests from my kids. Love your recipies &wish you the best forever. Much love from Chennai, India. Btw, they keep so well too.

    Reply
  • Amber August 24, 2017, 5:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am planning to try it out very soon. Just wondering if they would freeze well? I was planning to make a bunch (after making sure my daughter will like them) and freeze them to add to her lunchbag. As of now I’m using the store-bought ones and I really want to make homemade healthier ones that will be yummy without all the processed ingredients in them!

    Reply
  • Tash August 9, 2017, 12:23 pm

    Its hilarious to me how many people post the 5 different things they did to tweak the recipe to “make it work for them” and then give 2/3 stars to say it didn’t work. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS, or come up with your own recipe to share. I haven’t even made it yet. I’ll try when I get home from work, but the fact that someone took time out of their day to share what works for them deserves 5 stars.

    Reply
  • Sara July 25, 2017, 2:00 am

    Hello!
    Do you think I can make them in mini balls instead of bars?
    Will they hold?
    Looks yummy!

    Reply
    • Joanne July 26, 2017, 7:10 pm

      Hi Sara, I think this will work without them falling apart although, we have never tried this ourselves. You may need to do some experimenting in your own kitchen. If they don’t hold together well enough, try pulsing some of the ingredients in a food processor to help bind them together.

      Reply
  • Emily July 19, 2017, 1:58 pm

    I originally tried making these for my kids but once my husband discovered them he ate the whole pan in 3 days! They are so good and while calorie wise they are more then the quaker brand they are way more full of fiber and I know exactly the ingredients in them!

    Reply
  • Kawai June 25, 2017, 2:04 pm

    Tried it exactly from recipe first. Great but not that healthy. Second try substituted butter with coconut oil and opted for additional dried fruit instead of chocolate chips. Instead of a square pan I thought it would be neat pressing them in a mini-muffin tray. Worked great!

    Reply
  • LaToria Bolling June 6, 2017, 11:51 am

    I’ve been looking for a granola bar recipe, I’m going to try this. I have a severe allergy to nuts so I will have to omit the nuts. I will try different dried fruits. Thanks for this recipe.

    Reply
  • A Mom Anon June 1, 2017, 10:19 am

    Too sweet, not even the salted almonds helped there. To use a 9×13 pan I suggest triple the batch. Added wheat germ, flax seeds. Used parchment paper, made things super easy. Even with putting in the fridge the bars are weak and turning into loose granola. Back to the drawing board

    Reply
    • Vitaliia October 4, 2017, 8:05 pm

      you probably didnt add enough honey or chocolate chip

      Reply

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