Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

We have a history with granola bars.

A long time ago, 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).

Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

A Granola Bars Recipe That’s Completely Flexible

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

Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

The possibilities are endless — all you need to know is the base. Oats, butter, honey and brown sugar. After that, add what you like.

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.

Share Your Ideas

I bet you can come up with some amazing ideas. What would you include in your homemade granola bars? We’d just love it if you shared them in the comments below.

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4.7 from 106 reviews
Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Why we love this recipe. 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.

What you need to know. 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.

Equipment you’ll need. You’ll need a small baking sheet, 8-inch or 9-inch square pan, aluminum foil, small saucepan, large bowl, rubber spatula and chef’s knife.
Created By:
Yield: 12
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 (67 grams) mini chocolate chips
Prepare Oven and Pan
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Toast Oats and Nuts
  1. 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.
Prepare Granola Bars
  1. 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.
  2. 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).Granola-Bars-Step-1
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.Granola-Bars-Step-2
  6. 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.

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388 comments… Leave a Comment

  • Liz November 7, 2015, 12:34 pm

    OMG THESE ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m pregnant and struggling to find foods that I want to eat that aren’t terrible for you. I recommend these with chopped dates instead of cranberries.

  • Martha November 5, 2015, 9:12 am

    I have made these before but would like to add peanut butter. How much should I add? Do you know the calorie fat content and sugar of the recipe above?

    • Joanne November 7, 2015, 2:41 pm

      We have never added peanut butter to these ourselves, so cannot say for sure. I would start with a couple tablespoons, though. We do not provide nutritional info on Inspired Taste, but if you copy our recipe and paste it into one of the many recipe calculators online, you should be able to get the nutrition facts. I’ve used calorie count before. – Joanne

  • Sue October 28, 2015, 9:14 pm

    Made these with cranberries and white chocolate chips. We added rice crispies (and melted marshmallows) to make them a little lighter and they were amazing. Never buying store bought again!

  • Kim October 13, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I just made these chewy granola bars with chocolate chips and almonds and have to say they are delicious. And so easy to make. I will try again with other nuts and chips. You can make such different varieties and so simple. Thank you so much for this recipe. Love it.

  • Hetal September 28, 2015, 11:40 pm

    I made this bar for time according to this recipe and it tastes excellent . Just one thing I add 1/2 cup Cheerios and one scoop of protein powder to this recipe and because of this change my bars are falling apart. So what should I do to give it more binding ?

    • Joanne October 16, 2015, 12:51 pm

      Since you added extra ingredients, you might want to increase the butter-sugar mixture a bit.

  • Annalise September 28, 2015, 7:18 pm

    for those of you that used coconut oil instead of butter, did you do it cup for cup? so, instead of 1/4 c butter, 1/4 cup coconut oil?

  • Michelle September 20, 2015, 9:49 pm

    Delicious!! First time making these and they turned out perfect. I added 1 tbsp of coconut oil and replaced 1/2 cup of oats with 1/2 cup of rice crispies. So good! I have to restrain myself from eating them all before my kids have some! :) Thanks.

  • Kathleen West September 10, 2015, 9:58 pm

    Would baking them help them stay together better? I tried them today but they seem a little crumbly, but I could just need to leave them in the refrigerator a little longer.

    • Joanne September 16, 2015, 2:23 pm

      There are other recipes that bake the bars — It might help. Give it a try, the bars should become toasty in flavor, which might be nice! My only worry would be that they loose their chewiness.

  • Deborah Vargas August 30, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Hello Guys, i have a question instead of a comment. Can you sub coconut oil for butter in this recipe? And seeds for nuts? I have a very restricted diet. Thank you in advance for your response

    • Joanne September 16, 2015, 2:29 pm

      Hi Deborah, Other commenters have had success with most of the substitutions you mention. I recommend reading through their comments to see what has worked. The recipe is pretty flexible, so I am sure you will find something that works for your diet.

  • JeanMarie August 15, 2015, 11:55 pm

    I tested this recipe 6 ways from Thursday. These are just my observations… don’t pack the brown sugar. Agave is thinner in consistency and sweeter than honey. As long as your liquids add up to 1\3 cup, it should be good. I fill my measure with mostly honey, top it off with a touch of agave or good maple syrup…don’t over spray the foil lining… my family likes it best if I pulse the old fashioned oats and make quick oats in the food processor. Can be made without chips, but pay extra attention to packing it down tight. Try not to overcook the honey brown sugar mix, it seems to make things brittle. Margarine or coconut oil can be subbed, but i dont think olive oil works. Toasting the oats and nuts gives everyting a deeper nuttier flavor. My crew of Crash Taste Dummies have gone wild for chocolate peanut, almond cranberry vanilla, and raisin spice so far. The base recipe is the “little black dress” of granola bars!

  • Erica August 10, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I love this recipe. I substituted coconut oil in place of the butter. I used unfiltered honey as well. I made sure to cook the sauce until the sugar was completely dissolved the oil and sugar merged into a homogenous mixture. It almost looked like making caramel.

    I’m going to try experimenting with different combos for the sauce – maple syrup or applesauce as a another reviewer suggested. Thank you so much for this – this recipe has endless possibilities when it comes to the “glue” and the bars themselves! Now, I can stop spending so much money on those tasty but expensive KIND bars!

  • Melissa August 9, 2015, 10:37 am

    I made oatmeal raisin. Used about half of suggested sugar and honey. When it came time to do the pressing I put down wax paper over the bars in the pan and used a loaf pan for more even pressure. Worked wonderfully. Delicious!

  • Cissy July 27, 2015, 5:46 pm

    This was such an easy and delicious recipe. I substituted coconut oil for the butter, agave for the sugar, and coconut flakes for the fruit. YUM!! I now want to make more with other ingredients. Thanks for this!

  • Gayle June 28, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Ok I started with your recipe, but added sunflower seeds. I don’t have almonds at the moment. Omitted butter, instead added coconut oil three tablespoons. I had candied cherries so cut them up, 1/4 cup, 1/4 cup raisins, one teaspoon vanilla and one teaspoon almond extract. Then I used the honey, brown sugar, oats and salt as written. Great basic recipe that can be modified for what you have. Thanks. 5 star recipe for sure!!!

  • monal June 19, 2015, 2:02 pm

    Can I use oil instead of butter, due to cholesterol problem.

    • Joanne July 2, 2015, 11:29 am

      Some readers have had success with using coconut oil in place of the butter.

  • S.M. June 4, 2015, 8:15 pm

    Hi, I have made this recipe multiple times and everyone in my family loved them! The first time I just used chocolate chips, because I thought I didn’t like almonds, but I actually do. Anyway, I’m going to have a bake sale and I am planning to make some cookies and cupcakes and muffins.. all that good stuff. But I thought I would sell the granola bars or give them out for free but give you the credit for it of course. I just think people in my neighborhood would enjoy this and I would tell them where I got the recipe so they can try it out themselves. That is my plan, but I need your approval of course. It’s okay if you don’t want that. Thank you!

  • Gwendolyn Wilkins June 4, 2015, 6:21 pm

    These are utterly amazing!
    I’m going to be tweaking around with the recipe a lot to make it my own, but this recipe here works incredibly well! It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted from a chewy granola bar.

  • Lisa S June 2, 2015, 3:21 pm

    This is great, I think it will turn out great. My goal is to try to duplicate the Kind Coconut & Almond bars, which are seriously like 90% coconut and almonds. They only have a little crisped rice for a grain. I’m trying these now with lots of coconut and almonds, added some chopped cashews, some oats, and a bit of chocolate because, well, why not.

    Mine aren’t done yet, but I used parchment paper instead of the foil. I never have luck with foil not sticking to things, even with cooking spray, but I always have good luck with parchment paper. I added a second layer of parchment to the top and just used another similarly sized pan to do all my pushing down. With the parchment it stayed totally clean and I could really use some elbow grease and put my weight behind it. :)

  • Sacha May 29, 2015, 11:07 am

    These are great. I wanted to send them to school so I swapped the almonds for Rice Bubbles (Rice Crispies? I am Australian hahaha)

    Do you know if its possible to omit the sugar? I found them too sweet for me.

    • Joanne July 2, 2015, 11:35 am

      Some commenters have had success with reducing the amount of sugar.

  • Nicole May 22, 2015, 10:55 pm

    I tried out different recipes(most tasted more like oatmeal raisin cookies) and this is by far the best. Super easy and tasty. I don’t really care for almonds so I omitted them. I ended up using pretty much the exact recipe..except I replaced some of the rolled oats with honey bunches of oats cereal. Also added some more chocolate chips and raisins. It’s great recipe as a starter to add your own flavor. Loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nicole Pakos April 26, 2015, 11:41 pm

    Love the granola bars they never last long:)

  • Virginia April 7, 2015, 6:50 am

    Thank you guys, after much reseraching, your recipe truly is simple, Im making it today!

    • Joanne April 9, 2015, 5:13 pm

      You are welcome, we are thrilled you found us.

  • Marie April 6, 2015, 9:51 am

    Amazingly good and easy!

  • Adriel March 28, 2015, 6:50 pm

    is there anyway to substitute out butter?

    i tried this with extra virgin olive oil and it came apart even thought refrigerated.

    • Joanne March 28, 2015, 7:17 pm

      Hi Adriel, Other commenters have had some success with coconut oil. You could give that a try since it is solid at cooler room temperatures and when kept in the fridge.

      • Adriel March 29, 2015, 11:35 pm

        Hi Joanne!

        I knew you were going to recommend coconut oil. =)

        Both butter and coconut oil are excellent choice in no bake muesli since they are not liquid at room temp, unlike olive oil.

        I will try out butter for now and play around with olive oil to sugar and dry ingredients ratio. I am pretty sure olive oil will work.


        • Joanne March 30, 2015, 11:38 am

          Let us know what you find, we’d love to hear about how it goes.

    • Nicole May 22, 2015, 10:59 pm

      Have you tried using applesauce instead of butter? I have tried this before and it worked out well for me…but I also like applesauce. lol That’s best way if you’re looking to cut calories. I have replaced the butter with peanut butter (per request) and that turned out well also. Hope it works out for you!

  • aditi March 20, 2015, 2:38 am

    Hi..hey if i want to replace light brown sugar with tht possible & wht wld b d measure??

    • Joanne March 23, 2015, 12:57 pm

      Hi there, we have never made anything with jaggery in our kitchen so we can’t speak to how it would work in this recipe. You should give it a try, though. We’d love to hear how it turns out.

    • Nicole May 22, 2015, 11:11 pm

      When swapping Jaggery in for sugar, use anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 more Jaggery than was called for sugar (if you want the recipe as sweet.) Juggery isn’t as sweet as sugar.

  • Melissa March 19, 2015, 9:04 pm

    These were amazing! My 10 year old son made them with my guidance, super easy and super good. He chose to add some coconut and not the cranberries. Husband ate a third of them the first night haha! I don’t think we’ll every buy a box of them again 😀

  • Sandra March 18, 2015, 11:08 am

    I followed the recipe exactly, I used mini choc chips and sunflower seeds instead of the almonds. I also snuck in some ground chia seeds for a health kick and no one knew. A double batch was gone in two days – everyone said it was better than a candy bar. :) Will definitely make again and try different mix ins.

  • Rachel March 7, 2015, 6:08 pm

    I just made these I hope they turn out. I substituted the butter with coconut oil. I also used dried cherries, blue berries and dark chocolate chips. Yummy! I hope I my family enjoys them.

    Happy Saturday!


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