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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511 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Teal Prince November 26, 2017, 4:39 pm

    Just moved to a new town. Made these for my class = instant friends! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Isla Winter November 26, 2017, 4:36 pm

    Thanks so much- took inspiration from this to use for a school project and turned out great!

    Reply
  • Anne October 31, 2017, 5:42 am

    I made this today and it turned out too sweet. I omitted the chocolates but i follow the rest of the ingredients. I didn’t know what went wrong.

    Reply
  • Stephanie October 26, 2017, 2:56 pm

    My son and I enjoyed making these bars. It is simple enough for a preschooler cooking experience. We added some cashews, peanuts and peanut butter. Delicious! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe and tips.

    Reply
  • Sam Campbell October 9, 2017, 10:46 am

    Made a batch last nite. EXCELLENT! Next time, I may try putting a thin layer of almond butter in the bottom of the pan and chilling it well before I cut them. Think that will work?

    Reply
    • Joanne October 26, 2017, 4:14 pm

      Hi Sam, It is a great idea to add almond butter, but I would mix it into the honey/butter mixture instead of spreading it on the bottom of the pan. I’m worried that if the bars get too warm, the almond butter will be sticky. If you mix it in, I don’t see that you should have any issues.

      Reply
  • 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
  • Kristina October 1, 2017, 5:58 pm

    Is there a substitute for honey that will work? I’m allergic to honey and am having trouble finding granola bars and recipes without honey.

    Reply
    • Joanne October 26, 2017, 4:15 pm

      Yes, definitely. You can try brown rice syrup or golden syrup. Both are usually found in the international aisle or the organic/whole foods section of the grocery store.

      Reply
    • Regula October 30, 2017, 10:49 pm

      Kristina, I use Sorghum molasses in mine with great success! Agave nectar or anything similar would also work.

      Reply
  • Kathryn September 24, 2017, 8:07 pm

    Thank you for this excellent recipe! First try, I took a chance and tripled the recipe. I figured, what the heck? If it turns into granola it will still get eaten. It didn’t turn into granola! I followed your recipe, instructions, and suggestions and they turned out perfect! Only exception is that I used parchment paper because I didn’t have foil. By using parchment paper, there was no need to use cooking spray. I put parchment paper on top to press, too. My family was so impressed! They scarfed them Up! Tried to slow them down by freezing some. Lol! Didn’t work! I used pistachios, mini chocolate chips, and dried cranberries for the add ins. The triple batch fit in an 11″x17″ and a 9″x9″ dish. They were still about 3/4″ thick. Tonight, I’m making another batch and will try using an 11″×17″ and 9″×13″. Thank you again!

    Reply
  • Eva September 22, 2017, 2:08 pm

    I made these granola bars and followed the recipe exactly, not making any changes but it was really sweet. too sweet in fact, is there a way to minimize the sweetness and still make it have the same texture? It might be the honey, is there a substitute for the honey that would not be so sweet?

    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

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