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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513 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Chris Rettig June 5, 2014, 5:38 pm

    Big thank you for the best granola bar recipe I’ve tried. Very tasty, easy to make and a huge hit with everyone. Thumbs up to you folks!

    Reply
  • esme June 1, 2014, 10:47 pm

    can I use coconut and apricot ?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 8, 2014, 12:01 pm

      Sure, this is a pretty adaptable recipe.

      Reply
  • Julie June 1, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Can I BAKE these bars instead of freezing? If I can…for how long can I bake them?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 8, 2014, 12:02 pm

      Hi Julie, the bars don’t really need to be baked. If you wanted to try it, though, I’d watch so they don’t get over browned or burn.

      Reply
  • Cherry May 29, 2014, 5:35 am

    Hi tried ur recipe …turned out grt..just a question.
    The oats in the granola bars tasted a bit raw. Though I baked for the right amount of time as mentioned above. What can I do to make them taste better

    Reply
    • Joanne August 8, 2014, 12:07 pm

      You could toast them a little longer in the oven.

      Reply
  • Katie May 21, 2014, 7:56 pm

    I work as a chef and came across your recipe for the granola bars. I have a huge vegan clientele so I had to change a few thing; I use coconut oil for butter and agave nectar for honey. They are a hit! I can’t make enough of them! I’ve had to multiply your recipe by 8 to make full sheet trays and I make 3 of those a week! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 2:13 pm

      Hi Katie, We’re so glad you found us and were able to adapt the recipe to meet your vegan customers needs 🙂 Thanks so much for coming back and sharing.

      Reply
  • abby May 21, 2014, 7:30 pm

    can you use regular chocolate? like a chocolate bar

    Reply
    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 2:12 pm

      Of course, just chop it up in to tiny pieces.

      Reply
  • Natalie May 15, 2014, 9:40 pm

    They came out SO perfect. This is exactly the kind of recipe I needed – quick, easy, portable, nutritious, beautiful, and delicious. I put my own little spin on it and instead of just adding the chocolate chips in, I melted them and spread them into a layer on the bottom before putting the mixture in the pan. It worked perfectly – in the future I plan on mixing it up with different fruit and nut combinations. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • abby May 10, 2014, 12:15 pm

    can you use regular oats? such as the ones for oatmeal

    Reply
    • Joanne May 12, 2014, 5:43 pm

      Yep. Rolled oats are best.

      Reply
  • Karen Meagher May 10, 2014, 9:29 am

    Love this recipe, we make it all the time.
    It is great because you can put whatever you want in it and it is still delicious!
    I put all the toasted ingredients out and let the kids each make their own bars.
    Way better than store bought!

    Reply
  • rightmeow May 1, 2014, 10:55 am

    This is so handy. I’m going on a camping trip this weekend, and this will be perfect to bring as a snack. I did sliced almonds, dried cherries and cranberries, and used a special lemon honey.

    Reply

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