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
  • Shelley Schwartz July 20, 2016, 11:16 pm

    ok, these are amazing! can’t believe how great they are with s few ingredients!! I used about 2/3 chopped dried mango to 1/3 dried cranberries for the fruit portion and other than that made as it. While my chocolate chips melted a bit more than the photos here, they still looked good and tasted great. Picky husband and 2 picky kids both liked them a lot! Thanks!!!

    Reply
  • Macucruz July 15, 2016, 6:06 pm

    Hi would like to know if they turn up to be chewy and if you can change the chocolate chips for something else ,thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne July 28, 2016, 5:06 pm

      They are soft and chewy. You could leave the chocolate chips out or swap for something else like other nuts/dried fruits.

      Reply
  • Ruth July 15, 2016, 5:16 am

    This granola bar recipe is an AMAZING find. I already made this twice, once by just following the ingredients and the second one i made some substitutions: coconut oil instead of butter and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. I also added some coconut flakes and chia seeds. I think this will be my go-to recipe from now on. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Lynn August 8, 2016, 1:44 am

      How did the coconut oil work out? I am thinking about using this recipe but wanted a slightly healthier take on it. I am planning on using chia, hemp hearts, raisins/cranberries and possibly a dark chocolate to make it a treat.

      Reply
  • Elle July 13, 2016, 10:22 am

    I LOVE this recipe! It’s perfect. I keep these on hand at all times. I mix it up all the time, I keep the oat/sugar/butter base the same and change up the 1 1/4 cup mix-ins. Seeds, nuts, fruit etc. The only thing I do differently is I toast my oats on the stove top during the warm months (we do not have air-conditioning).

    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • Sarah A July 10, 2016, 8:20 pm

    This is much easier to press if you just place parchment paper on top and press down with your hands. Great recipe though. Even my kids like it. That’s rare.

    Reply
  • Nix July 7, 2016, 1:32 am

    I followed the recipe to the dot except for toasting the oats til it’s more crispier (5mins more with frequent stirring), my husband loved the kinda smokey taste. We really loved it!

    Reply
  • Rachel June 24, 2016, 8:01 pm

    I substituted butter for coconut oil and added less almonds and dried cranberries to add some walnuts and shredded coconut. SO GOOD! THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  • Gorretti June 12, 2016, 3:08 am

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe + video. I made these bars and although my first attempt, they have turned out super.
    Your recipe was very easy to follow (I did add some more seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame).

    Reply
  • Kristen June 3, 2016, 3:34 pm

    Thanks for a great recipe that doesn’t use peanut butter as a binder. My son is allergic to nuts and peanuts, and it’s impossible to find granola bars in stores that aren’t contaminated with trace amounts. It was easy to just leave out the almonds in this recipe and still have great granola bars!

    Reply
  • Julie April 20, 2016, 3:51 pm

    Made a granola bar recipe back a few years ago and the recipe called for molasses – wondering how much you would have to use in this recipe?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 19, 2016, 12:53 pm

      Hi Julie, I would keep 1/4 cup of the honey and add a generous tablespoon of molasses. You could replace more of the honey with it, but be careful with how strong the flavor of the molasses will be in the bars.

      Reply
  • Sabrina April 5, 2016, 12:03 pm

    Ended up copying the recipe by hand because your “print” mode included a picture (complete waste of ink)
    BUT – This is a great, simple and delicious recipe .. Thanks for sharing !

    Reply
    • Julie May 3, 2016, 5:22 pm

      Gosh, I wish I would of read the comments before printing the recipe. I agree the pictures are not needed for this recipe.

      Reply
  • Stephen March 20, 2016, 4:16 pm

    Just a thought, why not borrow from the ideas of candy making. I am an avid maker of torrone, and all the torrone based bars all start with a sugar syrup melted to a particular temperature to produce either a soft and gooey, chewy or hard like a rock result. Now, I don’t care about health stuff in as much as I use whatever ingredient I need (as long as I keep moderation in my diet). So sugar syrup can be made with corn syrup (which is the best way) or a mix of corn syrup and honey, or just honey…as it was done hundreds of years ago before sugar. When I make soft torrone I take my sugar to about 242 degrees which produces a soft and chewy confection, that when you pick up a bar from one end will not limp over but still soft enough to resemble taffy. Be warned honey does not do well over 248 degrees it will “explode”

    Reply
  • June johnston March 17, 2016, 5:45 pm

    Have experimented with several batches. Coconut oil in place of butter…. Skipedp the sugar completely. Used honey in amount asked for in recipe. Reduced oatmeal to two cups and added hemp, Chia, coconut and peanut butter. Awesome.Even made some with sesame seeds and no PB. …. Taste like a sesame snap. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Tasha April 4, 2016, 4:24 pm

      I have made changes with healthy alternatives as well. This is a great base recipe and everyone I make this for just loves it!

      Reply
  • Christi C March 16, 2016, 8:56 pm

    I was wondering, how to use quinoa in the recipe, cooked or uncooked? Would it replace some of the oats? The bars look yummy! Can’t wait to try them.
    Happy baking!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 19, 2016, 12:56 pm

      Hi Christi, I would add the quinoa uncooked. Although, toasting it first could be a nice touch. Replacing some of the oats with the quinoa is best.

      Reply
  • Anna February 22, 2016, 9:22 pm

    Love this recipe. After trolling through many settled in this one. I added quinoa, ground flax seed, hemp seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seed as well as a sugar free trail mix of dried fruits and nuts. I did not use the brown sugar. Instead, used 1 cup of pure honey to keep it all natural. As a result, excellent meal replacement, mid day snack and evening snack for blood sugar stability while sleeping. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Paula April 30, 2016, 11:31 pm

      How much of each did you use of all the seeds ect with the oats? Thx

      Reply

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