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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512 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Rachel July 29, 2014, 10:43 pm

    I read all the comments above and agree with one that these bars are great, but super, super sweet. I reduced the brown sugar and still found it too sweet.

    Have you tried it with pure maple syrup or will only honey make the bars stick?

    I tried reducing the honey and the bars fell apart. Just not sure how to make them healthier, meaning less sugar?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 31, 2014, 11:18 am

      We have not, but would be really interested to find out how they work if someone else does.

      Reply
  • Vivian July 22, 2014, 12:11 am

    OK, I love these!! The only thing I did different was add peanut butter and took the fruit out (due to kids not liking dried fruit). My biggest mistake was making a single recipe, now I double it and hope the neighbor kids don’t know I made them!!! Love the no bake! Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • Micachu July 17, 2014, 5:25 pm

    I’m about to make these and I want to know what to do if I don’t have any kosher salt, but I have regular salt

    Reply
    • Joanne August 7, 2014, 12:59 pm

      If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt.

      Reply
  • PC July 12, 2014, 4:32 am

    thank you for sharing this recipe! I added a spoonful of peanut butter to the mixture and some fresh strawberries. a bit gooey but delicious!

    Reply
  • Becca July 8, 2014, 4:05 am

    This recipe look amazing. I’m going to try making it tomorrow with my sister. Wondering if adding glazed cherry pieces, assorted nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate pieces would affect the recipe too much? Should be add extra to the glue mixture. Also thinking of adding peanut butter. Can you use baking paper instead of aluminium foil? Thanksss!

    Reply
    • Joanne August 7, 2014, 1:23 pm

      Baking parchment paper works well.

      Reply
  • Nanda Dyssou June 15, 2014, 1:10 am

    I love this recipe! I made these 2x so far and each came out great. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 12:22 pm

      Nice! Thanks for coming back and sharing.

      Reply
  • Renita June 12, 2014, 7:16 am

    Oops, forget yo rate it….

    Reply
  • Renita June 12, 2014, 7:15 am

    Loved this. Didn’t have nuts, chocolate chips, cranberries or unsalted butter but it still turned out great! Thanks for posting. 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanne June 20, 2014, 12:40 pm

      Great! Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  • Greg June 10, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Why does step 1 state to preheat the oven, then no mention of baking them?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 8, 2014, 11:47 am

      Hi Greg, We use the oven to toast the oats and nuts.

      Reply
  • Kasey June 7, 2014, 5:17 am

    Thank you. Just thank you. My 2 year old took one bite and said, “Tasey, dis is goooood!” I’m not sure whether I was more shocked by the fact that I actually found something he liked or that he used my first name to tell me about it.

    Reply

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