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
  • Sarah merchant October 5, 2016, 8:17 am

    I’ve just made these. Really very super! Very easy to make, and very versatile. I used raisins,coconut,walnuts and mixed seeds. Also added tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter for a more nutty texture. Lovely,tasty and surprisingly filling! As stated, the key is to make sure you take the time to press down very very firmly before putting in fridge. I’m going to try different ingredients next time. Thank you so much for a successful granola recipe.

    Reply
  • Ruveen September 20, 2016, 2:22 pm

    I had been searching for a good and easy homemade granola bar recipe for a while. Everything I came across looked good but it would end up having so many ingredients. I finally came across yours. Its so easy and delicious. My husband did not want any dried fruit in his so I lined 2 individual loaf pans with parchment paper (easier for pick up) and split the batch in 2 once it was time to add dried fruit to mine. The bars end up in the perfect length and width. My combo was cherry chocolate almond. His was just chocolate almond. I do plan on trying with coconut oil instead of butter and maybe maple syrup if I don’t have honey. Thank you so much for this recipe. Will be making it all the time now.

    Reply
    • Cathy February 25, 2017, 7:10 am

      I’m interested to know how the coconut oil in this recipe vs. butter turned out.

      Reply
  • Maritza September 16, 2016, 9:48 pm

    Best recipe on granola bars. This is the first time that I’ve made these chewy granola bars. They actually tasted great. Thank you for the recipe.

    Reply
  • Gayle September 14, 2016, 2:28 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!!!

    Reply
  • Adrie September 14, 2016, 2:25 pm

    These are wonderful!! Ever since I had my little one 10 weeks ago, I’ve craved chocolate granola bars, but was tired of store bought. Mine don’t stick together perfectly, but a. I don’t care, because the crumbly bits make the best yogurt topping EVER (tj’s mocha yogurt, highly recommended) and b. I made several modifications so I doubt that reflects on the recipe. Modifications: for the fill ins I used m&m’s! In lieu of almonds I used shredded coconut, hemp, flax and chia seeds, and a handful of rice krispies. On my second batch, I followed one reviewers idea and toasted my dry ingredients on the stovetop so I didn’t have to turn on the oven in July. It got the job done, but it took me a few bars to realize what the flavor was similar to…popcorn! Not a bad thing, but definitely different!

    Reply
  • Andrea September 12, 2016, 4:19 am

    Love this recipe…my fussy kids keep asking me to make more. I substituted coconut oil for the butter, and ran out of honey so substituted agave for the honey. I also skipped the almonds (allergies) and instead of chocolate chips, I baked and semi-dried 2 diced apples and added them and 1 tsp cinnamon to the mixture. The recipe stayed moist and chewy and had amazing flavor. 5 stars

    Reply
  • Lisa Fyfe September 8, 2016, 10:04 pm

    I just made these. I have tried about a million times to make homemade granola bars, and they always come out crumbly and they fall apart. This is the very first time I have had success! I am taking this recipe and glueing it to my refrigerator. They came out delicious. I even like them cold out of the fridge. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Hannah September 7, 2016, 11:08 am

    Does anyone know if I can ommitt the sugar in this recipe!? and I would like to know if it is possible to bake it?

    Reply
  • Jen September 1, 2016, 6:06 pm

    Could i use maple syrup instead of honey?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 14, 2016, 2:28 pm

      Hi Jen, we have never tried this ourselves, but other commenters have had success with maple syrup.

      Reply
  • Brian August 31, 2016, 3:30 pm

    your recipe left out how long to bake them!

    Reply
    • Joanne September 2, 2016, 3:06 pm

      Hi Brian, We do not bake the bars in this recipe. Instead, we refrigerate until firm and then cut.

      Reply
  • ria August 25, 2016, 8:53 pm

    I made but I may have heated my sugar too much as it separated from the butter. I dont believe in heating honey, in ayurveda they say not to heat honey so I added it after and I found my bars were a bit dry 🙁 I will try it again but I will not heat the sugar too much.

    Reply
  • Evvie August 25, 2016, 5:17 pm

    I made these as well, for an upcoming hiking trip. I have a severe tree nut allergy and have missed granola bars because almost all of them have almonds or other tree nuts. I substituted the almonds for cashews (which I’m not allergic to). I also used 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 clarified butter in lieu of all butter, and used sucanat + molasses instead of light brown sugar. I divided this recipe in 1/2 and made 1/2 with 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter and crushed banana chips, and the other with dried tri-color raisins. They both turned out AMAZING. After slicing them, I wrapped them in parchment for the day camping trip and they kept wonderfully. I will definitely be making this recipe again!!

    Reply
  • Trish August 24, 2016, 10:47 am

    I would like to try this recipe. Has anyone tried a substitute for the brown sugar like a karo syrup if so pls share your outcome.

    Reply
  • Kathleen August 22, 2016, 2:39 pm

    Making these now with a few adaptations.
    Wondering if anyone has tried freezing them?
    Please share your experience with freezing in portioned size.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sarah August 31, 2016, 1:40 pm

      I freeze them all the time. When you let them sit at room temperature they go back to their chewy state!

      Reply
  • Tish August 15, 2016, 4:54 pm

    I love this recipe. Added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, made the recipe 1 1/2 times original and made in a 9 X 13 pan. I microwaved the honey, butter and brown sugar but added a little more than 1/2 cup chopped dates which “glued” everything together.

    Reply
    • Tish August 15, 2016, 4:56 pm

      I put the dates in with sugar mixture to soften them!

      Reply

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