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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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491 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Misty May 29, 2017, 2:57 pm

    These have got to be the most amazing bars I have ever eaten! They are more like dessert, heaven made from granola bars with every bite. I add all sorts of different ingredients with each recipe. They are huge hit, I found this recipe a month ago and just finished making them for the fourth Time! Yummmmmmy😄 Thank you thank you thank you muchos muchly!💗

    Reply
  • Jennifer Mackay May 25, 2017, 7:37 am

    Made them other week for my kids granda kids went down a Strom asked make again so easy

    Reply
  • Monica May 22, 2017, 2:03 pm

    These are so tasty! And the recipe is very easy to play around with for trying out new flavor combinations. We started out making them just like the recipe, then added in peanut butter, I got some puffed millet for some extra crunch and that is good too. Sometimes we use different nuts or dried fruit too. This week’s batch had caramel bits instead of chocolate, and dried apple pieces! We love this and it’s pretty easy to make.

    Reply
  • Karolina May 17, 2017, 11:55 am

    Those bars are absolutely amazing!!! As well as the original recipe, I substituted coconut oil for butter the second time (I like to eat vegan and wanted to share with my husband 😛 ), added figs, goji berries and all kinds of nuts and it was amazing. (I don’t put chocolate chips)
    I believe no matter what you put in, these bars will turn out to be absolutely fabulous.THANK YOU! The best recipe.

    Reply
  • Jane April 27, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Very delicious. Thank you for the recipe! It is one of the best homemade snacks to take it on the way.

    Reply
  • Tiffany at Weird Little French Cookie April 14, 2017, 1:42 pm

    DELICIOUS! I made these using freeze-dried strawberries and dark chocolate chips – thanks for a fabulous recipe!

    Reply
  • Alita March 29, 2017, 7:56 am

    I’ve been searching for the ‘perfect’ granola recipe…and THIS Is IT!!!!!! Thanks a ton! I only added 2 tbsps of coconut oil to the above, as we all like the taste and smell of coconut. Thanks again!!!

    Reply
  • Kristen L March 16, 2017, 1:52 pm

    If you make the recipe as is with no modifications, does anyone know the nutritional facts? I just finished making these, and I look forward to trying them once they’re cooled! The recipe is easy to follow, as well as easy to modify how you’d like it.

    Reply
    • Joanne July 27, 2017, 5:53 pm

      Hi Kristen, We just updated the recipe with nutritional info. You can find it at the bottom of the notes section in the recipe.

      Reply
  • Ashleigh March 13, 2017, 1:35 pm

    I just made these a little bit ago and used coconut oil instead of butter (a little under 1/4 cup) and used maple syrup instead of brown sugar. They came out great and did not fall apart. I also added in a couple handfuls of shredded coconut and rice krispies cereal. These were awesome!

    Reply
    • Ashleigh March 13, 2017, 1:36 pm

      Also forgot to mention that I DID use instant oats (not the regular kind), and had no problems whatsover.

      Reply
  • Tammy March 11, 2017, 9:43 am

    5 stars they are great

    Reply
  • Tammy March 11, 2017, 9:29 am

    I have made these a couple of times now and my husband AYS we don’t need to bother buying store bought granola bars anymore. They are great! I have added different things including chia seeds and flax seeds. Would like to try cutting down on the sugar content and add peanut butter. If I omit the sugar will it affect the texture?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 27, 2017, 5:54 pm

      You should be okay — the melted sugar does help hold the bars together, but since you are adding the peanut butter, you might get away with it.

      Reply
  • Tania March 9, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Okay just made it and it came out well but too sweet for me, although DD thought it was fine. Actually did a few substitutions – raisins instead of cranberry (cus didn’t have any) – I thought it should have less fruit, DD said she wanted more…, I added a 1/4 cup cereal (choco flakes basically) that my DD doesn’t like on its own to use it up, no nuts (DD won’t eat them), for chocolate I ground part of a dark choco bar (cus can’t get chips), and added 2 heaped tablespoons ground sesame seeds (surreptitiously) to beef up the calcium content. I just put it in a greased oval-shaped casserole dish and cut it after taking out of the fridge and leaving it 10 mins or so. Didn’t stick at all. Many thanks for posting!

    Reply
  • Yna Mendoza March 8, 2017, 8:35 am

    Hey there! I wanna make a big batch of your bars (72 in total) but I wanted to make it in advance (like 4 days before I need them). Is it okay to freeze them once cut? If yes, how do I store them in the freezer? I’m also thinking about dipping the bottom of these in tempered chocolate when they thaw and keep them in room temperature afterwards. Hope you can help me out! Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Joanne July 27, 2017, 5:54 pm

      Hi there, these bars do freeze well.

      Reply
  • Pinar Yazgan February 26, 2017, 5:04 am

    Wonderful recipe, great inspiration! I added cacao, removed sugar for my second try. Very delicious and crunchy with almonds and dry white mulberries.

    Reply
  • Tlh0326 February 17, 2017, 5:48 pm

    My 14yo and I just made these. We used splenda brown sugar and I can’t believe its not butter, almonds, cranberries, and dark chocolate chips!!!! Amazing! In the past a I always went for Store Bought. Now I’m in control of the ingredients!! 1st try and they are a HIT!

    Reply

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