Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

How to make homemade granola bars! These granola bars are simple, soft, and chewy. They are delicious and can be adapted with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate.

Granola Bars Recipe Video

For years, I struggled with homemade granola bars falling apart. So, I went back to the drawing board and created this easy recipe.

These homemade granola bars taste great, are easy to make, and they do not fall apart (see our tips below). This recipe calls for a simple butter and honey base. For a peanut butter base, see this recipe for peanut butter granola bars.

Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

Key Ingredients

  • Rolled oats: I use rolled oats to make these granola bars and find that they add to their chewy texture. Instant oats should also work in this recipe if that is all you have. I also use rolled oats when making homemade granola and these energy balls.
  • Butter, honey, and brown sugar: Make up the base of our bars and help the ingredients stay together. To make this honey-free, you can substitute brown rice syrup or golden syrup (these tend to work better than maple syrup since they are sticky like honey).
  • Nuts: We have used almonds in our photos, but feel free to substitute your favorite nut for almonds in these bars. Consider peanuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios.
  • Dried fruit: We have used dried cranberries in our photos, but feel free to substitute your favorite dried fruit in your bars. Consider raisins, golden raisins, dried blueberries, and goldenberries.
  • Chocolate chips: I use mini chocolate chips when making granola bars. Their smaller size holds better in the bars.

How to Make Granola Bars

To add a toasty flavor to our granola bars, we bake the rolled oats and nuts in the oven until lightly toasted, which removes the raw flavor of the oats. They bake for about 10 minutes in the oven, then add them to a large bowl.

While the oats and nuts bake, you can make the sticky glue that holds our bars together. You’ll melt butter, honey, and brown sugar in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Mix this sticky mixture with the toasted oats and nuts.

Pouring the sticky glue (made with butter, honey, and brown sugar) into oats for homemade granola bars

Allow everything to cool, and then toss in dried fruit and chocolate chips. I don’t mind if some of the chocolate melts a little since it helps the bars stick together even more.

Now it’s time to press and chill our granola bars. You want to really press the mixture into the pan. The better you press, the better the bars hold together.

Pressing granola mixture into a pan before chilling and cutting into bars

When you’re happy with the pressed mixture, press a spoonful of chocolate chips on top, and then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This hardens everything and makes it easy to cut the granola mixture into bars. This recipe makes 12!

Cutting homemade granola bars

Storing Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are best when stored in the fridge or cooler areas of your kitchen (like a dark pantry). I keep mine in the fridge. Remember that the sticky glue holding these together is made with butter, which has a low melting point. So once these bars warm up, they fall apart more easily. When cool to the touch, they hold together very well. They last for a few weeks in the fridge. You can even freeze them for longer!

Homemade Granola Bars

Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These homemade granola bars are much better than what you can buy at the store, especially since you can substitute for your favorite dried fruit or nuts. You need to chill the bars for at least 2 hours before cutting them.

Makes 12 bars

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

2 ½ cups (230g) old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (80g) whole almonds, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (113g) pure honey

1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup (60g) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65g) mini chocolate chips

Directions

  • Toast Oats and Nuts
  • 1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

    2Add the oats and chopped almonds to a small baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • Make Bars
  • 1Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts, the mixture bubbles, and the sugar dissolves.

    2Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool for 5 minutes.

    3Stir in the cranberries and 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Some of the chocolate chips might melt, but they turn into glue and help hold the bars together.

    4Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared pan and press it into the pan firmly using a rubber spatula. Press hard so that the bars will stay together once cooled and cut. We press for about one minute to be extra safe.

    5Scatter the remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the pressed granola mixture, and then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top.

    6Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove the block of granola mixture from the pan and peel away the foil or parchment. Cut into 12 bars.

  • Storing
  • 1Store granola bars in an airtight container for a few weeks in the fridge. For the softest bars, keep them in a cool area of your kitchen (like a dark pantry). For firmer bars, store in the fridge. Bars will keep in the freezer for up to three months when wrapped well.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Reducing the sugar: We have experienced the best results when making these bars with the sugar and honey amount listed in the recipe. You can try reducing the sugar a little, but they might be a little more crumbly. The honey and sugar mixture keeps these chewy.
  • Honey substitutes: Try something that is still sticky like brown rice syrup or golden syrup.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Calories 220 / Protein 3.8g / Carbohydrate 32.9g / Dietary Fiber 3.1g / Total Sugars 19.6g / Total Fat 8.2g / Saturated Fat 3.7g / Cholesterol 10.2mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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795 comments… Leave a Review
  • Kathleen A. Heidrick July 5, 2024, 10:31 pm

    We love these granola bars and husband wants to never be without them. He has them with ice cream for dessert. Thank you for the great recipe.

    Reply
  • Aspasia Souhleris June 23, 2024, 4:17 pm

    Every time I make and then devour your granola bar recipe I think why don’t I thank them. So thank you, thank you … it’s the BEST granola bar recipe ever!
    I should know because I’ve tried many other recipes but yours is perfect, no room for improvement! Thank you, thank you…Adam and Joanne!

    Reply
    • Adam June 24, 2024, 5:09 pm

      You are so welcome! 🙂

      Reply
  • Joyce June 18, 2024, 3:01 pm

    Your granola bar recipe is the best I ever ate. 5 stars don’t need any changes.

    Reply
  • Michele Jordan May 31, 2024, 5:38 am

    These came out fantastic! I used minced dried fruit mix and toasted pecans. Getting ready to play around with flavor profiles and also with a vegan option and a “sugar free” option

    Reply
  • Linda Galvez May 14, 2024, 8:00 pm

    I subbed the brown sugar with maple syrup. My kids loved them. I also add chopped walnuts and hemp seeds to mine. Love this recipe.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 15, 2024, 3:04 pm

      Yum, so happy the maple syrup worked well for you!

      Reply
  • Linda April 13, 2024, 3:21 pm

    Love these easy and flavorful granola bars. I’ve made them twice in the last week, changed the fruit and nuts up for variety. Thanks

    Reply
    • Adam April 13, 2024, 4:25 pm

      Wonderful! 🙂

      Reply
  • Lorin April 7, 2024, 9:50 pm

    I’ve tried multiple granola bar recipes and now I can stop looking because this is the easiest and best tasting recipe. I don’t add the chocolate chips, just more nuts and dried cherries

    Reply
  • Corrie April 4, 2024, 10:46 pm

    We absolutely love these granola bars. I’ve tried different things to add in to the recipe. Our current favorite is with pecans, chocolate chips and raisins. I’ve also tried with peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips, with the almonds , peanuts or the cranberries. So many yummy combinations. I found this recipe when Quaker got recalled and we are never going back. I make these every other week.

    Reply
    • Joanne April 5, 2024, 11:47 am

      Wow, your variations sound amazing, Corrie! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

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