Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

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 Easy Homemade Granola Bars Recipe or read on to see how we make them.

Watch Us Make Homemade Granola Bars

This Recipe is Flexible

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).

We’ve made these many times now and every time, they’ve been just a little bit different.

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.

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.

Cutting homemade granola bars.

Tips for Making the Bars

Take care to press the mixture into the pan. 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.

Honey and brown sugar help make a glue for the 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.

Chill for two hours. 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. Just make sure they are tightly covered or sealed in a container.

More Easy Snack Recipes

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  • The Best Homemade Peanut Butter — See how to make both creamy and crunchy peanut butter as well as an almond and chocolate variation.
  • Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing — Use this simple homemade dressing as a dip for veggies or for tossing with your favorite salads.

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

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These homemade granola bars are so much better than what you can buy 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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562 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Carla Baptiste June 11, 2019, 1:46 pm

    I wanted to let you know that I am a fan of your site as of today. I made your Cauliflower and chickpea salad with pickled onions what a hit for me and my husband, we had it with cod and wild rice. Thanks C

    Reply
  • karen May 22, 2019, 5:50 am

    Can I make this recipe with oil instead of butter?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 22, 2019, 12:42 pm

      Hi Karen, the butter helps hold the bars together (since it firms up at room temperature or when cold). You could try coconut oil instead. Other oils, like olive oil, won’t help the bars hold together as much.

      Reply
  • Carolyn Bryan May 16, 2019, 8:38 pm

    Made these for my first attempt at homemade granola bars (changed it slightly, used raisins instead) but turned out great!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  • Linda May 8, 2019, 5:00 pm

    These are awesome and a great oatmeal bar. Thank you for this recipe.

    Reply
  • Calvin Russell May 2, 2019, 2:40 pm

    This is a great recipe!!! I have made them three times in two weeks! It’s so simple and you can use your imagination as to the nuts and fruit that goes in the bars. Great work.

    Reply
  • Colleen April 3, 2019, 7:02 pm

    These are great! And actually chewy! I sprayed a cupcake pan with cooking oil and made 12 of them. Worked very well. I’m making these again tonight.

    Reply
  • SzQ March 10, 2019, 1:15 pm

    Fantastic granola bar! My husband and I have been looking for this bar that is not too sweet and full of yummy goodness. We did make a couple of changes by replacing 1/2 a cup of the oats and put a 1/4 cup of flax and 1/4 of hemp plus instead of chocolate chips we put in sunflower seeds. Boom!

    Reply
  • Jessica Craighead March 4, 2019, 8:44 am

    These are delicious! I added a little extra chocolate just because I love it and they are so good. I can’t stop eating them. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Dee March 3, 2019, 4:36 pm

    Thank u for this great recipe. My entire family liked them. They are easy to make,& stay soft & chewy.

    Reply
  • `Bobbi February 27, 2019, 2:44 pm

    I’ve been making these regularly for a few weeks, and I wanted to add that I boil the honey/sugar/butter mixture on the stove for a few minutes. Not enough to get it to the soft ball stage (I’ve never used a thermometer), but enough to get some of the water out of the butter and make the mixture a little stickier. Works well. I boil about 3 minutes. My fave fruit/nut combinations are dried apricot/cashew/dark chocolate, dried cherry/almond/white chocolate, and cranberry/almond/white chocolate.

    Reply
  • Sharon February 23, 2019, 8:59 pm

    Great recipe! I’ve made several variations for my grandkids : )

    Reply
  • Linda Dietz February 21, 2019, 11:53 am

    These look to be exactly what I am looking for. We host a monthly men’s prayer breakfast for the men of our church. The early birds who come for some fellowhip before the rest of the group like something to nibble on with their first cup of coffee and while I am finishing the rest of the breakfast. These will be perfect! I need to do as much ahead as humanly possible!

    Reply
  • Angela February 9, 2019, 11:46 am

    These are amazing! I’m celiac so I used gluten free oats and these are better than any gluten free granola bar out there! So inexpensive to make as well. I had no dried cranberries so subbed unsweetened shredded coconut and it was delicious.thank you!

    Reply
  • Becki Hahnen January 14, 2019, 9:48 pm

    These are AMAZING! I added sunflower seeds along with the almonds and I think I ate half the batch alone. Highly recommend.

    Reply
  • Ruth January 6, 2019, 11:37 pm

    Made these today for my partner and they were absolutely divine – thanks so much for this super easy recipe. Will definitely be making these again 😊

    Reply

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