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 the recipe

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.

Soft and chewy granola bars

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.

* You may also enjoy these no bake easy energy bites

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.

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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.

      • Storing
      • 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. Bars will keep in the freezer up to three months when wrapped well.

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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643 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Errol February 17, 2020, 3:10 pm

    Loved these and my whole family did too. Super easy to make, worth the wait, and I’m adding this to our weekly rotation! Thanks for saving me a trip to the grocery store.

    Reply
    • Connie Bitsakos March 1, 2020, 11:37 am

      I love these bars. thank you. I have a comment: In stead of alufoil I would rather use bio baking sheet: when the alufoil is warm it gives aluminium into the food.

      Reply
  • Graham Kirk February 2, 2020, 8:31 am

    Can you add sweetened condensed milk to this recipe?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:30 pm

      I’m not sure. You might need to do some experimenting on this one since we have never tried this in our own kitchen.

      Reply
  • José January 30, 2020, 4:57 pm

    Great taste, only my bars are very hard, not soft and chewy :(.
    Something I’m doing wrong?

    Reply
  • Michael January 3, 2020, 1:17 pm

    These bars tasted great! I used half maple syrup/half honey as the sweetener, and unfortunately, they didn’t hold together as I hoped they would. I’m sure this was the result of not using full honey as the recipe stated. My mistake! However, overall, it was super easy and delicious even though they weren’t perfectly bonded!

    Reply
    • Amanda Waters February 16, 2020, 2:02 pm

      I have just made this but doubled the oats, did not have some of the ingredients so added what i had. Half the maple syrup, half the honey, 6 large tablespoons of sweetener, 10 glace cherries, 100g of sultanas, 6 tablespoons of desicated coconut, 80 g of chia seeds 2 oz low fat butter, and i added a splash of salted caramel essence, mixed it all up popped in a baking sheet of paper into baking tray added a another sheet of baking paper over the top.flattened it out and baked for 15 mins the drizzled the top with dark chocolate and let chill in fridge. Tested and its the nicest bar i have ever tasted

      Reply
  • Jada December 31, 2019, 3:03 am

    Could I substitute the butter with coconut oil?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 17, 2020, 1:11 pm

      Hi Jada, While we have not personally done this, other commenters have with success.

      Reply
    • Cozete April 3, 2020, 1:06 pm

      Made this with figs & pecans,instead of almonds and cranberries- and no chocolate. Subbed butter for virgin coconut oil. Next time I am leaving out the brown sugar and replacing it with more honey, because I don’t want processed sugars in my diet. They taste amazing!! They held together OK. After cutting them, store them in the fridge. I noticed they hold together better. This is probably because I didn’t use the chocolate. I’m on a diet and I ate 1/3 of the pan for breakfast while I was cutting them! Oops! They were that good!

      Reply
  • DIANA December 22, 2019, 8:09 am

    Hi can I substitute the sugar?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 17, 2020, 1:11 pm

      Hi Diana, You should be able to reduce the sugar by a bit, but since we have never tried these bars without any sugar, we cannot comment as to how well the bars would hold up.

      Reply
    • Caryn May 7, 2020, 7:25 am

      Could I use more oats instead of almonds do you think? Or maybe some crisp rice cereal? We have a nut allergy to work around.

      Reply
      • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:27 pm

        Yes, increasing the oats or substituting with the rice cereal is a great idea.

        Reply
  • AYA November 23, 2019, 2:04 pm

    Does putting it for 10 minutes in the oven help it stick better? Have you tried it?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 17, 2020, 1:13 pm

      We personally do not bake the bars, but if you were to bake them, the chocolate would melt, which when cooled would help the bars stick together. Baking would also add more of a toasted flavor to the bars.

      Reply
    • Jaden April 5, 2020, 9:54 pm

      Can I use the recipe and roll them into balls as granola bites?

      Reply
  • Jennifer November 23, 2019, 12:23 pm

    The best granola bar recipe I’ve made. I keep making it–it’s become a staple in our home! I use whatever nuts/fruit I have on hand. The only thing I’ve changed is not pressing the extra chips on top of the bars. If I could get the bars to stick together, I’d love a lower sugar option, so that’s my compromise. I used a silicone baking tray this last time and it worked like a dream!

    Reply
  • Emily November 3, 2019, 9:12 pm

    I don’t know how I have lived 30 years without these bars. They are so simple and so delicious. I love mixing the ingredients. I put smoked chocolate chips and mini marshmallows to make a semi-s’mores bar.

    Reply
  • Enid Fraser October 25, 2019, 3:33 pm

    These granola bars in my opinion are the best I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a ton. They are soft and chewy and hold together very well. I substituted dried apricots for the cranberries which results in a less sweet bar. I also omitted the 2 tbsp of chips on top and added pumpkin seeds. This recipe is very adaptable with wonderful results. Definitely a keeper for me!!

    Reply
  • Sydney September 16, 2019, 3:43 pm

    Can you sub vegan butter or is there any other sub for butter? Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne January 17, 2020, 1:14 pm

      Hi Sydney, This is actually something I’d like to test myself. It’s on our list of to-dos. Vegan butter should work (coconut oil should, too), but I’d need to test myself.

      Reply
    • Caden April 19, 2020, 4:43 pm

      Hi Sydney, I’ve made this recipe twice with vegan margarine and it works great! Cheers.

      Reply
  • Kara September 10, 2019, 8:25 pm

    If I deep freeze these can they last longer?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 11, 2019, 5:15 pm

      Yes, I think so. We don’t have a deep freezer, so we have no experience with them.

      Reply
  • Vanessa July 10, 2019, 10:04 pm

    We tried this recipe and used white chocolate and dried cherries. My daughter got a purple ribbon on it at the county fair. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    Reply
  • Kitt June 25, 2019, 3:04 pm

    I made these into s’mores bars. Instead of chocolate and nuts i added a few cut up marshmallows and vegan white chocolate to the sauce and also to the mixed bar dough. Delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  • Richard Davies June 13, 2019, 7:40 am

    Have made these grenola bars on a few occasions now. Favorites being Blueberry & Lemon fudge, Cranberry & Mango. Both a huge hit with my partner and work colleagues.

    Reply
    • Kitt June 25, 2019, 3:06 pm

      I’m gonna need these recipes… lol

      Reply

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