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.

More easy snack recipes

  • Honey Almond Granola — How to make homemade granola with rolled oats, almonds, honey, and vanilla. Save a little money and make granola at home.
  • Easy Homemade Hummus — With a few simple tricks, you really can make creamy smooth homemade hummus and yes, we really do think it’s better than store-bought.
  • 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.

      • 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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644 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Lea June 23, 2020, 5:57 am

    Hello can I substitute the butter with peanut butter instead?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:25 pm

      Hi Lea, This is a great idea and I do think it will work. That said, I haven’t tried it myself (yet). If you try it, let us know how it turns out.

      Reply
  • Karen June 4, 2020, 12:42 am

    I made these for my boys after they got back from soccer! And also because I was told I don’t cook enough in the house by my husband And then my other friend show is also called Karen got into a fight with me over the phone because we both write the same Lulu lemon jacket and Gucci to our boys soccer game ANYWAYS turned out great we love!!

    Reply
  • Amy May 27, 2020, 2:21 pm

    I made these today with a few substitutions. We haven’t been able to find brown sugar in weeks, but I had marshmallows on hand. I substituted those and hoped it would hold together! ? I used peanuts, and added flax seed and brewers yeast, and a few more marshmallows for fun. They came out great!

    Reply
  • Alex May 14, 2020, 5:18 am

    Can I put the oats in the microwave instead of in the oven?

    Reply
  • Kayla May 13, 2020, 10:38 pm

    Any idea if these would freeze well? I like to do a bulk bake and make of snacks and mix up daily snacks in lunches.

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:26 pm

      I’d expect them to keep in the freezer (stored in an airtight container) up to three months.

      Reply
  • S April 21, 2020, 10:35 pm

    These were amazing! I substituted the butter for coconut oil, and it worked really well. I was a bit worried, but it tastes great and only has a very mild coconut flavour. I doubled the batch, and halved the amount of brown sugar, and used a little less honey. It is a little too sweet for me, so I think next time I will halve the amount of honey and brown sugar. For one batch I used coconut and cranberries, and for the other I added chocolate chips as well! I also cut the bars into 16, not 12. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Abdullah Abdussamad April 20, 2020, 11:22 am

    Could we use instant quick one minute oats instead of old fashion oats?

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

      Quick oats will create a different texture, but yes, they should work in the recipe.

      Reply
  • Patricia Higgins April 17, 2020, 5:14 pm

    On your video as well as the recipe you say and print 2 1/2 cups of oats but on video you add only 1 1/2 cups. Which is correct. I would really like to make your granola bars. All your recipes are great! Thanks?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:28 pm

      All ingredients listed in the recipe are correct.

      Reply
  • Jessica April 17, 2020, 11:30 am

    Can I use quick oats with this recipe?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:28 pm

      Yes

      Reply
  • Vincent Mendoza April 8, 2020, 7:57 pm

    Thank you very much. I have made two varieties now. Everyone thinks I know what I’m doing.

    Reply
  • Stuart March 28, 2020, 10:55 am

    Wow, this isolation has some benefits. These are delicious. Modified slightly due to lack of some ingredients. Added some 3 fruits marmalade and maple syrup. Mixed Seed mix. Need to visit the grocery store before I can make again. Thanks for an easy to follow recipe.

    Reply
  • Mary March 27, 2020, 4:13 pm

    I just made these right now. I’m waiting for them to cool down. I tasted the warm mix and, let me tell you, my bf had to force me to put them away in the fridge lmao I did make a few changes with what I have at home (namely added more dry fruit), but so far, so good!! I’ll try it again tomorrow with even more different things! Thanks so much!! This quarantine was weighing down on me and I just needed a sweet fix 😛

    Reply
    • Joanne March 27, 2020, 6:13 pm

      We are thrilled you found us and this recipe! I’ve been known to eat the granola before it gets a chance to turn into bars, too!! No judgements there ?

      Reply
  • Nan Rosinbum March 14, 2020, 5:43 pm

    I’ve just made these and they are absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe only eliminating the chocolate chips. Added walnuts, golden raisins, dates, sunflower seeds and flax seeds.I will be making this again and again. Next time I want to add the chocolate chips and coconut and salted peanuts.

    Reply
  • Michelle K March 4, 2020, 11:46 pm

    The bars have a wonderful texture (chewy!) and are so easy to make but way too sweet for my family so need to make some adjustments and experiment next time. I definitely appreciate the introduction to making granola bars. Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Kat February 28, 2020, 6:26 pm

    Wondering how these would freeze? Can’t imagine any of the ingredients would suffer from being frozen. Would love to make the full 12 and freeze half, since I’d never be able to eat all 12 in a week.

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

      You should be fine. Make sure you wrap them well so they don’t pick up any freezer smells/flavors.

      Reply

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