Soft and Chewy Granola Bars

How to make homemade granola bars! These granola bars are simple, soft and chewy. They are 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 watch our quick recipe video showing how to make them.

Watch us make the recipe

More recipes with oats: Try our Easy Energy Balls, our favorite Overnight Oats or this Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal.

This granola bars 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

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) pure 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 fine sea 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 Fahrenheit. Line the bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

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

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

      Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes, and then add the cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Some of the chocolate chips will  melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together.

      Transfer the oat mixture to the prepared pan, and 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 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. Cover then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for about 30 minutes. Remove the block of granola mixture from pan then peel away the foil or parchment. Cut into 12 bars.

      • Storing
      • Store granola 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 for 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 database 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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692 comments… Leave a Comment
  • FR January 9, 2021, 3:42 am

    Thank you for the recipe! It was so simple and easy to follow and the bars tasted great! I’ve only made it once but already thinking about making it again 🙂

    Reply
  • Tracy January 8, 2021, 8:08 pm

    I’m thinking of trying chia seeds as a binder, maybe instead of the brown sugar? (To lower the sugar content). Do you have any ideas about this?

    Reply
    • Cynthia January 15, 2021, 4:56 pm

      Chia seeds will not bind the mixture together. You might try aloe vera syrup or some alternative syrup but it’s the sugary properties that make it stick together! Good Luck!

      Reply
  • Marisa January 6, 2021, 7:38 pm

    Made these bars yesterday and they were so simple to make yet so delicious! I found them a bit too sweet for me. If I take away the sugar and just add the honey, will that still keep the bars together? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:53 pm

      Hi Marisa, I’d reduce both the honey and sugar by a tablespoon or so.

      Reply
  • Gerri December 19, 2020, 9:01 pm

    This is the first time I have made granola bars. These are sooo good. Super easy to make and once they’re done my family fell on them like vultures. We have tried many different store bought bars and have found nothing that can compare to these.

    Reply
    • Jessica Spencer April 24, 2021, 4:46 pm

      What would be a good substitution if I wanted to make a peanut butter version? I made the original but used raisins and shredded coconut instead of cranberries and it was amazing. Held together awesome.

      Reply
      • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:50 pm

        Hi Jessica, Nut butter should work. You should be able to reduce the amount of butter by about half and then replace it with nut butter.

        Reply
  • Mel November 18, 2020, 1:54 am

    Easy to make and tasty

    Reply
  • Hannah Case September 24, 2020, 10:52 am

    They are so chewy and sweet and easy to make Thank you

    Reply
  • Jared Herrick September 21, 2020, 11:33 am

    Can I omit the chocolate chips and the bars still stay together?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 2, 2021, 1:18 pm

      Yes

      Reply
  • Millie and jase September 14, 2020, 4:43 am

    Made tonight, absolutely brilliant!! Sending big thanks from lockdown in Victoria, Australia.

    Reply
  • avani September 12, 2020, 3:50 am

    How can one make the granola bars a bit softer in texture?

    Reply
  • Courtney September 7, 2020, 7:43 pm

    These are delicious!! But I must ask…. is it 210 calories per bar?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 2, 2021, 1:19 pm

      Yes, the nutrition facts are per bar.

      Reply
    • Andrea January 3, 2021, 5:55 pm

      These look great! I can’t have nuts, though. Can I leave them out or substitute something?

      Reply
      • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:53 pm

        Yes, simply leave them out.

        Reply
  • Subhjit Mallick August 31, 2020, 4:08 am

    How long i can store them? Like how many days or months?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 7, 2020, 2:24 pm

      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.

      Reply
  • Faz August 19, 2020, 11:30 am

    This is so great! Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • Mahi August 11, 2020, 11:59 pm

    I used this amazing recipe to make my first homemade snack bar for my first bikepacking trip and it ended up really well, thanks guys.

    Reply
  • Jen July 18, 2020, 3:34 pm

    This was my first time making granola bars and I really wanted a soft chewy bar as a substitute for cookies. This was such an easy recipe! I added sunflower seeds and raisins and cut up a few vegetarian marshmallows for fun! They were so tasty, so far nice and soft, too. You could actually leave out a little sugar, maybe leave out the chocolate chips? They were a little sweet, but if you cut them up into smaller squares, you end up with a smaller serving (which is what I did)

    Reply
  • Rebecca July 17, 2020, 1:54 pm

    I should not be reviewing this as we havent tried them yet…AS BARS! I can only say that as soon as i mixed the butter, honey,brown sugar and vanilla on the stove my super picky hermit daughter came out of the room and said ” what are you making? It smells so good! (Wow) then before i could even mix in the chocolate she had a small bowl and spoon in hand, stealing the mix from the bowl. She is now anxiously waiting for them to set up in the fridge for the next 2 hours. I dont know if she can make it!

    Reply

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