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

Homemade Granola Bars

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).

Soft and chewy granola bars

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

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.

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

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

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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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698 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Stacey May 19, 2021, 4:15 am

    Absolutely fantastic recipe! Everyone in the house loved them, including the fussy 2yr old! Will definitely be making these again, thank you!

    Reply
  • Helen Goode May 14, 2021, 12:28 pm

    Just made these this afternoon and they have turned out great. Best recipe I have used for granola bars – thank you!

    Reply
  • Nicole P. April 11, 2021, 5:57 am

    Hello, I wonder if using the same recipe but baking it will yield a crispier bar…

    Reply
  • Jennifer March 25, 2021, 8:42 am

    I like your recipe

    Reply
  • Jenny Waern March 22, 2021, 4:26 am

    So delicious! First time I made these I didn’t press enough – I used the back of a spoon and my hands to press, it all got a bit sticky so I didn’t insist, and it all fell apart (still delicious and I rolled into muesli balls instead of cut into bars). Second time I pressed HARD – I put a piece of baking paper on the top and then a piece of cardboard and weighed it down with tins while in the fridge and they turned out perfectly. Probably overkill but I wanted to make sure. I also subbed the almonds for an equal volume of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to make these nut free – still delicious.

    Reply
  • Mariane March 19, 2021, 5:03 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe, I was having a hard time keeping the bar from decomposing themselves ! The fact that it’s so adaptable is great, adding pistachio turned out amazing. Although I advice against putting dates because the result was way too sugary!

    Reply
  • Tomoko March 18, 2021, 2:01 am

    I just made today from left over breaky oats mix from cabinet. It was easy and turns so tasty. Personally changed bit from choco chip to one tablespoon of peanut butter, and MAGIC!! Thank you, I will keep this recipe!!

    Reply
  • Erica March 4, 2021, 11:36 am

    I’d really like to add peanut butter to this. Have you tried that? Should I decrease anything? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:51 pm

      Hi Erica, We are doing some testing on our end for this since it is such a popular request. For now, though, you can try reducing the butter by half and replacing it with nut butter.

      Reply
  • Sharon Chafin ❤ February 26, 2021, 6:21 pm

    Joanne, We made the bars today and they’re delicious! How could I make them not be too sticky— I don’t won’t to decrease my honey measurement. Thoughts?? Thank you. Sharon

    Reply
    • Adam February 27, 2021, 6:37 pm

      Hi Sharon, it is most likely the honey that is adding any stickiness. We have not tried reducing the honey but a few commenters have with good results.

      Reply
    • Michelle June 10, 2021, 4:13 pm

      Hi. If you don’t want to decrease the honey just add another handful of oats to your mix.
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  • Rixanne February 20, 2021, 2:10 pm

    Tried this cant believe how quick and easy it is to make and OMG! So delicious. This is my new diet snack. Subtituted sugar with artificial sweetener.

    Reply
  • Nikky Cassidy February 16, 2021, 2:06 am

    yum. Very sweet. I had to cut into like 20 small squares but I guess they wouldn’t stay together without the sweet ingredients. Thanks.

    Reply
  • joy January 25, 2021, 3:24 pm

    Hi is this okay to shipped if I send it as a care package? I would to make it my daughter but I have to mail it to her to Michigan from California. Thank you for sharing your recipes

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:52 pm

      Hi Joy, These hold up better when kept chilled so if you are shipping during really warm months, they might not survive the trip.

      Reply
  • Barb Miller January 12, 2021, 3:14 pm

    Haven’t tried yet but was wondering if you can use quick oats instead

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:52 pm

      Hi Barb, We prefer rolled oats because for their texture, but yes, instant will work in the recipe.

      Reply
  • rian January 11, 2021, 8:20 pm

    this turned out so good and they taste awesome. but dont put the cranberry in it is not the best with cranberry. but really good!

    Reply
  • Melody January 9, 2021, 12:12 pm

    This is the easiest and best granola ever! I did use instant oats and I weighed everything out. Did it in 9×9 pan and they are too thin so next time 8×8. Used reg. Sized choc. Chips. A keeper.

    Reply
    • rian January 11, 2021, 8:21 pm

      wow amazing

      Reply

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