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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702 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Casio October 20, 2021, 9:10 pm

    I’m making this recipe for the third time, as we speak! I love how easy it is to adjust to our specific tastes.. I’ve made the base the same each time, but have changed up the nuts/seeds/fruit/etc. My entire family loves them, and I can pack as much or as little “healthy” stuff in there without any complaints. Thanks so much, I’m looking forward to checking out more of your recipes!

    Reply
  • Barbara October 8, 2021, 2:44 pm

    Delicious! Thanks for a fab recipe. Will do half peanut butter/half butter next time and reduce the sugar and honey a little as they are very sweet. Held together perfectly
    I work as a dog walker and they’re great for my energy levels 😁

    Reply
  • Pauline Brooks October 5, 2021, 4:25 pm

    I have just made these and have to say they taste amazing! I followed the recipe but added raisins and pumpkin seeds instead of chocolate. I didn’t have any vanilla essence, and I have to say they are really so tasty! I don’t think they are going to last very long in this house 🙂

    Reply
  • Pia September 17, 2021, 10:51 pm

    Could I use egg whites to add more protein to the recipe? Or how could I add more protein without using nut butters or protein powder? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Adam September 18, 2021, 1:50 pm

      Hi Pia, we have never tried using eggs in this recipe but hemp, flax, chia seeds are all great options for adding protein.

      Reply
    • Casio October 20, 2021, 9:07 pm

      I toast some shelled hemp hearts along with the nuts (seeds for us too) and oats for added protein!

      Reply
  • Katie September 15, 2021, 1:16 pm

    Love this recipe! I add cayenne pepper and black pepper to the honey mixture and just sprinkle the coarse kosher salt over the top of the finished bars, prior to refrigerating. Salty, sweet, and spicy!

    Reply
  • Brenda Henson September 4, 2021, 2:37 pm

    I added ground flaxseed and that took away the sticky texture and they were great!

    Reply
  • Heather July 22, 2021, 6:44 am

    These are the best gronola bars I have ever made-way beats store bought and so much cheaper to make these. I tripled the recipe to stock up as we have a large family. Added 2 huge scoops of protein powder, flax seeds, I also replaced the brown sugar with stevia blend-it’s not equivalent cup per cup so taste the batter raw to see if you want it sweeter, remember you can always add but can’t take away. Also instead of the butter I did coconut oil and lastly I used Lily’s milk chocolate chips as it has no sugar added-so a healthier option! So so so great!!!! Enjoy!!!

    Reply
  • Julia July 21, 2021, 7:59 pm

    Could they be rolled into balls to make them easier for toddler fingers? Would they set up the same?

    Reply
    • Joanne September 16, 2021, 2:10 pm

      They might. We haven’t tried it ourselves. We do have this energy ball recipe that might help.

      Reply
  • M July 4, 2021, 6:20 pm

    Easy to cut but too sweet for me. Tasted more like a candy bar than a granola bar.

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:47 pm

      Hi there, you can try reducing the honey or brown sugar by a tablespoon or so to make them a bit less sweet.

      Reply
  • Amy June 30, 2021, 5:13 pm

    I just tried this recipe and the granola came out Fantastic! I Love It!

    Reply
  • Jessica June 29, 2021, 5:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Been making these bars for the family two years now. They always ask for it.

    Reply
  • paula June 22, 2021, 11:14 am

    Hi, can I freeze them?

    Reply
    • Joanne June 23, 2021, 5:37 pm

      Yep!

      Reply
  • debbie June 18, 2021, 1:16 pm

    If I wanted to add more ingredients like pumpkin or sunflower seeds, how much weight could I add and would I need to have more honey to make sticky. Or would I need to divide the ingredients you have into smaller amounts to allow something else. I ask these questions because I don’t have a lot of kitchen time to have the knowledge for such things.

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:48 pm

      Hi Debbie, I’d keep the amount of nuts/dried fruit about the same. You can simply substitute the nuts/seeds you’d prefer to use. If you are a little off, you should still be fine.

      Reply
  • Chris May 24, 2021, 7:13 am

    Made them with white and caramel chocolate chips and dried fruit cubes. Absolutely delicious. Could I substitute butter with peanut or another nut butter?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 5, 2021, 6:49 pm

      Hi Chris, You can use nut butter, but I’d only substitute part of the butter called for in the recipe. I’d start with reducing the butter by half and then going from there.

      Reply

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