Homemade chewy granola bars are an incredibly easy recipe that can serve as a tasty, healthy breakfast, snack, or even a health-conscious dessert.
By Bowen Close
Consider this recipe your new secret weapon. Chewy granola bars are an incredibly easy recipe that can serve as a tasty, healthy breakfast, snack, or even a health-conscious dessert (depending on what sorts of delicious little bits you want to sneak inside).
Maybe you aren’t as excited by chewy granola bars as I am, but let’s just say I have to limit the circumstances in which I bake these because if I leave myself more than a few in the house I end up stuffing myself silly.
When I was about 7, I decided I needed to start training for adulthood. (If you know me, you’re not surprised about this.) I just wasn’t quite sure how I would magically acquire all the necessary skills unless I started training myself – so I started “drinking coffee” with my mom in the morning. I say “drinking coffee” because what this actually meant was drinking hot chocolate and eating a Quaker chewy granola bar, since it was many more years before I considered coffee a palatable liquid.
Those granola bars were a big part of my life for many years. Breakfast-time, lunch-time, snack-time. As far as I was concerned, they made it possible for me to eat chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and even marshmallows at times of day I wouldn’t usually get to eat dessert, and thus they were extremely valuable.
Now I see chewy granola bars in a slightly different way – an easy-to-make, easy-to-eat (read: perfect for new parents and people who eat on the go), easy-to-ship (yes, I’ve sent them as gifts many times), incredibly tasty little bite to have around the house. Much healthier than those Quaker bars I used to eat to be a grown up – and much tastier, too.Print
Homemade chewy granola bars
Chewy and healthy homemade granola bars, totally customizable.
- Author: Bowen Close (Bowen Appétit), adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12-20 1x
- 2 cups (160 g) oats
- 1/2 cup (96 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or other spices as desired (cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)
- 2 1/2 cups additions: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flax meal, bran cereal, puffed rice cereal, crushed pretzels, chocolate chips … the combinations are endless!
- 1/3 cup (60 g) peanut or other nut butter
- 6 Tbsp. (89 ml) olive oil – canola oil, other oils, and melted butter will work here as well
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey, maple syrup, or Agave syrup
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water
- Preheat oven to 350F. Depending on desired thickness, line a square (8×8 or 9×9) or rectangular (9×13) baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with non-stick cooking spray, oil, or butter. Thicker bars are a little more decadent, if you’re planning on using this as a dessert.
- Process 1/3 cup (27 g) of the oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.
- If necessary, chop up dried fruit and nuts. Raisin-size pieces are fine, but dried apricots, or apples, let’s say – should probably be chopped.
- Stir together all dry ingredients (oats, ground oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, fruits/nuts/seeds).
- Whisk together wet ingredients – oil, honey, peanut butter, and water.
- Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then spread in the pan. Press firmly into the corners and edges so the top is even.
- Bake for around 30 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Thicker bars will likely take longer, so you’ll need to watch them, depending on how much batter you’ve spread in what size pan. The edges will become deep golden and they may feel underdone in the center, but that’s okay. They’ll firm quite nicely as they cool.
- Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes, then take them out of the pan using the parchment. Let cool completely before cutting.
Bowen Close believes that food should make people happy and healthy, and loves bringing together people with creative, delicious food made from the heart. She loves making farm-inspired, flavorful dishes with sustainable ingredients - whether that's a big plate of roasted veggies, a towering chocolate layer cake, or a cocktail utilizing backyard ingredients - and collects recipes and other food-related stories on her website, Bowen Appétit. She is a chef, cooking instructor, and food writer living in Southern California with her husband and fully stocked pantry.
I just made these and they turned out delicious! Thank-you for the recipe. I only put raisins and flax seeds in them this time and my 5 year old loved them. Can’t wait to try again.
i actually mixed some strawberry preserves and honey bunches of oat cereal in it, and used 50/50 brown sugar and white.. threw in a bit of coconut..came out awesome!
I will take the batter and put them into muffin tins or in mini-muffin pans and they make a great bite on the run.
Yummy! All my 4 kids(2-14yrs) & hubby loved it! I’m a bit of a health nut..so I omitted the sugar and stuck with agave & used coconut oil. Although I also cut down on the oil & used apple sauce… It was a perfect sweetness! Made 2 different batches due to taste and peanut allergies.Turned out amazing! Homemade is the way to go knowing what’s in it! Thanks
just made them turned out great even my son tried them a fussy eighteen year old.Will try different combinations.
These are really good!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
how would these do if I completely omitted the sugar?
I make without the sugar – just the honey. Mine are always a little crumbly, but tastes great (I think crumbly is a problem many people have though – some solve with additional butter and/or honey). If you do like your food a little sweeter, increase the honey a bit or use sweet “add ins”. If you like less sweet than with only the stated honey/maple syrup should taste great.
I just made these and oh my goodness I can’t stop eating them!! Thank you for the recipe. Very good. I accidentally left out the sugar, and they are plenty sweet (I put in chocolate chips, dates, and raisins for sweets). In the future I will probably leave it out again.
These came out absolutely AMAZING!!! I made my adjustments based in my tastes but this was the best recipe. The bars came out soft, chewy, and just delicious!! Thanks for sharing!!
I think the flavor is pretty good, but I only baked for 20 minutes and they are on the verge of being too burned to eat. Also, they are crumbly and crunchy, not soft and chewy like I was hoping for. I probably won’t make them again. :(
I did half a cup each of mixed nuts, choc chips, rice crispies, dried blueberries and dried cranberries. Taste amazing but a little crumblier than I want for my purposes (lunchboxes/on the go brekkies). I think I’ll add a little more wet next time but probably only a tablespoon would do. Delicious and very almost perfect. I used a 9×9 Brownie pan.
Made these today, thank you for the recipe!
I made one batch with raisins, chocolate chips, flax and sunflower seeds
Second batch was brown sugar, apple pieces, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a few mixed dried fruit – tastes like apple pie!
Quick question – the first batch held together perfectly, but the second batch tastes great but really fell apart. Anything I need to change next time for them to work better?
Hi Rachel – I’m sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work for you the second time. I’ve found three different reasons for why they’re sometimes too crumbly – (1) the specific additions added are too dry and/or absorb too much of the liquid, (2) too much of the additions are unknowingly added, or (3) they’re moved around too much before cooling. Sometimes I’ve impatiently taken them out of the pan too soon. Even after cooling in the pan 20 minutes sometimes they might still be a little too warm and not set enough yet. Since the recipe is so flexible it can take a little bit of experimentation to get things working right with specific additions. Hope this helps!
thank you for your response, I appreciate that :)
My daughter made these with butter, honey, soynut butter, rice crispy cereal, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and dried blueberries in a 9×13 pan. They tasted great and were chewy, but fell apart. We made sure they were completely cool before cutting. We’re going to try again and see. I’m really not sure how to make them stick together since they were chewy and seemed like they should stick. 5 stars for taste, 3 stars for not staying in bars.
These were absolutely delicious, thank you! Is there a substitute for peanut butter for people who are allergic to it?
Any other nut or seed butter – almond, sunflower seed, etc. – should work pretty well. I’ve never tried that, but they’re usually pretty interchangeable. Let me know how it works, if you try something else!
I am making this now. The mixture tastes so good! I added golden raisins and sunflower seeds.
I am currently cooking these in my oven as we speak, I am so excited to try them. We used sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, dried apricots and walnuts. I also used maple syrup and coconut oil. I have 4 littles sitting in front of the oven waiting for there afternoon snack to cook and cool. MMM thanks for sch a quick easy recupe that lets you substitue when and where you want!
wanna try this as soon as possible!! but what kind of oats you used ? old fashioned or quick?
can i used quick oats??
Hi Nina – I’ve always used old fashioned oats, but quick oats should work pretty well too. If the consistency is off you may need to play with more/less liquid since those absorb a bit differently.
I LOVE these bars and am currently making them AGAIN! They don’t stay together as well as I would have liked but eating them with a fork works just as well :) they taste amazing!!! And I also glad they are healthy-bc with my husband currently away for training, I don’t have to share…. Lol so I tend to end up eating thm all!! So delicious!!!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I made them last week, smothered them in chocolate and they’re the best ever! big hit in my household, thanks again :)
So people are having a problem with them being crumbly and I have a solution being a biochemistry major. Protein is what binds things together. Egg whites is the perfect protein for baking, so add one egg, but just the egg whites, and the crumbling problem went away for me. it turned out very good.
Hi Matthew – This is a great idea! I’ll try this addition next time I make them.
I just made these came out really good except they’re sticking to the parchment paper and theyre a bit crumbly. Suggestions for next time??
I am planning on making a batch tonight but was wondering how you store them afterwards and for how long? Have you froze them before? and how did they turn out when thawed?
Why do you have to ground up some of the oats? I ask because I forgot to do this and am sat here whilst they are in the oven wondering if I have made a fatal error that will ruin the whole batch. Please someone reassure me quick
wonderful !!! i used olive oil and no sugar full of peanuts and dry fruit big hit with my husband and daughter !!*smiles Thank you
I’ve made these twice and both times they came out super crumbly. Taste good though.
Can anyone tell me the nutritional values of this roughly?
I.e. roughly number of calories/fat/protein/carbs etc? Want to use this recipe as one for my GCSE food tech exam, but need to know what is in them to comment on this to get good marks!
I was having a sweet attack and just enough ingredients to make these. They came out amazing! I added some vanilla and used almond butter and coconut oil. I loved how flexible the ingredients were. Thanks for curbing my sweet tooth!
These are absolutely delicious!
I think the key to bars that hold form is boiling your wet ingredients long enough. I
Always use a large pot, no matter how small my ingredients look. Cook and let them boil up, they should quadruple in size, look like someone is blowing them full of bubbles. Let this go on for a few minutes, careful not to let burn (I use a whisk) then pour in dry. Stir, press, and bake no longer than 10 minutes at 350, if I use quick oats I don’t bake at all, just cool. I really think the boiling process breaks down the ingredients into one sticky mass that when cooled hardens but not to much. I’ve been on a perfect homemade bar quest for years lol!!
Hello..my question is just .. how many calories do these bars have.. more or less..thanx u…cant wait to try them
I tried them that where exilent
These turned out great! I had some things in mind that I wanted to work in so I subbed half the honey for molasses and used flax meal instead of the half cup of ground oats + pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, cashews, cranberries, raisins, hemp/flax seed… So good!!
Just made a batch with flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds…mixture looked a little dry but got my fingers crossed they will come out nice :)
How do you store them? Fridge, no fridge? Can they be frozen with out becoming soggy?
Well I followed all the ingredients and directions, my batch turned into baked granola. It did not stay uniform. :( It tastes and smells delicious. Is there a way to make it into bar form?
I also had a problem with crumbling when I cut them. The second time, and thereafter, I did not cut them. I broke them into pieces with my hands to take advantage of the natural “weeknesses” in the bars. Much less crumbly. Any crumbles left in the pan I threw in a bowl and ate like cereal.
Not sure what I did wrong. They came out incredibly oily and hold no shape. 6 tablespoons of oil seems way too much. I think I will try half that amount next time and skip the water all together. I may try to salvage the mess I have by crumbling it all up, pressing with paper towel, then rebaking? Hopefully I won’t have to throw it all away.
I have been looking for a granola bar/ energy bar recipes for ages and think I finally struck gold. I usually double the recipe and add pretty much whatever I have in the cupboard. You may have to increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes. I keep these in the freezer without any difficulty. One question though. If I want to eliminate the sugar, what substitute can I use without effecting the consistency
I make granola all the time and today I thought I’d try my hand at transforming my regular granola into a bar. This recipe seemed very similar to my granola except for the addition of nut butter and sugar. Unfortunately, I think had my first real recipe fail today! I didn’t use any sugar, but instead added more honey. I used walnut oil as my oil and almond butter as my nut butter. I thought for sure they’d come out just fine….unfortunately they were super crispy and broke all apart. On the plus side, reined granola bars is just plain granola! What can I sub the sugar for? I really want some chewy bars!
YUM! I’m making these tonight :) Thanks for the post!! xx
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
I’ve made this recipe 3 times now, with different mix-ins each time: puffed rice cereal, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, ground flax, chocolate chips, hemp seeds, etc. I found that when I bake it in a 9×13 pan, it only needs to bake for 15-20 minutes. The first time I made these, I baked them the full 30 minutes and they were very dark – almost burned, very crumbly, and fell apart when I tried to cut them.
mine turned out crumbley:( but taste great
I also found this very delicious but also quite crumbly. I read the reviews and added extra wet ingredients (water, oil and peanut butter). Next time I’ll try the egg white idea.
How is it that 2 cups = 160 grams and 1/2 cup = 96 grams and 1/3 cup = 60 gms and 1/4 cup = 60 ml?
Are you using different cups for different ingredients.
Hi Nav, volume and weight can be tricky! For example, 2 cups of oats would weight less than 2 cups of sugar in grams, because oats are lighter than sugar. This is why the cups and grams conversions don’t seem to correlate between different ingredients. Hope that helps! Happy baking.
Can brown sugar be used in place of the white sugar?
Guess should have read reviews before I wasted ingredients for 2 different batches
Followed instructions to a T. Texture was great …. Taste was so gross because was Way to sweet
Was determined to get it right made second batch cut chocolate chips over 1/2 the amount I used in first batch
And they were still so sweet that they weren’t edible
Guess I will try different recipie
There’s no weight for the dried fruit can you please let me know