Homemade Granola Bars

These homemade granola bars are SO much better than any kind you'd buy at the store. They're easy to make, and they're chewy, nutty, and delicious.

Granola bars

A few weeks ago, I started craving the granola bars I ate as a kid. They had a chewy texture, a sweet, oat-y flavor, and pockets of mini chocolate chips. These days, I don’t keep packaged snacks around the house, but I always have old fashioned oats, nuts, and seeds in my pantry. I might not have had the exact granola bars I was craving on hand, but I could make homemade granola bars that’d be even better!

Fast forward to now, and I’ve made this granola bar recipe more times than I can count. It’s a breeze to make, and the bars are fantastic. They’re chewy, sweet, nutty, and studded with just the right amount of chocolate chips. Filled with wholesome ingredients like oats, pepitas, and nut butter, they’re healthy enough to pass for breakfast, but they’re also a perfect afternoon snack.

Granola bar recipe ingredients

Granola Bar Recipe Ingredients

You only need 7 basic ingredients to make this homemade granola bar recipe:

  • Natural peanut or cashew butter – It helps bind the bars together, and it adds protein, healthy fats, and irresistible nutty flavor.
  • Whole rolled oats – They give these bars a perfect chewy texture. If you’re gluten-free, make sure that you use certified gluten-free oats.
  • Honey – Along with the nut butter, it helps all these ingredients stick together! I love its warm amber flavor in this recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – It amps up the bars’ warm flavor.
  • Sea salt – To make all the rich, sweet, and nutty flavors in this recipe pop!
  • Pepitas, crushed peanuts, or cashews – They add healthy fats, protein, and crunch.
  • Mini chocolate chips – Who doesn’t love nut butter and chocolate?! Be sure to use mini chocolate chips here, as regular chocolate chips are too big to make cohesive bars. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips, finely chopped dark chocolate will work in their place.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Peanut butter and honey in a mixing bowl

How to Make Granola Bars

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade granola bar recipe! Here’s what you need to do:

Stirring wet ingredients

First, stir together the wet ingredients – the cashew or peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, and salt.

Peanut butter mixture in a bowl

Mix until the honey is fully incorporated. It will smell amazing!

Adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients

Second, fold in the dry ingredients – the oats, chocolate chips, and pepitas. The mixture might seem dry at first, but keep stirring! Everything will be fully incorporated in no time.

Homemade granola bars mixture How to make granola bars

Next, press the bars into a parchment-lined baking pan. Scoop the mixture onto the bottom of the pan, and cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Firmly press the mixture to the sides of the pan with your hands. Then, use the back of a measuring cup to smooth and flatten the tops of the bars.

Finally, chill! Transfer the pan to the fridge, and allow the mixture to chill for one hour before you slice and eat the bars. That’s it!

Homemade granola bars in a baking pan

Granola Bar Recipe Tips

  • Use runny nut butter. Look for natural cashew or peanut butter with a smooth consistency to make this recipe, not the dry, stiff stuff that you might find at the bottom of a jar. If your nut butter is too dry or thick, it won’t bind the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts or seeds into cohesive bars. Use creamy nut butter, not crunchy.
  • Don’t cut the chilling time short. It’s tempting to slice and eat these bars as soon as you press the oat mixture into the pan, but in order for them to be chewy and cohesive, they really need to chill. Pop the pan in the fridge for at least one hour before slicing and eating the bars.
  • Store them in the fridge or freezer. Once you slice the bars, cover the pan and store it in the fridge, or transfer the bars to an airtight container. I recommend storing them with a sheet of parchment paper between layers so that the bars don’t stick together. They’ll keep for up to a week in the fridge, but you can also freeze them for up to 2 months. I like to eat these granola bars straight out of the fridge, but if they’re frozen, let them thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes before you eat.

granola bars sliced

Homemade Granola Bars Variations

  • Change up the mix-ins! I love the combination of mini chocolate chips and pepitas in these bars, but they’re delicious with other mix-ins too. Shredded unsweetened coconut, chopped dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and dried currants are a few of my favorites. Feel free to use what you like, but make sure that you chop any dried fruits or nuts to a small size. You should also maintain the ratios I use in the original recipe. If the mix-ins are too large, or if you add too many, the bars won’t hold together.
  • Make them vegan. To make these granola bars vegan, substitute brown rice syrup for the honey. If you can’t find brown rice syrup, you can use maple syrup here. It’s not sticky enough to bind this mixture into cohesive bars, but it makes delicious energy balls! If you use maple, roll the oat mixture into 16 balls before you chill it. They make a perfect bite-sized snack!

granola bar recipe

More Favorite Oat-y Treats

If you love this chocolate chip granola bar recipe, try one of these oat-y treats next:

Then, check out this post for 47 more healthy snack ideas!

Homemade Granola Bars

rate this recipe:
4.87 from 176 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Serves 8
These homemade granola bars are a quick and delicious, and naturally gluten-free! If you want to change the mix-ins, see the post above for my tips on how to do it. These are on the sweet side, if you're looking for a less-sweet treat, try these Energy Balls.




  • In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and salt, until smooth.
  • Add the oats, chocolate chips and the pepitas (or nuts). The mixture might seem dry at first, but keep stirring and it'll come together. Stir to combine and press firmly into the pan. Use a second piece of parchment paper and the back of a measuring cup to help flatten the mixture. Chill for at least 1 hour, then slice into bars.
  • Store bars in the fridge.


*Note: regular sized chocolate chips make these bars less cohesive - if you can't find mini chocolate chips, chop chocolate so that it's mini-sized.
To make these vegan, use brown rice syrup instead of honey. Maple syrup is not sticky enough to make these bars cohesive, but it will work if you roll the mixture into energy balls instead of making bars. To make these gluten free, just make sure your oats are certified gluten free.
Try our homemade peanut butter in this recipe!


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sandy Stephens

    5 stars
    We Loved these bars! They were wet enough but I wonder if there is a way to make them firmer so they don’t have to be refrigerated? I have a snack bar pan and it works great for these. It’s made of silicone and they come out very well. Would just like to have them out of the fridge though. They are good!!

  2. Sandy Stephens

    5 stars
    We Loved these bars! They were wet enough but I wonder if there is a way to make them firmer so they don’t have to be refrigerated? I have a snack bar pan and it works great for these. It’s made of silicone and the come out very well. Would just like to have them out of the fridge though. They are good!!

  3. Kelly

    I was looking for a good school snack option. If I froze these, would they stay well for snack time, defrosting in their backpack? I would imagine it may be 3-5 hrs depending on if its eaten in morning or after lunch.

  4. Jenny

    Really good, made these for my daughter to have as a snack in a volleyball tournament. She loved them and shared some with her teammates.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jenny, I’m so glad you all loved the granola bars!

  5. Jayda Epps

    Will these last on a road trip?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jayda, if they’re in a cooler, they’ll be great. If they’re stored out of the fridge, they’ll get soft.

  6. Lisa

    5 stars
    These are simply delicious! The only two things I did differently is used more vanilla and omitted any kind of tree nut (just stuck with chocolate chips.) Will make again. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  7. Tammy Creech

    What is the calorie count?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tammy, I’m sorry, we don’t post nutrition facts but you can plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  8. Homesteading Mom

    It tastes fantastic…it’s way too wet. I don’t know why…but I plan on adding more oats to dry it out a bit.

  9. onyx

    would these be okay if they aren’t refrigerated for a couple hours? i was going to make them for a road trip and i won’t be able to refrigerate them for four hours or so.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      They’ll be safe to eat, but they’ll get softer and might not stay in the rectangle shape, depending on the temp. They might work better cut into squares or rolled into balls.

  10. Brittany

    How long do they last in the fridge

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Brittany, about a week, they also freeze well.

  11. Abbey

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice once with almond butter and I think I may do half half next time. They unfortunately don’t taste like store bought granola bars but they’re still very delicious and certainly much healthier so I’m happy!

  12. Amanda

    5 stars
    I melted the honey and PB together and that worked great as a binding agent. Easy and delicious.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Amanda, Great idea! So glad you loved the granola bars.

  13. Danielle

    5 stars
    A little less peanut butter and more oats, then it would be perfect for my taste! Still an absolute hit!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  14. Lola

    3 stars
    they’re absolutley delicious but a bit too crumbly, I coudn’t make them sticky enough to stay firm even using the correct measures for every ingredient and leaving the bars freezing the whole night

    • Lauren

      I too find it a bit crumbly and can’t get it to stay in the bar shape – this is my third go but my hubby does really enjoy them none the less. Any tips to retain the bar shape?

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Lauren, it sounds like they’re a little dry – I’d try adding a little more peanut butter and/or honey so the mixture fully coats and it’s more sticky. It could just be the difference in peanut butter consistency from brand to brand. Hope that helps!

        • Steve

          4 stars
          Hi Jeanine. I’m also having trouble getting the right consistency. My first attempt was too dry and crumbly. For my second batch I reduced the oats and ended up with smooth peanut butter bars. 😁. I’m in Europe where we use grams more than cups and different conversion sites give different figures. Any sites you’ve used that you can recommend? Bars are still tasty btw.

  15. Melissa

    5 stars
    Made this today with almond butter and craisins instead of pb and chocolate chips. Fantastic and quick! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  16. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    I made this today! These were so easy and yummy. My husband usually doesn’t like granola bars but he sure likes these. Do you happen to know the calorie count per a serving? Thanks for the recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m so glad you loved them! We don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes, but you could use an online nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal to get a calorie count.

      • Dominique

        Can we bake these instead of refrigerating? If yes for how long and what temperature? Thanks!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Dominique, no, these are meant to be raw bars – the honey here would get too chewy if baked.

  17. Nicolas

    Can I leave out the nuts and seeds? Also can I add in dried fruit?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Nicolas, yes! Feel free to change up the mix-ins.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.