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!

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Homemade Granola Bars

rate this recipe:
4.87 from 302 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.

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*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!

307 comments

4.87 from 302 votes (199 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Jenny
    07.19.2024

    3 stars
    These are okay but have a crazy amount of calories. 3520 for the entire recipe
    . If you make 8 that’s 440 calories a bar. Lol I think for that amount of calories a piece of cake or a cookie would be better.
    My kids did enjoy helping make them. So they are easy to put together.

  2. Lauren
    07.15.2024

    5 stars
    Ok, amazing. Delicious. I can’t stop eating. These are definitely for the peanut butter lovers.
    Question- any concerns with incorporating flax seed or ground flax?

  3. Jen
    07.12.2024

    4 stars
    I baked mine for 15min at 180 came out great 👍

  4. Alexandra Lahti
    07.04.2024

    Hey, I am considering baking these for a two day camping trip, I was wondering do they stay good in the backbag for a couple of days or do they melt?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      07.12.2024

      Hi Alexandra, these granola bars keep best in the fridge. They can get pretty soft and sticky at room temp. These energy balls or these breakfast cookies would be better for taking on the go.

  5. Lyndy
    06.17.2024

    5 stars
    So good! I was looking for a recipe that didn’t include rice cereal. Not sure why, but a lot of no baked granola bars have rice cereal, but I didn’t have any on hand. I used 1/2 honey and 1/2 maple syrup instead of all honey. I missed the vanilla – doh! But added 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the melted butter. I also used 1/2 white chocolate chips and 1/2 semi-dark. You can really make these however you want!
    These are so hardy, I cut them in 2″ squares.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ellie
    06.14.2024

    3 stars
    Followed recipe twice but the bars just don’t stick together, I don’t know why. I wonder if baking them will fix it or at least turn it into some kind of granola. I used tahini, does that not work?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      06.14.2024

      Hi Ellie, no, tahini doesn’t work here. It has a thinner, oilier consistency than peanut butter or cashew butter, so it’s not as effective at binding the oats and other ingredients together. I’d try peanut butter or cashew butter next time. If you need a nut-free option, sun butter might work.

      • Sara
        06.20.2024

        5 stars
        Sunbutter works perfectly! I used it instead of peanut butter for a school safe option and they are very good. I think i didnt put enough oats as i didnt measure but they are still tastey!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          06.20.2024

          I’m so glad to hear that worked out!

  7. Jenna Holden
    06.10.2024

    4 stars
    My granola bars came out too sticky (I think this is due to trying to convert the cup measurements to grams and probably being a bit off) how would you fix ? Could I leave at room temp and add more oats ? Or bake ? I don’t want to waste this much honey and peanut butter by putting in bed but they are too sticky to handle ◡̈

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.13.2024

      Hi Jenna, they should be sticky but firm up after being in the fridge for awhile.

  8. Jessica Squires
    06.04.2024

    Please could you provide the nutritional information and calories?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      06.06.2024

      Hi Jessica, we don’t calculate nutrition facts for our recipes unfortunately, but you could use an online nutrition calculator to get an estimate for this recipe.

    • Maddie
      06.08.2024

      4 stars
      Hi, I made this at home and made 10 bars. With the ingredients I used each bar was 350 calories.

  9. Fantastic, healthy and simple. Incredible how simply you have described it. Many thanks! I have all the ingredients at home, while my elder one pays so much to buy these bars, probably full of preservatives.

  10. Hannah
    05.16.2024

    5 stars
    I found this recipe a few weeks ago and have made them so many times with different variations! I am actually eating one as I type this. They are THAT good! 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.17.2024

      Hi Hannah, thanks for your sweet comment! I’m so glad you love the recipe!

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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.