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:
4.89 from 274 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!

276 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. bumblebee22
    04.20.2024

    hi, i have a close friend allergic to nuts and peanut butter isn’t really my fav so is there any alternative for that, say maybe something like hazelnut or something that is easily available and is super healthy?? please let me know!!

  2. Eve
    04.15.2024

    5 stars
    These granola bars are DELICIOUS! Loved by everyone in my household and great kid school snack. I did cook the oats for 8 minutes in the oven at 35o. And did a tbsp of chia seeds instead of nuts. But otherwise as is – so good! Oh also used natural no sugar/ no salt peanut butter – maybe that’s why they didn’t turn out as sweet as some commented? So so good thank you for a great recipe!

  3. Laura
    04.14.2024

    3 stars
    Good but not easy or mess free for kids – sticky and they don’t hold together unless they are super cold. Also very sweet and peanut-buttery. I would add a lot less honey and peanut butter next time. I was looking for something that holds together better and isn’t super sweet and sticky.

  4. Kate Andre
    04.09.2024

    What are the nutrition facts for these bars ?

    • Shawnah Britnee
      04.11.2024

      I’d assume that depends on the specific ingredients you use to make these. You can also google a nutritional fact calculator on google and you’ll be able to calculate that with the ingredients you use.

  5. Jackie
    04.07.2024

    4 stars
    These are soft and chewy. They are slightly salty for me. I’m going to reduce the salt next time I make these, but this recipe is a definite keeper. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ahkeymah Smith
    04.05.2024

    What is the best way to store them for longevity?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      04.05.2024

      Hi, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and freeze them for up to 2 months.

  7. Hannah
    03.19.2024

    5 stars
    Do you know a rough calorie count? I made these and love them (added cranberry too) but don’t know how to count them in my app! Thanks!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

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

  8. Kelly T
    03.17.2024

    Very eager to try this. Would Sunflower butter work instead of peanut butter? It’s definitely creamer then regular peanut buttet.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.18.2024

      Hi Kelly, I think it should work fine.

  9. ainat
    03.17.2024

    4 stars
    Hi, did you try to bake them? Im thinking maybe I would like them better that way.

    Its really good but WAY too sweet in my opinion.. going to try less honey or to use peanut butter instead of the cashew .
    I used vegan honey and Cashew and hazelnut butter and it came out with an amazing chocolate flavor.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

      Hi, we haven’t tried baking this recipe, so I’m not sure how it would go. You might like these oatmeal breakfast cookies as a baked healthy snack option instead!

  10. Bree
    03.09.2024

    Does this make 8 bars or is a serving more than one bar? I’m going to make a huge amount of these and need to use the correct amount of ingredients. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.11.2024

      Hi Bree, it makes 8 bars.

  11. Lisa
    03.07.2024

    Have you ever rolled these into balls?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.08.2024

      Hi Lisa, yep! It works well.

  12. Joanna
    03.06.2024

    Hello! I just made these and chilled them in the fridge and they taste so amazing! I’m just wondering if they will always be sticky or if there’s a way to get them dry to the touch?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.08.2024

      Hi Joanna, so glad you love them! They are slightly sticky because they’re no-bake.

  13. Andrea Stoltzfus
    03.05.2024

    5 stars
    Delicious, super simple recipe! I have made these countless times, and have been asked for the recipe many times. It’s also easily customizable and it’s fun to try new add-ins.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.08.2024

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

  14. Liz
    02.24.2024

    Should I chill them in the fridge or the freezer?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.01.2024

      Hi Liz, in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!

  15. Ashley
    02.17.2024

    5 stars
    These are yummy! We used almond butter (a new jar) and they formed perfect bars.

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.