These homemade Granola Bars are perfectly chewy and delicious and so good you’ll never buy store bought granola bars ever again!
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We’ve been doing a TON of meal prep recently and homemade granola bars are on the weekly to-do list! Thomas and I are both mega snack fans and neither of us do well when our blood sugar gets low. That means it’s VERY important that we have some healthy snacks on hand at all times in case things get bleak!
These chewy homemade Granola Bars are the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. They are also great for a quick breakfast on the go, or to pack in school or work lunches! All the ingredients are super clean so you know these are going to taste great! And there’s room for jazzing these up on your own… here’s the deal!
Homemade Granola Bar Ingredients
- Old Fashion Oats – grab your favorite brand and toast the oats! This is the base of the entire recipe!
- Almonds – gotta get those healthy fats. You could also sub another one of your favorite nuts if you prefer. Walnuts, pecans, cashews… you name it.
- Honey – this helps everything stick together! Agave nectar will also work but I love making homemade granola bars with honey!
- Butter – I use an unsalted butter because I love the depth of flavor it provides. If you want something other than butter, coconut oil is a great substitute
- Brown Sugar – more flavorful that white sugar!!
- Vanilla – you could also use chocolate extract if you prefer. Or leave it out if you don’t have any on hand.
- Chia Seeds – I love adding a little extra oomph into this recipe. If you want to omit the chia, that’s no problem. Or they can also be swapped out for flax or hemp hearts.
- Salt – don’t skimp on it! It elevates all the flavor.
- Dried Fruit – you can use any dried fruit in this recipe! Just make sure you chop it into small pieces if it’s something bigger than a dried cranberry.
- Chocolate Chips – what is a granola bar without some chocolate?!?!
How to make Homemade Granola Bars
Start by preheating your oven to 350º F. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray to prevent the Homemade Granola Bars from sticking.
Next lightly toast your oats and almonds in the oven on a small baking sheet for 10 minutes.
While the oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract seeds, chia and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, making sure to stir occasionally.
Transfer the lightly toasted oats and almonds into a large mixing bowl and pour the butter mixture over. Add the cranberries and golden raisins and mix well. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes and then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Transfer the oat mixture to the 9-inch square pan. Using a rubber spatula or clean hands and firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Make sure to press it down tightly so you don’t wind up with loose granola. Scatter a few extra tablespoons of mini chocolate chips over the granola bars and use the same rubber spatula to gently press them into the granola so they stick. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares or bars. Serve as needed.
Variations and Substitutions
Honey – agave nectar will also work!
Butter – coconut oil is a great substitute!
Chia Seeds – you can omit the chia or swap it out for flax seeds or hemp hearts.
Dried Fruit – any dried fruit will work in this Homemade granola bars recipe, just make sure you chop it into small pieces if it’s something bigger than a dried cranberry.
Tips and Tricks for Homemade Granola Bars
Now that we’ve got the ingredients out of the way – let’s talk about the process! These are pretty straight forward however there are some key tips to making these extra delish and reminiscint of those store bought bars we all grew up with!
Toast the Oats – this is super important to really get all the flavor from the oats! You want them to just get a little toasty in the oven before mixing in all the other ingredients
Really press the mixture down in the pan. Use a spatula or your clean hands and press the granola bar mixture down once you’ve transferred it into the pan. And feel free to put some weight behind it. That will help ensure the bars don’t fall apart when you’re slicing and serving.
Don’t skimp on the chill time. You know how I always insist we chill blondies and brownies before slicing and serving… same thing goes for granola bars. This step (while tedious) just helps everything firm up and cutting will be cleaner and easier. Once they are chilled and sliced, you can let them come to room temperature before serving so they are chewier.
Storing the bars. I store the granola bars in the fridge at all times (or the freezer if it’s going to take you a while to get through them! Just take them out of the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
How do you get granola bars to stick together?
There are a two tips to getting granola bars to stick together. First really press the mixture down in the pan and second don’t skimp on the chill time. This step (while tedious) just helps everything firm up and cutting will be cleaner and easier.
Do you need to bake granola bars?
No need to bake granola bars. After pressing them down firmly into a square pan, transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours. Once they are chilled and sliced, you can let them come to room temperature before serving so they are chewier.
And if you want a step by step video to make life even easier… here you go!
Looking for more amazing breakfast ideas?
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Tools used to make this
Homemade Granola Bars
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried golden raisins
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus extra as needed
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
- Combine the oats and roughly chopped almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
- While the oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract seeds, chia and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, making sure to stir occasionally. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and almonds and add the cranberries and golden raisins. Mix well. Let cool for 15 minutes then add the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula or clean hands and firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Really press it down so you don't wind up with loose granola. Scatter remaining a few extra tablespoons of mini chocolate chips over the granola bars and use the same rubber spatula to gently press them into the granola so they stick. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
- After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares or bars. Serve as needed.
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking
Hi Gaby. I have some peaches mixes w sugar that I used for.a cobbler. I cut too many peaches. How can I dry them out to use in this recipe as I do not have a dehydrator. Thanks !
Omg I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never used a dehydrator so I dont know! But I’m sure you can dry them out in the oven! Try this: http://www.thekitchn.com/you-dont-need-a-dehydrator-5-fruits-you-can-dry-in-the-oven-193133
I made these today for my family and they were a huge hit! However I added lemon and wild orange essential oil! Taste amazing!
Hi! Have you ever doubled this recipe? What size pan did you use if so? Thanks!
Yes! a 9×13 pan!
I made them but I thought they would be soft ic don’t what I did wrong I could not cut them so I broke them up also what is the fat and calorie count
Loved these! I changed the recipe a little. Left out the dried fruit but added a of peanut butter to the butter mix and did toasted almonds and chocolate chips! The kids loved them! Once again I’m the favorite uncle!!
yay! Love hearing that!!
Amazing!! What a great recipe. I added a little toasted coconut, chopped figs, sunflower seeds and flax seeds. They taste so good. Thank you!!
My family loves these thanks for the recipe!
Did you soak the chia seeds or just put in dry? My daughter has so many food allergies that I am having to make so much from scratch! I am hoping the chia seeds will provide a good protein source she can’t get from soy.
Hi, I made these, looking for a less sweet and less buttery alternative to flapjacks. I have a daughter who is allergic to all nuts except almond so I love making her new treats and these have been a MASSIVE hit in our house – our new favourite recipe. Thanks so much for sharing they are amazing. I think the trick is to keep them in the fridge. Thanks so much x
I have been looking for a good recipe. Thanks for this. We love granola!
These look so good! I am currently not able to have dairy, so is there something I could switch the butter out for? And would leaving the chocolate chips out do drastic things to the overall flavour? I can’t wait to try them.
coconut oil works instead of butter!! and you can totally leave out the chocolate chips – but did you know they make vegan dairy free chocolate chips!! I just had some last week and they were awesome.
Hi! Excited to try making these however I have a nut allergy- do I have to substitute the almonds with another dry ingredient? or are they more for flavour?
you can omit the nuts and add sunflower seeds!!
YES!!! the kids and I are going to make these GF this weekend so that we have them for the school year!
Love the school lunch idea! I made granola recently and it was seriously so fresh and crunchier than store bought 🙂
Yum! Reminds me of the ones I used to eat every day in my lunchbox 🙂
Such a great make ahead breakfast or snack recipe! Loving the flavors in this!
Prepping for the 4th and final kid…think I could freeze some for snacks later?
Yum! Homemade snacks like this are the best!
Love this recipe for the granola bars!
Thank you so much!
They look so delicious and so healthy!
Will almond butter be an ok addition instead of butter?? Or if not can I sub the coconut oil for butter and still add almond butter.?
coconut oil would be your best bet with a drizzle of almond butter
Just made these and they’re so gooood! I literally was just eating the mixture straight out of the bowl. Thanks for the recipe. It will definitely be my new go-to!
I made these today for my hubby. Huge hit! I’m going to use coconut oil instead of butter next time and use less brown sugar. Dark chocolate morsels are the best too!
Thanks for sharing!
Just made these delicious bars! One caveat….read the recipe all the way rough. I now have chocolatey granola bars as my chips melted into my mix! Lol still super yummy!
I made these and within two days they were gone. My son said they were the best he had ever eaten and my 84 year old dad and 79 year old mother liked them so much they went and bought the ingredients and made them too.
These are the best. My daughter and her friends are pretty much obsessed with them. Thanks for the great recipe!
Can these be stored at room temp?
yes but they last longer in the fridge in air tight containers
I can’t do brown sugar. Can I add more honey instead? or will it affect the texture?
haven’t tested it that way so I can’t say for certain!
I used equal quantity coconut sugar instead of brown sugar- it was great
They came out great! I really like the golden raisins. I think I want to try coconut next time too. 🙂 I wanted to make my own because 1. Super fresh is always better 2. Less waste and trash in the landfill 3. I’ve been hiking a lot lately and this will be a good little snack on my 10 milers. Thanks Gaby!
could I sub sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for the almonds? my granddaughter has a severe nut allergy.
Any idea what the sugar grams are per bar?
not a clue!
What are your favorite cooking sprays for various uses like baking granola bars and frittatas?
Pam is usually my go-to
I sure could have used these this morning!!
The perfect breakfast to go!
Will instant oats be fine? I always wonder if those mess things up when rolled oats are called for.
I haven’t tested it that way so I can’t say for sure!
If additional items such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried fruit, would the butter mixture need to be increased?
I wouldn’t mess with the quantities of ingredients, I’d just substitute and swap things out. if you add too many mix-ins, things will not stick together
Great recipe! I have a lot of my staff at work who are on dietary restrictions, but this would work for all of them as a snack. I’m going to make a batch or two for them! Sound yummy!
Any idea the calorie count of the granola bars?
I made these today and they are going to be a regular in our house. I love that I can customize them however I want.
Made these for girls weekend for a snack after we took a great hike! They were a hit, Gaby. I will never buy store bought again, exactly as you said. Your recipes have been spot on! Thank you for bringing joy to my kitchen and recipes that raise the bar!
why am I not able to print receipes?
what internet browser are you using? The print button should be right below the image in the recipe card area
It has print but it won’t print. I have Spectrum and google.
I couldn’t print recipes, either… so I clicked open in new browser… and voila!
Easy recipe and flavor to the max. Love the flexibility to use different seeds & nuts. My kids liked them right away. A winner for our family!
So easy and good! I love that you can sub and add the ingredients you like. I gave a bar to my sister after we walked today and she was blown away and made me send her the recipe right away
Love these Granola Bars so much!
Perfect “Quarantine” And Everday Treat!!
I’m allergic to nuts. Can you offer an alternative that will give me the nutrients, without the anaphylaxic response?
can you have seeds?? any kind of your fav seed would be great too
Blown away by how much better home-made tastes. Fantastic recipe/ works perfectly.
I Chose to do chocolate/almond/dried cherry with tri-colored golden raisins. I added everything stated in recipe with the addition of almond extract and omitted the cranberries. I really appreciated the video to view the process first.
I’m looking forward to making this it looks so good and easy I don’t have my own place right now I will in about a month and then I can try this recipe out so looking forward to getting back to cooking even if it’s just for myself I love doing it thanks Gaby
these look delicious. Is there a way to also make a crunchy version of these? maybe bake them?
ya you could just bake them a bit longer!
I made these on Sunday afternoon….and finished the last one with my Monday morning coffee. I’m obsessed! One twist though, Instead of mixing in the chocolate chips, I sprinkled the bottom of the prepared pan with dark chocolate chips and then poured the hot oat/nut mixture on top. Then chilled and cut. The result was an amazing chocolate bottom layer. Yummy!!
Really good and SUPER SIMPLE . Do you know the calorie count per bar?
Whenever I make these for friends I never have any left! So good!
Second time making! They are amazing!
Absolutely delicious! Made them twice already. Added 95% dark chocolate chunks. Works very well!!