Homemade Granola Bars are super-easy to make, with just 4 simple ingredients. They will quickly become one of your favorite healthy snacks!
Why You’ll Love Them
They taste amazing. Homemade granola bars taste better than the kind you’d buy from the store! The sweet and salty flavor is hard to resist.
They are easy to customize. You can add any mix-ins you love, such as sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut, dried fruits, or even some mini chocolate chips. If you don’t love peanut butter, feel free to use almond butter, or even sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
They are quick to prepare. All you need is 4 simple ingredients and about 10 minutes of time to prepare this easy snack. No oven required!
They are nourishing. The combination of whole grain oats and peanut butter will keep you feeling satisfied, with plenty of protein and fiber in each bite. When you add in extras like hemp hearts or dried fruit, like cranberries or raisins, you’ll get an even wider variety of nutrients, too.
They are gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but be sure to buy oats that are certified gluten-free to help avoid any potential cross contamination that may occur during the manufacturing process.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the base recipe, you’ll need only oats, honey, salt, and your favorite nut butter. If you’re not a fan of peanut butter, try almond butter or cashew butter, instead. From there, you can get creative with any additions you love, such as adding hemp hearts for extra protein.
Add a splash of vanilla extract for flavor, or stir in some walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds for crunch. Just like making energy balls, you can easily customize the flavor each time you make these.
How to Make the Best Granola Bars
1. Mix the dry ingredients.
This recipe moves quickly, so start by combining the rolled oats, salt, and any other additions you like, such as hemp hearts, in a large mixing bowl.
Stir well, and then set this aside while you boil the honey.
Add the honey to a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. As soon as it starts regularly bubbling around the edges of the pan, set a timer for 1 minute.
When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and mix in the peanut butter. You’ll want to stir quickly, because the mixture will become harder to stir as it cools.
Pour the peanut butter mixture into the bowl of oats, and stir well. It will become thicker and harder to stir as you go, but keep mixing until it looks like the oats have been uniformly coated.
Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper. (Pro Tip: Spray the pan with oil first, so the parchment paper will stick in place.)
Use a spatula to flatten the bars into the pan. Press firmly, so they will be packed together and will cut easily later.
If you’d like a chocolate-coated granola bar, melt a 1/3 cup of chocolate chips and spread them evenly over the top. It will harden as the bars cool. You can also sprinkle coarse sea salt on top, for a sweet & salty flavor.
5. Slice & Enjoy!
Let the granola bars cool completely, then they are ready to slice and serve. Cut them into 12 bars, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you store them at room temperature, they may spoil more quickly, but they should keep well for up to a week.
These healthy granola bars will have a chewy texture when you serve them at room temperature, and they are crunchier when served chilled. They will keep well in your purse, or backpack, if you need an easy snack on the go!
Frequently Asked Questions
Cooking the honey is what helps bind this recipe, so the granola bars will stick together even when you serve them at room temperature. If you would prefer to skip cooking the honey, the bars will most likely need to stay chilled for serving. Or, you can try making a date-based granola bar instead, which has no cooking involved.
Yes, you can replace the honey with maple syrup. In my experience, maple syrup hardens a bit more than honey, so the texture might change slightly.
Yes, if you need an easy school lunch option, try using sunflower seed butter or tahini to replace the peanut butter. You can also stir in extra seeds for crunch, such as pumpkin seeds or chia seeds.
Looking for more healthy snacks? Try Banana Snack Cake or Peanut Butter Protein Balls, for more variety.
Easy Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if needed.)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Optional toppings or Mix-Ins
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips , melted
- 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup almonds or hemp hearts (see notes for tips)
- Pour the oats, salt, and any of the optional dry mix-ins, like hemp hearts, into a large bowl and stir well, then set it aside. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray and press a square of parchment paper into the bottom. (The oil will hold the parchment paper in place, so it doesn't move around later.)
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil. Set a timer and allow the honey to boil for 1 minute, without stirring.
- Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. As soon as the mixture is smooth, pour it over the oats.
- Use a spatula to stir quickly, coating the oats evenly with the peanut butter mixture. It will harden as it cools, so it may become more difficult to stir as it cools down.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press it very firmly into the bottom. If you're adding any of the optional toppings, like the melted chocolate, you can spread it over the top now. For extra crunch, you can sprinkle chopped almonds or other nuts on top of the melted chocolate, too.
- Let the granola bars cool in the fridge for freezer for up to 30 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and slice them into 12 pieces. These granola bars can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months if you'd like to make a larger batch. They can thaw overnight in the fridge.
If you try this granola bar recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them.
Questions and Reviews
I think I might just have to ask Olaf to give you a warm hug for me because this is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve seen lots of granola bar recipes on the net, but nothing these easy, unprocessed and only 3 ingredients. You’re speaking my language! No matter how much I like a recipe, if it’s not easy, I just won’t do it. I’m tempted to add a few peanut butter chips in these for the kids but hope that won’t spike my blood sugar. Love how you can freeze these too and pull out as needed, that’s a huge bonus right there! Maybe I’ll add a few almonds? Or even peanuts. I was actually reading the other day that peanuts get a bit of a bad rap for no reason, they’re actually not that bad for you!
This sounds like great recipe I’d like to try. I’m not a novice baker by any means, but I always get confused by “loaf pan.” Is this a bread pan or a cake pan? I’ve wanted to ask this question to someone for ages!
Loaf pans are the long, narrow pans typically used to bake loaves of bread in. Cake pans are available in every size and shape your heart could imagine, but a few basic examples would be 10″ round pans, standard sheet cake pans, and bundt cake pans. Hope that helps! If not, I’d be happy to try to explain differently! Happy baking!
I’m glad you asked because I was wondering the same. That’s what I call my meatloaf pan. Lol
Thanks! That’s what I thought, I guess I just always called it a bread pan!
These look great. I think my husband will love them too. Question…I know it’s weird since everyone is going gluten-free but will oats with gluten also work or will they become gummy? (We are okay with gluten & I need organic oats (reaction to pesticides on oats & haven’t found an organic gluten free oats readily available. And gluten has not been an issue.)
They don’t have to be gluten-free if gluten isn’t an issue for you!
OK, I just made these and the leftovers on the spoon tasted wonderful. I added chocolate chips to the oatmeal but the mixture was too hot to let them stay in chip form so I have a chocolaty granola bar. We’ll use these as a healthy dessert/treat. Looking forward to making other yummy combinations with this super-easy method! Thanks!
I’m just wondering if the oats are tough since they they aren’t toasted first…
I didn’t find the oats tough in these bars, but you can always toast them first if you prefer! I’ve always made no-bake cookies with un-toasted oats, and this recipe is basically based off of that concept.
Oh I SO pinned these, so simple and Brit will LOVE them.
How many bars does this recipe make?
Thanks again for another delicious-looking recipe! Strange question – do you think this would work with something other than oats (ie chopped or slivered nuts etc) – wwould it hold together? I’ll make it exactly like this for the kids, but I don’t tolerate oats well… Thank you!
Just an idea but you might try quinoa flakes? I’ve seen them at the healthfood store near the other cooked breakfast cereals (like oatmeal, buckwheat, cream of rice). I’ve never tried them myself, but a friend has and likes them!
These look great, but I’m wondering if I could use maple syrup to make them vegan and up the nutritional profile? I heard honey loses much of it’s goodness when heated. Thanks!
I used maple syrup and they turned out wonderfully
Yum! This sounds delicious! Does it matter if the oats are quick oats or oat-fashioned oats? Also, I was wondering, is adding the hot syrup mixture enough to soften the oats? Thanks!!
I used regular old-fashioned oats and the hot syrup softened them enough for us. These bars are similar to the popular no-bake cookie recipes you see floating around, so they will have a similar texture to those.
Fabulous, versatile bar recipe!
These are so much more simple than recipes that I’ve tried before! I’ll definitely have to make them for my husband- I got him to give up Clif bars (waaay too much sugar), but now he’s eating Kashi granola bars, which still have a decent amount of sugar and also GMO’s. Hopefully, he’ll love them as much as your hubby did!
My favorite granolas – snack bars are: cranberry + coconut, pb, date + walnut + cocoa powder, & lime/lemon + coconut :0). I also love how easy & delicious this is! I look forward to making it both as is & playing with it :0D. Thank you!!
How much cocoa powder would you add?
OMG, how yummy! I’m not clear on the loaf pan..do you press the mixture up the sides of pan or are you using a loaf pan because the bottom surface is the right size (approx 4″ x 8″) for the amount of dough? Thanks!
You just press the mixture into the bottom of the pan– that pan is the perfect size for making granola bars!
Love the new website look! And i am all about peanut butter – I can’t eat oats right now so i may give these a go with ground flax and pumpkin seeds – YUM!
I made these last night and love them! One question for you, though – mine turned out insanely hard – like can barely bite through them hard. Other than doing half almond and half peanut butter (trying to lower the carbs and increase the fat in my diet), I followed everything correctly I thought. Do you know off the top of your head what I may have done wrong?
Thanks! Your recipes are a lifesaver in our house!
Do you mean they’re hard right out of the fridge or freezer? They should be chewy at room temperature, but they will get hard if they are chilled, so you’ll need to thaw them first. My husband likes to take them on his commute to work, so it sits out at least an hour before he eats it. If you don’t need them to last longer than a week, you can store them at room temperature so that they don’t get as hard.
didn’t you JUST write a blog post about the aflotoxins, etc. in peanuts?
Yes, I did write a post about peanuts last summer. That post also states the reasons why I still make recipes with peanut butter every now and then: https://detoxinista.com/2014/07/are-peanuts-healthy/
Thanks for the recipe idea. I used your honey and PB technique to use up my homemade granola(made with buckwheat, quinoa, and nuts) which didn’t come out so good.
I just made these and they are so easy and yummy! I pressed some mini-chocolate chips on top after I let it cool a few minutes. Thanks for the recipe!
These are why I hate trying blogger recipes. Pretty pics, not so great food. Peanut butter and honey are tasty (no-brainer), but the uncooked oats totally do not work. Chewy? Ha, try bullet-proof. Will cook the “bars” to make peanut butter oatmeal or something. Thumbs down!!
oh my gosh..these were delicious!! I’m usually disappointed when I try new recipes from blogs too but I’ve made these 8 times and they come out perfect every time! Did you try them right out of the freezer? If so, then yes, they will be too hard! I did that the first time. I now just put in the refrigerator for a bit and they are perfect…even softer (too soft for me) if you leave them out after they have been set in the refrigerator. Try again-they are SOOOO good!!!
Wow, you obviously did something wrong cause I made these and they are delicious. My husband loves them . I used GF rolled oats and they came out moist and chewy and way better than store bought granola bars.
Thank you for another great recipe! Just made the bars in a 10 ” pan, followed the recipe exactly, times and a half. They came out thicker than on the pictures but very delicious!!
Just made this with agave and they are fantastic! And so easy! Another winner Megan!
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them!
Love home made granola bars – especially ones that contain the delicious flavours of honey and peanut butter like these. I have to make this recipe!
I just made a triple batch of these and they get a 10 out of 10!!!!!!!! My boys and their friends LOVED them and I LOVE how easy they are to make! I will be making these on a regular basis from now on! Who needs pre-packaged granola bars with 15 ingredients for $1.20 each?!?!?!?!? Thank you!!!!
I’ve made these with peanut butter and sunflower seed butter (for school) and both ways have turned out great. Once I have them in the pan, I’ve been pressing a few chocolate chips into it (no measurement, just spaced out). Can’t add chocolate chips earlier as they’ll melt but it turns out great at the end. 🙂
I didn’t even think of adding in st end! I tried to mix in twice and they melted! Thanks:)
Amazing and sooo easy! Ive made this version and ones with coconut and vegan chocolate chips, ones with slivered almonds and dried cranberries, and with sunflower seeds, cranberries and cashew butter. I’ve also used almond butter. Any combo is great and this is a great base for anything you want to add in! I find it makes closer to just 6-8 for us to make a really fulfilling serving size. Also can’t figure out how to get the chips not to melt!
What do you think about steel cut oats for this recipe?
I made these the other day to have as a quick breakfast bar in the morning. They are FANTASTIC! And so easy! Thank you so much for posting.
Went to the store to get the ingredients psyched about trying hem, then I got home and didnt have parchment paper…boo…can i make them directly in the pan?
I think so, as long as you grease it well.
Love this! Quick, easy, and customizable! I have a batch chilling in the fridge right now. 🙂
Made these and they are delicious! My husband loves them. I added chocolate chips. Thanks for the recipe. I might try using a more shallow dish next time but would you recommend against that?
Nope, you can use any size dish you like!
These are really simple and delicious! Made a few changes…added some coconut and toasted pecan bits. I didn’t have a loaf pan so I used a glass pie dish and instead of parchment just greased it with coconut oil. They came out perfect!
My husband and my son LOVE these! I’ve made a few variations with different things added, (raisins, mini chocolate chips, dried fruits,etc.). They pack well for travel in Tupperware too for long car trips.
Another winning recipe from Detoxinista!
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. The first batch that I made was a little too sweet for me, so for the second batch I used 2/3 cup peanut butter and 1/3 cup honey and they came out perfect! I’ve been using them for a snack or in the mornings to break up the egg and bacon routine a bit.
I thought it wasn’t good to heat honey to that extreme of a temperature. Can you make these without boiling the honey?
Can you do a nutritional value for these please? They are amazing but how healthy are they
These were grrrreat!!
I’ve been looking for a recipe like this. Simple and easy. They were great. I think what I really like about granola bars is they can be tweeked so many ways. I added organic rice krispy and almonds. I look forward to trying other ingredients. This will be my go to recipe. Thank you so much.
Thank you for this recipe, from the bottom of my very pregnant belly 🙂
These look Great! Do you know how long these will last in the fridge before going bad? Thank you!
I think they should last at least a month in the fridge.
I made them today added some seeds and peanut, no salt turned out delicious ,husband loved it. Will be ,along these instead of buying the unhealthy ones,
I added semi chocolate chips to balance out the sweetness of the honey and I added honey roasted peanuts for a big crunch factor my husband said they were good
I made these and another recipe which had nuts and fruit in it. All of these ones are gone, and we still have more than half of the others. I know which recipe I will be sticking with! Thank you!!!!
I am making these for my son, but he hates honey can I use agave or some other substitute?
Has anyone tried adding protein powders? Thanks!
Would this work using cashew or almond butter?
I made this recipe today, wow, you cold even cut the honey back to a 1/4 of a cup, I don’t know if its because I used unprocessed pollenated honey, but very sweet, but that’s what I would do for next batch, I stuck salted mixed nuts on top to take away from sweetness, they were good, cant wait to finish off and do the next batch, thank you….
Easy and good tasting, although i will cut back on the honey next time. I’d like to know if you can substitute maple syrup for the honey?
Maple syrup usually makes a harder/crispier result in bars like these.