Best Homemade Granola Bars

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Homemade Granola Bars are quick & easy to prepare, calling for just 4 simple ingredients. They are more affordable than the store-bought variety, and I think they taste better, too!

granola bars on cooling rack

What Makes Them Stick Together?

The key to making these granola bars stick together is boiling the honey for exactly 1 minute. This makes the honey harden slightly as it cools, giving these bars the classic “chewy” texture that I love in a store-bought granola bar.

If you’re vegan and would rather not use honey, you can do the exact same method using maple syrup instead. In my experience, maple syrup hardens a bit more than honey, so the resulting bars have a slightly more dry, hard texture, but they are still delicious.

This recipe is easily adaptable to use any other nut or seed butters you have on hand. If you don’t like peanut butter, feel free to use almond butter, instead.

How to Make Them Nut-Free

For a nut-free granola bar that you can use as a school lunch idea, try using sunflower seed butter or tahini to replace the peanut butter.

In that case, you might want to use a little extra sweetener, or press some raisins or cranberries on top, to help distract from the slightly more bitter flavor of the ground seeds.

How to Make Them

This recipe moves quickly, so I recommend you have all of the ingredients you need measured and ready to go before you get started. Place the oats in a large bowl, so they are ready when you are.

First, you’ll boil the honey in a small saucepan. As soon as you start to see bubbles, set a timer for exactly 1 minute.

honey boiled in small pan

There’s no need to stir the honey as it boils, but you can lower the heat slightly so the bubbles don’t get too high in the pot.

When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the stove and stir in the peanut butter and salt. Stir until smooth, then pour it over the oats.

peanut butter mixed in and poured over oats

Stir well, until the oats are evenly coated. The mixture will start to harden as it cools, so that’s why you’ll want to move fast.

Spray an 8-inch square dish with oil, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom. (This will help you remove the bars easily later.)

mixed oats pressed into pan

Press the granola bar mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan. If you want to add any extras on top, now is the time to do it!

I like to add almonds, a drizzle of dark chocolate, and flaky sea salt.

granola bars drizzed with chocolate and sliced

Let the bars chill in the fridge for about an hour to cool down and firm up. Slice them into 12 bars.

For a smaller snack-size bar, you can cut them in half again, too! The serving size is up to you.

granola bars cooling on wire rack

How To Store Them

Homemade granola bars will keep well for up to a week at room temperature, but for a longer shelf life, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

You can also freeze them for up to 6 months!

granola bars on cooling rack
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Best Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are quick & easy to make at home, and require only 4 simple ingredients! You can make them in just minutes, and add any extras you like to customize the flavor.
Course Snack
Cuisine gluten-free
Keyword homemade granola bars
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 157kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if needed.)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey , or maple syrup for vegan bars
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Optional toppings:

Instructions

  • This recipe moves fast, so measure everything out before you get started. Pour the oats into a large bowl and set it aside. Lightly spray an 8-inch square pan with oil 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.)
    prepared pan and oats in bowl
  • 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.
    honey boiled in small pan
  • Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt. As soon as the mixture is smooth, pour it over the oats.
    peanut butter mixed in and poured over 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 difficult to stir as it cools down.
    mixed oats pressed into pan
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press it very firmly into the bottom. Sprinkle any optional toppings over the top, if desired, then press the toppings into the bars. (The chocolate chips will melt if you press them into the warm bars, so I usually prefer to drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top after they have cooled, instead.)
    granola bars drizzed with chocolate and sliced
  • As soon as the mixture is cool and firm to the touch, 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 3-5 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months if you'd like to make a larger batch. They can thaw overnight in the fridge.

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 12 bars, without the optional toppings. This information is just an estimate, and not a guarantee.
You can make these bars nut-free by using sunflower seed butter or tahini instead of peanut butter.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

More Healthy Snack Ideas

These recipes are perfect for snacking on-the-go, too!

If you try this homemade granola bar recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it works for you. And if you make a substitution, I’d love to hear how it goes, too! We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite granola bar flavor?

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Comments

Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

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!

Twila

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!

    Sydnee

    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!

    danielle

    I’m glad you asked because I was wondering the same. That’s what I call my meatloaf pan. Lol

Twila

Thanks! That’s what I thought, I guess I just always called it a bread pan!

Cindy

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.)

    Megan Gilmore

    They don’t have to be gluten-free if gluten isn’t an issue for you!

Trish

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!

M-C

I’m just wondering if the oats are tough since they they aren’t toasted first…

    Megan Gilmore

    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.

Rande @ RandeMoss.com

Oh I SO pinned these, so simple and Brit will LOVE them.

Misty Simon

How many bars does this recipe make?

    Megan Gilmore

    8-10 bars

Sarah

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!

Erin

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!

    Katrina

    I used maple syrup and they turned out wonderfully

Steph

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!!

    Megan Gilmore

    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.

Liz S.

Fabulous, versatile bar recipe!

Angela @ Food Angel

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!

Abbi*tarian

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!!

    Lori licker

    How much cocoa powder would you add?

Karen A.

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!

    Megan Gilmore

    You just press the mixture into the bottom of the pan– that pan is the perfect size for making granola bars!

Kezia @Super Naturally Healthy

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!

Emilee

Hi Megan!

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!

    Megan Gilmore

    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.

sophie

didn’t you JUST write a blog post about the aflotoxins, etc. in peanuts?

asia

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.

Kayla

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!

Juanita

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!!

    Traci Medlin

    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!!!

Natallia

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!!

Janice

Just made this with agave and they are fantastic! And so easy! Another winner Megan!

    Megan Gilmore

    Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

Thalia @ butter and brioche

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!

Holly

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!!!!

Kelly K

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Debu

    I didn’t even think of adding in st end! I tried to mix in twice and they melted! Thanks:)

Debu

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!

Valerie

What do you think about steel cut oats for this recipe?

Meredith

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.

janet

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?

    Megan Gilmore

    I think so, as long as you grease it well.

Jaclyn

Love this! Quick, easy, and customizable! I have a batch chilling in the fridge right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

C

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?

    Megan Gilmore

    Nope, you can use any size dish you like!

Kari

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!

Ani

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.

April

Another winning recipe from Detoxinista!

    Megan Gilmore

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!

Rachael

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.

Heather

I thought it wasn’t good to heat honey to that extreme of a temperature. Can you make these without boiling the honey?

Lt

Can you do a nutritional value for these please? They are amazing but how healthy are they

Erin L

These were grrrreat!!

Jeff

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.

Heidi

Thank you for this recipe, from the bottom of my very pregnant belly ๐Ÿ™‚

Abbey shields

These look Great! Do you know how long these will last in the fridge before going bad? Thank you!

    Megan Gilmore

    I think they should last at least a month in the fridge.

Anna

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,
!than you.

Kim

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

Elizabeth

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!!!!

Kristan

I am making these for my son, but he hates honey can I use agave or some other substitute?

Alexis

Has anyone tried adding protein powders? Thanks!

LaDonna

Would this work using cashew or almond butter?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, definitely!

connie

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….

Valerie

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?

    Megan Gilmore

    Maple syrup usually makes a harder/crispier result in bars like these.

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