Homemade Granola Bars (Only 4 ingredients!)

These Homemade Granola Bars are quick & easy to prepare, calling for just 4 ingredients that you probably already have on hand. They are inspired by my Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats, and taste BETTER than a store-bought bar, if you ask me!

homemade granola bars with chocolate chips on top

What Makes Granola Bars Stick Together?

The key to making these homemade 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.

boiling honey and mixing it with oats for granola bars

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 crisp texture, but they are equally 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.

granola bars cut and on white

How to Make Nut-Free Granola Bars

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 this 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.

granola bars in glass container

This recipe moves quickly, so I recommend you have all of the ingredients you need measured and ready to go before you get started. You’ll want to mix the peanut butter into the freshly boiled honey right away, and then pour it over the oats and stir quickly so that the honey doesn’t harden as you stir it.

Homemade Granola Bars Tutorial (1-minute video):

4.6 from 40 votes
homemade granola bars with chocolate chips on top
Homemade Granola Bars (only 4 ingredients!)
Prep Time
14 mins
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
15 mins
 

This homemade granola bar recipe calls for just 4 main ingredients, and then you can customize it withy any toppings you like!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: gluten-free
Keyword: homemade granola bars, peanut butter granola bars
Servings: 10
Calories: 189 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
Optional toppings:
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (use a brand like Enjoy Life for dairy-free)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, pecans, or walnuts , for crunch
Instructions
  1. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the honey to a boil. Set a timer, and allow the honey to continue boiling for 1 minute. In the meantime, place the oats in a large bowl and set aside. Remove from the pan of honey from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt.
  3. Immediately pour the warm mixture over the oats, and use a spatula to stir well, coating the oats evenly. As the mixture cools, it will become sticky and difficult to mix, so be sure to move quickly!
  4. Transfer the mixture to the lined loaf pan, and press HARD to pack it into the pan. Pressing firmly will ensure that the bars stick together well later. Sprinkle any optional toppings over the top, if desired. (The chocolate chips will melt, so I use a piece of parchment paper over the top to help press them into place without making a mess.) Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to cool for 1 hour, then use a large knife to cut 10 evenly-sized bars.

  5. These granola bars can be kept at room temperature for 3-5 days, or in the fridge in an airtight container 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, or in your purse if you'll need to be out and about.

Homemade Granola Bar Nutrition (per bar): Calories: 189; Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

Recipe Notes:

  • As I mentioned above, this recipe is easily adaptable. Feel free to use any other nut or seed butter to replace the peanut butter, and you can use maple syrup to replace the honey. (The sweetener is the binder in this case, so I wouldn’t recommend swapping a sugar-free substitute without expecting possibly different results…)
  • For a grain-free snack bar, try my Cherry Pie Larabars or Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, which also only require a handful of easy ingredients.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it works out 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? Austin’s favorite is the recipe above, but mine are the Cinnamon Raisin snack bars in Everyday Detox— I can’t wait for you all to try them, too!

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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!

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.
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