Homemade Granola Bars (Only 4 ingredients!)

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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):

homemade granola bars with chocolate chips on top
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4.61 from 41 votes

Homemade Granola Bars (only 4 ingredients!)

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
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 189kcal

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

  • Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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

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.

Kim

These are a staple in my house, easy, yummy and kid approved

Audrey

Can you use raw honey in this recipe?

Angie

These will be the perfect breast feeding snack! Thanks for the easy recipe, I might try with different nut butters or add in some dried fruit.

Pressler

These are SOOO good! I just made them just as the recipe reads and they remind me od no bake cookies (without the cocoa, yummmmm 🙂

Christyn

I just made these. I added chia seeds and a little bit of cacao nibs. Now my son has something healthy and yummy to take with him as his lunch treat for school. Thankyou!

Ceta

These look fantastic and so easy! Thank you. I’m on a mission to get my family off the store bought bars. I’m going to give it a try with PB2, it should work, right?

Nancy McIntosh

Wow I make homemade dog treats for our dog and made “granola ” bars for him. When I saw this website I had to make a chewy bar for the family. Found shelled pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds to add in as well as mini dark chocolate chips. Used the crunchy peanut butter and will make these again. I will cut down on the peanut butter next batch. Trying to get the family to eat more “healthy” these days, including the dog. I am retired and finally able to get into shape. Thank you

Anne

How sticky/crumbly/fallapart-y will these bars be? I want to take them to school where they’ll have to spend all day in my (nonrefrigerated) backpack and survive walking/bumping.

    Katlin

    They haven’t fallen apart on me and I keep mine in the front of my messenger bag. My son keeps his in his school backpack and it holds up to him throwing it on the floor. My husband and son like me to do a double batch with a layer of semi-melted chocolate chips in the middle.

Katlin

Thank you! I have been searching for over an hour now trying to find a simple bar I can add hemp or flax seed to. Finally! I hope these taste as good as they look.

    Katlin

    They are absolutely delicious!!!!!! I am making a double batch right now! I added flax seed and peanuts in the first batch. This time I will add hemp seed as well. I’m so happy you put this recipe up thank you!!!!!

Frances

The texture and flavor are good. A little too sweet…. that is why I gave 4 stars. The second time I made it: Toss oats in a skillet over medium on stovetop for 4~5 minutes, remove away from heat. Add 1 1/2 TABLESPOON DARK COCOA POWDER TO PEANUT BUTTER, stir to blend well. Then do everything as recipe says. That tastes balanced.

taryn finnessey

My husband informed me I should no longer make single batches of these– just double! we make with sunflower butter so my son can take them to school. A staple for sure!

Janet

Um, those sprayed peanuts? You do know that the peanuts themselves grow underground, rather than near foliage?

    Megan Gilmore

    The USDA has reported finding 8 pesticides in peanut butter, so clearly the final product is still affected, even though they are grown underground.

      Janet

      Were the pesticides those used during growth or while the peanuts were stored?

        Megan Gilmore

        The pesticides are used while grown– typically they must be sprayed every 8 to 10 days during their growing season, because peanut crops are rotated with cotton crops and now that cotton as been genetically engineered to withstand higher doses of chemicals, the soil has become more polluted than ever. Because the peanuts are buried underground with a very soft, porous shell (unlike nuts, that have a very hard shell) they are able to absorb everything added to the soil.

          Katlin

          Dang, some serious conversation for a simple recipe.

Doreen

Simple is seriously the best, made these last night! Forget the store bought ones full of crap!
These are incredible!

Megan

These are Amazing!!

Jennifer

I made these as directed but even though I really pressed firmly, they ended up crumbling once I cut them into bars. Not really a loss though, as I just turned it into granola crumbles. :). I loved the flavor and will make these again, though with half the honey and maybe a quarter cup of melted coconut oil. I used a really thick, freshly ground peanut butter which is likely why it was too dry. Still delish!!

Kathy

My grandson and I made these today. He loves them. He decided to make them into balls that we rolled in shredded coconut. Yum!

jo

Am confused. Aren’t peanuts a protein and oats a starch = not optimum food combining?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, this recipe is not properly combined– it’s just an upgrade for those transitioning away from processed granola bars.

      Jo

      Ah, ok, thanks for that !!! Sounds divine anyway, I’m sure I’ll have to make some!

Leigh

Can you give us the nutritional info please?

Kayleigh

Any idea what the nutritional facts are on this? When I put the ingredients into My Fitness Pal it acted like the bars are 300+ cal per bar – totally ok, just wanted to make sure it was accurate. Thanks!

Erica

Do you have any tips if you are going to add chocolate chips? I used minis and it resulted in melted chocolate. Still taste good. I tried adding it both to the oats before I put the peanut butter and honey mixture as well as some after it was all mixed in. I think those survived the best but hard to tell in the melted chocolate mess.

    Rebecca

    Same issue! I even tried frozen chocolate chips and they still melted immediately!

Mindy

These are INCREDIBLE! ! The recipe says they last a week. They definitely do not last that long n my house. I had to make two batches in 24 hrs once.

Rachel

I’m wondering if anyone has made these using oat flour instead of whole oats. My toddler son really has a thing for texture and would probably prefer something more smooth instead. I’m going to try it out tomorrow an see how it goes regardless, they sound great.

    Yvonne

    Rachel,

    You could pulse the oats in a food processor or blender first, or you could try using oatmeal (oats soaking in water or milk) to make a softer texture.

chen

how should i reduce the sweetness

Becky

Love these! So good, and my daughter loves them! Thank you!

Melanie

Do u know the nutritional values to these no bake granola bars? Mainly sodium cholesterol calories fiber carbs ect?

Pamela

I see that other people asked about the nutritional facts, but there hasn’t been an answer, I’m wondering that too. My fiance is on a strict low fat diet and I think he’d love these bars, but I don’t really want to make them for him if he can’t eat them. Does anybody know the grams of fat or percentage? Thanks.

    Megan Gilmore

    You can calculate any nutrition info you need using a free website like MyFitnessPal.com!

    Stacey

    131g of fat for the whole batch plus however much is in the honey, divided by however many bars you divide it into. If you cut 12 bars, it’s about 11g fat each.

Sarah

These bars are delicious! They make a great afternoon snack at work. Do you think they could be made with agave nectar instead of honey?

Diane

These were the perfect salty-sweet pre-workout energy boost—love them! I added chopped cashews and dates to the mix & they turned out amazing. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

Cheri

Eh. Not terrible but not wonderful either. I won’t be making them again. My husband, who isn’t a complainer, said they have the texture of cardboard and tasted like sawdust with honey. I’ll eat them because I don’t want to waste them, but they’re not for us.
I followed the directions and didn’t change anything, in case anyone is wondering.

Joell

I took your recipe and went a little crazy with it. I can’t have honey so I swapped out with maple syrup. I wanted the benefits of millet. I boiled about a quarter cup of millet until softened but not to porridge. I also heated up about a quarter cup of raspberries. When the peanut butter and maple syrup where ready, I added the millet and raspberries and stirred ’til it was smooth. The rest of the directions I did just as you said. Oh my! Are these good!

Caroline

Love these thanks so much for sharing this recipe….I use cashew butter and maple syrup instead of peanut butter and honey then chuck in some cocoa nibs and top with a mocha icing using coconut oil, cocoa powder, steam pressed decaf ground coffee and maple syrup. Delicious…thanks for inspiring a delicious and healthy (ish!) treat.

Andrea

I’ve tried about a dozen different recipes looking for just the right recipe- not too dry, not too crunchy, not too fussy to make- and this was PERFECT! I sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top, but they really aren’t necessary! I ate almost half the batch before my kids ever woke up from nap lol. THIS is now my go-to recipe! Thank you!

Blogtastic Food

This is the kind of thing I need to snack on ore often (:

Juanita Chavarria

Great and easy recipe to make with the kids! I added 1/4 cup of flaxseed and 1/4 cup of chia seed to the mixture and it still came out great!

Chooni

Thanks for this awesome and easy recipe! I just made my first granola bars today and they were bombbb

Wolfangel

These are very good, if course, how could they not be? I removed a 1/4 cup.or oats and added a 1/4 cup flax meal for health. I also added 2 Tbspoons dark cocoa powder ( per daughters request). These were sweeter than I hoped for the kids but no complaints from them! I will make them again with a little less honey and replace lost honey with peanut butter. Very good indeed!

Cookie

Made these yesterday. I used quick cooking oats and combination of honey and maple syrup and almond butter. Easy and only took five minutes. So good! Another great simple recipe.

Helen Hart

Love your easy to make and delicious recipes.

Irina

Thank’s for your receipt !

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