Best Homemade Granola Bars

Last updated 05/9/2020 | |

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These are the best homemade granola bars out there. My kids LOVE them, and they only have 7 ingredients (Quaker Chewy has 28+). Ditch the mystery ingredients and go natural!

chocolate chip granola bar and glass of milk

Quick quiz: Which would you rather put in your mouth? Your kids’ mouths?

quaker chewy granola bar box
Quaker Chewy Granola Bar ingredients:
single granola bar on plate
Best Homemade Granola Bar ingredients:
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWN SUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT], WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTONSEED OILS* WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS AND/OR SUNFLOWER OIL WITH NATURAL TOCOPHEROL ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRY MILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, CRISP RICE (RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, BARLEY MALT, SALT), INVERT SUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL*. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID. Oats

Wheat flour

Butter

Vanilla

Honey

Baking soda

Are you as surprised as I was? There are waaaaay too many mystery ingredients in those packaged bars. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, "Hey! I think I'll have a bit of hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils with my breakfast. Plus I'll be sure to send some with the kids for their snack."

chocolate chip granola bar on plate

That's not the least of my complaints. Most packaged granola bars are made in factories that process nuts--definitely a concern if someone in your family has nut allergies. And, of course, there's the persistent fact that packaged granola bars are tiny and never contain enough chocolate chips. Ahem. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about this fantastic recipe.

You're going to love these easy, homemade granola bars. The kids have decided that they're the best! If you can make cookies, you can make these granola bars. The hearty, healthy oats will help fill you up. Add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts--whatever sounds delicious to you.

closeup of chocolate chip granola bars

Tools Used to Make Homemade Granola Bars

Here are the tools I recommend to make this recipe quickly and easily:

KitchenAid mixer: to mix everything quickly and easily

9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish: please don't use nonstick baking pans (here's why)

Mini chocolate chips: smaller chocolate chips means more chocolate per bar--always a good choice.

Best Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)

1 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla (extra credit for homemade)

3/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon baking soda

Plus 1 cup of add-in goodies if desired: mini chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, etc. (We like to add mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts).

Instructions:

Lightly butter a 9 x 13 pan and preheat the oven to 325 F.

Combine the butter and honey in a large bowl and mix well. (I used my trusty KitchenAid mixer and it took just a few seconds.) Add all ingredients except the add-ins and mix until combined. Stir in the add-ins by hand.

Press the mixture into the pan. It’s a little sticky, so it helps to put a few drops of water on your hands and press the mixture in firmly.

Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. They won’t look quite done, but will firm up while they cool. After they cool for about 10 minutes, you can cut them into bars.

Store at room temperature in an easily accessible container. They will be gobbled up faster than you can imagine.

As you can see, this is easier than making a batch of homemade cookies. And you can customize the recipe as much as you want!

pan of chocolate chip granola bars

Want more easy, super-healthy snack recipes?

This fantastic recipe for homemade granola bars is from one of my favorite recipe books, Healthy Snacks to Go.

healthy snacks to go ebook

Healthy Snacks to Go is an ebook that you can buy instantly online here and read on your iPad/phone, or print out for reference.

It has more than 45 natural, healthy recipes for snacks like:

  • Wheat Thin-style crackers
  • Fruit Roll-ups
  • Peanut Butter Kisses
  • Easy One-bowl Muffins

Besides all the recipes and tips, it includes 3 bonus sections:

  • Basic Snacks Checklist
  • Soaking Grains Primer
  • Sanity-Saving Lunch Packing Tips

Give it a try—we’ve saved tons of money just by making our own granola bars. We’re trying Peanut Butter Kisses next.

Get Healthy Snacks to Go today and start snacking!

chocolate chip granola bar and glass of milk

closeup of a homemade chocolate chip granola bar on white plate

Best Homemade Granola Bars

Yield: 20 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Your family will love these natural, healthy granola bars. And they only have 7 ingredients (Quaker Chewy has 28+). Ditch the mystery ingredients and go natural!

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Plus 1 cup of add-in goodies if desired: mini chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, etc. (We like to add mini chocolate chips and chopped walnuts).

Instructions

  1. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 pan and preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Combine the butter and honey in a large bowl and mix well. Add all ingredients and mix gently until combined.
  3. Press the mixture into the pan. It’s a little sticky, so it helps to put a few drops of water on your hands and press the mixture in firmly.
  4. Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. They won’t look quite done, but will firm up while they cool. After they cool for about 10 minutes, you can cut them into bars.

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chocolate chip granola bar and glass of milk

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Pam

Hey, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my homesteading journey and help you live a greener life. Ready to learn more? Check out my Free Resource Guides, or my Shop to learn more.

56 Comments

  1. K on March 11, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Do you know how many carbs there are

  2. Lacey on March 10, 2016 at 3:42 am

    How long are those bars good in the air tight container?

  3. lisa g. on March 6, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Do the bars hold their shape after you cut them to eat? Some granola bars fall apart easily, so Im just curious. Btw I found this on Pinterest and wasnt even looking for them. Glad I finally found a good recipe!

  4. Maya on February 14, 2016 at 11:54 am

    I loved this recipe! I have been wanting a good granola bar recipe for a long time now, and this was perfect! My entire family loved them. Thank you so much!

  5. Judy on January 24, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I love these. I add peanuts, coconut and chocolate chips. I halve the recipe and bake them in a muffin tin for a dozen perfectly sized snacks.

  6. Megan on January 19, 2016 at 9:31 am

    These are AMAZING!!!

  7. Cindy on November 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I don’t see a print button…

  8. Brandi on November 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    This is by far the best homemade granola bar recipe that I have made, however, 2 sticks of butter is way too much saturated fat (even per serving). Have you tried a lighter version yet?

  9. Jess on September 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I have no idea what went wrong, they are the perfect consistency and chewy, but they are flavorless! I added my favorites, dried mango, coconut, and cranberries. All have a natural sweetness and the bars literally have no taste. Gonna try it again.

  10. Laura on August 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I just had a quick question. How many bars do you get out of one batch? I calculated the calories for this recipe and was shocked so I am thinking your bars are much smaller than I estimated. Also have you ever replaced some of the butter with coconut oil?

    • Stef grana on February 3, 2016 at 8:26 am

      I used coconut oil and they turned out amazing! Making them again this afternoon 🙂

  11. Mandy on July 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I’m so glad I’ve found a homemade granola bar recipe that tastes so good! I made these last night with raisins (and added a little bit of cinnamon), and I can’t wait to try them with other mix ins. Thank you for helping me eat healthier :).

  12. Jessica on May 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    On this, my 100th time making these, I have to say thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I make these once a week so both my boys can bring them to school for a snack, and my pre-verbal 8 year-year-old says “snack bar, please” with impressive clarity. These are the best!!

  13. madelyne on March 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    How long do these keep?

  14. summer on February 13, 2015 at 8:21 am

    So, do these babies hold together? The last recipe I tried was delicious, but quickly crumbled to just granola as soon as they were touched!!

  15. Sara Dougherty on February 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Could you use peanut butter for the butter or add peanut butter. I really want some protein in the bars. Thank you!

    • Sara Dougherty on February 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I saw you could do half, I was just wondering if a full substitution was too much. Thanks again!

  16. Sandy on December 21, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks so much!

  17. Sandy on July 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I’m not a fan of honey. What could I use as a substitute?

    • Kristen on December 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Sugar, turbinado, sucanat, rapadura, maple syrup…

  18. Hilary on April 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I’ve made these at least a dozen times and they are great! I always make 2-3 batches at a time, cut, wrap and freeze them. I stick them in my kids’ lunch boxes and they are thawed by snack time. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hilary on April 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      P.S. if you have a lot of dry add ins, try putting in a little more butter and/or honey so they don’t get dried out and fall apart. I don’t have this problen because I add in raisins so they add in moisture, but if you only put in chocolate and nuts, they might be too dry. Just a thought 🙂

  19. Sylvia on March 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I made these last night but substituted 1 cup coconut oil for the butter, added a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of cinnamon. They are delicious! My add ins were chocolate chips and walnuts.

  20. Kristina on January 25, 2014 at 5:54 am

    The key to homemade granola bars not crumbling apart, from my experience, is to let them cool for 10 minutes and then press them. I use a thick beer glass and roll/press until nothing gives. Then let them cool and cut them.

  21. Yulanda Hamissi on December 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I just made these with raisins, pomegranates, cherries, and sunflower seeds they are really good but for some reason they are falling apart. How can I fix this for next time?

  22. bellavistafarm on October 15, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for sharing your recipe on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  23. Becky Elmuccio (@craftygrdenmama) on October 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Love that I can make these nut free for our house! Thanks for sharing this on Tuesday Greens!

  24. Sara Howe on October 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I’m trying to cook more things at home rather than buy them, these sound great!!! I’d love if you come link up over at Feed Me Friday!

  25. JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose on October 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

    This recipe sound very good and nutritious. I try to cook healthy when I can, but I admit I get lazy and love “quick” stuff. Pinning ;-D

  26. Brittany on October 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I just made these and really enjoyed them! I made them with mixed nuts and raisins. I made these exactly as stated, but they don’t seem to be sticking together too well. When I cut through them to make the bars, the add ons seem to have fallen out. Is there something I can do differently next time to get everything to stick better? Thanks!

  27. Elaina on August 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Doin’ this today, and am gonna try half butter and half coconut oil. Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. domesticitychic on August 8, 2013 at 7:25 am

    I’m definitely going to try these, but how come there is no granola in your granola bars? 😉

    • Elaina on August 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      um, the combination of these ingredients IS granola….

  29. anyonita green on July 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    My last attempt at Copycat Chewy Bars was horrendous! lol. I’ve been wanting to make my own granola bars for a while now & I’m really excited to try this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing this at the Tasty Tuesdays link party! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve just featured this via G+ and I’m now following you on Fb, Pinterst & Twitter!

  30. Jennifer on March 20, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Do you think this would work with coconut oil instead of butter?

  31. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures on March 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  32. db dennis waltrip on February 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    this recipe sounds great. are these crunchy or chewy? if crunchy, can you advise on how to make them chewy? thanks! 🙂

    • Brown Thumb Mama on February 28, 2013 at 3:20 am

      These are chewy, unless you overcook…and then they’re crumbly. (Ask me how I know.)

  33. Anonymous on February 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I’m a grandma & when I know the kids are coming I’m stuck for some types of healthy treats besides fruits & store bought items, this is really easy & I’ll give it a try, having them help make them will be fun!

  34. Kathie on February 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Show and Tell Saturday is LIVE at Sassy Little Lady! I’d love to have you come join the party!

    http://www.sassylittlelady.com/blog/show-and-tell-saturday/show-and-tell-saturday-3

    Kathie

  35. Joyce on February 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    We have been buying the box you have pictured, and I have been looking for a recipe, thanks for sharing.

    Stopped by from the Living Green Tuesday Link Up.

  36. Diane on February 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Great how you showed the difference between the commercial granola bars and your own… it is really disturbing. Thanks for sharing this with us on foodie friday.

  37. AndiWinslow on February 2, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Nice post, they look so easy to make, and so good to eat. andi

  38. Alison Bayne on January 13, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Yes, this would be so useful for our kids’ school lunchboxes -gotta try it and will check out the ebook. Thanks for the tip!

  39. Motivated Mommy of two on June 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I like how you started your post. stopping by from Market yourself link party

  40. MEASURE OF FAITH on June 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing his recipe! I have been looking for one that is natural without corn syrup and this looks great! Can’t wait to try!

  41. Just Sherry on June 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Just curious do you think other types of flour (not wheat) would work? I have Celiac Disease and cannot use wheat flour. I normally use rice flour, almond flour, or fava bean flour.

    • Mandy on September 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      I used Jules Gluten Free Flour blend in mind and it worked great. I actually thought they tasted like oatmeal cookie bars myself- but that’s not s bad thing for me! I also used Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips as an add in.

      • Monica on January 9, 2016 at 10:48 am

        I used almond flour and they came out great!

  42. Brown Thumb Mama on May 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Glad you like them! We’ve added in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips with the last few batches (and reduced the honey to 3/4 cup). So yummy and they satisfy my chocolate craving.

    Leslie, I haven’t tried to freeze them but I’m sure if wrapped tightly they’d be fine. They don’t last long enough to freeze!

    • Joan on October 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      HI! Great recipe. My only problem is that they aren’t really staying together that well. Do you have a suggestion or does reducing the honey help?

    • Trisha on March 10, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Can you use quick oats?

  43. Leslie A on May 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Have you ever tried to free these? I am not sure we would go through a whole batch before they would go stale. But perhaps we could freeze them individually and get them out as we need them?

  44. Christy on May 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks so much for the recipe! We made these this morning and the whole family loved them!

  45. Katy on March 29, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Love it! Thank you, I’ve been wanting a good granola recipe and this looks perfect. I will be trying this very soon 🙂

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Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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