8 easy homemade granola bar recipes that come together in a snap. These easy no bake healthy snacks are made with oats, honey, nut butter, and EIGHT different flavor mix-in’s so that you can make your dream granola bar every time.
Have you ever made homemade granola bars? I did for the first time a few years ago to take with us on a trip to Yellowstone. They were delicious bits of heaven and I’ve been making that same recipe often for years.
Homemade granola bars are awesome! They taste delicious, they travel well, they are just plain easy to make, and they are inexpensive. Need a snack for preschool, after t-ball, or to take in the car to a game? Granola bars will be there, no matter the need!
What you’ll love the most is that this post includes a basic granola bar recipe that you can turn into 8 different types of granola bars, all of which are amazing!
Tips and Tricks for making this homemade granola bar recipe:
- You can use 1/3 cup honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar in this recipe if you like a stronger honey flavor.
- I’m 90% sure you could replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar though I haven’t tried it yet.
- These store super well in the fridge or freezer.
- If you are going to add chocolate, you’ll want to wait until the hot honey and oat mixture cools a little bit (about 15 minutes) or all the chocolate chips will melt (still tastes great, but doesn’t look as nice).
- Toasting the nuts and oats is optional but it makes the granola bars taste like cookies. I highly recommend it.
- I tried a batch with coconut oil in place of the butter and it turned out great though they seemed to not hold together as well.
How do you get granola bars to stick together?
Here are my top tips for getting granola bars to not fall apart (the worst!):
- Don’t over measure your oats, nuts, and add-in’s. If you measure the dry ingredients too generously the granola bars won’t stick together because they won’t be enough liquid ingredients to “glue” them together. Don’t throw off the dry to wet ratio with heavy-handed measuring.
- Let the honey, butter, brown sugar mixture boil for one minute. That helps the sugar to caramelize just a little and it makes everything stick together better.
- Press the bars into the pan very firmly. I normally will grease the bottom of a glass cup or measuring up and use it to stamp down the mixture in the pan.
More healthy snack recipes:
- 8 No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls (granola bar balls!)
- 10 Healthy Snacks You Can Prep in Advance
- 8 Simple Smoothie Recipes to Liven Up Your Day
- Healthy Homemade Snack Bars Recipe (homemade Lara bar)
The base recipe for 8 easy homemade granola bar recipes that come together in a snap. Variations include peanut butter chocolate, M&M, Sweet and Salty, and more!
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup nuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cups total extra mix-ins (about 1/4 cup of 3 different ingredients such as dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, etc. please see the post following the recipe for 8 options)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Place the oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.
- While the oats are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Let the mixture bubble, while stirring, for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
- Place the nuts and oats in a large bowl.
- Stir in the vanilla and salt to the butter mixture. Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine. Add any extra ingredients (except for chocolate) and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry.
- If you are adding chocolate, wait about 15 minutes for the mixture to cool a bit before adding the chocolate and then stirring to combine.
- Place all of the oat mixture in the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula or the bottom of a greased measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan. Press it in very firmly, this is what makes the bars stick together.
- Chill the granola bars for at least 2 hours. Lift the bars from the pan using the edges of the foil or parchment and place them on a cutting board. Cut into desired shape/sizes and serve.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. If you are stacking the granola bars place a piece of parchment between the layers to help prevent sticking.
- The nutrition info was calculated with using almonds for the 3/4 of a cup of “mix-ins”.
- If you don’t want to use nuts, feel free to skip them or replace them with something like shredded coconut.
- You can skip the step where you toast the oats and the nuts but it really makes them next level delicious. I highly recommend it. In a hurry though you are ok to skip it!
- Don’t cook it higher than at medium heat, the honey will scorch if you cook it at a higher temperature.
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Snack
Keywords: homemade granola bars, healthy granola bars, healthy snacks, granola bars, granola bars recipe, granola bar recipe, homemade granola bars, how to make granola bars
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Here are my 8 variations. You’ll follow the directions in the “master mix” recipe but I have specified what nuts and add-ins to include. The possibilities are endless but here are some of my favorites!
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Blueberry = master mix + almonds + 1/2 cup dried blueberries + 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Notes: I’m obsessed with dried blueberries right now! You can get really tasty ones at Trader Joe’s (they were soft and squishy and did come with added sugar), and I also bought a bag of unsweetened ones from Bob’s Red Mill online and had them mailed to my house. These were very hard but still delicious. In an effort to soften them up a bit I tossed them in the butter mixture on the stove and let them sit in the hot liquid for about 10 minutes which worked fine. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy shredded unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.
Dark Chocolate Cherry = master mix + pecans + 1/2 cup dried cherries + 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Notes: The toasted pecans in the granola bars were my favorite. If you are going to use pecans don’t skip the toasting step because it makes them amazing! I have bought dried tart cherries, dried Bing cherries, and dried “sweet” cherries recently. They are all delicious (again I got some at Trader Joe’s and the tart cherries online from Bob’s Red Mill). I liked the tang of the tart cherries the best but any will work really.
Tropical = master mix + cashews + 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (pineapple, mango, and mandrine oranges) + 1/4 cup coconut
I got all of the dried fruit at Trader Joe’s and it was all so delicious. I’m sad my dried pineapple is all gone. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.
White Chocolate Cranberry = master mix + almonds + 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 1/4 cup sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
These were classic, traditional, and good. Plus, the red from the cranberries are really pretty.
Peanut Butter Chocolate = master mix + 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt and stir well to combine) + 1/2 cup M&M’s + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Notes: Did you even have those “Kudos” bars when you were a kid that were practically an oat candy bar? These taste just like them. I used both natural and traditional peanut butter with success. The addition of a few peanuts would be delicious though I didn’t try it.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel = master mix + 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt and stir well to combine) + 1/3 cup broken pretzel pieces + 1/4 cup peanut butter chips + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Notes: these fell apart a little more for me (from adding the pretzels I assume, they must soak up some of the moisture faster than the oats do), you can add an additional 2 tablespoons of butter to the honey mixture to add a little more moisture.
Spiced Nuts = master mix + 1/2 cup almonds + 1/2 cup pecans + 1/2 cup cashews + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add this when you add the vanilla and salt)
Notes: The additional of cinnamon and all those perfectly toasted nuts was awesome.
Sunflower Pecan = master mix + almonds + 1/4 cup sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup candy coated sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Notes: The candy coated sunflower seeds are really pretty and I liked using them, but they actually don’t taste all the great (they don’t have any chocolate). After I made and ate these I wanted to go back and add either 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the butter mixture OR some chocolate chips (maybe white chocolate chips?). They needed a little more going on. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.
This recipe is adapted from and inspired by What’s Gaby Cooking.
How do you make granola bars from scratch?
You won’t believe how easy it is!
- Toast the nuts and oats (optional but highly recommended!)
- Boil brown sugar, butter, and honey together for 1 minute.
- Add the oats, nuts, mix-in’s and honey mixture to a bowl and stir.
- Press the mixture into a pan really well.
- Refrigerate to set.
- Remove from the pan, cut, and enjoy!
Is a granola bar a healthy snack?
I think they are a great well rounded snack with lots of fiber, whole grains, and bursting with flavor. Plus making things at home means that the list of ingredients is short and that’s always a good thing!
What’s the healthiest granola bar to buy?
I think that buying an organic granola bar is the healthiest. We really likes Annie’s granola bars in this house.
What granola bars are good for weight loss?
I think this recipe is it! Here’s the kickers, it’s eating in moderation but not limiting yourself or removing huge categories of food from your diet. Feeling the need to lose some weight? I highly recommend reading Intuitive Eating. It changed my life.
Which granola bar recipe will you be making first?
Here’s one last combo because it’s my current obsession – the master mix with pecans (toasted, you have to toast the pecans!) with dried blueberries and a little bit of cinnamon thrown in. You guys, it tastes like a berry crisp and I’m not complaining. It’s so good!
You now have so many granola bar recipes to start with and loads of information to find success! I can’t wait to hear which variation you make first.