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Homemade Granola Bars

5 from 2 votes
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posted: 01/13/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

These Homemade Granola Bars can be made in about 15 minutes and they are a delicious snack that is perfect for when you are on the go!

overhead picture of several homemade granola bars

If your family is just as busy as ours, you know that having delicious snacks that your kids can grab as they run out the door to soccer practice is important. I love having the ability to make those snacks from scratch so I know exactly what is in them.

These easy to make granola bars totally fit the bill. They come together with simple ingredients that are easy to keep in your pantry anytime the craving for chewy granola bars strikes.

How to Make Homemade Granola Bars

  1. Prepare the pan. Line a small baking dish with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  3. Make the sauce. In a small sauce pan combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool. Give your sauce mixture about five minutes to cool down a bit so it doesn’t immediately melt the chocolate chips.
  5. Combine the ingredients. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
  6. Let the granola bars set. After about four hours, you can remove them from the pan, cut it into fourths and then cut each fourth into three pieces to make 12 bars.
overhead of a bowl of quick cooking oats, dried cranberries, cherrie-os and mini chocolate chips

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the peanut butter for almond butter or sun butter.
  • Leave out the dried cranberries and put in raisins instead.
  • Take out half of the chocolate chips and put in finely chopped peanuts.
  • Exchange the cereal for more oats.

Quick Cooking Oats for Granola Bars

Quick cooking oats are just old fashioned oats that have been finely chopped. Their smaller size is what makes them cook quickly.

We love using them in this recipe because their small size is part of what makes the bars so chewy. If you only have Old Fashioned Oats you could run them through your blender. You could also just use them as is and know that the granola bars will be slightly less chewy.

Please see my photos below to see how you can take Old Fashioned Oats and break them down for this recipe.

overhead of old fashioned oats in a food processor
overhead of a quick cooking oats in a food processor

Storing Granola Bars

These bars should be stored in an air tight container and will keep for up to one week.

You can also freeze these homemade granola bars. Place them on a parchment paper lined plate and freeze for 2 hours. Transfer to an airtight container, stacking if necessary, and freeze for up to three months. You can put the frozen bars in backpacks in the morning and they will be thawed by snack time.

close up picture of a granola bar from the side

FAQ

Can this be made without the brown sugar or with a sugar substitute?

Unfortunately, no. I do not recommend making this without the brown sugar. The boiled brown sugar is what helps hold the bars together.
This recipe has not been tested with a sugar substitute, but it has been my experience that sugar substitutes don’t hold recipes together the same way when boiled.

Can this be made without peanut butter?

If you have a peanut butter allergy in your house, you could exchange the peanut butter for almond butter or sun butter.

Are these homemade granola bars gluten free?

This recipe is naturally gluten free, but please double check the oats you use to ensure that they weren’t made in a facility that also processes ingredients containing gluten.

side view of three granola bars stacked

 

Other Great Healthy Snacks

overhead picture of several homemade granola bars
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Serves: 12 granola bars
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
These Homemade Granola Bars can be made in about 15 minutes and they are a delicious snack that is perfect for when you are on the go!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats not old fashioned
  • 1/2 cup O shaped cereal
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (pull some out to keep for topping the bars)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (pull some out to keep for topping the bars)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Place foil in an 8 by 8 baking dish. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the quick cooking oats, cereal, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries.
  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the honey, butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for one minute (while stirring). Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes.
  • Pour the liquid over the mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine. Pour it into the square baking dish and push down to fill it evenly. Sprinkle with the set aside chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
  • Cover and allow to cool for four hours or overnight.
  • Remove from the pan and cut into equal pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Serving: 1bar Calories: 224kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 10g (15%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 10mg (3%) Sodium: 80mg (3%) Potassium: 12mg Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 21g (23%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
overhead picture of several homemade granola bars

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Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Crystal says

    Can I sub more oats for the cereal? Thanks! :)

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! That will work fine!

  2. Elizabeth says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe, but I was wondering. Could I omit the brown sugar and just use a little more honey? I’m trying to cut back on sugar.

    • Dorinda says

      I was wondering the same thing as Elizabeth – I cut about half the sugar called for in all recipes I use. Maybe try using half the brown sugar and half the honey?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Elizabeth! Since this was first posted, I’ve tweaked the recipe a little and have cut the brown sugar in half. They still turn out great.

  3. Melissa says

    Will these hold up if I use vegan butter?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Vegan butter would be great in these

  4. Mike says

    Hi Lisa, my wife is allergic to peanut butter, do you think sun butter would work? Thanks mike

    • Lisa Longley says

      I think that would be a great substitute in this! Love Sun Butter!

  5. Taylor says

    Do you think almond butter would work fine? I don’t like peanut butter😂

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes, I think that will be fine!

  6. Ai Lin says

    Hi, was wondering if I could sub with rolled oats and bake these instead of letting it set in the fridge?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried that if you do let me know how it goes!

  7. Gwen says

    5 stars
    I used puffed quinoa instead of O’s and used white chips that I melted into liquid! Removed 1/4 cup of oatmeal and added pumpkin & chia seeds and coconut! Wanted to make bit more healthy! I turned out amazing this will be my go to 😊

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