Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
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These chewy, crispy no-bake chocolate chip granola bars are easy to make — and they put all those store-bought bars to shame.
Chocolate chip granola bars are a staple in my pantry, but between my husband, my kids, and my kids’ hungry friends, I can’t seem to keep enough of them in the house. So I figured it was time to try and make them from scratch, and maybe even sneak in some health food. After many trials, I finally cracked the code and came up with a version that puts all those store-bought bars to shame. What’s more, they’re no-bake and take only ten minutes to make.
What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Be sure to use quick-cooking oats, which are rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped. Regular old-fashioned oats are too coarse and chewy for this recipe and cause the bars to fall apart. If you don’t have any quick-cooking oats in your pantry, you can make your own by pulsing regular oatmeal in the food processor a few times.
The nice thing about these bars is that they’re versatile. If you don’t like chocolate chips, you can use raisins or cranberries. If you’re not a fan of almonds, you can throw in some unsalted sunflower seeds instead. Aside from the oats and Rice Krispies (those are a must), as long as you keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same, you can substitute just about anything you like.
How To Make Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Begin by combining the butter, brown sugar and honey in a large pan.
Bring it to a boil, then let it bubble over low heat for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
Off the heat, stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
Then add the oats, crispy rice cereal, almonds, and flax meal (or wheat germ).
Fold the mixture with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.
Transfer the granola bar mixture to a 9 x 13-inch pan lined with aluminum foil.
Press the mixture lightly with a rubber spatula to flatten, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over top. Use the spatula to press the chips firmly into place and compact the mixture into the pan as much as possible. (The reason you don’t mix the chips in is that they’ll melt.)
Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1-1/2 -2 hours, until the bars are cool. Then use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into rectangles.
Keep the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator; if you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise, they’ll crumble and stick. Enjoy!
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Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
These chewy, crispy no-bake chocolate chip granola bars are easy to make — and they put all those store-bought bars to shame.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heaping ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
- 1¾ cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup flax meal or wheat germ
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (or to taste)
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds and flax meal (or wheat germ) to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with a rubber spatula to even out. Sprinkle the miniature chocolate chips over top, adding more or less to suit your taste, and press down firmly with the spatula so the chips stick.The mixture should be tightly compacted in the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1½ - 2 hours to cool.
- Use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into rectangles. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise they'll stick together and fall apart.
- Note: If you are substituting dried fruit for the chocolate chips, mix it in along with the other ingredients as opposed to sprinkling over top.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The granola bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, move them to the refrigerator and store there.
- Serving size: 1 bar
- Calories: 187
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Sugar: 12g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 4g
- Sodium: 21mg
- Cholesterol: 11mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
This recipe is so easy to make. Made them for the office and they loved them. Now that I made the original, I will add more to it, like coconut flakes and dried fruit. The 9×13 makes them pretty thin bars. I think next time I’ll double the recipe. Thanks so much for another tasty recipe!
Is there anything I could use instead of oats in this recipe?
The texture will be a bit different, but you can replace the oats with more rice cereal.
I didn’t have rice crispies so I replaced them with corn flakes, also replaced flax meal with chia, and sliced almonds with sliced pistachios. I put them in the freezer for 30 mins to speed the process and they did not fall apart on me whatsoever. Definitely will make these over and over again.
Easy and tasty! I used sunflower seeds instead of almonds which worked well. I do think I need to press harder into the pan next time as some bits were falling off as we ate them, especially the chocolate chips. I also froze some (wrapped as directed) and am eager to see how they hold up.
My kids rated these infinity out of ten. And my husband, the man who once left a 3 Michelin star restaurant proclaiming he’s “had better” said these were “delicious” and is now begging me to make them again.
Do I have to use the almonds, flax meal or wheat germ?
Hi Brooke, You can replace those with an equal amount of either the oats or cereal. Hope you enjoy!
How long do these last in the fridge ?
I’d guesstimate they’d last nicely for about a week in the fridge.
Wow! These are amazing and I will be making them instead of buying. My daughter and I would like to reduce the amount of honey taste. Just a tiny bit … any suggestions?
Glad you like them! You could replace 2 tablespoons of the honey with brown sugar or peanut butter. Hope that helps!
I wondered if it is possible to make these without the almonds as my son is allergic?
Many thanks, 😊
Definitely. Just replace the 1/2 cup of almonds with 1/2 cup of one of the other dry ingredients.
A-MAZE-ING!!! These are incredible. Thank you for the recipe
Too sweet, too crumbly. Followed this recipe exactly and even left them in the fridge overnight but they kept falling apart. Seems like some kind of binding agent is missing in this recipe. The consistency was nice otherwise but overall too sweet for our tastes – they are sweeter than Quaker bars!
The most amazing granola bars I’ve ever made!!!!
Hello! I made a few adjustments to this recipe from some of the comments, and I substituted a 1/2 cup of the oats for 1/2 cup of whey protein powder as well as just using using 1/4 cup of honey and 2 tbsps of maple syrup as another commenter suggested. I patted and pressed them very firmly, left them in the fridge over 3 hours and cut them with a sharp knife; however, I found a few of them were breaking in half, or losing chunky pieces here and there while doing so. I know you have not done this, but should I add more honey, or some peanut butter next time? The mixture felt pretty dry when I mixed it almost like it was thirsty. It might be the whey powder sucking in the moisture and not allowing it to set properly. They still taste good though. What are your thoughts? I would like to try again next time, but I would love your, or anyone else’s, opinion on any adjustments you think I should make? Thank you!!
Hi Amy, Reading what you wrote, I suspect you’re right — that the protein powder may have absorbed some of the liquid that the honey and maple syrup contributed. I think that adding some peanut butter may be a good solution as it won’t easily get absorbed and will serve as some additional “glue” for the other ingredients. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!
Will do! Think 1/4 or 1/2 cup of peanut butter would suffice for the extra “glue”? I will be using Jiff’s Creamy Peanut Butter. If that works, I bet Almond butter would be even more delicious!
Hi Amy, let’s try somewhere in the middle. Why don’t you try it with 1/3 cup. Please LMK how they turn out!
Hello! I love the Quaker, Annie and kodiak chewy chocolate chip granola bars. I have some whey protein powder, and I would love to make these have some higher protein to balance the fat. How much would you recommend I use? Thanks!
Hi Amy, I’d recommend anywhere between 1/2 cup to 1 cup (just reduce another dry ingredient in the recipe by that amount). I’d love to know how they turn out with the protein powder!
Thanks Jenn! They turned out very delicious. They are subtly sweet with a wonderful oat, nut and chocolate burst in your mouth. I calculated nutritionally on myfitnesspal that each bar had 12 grams of protein! Not bad for a light protein bar. I will let you know how the second round turns out once my husband and I finish these.
Licking the spoon right now. Didn’t have quick oats so subbed with 5 minute quick cook Irish oatmeal, used all maple syrup and subbed unsweetened coconut for the flax/wheat germ. I find it easier to use a piece of plastic wrap to tamp down the mix in the pan so I can press it into the corners evenly and get the chocolate chips into the mixture. Hardest part is waiting til it chills.
I am updating my review as I’ve been making this every week and I love it.
I found using all maple syrup didn’t hold it together well but the perfect combo is 1/4 cup of honey and 2Tbsp of maple syrup this lightens the honey flavour.
To make them nut free for the school lunch box I mix craisins, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut for a total of 3/4 of a cup.
I love extra chocolate so I mix milk and white chocolate chips to make a half cup to sprinkle on top. Perfect 👌. Will never buy store bought granola bars again.
Thank you 😊
My first time making home-made granola bars! Made them for my 10yr old picky eater who usually takes the packaged store bought ones as a snack. He has now delared he never wants me to BUY granola bars again….called them “EPIC!” The best part is I had these babies whipped up in less than 10 mins! A super recipe for busy moms!
These are amazing! I used to always buy the Cascadian Farms version of these, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I needed to try it. Easy, quick, delicious.
Jen, one question – the honey I have on hand is darker, and the flavor is really intense! I’ve gotten used to it, but I’m not really a huge honey fan. Any advice on how to substitute?
So glad you like them! You could replace the honey with maple syrup. Hope that helps!
This is the first recipe I ever made from this blog and ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I swap out the chocolate chips for gluten free, dairy free chocolate chips (white or regular or dark) and I use almond flour instead of sliced almonds and my family just loves it. The almond flour can be swapped with walnut flour or any nut flour. For a nut-free option, I omit it altogether. I use ground flaxseed or ground chia seed instead of flax meal or wheat germ. These are fantastic and a family favorite snack.
Made these for my son several times. Very easy and tasty! Had everything on hand except the flax meal. I like that I don’t have to turn the oven on! Instead of almonds, I add pepitas to make them nut-free.
I made these the other night. I used old fashioned oats, that’s all I had on hand. I also added some dried cranberries and raisins. Turned out yummy. They did crumble easily, not too sure if I spread it too thin in pan. Hardest part was waiting for it to set in the fridge. Will definitely be making again.
My son gave these 12 out of 10 !
The whole family loves them.
Would it work if I substituted maple syrup for the honey?
So glad your family likes them! Yes, you can use maple syrup in place of the honey.
I like to make things a couple of times before I review them. These bars have turned out amazing both times and they freeze beautifully. Even my oat hating daughter likes them! My sons love them. These are a firm favorite in our house.
Just had to let you know how much we are enjoying these! Have made them twice now and everyone in my family says, “Mmmmmm” every time they bite into one and adds, “These are the best granola bars in the world!” And, this is my husband and 3 young adults, lol! I agree. You always have the best recipes! PS If you dampen your hands with water and press down on the bars, it packs easier than using a spatula and it won’t stick to your hands. This works with Rice Krispie treats as well. 😊👍
These granola bars are phenomenal! I generally leave the nuts out so I can send them to school but add in extras like unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut, cranberries or currants or goji berries, and chia seeds. My boys won’t eat store bought granola bars anymore! Thank you so much for the recipe Jenn – your recipes are now my go-to for almost everything and I did order your cookbook as well and I haven’t tried a recipe in it (or from your site) my family hasn’t loved.
Love these! I’ve tried many many granola bar recipes, this one is the best: chewy, holds its shape, school-friendly (I left out the almonds) & delicious! Thank you!
Love these granola bars! One question: sometimes when I make these, they turn out chewy, and other times they are much harder and more brittle. I’m sure it’s a result of how long I cooked the sugar-honey-butter mixture. I have a candy thermometer: what temperature/stage should I aim for to keep it soft and chewy? 240F/soft ball stage?
Hi Kelly, glad you like them! Yes, I would agree that the texture is likely a result of how long you’ve cooked the sugar/honey/butter mixture. Unfortunately, I’ve never taken the temperature so I don’t have an answer for you. Next time I make these I will take the temperature and update the recipe. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
Wow, these are really delicious! Followed your recipe exactly. On half the bars, I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon and sugar instead of chocolate, and both sides were delish!
These are amazing! However, they’re a tad to sweet for me. What can I reduce without compromising their structure? Also I used hemp seeds instead of almonds so my toddler could chew them better and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much!
Glad you liked them! To decrease the sweetness, you could reduce some of the honey and/or brown sugar and replace with peanut or almond butter. Hope that helps!
Okay, I will give that a try on my next batch and I will let you know how it goes! Thank you so much for getting back to me!
These were scrumptious. My teen son invented a great variation. Line the pan with parchment and carefully spread an even, thin layer of creamy peanut butter over that. Put in the freezer while making the granola mixture. (The spreading is a bit tricky, but worth it.) Take out, smush the granola mix firmly on top and chill in the fridge for a couple hours to equalize the temperatures of the two layers. Turn out onto a large cutting board, peel away parchment, and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator to keep the peanut butter a bit firm.
Another excellent recipe! You are awesome ❤️ I did use less honey and could even have used less. I actually only had old fashioned oats and they worked great! Also didn’t have Rice Krispies so I used Trader Joe’s Ohs and they were super. Thank you for always giving us the very best recipes!!!
So glad you enjoyed them! 💓
Best home made granola bars ever!! They taste like cookie dough, and are perfectly chewy!!
I love your website and recipes, thank you for always posting such great ones!
I’ve made these granola bars a few times and they are awesome, but I’d like to try to make them a bit healthier, especially since we are all eating more and moving less… Is there any way to remove the butter (I’ve been using coconut oil, which works great) and the sugar? I see that you have another granola bar recipe that uses dates and nut butter which I would love, but it still has a fair amount of sugar and butter. Can I replace the butter and sugar with dates and nut butter, and maybe banana and leave out the butter/sugar? If so, what would be the right proportions?
Thanks in advance for your advice!!
Hi Ruth, So glad you enjoy the recipes! I know it would be really nice to make these healthier but I don’t think they’d hold together without the fat and sugar. Rather than adjusting this recipe, I think your best bet is to use the other granola bar recipe you mentioned — you can replace the coconut with more oats if you like, and sub out the almonds and blueberries for chocolate chips. I think you could get away with reducing the sweetener a bit on that one (maybe by 1/4 cup?) but any more than that, I worry it would impact the bars. Hope that helps!
Made these as written, but subbed sunflower seeds for the nuts due to a nut allergy. They are delicious!!
Came across this recipe when searching for a kid friendly granola bar and now I make these all the time because my picky 11 year old loves these so much! And I’m happy I can get her to eat some oats this way since she won’t eat oatmeal…thank you for the recipe!
Can I use coconut oil in place of butter? My son is allergic to dairy. If so, how much?
Yes, Valerie, I think coconut oil would work here. And, like the butter, you’d need 6 Tbsp. Enjoy!
I’m curious to know how they turned out with coconut oil? 🙂
I made some with coconut oil it was very yummy. However it crumbles in room temp. Hot FL problems 😆
Love this recipe. Followed all directions exactly and they turned out great. Most importantly, kids loved them.
Big hit with kids and adults. Making again tomorrow. Thanks, Jen!
Hi Jenn, I just made these to try a healthy replacement for the store bought ones my kids are consuming way too much of. They were a HUGE hit! I did use unsweetened coconut instead of the slivered almonds and threw in chia seeds. I also chopped regular chocolate chips since our grocery store doesn’t carry mini chips. They turned out great though and my kids love them, so I will not be buying the chemically loaded ones now. Thanks!
I have tried a few of your recipes and my family loves them. I have some in regular rotation. 💕💕 I just need a PopTart copycat from you now. 😜
The proportions for this recipe are way off. Too much honey and it tastes awful.
These bars are perfect! I was wanting something similar to the Quaker chewy bars and these are so much better and without all the extra preservatives. I was wanting to try some oatmeal raisin bars. Any thoughts on substitutions besides the raisins? Maybe cinnamon?
Glad you enjoyed these! To modify them for oatmeal raisin bars, what you suggested (the raisins and the cinnamon) are exactly what I’d suggest! I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try them! 🙂
Have been making these for weeks now…each time works superbly.
The keys are; pressing the mix firmly to avoid winding up with granola…and chilling completly before cutting….thank you “once upon a chef”…I will never go back to store bought bars.
Love this recipe! I added sesame seeds and lowered the chocolate amount. I did find it a bit too sweet, is there a way I could make it less sweet without sacrificing the chewiness?
Hi Julia, You could reduce some of the honey and/or brown sugar replace with peanut or almond butter. Hope that helps!
I’m excited to try these but with nut allergies in our house, I cannot use nuts. I’m afraid my boys won’t go for pumpkin seeds either…any other substitutes you would recommend? And if I add chia seeds, how much would I add?
Hi Susan, you can just use more of another dry ingredient from the recipe like the rice krispies, flax meal, or oats. Chia seeds would work too. You just need to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same. Hope everyone enjoys!