Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Tested & Perfected Recipes

These chewy, crispy no-bake chocolate chip granola bars are easy to make — and they put all those store-bought bars to shame.

granola bars

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.

Servings: 18 bars
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
  • 1-3/4 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup flax meal or wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (or to taste)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds and flax meal (or wheat germ) to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  4. 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 1-1/2 - 2 hours to cool.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • 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?

    • — Morgan on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like them! You could replace the honey with maple syrup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Charlene L-S on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Megan on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Sara on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My son gave these 12 out of 10 !
    The whole family loves them.
    Would it work if I substituted maple syrup for the honey?

    • — Sheenagh on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad your family likes them! Yes, you can use maple syrup in place of the honey.

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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. 😊👍

    • — Maria Dahn on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Shannon on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Michelle on January 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Kelly on November 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Sarah O on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — EllieMay on August 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2020
      • Reply
      • 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!

        • — EllieMay on August 8, 2020
        • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Cynthia on July 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!!!

    • — Penny on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed them! 💓

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2020
      • Reply
      • Best home made granola bars ever!! They taste like cookie dough, and are perfectly chewy!!

        • — Katelynn on May 12, 2020
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    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!!

    • — Ruth on April 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made these as written, but subbed sunflower seeds for the nuts due to a nut allergy. They are delicious!!

    • — Claire on February 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Katharine on September 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • Can I use coconut oil in place of butter? My son is allergic to dairy. If so, how much?

    • — Valerie Kimura on May 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yes, Valerie, I think coconut oil would work here. And, like the butter, you’d need 6 Tbsp. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2019
      • Reply
    • I’m curious to know how they turned out with coconut oil? 🙂

      • — Shari on September 10, 2019
      • Reply
      • I made some with coconut oil it was very yummy. However it crumbles in room temp. Hot FL problems 😆

        • — Sunny on September 22, 2019
        • Reply
  • Love this recipe. Followed all directions exactly and they turned out great. Most importantly, kids loved them.
    ss

    • — Susan S on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Big hit with kids and adults. Making again tomorrow. Thanks, Jen!

      • — Judi on September 30, 2019
      • Reply
      • 🙂

        • — Jenn on October 1, 2019
        • Reply
  • 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. 😜

    • — Nicolette on April 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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?
    Thanks Jenn!

    • 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!

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