Homemade Granola Bars

By Maria Lichty

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Quick Summary

These Homemade Granola Bars are easy to make and SO much better than store bought! They are satisfying, slightly sweet, and a great grab and go snack!

homemade Granola Bars with chocolate chips.

I try to always have homemade granola bars in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast or snack. These granola bars are easy to make and made with basic pantry ingredients. They are satisfying, sweet, and taste so much better than store bought granola bars.

These are our favorite granola bars because we LOVE peanut butter and chocolate together. You can’t go wrong with that combo! They are no-bake granola bars so they don’t take long to make and even the kids can help! YAY!

The bars are a great snack for hikes, road trips, lunchboxes, picnics, or every day snacking at home.

Healthy Snack

I love making granola bars at home because I know exactly what ingredients I’m including! No mysterious or hard-to-pronounce things in these bars. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars have a flavor that feels indulgent and sweet, but they are full of nutrition thanks to the peanut butter, flaxseed, oats, and chia seeds! And don’t worry, the kids won’t even know it because they taste so good! A win-win!

Homemade Granola Bars with oats and chocolate chips.

Ingredients

The ingredients are simple! I keep these ingredients in my pantry so I’m ready to make them anytime!

  • Coconut oil
  • Peanut butter– I use organic creamy peanut butter, just peanuts and salt.
  • Honey
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Quick oats– I recommend quick oats for this recipe because they are smaller and help the bars hold together.
  • Crispy rice cereal 
  • Coconut flakes– you can use unsweetened or sweetened coconut.
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Chia seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Mini chocolate chips– you can use dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate.
Granola bar mixture in bowl with spatula.

How to Make Granola Bars

This is such a quick snack to make! I love having these bars on hand for lunches, snacks, or even an after-dinner treat. You don’t have to bake them, but you do need to chill them before cutting so keep that in mind before you get started.

  • We’re making the bars in an 8×8 baking pan. I like to line mine with parchment paper so they lift right out. Set that aside for now!
  • Melt the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. This should take 30-50 seconds, and then stir in the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Keep stirring until everything is nice and smooth!
  • Add the dry ingredients: oats, crispy rice cereal, coconut, flaxseed, chia seeds, and salt. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Now we press it into the 8×8! Use your hands to press it into the pan, making sure you get it evenly into the corners. You can use the bottom of a glass jar to continue packing the bars down. This helps the bars hold their shape.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour (or even overnight!) before cutting into them. This is another step that helps the bars stick together!
  • When you’re ready to enjoy, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper and cut them into bars. 

Tips to Get the Bars to Stick Together

This is the number one problem with homemade granola bars–they can be too crumbly! I have a few tricks for granola bars that hold their shape.

  • First, I like to use quick oats instead of old fashioned oats. They hold the bars together better than old fashioned oats. If you only have old fashioned oats, pulse them in the food processor a few times and then they will be good to go!
  • Next, make sure you really press the bars in the pan so they are solid pushed together.
  • Lastly, make sure you refrigerate the granola bars for at least an hour, but up to overnight, to really let them set before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut them into bars or squares.
granola bars with chocolate chips in pan.

Variations

There are so many ways to customize these bars to your family’s preference!

  • You can use any nut butter you like! Almond butter or cashew butter are great options. For a nut-free option, use sunflower butter. Just make sure the nut butter is creamy and stirred well before using.
  • You can add in chopped up nuts if you want a little crunch! Just make sure the nuts are chopped up in small pieces.
  • Use mini M&Ms instead of mini chocolate chips! A kid favorite and the pop of color is fun!
  • If you’d rather not use chocolate chips you can substitute raisins, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries.
homemade granola bars cut into  bars.

How to Store

Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, just make sure they are tightly covered. You can also freeze the granola bars for up to one month. I love having them on hand for a grab and go snack!

More Granola Bar Recipes:

stack of homemade granola bars.
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Granola Bars

These no-bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are the BEST homemade granola bars! They are easy to make and SO much better than store bought!
4.77 from 13 votes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Put the coconut oil in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 to 50 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Add the oats, crispy rice cereal, coconut, flaxseed, chia seeds, and salt. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down with your hands and then use the bottom of a glass or jar to press the mixture firmly until the bars are packed down in the pan. This will help them hold together.
  • Cover the bars with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight before cutting them. When ready to cut, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into bars or squares.

Notes

The bars will keep covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can wrap them individually with plastic wrap and keep them in a freezer bag or freezer container for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 152mg, Potassium: 166mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords chocolate chip, oats, peanut butter

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    I make these on a weekly basis. I love having these granola bars in the fridge to throw in my lunch for work. I also love how versatile they are! Thank you for sharing such yummy, healthy & easy recipes!

  2. How long would these keep in they weren’t in the fridge? My hubby takes granola bars to work daily but may not eat it for a day or two. Would that be ok?

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe since I’ve discovered it maybe 15 times or more. Most times I’ll use almond butter instead of peanut butter but just a preference of taste. Both work! For fun I’ll throw in some M&Ms. I’ve given them to friends and people keep asking for more. They keep in the fridge really well. This is one of the best recipes I’ve discovered in 2020!!

  4. I have everything in my pantry to make these EXCEPT flaxseed meal and chia seeds – are they crucial, or is there something I can substitute for these? I really enjoy all your recipes – thank you!

    1. You can leave them out, they are more for a nutritional boost. You can add a few tablespoons of extra oats if the mixture seems to moist, but it should be fine.

  5. Looks like something I need to try! Is the nutrition information for the whole recipe or per serving? If by serving, how many servings?

    Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious. Very easy, versatile recipe. I made them the first time as the recipe directs. Then my 14-year-old made them again subbing almond butter for peanut butter and 2T of melted butter instead of coconut oil. He also added chopped salted peanuts. So good. Great thing for kids to make and keep in the fridge for school snacks. My husband loves to eat them for a quick breakfast.

  7. 5 stars
    These turned out really good, was skeptical they would hold together. I followed the recipe and even my skeptical husband was impressed. I just had a question, did you use unsweetened coconut in these and your blueberry coconut granola bars? Also, did you use sweetened dried blueberries in blueberry coconut bar recipe? I was just wondering, for sugar content calculations if either coconut or blueberries had added sugar.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve made lots of granola bars, and this recipe is a keeper! I like the taste and the light crunch of these bars. They set up well and are a perfect snack to have on hand. Thanks Maria!

  9. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe, I’m loving it since I discovered it last month and have made it 5 times already. The perfect afternoon snack with a tea! Do you know approx the weight of one serving? I doubled the recipe and used a rectangular tray so I’m just trying to figure out the nutrition info for one serving as mine didn’t make 14 pieces. Thank you!

  10. 4 stars
    I am going to make these soon. I just have one question. I want to add fresh cranberries to this recipe. When should I add the fresh cranberries?

  11. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Subbed almond butter for some of the PB and used date paste instead of honey. Turned out great! Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. 5 stars
    I forgot to add the vanilla and these granola bars were still absolutely unbelievable! So delicious and Im sure I will be making them often!

  13. I would like to try these but I don’t like coconut. Can I just omit it? Should I replace it with something else? Thanks!