These homemade Granola Bars are chewy, crispy, and loaded with mini chocolate chips. Super quick and easy to make, without preservatives or high fructose corn syrup, and unbelievably delicious!
Other great family-friendly snacks we love include our stovetop popcorn and ranch pretzels!
Store bought granola bars are a nightmare when you’ve got kids with peanut allergies. They’re the biggest culprits for peanuts, and therefore used to be my nemesis – until I found out how easy and fast it is to make them. I’ve tried a gazillion recipes for homemade granola bars; some have been like candy, and some have tasted and felt like cardboard.
This granola bars recipe is hands down my favorite! Soft and chewy, with a slight crunch, sweet, and without preservatives or HFCS. And no peanuts. We love them so much that one batch doesn’t last long – great as a snack or breakfast on the go.
Granola Bars Recipe Ingredients
You only need a super short list of ingredients to make these:
- Quick-cooking oats
- Crispy rice cereal
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Mini chocolate chips
Are These Homemade Granola Bars Healthy?
Let’s just say these granola bars are health-IER. I mean, they still have brown sugar, butter, and mini chocolate chips. But, they don’t have any preservatives or high fructose corn syrup, so that’s healthier in my book.
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
You guys. These are SO easy to make. 10 minutes, if that. Here’s a brief summary:
*Scroll down for the detailed printable recipe card.
- In a large bowl, stir the oats and rice cereal together.
- Bring the brown sugar, honey, and butter to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour sauce over the oats and cereal; mix well until everything is moistened.
- Transfer mixture to a parchment lined 8×8 baking pan; press down so it’s tightly compacted.
- Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips and press down lightly.
- Cool at room temperature until set.
- Slice and enjoy!
Possible Granola Bar Recipe Variations
If you want to tailor these a bit to your family’s taste, go for it! Just keep the ratios the same. Some possible mix-ins include maple syrup, coconut flakes, raisins, cinnamon, and yes, even nuts.
If your granola bars aren’t staying together once you cut them, it’s possible:
- The honey mixture didn’t boil long enough. (On the flip side, if you boil the mixture too long, then they’ll be too hard to eat.) To ensure it’s just right, bring the honey-butter mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
- They weren’t packed tightly enough.
- The mixture was pressed too thin.
- Old fashioned oats were accidentally used, instead of quick-cooking oats.
You can try placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes or so, but be careful not to have them in there too long or they’ll become super hard and difficult to eat.
How to Store Homemade Granola Bars
After the mixture has set, cut into individual bars, then wrap each one in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Store all of them together in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I prefer not to refrigerate or freeze these because once hardened and thawed, they lose their wonderful chewy, crispy texture. They’re best enjoyed at room temperature. They won’t even last you 5 days because your family will gobble them up!
Other Snacks We Love
I hope you love this delicious and simple recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Homemade Granola Bars
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats (not rolled or steel cut)
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir the oats and rice cereal together; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, honey, and butter to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is moistened.
- Pour the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press down to ensure that the ingredients are tightly compacted in the pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with the mini chocolate chips and press down on the top lightly with the back of a spoon.
- Cool at room temperature for a couple hours, then slice into bars.
- Wrap in plastic wrap or keep in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Reader Questions and Reviews
I loved the taste of these, but mine did not stay together very well. I’m not sure what I did wrong or if it’s just that I live in a high humidity area. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Yes, yes, yes! So simple, so tasty. I will never buy store bought again.
I would give these 10 stars if I could. Excellent recipe!
I just made these and we already ate 5 of them. LOVE!! Thanks so much for the recipe!
Thanks, Erin! We go through them so fast, too!
Thank you! I used this for my son who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sunflower, coconut and eggs. He loved granola bars and for the first time cried when he couldn’t have something (store granola) the other day. I found this and he LOVED it. My picky husband even loved it. The batch was gone in 2 days. You made him SO SO happy. Said it is his new favorite snack
Oh boy, you have even more challenges with your son. Ugh…kids and allergies. So hard, I know. Thrilled these worked out for you!
My favorite granola recipe so far! I’ve made it twice already & it’s so DELISH!!! I’m going to switch it up next time with toasted coconut & almonds.
Made these yesterday. So yummy!!
I think it’s totally reasonable and acceptable to dip these in chocolate as well, fondue style.
I’ve made these before, actually…and may or may not have eaten half the pan. In one sitting. That seems rational for a midday snack, right?
First time making granola bars and I cannot believe how easy these were. I wish dinner was this easy! Lol. Loved these, thank you!
Made these for my girls and they proclaimed then their new favorite snack!
And isn’t it that even if things are made with peanuts, they usually come from some factory where there are peanuts present?!
What a great and simple recipe! Home made granola bars have always intimidated me–until now. This actually looks doable to me–wheeee!
These are so good! We put cranberries and coconut in ours!