Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
After lots of testing, I can attest that this is the perfect batch of chocolate chip granola bars. They’re the ideal portable snack that strikes a balance between sweet and salty. But most importantly – they nail that chewy texture we all know and love in a classic granola bar.
It’s no secret that I love chocolate, especially in a granola bar. But as always, I look for ways to give a healthier, homemade spin to packaged versions. So today, it was about time I made my own chewy chocolate granola bar recipe!
Not to toot my own horn – but I really nailed the texture on this one. All thanks to several failed batches (the 4th time’s the charm right?). Unlike my trail mix granola bars that are hard and crunchy, these ones are soft and chewy. Both are great, just different – and variety is always welcome! So if you’re in need of more on-the-go healthy snacks, these granola bars will certainly fit the bill.
What’s In This Chewy Granola Bar?
Luckily, you might have many of these ingredients already in your pantry. Especially if you tend to bake a lot. If not, everything on this list is easy and accessible – no complicated ingredients here!
- Quick Cooking Oats: After testing with both old fashioned rolled oats and quick cooking oats, I found that quick cooking oats resulted in a better texture. Where it wasn’t too oat-y, and created a smoother granola mixture for a softer, chewier bite.
- Puffed Rice: Yes, there is a difference between puffed rice and rice crisps cereal. Puffed rice is a single ingredient that’s undergone a dilating process (i.e. how it gets “puffed”) and it remains fairly soft. On the other hand, rice crisps are usually crunchier and have added sugars and other ingredients (like your typical “rice krispies” cereal). Both can work in this recipe, this is just my reminder to always read labels.
- Nuts: Use any of your favorite nuts! Personally, I love to use a mix of pecans and walnuts for granola bars.
- Chocolate Chips: Depending on your chocolate preference, you can use dark to milk chocolate chips. Just make sure to grab mini chocolate chips so they blend well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Flaxseeds: These powerhouse seeds add healthy nutrients to these homemade granola bars. Feel free to substitute with chia seeds.
- Honey: This is the sticky “glue” that holds the granola bars together. I haven’t tested this recipe with maple syrup yet, so if you do, let us know in the comments below how it turns out!
- Creamy Nut Butter: I’m using almond butter, but any nut or seed butter will work just fine!
- Coconut Oil and Vanilla Extract: Two baking essentials to bind the dry ingredients together with a hint of vanilla.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How To Make Homemade Granola Bars
A simple mix of wet ingredients into dry ingredients brings these granola bars together. Here’s how you make them!
Stir the dry ingredients. Preheat your oven to 325°F/165°C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, with extra paper popping up the sides. Then in a large bowl, stir together the oats, puffed rice, chopped nuts, flaxseeds, chocolate chips, and salt.
Stir the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla, until smooth.
Mix together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stir together, and scoop the mixture into the pan.
Press the mixture. Use a piece of parchment paper to press the mixture into a super flat and even layer. Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until there’s just a bit of golden color around the edges. For crunchier bars bake 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool and firm up. Let the granola bars cool to room temperature in the pan. Then place the pan in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. Gently lift the parchment paper out of the pan, and slice into 12 even granola bars!
Tips For The Best Granola Bar
- Use a creamy nut / seed butter. Make sure to choose a creamy butter, and not the crunchy kind. If the butter is too dry, the ingredients won’t bind together very well after baking in the oven.
- Chop up any large ingredients. For the best chewy texture (that won’t fall apart), it’s best to keep your ingredients on the smaller (or finer) side. So again, use quick cooking oats instead of rolled oats, and chop up your nuts to smaller pieces. Pro tip – you can use a mini food processor to quickly blitz the nuts!
- Make sure the mixture is super compact. I cannot emphasize this enough when making the granola bars! Any empty spaces in between the mixture will result in bars that will fall right apart. So make sure to press down hard with the parchment paper, or roll it down with a mason jar.
- Be patient with the chilling time. The longer you let your bars chill, the better the texture will be once they’ve reached room temperature. So don’t cut the 1 hour short!
This is what Sunday meal prep is all about! Make a batch of these granola bars, and you’ve got a snack to enjoy every day of the week (or for future weeks if you freeze them).
- To store: Place the sliced bars in a bag or container and store in the fridge for up to one week. And to prevent them from sticking to each other, add a slice of parchment paper in between each bar.
- To freeze: Yes, these are freezer-friendly! Add them to a freezer-safe bag or container (with parchment paper in between), and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before eating.
Granola Bars Recipe Video
This granola bar recipe is pretty straightforward, but a step-by-step video always helps – right? Follow along with me in the video below!
More Healthy Snack Ideas
It’s always a good idea to prep some healthy snacks to enjoy for a midday bite. And whether you’re looking for something sweet or salty – you’ve got a few options below.
- No Bake Energy Balls
- Zucchini Chips (or Kale Chips)
- Ultimate Seed Crackers
- Baked Plantain Chips (or Apple Chips)
Goodbye packaged chocolate chip granola bars! This healthy snack is one that makes total sense to make at home. Give it a try and let me know how you like them in a comment below!
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- 2 cups quick cooking oats (not old fashioned rolled oats)
- 1 cup puffed rice
- ½ cup roughly chopped nuts
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup creamy almond butter (or other nut/seed butter)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat and prep. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, with the paper coming up the sides.
- Stir the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, puffed rice, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, flaxseed, and salt.
- Stir the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla, until smooth.
- Mix together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until well combined.
- Press the mixture. Scoop the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer, using another piece of parchment paper to firmly press the mixture flat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until barely starting to get a little bit of golden color around the edges for chewy granola bars. For crunchier bars bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Firm up. Let the granola bars cool to room temperature in the pan. Then place the pan in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up the granola bars completely. Gently lift the parchment paper out of the pan, and slice into granola bars.
- Puffed rice: If you’re unsure about what kind of puffed rice to buy – you can purchase this bag of puffed rice straight from Amazon! This is the one I’m using in this recipe.
- Mini chocolate chips: if you have a hard time finding the mini chocolate chips, you can also use your favorite chocolate bar and finely chop it up!
- If you find that your bars are still not sticking together very well, try adding a little bit more honey and baking them a little bit longer.
So delicious. I used old fashioned oats and I used brown rice crisps as its what I have on hand. Still so good and I made them chewy! Love them.
Instead of honey, because I don’t have in the house, I used silan (date honey). Came out amazing and then makes these vegan friendly as well :)
Hi Lisa! Is there another oil substitute you would recommend for this recipe? I have a coconut allergy =(
Unfortunately, another oil won’t work as it won’t solidify. You could try it with butter or ghee if you’re not dairy-free.
Ooh, thank you for the nice and easy recipe! Quick question, though — how long will these last for? I’m planning to make these to give for a friend and want to ensure that they’ll last.
Hi Maria – there are storage tips listed above. :)
Due to tree nut allergies at my house, I used sun butter. It was great! In addition, I’ve made it with maple syrup instead of honey. This is my go to afternoon “treat” now! I can eat it and satisfy my sweet tooth knowing that I’m not eating junk!
Delicious and easy! I make these at least once a month. I only have old fashioned oats, so I give them a quick chop, and that helps with the texture. I don’t care for the taste of coconut oil, so I omitted and didn’t notice a difference in quality. Trust Lisa when she says to press down as firmly as possible – she knows what she’s talking about! My whole family is impressed with how well they stick together for homemade granola bars. Thanks for such a great recipe!
Yes! Pressing down on these is key to getting the bars as compact as possible. Glad you and the whole family enjoy these granola bars :)
Hi Lisa. I made the chocolate chip granola bar, and my family and I like it so much! Thank you, I can’t wait to make it again today.
I’m so happy to hear you and your family enjoyed these granola bars Angelica!
I can’t have oats, and it’s not easy to find gf oats in my area , what’s the best replacement for oats? Thanks for reply ~❤️
You can try my trail mix granola bars instead!
I made this nut-free to send to school by substituting tahini for the almond butter, and pumpkin seeds for the nuts. It worked great!
I stored them in the freezer, but wondering how long they can be at room temperature?
Thanks so much for the fantastic recipe
They can be at room temperature for about a day or two, but note that they will soften.
I cooked these today and they are amazing. I will definitely do them again.
Thanks Lisa for publishing something so gorgeous and easy to make. X
You’re more than welcome Wilma! So happy you loved them. :)
Any thoughts on making these nut-free? My kiddo is allergic to tree nuts. I could try peanut butter, I guess. She has a lot of anxiety about food.
You can use seed butter instead!
I just posted my own comment above, but I made these nut-free by substituting tahini for the almond butter, and pumpkin seeds for the nuts – it worked great! Good luck, hope you find a solution that works for your kiddo
Can you make these granola bars with any nut or seed butters? Just sans butters:)
Yes! You can use any nut or seed butter.