Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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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.

Granola bars sliced up.

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.

Ingredients for chocolate chip granola bars on a table

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.

Pressing granola bar mixture into a pan with parchment paper

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.

Chocolate chip granola bars on a table

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!

Holding a chewy chocolate chip granola bar

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!
Chewy chocolate granola bars stacked on a table

Storage Tips

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.

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!

Chocolate chip granola bars laid out on a table

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

4.99 from 50 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

These healthy granola bars are the ideal portable snack that's both sweet and salty. Trust me, these homemade chewy chocolate chip granola bars that are much better than store-bought! Watch how I make them in the video above!

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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.
    Pan with parchment paper for granola bars
  • Stir the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, puffed rice, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, flaxseed, and salt.
    A glass bowl of granola bar ingredients
  • Stir the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla, until smooth.
    A glass bowl of wet ingredients for granola bars
  • Mix together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until well combined.
    Wet granola bar ingredients poured into dry ingredients.
  • 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.
    A pan with parchment paper and granola bar mixture
  • 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.
    Chocolate chip granola bars sliced and laid out on a table

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: granola bar recipe, granola bars
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




153 Comments

  1. Hi lisa, I just made these granola bars as I’m trying new recipes for my son who is dairy free. They turned out so good! I did omit honey for sugar free maple syrup and almond butter for peanut butter as that’s what i had in the pantry. Also whittakers dark chocolate instead of choc chips. They were a hit and my son loved them! Thank you for the great recipe. Kind regards from New Zealand 😊5 stars

  2. I just made these and added dried cherries and a touch more honey than they called for and they came out delicious!!5 stars

  3. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT SNACK! a good mix of sweet and salty! love them! cant wait to try some different variations with the nuts and nut butters. maybe add some coconut in next time too!5 stars

  4. The kids (and hubby) loved it!
    I used old fashioned oats (because that’s what I had) but blitzed them for 5 secs in the processor first. I used used quinoa flakes instead of the chopped nuts and pumpkin seed butter instead of a nut butter to make it nut free for school. I used dairy free choc chips for my dairy free Miss6. I pressed it VERY firmly and if seems to be holding well together. It’s very popular!5 stars

  5. My family loves this recipe! It freezes very well (we always double or triple the recipe). We sprinkle this over our yogurt, so I skip the pressing down step. We prefer this over any granola recipe we’ve tried. Thanks so much!5 stars

  6. Lisa, thank you for the great recipes and the cookbook. We love it! I would like to make these granola bars for my husband but they have a bit too much sugar in them for his diet. What adjustments could I make to the ingredients to cut the sugar down in half but not ruin the recipe. I am not an expert at baking so I’m not sure what changes would affect how the bars work out in the end.

    1. This is literally the best “after having a baby snack” of all time! I made 4 batches and froze them for my kids for when I had the baby…I ended up eating them all 🫣

      Thank you for this perfect recipe, I did end up just using my homemade granola recipe which worked out very well. All kinds of great possibilities with this recipe.5 stars

      1. Happy to hear these chocolate chip granola bars were the perfect snack for you after having your new baby, Moriah! Also, congrats on your newborn!

      2. Walden Farms makes a zero carb maple walnut syrup that you could use instead of the honey. There are also sugar free chocolate chips.

  7. I’ve made these for the third time in about 6 weeks! My family loves them, as do I. I’ve been eliminating ”junk” sweets for years in my house but this is the first time I’ve tried making granola bars. Lucky for me, I found the perfect recipe immediately. I make them exactly as written and they turn out perfectly. Thank you for sharing the recipe!5 stars

  8. These granola bars tasted great, but in no way were they bars when I made them. Not sure what I did wrong, but it was more like eating granola than eating a bar. Any advice?4 stars

    1. I have a few tips written in the post about how to keep the bars intact such as making sure you’re pressing down the mixture enough or being patient with the chilling time.

  9. Hot tip for y’all… use two matching loaf pans instead of one big pan. Once you have the mix loosely spread in each pan, fold the parchment over the top and press the bottom of one pan into the other to pack in and even out the mix. It makes them very compact, and as an added bonus, the width of a loaf pan is basically a perfect length for a granola bar, so slicing them up goes even faster.

  10. 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.5 stars

  11. 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 :)5 stars

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!5 stars

  14. 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!5 stars

    1. 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 :)

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ~❤️

    1. I have an intolerance to oats and use barley flakes or rye flakes as a substitute in all oat recipes , tastes great and works every time

  17. 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 recipe5 stars

  18. 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. X5 stars

  19. 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.

    1. 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 kiddo5 stars

    2. These granola bars are delicious! We also have a tree nut allergy. We used peanut butter, but sunflower butter is also an option. We also used sunflower seeds and pepitas for the crunch. We order GERBS unsalted roasted pepitas (allergy friendly) from Amazon. Thank you, Lisa, for your recipes!