Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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This Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars recipe is easy to make with 7 everyday ingredients, naturally protein-packed and gluten-free, and irresistibly delicious.  No baking required!

Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Meet…the healthy, chewy, peanut buttery, amazingly delicious homemade granola bars that we can’t stop making.

Well, mostly that’s because Barclay has been requesting them non-stop lately.

He recently switched from working from home to officing at a cool coworking space here in Barcelona.  Which means that, for the first time in our married life, we’re now packing him a cute lil’ lunch to take to work.  Also — of critical importance for his survival — snacks. I married a man who adores good snack, especially when it’s healthy, and especially when some kind of nut butters are involved.

So over the past few weeks, I’ve switched from making our usual granola to tweaking a new recipe for much-more-portable granola bars.  And Barclay has been a more-than-willing taste tester.  We were going for for a recipe that tasted like a throwback to those classic, chewy, peanut butter and mini chocolate chip granola bars that we used to love as kids.  (Anyone else used to carry those in your lunch box?)  But of course, as adults, we wanted a recipe that was naturally-sweetened, protein-packed, and made with everyday ingredients that we could easily grab in our pantry.  I was also especially interested in a granola bar recipe that was soft and chewy, but didn’t completely fall apart at room temperature, as so many bars tend to do.

Now — over a dozen batches in — I think we’ve officially nailed it. 

Melted Peanut Butter and Honey | Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

Homemade Granola Bars Ingredients:

To make these healthy granola bar recipe, you will need:

  • Natural peanut butter: Or natural almond butter, you choose!
  • Honey: To sweeten the bars and help them hold together.
  • Coconut oil: Also to help the bars hold together.
  • Oats: I used old-fashioned oats for this recipe to make the bars nice and chewy.
  • Almonds: I used slivered almonds, which give these bars delicious flavor and crunch.  But feel free to sub in any other chopped nuts that you might prefer.
  • Vanilla extract: For flavor!
  • Sea salt: To bring out all the flavors!
  • Mini semisweet chocolate chips: Or chopped up chocolate bars.  Or, if you’re looking to make these granola bars dairy-free, these chocolate chips!

How To Make Granola Bars

How To Make Granola Bars:

Alright, let’s do this!  To make these homemade granola bars, simply:

  1. Simmer the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.  Yep, we’re going to heat these three ingredients first, which I’ve found is a key step in helping these bars stick together.  Combine the PB, honey and coconut oil in a saucepan and heat over medium until it comes to a simmer (low bubble), stirring occasionally.  Continue simmering for 1 minute, stirring often so that the bottom of the peanut butter does not burn.  (If you start to see little brown bits on the bottom, turn the heat down.)  Remove then pan from the heat and…
  2. Add in the vanilla and salt.  Stir until combined.
  3. Add in everything else.  Well, if you would like the chocolate chips to hold their shape, I recommend stirring in everything but the chocolate chips.  Then once the granola is combined, pop it in the fridge to cool off for 15 minutes, and then stir in the chocolate chips.  (They will still be just as delicious if they melt a bit.) ;)
  4. Press the granola into a square baking pan.  Line an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  And then press the granola firmly and evenly into the pan.  I use the bottom of a measuring cup to help press it down so that it’s nice and flat.  (You want it firmly packed so that the bars will hold their shape well.)
  5. Refrigerate until chilled.  Then cover the baking pan and pop it in the fridge for an hour or so, until the bars are chilled.
  6. Cut the bars.  Lift up on the parchment paper to transfer the big slab of granola to a cutting board.  Then cut the bars into your desired shape and size.
  7. Serve and enjoy!  The bars will definitely hold their shape better when they are chilled.  But no worries, if you leave them out at room temperature for awhile, they will just be a bit softer.

Healthy Granola Bars Recipe

Possible Variations:

There are all sorts of ways that you can change up this granola bar recipe if you’d like!  A few ideas…

  • Make these nut-free: If you’re allergic to nuts, feel free to use seeds (like pepitas and/or sunflower seeds) instead of the almonds, and seed butter (like sunbutter) instead of the peanut butter.  Or, I also tested a batch with puffed rice instead of nuts, and the bars were delicious.  Or of course, you could tinker around and add a mixture of puffed rice (or puffed quinoa) and some shredded coconut or something, for extra flavor.
  • Add dried fruit: Feel free to add dried fruit (i.e. raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apricots) in place of the chocolate.
  • Add coconut: Just subtract 1/3 cup of the oats and replace them with 1/3 cup shredded coconut, if you’d like.
  • Add chia seeds: Add 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds to the recipe.
  • Add spices: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon for extra flavor.  Or for a Mexican chocolate-y twist, I like to add in a lil’ pinch of cayenne along with cinnamon!
  • Add protein powder: Feel free to add 2-3 tablespoons protein powder to these bars, if you’d like.
  • Add cocoa powder: If you don’t happen to have chocolate chips but would still like the chocolate-y flavor, feel free to stir 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder in along with the oats.  (Skip this if using protein powder.)

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe

More Healthy Granola Recipes:

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

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Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Description

This Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars recipe is easy to make with 7 everyday ingredients, naturally protein-packed and gluten-free, and irresistibly delicious.  See notes above for potential ingredient variations.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt*
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats*
  • 1 cup slivered or chopped almonds
  • optional: 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (plus extras for sprinkling on top)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Stir the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil together in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Continue to simmer for 1 minute, stirring often so that the bottom of the mixture does not burn.  Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the vanilla and salt, and stir until combined.  Add in the oats and almonds, and stir until completely combined.  (Optional step: If you would like the chocolate chips not to melt, I recommend chilling transferring the granola to the refrigerator at this point for about 15 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature.)  Then stir in the chocolate chips until combined.
  4. Press the granola firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  (I use the bottom of a measuring cup to help press it down so that it’s nice and flat.)  Sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top if you would like.  Then cover and refrigerate the granola bars for about an hour or so, or until they are chilled.
  5. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting board.  Cut, serve, and enjoy!  Or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Chewy Granola Bars with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

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Recipe rating

85 comments on “Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars”

  1. I have made these bars twice now and each time they come out crumbly and do not hold together. The last time I rolled them all up into balls and although better, they still fell apart and crumbled while picking them up to eat. Any suggestions? Add egg and bake?

    • I usually add a little extra peanut butter and honey and that solves my crumbly problem.

    • These are so delicious! When I made it, the mixture was a bit dry and crumbly, so I just added some more peanut butter and honey. I also added pure maple syrup, raisins, and chia seeds, then put in the freezer for about 45 min and they turned out great. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  2. Okay, I’m not much of a cook, but these are awesome and delicious! I used an old trick my grandmother showed me and out the pot with the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a pan of water and double boiled it so there was less of a risk of burning; worked well, but never did get it to a simmer.

    I didn’t have any parchment paper and the store was out, of course, so I just buttered a glass dish. Ended up having to freeze them for about an hour to get them firm enough to cut, but I personally didn’t have any trouble with them not staying together. I think it is just a matter of using that tip about using a measuring cup to pack it down firmly.

  3. Tried it, my ingredients were peanut butter, honey, molasis, coconut, rolled oat and mixed nuts. Baked it for few minutes just because I wanted them crunchy.

    Thank you very much for the healthy recipe

  4. Made these yesterday and they are wonderful. My kids requested never to have store-bought bars again. I didn’t have almonds so I added about 1/2cup extra oats. I added both chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Next time I’m going to try almond butter, coconut, and dark chocolate.

    I have made failed granola bars from other recipes multiple times and I think this one works – both texture and stability- because you don’t use too many oats for the binders (note: i would adjust yours so that if your pbutter is on the oily side, you use a little more than if yours is on the dry side). Other keys for me were using enough pressure when I put the mixture in the pan, and resisting the urge to cut them too soon (I chilled mine for about 4 hours just to be sure!)

  5. These were excellent! Great texture, great taste, and super easy to make. My husband and teenager enjoyed these so much that they asked me to make them every week! I made two substitutions:

    1.) I was out of coconut oil, so I used Kerrygold butter instead.
    2.) I added two tablespoons of dark cocoa powder to the peanut butter, honey, and butter while it simmered on the stove.

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

  6. The best! I followed the directions/ingredients pretty much exactly, except the fact that I put in chunky walnuts (my fav!). I enjoyed these for two weeks (stored it in the fridge) with my afternoon cappuchino. Also sent some to my neighbours and they loved it! So satisfying and the crunch from the walnuts is delicious.
    Thank you for this go-to recipe . My family, including 3 young kids, love them!
    I wouldn’t change any of the ingredients/directions

  7. I loved this granola bar recipe!! I have started school and it is such an easy, but healthy, snack to take to school. I made a nut-free batch as well and it tasted just as good. I also added dried fruit and coconut flakes. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Have made these a few times now and love them. A good way to be slightly healthier than eating a choc bar! I tend to use cashews instead of almonds now as they’re my fave nuts. Never had any problems with the bars being too crumbly to set – I would suggest upping the peanut butter and honey if that’s happening to you.

  8. Found this recipe very sweet with the honey that I used, so definitely will use less than recommended next time . They didn’t look anything like the picture given, but for what they are and for first trial they weren’t bad. The image provided makes them look moist and chewy but the mix I made was seemed pretty dry in comparison.
    I did substitute raisins and sunflower seeds instead of chocolate chips and almonds (didn’t have them in the house). I think I’ll definitely try cacao powder next time but with a little more oil maybe or less oats?

  9. These are delicious, thanks for sharing your recipe. Have you, by chance, calculated the nutrition information for these bars?

  10. This is a great recipe with universal ingrediwnts that you can mix and match. I do not buy snack bars at the store any more. Thank you.

  11. Fab

  12. I have never cooked with coconut oil before – can you taste the coconut or does it dissipate?

    thanks

  13. These are brilliant, does anyone know how many calories there are per piece?

  14. Calories for the basic recipe without the add ins?

  15. I’ve been making this recipe almost weekly for a year now! I mix up the nuts, always add soem raisens or dried cranberries (up to 1/2 the nuts worth. varying chocolate chips, sometimes other chips like butterscotch. I do find just a smidge more coconut oile and being more careful about measuring the oats makes the bars stick together better. Oh, and really pressing them into the pan. Thank you, no more buying snack bars in this house!

  16. Great recipe! I used muesli instead of just oats. And added dried cherries instead of chocolate chips. Turned out great!

    TIP: to get a good pack down in the 8×8 pan, use a second 8×8 pan on top to compact the ingredients together before the fridge. 😁👍🏼

  17. They were delicious! After reading several comments, I cut the oats by almost a cup, and froze them after. That allowed them to stick together well and I didn’t have a problem with crumbling. Updating the recipe to reflect some adjustments to ratios may be a great idea!

  18. I made them as per the recipe just swapped the almonds for pecans. They are so quick and easy to make and utterly delicious. These have become a massive hit in our house, loved by myself, my husband, our daughter, 6 and our son, 3. They are now on the regular rotation 😁.

  19. Yum! Thanks for another great recipe 🤗 This was easy. I put pumpkin seeds in mine for a little more nutrition 😀