Ina Garten's Granola Bars

(1 vote)
3 minutes
September 26, 2022
Carole Jones

Granola Bars recipe that is homemade and turns out perfectly soft and chewy every time.  Whole oats, nuts, apricots and cranberries come together for a healthy, whole grain treat that both adult love and is kid friendly.  Makes a great lunch box treat idea!


Granola Bars Recipe - Chewy with Apricots and Cranberries

 You would think my kids would care less about this little blog I’ve got going here. However, debates often ensue about how much more the little kids get their pictures posted compared to the older ones. Oh please…..

See Tori….I love you too. (I’m sure she will complain that I posted a picture of her with the baby…..) There is no winning when it comes to a teenage girl!

 In honor of my “mature” children, I’ll post a mature recipe that I am in love with. I call these “adult” granola bars recipe, especially compared to the other granola bars I have on my blog. The use of dates is enough to scare off any child, but if you chop them small enough, they won’t know. All of the fruit make them perfectly sweet and chewy. The toasting of the oats, almonds and coconut gives these bars a great deep flavor that other recipes lack that I’ve tried. You can’t feel guilty snagging one of these for breakfast on your way out the door. They are delicious and good for you….a hard combo to find!
I’m addicted to these gems. Made ’em twice in one week and have the ingredients ready for round #3. They are outstanding!

Granola Bars Recipe - Chewy with Apricots and Cranberries

Be sure you press these into the pan very firmly and let them cool for the suggested 3 hours or they will fall apart. I like using slivered almonds in this granola bars recipe because it gives the bars more texture than sliced, but really, pick your favorite nut and dried fruits to use when you make them. I love the flavor of the apricots, dates and cranberries mixed together, even though I am not generally a fan of dates 🙂

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Ina Garten’s Granola Bars Recipe

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This recipe for homemade granola bars comes from Ina Garten and loaded with healthy oats, fruits and nuts.  My kids love these in their school lunches!

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 18 bars


  • 2 C whole oats

  • 1 C sliced almonds (I used slivered almonds)

  • 1 C sweetened coconut

  • 1/2 C wheat germ

  • 3 T unsalted butter

  • 2/3 C honey

  • 1/4 C light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 C chopped dates

  • 1/2 C chopped dried apricots

  • 1/2 C dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large sheet pan, mix together the oats, almonds and coconut. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes then dump into a large mixing bowl. Add the wheat germ. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  2. While oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minutes once it reaches a boil. Pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Add the dried fruit and mix well. Dump into a greased 8 x 13 pan and press firmly with wet hands.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely (about 3 hours) before slicing and serving.
  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 238
  • Sugar: 22 g
  • Sodium: 48 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.


9 years ago

Can I use something to substitute the coconut? I am not a fan of coconut.

9 years ago

You can just leave it out Amanda but I suggest trying it first with it. It is a small amount but adds a great texture and chew without tasting like coconut

9 years ago

Hi, I’ve made these before. I had a problem with overbaking them. Do you have any suggestions for how to know when they’re “done”? Thanks.

9 years ago

Hey Stephanie! My first suggestion is to take 25 degrees off the normal temperature. Your oven might be running hotter than normal. It might be worth it to buy an oven thermometer for a couple bucks and see for sure how hot it is compared to what you set it at. Also, keep the bake time to the lower end, at 25 minutes. Good luck!

Doty Sever
4 years ago

I love soft granola bars! I did change it a bit. Omitted the dates, used splenda brown sugar, and used 3 teaspoons vanilla. I sprayed both the mixing bowl and toasting pans with cooking spray, which made it easier to save every morsel! This recipe can be changed in many ways and still keep the end results soft and chewy!

4 years ago

I’m so glad you loved it Doty and made changes that worked for you!

7 years ago

Can i leave the sugar out?

7 years ago

Unfortunately, no. The sugar is what creates the glue that holds it all together.

4 years ago

Belinda, you could soak Medjool dates in boiling water for 2-5 minutes (until soft and sticky), drain, then pulse in a food processor or blender until it becomes a paste. I have used this as a natural sugar substitute/binder and it works great!

7 years ago

Do you think I could leave the dates out and sub with other dried fruit? I don’t have any on hand.

7 years ago

Absolutely Lindsay! Good luck

7 years ago

How do you store these?

5 years ago

My son is allergic to wheat. Can the wheat germ be eliminated or substituted?

5 years ago

hi Jeanne! Feel free to leave it out!

5 years ago

Hi! I am gluten free so I tried it with flaxseed meal as sub for the wheat germ. In the oven baking now but so far it seems delicious! I was also out of coconut so I tried it with 1/2 cup of hemp seeds instead… I think it worked!

5 years ago

Awesome Amanda! I have found this recipe to be extremely flexible so I’m so glad you were able to make it work for you.

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