No-Bake Granola Bars are always a big hit with my kids as an after-school snack or in their school lunchbox! These homemade granola bars are so much better than the ones in the box and they are much healthier as well! Each granola bar turns out soft and chewy every time and the recipe includes five different flavor options so you can make them exactly how you want. Go grab the ingredients from your pantry and let’s get cooking!
As a momma to six kiddos, I realize summertime is a delicate balancing act that can easily come crashing down around you if you lack any of the following necessities:
- Food…..and mountains of it! — Not only are you feeding your own family but also the endless supply of friends and neighbors who know you keep mountains of food at your house.
- Entertainment — This comes in so many different forms depending on a child’s age and interests, but it all boils down to one critical point: if your kids get bored, they come and find YOU!!!
- Work — Everyone is home 24/7 which means everything is a mess 24/7, unless everyone steps up to do their part to survive.
- Time — Some days may only be 15 minutes, while others will be a whole afternoon, but those moments of time you spend together as a family matter. They are what your kids will remember when they reminisce about their summers at home.
Why I Love No-Bake Granola Bars
Last week, as I battled to keep up with Necessity #1, my kids were begging me to whip up their favorite Chewy Granola Bars. However, it was hot outside and there was no way I was turning on the oven. You see, I live in a beautiful 120-year-old home here in Minnesota but it loses a bit of its “charm” every summer due to the lack of central air. We have window units but they are so hideously loud and ugly that we wait as long as possible to install them.
Because my home lacks A/C, my recipe brain began churning and I played with my original granola bars recipe to create a no-bake version. It was a great success! And as a result, those monstrous window A/C units get to stay in the attic for a few more weeks.
The kids and I had so much fun creating all the different variations of this no-bake granola bars recipe. I made one double batch of the base and we used these five different mix-ins to create all our favorite flavors. Actually, I created SIX varieties, because my oldest son only likes plain granola bars. Have fun with this base recipe and mix in all the great stuff your family loves! I’m sure you can come up with amazing variations for these no-bake granola bars that will make mine seems as boring as my son’s plain ones.
What Are No-Bake Granola Bars?
No-bake granola bars are a type of snack or dessert that is made by combining oats, rice krispies, and other ingredients with a binding syrup that is cooked on the stovetop. The mixture is then pressed into a pan and allowed it to set in the refrigerator or freezer. No-bake granola bars do not require baking, so they are a quick and easy snack to make. They can be personalized by adding nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, or other mix-ins. No-bake granola bars can be a healthy and convenient snack for the whole family.
No-Bake Granola Bars Ingredients and Supplies
- Quick cooking oats
- Rice krispies cereal
- Shredded coconut
- Butter or coconut oil
- Honey or agave nectar
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla extract
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium saucepan
- 9 x 13” pan
How to Make No-Bake Granola Bars
If you can mix a few ingredients together and bring a mixture to a boil on the stove, you can make these homemade granola bars. Simple is the name of the game with this recipe.
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to Make No-Bake Granola Bars
- Prepare the dry ingredients
Mix together the oats, rice krispies cereal, and coconut.
- Make the syrup
Combine the butter, honey or agave, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 90 seconds. Add the vanilla extract.
- Combine the syrup with the dry ingredients
Be sure the dry ingredients get completely coated in the syrup and work quickly while the mixture is still warm.
- Add the chosen mix-ins
Use the ingredients that you like. Toasted nuts, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, chopped pretzels would all be delicious.
- Press the mixture into a greased pan
This needs to be done very firmly or the bars might fall apart. Go over them multiple times, pressing down all over.
- Cool the bars
Placing them in the refrigerator until the granola bars are set up and makes sure they are firm before cutting them into individual bars.
- Cut into individual bars
Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the pan into individual bars.
- Store them in the pantry or refrigerator
Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, or store them together in an airtight container. They are safe to keep in the pantry, but I like to keep them in the fridge to make them last longer.
No-Bake Granola Bars FAQs
There are three secrets to making homemade granola bars stick together. First is the syrup used as the binder. It has to be cooked to the right temperature or the ingredients will only fall apart. Second, the bars have to be pressed together firmly when they go into the pan. Don’t be shy. Press down all over the pan multiple times and smash it down. And lastly, the granola bars need to cool completely before cutting them into individual bars. That syrup has to be cool to hold all the ingredients together.
Yes, they certainly can be! Their main ingredient are whole grain oats, and if you add some toasted nuts and dried fruit, they are a wonderful healthy snack. Now, that is not to say that all granola bars are good for you. When you start adding chocolate and other candy-type ingredients, they can quickly become more of a candy bar instead of a granola bar.
Can I make no-bake granola bars with coconut oil instead of butter?
Yes, I often make that substitution but do not use a straight 1:1 ratio. The recipe calls for ¼ cup of butter. If you are going to use coconut oil, reduce that amount to 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon. If you use the full ¼ cup of coconut oil, the no-bake granola bars will turn out too oily.
Can I use agave nectar instead of honey?
Not only can you use agave nectar for the honey, I actually prefer this recipe made with agave. The honey is delicious, but it has a strong flavor that can overpower the other ingredients so that is why I like using agave nectar instead. It is a straight 1:1 substitution for this recipe.
Why do I have to use quick oats instead of rolled oats?
It is mainly because any time I made this recipe with old-fashioned rolled oats, the bars fell apart too easily. The smaller size of quick oats makes for stronger, more stable no-bake granola bars. If all you have are old-fashioned oats, just pulse them a few times in the food processor and you are good to go!
How to store no-bake granola bars
After the bars are cooled and cut into individual servings, store them in a quality airtight container, or wrap them individually in plastic wrap. They are perfectly safe to keep in the pantry but I do like to store them in the refrigerator so they last longer. I’ve also stored them successfully in the freezer but be sure to wrap them individually if you choose this storage option.
Healthy No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe Variation
When I first published this recipe back in 2013, I received so many requests to revamp the recipe to make it a bit healthier using coconut oil and agave nectar in place of the butter and honey. It took me a few test batches to get the recipe down but here are the changes to make for the healthy no-bake granola bars varation:
- Use coconut oil and reduce the amount down to 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon.
- Use agave nectar in place of the honey with a straight 1:1 substitution.
- Reducing the boiling time of the syrup to 90 seconds. If you go longer than that, it will get too hard.
- Skip the chocolate chips or mini M&M’s and instead go for toasted nuts and dried fruits as the mix-ins.
Looking For More No-Bake Recipes?
If these no-bake granola bars were just what you were looking for, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes. Go grab them now before you forget!
Craving more than no-bake recipes? Subscribe to My Kitchen Escapades to get new recipes delivered straight to your inbox! You can also stay in touch on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube for all the latest updates!Print
Chewy No Bake Granola Bars
This recipe for chewy no bake granola bars is the best! Easy and perfect for school lunch. Pick your favorite mix ins.
- Total Time: 13 minutes
- Yield: 15 bars 1x
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats (or pulse whole oats in a food processor a bit)
- 1 C rice crispy cereal
- 1/4 C shredded coconut
- 1/4 C butter
- 1/4 C honey or agave
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, cereal, and coconut.
- Set a small saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the honey, brown sugar, and salt. Stir together then leave it alone as it comes to a boil. Once the boil has reached all the way around the edges of the pan, begin timing. Allow this mixture to boil for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. During this time, you may need to turn the heat down a bit so it doesn’t overflow, but be sure it keeps boiling. If you have a candy thermometer, you want to bring the mixture to 235 degrees.
- Add the vanilla then pour the mixture over the oats, using a rubber spatula to get all the sugar mixture out of the pan. Mix the ingredients together until the oats are completely coated.
- Add in your desired mix-in then press very firmly into a lightly greased 9×13″ pan. If you like your bars thicker, you can use a smaller pan or double the recipe and use the same 9×13 pan. If you do not press firmly enough, the bars will fall apart when you eat them. Place them in the fridge for 20 minutes then cut them to size.
Healthier Recipe Variation
Eliminate the butter and use 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Substitute agave nectar for the honey. When boiling this mixture, reduce the time to 90 seconds.
Add 1/2 C of mini chocolate chips to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it cool just a bit or you will end up with melted chips. Sprinkle on a few extra chips over the top after they are pressed into the pan.
White Chocolate Cranberry
Add 1/3 C of white chocolate chips and 1/3 C of Craisins to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan, allowing it to cool just a bit first or you will end up with melted chips.
Add 1/3 C of Heath bar pieces, 1/3 C of mini M&M’s and 1/3 C of chopped pretzels to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.
Add 2 Tb of peanut butter to the finished sugar mixture before pouring it over the oats. Once mixed with the oats, add 1/2 C peanut butter chips before pressing them into the pan.
Add 1/3 C of chopped raisins and 1/3 C of chopped pecans to the finished mixture before pressing into the pan.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 192
- Sugar: 12 g
- Sodium: 80 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 28 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 8 mg
Keywords: No bake granola bars
Fabulous! Thanks! Love the printable version too.
How do you store them after you make them refrigerator or just cover on counter.
Either is just fine but fridge will help them stay softer longer
Jaedyn Smith says
I am going to attempt to make these after we move next week! I’ve been looking for a yummy CHEWY recipe for awhile! Thanks for sharing!!
Jaedyn Smith says
I am going to attempt to make these after we move next week! I’ve been looking for a yummy CHEWY recipe for awhile! Thanks for sharing!!
I like dried fruit/nuts in mine, any suggestions??
Well Crystal, the obvious is the Raisin Nut recipe I already have listed :). Put in any of your favorite dried fruits or nuts. We love chopped dried apricots and craisins together.
I’m not a fan of coconut. Could I leave it out? Do I need to compensate with more dry ingredients?
hi i can not have honey at all its a life and death thing what can i use in replace of this please? many thanks
Kelly- you could try using corn syrup but I have never tried it with corn syrup. If you do, come back and let me know how they turned out. I would also add some additional vanilla since corn syrup has no flavor and honey has tons!
She can also try maple syrup in place of the honey.
Lynn-yes, you can leave it out but try it in the bars first. It is more for the texture of the bars than flavor. I can’t taste the coconut directly but it does help give them a nice chew.
Amy Jents says
These sound great especially for kids snack at school. What is the best way to store them and how long would you say they stay fresh. Thinking about making a couple batches at once.
Amy- they stay well if you individually wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap. Be sure you really press down on them when making them so they will be firm enough to last without breaking once they are wrapped!
One of my sons is dairy free – do you think these would work if I subbed coconut oil for the butter?
Cynthia- I have no experience with coconut oil so if you try it, be sure to come back and share your results!
These wouldn’t hold together very well for me, despite the fact that I pushed down as hard as I could to make the bars keep their shape. I’m thinking about adding more butter, sugar, honey next time to make it stickier. Any suggestions?
My guess would be to first cook your mixture longer by one minute. If the sugar mixture doesn’t come to the proper temperature as it boils, it won’t harden enough as it cools. Try that first!
im allergic to coconut mixed with preservities can you substitue any thing for it?ty
You can try freshly shredded coconut or leave it out.
thank you my family loves these. i have waited the few minutes for them to cool but my chocolate still melts. what ia a good time to wait without ruining them. also i forgot the coconut and they still turned out. that was good because my husband is not big on coconut.
Wait a couple more minutes or just sprinkle them on the top of bars once they are in the pan. Be sure you try the coconut next time! Gives a good chew without the taste of coconut so your hubby will never know 🙂
Just made these. They are amazing. I added sunflower seeds before putting them in the pan. Also tried mini marshmallows and melted semi sweet chocolate over top(rock road style). Really sweet. Really yummy. Thank you so much.
You can substitute coconut oil for the butter. You can also use organic brown rice syrup instead of brown sugar. You could possibly use the brown rice syrup to replace the honey for those who are allergic. These types of granola bars are very forgiving…you can experiment and still get tasty results!!
Why did you decrease the amount of oats and increase the amount of rice krispies?
Are you talking about my original recipe? It was a basis that I began playing with it and thought they would stay together a bit better without being baked using less oats. You can certainly play with my version! That is what cooking and baking is all about!
These are GREAT!! Made my first batch today and used mini choc chips and mini M&Ms! The kids love them. I’d like to use them in school lunches. Do you have an idea of how long they will keep? Or how to store? I wrapped individual bars in plastic wrap and then put them all in a ziplock bag. I’m assuming room temp is okay?
Heather-so glad you loved them! If you wrap them individually, they will last around a couple weeks. They won’t spoil, just become more stale as time goes on.
Crystal Mincher says
Made these last night and so good! To make sure they were pressed down really firm I put a sheet of wax paper over the top then used a small loaf pan and pushed it down on top all the way around. Cleaner and quicker than using my hands.
I plan to make some with almonds next time.
can you please tell me how you have to ‘press’ them? i mean how do you do it and what exactly is the technique what’s the exact type of equipment needed? I’m really confused but i want to try your recipe really bad. the pictures you included were really motivating- that they would turn out delicious. So please help 🙂
Special equipment needed: your hands :). I use lightly damp hands to press the bars quite firmly into the pan. Some have used plastic wrap over the top and then their hands or another pan to press down.
Ohh, i see. what do i do after pressing it? should i cover it with something like plastic wrap before putting it in the fridge or just put it in as it is.( not covered and in the square pan)….one more thing- you see, in the place i live, that kind of rice cereal is pretty hard to find and i’m having difficulties with other recipes that include even more varieties of different ingredients. it’s all so confusing. is it possible you substitute anything for it? something easier? or if not can you tell me some other good rice cereal names that go GOOD with the recipe? thanks!
Rebecca MacNeill says
Thank you so much. Going to make these for back-to-school snacks. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut? Love coconut! Thx.
Rebecca-sweetened but unsweetened woul work just fine because there is plenty of sugar.
These are yummy! But I thought they were a bit too sweet. I don’t know how to go about cutting down the sugar though, since it’s used as the liquid to hold it together. Thoughts?
You can try subbing agave for the honey. The honey is definitely sweeter and has a stronger flavor but agave will yield similar results.
What is the goal temperature to bring the syrup to? We have an elevation of 5000 feet and it takes a while for things to boil.
What’s the best way to store these? In the fridge or in the pantry?
When do you add the vanilla in your directions?
Thanks for the question. After the sugar mixture has finished boiling.
I made these tonight & saw the ingredient for vanilla but didn’t see any directions calling for it & completely forgot all about it, however these are still delicious and my kids are raving about them. We made white chocolate/craisin & chocolate chip and they both turned out great!!!!
Do you think jelly/jam would work in these? Hubby said a PBJ one would be good but not sure that it would harden.
Thanks for the recipe! Mine are in the fridge right now. Since I’m in fall mode, I made them with pumpkin seeds, cinnamon chips and cranberries. I can’t wait to try them!
Yum! Can’t wait to make these with GF rice cereal and oatmeal! My son can’t have gluten and I was planning to spend all weekend making snacks for him to bring to school. Since packaged GF granola bars are SO expensive these will be a great alternative! Thanks!
Just to let you know…..
Macadamia Nuts, White Chocolate, and Dried Cherries were DELICIOUS!!!
Mine didn’t go so well…… added the sugar mixture and it just clumped up 🙁 had to quickly make a little more sugar mixture and still did the same. eventually just mashed together and then pressed into pan….. Was very frustrating!!
These are so good! I just made my third batch. I can’t keep them in the house! Even my pickiest water loves them. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see what flavors I can come up with…. I will never buy store bought again!
I just made these bars. I am really excited to try them. I used a 9×13 pan as the recipe called for. These seem very thin though. I followed the recipe. Is this how they are supposed to be. How many bars does it yield?
Samantha Daniel says
Are these freezer friendly? I was hoping to make a bunch and just pull out a few a week, defrost and eat. Has anyone tried this?
Yes freezing works great! I just tried it last week. I wrap each bar in plastic wrap then put in a freezer ziploc bag. Took them out the night before and you’d never know they had been in the freezer.
My wife loves these! Thanks.
On my first attempt to make them I decided to add the 2TB peanut butter to sugar mixture after the boiling step. I’m wondering if anyone else had the sugar mixture harden quickly when trying to mix into oats/cereal mixture? Almost turned to toffee as I was stirring. Couldn’t get a lot of the oats mixed in. I planned to add mini chocolate chips too but decided to add to the top instead. Evenly poured on top then warmed in oven a couple minutes so I could spread chocolate over the top. They taste great but what did I do wrong?? A lot of oats fall off as you bite into bars since the mixture didn’t “mix” well…
Thank you!! A great alternative to the cardboard tasting bars from store! 🙂
Sounds like you boiled the sugar mixture too long. Try again and reduce your boiling time by a minute or so. Good luck!
can I substitute the rice cereal with more oats?
You could, but your result will be denser and possibly more dry. If you do, I would reduce the amount of oats compared to the rice cereal. Let me know how it goes!
If I eliminate the coconut, do I need to add extra dry ingredients?
I’m going to try ground flax seed instead of coconut. Mostly because I do not have coconut on hand, but my family does not like it.
Hi Alyssa! That should work fine. You should try it once with the coconut because it really adds a nice chewiness without tasting like coconut. Your family would never know 🙂
No, you don’t but I really do recommend you try it once with the coconut. It adds a great texture to the bar without the flavor of coconut. Try it once before you eliminate it! Good luck.
these turned out excellent! chewy like them but yummier then those synthetic shop ones. id recommend toasting the oats 5 mins to get rid of the floury taste. and i used cornflakes instead of rice crispies, which i didn’t have. 3 mins boiling time. pressed down hard using a plastic bag over my hand to pack it in. a smaller pan would work 9 by 9 inch max for a 0.5-1 cm thick 12 bars.
I featured this recipe on my blog…
Jennifer Storm says
My bars didn’t turn out that well. They ended up rock hard. Not sure what I did wrong….any idea?
Jennifer- it sounds like you cooked the sugar mixture either too long or too hot. Try again and reduce your cooking time of the sugar mixture by at least a minute. Good luck!
My entire family loved these. I used sugar in the raw instead of brown sugar and ground up flax seed instead of the crispy rice cereal. They were delicious!
stephanie @ stephanies Az Kitchen says
Very good to know. I was hoping someone would post a comment like yours. I don’t give my kids cereal like rice crispier unless there’s no other alternative like on vacation or at someone’s house and I am not there. Yay flax seed is super healthy:)
Rhianna Garber says
How do you store these? How long is their “shelf” life?
I store them in an airtight container and they are good for about 5 days. You can individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap and they will last longer.
Can this be made with agave nectar and fructose as I am intolerant of sugar and honey?
Definitely, agave can be substituted for the honey, but I have no experience with fructose so I can’t say for sure. Come back and let me know how it works!
Found this recipe and your blog via Pinterest. I made these yesterday and substituted coconut oil for the butter to make a dairy free version for a friend. Also added wheat germ, flaxseed meal, and sunflower seeds instead of rice cereal, since i didnt have any. Turned out scrumptious!
stephanie @ stephanies Az Kitchen says
Found this on Pinterest too. Looking forward to trying your version!
Thanks Stephanie! -Carole
I just discovered this via Pinterest and I must thank you! I am so happy I’ll be able to make the kids a snack in the summer that does NOT involve oven use as well. I live in NE Wyoming and while it’s terribly cold all winter, the summers are scorching hot and we also do not have anything other than a noisy A/C unit.
LOVE LOVE LOVE these 🙂
How long do these keep and how do you store them?
I store them in an airtight container and they are good for about 5 days. You can individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap and they will last longer.
Christine Phillips says
I tried these today, and I LOVED them! My pickiest eater couldn’t get enough of them. The only thing I have to do next time is cut them before I put them in the fridge to set. Thank you!
Between this recipe and the granola bars that you bake, which would you say are better? Thanks!
Kerianna- hmmmm, that is a really close call. I do lean a bit more towards the baked ones but just a bit. I make them both a lot.
Then I’ll try the baked ones first. Thanks.
Delish! Thanks for posting!! 🙂
These are wonderful! I’ve made 3 batches today. : ) My husband says they are “perfect”, and all 8 kids keep begging for more. I don’t know they’ll make it into tomorrow! Thank you!
Bradrick Robinson says
Hi, my picky kids wouldn’t eat these since they saw the oatmeal lol but my husband loves these as snacks for work. I was wondering though if you know about how long they last and the best way to store them? I wrapped them individually in saran wrap and then in a freezer bag. They are currently on the counter but wasn’t sure if they should stay like that or not. Thanks
Mine were not chewy (they tasted greasy, just crunchy) What do you think I did wrong?
Tasted great! (Sorry for that autocorrect)
Sounds like you cooked the sugar mixture too long Mindy. Cut the cook time down a chunk. I made them today and once it comes to a boil, two minutes 15 seconds works perfectly for me but you might need less time.
Very simple and tasty; a real kid pleaser! I have not tried them with honey yet, but used the corn syrup I had on hand. I have also modified them a little as I found them to be a bit too hard. I reduced the boiling time to 1 minute 30 seconds from the time the syrup mixture begins a full boil. I also added about 1 tbsp more of both the brown sugar and corn syrup because the first time I made them the mixture was a little dry. This seems to have done the trick for me. I wonder if using honey changes the chewiness so once I actually buy some, I plan on trying your original recipe as is. So much healthier and cheaper than buying store bought granola bars!!
I never leave comments but these were so delicious I just had to! So chewy and tasty and simple! I don’t use quick oats and I didn’t even grind the whole oats and they tasted delicious! I will double the revipe for a 9×13 pan I like them thick. Thanks for posting this, I’ll be making these a LOT
Thanks so much Laurie! I make them all the time and also double the recipe 🙂
Could you use coconut oil instead of butter?
Having never tried that substitution, I honestly don’t know but have been tempted to try it. I use agave instead of honey and actually prefer that substitution because agave has a much milder flavor. Let me know if you give the coconut oil a try!
Any idea on what the nutritional info is? I’m sure it changes once you add the additional toppings. Any info would be great. Thanks much for sharing.
Re the question about nutritional information — try myfitnesspal.com or calorie-count.com. You input the brand-specific ingredients that you use, and get a customized-to-you nutritional analysis of the recipe! Good luck!
I just made these and my picky 3yr old LOVES them! Thank you!!
Megan @ Ordinarily Obsessed says
Does anyone know the weightwatchers points for one serving?
These are amazing! I’ve been wanting to make this since I saw the recipe but never got around to it. The kids and I made these today and they are AMAZING! I didn’t have coconut (which is odd, since I always use it in baked goods) so we left it out…. I also added peanut butter plus some semi sweet chocolate chips, raisins, slivered almonds and some whole peanuts (next time, the peanuts will need to be smashed) and they turned out fantastic. The whole peanuts kept the granola bars from staying together when I smushed it all down… but that’s the only issue… that was all my fault. Totally making these again! Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe.
I see the question has been asked, but I didn’t see a response to it…
What is the goal temperature?? I also live in a very high elevation so knowing the target temp would be helpful.
Tiff – since I have never used a candy thermometer to make these, I can’t give you a temperature for sure. However, I would guess in the soft-ball stage (235-240) since that is the texture for the binding syrup.
These were awesome and easy to make!
This recipe and/or the directions were horrible. As it was boiling I noticed it start to burn and immediately took it off the heat but it was too late. It smells awful and tastes worse and I obviously threw the batch away and was going to attempt another try but noticed where a drop spilled on my floor so I went to wipe that up and now I am left with a nice yellow STAIN on my kitchen floor that will not come out.
I’m sorry you struggled with the recipe. It sounds like you cooked the syrup on too high of a temperature and that stain is actually a burn from the boiling hot syrup. I hope you give it another try and turn your heat down some so the sugar doesn’t burn. They are worth another try!
Oh my goodness these are so so so good! I made them with the coconut oil and they are a delight and easy! The key is to not use. High heat at all I start at 5 as my stove top goes to ten than once the bubble are just around the edges start time and reduce to a 3.5 and stir so as not to burn it! Hope this helps those who have had problems!
Thanks Carole for sharing! I am working out in the gym recently and looking for some kind of healthy snack or post gym snack to eat during office hour! I think this is it! I can refuse buying those high sugar protein bars！Definitly will try my own version and add in more nuts for healthy fat. Carole, can u pls create more yummy yet low fat and sugar snacks to satisfied our craving!
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your comment Judy! I will definitely work on your request and thanks again for stopping by!
My family doesn’t like coconut, do you have to put that in or is it simply for flavor and therefore can be optional?
Hey Jessica! It is there for a nice chewy texture. I am not a fan of coconut myself and I use it when I make these bars. They don’t taste like coconut but it adds such a nice chewy texture. I think you should try it once before ruling it out 🙂
we made these today. left out the coconut. made a double batch. taste GREAT! I used a 9×13 pan, put a sheet of wax paper over it and used the bottom of my measuring cup to press it all down well.
will be trying nuts and dried fruit tomorrow
So glad they turned out so well and that you will be experimenting with different mix ins! Thanks for letting me know how they went – Carole
Amanda P says
Made these today. Mine were a little crumbly and the chocolate chips melted. But the flavor and texture were good. I had to make a few substitutions because I missing things. But I will be making these again!
Thanks for your comment Amanda! If they were crumbly, I would reduce your time boiling the sugar mixture a little bit. For the melted chocolate chips, allow the mixture to cool a bit before adding the chips, or use mini m&m’s. Mine melt a little bit too but mainly because I am too impatient to allow the mixture to cool 🙂
So going to make these our family loves granola bars and I hate buying them and this is a much healthier way. Thanks so much for the recipes
Glad to hear it Colleen! Come back and let me know how they turn out for you! Carole
Carole, I must tell you that our family LOVES these granola bars. We are gluten free and dairy free so we can’t buy granola bars. I also like knowing what is in my granola bars. Every batch is different, i just throw in what I have in the cupboard. Sometimes I increase the coconut, add sunflower seeds, add chia, sometimes I use maple syrup instead of honey, they always taste fantastic. I have passed your recipe on to many friends who are now making these every week too. Thank you for the recipe.
Oh yea Sherry!! I am so glad you love them as much as I do 🙂 thanks for coming back and letting me know ❤️Carole
Oh my goodness! We made these last night using coconut oil instead of butter and I was a bit leery about the outcome. These are perfect! They are chewy and just all around amazing!
We added sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and non-dairy chocolate.
Thank you so much for sharing!!!
Yippee!!! So glad you loved them with the coconut oil. I was scared to make them without butter the first time as well 🙂 – Carole
I loved these. I left out the coconut because my family doesn’t like it, and instead used a cup or so of granola. Then drizzled melted chocolate over the top. It was very good!
Great variation Jennifer! Thanks for sharing – Carole
can these be made without rice krispies? if so how can I adapt or modify it? trying to leave it out the processed cereal part.. thanks.
Kim- yes, you could make them with all oats but the result will be denser and drier. Maybe instead of doing a straight substitution, reduce the amount of oats you are subbing in for the cereal by a little bit.
These are spectacular. My go-to recipe. I put little sprinkles in mine along with mini chocolate chips–coloured to match the season we’re in.
Becky- love the seasonal sprinkles idea!
Hey, I just made these and they are cooling in the fridge. They look yummy !! But I don’t think they are going to stay together. I just tried cutting into them because they have been cooling for 30 minutes and they starting crumbling. I’ve read the comments and so I should leave the boiling mixture to boil for an extra minute?
Samantha – I would be very cautious about boiling the mixture for another whole minute. You might end up with rock hard bars 🙂 First, be sure you are pushing down very firmly on them when you put them into the pan. If that doesn’t solve your problem, then try adding 20 seconds to your boiling time. -Carole
What can I replace the 1/4 cup of coconut with? I am allergic!!
Rose – you could just leave it out
Cooling my bars right now! Thanks, they smell delicious and I can’t wait to share them:)
So glad you gave them a try Megan! I make them at least once a week for my kids lunches -Carole
I made these to day and they are so yummy! Just a bit too sweet for my taste ; next time I will use unsweetened coconut.
How can I prevent the chocolate chips to melt?
My suggestion for the chocolate chips is to let the mixture cool longer before you add them. It is the hot sugar mixture that is melting them, but be careful you don’t wait too long or they won’t hold their shape -Carole
Stephanie Shelton says
Im going to be trying these this week…the only thing i can think to make them “better” for my sweet tooth is dipping them in chocolate for a thin layer on the bottom. I am not a fan of coconut but i read some of the comments.and you said you couldnt taste it and it gives it more the chewy texture sooo ill try it…lol im pretty excited 😉 thanks much.
Ooooo Stephanie….I think I might just need to try that idea of dipping the bottoms in chocolate. -Carole
Your recipe has burnt on me twice, help?
That is a bummer Lauren! I would reduce your heat level quite a bit and make sure you start timing from the moment the bubbles are around the sides of the pan. You might need to reduce your cooking time a bit as well.
These are fantastic. My grown son loves them, too. Maple syrup instead of the honey is so good. I would also use a heavy pan, like an Al Clad pan to help prevent the burning.
I made the raisin variety and they were delicious. However, I’m having trouble with parts of them “shattering” when I cut them. They seem to have hardened so much that when I try to cut the bars, the whole recipe begins to crackmore than I want, like glass.
Sarah – it sounds like you cooked them on too high of a temperature or for too long, or maybe even both 🙂 Try reducing your heat quite a bit after it comes to a boil. You want it to continue to bubble gently but if the heat is too high, the syrup becomes a hard candy instead of a soft, chewy syrup. Good luck! -Carole
I’ve made these several times now. The whole family loves them. I omit the coconut (highly allergic) and in one batch I replaced the honey with maple syrup and added extra maple extract, pecans and walnuts covered the tops with thin layer of chocolate for a breakfast bar, hubby loved these. My kids like both with the honey and with the syrup. Next batch we are going to try giving them a yogurt covering.
I really love those personalizations Tina!
I’ve been making these granola bars for about a year now – they are SO much better than the store-bought type. They turn out chewy and sweet every single time. My family loves them and I always end up making a double batch and freezing them after I’ve cut them into bars. I’ve been adding 1/4 cup chia seeds or hemp seeds to add some extra protein, and I’ll often add 2 tbsp of Sunbutter (instead of peanut butter) so that they are school lunch box friendly. Thanks so much for this life-changing recipe! I’m always raving about it to everyone who is looking for a good granola bar recipe!
Thanks so much Melissa! I love your additions as well. These are still a staple for our lunch boxes as well
I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve been looking for a no-peanut butter recipe for my kids for school (though they love peanut butter). For pressing granola mixture into pans for bars, we use our meat tenderizer; it’s shaped like a knuckle punch band! It works great!
Thanks for the great variations!
Jenna, I love the idea of the of using a meat tenderizer and I’m glad you found a recipe to work for the lunch boxes!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tried another granola bar recipe but it didn’t turn out so well. This was perfect! I only had half of 1/4 cup of honey so i combined it with maple syrup. I also put cheerios,chopped almonds, raisins, and dried cranberries in mine! It came out perf! I’ve started to eat clean and needed a granola bar for my post workouts 🙂 This recipe is PERFECT <3
Awesome Laci! I make these every week for my kiddos
What size saucepan do you use? I used a small one and the ingredients never boiled to the top and I ended up burning my batch waiting for it to bubble to the top 🙁
Bummer Katie! I hope you give it a try again. If you look at the directions again, it doesn’t say to wait until it bubbles get to the top of the pan. It says to start the timing as soon as the bubbles on the surface of the liquid are all around the pan. Good luck
Oh my word these are amazing! Thanks so much, I’ve been looking for a great bar recipe for the kid’s lunchboxes for a while and none have come out as well as these! Do you know if I’d be able to substitute the sugar for sweetener or will that not work as the “glue” for holding them together?
I’m glad you enjoyed them Ashley! Unfortunately, that substitution won’t work.
I tried these with Butter as indicated in the recipe and they turned out very tasty, but fell apart. I tried to make it again, this time with coconut oil as a previous comment suggested it could substitute for butter. Big mistake! The coconut oil and sugar burnt and now my house smells terrible! I will try again with butter and maybe double the recommendation and see if it stays together better. Just a warning though….coconut oil didn’t work for me.
That is a bummer Brandy! Don’t give up on the coconut oil option if you really want the healthier version. Just lower your heat quite a bit. Each stove and pot can result in very different results so you have to keep an eye on the syrup mixture. To get your butter version to not fall apart, let the syrup boil about 30-45 seconds longer and be sure you press the mixture very firmly into the pan. Good luck!
Just made these with my son. He loved being able to pick what mix-ins to go in to the bars. We picked peanut butter chips comma pretzels, and peanut butter. They turned out great! What a fun way to cook with kids and make it your own.
I love that you and your son not only loved the recipe but had so much fun making them together!
how do you store yours? I find when i take the chocolate chip ones out of the frig, the chocolate begins to soften and get sticky.. Thanks for any advice. Kim
Hi Kim! I keep mine in an airtight container and haven’t had trouble with them sticking. Maybe next time add 30 seconds to your boil time of the sugar mixture and see if that helps.
It’s a great recipe, but could be improved by giving instructions to make it using a candy thermometer. That would give much more consistent results, especially as stoves vary and altitude makes a difference.
Essentially, all chewy granola bars are a cousin of rice krispie treats, and rice krispie treats are made from marshmallows, and the key to marshmallows is cooking a sugar syrup to the soft-ball stage. (Melting store-bought marshmallows is just a short-cut or a workaround, as the cooking to a precise temperature part was already done at the factory.)So, for chewy granola bars, you want to cook sugar syrup to the soft-ball stage. That’s a very precise measurement, and it won’t reliably work hen you give instructions in terms of time at the simmer or time at a certain flame height or what-not. Put the instructions in terms of a candy thermometer, and you won’t get all the omments complaining that the bars came out too hard likenut ttle, or that they never set up and stayed gooey.
Thanks Jen for your feedback! I agree that a specific temperature would be perfect, but I also know my audience and know that most of them will not have a candy thermometer in their kitchen equipment. I try to write my recipes in a way that works for everyone. For anyone who does have a candy thermometer, soft ball stage is at 235 degrees.
Golden Dina says
One important note: it is very important to press these into the baking dish very well- as much as you can. I used my Lodge Cast-Iron Grill Press to make sure it was sufficiently pressed, but you can also just use your hands. Just cover the top of the granola bars with parchment paper and press away! A no-bake, easy chewy granola bar recipe that comes out perfect every time with coconut oil and no refined sugar! Add any nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and spices you want. A perfect back to school snack!
Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review! yes, they definitely need to be pressed well as the recipe states. Glad you enjoyed them.
CARRIE Coleman says
This was the best-quickest and by far the tastiest!! Thank you for sharing! I tweaked my recipe-subbed honey nut cheerios for krispies, subbed sunflower kernels for coconut, added 2 Tbsp of flax seed and used the agave option. A-MAZE-ING!! Thank you again-recipe for life❤
I’m so glad you loved it Carrie and you made it yours!
These are a weekly recipe now! Your recipe is amazing. Thank you and bless you & your family!
I’m so glad you love them Carrie!
Sarah R. says
My toddlers love these! I made them after searching for breakfast goods that they would actually eat. Thank you!
I’m so happy to hear it Sarah! Thanks for coming back and leaving your review 🙂