Chewy Granola Bars -- featuring wholesome oats, your favorite type of nut butter, superfood coconut oil, and honey as a natural sweetener -- are no-bake and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes!
Do y'all like granola bars? Because we are big fans at my house. Not only are they universally enjoyed around here, but they also win this mama's approval as a ready-to-go, or on-the-go, breakfast or snack.
Unfortunately, store bought granola bars can contain some questionable, processed ingredients, and while there are all-natural options out there, they tend to be fairly expensive. So what's a granola bar-lovin' family to do?
Well...have you ever tried making your own Chewy Granola Bars?! Doing so not only allows you to control the ingredients, but you can also make a whole slew of them far more economically than buying a small box of the organic ones.
No-Bake Granola Bars
Many granola bar recipes call for a stint in the oven, and while delicious, the results can be more on the crunchy side than the chewy.
That's all good and well, but if you prefer a chewy granola bar experience instead, I've got you covered! And there happens to be a secret ingredient that allows these Chewy Granola Bars to solidify once cool without needing to bake them...
The Magic of Coconut Oil
The ingredient that gives this recipe such a great texture without the benefit of baking is -- you guessed it -- coconut oil!
Coconut oil is solid up to 76°F, so it melts as you mix up these Chewy Granola Bars and then solidifies again once you pop them into the fridge. Mixed with the oats and nut butter and honey, it creates a soft and chewy texture that rivals any storebought granola bar...whose chewy texture is likely attributable to artificial ingredients.
These Chewy Granola Bars only require a few ingredients, and I've already mentioned most of them! But keep reading for a few ingredient notes...and remember that you can totally customize this recipe to make it your own!
- Nut butter. Creamy or crunchy, the variety is up to you! Peanut butter is the obvious go-to choice, but feel free to substitute almond butter, cashew butter, or -- for a nut-free version -- sunflower seed butter. I always used sunflower seed butter until my little ones were old enough to try peanut butter. Sometimes I still use it...but more often than not these days, I use natural creamy peanut butter when I make this recipe.
- Honey. Acts as both an all-natural sweetener and a binder. You may slightly decrease the amount of honey, if you wish.
- Coconut oil. Be sure to use the good ol' fashioned kind of coconut oil that solidifies when cool...no substitutions! The type of coconut oil that you can buy in perpetual liquid form will not work in this recipe.
- Rolled or old-fashioned oats. Necessary for texture...quick oats are too fine for homemade granola bars.
- Shredded coconut. I prefer using unsweetened shredded coconut, but sweetened will also work. Or if you don't care for the addition of coconut in this recipe, you can swap in a cup of chopped nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit instead (or even just increase the oats).
- Mini chocolate chips. Optional, but recommended. 😉 While I like to sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of my Chewy Granola Bars, you can definitely leave them off (or add more)! Just be forewarned that if you decide to stir chocolate chips directly into your warm oat mixture before pressing it into the pan, there's a good chance that your chocolate chips will melt, resulting in a brown-tinted, chocolate/nut butter granola bar. In no way is this a bad thing...just thought I should warn you. 😉
How to Make Chewy Granola Bars
It takes only a few minutes to whip these up! Just remember to allow for a couple hours of chilling time before you get to enjoy them. 😉
- In a large pot set over medium heat, melt together your nut butter, honey, and coconut oil. Stir until smooth and remove from the stove.
- Stir in the oats and the coconut.
- Pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- Sprinkle evenly with mini chocolate chips (if using), and firmly press them down with the back of a spatula or clean hands.
- Refrigerate until firm.
- Slice into squares or bars (I like to cut 3 rows of 4 bars each for a dozen granola bars) and remove from the pan.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers. Alternatively, you may individually wrap your granola bars in plastic wrap.
Since coconut oil does become soft and melt in warmer temperatures, I recommend storing these Chewy Granola Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator...unless it's winter and your house happens to be cold, in which case these granola bars will be just fine sitting out on the counter.
The good news is that they are totally tasty cold, but if you prefer, you can certainly let your granola bar come to room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying it.
Just don't toss one of these into your purse on a hot summer day and expect it to remain solid. You'll end up with a melty, albeit delicious, mess. 😉
So seriously, friends...if you love Chewy Granola Bars, this is a must-make recipe!
After all, how can you beat a yummy, convenient snack or breakfast-on-the-go that's chock full of wholesome, natural ingredients, takes mere minutes to whip up, and only dirties one pot and a measuring cup?
I call that a win, win, win, win, WIN!
More Wholesome Snack Bars
- Copycat KIND Bars
- No-Bake Oatmeal PB Energy Bars
- Soft-Baked Banana Oatmeal Bars
- Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars
Chewy Granola Bars
- 1 cup nut butter, such as peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or your favorite; crunchy or creamy
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup coconut oil, NOT liquid coconut oil
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips, optional
- In a medium-large pot set over medium-low heat, melt together nut butter, honey, and coconut oil, stirring until smooth. Remove from stove and stir in oats and coconut.
- Pour mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Spread into an even layer, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips (if using), and firmly press down with the back of a spatula or clean hands.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Slice into squares or bars (I like to cut 3 rows of 4 bars each) and remove from pan. Store granola bars in the refrigerator, either in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers, or individually wrapped in plastic wrap.
- You may substitute chopped nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit for the coconut, or add them additionally.
- For a chocolate flavored granola bar, you may stir chocolate chips into the oat mixture, where they will partially or completely melt.