For a fast and filling snack — or okay, sometimes a meal — granola bars just can’t be beat. They’re portable and tasty and filling. I decided it was time to learn how to make granola bars back when my kids were in elementary school, and these are still a favorite today.
Originally published March 2014; this post has been updated.
Once upon a time, when my boys were young and in Little League, we did a lot of eating on the run. The slow cooker helped us manage meals, but people were hungry during those games and seemingly never-ending practices.
Granola bars were my go-to grab and go snacks. I chose what I thought were the healthiest bars, but not long into the season I realized that 1. we were creating a lot of trash and 2. we were spending a lot of cash.
Time to learn how to make granola bars myself!
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Easy Homemade Granola Bars Recipe
The good news is, it’s not hard. It’s a simple matter of combining ingredients, pressing them into a pan, and baking. The house will smell lovely, you will have snacks, and you’ll save money.
These peanut butter granola bars, adapted from a recipe from a vintage television show called Zoom (remember THAT?), became our standby snack on busy days. Even now, my adult children will fall back on this recipe when they know they’re going to be out and about all day long and in need of sustenance.
Oats — The bulk of this granola recipe comes from old fashioned rolled oats. Skip the quick oats; you want the heft of whole, rolled oats here.
Honey — This recipe is lightly sweetened with honey. If you like, you could easily use maple syrup instead.
Peanut Butter — Added for both flavor and a little extra protein, peanut butter helps hold the ingredients together, too. I prefer a natural peanut butter; opt for creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter. For a nut free version, try sunflower seed butter or use melted butter or coconut oil.
Eggs — Fresh eggs, store bought, use what you have readily available.
Optional Add-Ins — This is where you can really customize these homemade granola bars. We typically add raisins or dried cranberries, along with mini chocolate chips and nuts. You can also add unsweetened shredded coconut.
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Start by mixing the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and eggs in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Transfer oat mixture to a rimmed baking pan and spread evenly. Use a spatula or your hands to press the mixture firmly into the pan.
Bake, remove from oven, and once again press the oat mixture firmly into the pan. Doing this both before and after baking the bars helps them retain their shape.
Cool, then cut into bars.
Place bars into an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to a week.
Be sure to try these homemade granola recipes, too!
★ Did you make these granola bars? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below!
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups organic raisins or cranberries
- 2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 cup nuts (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir salt, flour, baking powder, and oats into peanut butter mixture. Add raisins, chocolate chips, and nuts.
- Spread mixture into a 13"x18" baking sheet, greased or lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Press the mixture firmly down into the pan using a flat spatula or other tool.
- Bake 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and press bars again to help them hold their shape.
- Cool, then slice into 24 bars.
For a nut free version, try sunflower seed butter or use melted butter or coconut oil instead of the peanut butter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 5gSugar: 22gProtein: 9g