Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
These Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are a delicious lunchbox or after school treat, and are a cinch to make. The texture is both chewy and crisp, with notes of honey, brown sugar, and of course, chocolate! They’re way better than store-bought granola bars and only take 45 minutes to make.
I don’t even know how many hundreds of granola bars I ate when I was a kid.
You know, the ones that were Cookies & Cream, S’mores, and Peanut Butter flavored, that were delicious but also full of corn syrup and preservatives.
Well today’s recipe is an adult-friendly and kid-friendly granola bar, but made from scratch with old-fashioned oats, whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, honey, and other upgrades from the store-bought bars.
This bar is definitely a treat, but a very nostalgic one that’s crunchy, flavorful, and hearty.
They’re very easy to make, basically just a “mix and bake” type of recipe. The recipe is from my friend Catherine’s cookbook Weelicious Lunches. Catherine is such a great resource for kid-friendly recipes, and this is certainly a recipe where you can get the kids involved.
Tips for Best Results
Use good honey – WOW does honey vary tremendously in quality. Try to stay away from the cheap stuff that comes in a plastic bear bottle, and instead select a raw, unfiltered honey. The flavor will be a million times better. Orange blossom, wildflower, Acacia, and Tupelo are some of my favorite types.
Press down very firmly – In order for the bars to hold their shape after baking, you will really need to press the oat mixture firmly into the baking sheet. The flat bottom of a metal measuring cup is a good tool for this. This is essential for both crispy and chewy granola bars.
Don’t go too dark with the chocolate – I enjoy dark chocolate, and technically you could swap in whatever darkness of chocolate you prefer here, but I recommend using semisweet chips for this recipe. Their subtle sweetness goes perfectly with the rest of the bite, and darker chocolate will come off as too bitter.
Step by Step Overview:
In a large bowl, combine old-fashioned rolled oats, whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut flakes, brown sugar, semisweet chocolate chips, and sea salt:
Oats – If the oats you’re using have been sitting in your pantry for a while, give them a smell before using. Oats can go rancid fairly quickly, and ruin the taste of your oats. Use fresh, quality whole grain oats. My two favorite brands are Bob’s Red Mill and McCann’s Irish Oatmeal. Do not use quick-cooking oats here.
Chocolate chips – Guittard is my absolute favorite company for chocolate, and it’s fairly easy to find now (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and Target). Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and Ghirardelli are also good choices for the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Using a rubber spatula, stir together to distribute the dry ingredients, then pour in a mixture of honey, oil, and vanilla extract:
Oils You can Use
You can use virtually any neutral oil or fat that you like here.
I’ve successfully used melted coconut oil, melted butter, olive oil, and avocado oil. If you use butter, you’ll want to add 20% more due to its water content (so use about 10 tablespoons of butter instead of 8 tablespoons of oil).
In Catherine’s recipe, she uses canola oil, but you can use sunflower oil or any other vegetable oil as well.
Stir well to combine, then press the granola mixture into a rimmed quarter sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper:
Make sure to really compact it down into all the edges of the prepared pan, which will help the granola bars hold together better.
The flat bottom of a metal measuring cup is a good tool for this. Or, you can place another piece of parchment paper or some plastic wrap on top and press firmly with your fingers.
Bake for about 35 minutes until golden on top:
Let the bars cool for 10 minutes, then gently lift the block out of the pan using the parchment paper, and cut into whatever shape you’d like:
You can do rectangular bars or squares, it’s up to you!
If you want to make loose, cluster granola instead of bars, here’s my favorite Granola Recipe for that. It’s great for sprinkling over yogurt or snacking.
Recipe Tips and FAQ
Keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, either in an airtight container or individually wrapped in parchment paper or wax paper.
Yes, in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave on the counter for a couple hours.
The full recipe is below, plus a video of the process below the recipe card. Enjoy!
One of the best parts about homemade granola bars is that you can play with the ingredients so much. Here are some variations to try.
Maple syrup – Change the brown sugar for maple syrup to add extra flavor. Do not change the amount of honey, which is important for stickiness. If you want to cut down on the honey, you may swap in brown rice syrup instead, which has good stickiness.
Rice Krispies – For extra crunch and a crisp lightness, add 1 cup of puffed crispy rice cereal.
Chocolate – Feel free to experiment with other kinds of chocolate, or even mini chocolate chips. White chocolate is a great choice rich in cocoa butter, or you can go dark and use bittersweet chocolate chips.
Raisins – Not into the chocolate? Swap for an equal amount of raisins.
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1.25 oz whole wheat flour (1/4 cup, if measuring)
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup neutral oil*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and salt in a large bowl, and toss it all around with a spatula until combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth and combined. Pour this all over the dry ingredients, and toss all the ingredients together until the wet ingredients have evenly coated all of the oats.
- Press the granola mixture into the pan, really compacting it well. The flat bottom of a measuring cup is a good tool for this, or you can place another piece of parchment paper on top and flatten with your fingers.
- Bake the granola rectangle for about 35 minutes, until it’s golden and dry to the touch.
- Cool the granola on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, then cut into small bars with a really sharp knife.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Disclosure: Catherine sent me a review copy of her book. This post contains an affiliate link.
Post updated in July 2018 with new photos, writing, and tips. Originally published in September 2013.