Homemade Chewy Granola Bars


Homemade Chewy Granola Bars are no-bake, low-fuss and super easy to make!

No bake, low fuss, easy to make Homemade Chewy Granola Bars. I’m in real trouble here, people!

These soft, sweet, and satisfying Chewy Almond Cherry Granola Bars are just about the most addicting snack to come out of my kitchen since…Mini Corn Dog Muffins? I seriously cannot stop stuffing them into my piehole. No really, hmmmffhhgroomph. Sorry. See?

Ordinary ingredients like almonds, pecans, and dried cherries, are wrapped in a luxurious blanket of honey, coconut oil and sweet extracts, then pressed into homemade granola bars.

I may never buy the boxed stuff again!

Making homemade Chewy Cherry Almond Granola Bars COULD NOT be simpler. Start with the dry ingredients:

  • Almonds
  • Pecan halves (could use walnuts)
  • Dried cherries
  • Old fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if you need it!)
  • Sesame seeds

Add 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans,

and old fashioned oats into a food processor.

Process the ingredients until they’re coarsely ground – not too much, or you’ll end up with almond-pecan-oatmeal butter! – then pour into a large bowl.

Roughly chop another 1/2 cup each almonds & pecans, then pour ’em in there too.

Next add 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, which I love for their textured POP,

and 1 cup dried bing cherries. These babies were super big and plump, so I gave them a rough chop too.

Everybody into the pool, and mix it all up!

Next turn your attention to the wet ingredients:

  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Cinnamon

Coconut oil is a new to me ingredient. I’ve seen it at Trader Joe’s 100 times, but when I went to buy it this weekend to make these granola bars, they were all out! Apparently Dr. Oz was just touting its benefits on his show last week, including helping to promote weight loss and treating skin conditions, and it flew off the shelves. Hy-Vee Health Department to the rescue!

Combine 3 Tablespoons coconut oil with 6 Tablespoons honey in a small saucepan on the stove.

Add other yummy seasonings like almond and vanilla extracts, cinnamon and salt, then let the mixture melt, heat, then foam, which only takes about a minute.

After it foams for 15 seconds, pour it into the dry ingredients.

Stir the heck out of it ’til every last piece of nut, seed, and fruit is covered!

Pour the mixture into a half sheet pan or 8×8 baking dish (don’t go any bigger or the bars will be too thin) lined with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to hang over the ends, then press the heck out of it. I used the flat bottom of a glass bowl to squish the granola into a uniform layer. Wrap the extra saran wrap or parchment paper over the top to cover, then pop in the fridge for a few hours to setup.

When the granola is hard, cut into bars while it’s still in the pan, then lift out.


Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Makes 16 thin bars


Homemade Chewy Granola Bars are no-bake, low-fuss and super easy to make!


  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecan halves (could use walnuts)
  • 1 cup certified gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped if large
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. Add 1/2 cup each of almonds, pecans, and old fashioned oats into a food processor. Process until fine (not too long or it will start to turn into nut butter!) then pour into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining pecans and almonds, then add the bowl. Add remaining old fashioned oats, cherries, and sesame seeds, then mix well and set aside.
  2. Combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture melts, then foams, then cook for 15 seconds longer. Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.
  3. Line a half sheet pan or 8x8 pan with enough saran wrap or parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then pour in granola. Press very, very firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray.) Wrap the overhanging saran wrap or parchment paper up over the sides and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.


Adapted from Joyful Abode

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

These granola bars are dense, chewy, and magnificent. Plus that classic cherry-almond flavor combo cannot be beat.

The coconut oil has a faint buttery taste, which almost makes the bars taste like – wait for it – cookie dough (cookie dough!!) Edited to add: the coconut oil does not taste like coconut! It has a neutral/buttery taste.

I love knowing exactly what I put into these chewy granola bars too, versus buying a box from the grocery store that could be filled with over-processed and weird ingredients. This is REAL. GOOD. FOOD.

Enjoy the bars as-is, or crumble over yogurt, oatmeal, and alongside your self control which will also be crumbling shortly after your first bite. I’m telling you – absurdly delish! Wrap up any leftovers you will be lucky to have in saran wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer.


What snack are you obsessed with at the moment?

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  1. Faith 03.20.2012

    YUM! Those look delish. I just made raw “cookie dough” balls w/ raw almonds, oats, agave nectar, vanilla and mini chocolate chips. Oh goodness are they a yummy snack.

  2. Kristi 03.20.2012

    These look FABULOUS!! Can’t wait to make them!

  3. Ahhhhh, I tried making granola bars tonight but had an epic fail!!!

  4. These look mega delish. I can’t stop eating dried mango!

  5. Olivia 03.20.2012

    Those look amazing! I envy your total stash of TJs goodies, since I live in Canada and we don’t have it! :(

  6. Robyn 03.20.2012

    These look FAB! Any ball park figure on calories?

  7. Jill 03.20.2012

    These look awesome!

  8. Amy M @ In The Mixing Bowl 03.20.2012

    These look so great! Cherry almond is my favorite combo for smoothies so I’m sure these are delicious. Can you even imagine these bars PLUS dark chocolate chips?!

  9. annie 03.20.2012

    so i am using a couple of the treadmill workouts. thank you! they help to push me over the normal routine…i am very winded when i finish and it helps take focus off just running. :>

    i did have to scale back .5 on speed the first week as i wasn’t used to running at 8 or 7.5 in awhile. but good routines i am alternating between right now.

    anyhoo…all the carb-less meals and running you are doing and you never post a pic of your rock hard running legs!! i need inspiration i imagine calves and thighs of steel! come on we need some more motivation….that it is working for you! lol ….blerg…lol

  10. Kira 03.20.2012

    I can’t wait to make these! I just need to pick up some sesame seeds. :)

  11. Michelle 03.20.2012

    You forgot the first step- #1 “Go shopping at Trader Joe’s” It’s okay though, I would do that step anyway!

  12. kate 03.20.2012

    Cool Measuring cup! Where did you find that ?

  13. Cait 03.20.2012

    These look delicious. I also want to know what is that awesome measuring cup you are using?

  14. Emily 03.20.2012

    Making homemade granola and granola bars are my all time favorite “it’s way better homemade” items. I’ve been making granola for about 3 years now and bought a bag the other day on a whim and it was sooooo gross (and had way more calories & fat!). Homemade is the way to go!

  15. Nicole G 03.20.2012

    Oh girl! These look amazing! It is kiling me that I can’t eat granola bars right now with these goofy braces I still have :( Definitely going on my “to make” list. I did make your Greek Quinoa Salad tonight, and added cucumber to the mix ! It was so good!!! Love this post!

  16. Angela 03.20.2012

    Those look amazing! Thanks for sharing…will be making these soon!

  17. Lauren 03.20.2012

    I really wish I would have seen these a few hours ago because I JUST posted a recipe for trail mix bars on the NAG site that looks so similar. :)

  18. I really want to try these! Mini chocolate chips would be amazing in there as well =)

  19. KAT 03.20.2012

    looks good…btw made the broccoli beef recipe you wrote about recently…usually my attempts at making blog recipes are FAILS – but this was AWESOME! Better than restaurant B&B and healthy (now we can have our B&B and eat it too)…my two little boys who are picky and usually refuse to eat what we are eating – loved it and gobbled it up – we topped it over Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley (frozen food section) – yum!!! We will be making this regularly.

  20. These look great! Do you have a guess on the nutritional value?

  21. Michelle 03.20.2012

    I am snack obsessed with scones and puppy chow!

  22. i have been SCOURING the internet for a recipe like this — healthy, delicious, and on-the-go. of course IGE comes through :)

  23. Angela 03.20.2012

    Mmm. That looks amazing! Will need to try :)

  24. Eve 03.20.2012

    These look delicious and with 3 young boys who like “cereal bars” for breakfast, I may have to give these a whirl.

  25. brin 03.20.2012

    the lightning on these are amazing!!!!

  26. mmm, love homemade granola bars! i made some a few weeks ago that i froze individually for lunches. awesome snack :)

  27. Jamie 03.20.2012

    How might you up the protein count?

  28. Snack Girl 03.20.2012

    My favorite bars are my cereal bars – which I do in a muffin tin because I am too lazy to cut them up – see http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/cereal-bar-recipe/

  29. Molly 03.20.2012

    These look perfect! Cant wait to make them!

  30. Carly 03.20.2012

    These look awesome. Any chance you could give an estimated calorie count? I’d think I died and went to heaven if you started including that on your recipes. You’re already famous in my house :D

  31. courtney 03.20.2012

    buy coconut oil from vitacost.com……WAY cheaper than hyvee!

  32. Mary R 03.20.2012

    So does the coconut oil “taste” like coconut? Can an unflavored oil be used in its place (if it does taste like coconut)?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.21.2012

      I should have mentioned that, sorry! No, coconut oil does not taste like coconut. It’s got a neutral/slightly buttery taste!

      • Tracy 03.21.2012

        Above you said coconut “butter”, but you did use coconut “oil”, right? Coconut butter definitely tastes like coconut.

  33. jennyv 03.20.2012

    It must be a coconut oil granola bar type of day in Iowa! I just made some of my own this afternoon after running to Costco and getting some bulk almonds. My husband & I use coconut oil for EVERYTHING (cooking, baking, lotion, you name it!)

  34. Traci 03.20.2012

    I had the same – can’t stop eating these- reaction today When I made “healthy banana oat bars” from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. They are loaded with healthy, yummy ingredients. I actually left the house so I wouldn’t eat the whole pan! I make a variety of granola type bars for my kids and now I’m anxious to try your recipe too!

  35. Lori P 03.20.2012

    I will have to try these but I would probably use dried cranberries. I just cannot become a cherry fan so matter how much I try.

    I made your shepard’s pie tonight and it was delicious! I cannot believe how well the cauliflower blended with the potatoes that I couldn’t even taste it. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers at lunch tomorrow!

  36. Dory 03.20.2012

    Will it go back if I don’t put it in fridge or freezer?
    I was hoping to ship it to a friend…

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.21.2012

      I’d imagine it would be ok as there’s nothing in the ingredient list that would spoil. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, so even if the bars “melted” a little bit while shipping, they should firm back up in the fridge!

      • Dory 03.21.2012

        Thank you for answering my question!

        Your blog is beautiful! It’s inspiring me :)

      • Dory 03.21.2012

        Would it become too hard to bite if I put it in the fridge?
        I did that before with another recipe and that’s what happened… :)


  37. Michelle 03.20.2012

    Once you go to homemade ones, it’s hard to go back. They never taste the same again!

  38. Karen 03.20.2012

    Ok, this is probably a bad question, but how coconutty does coconut oil taste? My family does not like coconut flavor so I want to know if it would be a waste of money for me. Thanks.

  39. Beth 03.20.2012

    I’m lovin’ on the Quaker Whole Hearts…SOOOO tasty!

  40. Carol Carratt 03.20.2012

    Sounds yummy and I love the healthy ingredients!

  41. Brittany 03.21.2012

    These look amazing! I am on a peanut butter sandwich kick for snacking right now. I just found your blog and I am obsessed! You are adorable! I can’t wait to give some of your recipes a try.

  42. These look like amazing! I am allergic to berries and it’s hard for me to find a granola bar with fruit that isn’t a berry, so this looks like a match made in heaven for me! I can’t wait to try these.

  43. Emilia 03.21.2012

    Yum! I’ve been wanting to make chewy granola bars for so long (hate. the. crunchy. ones.) and you certainly sell this recipe, haha. :)
    My current snack obsession has been licorice and french chocolate granola (from Orangette, divine!). Or, rather, whatever is right at hand in the midst of essay writing.

  44. annie 03.21.2012

    there is a bottle of something behind the almond extract and salt. what is that?? i don’t see it listed in the ingredients.


  45. Maria 03.21.2012

    These look awesome! Pinning them now:)

  46. Dory 03.21.2012

    May I ask what camera lens you use? Your pictures always come out GREAT!

    :) Thanks again!

  47. Colleen 03.21.2012

    First of all, love your blog! I’m an Iowa girl too and I love seeing all your delicious recipes! My husband works for Hy-Vee too, so I have to admit I liked that plus as well :) We are heading to Trader Joe’s this weekend because we’ll be in West Des Moines for a baby shower, so I’m hoping to stock up on lots of goods, especially the majority of ingredients for these bars! We don’t have one near by so i’m excited! Theirs nuts and dried fruits are so reasonable! :) Thanks for the recipe!

  48. Jenny 03.21.2012

    Do you think these would hold together if the honey was omitted?

  49. I JUST bought some coconut oil from TJs last week so this is the perfect recipe to try it out on!

  50. Erin 03.21.2012

    I am currently obsessed with baby carrots and Sabra’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Can’t get enough!

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