Homemade Granola Bars with chocolate chips and marshmallows are a chewy, easy to make and no-bake are a winning combination and kid favorites. Perfect for packing for school or an afternoon snack.
We love all snacks with chocolate including Chocolate Covered Almonds, Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Granola Bar Recipe
Homemade Granola Bars have had a pretty harsh reputation for a while. People either think they’re too hard to make or just overall more expensive to make than the packaged variety. Neither of those things has to be true! This recipe is quick-cooking (as easy as making rice krispies treats) and makes so many granola bars you’ll save much more money and they taste better than any packaged variety of granola bar I’ve ever tasted.
They’re an easy go-to snack you can make ahead of time once a month and have frozen and ready to pop into your child’s lunches.
This recipe makes a healthy snack your kids will love that is an old-fashioned great recipe I’ve been using since I was in junior high. This was actually formed from a recipe I was given in a home economics class in my junior high school and we made the recipe for our back-to-school night to share with our parents to show them how well we were doing in class (marshmallows not included, I added those in later to the recipe).
Homemade Granola doesn’t have to be hard and homemade granola bars are really only one extra step of bringing a bit of moisture out of your honey to create a combination that can form a cohesive bar shape. If you don’t cook the honey you’ll end up with a sticky mixture that isn’t able to be picked up and if it gets cooked too much it would end up crunchy.
This recipe is nut free but you can of course add nuts to the recipe as you’d like, I included some more varieties below for more fun options. You can also dip these bars in melted chocolate, if you’ve been around the site for a while you know I love dipping almost everything in chocolate (see chocolate dipped recipes here).
You can also use sunbutter, nut butter of all types, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashew, macadamia or brazil nuts in making these granola bars your own. There is no end to the amount of mix-ins you can use.
What kind of chocolate is best in chewy granola bars:
Based on your additional ingredients you’ll select the best flavor of chocolate. I use semi-sweet as it provides a lot of flavor, but if you are making this for very young children you can use milk chocolate. If you are making these for more adult palates you can use dark chocolate.
Can I use Instant Oats in Granola Bars?
Do not use instant oats in the recipe instead of the rolled oats. The rolled oats help to give the bars some body and some chew. Instant oats would not provide enough stability and support to the granola bars.
How do you store homemade granola bars?
Make sure you store these granola bars in an airtight container in a temperature controlled room. If the room is too warm the honey will melt and the stability will be compromised. The chocolate will also melt.
These bars can be kept for up to a week at room temperature or you can refrigerate them for up to 2 weeks. Because they aren’t store-bought you have ingredients that are going to spoil if left out any longer than a week. If you can’t eat the granola bars in that time you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
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Can I swap out the honey altogether with peanut butter or almond butter?
No, you’re going to need a sweetened binding agent to keep these bars together and while you can cut back slightly on the honey in the peanut butter granola bars variation below you cannot remove the honey/maple syrup/brown rice syrup altogether because the bars will not stay together if you do.
Can I bake this into granola? Will it become dry granola?
No, in testing this isn’t the right ratios for you to put into the oven to bake into crunchy granola or a standard dry granola recipe.
Did I mention they taste like S’mores Granola Bars? They’re pretty kid-friendly.
Yeah, they’re that good.
If you aren’t a huge fan of s’mores don’t worry I’ve got some other flavor combinations for you too:
Granola Bar Flavor Variations:
- Oreo Granola Bars: Swap Oreo crumbs in place of the graham cracker crumbs and white chocolate chips in place of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars: Add 1 cup raisins, 1 teaspoons cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in place of the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
- Chocolate Chip Granola Bars: Double the chocolate chips, increase rice cereal to 2 cups and skip the marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs.
- Monster Granola Bars: Swap marshmallows for ¼ mini m&ms and ¼ cup chopped peanuts.
- Turtle Granola Bars: Swap marshmallows for chewy caramel bits and pretzel crumbs instead of graham cracker crumbs.
- Peanut Butter Granola Bars: Add half peanut butter and half honey, swap peanut butter chips for chocolate chips and chopped peanuts for marshmallows for the ultimate peanut butter granola bars (this recipe can also be made with Almonds using almond butter and chopped almonds).
- Dark Chocolate Cherry: Swap out the marshmallows for dried cherries, the semi-sweet chips for chopped dark chocolate and increase rice cereal to 2 cups and skip graham cracker crumbs.
Tips for the Easiest Granola Bars Ever:
- If you’d like you can use coconut oil in place of butter.
- Vanilla extract, almond extract or peppermint extract are easy ways to add quick flavor.
- In place of honey you can also use brown rice syrup or maple syrup.
- You can add chia seeds or flax seeds to the recipe to make them a bit healthier too.
- Make sure you let the mixture cool completely before adding in the marshmallows or chocolate chips or the chocolate will become very messy.
- If you’re looking for a way to speed up the cooling process before adding the chips and marshmallows you can refrigerate the mixture briefly, but if you leave it in for too long it will harden to the point that you cannot add anything in anymore. Do not freeze the mixture for any period of time.
- Make these into chewy granola muffins instead by pressing them into muffin tins instead of a prepared pan you’d have to slice into bars.
- Make these into chewy bites if you use mini muffin tins and you can store them in a large air-tight ziplock bag since they are small enough they won’t likely stick together.
Looking for more snack recipes?
- Chex Mix
- Muddy Buddies
- White Chocolate Muddy Buddies
- White Chocolate Trash Mix
- Caramel Popcorn
- Cheddar Popcorn
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
- 2/3 cup honey
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1/2 cups graham crackers , crushed in pieces and crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup cereal marshmallows
- Spray an 8x8 inch pan with canola oil or baking spray and line just the bottom of the pan with some parchment paper.
- In a small pot over medium heat add the butter, brown sugar and honey and whisk on medium heat until bubbling then cook exactly for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl add the oats, cereal, graham crackers and salt then pour the butter mixture over the cereal and whisk it together carefully to combine well then let it cool for 20 minutes.
- Add in the marshmallows and mini chocolate chips gently then press into your pan gently but slightly packed down and let it solidify in the refrigerator before slicing for 2 hours.
I have made this recipe twice now. Each time even though the bars taste great they are not stiff enough to hold. It ends up crumbling and turning into more like just granola instead of a bar. I did have it at a rolling boil for 2 mins. Mixed in Granola using rolled oats. I waited 20 mins to put in my add-ins. Put it the frig for a few hours. At that time they were perfect to cut.
I placed them into a airtight container. When I came back to eat some it fell apart as soon as i tried to pick it up. Any suggestions?
I’m sorry they didn’t work for you. Sometimes “Dry” or “Crumbly” dough can be a product of over-mixing or using too much of any ingredient during the mixing process. This can be reversed by adding one to two tablespoons of liquid (water, milk or softened butter) to your mix. We really enjoy these snacks and hope that if you try them again sometime, they will hold together better for you.
I followed the recipe and sadly mine did not hold their shape. They fell apart when I cut them but they are very tasty.
oh no. I’m sorry to hear that. Glad they were still tasty
First granola bar recipe I have attempted. Very easy to follow. They turned out amazing!! I can’t wait to try other combinations.
They do not stay together as well as they should, which really doesn’t matter much to us. However, it overwhelmingly tastes like honey. Outside of that, these are also really bland. If you LOVE LOVE LOVE honey and that is ALL you want to taste, these are for you! If you want more than that, find another recipe. This isn’t it at all.
I made the recipe with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Turned out perfect. Made a second batch and used cranberries and pecans. They will not stick together. Put in the refrigerator just like the others and cut but when they warm just a bit they fall all apart. Is there anything I can do to them now to make them stick together?
Sorry to leave a negative review but these never held together. Totally just crumpled apart.
Try putting the marshmallows in with the butter and melt them, I’ve had success and they don’t fall apart then
Just made these and they turned out amazing.
One question though- do you store them in the fridge?
Just made these as my very first attempt ever at homemade granola bars. We of course had to taste just a bit once initial mix was done & WOW, we’re having a very hard time waiting the 20 mins for the mixture to cool before finishing with choc chips & marshmallows…we just want to eat it now, as is. Can’t wait for “finished” product, but we already know this will be a keeper.
Thanks for the 5 stars, Tina.
I make lunch snacks for my son for school and freeze them and then take them out as needed, do you think these could be frozen? Thanks
Yes, they can be frozen.
I made the chocolate chip ones for myself and my husband in a double batch. I left them in the refrigerator over night and they still didn’t solidify enough to cut them up. I put it in a 9×13 pan because it was a double batch. Help what am I doing wrong?
Oh no! Did you make sure to use rolled oats and not instant oats?
I made the chocolate chip ones too, with regular batch size, and they’re also too soft to cut. I used all the correct ingredients and amounts. Any ideas?
Oh no! The only thing I can think of that would lead to them being to sticky and not harden enough would the the step 2. Were you able to put them in the fridge or freezer to help make them easier to cut?
I’m making these right now for our mountain vacation. I’ve been looking for some healthier snacks and these are perfect! I love how versatile they are too! I’m doing half honey half peanut butter, coconut oil, mini m&ms in place of chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and a little flax meal for extra fiber. Thanks for the recipe! Next time I’m trying the chocolate cherry version?
Love this! They make the perfect camping and hiking power snack. Let us know how the chocolate cherry ones turn out for you!
Well that first time they didn’t hold up at all, but it made super tasty granola! This time I’m making chocolate cherry and I’m using all honey and butter. I’m ok with it just being granola, it lasts longer that way anyway!! And yes, I’m using the old fashioned oats, my 3 year old loves her oatmeal so I always have them on hand!
I have an allergy to nuts and can never find a granola bar in the stores without them. This is the perfect alternative and I can’t wait to try it!
These look amazing! Is there something I can substitute for the graham crackers or can I simply omit them?
You can leave them out if you’d like but it will adjust the flavor too. Enjoy!
Any suggestions for what to use instead of graham crackers? I live in the UK and they are not sold her.
I’d say the closest thing would be a digestive biscuit. Good luck!
I used peanut butter chips instead of chocolate. Excellent!
These are such great after school snacks. My youngest loves them!
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
These were so easy to make and a big hit! They will definately be a regular in our house!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks for the 5 stars.
My kids go through these like crazy! Such a great recipe!
I don’t blame them. They’re so good!
These are a huge hit at my house. So good.
Yay! So glad everyone loves them.
The whole family loves these!
My husband is a diabetic. Do you have any granola bar recipes with less sugar and carbs?
I’m sorry, I don’t at this time. I’ll add that to my list to start researching. Thanks for the suggestion.