Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars


Prep Time : 15 minutes

Cook Time : 25 minutes

This chewy gluten free granola bars recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. The perfect snack for school or work!

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Chewy Gluten Free Granola Bars

This chewy homemade gluten free granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts (or no nuts at all). Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes or an after school snack, they have so much flavor and texture, and really hit the spot!

A close up of 2 granola bars on a white plate

What makes this the best chewy gluten free granola bar recipe

A good granola bar recipe is flexible. This is a good homemade granola bar recipe.

There are a few variable elements to a proper granola bar, and they’re all here. As long as each element is present in its required relative amounts, you can easily make it your own, to suit your family’s tastes.

The bars are chewy and rich, and they aren’t just sweet but they have a lot of depth of flavor from honey, molasses, and maple syrup. But, if you don’t like maple syrup, or molasses isn’t your thing, you can use more of the other type of liquid sweeteners that you prefer.

ingredients of homemade chewy gluten free granola bars, with words nuts, seeds, chips, berries, egg, oats, oat flour, sugars, vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, butter.

The elements of a proper homemade chewy gluten free granola bar

  • Oats (gluten free oats, assuming you’re gluten free): the base.
  • Dry mix-ins such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dried coconut, or chocolate chips: for texture, taste and appearance purposes (really). You really can use any combination of these elements. My favorite combination of mix-ins is chopped raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, broad, flat coconut flakes, dried cranberries, and miniature chocolate chips .
  • Sugars: 100% necessary, as they not only provide sweetness, but they hold the bars together. Here, we begin with brown sugar, and then add 6 tablespoons total of honey, maple syrup, and unsulphured molasses. They each have a different flavor, and all add richness.
  • Fat: A fat that is soft-solid at room temperature, like butter or virgin coconut oil works best. It must be melted to ensure that it moistens all the other ingredients in the bars and adds chewiness as the bars bake.
  • Egg: for baked, chewy bars like these, the egg is a binder and a texture-enhancer.
Overhead view of 2 granola bars on a white plate

How to make chewy gluten free granola bars

These chewy graham crackers are made by baking a soft granola mixture in a square baking pan, then slicing them into rectangular bars. You’ll see just how easy they are to make!

Make the soft granola mixture.

metal mixing bowl with oats and oat flour, with brown sugar, with cranberries, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, mini chocolate chips, and light brown wet ingredients, then soft light brown granola mixture with mixing spoon
  1. Whisk together lightly processed rolled oats, oat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Break up any lumps in the brown sugar by pressing them against the side of the mixing bowl with the back of your mixing spoon.
  2. Add chopped nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, and dried fruit, and mix to combine. You can really use any combination of pieces that you like best, provided that they’re dry so they don’t add additional moisture to the mixture.
  3. Mix together melted butter (or virgin coconut oil), a combination of honey, maple syrup and molasses (I like to use 1/3 of each for an equal mixture, but if you prefer one flavor over another, use more of that), a beaten egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry oat mixture with your mixing spoon, and pour the wet butter, sugar and egg mixture into the center of it.
  5. Mix everything together. This is your soft granola mixture.
light brown gluten free granola bar mixture in metal baking pan, with hand pressing down on white paper over mixture in pan, then granola bars baked in pan

Shape and bake the granola bars

  1. Scrape the soft granola mixture into a lined 9-inch square pan. It’s best if the pan is lined with paper that overhangs all 4 sides, so you can lift the uncut granola bars out of the pan after they’ve baked and cooled.
  2. Press the mixture in the pan firmly, so that everything bakes as a cohesive bar, rather than staying separate during baking.
  3. Bake until the mixture is golden brown all over, about 25 minutes.
  4. The mixture should cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, or until it’s not hot. As soon as possible, transfer the uncut bars still in the pan to the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes. This will make them so much easier to slice cleanly into bars.
  5. Remove the uncut bars from the pan by lifting the paper lining straight up, and placing the bars on a flat cutting surface. Slice in half, then slice each half into 6 bars, for a total of 12 granola bars.
2 granola bars on a white plate and the granola in a dish on a white surface below

Variations on this gluten free chewy granola bar recipe

The result is my favorite homemade granola bar recipe, one of my favorite gluten free breakfasts and quick snacks. The combination of partially processed rolled oats and oat flour creates just the right texture and helps the bars hold together while maintaining their chewiness.

The delicate balance of mini chocolate chips (not too many!) and dried fruit keeps things interesting. And a mix of honey, maple syrup and molasses, plus brown sugar, provides just the right sweetness without becoming cloying. And all of that moisture keeps them chewy even once you’ve browned them nicely in a moderate 325°F oven.

I almost always double the recipe, and bake them in two separate square pans to ensure proper browning. You can also make a double recipe in a 9-inch x 12-inch baking pan. Try baking the bars for about 35 minutes, and then turning down the oven to 300°F and continuing to bake until the center is lightly browned and set. Before removing the bars from the pan and cool on the counter for 20 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator.

FAQs

Are granola bars gluten free?

Most granola bars are made using some form of gluten, whether it’s barley malt, barley syrup, or even wheat or wheat flour itself. Granola bars are also made using oats, and since oats are gluten free but are frequently contaminated with wheat and other gluten-containing grains in the manufacturing process, unless the oats used are kept or made gluten free, even granola bars without wheat ingredients may not be safe on a gluten free diet.

Can I use this same recipe to make granola, not bars?

No, you need a separate, related recipe for that, like our recipe for homemade gluten free granola, made with savory olive oil and baked to perfection in clusters on a baking sheet.

Can I use quick oats instead of rolled oats?

Yes! Rather than buying “quick oats,” which are just rolled oats that have been lightly processed a bit further, I always pulse my gluten free old fashioned rolled oats in a food processor a few times to essentially make quick oats. In place of rolled oats, you can just use an equal amount, by weight, of gluten free quick cooking oats, if you have them.

Can I use all nuts, or do I have to use nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes?

You can use any combination you like of your favorite dry mix-in pieces, as long as none of them are wet, which would add excess moisture to the bars and prevent them from baking fully.

Are Quaker chewy granola bars gluten free?

No, Quaker chewy granola bars contain both wheat and wheat flour, so they are not gluten free.

granola bars in square metal baking pan unbaked and then baked

Gluten free granola bars ingredients and substitution suggestions

To make dairy free granola bars

These bars call for butter, but the butter is easily replaced with virgin coconut oil, which is the type that is soft solid at room temperature. Use that instead of butter, and your bars are dairy free.

To make granola bars without oats

There are ways to use a substitute for oats in most baking, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Here, we are using a combination of quick oats (or rolled oats that have been processed a bit further), and oat flour. In place of the quick oats, you can try using coconut chips or beaten rice, but they will be less chewy and have more pronounced flavor than oats. In place of oat flour, try using quinoa flakes.

Egg free granola bars

There is only one egg in this recipe. I bet a “chia egg” would work well here in its place, if necessary. I make a chia egg by mixing together 1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds and 1 tablespoon lukewarm water in a small bowl. As it sits, the mixture will gel, and is then ready to be added to the granola bar mixture.

Nut free granola bars

In place of nuts, simply use seeds like pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds. Be sure it’s something that has a flavor you like, though, as the taste will be prominent.

Baked brown granola bars with nuts and berries in white paper in metal baking tray

How to make chewy gluten free granola bars, step by step

Chewy Homemade Granola Bars Recipe

This chewy gluten free granola bars recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. The perfect snack for school or work!

Course: Snack

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Cooling time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Prevent your screen from going dark

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups (175 g) gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats processed by about half in a food processor
  • 1 cup (120 g) gluten free oat flour
  • ¾ cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar (or granulated coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups (160 g) raw pecans, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (80 g) coconut flakes/chips
  • 8 ounces mini chocolate chips dried raisins and/or dried cranberries or other small dried fruit
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 6 tablespoons (126 g) combination of honey, pure maple syrup and/or molasses (I like to use 2 tablespoons of each)
  • 1 (50 g (weighed out of shell)) egg lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, and then line it with unbleached parchment paper that overhangs 2 opposite sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.

  • Add the chopped nuts, coconut chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit, and mix to combine.

  • In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the melted butter or coconut oil, honey/maple syrup/molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well.

  • Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes.

  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer the pan to the freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the bars out of the pan by the overhung parchment paper. Peel back the paper, and slice into 12 rectangular bars with a sharp knife.

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for longer.

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2012. Ingredients simplified, all photographs new, method unchanged.

Chewy Homemade Granola Bars Recipe

This chewy gluten free granola bars recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. The perfect snack for school or work!

Course: Snack

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Cooling time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Prevent your screen from going dark

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups (175 g) gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats processed by about half in a food processor
  • 1 cup (120 g) gluten free oat flour
  • ¾ cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar (or granulated coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups (160 g) raw pecans, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (80 g) coconut flakes/chips
  • 8 ounces mini chocolate chips dried raisins and/or dried cranberries or other small dried fruit
  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 6 tablespoons (126 g) combination of honey, pure maple syrup and/or molasses (I like to use 2 tablespoons of each)
  • 1 (50 g (weighed out of shell)) egg lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, and then line it with unbleached parchment paper that overhangs 2 opposite sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.

  • Add the chopped nuts, coconut chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit, and mix to combine.

  • In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the melted butter or coconut oil, honey/maple syrup/molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well.

  • Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.

  • Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes.

  • Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer the pan to the freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the bars out of the pan by the overhung parchment paper. Peel back the paper, and slice into 12 rectangular bars with a sharp knife.

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or the freezer for longer.

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2012. Ingredients simplified, all photographs new, method unchanged.

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