With just a handful of flavorful ingredients (including chocolate and peanut butter), these crispy no-bake Chocolate Granola Bars are delish as a snack or dessert. They take about 10 minutes to make and you can store them in the fridge or freezer for weeks.

chocolate granola bars in stack with milk jug.

Chocolate Granola Bars

Made with rolled oats, crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, chocolate and more, this recipe is a cinch to mix together and set up. And the texture is like a rice krispie treat, only with more flavor and substance. These are seriously delish and also super satisfying—a perfect homemade snack to keep us fueled!

This is one of my go-to recipes to make for friends when they have a new baby in the house or to make when I’m trying to stock the freezer with homemade snacks. They’re also great to take hiking or on camping trips.

The great thing about this recipe is that you simply stir the ingredients together, let it set, and slice up the bars. No cooking required. (And you can safely taste the batter!)

Ingredients You Need

To make this easy recipe you’ll need the following ingredients:

ingredients in chocolate granola bars on counter.
  • Rolled oats: These oats add fiber and whole grains, and soften in the rest of the mixture.
  • Crispy rice cereal: Rice Krispies or a store brand work the same.
  • Chocolate chips: Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips work well here.
  • Unsweetened natural peanut butter: Brands like Smucker’s Natural or Teddie’s work well here. (I am sure a regular creamy peanut butter will work if that’s what you have.)
  • Brown rice syrup: I use this syrup in my no-bake granola bars since it’s stickier than honey, so it helps the bars hold together really well. It’s also less sweet tasting, which is nice since there are other sweet ingredients here. It’s usually sold near the agave or you can order it on Amazon. One jar will make two batches of these bars.
  • Dried cherries or raisins: I love this with dried cherries, but raisins work too. You can also skip this addition if you want to simplify.
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut: I like the flavor this adds, so I sometimes use some in place of ½ cup of the oats, but that’s optional. Otherwise you can skip it.

TIP: You can use honey in place of the brown rice syrup. The bars won’t hold together quite as well, so be sure to store them in the fridge and serve them very cold for best results.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe for your family. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

how to make chocolate granola bars in grid of 4
  1. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and brown rice syrup to a big heat-safe bowl.
  2. Warm in the microwave. Stir to melt the chocolate.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, transitioning to using your hands when it’s hard to mix. Mix the ingredients well to form a uniform batter. It may take a minute or two.
  4. Pour batter into a pan lined with parchment paper and press down evenly. Pop into the fridge briefly to firm up, then remove from the pan and slice into bars.

TIP: You can wrap these individually and store, or store them in a container loose. Both work!

chocolate granola bars in pan with parchment

Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe is easy to make gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free rolled oats, which you should be able to find at most grocery stores.

Why do you use brown rice syrup?

I know that brown rice syrup isn’t a pantry staple that most of us have in the house, but one jar will make two batches—and you can store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make the second batch. You can buy it online or look for it near the sugar or agave in your grocery store. My small town stores both carry it.

Can I make this recipe nut-free?

For whatever reason, peanut butter binds the best in this recipe. Sunbutter doesn’t hold together as well, so this might not be a good option if you have a nut allergy in your house.

sliced chocolate granola bars on parchment paper.

How to Store

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container or in the freezer in a zip top bag for up to 3 months. You can wrap each bar in plastic wrap so they’re easy to grab and go.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use smooth natural and unsweetened peanut butter.
  • Leave an overhang on two sides of the pan with the parchment paper so you can lift the bars out to easily cut them.
  • Use your hands to mix the batter as needed to get it evenly coated.
  • Chill for a bit before slicing.
  • I prefer to store these wrapped individually in plastic wrap.
  • Use honey for the brown rice syrup, but be sure to serve them straight from the fridge as they will need to be cold to hold together as well.
  • Dice up into small pieces for younger eaters. Or make thinner bars by using a 9×11-inch pan instead of the 8×8-inch pan I show here.

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I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!

chocolate granola bars in stack with milk jug.

No-Bake Chocolate Granola Bars

With about 10 minutes of prep time, you can make the most delicious homemade granola bars to last for many snack times to come. These bars are easiest to slice after chilling a bit, so plan to let them firm up in the fridge before you cut them.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 269kcal
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet)
  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal (or puffed flax cereal)
  • cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup dried cherries (or raisins; optional)

Instructions

  • Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving enough on the sides for you to lift the bars out of the pan.
  • Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and brown rice syrup to a large heat-proof bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth, stopping to stir. (It should take a minute).
  • Add the cereal, oats, cereal, and dried cherries.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon, then use your (clean) hands to massage the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  • Pour into pan and use your hands to press down firmly and evenly.
  • Chill for 10-20 minutes, use the parchment to remove from the pan, and slice into bars. Serve chilled (they will be firmer) or at room temperature.

Video

Notes

  • To store, wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in a zip top bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To store in the freezer, place bars in a zip top bag and remove as much air as possible.
  • I prefer to store these wrapped individually in plastic wrap.
  • Use smooth natural and unsweetened peanut butter.
  • Leave an overhang on two sides of the pan with the parchment paper so you can lift the bars out to easily cut them.
  • Chill for a bit before slicing.
  • Nut-free: Use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Sub ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut for some of the oats, if desired.
  • Slice into smaller pieces if desired. Or make thinner bars by using a 9×11-inch pan instead of the 8×8-inch pan I show here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 89mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This recipe was first published August 2019.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So good! I made as directed and they turned out great; and super simple to make! I used a 9×13 pan as I wanted a thinner bar. Had to stop my 3 year old from devouring them all 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    We made these yesterday and I can’t tell you who loves them more, him or me! I didn’t have rice syrup so I used a combination of honey and date syrup. Anything loose I rolled into tight granola balls. Perfection. Don’t leave the cherries out. They’re the best part!

  3. 5 stars
    I tried these out today and used honey instead of the brown rice syrup. They turned so good! We loved them and will definitely make again.

  4. can I replace brown rice syrup with something? honey? maple syrup? I’m guessing it’s the sweetener. thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Very tasty! I used the brown rice syrup and it really held the bars together and it was the perfect amount of sweet. I made half the wise of recipe and it’s enough for me to snack on and for my son’s lunches this week!

  6. I can never seem to find brown rice syrup! I don’t want to invest in the $20 for one recipe.. could I use honey or maple syrup or a combo? Don’t want it to be too sweet. Can’t wait to try!!

    1. 5 stars
      I bought brown rice syrup at Superstore today (I’m Canadian) and it was $4 Canadian for a small jar. It was my first time using it and I’m really surprised how well it held the bars together like store bought!

  7. 5 stars
    So easy and yummy! I bought Annies cinnabunnies and my kids didn’t like them so I was looking for a way to avoid wasting the box. They worked really well in this recipe and the added cinnamon flavor was delish. I used corn syrup and they turned out perfect! Plus it was a fun acitivity with my boys on whst is hopefully one of the last cold mn days! Thanks Amy!