If you have never made granola bars before, start with this one. These chewy chocolate chip peanut butter granola bars basically taste like a cookie but are healthy, vegan, and gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. The best part? They take just 10 minutes to prep, and you will be all set for up to 2 weeks of snacking.
Ingredients in Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- rolled oats - using rolled oats is important vs using quick oats because they hold their shape when baked.
- peanut butter
- tahini sesame paste - I originally needed a full cup of peanut butter but when I only had ½ cup, I looked to my pantry to see what I could use. Tahini is the perfect touch. It helps hold the granola bars together and adds an incredible underlying flavour.
- maple syrup - to naturally sweeten the bars.
- coconut oil - using coconut oil keeps these bars vegan. You could also use melted butter.
- vanilla extract - adds some flavour.
- raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) - you could also use other small nuts. Chopped almonds or pecans are really delicious in this as well.
- pumpkin spice blend - or just add some cinnamon for flavour.
- mini chocolate chips - You can choose to leave them out or add less, to taste. If using, I recommend mini chocolate chips for these bars since they are small, they get distributed to cover more surface area. Plus, they just look better.
How to Make the Best Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
First, combine peanut butter, tahini, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until smooth and creamy. This mixture is going to hold the granola bars together.
Then, in a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, pepitas, pumpkin spice, and salt, and mix together. Pour the liquid mixture on top and stir to combine until fully incorporated and the oats are all coated with the liquid mixture. Allow mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and then stir in ½ cup chocolate chips. If you are like me and cannot wait, you can stir in the chocolate chips right away, but be prepared for them to melt. The granola bars will taste the same.
Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined 8-inch square baking pan or casserole dish and firmly press mixture into the pan using a spatula or the back of a glass. Make sure it is packed very tightly and evenly. Top with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated 325 F oven. The granola bars are done once the edges have browned and pulled away from the sides.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove parchment paper from pan and transfer to refrigerator. Cool for 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator and slice into 12 rectangular bars.
How to Store
- How to store homemade granola bars: You can store homemade granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If it is a hot day, I’d recommend storing in the refrigerator since the chocolate chips may start to melt at room temperature. The granola bars stored in the refrigerator will be just slightly harder, but still chewy.
- How to freeze granola bars: To freeze, slice into bars and place on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for an hour. Then, transfer the bars into a freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when ready to eat.
More Granola Recipes
- Almond Cranberry Chocolate Granola Bars
- Almond Butter Granola Bars
- Easy Apple Cinnamon Granola
- Pumpkin Pie Granola
- Pecan Toffee Bars
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.