This healthy chewy granola bar recipe calls for just ten, yes TEN ingredients. Packed full of healthy, natural ingredients, these chewy granola bars are gluten-free, vegan and free of any refined sugars.

Ingredient Notes


We recommend using quick-cooking oats—their smaller texture make them ideal for eating uncooked.


For this recipe we like sliced almonds. Feel free to use any nut you like—chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts or even seeds like pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great options.

Make sure you’re using raw, unsalted nuts. We’ll take care of the toasting first thing!

Nut Butter

Use whatever nut or seed butter you like! We recommend peanut butter or almond butter. Make sure to use creamy (not chunky) and salted nut butters.

How to Make Healthy Granola Bars With Dates

Dates are a great ingredient to use in healthy homemade granola bars. They’re often called nature’s candy, and for good reason! They’re sweet, sticky, and almost reminiscent of a good caramel.

One important thing to keep in mind—if your dates are bit old or dry, consider soaking them in warm water for about 15 minutes before using. Once they have soaked, drain them and use as directed.

  1. First off, it’s important to pit the dates. To do so, simply pull the dates apart with your fingers and discard the pit. It should come out pretty easily.
  2. Process the pitted dates in a food processor until a thick paste forms, you may need to break the dates apart a couple of times until it processes smoothly.
  3. Combine date paste with nut butter, honey, salt and cinnamon and briefly cook on the stove until combined.
  4. Combine date mixture with toasted oats and almonds, coconut flakes and chia seeds. Your hands are your best tool here!
  5. Press granola bar mixture into a glass pan.
  6. Optional step: melt chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave) and drizzle over bars.
  7. Chill granola bar until set then cut into individual bars and enjoy!

Watch How to Make the Recipe

Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.

How to Store Homemade Granola Bars

We like to store these no-bake granola bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. We think their texture is best right out of the fridge. However, if you want a super chewy, cookie-like granola bar, you can also store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Toast the oats before mixing them into the granola bars. This gives them a lovely, toasty flavor.
  • Like the oats, it’s important to also toast the nuts. This unlocks all of their flavor!
  • Use good-quality ingredients like pure vanilla extract, honey and natural nut butters. The better quality the ingredients going in—the better the result coming out.
  • Use very fresh dried dates. If your dates have been in the cupboard for a while and are pretty dried out/tough you can do one of two things. One, save them for something else and get fresh dried dates that are soft and pliable. The second option, pit the dates then soak them for about 15 minutes in very hot water. Drain and discard the date water, then use the softened dates as directed in the recipe.

Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.

Make Them Nut-Free

You can easily make these granola bars completely nut-free! Here is how you should swap the ingredients out:

  • Swap 1 cup sliced almonds for 1 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  • Swap ½ cup peanut or almond butter for sunflower seed butter

Try These Other Granola Recipes

  • These Cherry & Almond Granola Bites with Cocoa Nibs are the perfect bite-sized snack, kids love them!
  • Looking to use up that sorghum grain in the back of the pantry? Try this Healthy Granola with Popped Sorghum.
  • We love the simplicity of our Honey & Almond Granola used in our yogurt parfaits.
  • An all-time favorite is our Tahini & Maple Granola. Just the best combinations of flavors.
  • Looking for more granola bar recipes? These Healthy No-Bake Almond Butter Granola Bars are so nutty and delicious!
  • We also love our Cereal Bars—they’re a great way to use up leftover cereal.

Healthy Chewy Coconut & Date Granola Bars

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 granola bars
Category Snack
Cuisine American
Author Lauren


These healthy chewy granola bars naturally sweetened, packed with whole grains, healthy fats and plant protein. They can easily be made vegan and gluten-free as well.


  • 1 ¾ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped *soaked if needed, see notes
  • ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, optional


  • Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Combine oats and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add coconut to baking sheet and toast until golden, 3 minutes; transfer to bowl with oats and add chia seeds.
  • Meanwhile, process dates in a food processor until a thick paste-like ball forms. Break ball apart then continue to process until paste forms around sides of bowl. Combine date mixture, peanut butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until combined, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla.
  • Add date mixture to oat mixture and mix until thoroughly combined (set down the spoon and get your hands dirty, this is a sticky mixture). Transfer mixture to prepared dish and press into an even layer.
  • In a double boiler (glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water), melt chocolate until smooth, drizzle or spread over bars. Chill bars at least 1 hour before cutting.
  • Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.



*If your dates are bit old or dry, consider soaking them in warm water for about 15 minutes before using. Once they have soaked, drain them and use as directed.
Make these vegan: use pure maple syrup instead of honey and use vegan chocolate
Make these gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats and use certified gluten-free chocolate
Nutritional analysis calculated without chocolate.


Serving: 1barCalories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 12gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 79mgFiber: 10gSugar: 25g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Photograph of homemade chewy granola bars stacked on top of each other on wax paper on a marble table.

Pin This Recipe

Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

Pin This Recipe

Dinner's on Me Tonight!
Subscribe now and unlock the exclusive 15-minute recipe I make every week!
chicken salad on lettuce on a white plate

Share it with the world


About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 4 stars
    This recipe is a little messy to make. Once you have the dates paste-like you have to mix it together with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients and I lost some of it since it was stuck to my hands! Once this was done it was easy to form into the pan. I put it in the freezer, then took them out to cut. I got 12 servings since the bars are thick. Don’t skip roasting the nuts, oats and coconut, it really adds to the flavor. I will make them again, they tasted great!

    1. I used popped amaranth instead of oats and put it in the freezer. They turned out lovely! Thank you for an awesome recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    These were SO so tasty. I used pecans instead of almonds and 3 TBSP of maple syrup instead 4 TBSP honey. My new favorite snack for sure. Thanks for this recipe!!

    1. Hi Gianna! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these! Love hearing about your ingredient swaps—these are so helpful for other readers! Thanks for the comment!

  3. 5 stars
    I was searching for a breakfast bar recipe with all my favorite ingredients and this is it!! I made it 3 times already you are genius!