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Chewy Granola Bars – Your Gluten-Free Lunchbox

Chewy Granola Bars – Your Gluten-Free Lunchbox

Chewy gluten free granola bars. They’re easy and they’re important. Those lunchboxes aren’t going to pack themselves…

Chewy Gluten Free Granola BarsIt’s coming. You know it, I know it, your kids know it. We all know it! Back to school, baby! Know what goes great with back-to-school (other than everything)? Homemade gluten-free chewy granola bars for your kid’s lunchbox – and for yours. Soft and chewy, I’m always tempted to ‘lose’ these in the back of the refrigerator where my still-short children can’t see them.

If I sound excited about school, it’s only because I am. I love my children. I do. One of my children is away at sleepaway camp (picking up tomorrow!), and we all miss her like the deserts miss the rain. But I’m pretty sure the children are trying to kill me (or each other), very very slowly. And in nonobvious ways. Send help. Or just send school.

As a token of my gratitude for school and all of its goodness (learning! routine! activities! distraction! someone else telling them to read!), I made Chewy Granola Bars. Now, we’ve made some chocolate vegan gluten-free granola bars before. And some straight up gluten-free granola bars with sweetened condensed milk. But these chewy granola bars might be my favorite yet.

It might be the delicate balance of mini chocolate chips (not too many!) and dried blueberries (a personal favorite).

Or it might be the mix of honey, maple syrup and molasses, plus brown sugar, not one of them overpowering the others. And all of that moisture keeps them chewy even once you’ve browned them nicely in a 325 degree F oven (low and slow, I always say).

But whatever it is that makes these chewy granola bars just the right back-to-school lunchbox snack, sign me up. And my 3 kids, too. Well, one of them hasn’t tried them yet since she’s been at camp, but we’ll pick her up tomorrow and I’ll be sure to have plenty of these on hand. I promised her at dropoff that I’d come to pick her up bearing homebaked goodness. She missed a lot while she was gone!

Chewy Granola Bars – Your Gluten-Free Lunchbox
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 24
Gluten-free chewy granola bars
  • 1 3/4 cups (175g) gluten-free quick-cooking oats (or an equal amount by weight of old-fashioned rolled oats processed by about half in a food processor)
  • 1 cup (120g) gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup (164g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (80g) raw pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup (80g) raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (about 80g) coconut chips
  • 4 ounces mini chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces dried raisins or blueberries
  • 8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan and line it with one sheet of unbleached parchment paper that overhangs 2 opposite sides of the pan. Grease the paper, and then place another crisscrossed sheet of unbleached parchment paper overhanging the other 2 sides of the pan on top of the first sheet of paper. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place the oats, oat flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine. Add the pecans, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips and dried fruit, and mix to combine. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the melted butter, honey, maple syrup, molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix to combine well. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in the well. Mix to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer.
  4. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes.
  5. 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 24 bars with a sharp knife.
  6. Store in an airtight container on the counter for about 3 days, and then freeze any leftovers.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbook! I really depend upon your support to keep the blog going, so … thank you!

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  • Judy

    Can the nuts be left out? Dd is allergic.

    • Hi, Judy,
      If you are going to leave out the nuts, you’ll need something else to stand in for the bulk that they lend – and the texture. You can’t just leave them out, I’m afraid. Maybe more dried fruit? You’ll have to experiment!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tammy

    I cannot get GF oats in Panama, yet I know GF boy would love these – any suggestions for an oat replacement?

    • Hi, Tammy,
      What a shame! I really rely upon certified GF oats for so many things at home. I can’t imagine granola without oats, though, I’m afraid. It’s really an integral part of it. I’ll be sure to post some lunchbox recipes without oats in the coming weeks. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sally

    These look wonderful, I would be delighted to discover where you purchase your dried fruit, gf. It seems to be a challenge for me to find dried fruit not processed in a facility with wheat.
    Looking forward to trying this one, and maple granola.
    On the hunt for dried fruit.
    THank you again.

    • Hi, Sally,
      Nuts.com has certified gluten-free dried blueberries (among some other dried fruits). I love that maple almond granola. I hope you do too!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Oh, this looks really good. I’m going to share this recipe with a friend, too. She’s got school-aged children and they would love this. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  • Kristi

    This look great. I need more ideas for school lunches. Thanks!

    • Be on the lookout for more lunchbox ideas in the next couple weeks, my friend!
      xoxo Nik

  • Renee

    Any ideas on an oat flour replacement? A lot of celiacs are sensitive to oats as well, my husband included.

    • Hi, Renee,
      I’m afraid that, although you might be able to find a replacement for the oat flour, the oats themselves are integral to granola. Sorry about that!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Christy L

    I can’t WAIT to try these! I have a thing for oats right now and my little one seems to tolerate oats, too. I think he’ll love them! Thanks for sharing.

  • Stacey

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  • Chris

    I may have to be the Guinea Pig on this one…..and try it with quinoa flakes and sub the oat flour with…brown rice flour? Maybe sorghum? I don’t know…..my brain is definitely in “simmer” mode though. I can’t imagine not being able to have oats…..but, since I like quinoa and BOUGHT flakes so I could experiment, I’m thinking this might be just the place to start! I wonder how leaving out the nuts and replacing with sunflower seeds and Chia seeds, etc., would work, too….. I also have this thing for dried cranberries with orange flavor….. I need more hours in a day…..

    • Renee

      Oh! Let me know how that turns out! Celiac husband and son could eat those!

  • Just made these this morning and they turned out fantastic! I subbed pumpkin seeds for pecans (because that’s what I had leftover from the vegan bars, also so good!) and used cranberries over blueberries, and the result is fab. Like the chocolate vegan bars, I’m keeping these babies in the freezer because mine seem to stay together best when nice and cold. I love having these around for a healthy pick me up treat. I’m on the go a lot with my 2 kids and I often forget to pack myself a snack in the midst of taking care of all their food needs, so this is a great treat for me. Maybe I’ll share them with my daughter for her school lunch, if there are any left!

  • ErinK

    Received your book in the mail today!! Can’t wait to read it and try some of the recipes. Thanks for all your awesome recipes and great info!!

  • Julie

    after scouring the web for a gluten-free bar, this one is the winner! going to try it our on my 18 month old and 3 year old this weekend. our 3 year old has apraxia/dyspraxia and we are trying GF diet to see if it helps. being new to this diet, there is a lot to learn! thanks, nicole you have a really nice site and I bought your book.

    • Hi, Julie,
      There is a lot to learn, but you’re off to a good start! Thanks so much for your support in buying a copy of my book. I bet your kids are going to love these granola bars!
      xoxo Nicole

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