Quinoa Granola Bars

February 4, 2014

I love granola bars, but I always have a problem with the store-bought kind: if I like the dried fruit, I don’t like the nuts and vis versa. Customizing your own granola bars is easy. I’ve included every nut and fruit I love, including some new additions like flax seed and toasted quinoa for that extra crunch! I add a little touch of salt to balance the sweetness, but if you use salty nuts, you may not need this. To me, there is nothing better than cashews and almonds in a granola bar, and I’ve added almond butter in this to really give it that almond taste. If you prefer a crunchier granola, you’ll need to bake it longer. I personally like a bit of a chewier texture, but if you follow this recipe, the outside pieces will be pretty crunchy and the inside pieces soft. Don’t be intimidated by the recipe either– it’s a lot of ingredients, but some you probably already have. This couldn’t be easier to make!

Quinoa Trail Mix Bars


  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • Flake sea salt to taste

Trail mix bar ingredientsPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast quinoa and oats in a pan over medium high heat until fragrant. Allow to cool and combine with cashew, almonds, coconut flakes, dried cherries, and flax seeds. In a small sauce pan, combine the honey, maple syrup, almond butter and coconut oil and heat until hot and melted.

Quinoa and oats

Pour into the bowl of ingredients and fold to coat evenly.

Mixing trail mix bar

Line a 9 1/2 x 13 1/2 pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and flatten with the back of a wooden spoon to spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are toasted.

Tray of trail mix

Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt.

Cutting trail mix bars

Allow to cool entirely. Cut into rectangles.

Quinoa trail mix bars

And if you’d like, dip the bottoms in some melted dark chocolate. Who says chocolate isn’t good for you?

Trail mix bars dipped in dark chocolate


Chocolate quinoa granola bars

(images by HonestlyYUM)


These are awesome! I’ve made these kind of bars before, so I was familiar with the process. I swapped out the honey for molasses cause it’s sticky but also goes great with the maple flavor from the syrup. I recommend real maple syrup. I chopped up whole almonds and also chopped my cashews. I used chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds instead of flax. And added 1/4 c mini choc. chips. Ended up baking for 25 min. Placed them on a cooling rack and let cool completely before cutting. That’s huge! They will not form together as bars if you skip this step. Patience grasshopper. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for the great recipe! For those in the comments asking, you can literally swap out any ingredients with a different seed or nut or dried fruit. Same with the honey and syrup. If you don’t have coconut oil, use avocado oil or butter. Stay away from seed oils and vegetable oils. They are one of the leading causes of cancer. Stick with these only. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, ghee lard or tallow.

I love the look of these. Is there anything I can substitute the coconut flakes with? Is it possible to omit them entirely. Coconut is a textural turn off for me. Thank you in advance!

I have the same problem with the store-bought granola:) But I love all your ingredients, so I really want to make these bars now, especially with chocolate bottom! YUM!

I just tried these tonight and this recipe is amazing. The almond butter makes these smell so good while they bake in the oven and the measurements allow for easy ingredient swaps! I made mine with dried figs, raisins, walnuts, Alonso’s, cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts! Thanks for this great recipe!!

This recipe is amazing. I’ve been using it for years. Will never stop. Thanks so much for posting this. ๐Ÿ™‚

hello karen,

I tried to do the bars, the taste is very very good, but remained divided, like crushed, where I was wrong?
I have to increase the dose of honey or butter?

hello Karen,
your bars look really exquisite .
Do you have some suggestions to replace coconut oil and almond butter??
thanks a lot

You could probably use a neutral oil like grapeseed oil and peanut butter in lieu of almond butter!

Just made these and also disappointed. The images make them look firm. They just fell apart. Wanted to take them on a trip but this won’t work. Should have checked the comments and used my instincts to increase the coconut oil. However when you do this they melt in any heat. Mine were also overcooked at 20 minutes. Considering all of the ingredients I won’t try again.

I’m going on a hiking trip soon, and I am wondering how long these will keep in a backpack?

I’m not sure how long they will keep in a backpack but should be good for a few days in a sealed bag!

I just made these. It says to bake for 25 minutes at 350 F. I took it out after 10 minutes or else they probably would have burnt. They’re cooling right now and I’m excited to try them after they cool.

These looked great, but I wish I had read the comment about the nutritional value of uncooked quinoa before I made them. Mine did not stay together very well, either, and I find the crunchiness of the quinoa bothersome. While others doubled the wet ingredients, I would find them too sweet so my search for a healthy breakfast bar continues.

Can these be no- bake bars. They look sooo delish but I would rather not bake. Is that possible based on the ingredients?

Just made this today, 2nd time……first time it didn’t bind together and I over baked (25 min) them and almost cried a little as I had to throw all the away….but today I applied my learning’s and they are spectacular….so I made few twists….here goes : I omitted coconut as my husband doesn’t like it, and for other extra’s I used dried cranberries (instead of cherries), almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds…..then….really important…..I doubled the bonding “liquid” part (coconut oil, almond butter, honey and maple syrup…and that did it….I baked first batch of quinoa and oats only 10 minutes (very lightly) and final batch with everything in it 25 minutes on 340. it still lightly bubbles when you take it out of oven, but once they cool down they get hard so its easy to cut them, yet they are soooo chewy…….Thank you for this amazing recipe!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Finger lickin’ good !!!

Thank you for the wonderfull recipes and your enthousiasm to present them.
Just for your information:

Raw honey is an incredible food loaded with good ingredients.
As a beekeeper I looked into a lot of studies about it and found over and over
that when you heat the fresh honey you kill most of these healthy ingredients.
Therefore I allways add raw honey after the food has cooled. I use under 90 F.
By the way it also does not make sense to put raw honey in hot tea with lemon when you think it will benefit your health.
But when you use the honey in most stores it does not matter as they are comparable with sugar.

Keep your recipes coming.
I love them.

I made these and also had trouble with the bars not binding, although I live in Florida with 90% humidity! I will try less oats next time and baking at a lower temperature for a little while longer. I also added zest from 1 small lemon which made the taste really jump. My coworkers loved the flavor and asked me to make another batch! Thanks for a great recipe!

Sounds like some people had trouble with the bars binding and I’m not sure why, but perhaps the humidity has something to do with it! Glad you still enjoyed them!

I made these tonight. Absolutely delicious. I packed them in the pan prior to baking and I think thats why it didn’t turn out crumbly. Wonderful recipe and adding the quinoa was genius. Love it!!

Yum! This looks really good. I love granola bars, and I prefer to make my own as well. Thanks for the post!

Holy goodness do these look good!!!! I’m trying to eat better, so I put the recipe into myfitnesspal to get nutrition (I guessed 16 servings?), and they actually look pretty good! Lots of good fats, fiber, protein and lots of the good micro-nutrients that these panels can’t tell you. Can’t wait to try them!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 16.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 271
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18 g 28 %
Saturated Fat 6 g 32 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 25 mg 1 %
Potassium 156 mg 4 %
Total Carbohydrate 22 g 7 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 16 %
Sugars 12 g
Protein 6 g 11 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 4 %

I tried these, and they tasted really good, but did not stick together- we ate them with spoons!
I would probably add more honey or bake less long, or perhaps use more peanut butter (or soy butter). I wonder if they would bind better if the quinoa had been half-cooked or something, to make it a bit starchier…?

When I tried to cut these, they also crumbled apart Hayley. Any suggestions Karen?

As you cook them they get harder so if you’re going for a chewier texture don’t bake as long. Also try adding a bit more honey. I think that will help bind the bars. Hope that helps!

Just made these :). I use dried cranberries and walnuts instead of cherries as cashews. They’re super yummy!

I just made these! Substituted the coconut for pistachios and added diced apricot. Yum! Thank you for this, my house now smells delicious!

I’d love to try these, but my peeps won’t stand for the coconut. Can you recommend a substitute? Excluding a full cup of ingredients is probably not a great idea. Thanks!

You could substitute with a cup of any other dried fruit like dried strawberries, or add more almonds or cashews.

These look to die for! I love homemade bars- is there a substitute for the coconut oil by any chance? applesauce maybe?

Yummy! Absolutely delicious! I shared it with some friends and they loved it also. I’ve always wanted to make my own healthy version of granola. I’m glad I found your recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Made them a few days ago and they’re oh so delicious! However, I was chatting with a friend about these, and she mentioned that raw quinoa, with the hull intact, just passes right through and we don’t really get any of the nutritional benefits. Have you, by chance, tried using sprouted/cooked quinoa?

This is so delicious, it doesn’t bother me much, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on the super protein and other minerals and such that quinoa provides. Maybe I’ll try next weekend.

Really? Never knew that! I haven’t tried cooked quinoa but thanks for that tip and glad you enjoyed them!

These look fantastic. I’ve been looking for a quinoa bar recipe. Thanks!

just wanted to update for the result: the first tray unfortunately burned and didnt stick. for the second one i added x1 1/4 honey and baked slowly in 190 degrees. it doesnt look perfect as yours and stick % 100 but still delicious and i would tottaly serve this to other people. (as in its pretty cool!). thanks a lot for your time and creation

i followed every single step and the thing just burned… what a waste of ingredients im so disappointed

Hey, the first several ingredients have no unit, just the fraction making an incomplete measure. Getting ready to try these out.. Some said they were gory and some said dry, so I think that might be part of the problem ๐Ÿ˜‰

I tried making these and they turned out very dry. They are tasty as granola, but wouldn’t stick into bars.

Hey, just made these and they’re delicious but they crumbled apart and were way to delicate for me to cut them into bars. I’m just going to eat the crumbles on top of yogurt (like I would granola). I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem, or what I could try differently next time? I halved the recipe but I followed it very carefully, so I’m not sure why they weren’t cohesive.

made these today – we used brown syrup instead of maple and vegetable oil instead of coconut oil, still turned out great! very yummy!

These look wonderful! I have a couple questions though. Is the quinoa cooked? Could I use agave instead of honey? Thanks!

Yes uncooked quinoa– I changed the recipe to clarify. You could definitely use agave!

I have been meaning to try homemade quinoa granola bars for a while now! These look SOOOOOO good. I think I’ll be making these over the weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ YAY!

I saw these on instagram and wanted to lick my screen. It’s about time for another batch of granola bars–yours are up next! ๐Ÿ™‚

I took this as inspiration and made it into granola. Ella is always asking for cereal and I like to know what is in it. Left out the maple syrup and added an overripe banana. Delish.

Homemade granola bars are so much better than store bought! Adding quinoa is genius!

any chance you guys can add a print feature? (or, if you have one, point it out to me because I am totally missing it?) your recipes always look amazing but it sometimes takes me a while to copy/paste all the text between the pictures.

We’re trying to get the print function up and running soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow these look DELICIOUS. I always love making my own homemade bars to limit the amount of unnatural or processed ingredients. The addition of quinoa in these seem like it would add an amazing texture!

xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

Wow these look DELICIOUS. I always love making my own homemade bars to limit the amount of unnatural or processed ingredients. The addition of quinoa in these seem like it would add an amazing texture!

This looks fabulous. But I’m confused by the quinoa. Is it uncooked? Do you rinse it before toasting? The quinoa packages always say to rinse before cooking.

I’ve changed the post to clarify, rinsed and dried. And yes uncooked.

I love the idea of adding quinoa to granola bars, I’ll have to try that on my next batch! My boyfriend is perfectly happy eating the same store bought granola bars for weeks and months at a time, but I feel the need to switch it up OFTEN, so homemade is definitely the way to go!

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