Chewy Chocolate Protein Granola Bars

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These Chewy Chocolate Protein Granola Bars will be your favorite grab-and-go snack. They're packed with oats, protein, creamy peanut butter, and chocolate chips covering all the chewy bar flavors in every bite.
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Chewy chocolate protein granola bars on parchment paper.

Why you’ll love this recipe ..

  • Each serving of chewy bars has 12 grams of protein compared to 1 gram in storebought.
  • Customizable to the flavors you’re craving.
  • Uses simple wholesome ingredients and no seed oils.
  • This a delicious and easy snack the whole family can enjoy!

Granola bars are one of my kid’s favorite snacks. I figured it was time for me to create something that I felt good about them eating and that the whole family could enjoy. I started with these s’mores granola protein bars and wanted a traditional chocolate version.

These chewy bars are completely customizable to whatever flavors you prefer without any seed oils and high fructose corn syrup. We prefer a peanut butter chocolate chip flavor but you can use almond butter in place of peanut butter for a different take on these bars or add dried fruit and nuts to these easy homemade granola bars. The best part is there is no baking involved making them the best snack to make during the hot summer months.

Chewy chocolate protein granola bars, some turned on their sides, on parchment paper.

How to make these bars dairy and gluten-free

​You will need to use a dairy-free protein powder for this recipe along with dairy-free chocolate chips. Orgain and Nuzest make a popular dairy-free vanilla protein powder. 

This recipe is not gluten-free due to the rice cereal and oats. However, there are many gluten-free options for those ingredients so feel free to use one of those to make this a gluten-free granola.

Chewy chocolate protein granola bars separated on parchment paper.

What you’ll need to make this granola bar recipe

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for chewy bars.

Old Fashioned Oats: I like using Quaker but any brand with work here.

Puffed Rice Cereal: this adds a lot of volume to the bars, I get Arrowhead which is found towards the bottom shelf in a bag at my local stores. You could also use rice crisps or brown rice crisps in it’s place.

Vanilla Protein Powder: my favorite brand to bake with is Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream. You can use your favorite brand or a dairy-free alternative. Orgain and Nuzest make a popular dairy-free vanilla protein powder. 

Almond Flour: this adds a nice nutty flavor to the bars.

Granulated Sweetener: this chew bar recipe uses 1/2 cup of Stevia in the Raw. You can replace it with your favorite granular sweetener or brown sugar but to keep the calories low and protein high I opted for Stevia.

Natural Peanut Butter: use your favorite or substitute with almond butter or your favorite creamy nut butter. You can also make a PB2 peanut butter and use that instead but it will taste different and a bit artificial in my opinion.

Almond Milk: I love using unsweetened vanilla almond milk from Costco for just about everything. You can use any milk you prefer.

Lite Pancake Syrup: substitute with honey or maple syrup. Again, to keep the calories low we’re using a lite pancake syrup.

Salt: this recipes uses 1/4 tsp. of table salt but you can swap with sea salt, vanilla baking salt or whatever salt you prefer.

​Mini Chocolate Chips: use dairy free if needed, regular size chips will work too but I like the mini so there’s more in every bite.

Chewy chocolate protein granola bar on parchment paper with chocolate chips.

How to make chewy bars

Prep the pan

Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.

Combine dry ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the oats, puffed rice, protein powder, almond flour, sweetener, and salt.

Add the wet ingredients

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, almond milk, and syrup. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Collage of mixing granola bar ingredients.

Mix and add to the pan

Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture, stirring until everything is well coated. You will need to use a rubber spatula to fold everything together to ensure the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Fold in half the chocolate chips reserving half for the top. If the mixture is to dry add a drop of almond milk and combine. 

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, pressing it down firmly into an even layer and top with the remaining chocolate chips lightly smashing into the mixture so they don’t fall off when cutting.

Refrigerate for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the bars are firm enough to cut.

Cut and enjoy

Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into 12 equal bars.

Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Keeping these chewy bars at room temp will help them to be less dense and chewy (my preferred method) but they’re great straight out of the fridge too. If you take one to go wrapped with parchment paper it’ll be as if you stored it at room temp.

Chewy chocolate protein granola bars in a lunch container.

Add in ideas!

While these chewy bars are a great snack as is with their chewy texture and flavors, having other options is always fun! Try adding dried cranberries, raisins, sliced almonds, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, your favorite seed butter or other tree nuts. Be sure to try my Chewy S’mores Granola Protein Bars!

What is the serving size for these chocolate chip granola bars?

You can absolutely weigh your final pan of chewy bars prior to cutting and divide by 12 to get the exact grams per serving or you can eyeball (which is what I do!) and cut it into 12 equal slices and enjoy.

While these bars are 100 calories more than the store-bought brand you’re used to, they’re double the size and have 12 grams of protein compared to 1 gram!

Larger, homemade granola bars next to a store-bought granola bar.

Check out some of our other easy recipes!

Chewy chocolate protein granola bars on parchment paper.

Chewy Chocolate Protein Granola Bars

Danielle Lima
These Chewy Chocolate Protein Granola Bars will be your favorite grab-and-go snack. They're packed with oats, protein, creamy peanut butter, and chocolate chips covering all the chewy bar flavors in every bite.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 209 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup Old Fashioned Oats 160g
  • 1.5 cups Puffed Rice Cereal 25g
  • 1 cup Vanilla Protein Powder 100g
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour 70g
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sweetener Stevia in the Raw
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter 128g
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk 82g
  • 1/4 cup Lite Pancake Syrup 56g
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips 44g

Instructions
 

  • Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, puffed rice, protein powder, almond flour, sweetener, and salt.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, almond milk, and syrup. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture, stirring until everything is well coated. You will need to use a rubber spatula to fold everything together to ensure the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Fold in half the chocolate chips reserving half for the top. If the mixture is to dry add a drop of almond milk and combine. 
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, pressing it down firmly into an even layer and top with the remaining chocolate chips lightly smashing into the mixture so they don’t fall off when cutting.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the bars are firm enough to cut.
  • Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into 12 equal bars.

Notes

Nutrition facts are an estimate and will change with substitutions. 
Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Keeping these chewy bars at room temp will help them to be less dense and chewy (my preferred method) but they’re great straight out of the fridge too. If you take one to go wrapped with parchment paper it’ll be as if you stored it at room temp.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 12gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 69mgPotassium: 99mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Kids love these and were actually full afterwards (even though I didn’t have quite enough protein powder).

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these as a better snack alternative around our house. My husband and toddlers loved them!

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