Homemade sweet and salty coconut granola bars are soft, chewy, and pack huge flavor. Made with healthy and wholesome ingredients, these bars are a satisfying and naturally gluten-free treat (use certified GF ingredients). Skip the oven and allow the bars to set up in the refrigerator or freezer.
Say hello to my favorite homemade snack. I cannot stop eating these! The good news is that today’s chewy coconut granola bars are actually pretty wholesome, combining real foods with real flavor. The great news is that you don’t need to turn on your oven.
Besides all that, what I love most is the taste and texture. The consistency and flavor both remind me of soft caramel, but there’s no butter or refined sugar. Pair that with coconut, oats, and a little dark chocolate and you’ve got a square of heaven.
Homemade alternative to processed foods? Absolutely. Addicting? 100%.
Why You’ll Love These No-Bake Coconut Granola Bars
- Quick and easy to prepare
- Soft and chewy
- Made with healthy and wholesome ingredients
- Naturally gluten free if you use certified GF oats
- Sweet and salty in each bite
- Tons of texture
- No-bake recipe (just like my beloved peanut butter trail mix bars and no-bake chocolate fudge oat bars)
- They freeze beautifully
- Taste just like a candy bar!
Overview: How to Make Coconut Granola Bars
These no-bake bars come together quickly and easily. Here’s an overview of the process:
- Puree the dates. I like to use a food processor for this step; if you don’t have one, very finely chop the dates.
- Make the binding mixture. Mix the pureed dates with almond butter, coconut oil, and honey on the stove. This warm mixture combined with the almond meal binds the granola bars together, and allows us to skip baking them.
- Add the dry ingredients. Do this right in the saucepan.
- Press the granola bar mixture into a baking pan. Line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Pack the mixture into the pan—the more compact, the more the bars will hold their shape.
- Chill the bars. Let the bars set up in the refrigerator or freezer. I recommend the freezer to save time.
- Cut into squares.
Key Ingredients in These Granola Bars
With so few ingredients, each has an important job:
- dates: to sweeten + bind
- honey: to sweeten + bind
- almond butter: to bind
- coconut oil: to bind
- salt + vanilla extract: for flavor
- oats: for texture
- coconut: for texture/flavor
- almonds: for texture/flavor
- almond meal: to bind
- chocolate: for flavor
I know what you’re thinking… coconut, almond, and chocolate? ALMOND JOY BARS!! Told you these taste like candy.
Note: If you want a lighter version, leave out the chocolate—I promise they’re still awesome without it. But if you want a little extra something special, don’t skip it.
More Favorite Healthy Recipes
- Baked Oatmeal (and Baked Oatmeal Cups)
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola Bars
- Healthy Berry Streusel Bars
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Breakfast Cookies
- Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
No-Bake Chewy Coconut Granola Bars
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 9 large squares
- Category: Snack
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
These sweet and salty granola bars are soft, chewy, and pack huge flavor. We’re combining almonds, coconut, oats, and chocolate for a wholesome and satisfying treat. Skip the oven and allow the bars to set up in the refrigerator or freezer.
- 4–5 Medjool dates, pitted (about 100-110g)
- 1/3 cup (113g) honey (or brown rice syrup)
- 1/3 cup (85g) almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) coconut oil (or unsalted butter; you need a fat that’s solid at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups (128g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1 cup (80g) unsweetened shredded coconut (plus extra for topping, if desired)
- 3/4 cup (65g) slivered/sliced almonds
- 2 Tablespoons almond meal/almond flour (or oat flour)
- optional: 1/3 cup (60g) finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips
- Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
- Pulse the dates in a food processor until they form a chunky paste. (You’ll have about 3 Tablespoons paste.) Or, if you don’t have a food processor, very finely chop the dates.
- Whisk the date paste/chopped dates, honey, almond butter, and coconut oil together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Try to break up the dates as much as you can. Once combined and warm, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt until combined.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients including the chocolate, if using.
- Press mixture into prepared baking pan and top with extra coconut, if desired. Pack the mixture down as much as you can. I recommend using the back of a flat spatula to really press it tightly.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Store leftover granola bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They get a little sticky if left out for several hours.
- Make Ahead Instructions: These granola bars are freezer friendly. I LOVE them right out of the freezer! Wrap each individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Special Tools: Ninja Food Processor, Dates, Saucepan, Wooden Spoon, Metal Spatula, and Glass 8×8 Square Baking Dish
- Substitutions: Feel free to make any substitutions, keeping in mind that the texture and flavor will change. The bars were a little more crumbly without the chocolate. The warm mixture melts the chocolate, which really helps the bars hold their shape.
- Nutritional Information: I’m unsure of the nutritional stats, but feel free to calculate it!
Keywords: coconut granola bars
Reader Comments & Reviews
Sally you have another hit on your hand. These are great. I only had sweetened coconut and I don’t think they were overly sweet. I added a handful of tart dried cherries and that may have balanced out the sweetness. I loved that the chocolate melted in the bar to help glue everything together. It does taste like a candy bar. My grandkids love these. Thanks for developing this recipe.
Looks great! Can I omit or replace the coconut?
Hi Miriam, we’d suggest our no-bake chocolate fudge oat bars instead.
What can I substitute for the dates .
We haven’t tested it, but another sweet dried fruit like apricots may work in the place of dates.
This recipe was great. I finely chopped dates and these held together really nicely.
These turned out great!! I did add the chocolate. Both the sweet and savory lovers in my household went nuts for these. I cut some into “bites” and some I to more standard length granola bars, wrapped in Saran Wrap for no mess eating on walks
Made these today and love them! I pressed them into the pampered chef snack bar maker and they came out perfectly!
If you sub sugar for the honey, these are vegan
Or maple syrup so there’s still no refined sugar!
I am allergic to nuts! Peanuts obvioously not an issue. Any substitution?
Hi Vickie, You can use peanut butter (or any nut-free butter) in place of the almond butter, oat flour in place of the almond flour, and either skip the sliced almonds or replace with chopped peanuts if you wish.
I have a question for you. I was making these and going to then pour melted chocolate on top and the chocolate seized on me. This is most frustrating as I have baked for many many years and never had problems melting chocolate on the stove top in a double boiler and seems like the last 10 times I have made anything and melted chocolate it siezes on me. Very frustrated. Your part of the recipe came out great by the way.
Hi Chris, We are glad you enjoyed these bars! What type of chocolate are you using to melt? Make sure that it is pure chocolate (usually sold as a baking bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands). Do not use chocolate chips because they contain stabilizers and will not melt properly. If you are using a double boiler make sure that absolutely no water droplets/moisture gets into the chocolate as that can cause seizing also.
Hi Stephanie and thank you so much for the reply. I guess where I went wrong was using Chocolate chips 🙁 If I was going to make a few large batches of these bars where would you recommend getting bulk good chocolate from? Thank you.
If you’re near a Trader Joe’s, their “pound plus” chocolate bars are inexpensive and delicious. My go to for any recipe needing pure chocolate like this.
One word: OUTSTANDING!!
How many grams of dates approximately?
Love these thank you.
Hi Mike, about 100-110g of dates is plenty.
I liked these a lot, but my husband, who is the intended audience, didn’t find them granola-ish enough. They tasted more of chocolate and coconut. (why would anyone complain about that?) I made some additions and substitutions: I used butter, mostly honey, but also some molasses, and added 1/2 cup of dried tart cherries. The mixture was very stiff, so I added a little water (not measured; maybe 2 TBSP?) which worked out well.
Where I think it went wrong from his perspective: I go by weight, not measures, because they’re more precise. But I’ve found that 60g of chocolate (Valrhona Guanaja) is a lot more than 1/3 cup, and I used the full amount.. And for coconut, 70g was already more than a cup; I stopped there
Anyway, I like them!
Hi, question here:
These look so good! But we like granola bars with dried cherries/something similar in addition to the nuts, dates and coconut. Would it work to add maybe 1/2 cup of dried cherries? Would I need to add anything else to compensate? Or should I split the 3/4 cup of almonds between almonds and cherries?
Thank you very much!
PS: I’ve only recently found your site, and I love your whole wheat banana bread! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes
Hi Ellen, You should be able to add in 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries without making any other changes. Let us know if you give them a try!
These are my go-to granola bars that I make before I go on road trips or vacations when I need a healthy snack. They are INSANELY delicious which makes it so hard to stop after eating one. The flavors are amazing and it’s not too sweet (4 dates are perfect).
Absolutely yummy. My family and I give it a top rating!
I make your pumpkin granola bars and your peanut butter banana granola bars all the time. Weekly these days. I am excited to try this instead. I don’t use almond meal/flour for anything else. Can I use all-purpose flour? Or bobs red mill 1:1 gluten-free flour?
Hi Jenna, oat flour is our choice substitution. Let us know if you give these bars a try!
Hi Jenna, did the all-purpose flour work well as a substitute? I’m looking to use that s well.
Hi I haven’t any dates can I substitute apricots or cranberries.
Hi Jackie, that should be fine!