Crunchy, nutritious, totally customizable, and very simple.
Everything is mixed together in 1 bowl. That includes:
- uncooked quinoa
- oats (use certified GF if needed!)
- nuts (your favorite)
- nut butter
- chia seeds
- pumpkin seeds
Hitting major superfoods here! And there’s plenty of room for customization, too. I used almonds, honey, and almond butter. If chia seeds aren’t your thing, you can leave them out. You can also switch the nuts for sunflower seeds and use sunflower seed butter, making the bars completely nut-free. But my favorite favorite favorite part of all is the quinoa. It’s so crunchy, which is a deliciously awesome contrast to the softer dates, oats, and chocolate on top.
Make sure you pulse the dates in a food processor so they turn into a thick paste. Otherwise the bars tend to fall apart.
I’d like to apologize for how much this next photo resembles bird food. I promise you’ll love them!
More Snack Bars:
- Vanilla almond snack bars
- Chocolate peanut butter snack bars
- Berry cashew snack bars
- Chocolate cherry almond snack bars
- Spiced pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars
Quinoa Crunch Snack Bars
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 22 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Yield: 9 squares or 12 rectangle bars
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Chewy and crunchy quinoa bars are made with dates, almond butter, oats, honey, and dark chocolate. They are wholesome, salty, and sweet!
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup (85g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (130g) uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup (70g) coarsely chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup (70g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup (125g) almond butter
- 1/3 cup (113g) honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces melted semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8-inch 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. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (except for the chocolate). Stir everything together until evenly combined. This will take some arm muscle!
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You want it packed in as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This firms up the bars which helps them stay together.
- Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. You can drizzle with chocolate before or after cutting.
- Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Make Ahead Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Glass Mixing Bowls | Cuisinart Food Processor | Ninja Master Prep | Mariani Pitted Dates | 8-inch or 9-inch Square Baking Pan
Keywords: snack bars, granola bars, homemade granola bars
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi! I made these the other day, and I love the mix of ingredients – they made great tasting bars that I’ve almost finished all by myself. A couple of notes:
1. I didn’t have medjool dates, I only had the regular kind (unnamed pitted – deglet maybe?) that are a little smaller, so I googled for weight suggestions, and found 8 grams per medjool date, so I measured 40 grams, but decided to double it when I saw the quantity pulsed, and I am glad I did. I don’t think I would have been able to detect the dates nearly as mush otherwise and I think it helped with the binding.
2. I used tri-color quinoa, and the texture of it in the bars is incredibly crunchy – I think it would be too crunchy for some people. I double-checked to make sure I wasn’t supposed to toast it in case I just missed that in the instructions some where, then googled for other similar recipes. I stumbled across another website mentioning that you should use white quinoa for recipes like this in order for it to cook down enough in the small amount of roasting time. So when I make these again, I will be sure I am using white quinoa or toast it ahead of time.
Otherwise, delicious recipe! I restocked my dates at the grocery yesterday so I can make more!
Great recipe Sally! I made them today to bring up to a cottage, and couldn’t resist trying a few crumbs-delicious! I pressed them down again once I removed them from the oven to ensure they held together well and sprinkled the chips while they were still warm-waited 5 minutes and spread the chocolate to create a very light coating.
Will it be okay if I add chocolate chunks in the mixture and then bake it? By the way, I love your recipes! Thank you for sharing them with us!!!
Hi Anu, Yes! You can add chocolate chunks or chips and it would be delicious. Enjoy!
Do you have the nutritional content of the bars?
Hi Kimmy, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp
I’m concerned that we aren’t rinsing the quinoa…..but I’m going with it dry and will see how it goes.
Hi Carol, you can certainly rinse the quinoa first before adding to the bars. Just be sure to pat it dry before adding with the other dry ingredients. Hope you enjoy them!
These bars are delicious! My family loved them. I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t drizzle chocolate over the top because my kids didn’t want to wait and wanted to eat them immediately!
Do you think quick cooking steel cut oats would work?
Hi Julie! We haven’t tested it but would love to hear how it goes if you give it a try.
I love this recipe but made with some differences. I soaked my dried dates and save about a tablespoon of the hot water. I use the microwave to soften my peanut butter and maple syrup then mix all the ingredients together in my Moulinex. I will be using a 9×9 inch pan for a thinner product. I also melted the chocolate chips with a little canola oil and spread it on top before storing in the refrigerator. Love the crispness
Hello Sally! I am very excited to make this recipe but I do not have pepitas. Do you recommend just leaving them out or replacing them with maybe another half cup of almonds? Thank you so much in advance!
Hi Alejandra! Any other seeds or chopped nuts would be great.
This was/is delicious!! I totally forgot and did not sub extra nuts or seeds for the pepitas and it was still delicious. My toddlers, husband and I love them! Thank you so much!
So this is my second time making these because my 4 year old said, “Mom, can we make those quinoa almond chocolate bars? Please!” Hahh. I was out of almond butter so I subbed cashew butter and oh my goodness, soooo good!! Thank you again!
I love them! This was my first time making snack bars and it was much simpler/easier than I expected. They’re filling and sweet, but still healthy. Great recipe!
Hi Sally! I just made these, and have a couple of hacks to share for anyone who’s interested:
– I know it’s “one bowl,” but if you’re willing to dirty another, smaller, bowl: melt the nut butter and honey together in a microwave-safe bowl – this makes it a breeze to stir into the other ingredients.
– For the dates: if you’re lazy like me and don’t feel like dragging out the food processor, you can make a puree by putting them in a small, microwave-safe container and covering them (barely) with water. Microwave them for about 30-45 seconds, stirring and “chopping” with a spoon until they become paste-like.
I did both of these things and my bars turned about amazing….so amazing, in fact, that some of them are gone already, and haven’t even finished cooling! 🙂
I wanted to know if the recipe can be doubled and baked in a rectangular pan or cookie sheet pan, for that matter?
Sure can! In a 9×13 pan.
My niece is allergic to almonds. Could I sub cashews or any other nut?
Yep, any nut seems to work here.
Do you rinse the quinoa first? my bag always says to rinse before cooking.
If the bag instructs to rinse, I definitely would. 🙂
This sounds like a really great recipe but my kids have a peanut and nut allergy so i was wondering, if I can substitute the almond butter for something else?
For a nut-free version, try sunflower seed butter or biscoff spread (aka cookie butter).
I love Quinoa and these look like they would make an awesome grab-and-go breakfast or snack for my teenagers. (And for me, of course!) I always love it when I can make them something healthy that they don’t actually know is healthy. 🙂
I made these to snack on at school in between classes and I love them! This was my first time making snack bars and it was much simpler/easier than I expected. They’re filling and sweet, but still healthy. Great recipe!
These are awesome! A very healthy snack that feels like you’re cheating! My husband even loves them. He saw the 2nd batch I made before I put the chocolate on and he looks at me and says looks like the bird’s suet!!!!
is there a substitute I could use for the dates? raisins possibly? other ideas?
I would pulse raisins a few times in the food processor instead 🙂
Just to add to this, one of the times that I made these I used raisins (I was out of dates). I used about a cup, maybe a little more, of raisins.
Love, love, love these! Thank you for the recipe! They satisfy my sweet tooth without adding any guilt. So easy too. I can’t wait to try your other bars.
Hi Sally! I’ve been really into snack bars lately, and these look like they’re loaded up with healthy fats and protein to keep me full, so I’m very excited to make them this weekend!
Question: looking at some of your other snack bar recipes, I noticed that most of those only call for 1 Tbsp of nut butter, but these calls for 1/2 cup…is there a reason there is so much more in these? Are they thicker bars? Need more for the texture? I’d like to cut out a LITTLE of the fat if I can, but don’t want to compromise delicious taste!
Hi Anna! I used more because these bars contain oats, quinoa, and big chunks of nuts. I needed much more to keep it all together. They’re also a little thicker than my usual snack bars, yes. I don’t suggest cutting down on the almond butter, but you can leave out the almonds and maybe add a little more oats.