1 Bowl Quinoa Crunch Snack Bars

quinoa crunch snack bar drizzled with melted chocolate

Welcome to snack bar 7.0

What are your goals for this year? Besides improving work/life balance, two of my goals include reading more and being more conscious about my nighttime snacking. And successfully baking croissants without ripping my hair out. That’s a whole other (ugly) story.

I try to eat relatively healthy at all my meals, but what is it about 9pm that encourages a giant bowl of those popcorners chips?? (The white cheddar flavor, preferably and always.) Even though I think to myself as I pour myself a bowl: an apple with almond butter is definitely a smarter choice right now. But I never crave AN APPLE. Fruit, unless it’s strawberry ice cream, is not satisfying at 9pm.


quinoa crunch snack bars drizzled with melted chocolate

I used to keep a batch of snack bars in the refrigerator most weeks. I rotated flavors– and now there’s 7! I’d have one after dinner, but always went back to my 9pm salt fest. I don’t want to completely kick my 9pm bowl-of-salt habit because that’s completely irrational for me (addicted to you popcorners♥), but I’d like to cut back.

To kick things off, I made a batch of salty sweet CRUNCHY chocolate-y snack bars this week. Even though they’re super simple and indefinitely wholesome, they manage to satisfy that craving. And, more importantly, make me really happy. As healthier habits are on a lot of minds this time of year, I think you’re going to appreciate them too.

dry ingredients for snack bars in a glass bowl with a spatula

Everything is mixed together in 1 bowl. That includes:

  • uncooked quinoa
  • oats (use certified GF if needed!)
  • nuts (your favorite)
  • honey
  • nut butter
  • dates
  • 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.

ingredients for snack bars in a glass bowl with a spatula

I’d like to apologize for how much this next photo resembles bird food.

I promise you’ll love them!

snack bar mixture in a pan lined with parchment paper

overhead image of quinoa crunch snack bars with drizzled chocolate on top

I have 6 more flavors of snack bars: vanilla almond snack bars | chocolate peanut butter snack bars | berry cashew snack bars | chocolate cherry almond snack bars | cashew coconut snack bars | spiced pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

PS: Do you have any book suggestions? I want to warn you that as much as I WANT to read to relax, I can never make it through a book. I become bored! Or, more often than not, simply find myself constantly checking social media on my phone. Any novels that pull you right in?

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quinoa crunch snack bars drizzled with melted chocolate

Quinoa Crunch Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • 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 (80g) 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 (114g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces melted semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. You can drizzle with chocolate before or after cutting.
  5. 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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Cuisinart Food ProcessorNinja Master Prep | Mariani Pitted DatesGlass Baking Dish

Keywords: snack bars, granola bars, homemade granola bars


  1.  Thank you for another amazing recipe Sally! I made these today and they are so delicious!

    My food processor didn’t seem to want to make a paste out of just a couple dates so I added all of the wet ingredients  in the food processor and blended it together. What came out of the food processor was so creamy and sweet I could’ve eaten it with a spoon (and may have ;0), so I knew the bars were going to be super tasty.  The bars are perfectly chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness and zero guilt!

     As for books, my favorite is The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom.  I have some degree of ADD, so a book has to catch me right away or I’m out, so I understand your dilemma. This book had me from page 1 until the very end. It is a thriller/suspense novel with lots of twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

    Thank you again for the wonderful recipe and happy reading!

    1. I’m so glad you made and loved them! That’s a great idea to just process all the wet ingredients together. I’m going to try that next time. Thank you so much for the book suggestion. Suspense has always been my favorite genre… when I do sit down to read!

  2. These look great! Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggars was one I couldn’t put down. Check it out!

    1. Thanks for suggestion!

  3. Sarah | Well and Full says:

    I need to get a hold of my nighttime snacking, too! Maybe a tray of healthy snack bars will do the trick? 😉

    1. Haha it should! 😉

  4. If you’re at all into Young Adult Lit, Wonder is a great read. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak also had me hooked for < 24 hours until I finished it!

    1. Oh my goodness thank you for the correction!

      Also, thank you and Jenny for the suggestion. I’ve read lots of positive reviews about Wonder!

  5. These bars look AMAZING! I could literally sip almond butter with a straw and I looove love love the sweetness dates add to whatever they’re used in – so naturally, I cannot wait to try these! That chocolate drizzle seriously looks insane. As far as books go, have you read anything by Jodi Picoult? 19 Minutes was like, ridiculously addicting for me. She has tons of others to choose from, too! 

    1. I haven’t read any of her books! Checking out 19 Minutes later today. Thanks Sara!

  6. Do you know how many grams of sugar is in this.. I am a diabetic and these sound delicious

    1. Sorry I do not. Feel free to put the ingredients into a recipe calculator.

  7. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    I love your resolutions for this year! Snacking is so tough for me! I usually go sweet, but if I do go salty then I HAVE to have something sweet to balance out the salty! The struggle is so real. And I’m like you with books. Unless it is really interesting, I lose focus. My favorites are novels by Dan Brown like the Da Vinci Code or Inferno (Inferno is amazing). Definitely suspenseful and after awhile I couldn’t put it down!

    1. Thanks Shelby. I’ve heard from a few people how good Inferno is, I’ll have to check it out.

  8. Rachael @ Rachael's Foodie Life says:

    Sally you’ve done it again!! These look so good, i will definitely be making these this weekend!!
    One of my very favorite books is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

    1. I hope you love them, Rachael! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  9. Just made granola with quinoa and it was great. These will be next on my list! Just finished this book and really liked it…Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale (main character is a chef, so maybe that will hook you.) Also liked I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.

    1. That granola sounds delicious! A chef as a main character, thats different. I’ll have to look into Kerry Lonsdale. Thanks for the recommendation Maria!

  10. Sally it was so funny when you wrote how that photo resembled bird food!

    1. Quinoa in anything looks like bird food to me, but it still tastes good

  11. Blogtastic Food says:

    That is a very clever way to use quinoa! nice one (:

  12. im so glad you created a recipe with quinoa, my daughter who is on a “healthy-phase” bought a big bag of it in the hopes of actually consuming it….but none of us including her favoured the taste. I sincerely hope that THIS RECIPE would change OUR collective minds about quinoa and ALSO finish up that bag of “not-cheap” quinoa. will update you if its a success.

    1. Good luck with the quinoa, Sharifah! Check out my quinoa patties recipe. I also use it in a few salad recipes.  

  13. I will have to try these.  They look delicious with the chocolate on top.  One of my favorite books I ever read was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.  It’s the true story of her life as she was growing up and absolutely fascinating.  I read it about 10 years ago and it remains one of my favorite books I’ve ever read.

    1. I just looked it up on amazon, it has great reviews! Thanks for the recommendation Heidi!!

  14. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    These look delicious Sally! Can’t wait to try them

    1. Thanks Michelle! 🙂

  15. Hi Sally! I recommend Penelope by Anya wylde, where the red fern grows by Wilson Rawls, and the phantom tollbooth by norton juster.

    1. Hi Hope! I love Where the Red Fern Grows! I haven’t read it in years. I’ll check out Penelope and The phantom Tollbooth. Thanks for all the great recommendations!

  16. These look great! I will have to make some this weekend. As for a books either Purity and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. He is one of the most prolific novelists of our time.

    1. I see Freedom on Oprah’s book club, Franzen must be good! Thanks for the recommendations Raelyn!!

  17. Brittney Tucker says:

    I am such a bad night time snacker! I can eat chicken and salads all day and then 9 or 10 comes along and so does my sweet tooth! For me its usually ice cream, total weakness if I have it in the house! I will have to try these to satisfy my sweet tooth without ruining my health efforts for the whole day! Reading more was also my resolution!! I always used to try to read fiction and I would never finish a book, usually I would eventually find a movie based off the book and find out the ending haha LAZY! I recently picked up a few nonfiction books and I have been consistently reaching for them! I think a lot of it is finding what genre works for you! I am liking The Antelope in the Living Room, nonfiction is more relatable for me!

    1. I try to only buy the smallest size at the grocery, ice cream is dangerous. Another vote for the Antelope. Thanks for the recommendations Brittney!!

  18. I’m making a batch of these for my wonderful neighbor who loves quinoa bars. Judging from the other comments (and those pics… wow!) I’m sure she’ll love them.

    1. I hope she does, Monique!

  19. 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!

    1. 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.

  20. Milena Stefanovic says:

    I can completely relate! I somehow always end up on Instagram while trying to read. I loved Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I binge read the entire book in a couple of days. I’m currently reading The Martian by Andy Weir and that one is great as well!

    PS – these look great! I’ll definitely be making them, and trying to trick my tummy into thinking they’re a cookie 😉

    1. Ohh, I loved the movie The Martian. That would be a good book to read! Thanks for the recommendation Milena!! 

  21. thank you for this! I rlly want to eat cleaner this year! Is it possible for you to write a workout routine/how you balance your eating with all these sweets surrounding you. I am just like you I cant resist a good snack!

    1. I actually don’t do anything special! I have a ton of self control around desserts (I have to!). And I eat pretty healthy at all my meals. Lots of veggies. I workout a ton. I really like exercise routines from Tone It Up (two trainers– look them up on YouTube). I also enjoy yoga. And running. I do have a sweet tooth and taste test all of my baked goods but then I get rid of/give away almost all of the extras. 🙂

  22. Happy New Year lovely Sally ! Sorry for not wishing you this earlier but better late than not having wished you at all .

    1. Thanks Peter!  I hope you’re having a great new year as well!!

  23. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    Gorgeous bars, Sally! This is my kind of snack – and I love that chocolate drizzle!

    1. Thanks Laura!! 🙂

  24. Sharon K (The Farm Chick Bakes) says:

    What a nice healthy way to start out ’17! Thanks Sally. I 2nd Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert!! Couldn’t put it down. And, like you, I get bored VERY easily…it MUST keep my attention or I find myself reading the same line over again. Ugh.

  25. What kind of books do you usually like? I mostly read YA (fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, realistic fiction, you name it.)

    For fantasy, Harry Potter, of course, is a must if you haven’t read them yet, Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series is my all-time favorite series, and The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is great if you love fairy tales and a bit of sci-fi.

    Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is one of the most creative books I’ve read. It’s told in documents (text messages, emails, diary entries, interview transcripts, etc.) and the plot is a crazy roller coaster ride. 

    If you like realistic fiction, I’d recommend To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. The romance is pretty light and the main character loves baking!

    1. Mystery, suspense. Things to keep those pages turning! Thanks for the suggestion for Illuminae. Reading all the fabulous reviews now!

  26. Can’t wait to try these out. They look delish!
    A great read is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. A mystery, drama, and comedy all in one. 

    1. Thanks for the suggestion!

  27. Becky Kennedy says:

    These bars look amazing! I can’t wait to make them! Thanks for all of the great recipes!

    I used to read all the time when I was younger and had more time, but now my favorite way to read is listening to audio books! My commute to work is 35 minutes and listening to books makes the time go by so quickly! A few of my favorites:
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – All of her books are good, but this one is by far my favorite!
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
    I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock

    1. I’ve been tempted to skip my music and download some audio books for the car instead. Thanks for the reminder and the book suggestions!

  28. Hello Sally!!! These Quinoa balls look so good (I’m drooling a little… okay, a lot…) but I do not have any almond butter. Would peanut butter work well as a substitute?

    1. Peanut butter or any nut butter works! Same amount.

  29. Thank you for all the great recipes.  I am new to the site and think yor recipes are easy to follow, unusual and good.  I started following your site after you were featured by King Arthur’s flour. My daughter is a librarian and I am an avid reader. I have enjoyed The Glass Castle, The Nightengale,  Stones from the River (one of Oprah’s first picks).   I could list more but these stand out to me in my memory. 

    1. Thanks so much for following along and for the book suggestions, Marcia!

  30. These sound amazing! Using uncooked quinoa is so interesting, I’d never think to do that.. can’t wait to try this recipe

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