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. Stella @ Stellicious Life says:

    Yay, I have all the ingredients for this at home! Can’t wait to try these snack bars, as I’ve been looking for some dessert that requires quinoa 🙂

    I get you with the late night munching, I’m the same we are watching series/a movie and I need to munch on something. Usually I have a handful of salted roasted almonds or pistachios and a square or two of dark bitter chocolate 🙂

  2. Hi Sally! Quick question…how would you describe the texture of the quinoa? Does it stay dense or become popped and airy? I never seem to have any luck cooing it!

    1. *cooking 🙂

    2. Not popped, not airy! Remains crunchy 🙂

  3. I’m a a huge fan of Craig Johnson, he writes a series about a Wyoming sheriff Longmire.

  4. 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. 

  5. Book recs (as your Monster Cookies bake)

    These all draw you in and make you happy to be reading:

    My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederick Bachman

    , The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,

    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova ( a commitment but totally worth it) The Girl on the Train (the darkest of all of these, perhaps, but super compelling), One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Mary Russell, A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra…..

  6. is there a substitute I could use for the dates? raisins possibly? other ideas?

    1. I would pulse raisins a few times in the food processor instead 🙂

      1. Thanks Sally!! 😀

    2. 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.

      1. Thank you! 🙂

  7. 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!!!!

  8. 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!

    1. Thanks! You should try the other flavor snack bars, too!

  9. Rebecca Blackwell says:

    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. 🙂

  10. Has anyone told you about the book ” The Art of Racing in the Rain” yet, Sally?  It is about a dog named Enzo.  I’m an English teacher (read: book snob), and it is one of my favorite books of all time.  For as much as you love dogs, I think you’d love this book!

    1. On it! Thanks for the suggestion. I’d love it.

  11. Hey Sally!
    Is it possible to make them without any sweetener? I get that honey is better than refined sugar, but it’s still sugar….Thanks girl!

    1. The bars won’t stick together very well without it unfortunately. Maybe you can try reducing it a little?

  12. Great recipe Sally, i looked for a healthy quinoa snack for quite a while and i cant wait to make this recipe!

  13. 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? 

    1. For a nut-free version, try sunflower seed butter or biscoff spread (aka cookie butter).

  14. Cannot wait to try these!! My husband always comes home hungry and these will be great to tie him over until dinner!! 

    I just read The Magnolia Story (Chip and Joanna Gaines story). It was soooo hilarious and inspiring and took me a few hours total. I did not want to put it down. 

  15. Shellie Wilson says:

    These look yum , As for a book. I just read girl on the train, if you havent seen the movie its good.

  16. These are magnificent! An extremely sound nibble that feels like you’re tricking! My significant other even adores them. He saw the second bunch I made before I put the chocolate on and he takes a gander at me and says resembles the fowl’s suet!!!!

  17. I cherish Quinoa and these seem as though they would make a wonderful get and-go breakfast or nibble for my adolescents. (Also, for me, obviously!) I generally cherish it when I can make them something sound that they don’t really know is solid.

  18. Christina Gayner says:

    Does anyone know calorie content before I try and figure it out?

    1. Oh, and I omitted the chocolate in my calculation too.

  19. I made these to nibble on at school in the middle of classes and I cherish them! This was my first time making lunch rooms and it was much less difficult/less demanding than I anticipated. They’re filling and sweet, yet at the same time solid. Extraordinary formula!

    1. Thanks, Malika! So happy you like them!

  20. Do you have to rinse the quinoa?

    1. Sharon Calkins says:

      Only if the bag says to. Some quinoa is pre rinsed. Some not. It should state that on the packaging.
      I replace quinoa in my rice pudding and also add 1/4 cups chia seeds and wheat germ with 2 Tablespoons of flax meal to the recipe.
      When I cook my quinoa before adding it to what every I’m using it for I will add a little flavoring in the quinoa while it cooks. Example: rice pudding I will put part of the sugar in the quinoa while it cooks. Mexican dishes maybe a little cumin in the water with the raw quinoa.
      It gives a overall better flavor to the dish.
      Sharon C

      1. Sharon Calkins says:

        Try brown sugar or molasses (original) for your sugar in rice pudding.

  21. Do you rinse the quinoa first? my bag always says to rinse before cooking.

    1. If the bag instructs to rinse, I definitely would. 🙂

  22. My niece is allergic to almonds. Could I sub cashews or any other nut? 

    1. Yep, any nut seems to work here.

  23. Hello Sally,
    I wanted to know if the recipe can be doubled and baked in a rectangular pan or cookie sheet pan, for that matter?

    1. Sure can! In a 9×13 pan.

  24. 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!  🙂

    1. Great tips, Theresa!

  25. Can I double the quinoa if I can’t eat oats?

  26. Read Before We Were Yours by Lisa wingate.  

  27. I am fully obsessed with these bars and I make them on a weekly basis! I need to make more tonight BUT I only have 4 dates left! Do you think I could compensate for the missing date by adding a little extra honey or almond butter, or will they crumble without all the dates? Thx!

    1. Hi Katie! Just add a little extra honey. Maybe an extra Tablespoon or so. 🙂

  28. 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!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  29. 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!

    1. Hi Alejandra! Any other seeds or chopped nuts would be great.

      1. 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!

      2. 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!

  30. 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

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