32 Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipes You Can Make at Home
We’ve got breakfast bar recipes for every diet and appetite. Skip store-bought and try one of these homemade versions — they’re fast to prep, nutritious, customizable, and oh-so-tasty.
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I love a good breakfast bar. They have saved me on more than one occasion from either skipping the most important meal of the day or eating some kind of sugary, carb-laden pastry in its place. Breakfast bars are reliably filling, convenient, and tasty; and between you and me, they’re better and healthier when they’re homemade. Of course, they make great snacks, too!
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Benefits of making breakfast bars at home
There are so many advantages to skipping the stores and opting for homemade breakfast bars. They're quick to make, customizable, healthy, affordable, and the list goes on; it doesn’t take much total time and has a big payoff.
You skip the preservatives and the environmentally unfriendly packaging that come with many store-bought versions.
You can’t beat the price.
You have lots of options for high protein and fiber, two pluses at breakfast that will help carry you to lunch.
Once you make one of these breakfast recipes, you'll have enough bars for multiple grab-and-go meals (faster than making a smoothie!).
You can easily tailor these babies to your diet. Whether you’re eating low- or no-sugar, low-carb, nut-free, grain-free, or vegan, there’s no limit to the type of breakfast bars you can whip up in your own kitchen.
The picky eaters in your household might have no idea you snuck healthy ingredients into their breakfast. Homemade breakfast bars are kid-friendly, especially since you can customize them to meet the demands of your fussiest roommates.
Common breakfast bar ingredients to keep on hand
To make homemade breakfast bars a more regular part of your repertoire, we've compiled a list of common ingredients to keep handy at home. Stocking the pantry and fridge with these ingredients will ensure you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast option any morning, or the perfect post-workout snack. While some breakfast bar ingredients are perishable, and therefore harder to have on hand at all times, plenty are shelf-stable or last well in the fridge. Never go breakfast bar-less again.
Here’s a list of common ingredients to get you started:
Nut butters (such as peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter)
Dried fruits (such as apricots, cherries, cranberries, raisins)
Nuts (such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans)
Seeds (such as chia, sunflower, pumpkin, flax)
Coconut flakes or shreds
Cereal (such as Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Corn Flakes)
Breakfast bar recipes for special diets
Got food allergies? There’s a breakfast bar recipe, or two, or three, that meets your dietary restrictions. Or maybe the picky eaters in your house are the other kind of “allergic” to certain ingredients. Wait, kids complain about nuts? Enter: nut-free breakfast bar recipes. If you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier, there’s a breakfast bar recipe for every kind of diet, from Paleo to keto, plant-based, gluten-free, vegan, and beyond. Check out the recipes below, all developed with special diets in mind, but without compromising on flavor and texture.
These crispy, chewy nut bars don’t have dairy or added sugar, but they taste like cookies, thanks to maple syrup, cinnamon, and vegan chocolate chips. They also employ a simple swap of flax seeds and water in place of egg. The oats, peanut butter, and walnuts make these delightful, fiber-rich, and super-filling. You could also sub in another nut butter and different nuts, such as almond butter and cashews, for the peanut butter and walnuts if you like.
At just 160 calories and 25 minutes cook time, these bars are straight-up miraculous. What’s more, they’re nut-free, soy-free, low-sodium, and don’t contain eggs; and they’re suitable for diabetics. (The blogger even gives tips for using sugar substitutes.) Wow. They do require arrowroot, xanthan gum, gluten-free baking powder, and flaxseed meal — ingredients that you may already have if you do a lot of gluten-free baking.
Coconut flour, zucchini, and applesauce help to make these fluffy bars on the healthier side while also tasting a bit like cake. The recommended stevia-sweetened chocolate chips don’t hurt, either.
These keto-friendly bars are rich, creamy, and satisfying. Made with cream cheese, butter, low-calorie sweetener, and whey powder, they’ll answer that sweet tooth without calling in the carbs.
These low-calorie, low-carb bars have just 70 calories each! They’re also gluten-free. They rely on the natural sweetness of sweet potato, blueberries, and a touch of raw honey for a pleasing but not too-sweet flavor. The coconut flour and almond meal make them rich and satisfying without any grains.
With only 160 calories and eight ingredients, these tasty bars get their richness from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds; their natural sweetness from bananas, applesauce, and cinnamon; and a little tang from cranberries. (Cinnamon isn’t sweet on its own but has the incredible effect of making other flavors taste sweet.) To change them up, you could swap out the cranberries for another dried fruit. The bars are nut-free, so they work for anyone with a nut allergy, or for a lunchbox treat at a nut-free school.
These homemade vegan energy bars are high in fiber, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, and get their sweetness the all-natural way, by using Medjool dates. The mixture comes together quickly over the stove, then gets baked in the oven. While you (impatiently) await the oven timer’s beep, you’re wooed by the aroma of cinnamon wafting throughout your home.
Salted pistachios and tart cherries go well together in these easy, adaptable, homemade granola bars. A perfect Paleo snack, you can swap out the cherries with another dried fruit. And here’s a tip: To make sure the granola bars hold their shape, chop up the nuts and seeds into smaller pieces by hand or in a food processor before combining with the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise, all those delicious morsels could unstick and fall to their doom.
Fruity breakfast bar recipes with berries and bananas
Fruit and breakfast bars couldn’t be a happier marriage. Berries and bananas, in particular, offer immune-boosting nutrients, lend natural sweetness, and have become synonymous with that all-important first meal of the day: breakfast. Take a look at the fruity breakfast bar recipes below, where berries of all kind and bananas take center stage.
With chia seeds, hemp seeds, whole-grain oats, and even a scoop of plant-based protein powder, these bars are quite filling. (The bars have 10 grams of protein each, similar to what you get in some commercial protein bars.) Plus, you’re getting lots of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. They come out beautifully crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. A touch of sea salt balances the sweetness of the brown rice syrup; you can easily swap in maple syrup or agave if you like.
Bananas, pecans, Medjool dates and rolled oats are all you need for this raw, vegan, no-sugar-added snack. Between the potassium in the bananas, the protein in the nuts, and the fuel you’re getting from the whole grains in the oats, these bars are a nourishing way to start your day. Plus, they’re nice and chewy. The blogger uses dried bananas that she dehydrates at home, but you could buy them instead. And if you want to make a gluten-free version, simply use gluten-free oats.
These delicious, crumbly bars are perfect with your morning coffee or tea. Made with whole wheat flour and rolled oats, the bright, wholesome bars are also a good source of fiber, which will help you feel full.
These simple bars take just 30 minutes to make. With all of the classic ingredients of a typical breakfast bar, they also include chia seeds to kick up your daily dose of fiber. Plus, you can easily make them vegan and gluten-free, if you so desire, by swapping in non-dairy milk and gluten-free oats. The yummy bars clock in at 14 grams of protein per bar (right up there with commercial protein bars) — a healthy and filling start to the day, indeed!
This is a kid-approved recipe through and through. Combining cocoa powder, bananas, the warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, butterscotch chips, whole wheat flour, vanilla, and a few other simple ingredients, these breakfast bars might look more like a treat. But looks can be deceiving, and these vegan bars are actually low on guilt. Plus, they’re a great way to use up your overripe bananas.
What’s better than berries or bananas in a breakfast bar? Both berries and bananas! Picture this: homemade strawberry jam sandwiched between two layers of banana oat bar dough. The recipe calls for frozen strawberries, which means you can easily make these bars even if you don’t live in one of the few states where strawberries enviably grow year round. The blogger notes that you can substitute other frozen berries or even frozen peaches for the strawberries. You then make your own simple jam with the frozen fruit and some maple syrup. And if homemade jam’s not your jam, skip this part of the recipe and purchase your favorite jam instead. One 8x8-inch baking dish of these bars is just the right size to carry you through the week.
Dried cranberries fleck a honey-and-brown-sugar-sweetened granola bar in this breakfast bar recipe that gets its crunch from baking oats, almonds, and flax seeds together. The recipe cleverly repurposes two 9x5-inch loaf pans. These rectangular bread pans provide the ideal shape for granola bars, because all you have to do is slice the bars widthwise down the length of the pan. How resourceful!
On a hot day (or really, any day), these chilled yogurt bars get your day off to a satisfying start. Press a two-ingredient granola crust into the bottom of the pan and bake it, layer with fruity Greek yogurt, and top with fresh fruit and more granola. Allow to set in your freezer before cutting into squares. As you can imagine, the customizations are practically infinite; there are as many ways to adapt this recipe as there are flavors of yogurt. Just remember to store the individually wrapped bars in the freezer, not the refrigerator, so you don’t have a melty mess.
Breakfast bars that taste like dessert
Shhh. It’s entirely possible to eat dessert for breakfast and get away with it. The breakfast bar recipes in this next section are having a bit of an identity crisis, filled with nutrient-rich ingredients, but evoking pies, cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, cakes, and even caramel apples.
Get your sweet fix early during autumn mornings or year round with pumpkin pie breakfast bars! Don’t worry, they’re made with a granola crust and Greek yogurt filling. Plus, you’re getting all that lovely potassium, Vitamin A, and fiber from the pumpkin.
These straightforward, classic bars use maple syrup instead of refined sugar and otherwise employ all the good stuff: peanut butter, chocolate chips, rolled oats, and a little coconut oil instead of butter. They’re a fantastic homemade option if you want a chocolaty morning bar.
These breakfast brownies are fudgy, chocolaty, and completely vegan. Made with oats, cocoa powder, almond milk, maple syrup, almond butter, and a few additional ingredients, they straddle the line between dessert and their healthier breakfast bar cousin. Finish with a sprinkling of optional (but who are we kidding?) chocolate chips on top.
Cheesecake makes a welcome addition to the breakfast table with these strawberry cheesecake breakfast bars. They resemble the strawberry cheesecake you’re familiar with as a dessert in terms of appearance, buttery flavor, and cream cheesiness. But their lighter, not-too-sweet taste, along with oats, almonds, and Greek yogurt allow this recipe to pass for breakfast fare.
These bars arguably are dessert, since you start with a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough. When you mix in carrots, raisins, oats, eggs, apples, and cinnamon, though, you’re entering new territory - breakfast bar territory.
These bars are a fun spin on peach pie and they look pretty, too. Start with a DIY crust of coconut, oats, chia seeds, flax seeds, and a few more ingredients, layer slices of fresh peaches on top, and sprinkle with more coconut.
Imagine a caramel apple, but in the shape of a breakfast bar. This creative recipe found a way to arrive at a caramel flavor in a not-so-conventional way - by blending together Medjool dates and tahini. Who would have thought? The optional maca powder, if you plan ahead and order some from a specialty store, brings out even more caramel flavor. Chia seeds, oats, and apples provide texture, nutrients, and natural sweetness.
These Paleo-friendly breakfast bars look indulgent, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any added sugar. Pecans, coconut, almond butter, cocoa powder, and bananas combine to pull off the impressive feat of fueling your body and tasting like dessert - simultaneously.
No-bake breakfast bars
No-bake recipes are beloved for their simplicity. And on hot days, when no one wants to turn on the oven, no-bake recipes come to play an important role in your sanity, riding into your kitchen like a knight in shining armor to save the day. No-bake breakfast bars still feature the energy boosting-ingredients we need in the morning, but instead of baking, the bars either set in the fridge or freezer, cook over the stove, or just sit on the counter until ready to cut. Shut the oven door and check out these tempting recipes.
With just five ingredients, these wholesome cereal bars are super easy to make — you only need one bowl! You can use gluten-free oats (just check the label) if that’s important to you, and swap in almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or even tahini if peanut butter isn’t your thing. The blogger lines the dish with parchment paper to make it easy to serve the bars once they've chilled.
Here’s a great option if you’re wanting to incorporate quinoa into your breakfast routine. Since it’s a seed rather than a grain, quinoa works well for gluten-free diets, and it’s naturally high in protein, too. The blogger incorporates lots of other whole foods into her bars, including flax seed meal, chia seeds, walnuts, and oats. (Think of these as a more natural alternative to some of the protein bars or energy bars on the market.) Peanut butter and honey are the “glue” that holds the no-bake bars together.
It’s not so easy to take a bowl of cereal and milk with you when you’re on-the-go. So finding more portable ways to eat your favorite cereal brings us to this Corn Flake breakfast bar recipe. Butter, peanut butter, and marshmallows get melted together, then mixed with the cereal, dried cranberries, and almonds. Finish by pressing mini chocolate chips onto the top. If you store individual servings in their own wrapper or bag, you’ll have zero prep in the morning. Just grab, and go!
Another cereal-themed breakfast bar that doesn’t involve the oven, this easy No-Bake Raisin Bran Breakfast Bar recipe has just 6 ingredients, including peanut butter and peanuts or almonds. Once the mixture is combined and pressed into your baking dish, the bars will set in about an hour. Missing the milk that goes with your cereal bar? Bring some with you in a commuter mug and you’ve got a travel-friendly breakfast.
KIND bars are one of the best loved breakfast and snack bar brands, chock full of nuts and fruit. But it’s easy to finish off a box quickly, and then what? Try making your own! This copycat KIND bar recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prep and uses brown rice syrup to bind the ingredients together and sweeten the bar.
One bowl recipes come together quickly and keep the dirty dishes to a minimum. These No Bake Almond Joy Breakfast Bars are made entirely in the food processor. Almonds, oats, coconut, Medjool dates, and mini chocolate chips go for a spin, and once their (almond) joy ride is over, you’ve got a breakfast bar that tastes like a classic candy bar.
With just 5 ingredients, this breakfast bar recipe might win the award for fewest ingredients. Pureed dates are the glue that holds oats and cranberries together. Honey and sunflower seed butter are the final components. Sunflower seed butter not your thing? Any nut butter will do. Customize away.
How did zucchini sneak into a breakfast bar? Sneaky, sneaky! Though fruit is much more common than veggies in your typical granola bar, zucchini is actually an excellent choice. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, ups the chewiness factor, and pairs well with chocolate chips. I mean, have you ever tried zucchini chocolate chip quick bread? You should.
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