Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars

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These chewy, Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars are a perfect, wholesome lunchbox or afternoon snack for kids and adults alike. They’re a delicious oat and honey flavor that require no chilling, are free from nuts, gluten, soy, and can be customized to any allergen needs!

a stack of baked granola bars on a wooden cutting board.

When I originally created this nut-free granola bar recipe it was so I could send my son to preschool with a healthy, wholesome snack that wasn’t packed with sugar like store-bought granola bars.

As it turned out I had a BIG need for them this year when my second son was born and I had to eliminate ALL the major allergens from my diet in order to nurse him.

Yes, these can be made without any of the major allergens! But aside from being awesomely lunchbox-safe, they’re also a deliciously chewy snack or breakfast with just the right amount of sweetness.

Ingredients & Substitutions

My preferred ingredient list will make these nut-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, with no coconut oil, legumes, or corn. If you need/want to, it’s also entirely possible to make them egg-free, dairy free, and vegan.

We love them as a simple oat and honey granola bar, but you can also customize them with add-ins like dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, or allergen free chocolate chips.

ingredients for nut-free granola bars including oats, honey, sunflower seed butter, and egg.
  • Oats – I used a mixture of gluten free quick cook and rolled oats. You can make them with just one or the other if you prefer.
  • SunButter – I LOVE this stuff.  Sunbutter was my saving grace when I eliminated so many foods. It’s got protein, it’s creamy, and works perfectly to bind the bars together. You can use any variety you like (yum chocolate!), but the sweetened kind will make these bars even more sweet.
  • Egg – I used one egg to help bind everything together.
  • Honey – I like the natural sweetness of honey, and local honey can help reduce allergies in kids, bonus!
  • Butter – Unsalted please, it’s always better to add your own so you can control the levels.
  • Salt – read above!

Substitutions

If you want or need to remove the eggs or butter, or want to make this vegan, use these swaps to do it.

  • Swap egg for flax seed – Mix 1 tablespoon of finely ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Swap butter with… – I love this soy-free vegan butter from Earth Balance, and it works awesome in my baking recipes. You can also use coconut oil, applesauce, or mashed banana.
  • Swap honey with another unrefined liquid sugar – maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or date syrup will all work beautifully, though date syrup will affect flavor slightly.
  • Swap SunButter with another nut-free spread – if the flavor is too strong for you, use any nut-free option you like. There are so many choices now! I’ve seen it made with pumpkin seeds, legumes, or go for tahini.

Recipe Tips for How to Make Them

I think you’ll love these BAKED nut-free granola bars for a few reasons… 

  1. There’s no 2 hour chill time. Mix, bake, enjoy.
  2. They can stay on the counter! No refrigeration required, and they’ll last for a week or more.
  3. The texture of baked oats and SunButter is DELICIOUS. Crunchy bottom, chewy bite, and roasted flavor. Yum.
oats, an egg, and melted honey with butter and sunflower seed butter in a bowl.

They’re super easy to make, baking included.

  • Melt the honey, sunflower seed butter, and butter together first, and mix it well. This just allows for everything to mix more smoothly.
  • Mix it all up! It’ll be a sticky, paste-like concoction. (I know, it doesn’t sound yummy…but it will be!)
  • Use my 2 step method! I make my pecan nut granola bars this way and it works wonders for the texture! Bake it first in a big square, then cut them into snack size rectangles. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to get the edges a little crisp.

I’ve heard mention of sunbutter turning green when baked, this only should happen when mixed with baking soda, which this recipe doesn’t contain. Enjoy your non-green granola bars :).

baking nut-free granola bars in a large rectangle on parchment paper.
start by forming them into a large square, about 1/2 – 1″ thick.
nut free granola bars cut into bar shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
After the first bake, let them cool 5 minutes, then cut into granola bar shapes and return to the oven to crisp the edges.

How to Store

They’re so easy to store! Just let them cool, then pop them into an airtight container. They won’t stick together, and they’ll stay nice and chewy for at least 7 days. We leave ours right on the counter so we can grab and go whenever we need a snack.

They’re also perfectly easy to freeze! Just slide them into a freezer safe bag and keep them there for up to 6 months. Thaw and enjoy. I usually pop them back into the oven for a few minutes after freezing to return the chewy texture.

So whether you need an allergen friendly lunchbox snack for school, or have an allergic kiddo who needs a safe treat to enjoy, then whip up a batch of these nut-free granola bars. Heck, just make them because they’re good! Let me know how it goes, and as always Happy Eating!

a bunch of granola bars on a wooden cutting board with a beige towel.
a stack of 4 oatmeal and honey granola bars.

Baked Nut-Free Granola Bars

Print Recipe
These allergen-friendly baked granola bars use oats, honey, and sunflower butter to make a chewy, delicious homemade snack that is safe for school lunch boxes and allergy free facilities.
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Cool Time:15 mins
Total Time:40 mins

Ingredients

  • 100 grams rolled oats 1 cup
  • 100 grams quick cook oats 1 cup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 65 grams sunflower seed butter 1/4 cup
  • 125 grams honey 5 tablespoons
  • 28 grams butter, unsalted 2 tablespoons
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • Combine the oats and salt in a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Combine the sunflower seed butter, butter, and honey in a microwave safe container and melt. 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir to combine.
  • Add the melted honey sunflower butter mixture into the oats with the egg and mix well until the oats are coated completely.
  • Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread and pat down until 1/2" thick across.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, then remove from the oven and let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Turn the oven up to 350°F.
  • After 5 minutes, gently cut them into bars. I usually yield about 15 snack sized bars. Separate gently so there's some room between them.
  • Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely on the pan.
  • Store in an airtight container once completely cool for 7-10 days.

Notes

*Feel free to use only rolled or only quick cook oats.
*Can be made egg-free by using a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, allowed to thicken)
*Make them dairy free by subbing the butter with vegan butter spread.
*Make Vegan by using both the adjustments above and using maple syrup instead of honey.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: granola bar, kid friendly, snack
Servings: 15 servings
Calories: 119kcal
Author: Mikayla M

Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.

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