Chia almond butter bars made from almond butter, oats, coconut, dark chocolate and pecans are the perfect no-bake, chewy granola bar.
When you're craving a sweet treat, but not something too sweet, these chia bars are the perfect fix. Packed with creamy almond butter, crunchy pecans, coconut, dark chocolate and chia seeds, these chewy bars are equal parts dessert and healthy snack.
Maple syrup holds the bars together and delivers just the right amount of sweetness. The rest of the bar ingredients swirl together into a creamy, chewy, crunchy blend of deliciousness that also delivers some protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Why This Almond Butter Bar Recipe Works
- Easy to make, just mix and chill (no baking)
- Lightly sweetened with maple syrup - no refined sugar
- Almond butter adds a naturally sweet, nutty flavor
- Bars hold together well and have a dense chewy, crunchy texture
- Endless variations, add what you love!
Ingredient Variations & Substitutions
You can change these chia bars based on what you have on hand, or based on your favorite flavor combinations.
To insure that the bars hold together, keep the amount of nut/seed butter (1 cup) and maple syrup/honey (½ cup) the same.
Almond Butter: Almond butter bars have a rich nutty flavor. The natural sweetness of almonds makes almond butter perfect for granola bars. However, any type of nut or seed butter can be used. If you're looking for nut-free bars, try my nut-free granola bars made with sunflower butter, or tahini granola bars with cherries and vanilla.
Maple Syrup: Honey can be used in place of maple syrup and holds the bars together really well. Keep in mind that honey has a distinct "honey" flavor and will make the bars taste slightly sweeter.
Oats: Use regular or certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, also called rolled oats. They work better in these bars than quick oats.
Pecans: Nuts are optional, but they add a really delicious crunch to these otherwise soft and chewy bars. I love pecans, but you can use any type of nut you want. Just make sure the nuts are chopped in small to medium pieces. Roasted nuts have more flavor and crunch. You can lightly toast the nuts yourself or use store-bought roasted nuts.
Coconut: Either you love it or you hate it, right? I haven't tried leaving out the coconut, but you could probably skip this ingredient and the bars will be just as good.
Chia Seeds: If you take out the chia seeds, these obviously wouldn't be chia bars anymore, but you can do so if you like. You can also substitute in sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Chocolate Chips: To me these are essential because I'm a chocolate lover. I love using really dark chocolate (or even unsweetened chips) but my kids prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips. However, you can use dried fruit instead.
- Mix together oats, pecans, coconut, chia seeds, chocolate chips and salt
- Mix together almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Warm briefly in the microwave.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients
- Pat the granola bar batter firmly into a parchment lined 8x8 pan
- Chill 1 hour, then cut
How to Toast Oats, Nuts and Coconut
Toasting the oats, pecans and coconut is an optional step before making the bars. However, it does make the bars taste extra good. Toasting brings out a richer, toasted flavor in all three ingredients. It also changes the texture, making each ingredient crunchier.
To toast any of these three ingredients, preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the oats, nuts or coconut out evenly in a sheet pan. For oats, bake 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Nuts and coconut toast faster, in as little as 8 to 10 minutes. Use your nose as a guide; when you smell a sweet, toasted flavor they're done. Use a timer and check the oven a few times - these ingredients can go from lightly toasted to burn very quickly.
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Chia Almond Butter Bars (No-Bake)
Chia almond butter bars made from almond butter, oats, coconut, dark chocolate and pecans are the perfect no-bake, chewy granola bar. When you're craving a sweet treat, but not something too sweet, these chia bars are what you need.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour to chill
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 square bars 1x
- Category: Snacks, Treats & Little Things
- Method: No-bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats (also called old-fashioned)
- 1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped (or your favorite nut) (see notes below about toasting nuts)
- 1 cup unsweetened, shredded or flaked coconut (raw or toasted)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips (or dried fruit)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch more to taste
- 1 cup almond butter (or your favorite nut or seed butter)
- ½ cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. The parchment should be long enough to hang over two edges of the pan so that you can fold the paper up and over the bars (the parchment should be about 20 inches long)
- In a large bowl, mix together oats, pecans, coconut, chia seeds, chocolate chips and salt.
- In a smaller, microwave safe bowl, combine almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Warm the mixture in the microwave so that it’s easy to stir - about 35 seconds - then stir until the almond butter is smooth and completely mixed in with the syrup.
- Pour the almond butter mixture over the oats. Use a big spoon or a spatula to mix really well, so that the oats and other ingredients are no longer dry and are completely covered with almond butter. Taste the mixture and add a pinch more salt if needed.
- Scrape the mixture into the 8x8 pan. Press the oats down really well - this is important. The bars won’t hold together if they’re not packed in. First, fold the long edges of the parchment up and over the bars so your hands don't stick to the oats as you press. The bottom of a glass jar or drinking glass also works well to help pack down the oats.
- Refrigerate the chia bars for at least 1 hour, but ideally a few hours so that the bars completely set and hold together when cut.
- Cut the bars. To cut the bars, first use the overhang of parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a long serrated knife or large chef’s knife to cut the bars into squares or rectangles.
- I like storing the bars in the refrigerator, where they keep well for up to 2 weeks. They can also be kept in the freezer for several months.
How to Toast Nuts: Toasted nuts have more flavor and crunch than raw nuts. To toast nuts, spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure to set a timer, because nuts can quickly go from perfectly toasted to burnt. Let your nose be your guide; when you smell the toasty aroma of the nuts, they're done. When the nuts come out of the oven, immediately pour them into a plate or bowl, or they will continue to toast on the hot baking sheet.
How to Toast Oats: Toasting the oats before making the bars is optional. Toasted oats have a more pronounced flavor and the texture is more firm (less chewy than raw oats). To toast oats, heat the oven to 350 F. Spread the oats out evenly on a large sheet pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned.
How to Toast Coconut: Toasted coconut has a sweeter, stronger flavor than un-toasted. To toast coconut, spread shredded coconut or coconut flakes out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for about 8 minutes until the coconut is light brown. Set a timer and keep an eye on the coconut - it quickly goes from lightly toasted to burnt. When the coconut comes out of the oven, immediately pour it into a plate or bowl, or it will continue to toast on the hot baking sheet.
Keywords: chia bars, chia seeds, chewy granola bars, no-bake bars, almond butter bars