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Chewy Homemade Sourdough Granola Bars

These easy and nutritious sourdough granola bars are deliciously chewy and sweet. They are simple to make and easily adapted to suit your tastes by swapping out your favorite dried fruits, seeds, or other add-ins. Made with oats, butter, and sourdough discard these wholesome snacks are a family favorite.

four sourdough granola bars with mini chocolate chips

I can never have enough quick and easy breakfast options on hand. Homemade granola bars have always been a staple grab-and-go snack in our home, so I had to figure out a way to incorporate sourdough starter discard into our favorite healthy snack. This recipe does just that and it’s another one of those great sourdough discard recipes to add to your arsenal.

You can mix these up quickly, pop them into the refrigerator, and enjoy them in a few hours, or you can opt for a long ferment if you want the benefits of fermentation. By mixing sourdough starter with the rolled oats and allowing them to ferment overnight, beneficial enzymes can flourish and do their work of breaking down the hard-to-digest properties within the grains.

If you’re like me, you might not be super interested in food science, you just want a recipe that’s healthy and tastes great. All you need to know is that soaked grains = less phytic acid (bad stuff), and more nutrition (good stuff). Basically, this is the best sourdough granola bar recipe of all time, and you can feel good about eating it and feeding it to your kids.

sourdough granola bars stacked on top of each other with mini chocolate chips

These granola bars are sweet, chewy, and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. They are easy to toss together and filled with delicious ingredients like butter, honey, and vanilla. The sourdough starter adds another tangy dimension of flavor that sends these bars over the top.

Perfect for a quick and ready-to-go breakfast, mid-day snack, or a long car trip, these sourdough granola bars are so nice to have on hand. You only need 12 ingredients, most of which are likely already in your pantry, and 30 minutes of hands-on prep time to throw them together.

Watch me make these sourdough granola bars in this video!

Sourdough Granola Bar Recipe Ingredients

These basic ingredients are all you’ll need to whip up these yummy treats:

ingredients for sourdough granola bars on countertop

Dry Ingredients:

  • Whole rolled oats – They give that wonderful chewy texture we all love. You can use gluten-free oats.
  • Chopped pecans or almonds – Nuts are filled with antioxidants, minerals, and protein, they also add a nice crunch.
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes – These help balance the wet-to-dry ratio and taste delicious, especially when toasted.
  • Chopped dried cranberries – For a yummy pop of sweetness and color.
  • Mini chocolate chips – We all know what these are for. Be sure to use mini chocolate chips here, because the regular size ones will not keep the bars held together. If you don’t have mini ones you can finely chop regular-sized chocolate chips or a chocolate bar.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Sourdough starter – You can use a discard starter or active starter in this recipe. If you want to long ferment the oats, then you’ll want to use an active bubbly starter. You can also leave this out completely for a traditional granola bar.
  • Unsalted butter – To boost those healthy fats and add that irresistible buttery flavor. You could also sub for coconut oil.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds a delightful warm flavor to the bars.
  • Light brown sugar – Brown sugar imparts a delicious golden brown flavor and sweet caramel notes.
  • Honey – Helps everything stick together. Stick with honey rather than subbing maple syrup, because honey is better for bonding.
  • Peanut butter – This is the bonding ingredient that keeps the granola bars from falling apart.
  • Salt – To enhance all those sweet and nutty flavors.

Find the complete recipe and measurements below.

How To Make Sourdough Granola Bars

These sourdough granola bars are super easy to make. Here’s what you need to do:

process shots showing how to make sourdough granola bars 1

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.

Next, grab a baking sheet and add the oats and chopped nuts to the pan. Spread them out evenly and toast in the oven for 5 minutes and then stir. Add the coconut flakes to the pan and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and transfer to a medium bowl to cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, sourdough starter discard, vanilla extract, and salt. Cook stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and whisk thoroughly.

Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then add the chopped cranberries and 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir until combined. It’s okay if the chocolate chips melt a little.

process shots showing how to make sourdough granola bars 2

Use a spatula to scoop the mixture into your prepared pan and then cover the mixture with another sheet of parchment paper. Press the mixture firmly down into the pan. I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly smash and compress the mixture. See my video for a better visual of how to do this. Remove the parchment, make sure the mixture is cool to the touch, and then sprinkle an additional 2 Tablespoons of mini chocolate chips on top. Gently press the chips down into the bars.

process shots showing how to make sourdough granola bars 3

Finally, leave covered with parchment or cover with a lid or plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before removing to cut into bars.

I like to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These will keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bars will keep in the freezer for up to three months wrapped tightly in plastic.

process shots showing how to make sourdough granola bars 4

How to Long-ferment Sourdough Granola Bars

To turn this into a long-fermented granola recipe, simply mix the oats and active sourdough starter in a small bowl. It will be a very dry mixture. Cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day proceed with the recipe instructions. This is a great way to boost the nutrition of the wholesome ingredients in these bars.

Sourdough Granola Bar Recipe Tips

  • Press hard when smashing the mixture into the pan. You really want these bars as compressed as possible to achieve a granola bar that doesn’t completely fall apart. Use your muscles here.
  • Because we are adding moisture in the form of sourdough starter, which is half water and half flour, these bars hold together best if stored in the refrigerator. If left out at room temperature they are still perfectly fine but you may find they crumble more easily. Some people like to crumble them intentionally onto yogurt for a sourdough granola treat.
  • Make sure to use mini chocolate chips for best results. If you only have regular-size or a chocolate bar, chop it up finely before adding it to the mixture. I like to add some variety by using mini dark chocolate chips sometimes and swapping the dried cranberries for dried cherries.
  • Be sure to chill the bars. You’ll want these bars to chill for a good long while before slicing. Don’t skip this step! Chill for a minimum of 2 hours. If you are crunched on time you can also freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  • Store these granola bars in the fridge or freezer. Once sliced, you can cover these bars and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. I like to lay a sheet of parchment paper between layers if stacking the bars to keep them from sticking together. Freeze the bars covered for up to 3 months. Simply allow them to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating.
sourdough granola bars on a cutting board

Sourdough Granola Bar Variations

Mix things up with whatever ingredients you have on hand, or add in your favorite mix-ins.

  • Mix it up! Feel free to add in your favorite combinations. Mini dark chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit such as golden raisins, or cherries.
  • Spice it up! Add in some cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg if you love those warm spices.

More Sourdough Favorites From Our Rooted Deep Home

Yield: 12 bars

Homemade Sourdough Granola Bars

four sourdough granola bars with mini chocolate chips

These homemade chewy and sweet sourdough granola bars are so much better than anything you can buy at the store. They are simple to make and jam-packed full of nutritious whole foods that the whole family will enjoy for snacking or breakfast. Simple pantry ingredients come together quickly to make these scrumptious and healthy grab-and-go snacks.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup sourdough starter (discard or active)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add the oats, and chopped nuts to a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and then stir. Add the coconut flakes and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
  3. Combine the butter, sourdough starter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix well. Let cool for 10 minutes and then add the chopped cranberries and 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. The chocolate chips may melt. This is okay and helps the bars stick together.
  5. Using a rubber spatula transfer the mixture into the prepared pan. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the mixture and press the mixture firmly down into the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press down and evenly smooth the mixture into the pan. Pressing hard and firm keeps the bars together.
  6. Remove the parchment paper and make sure the top is cool to the touch, then sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips over the top of the bars. Return the parchment paper over the top and gently press the chocolate chips down into the top of the bars.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for a least 2 hours. After chilling remove the block of granola mixture and slice into bars.

Notes

These bars are best stored covered in the refrigerator. You may store them at room temperature but they will soften a bit.

You can freeze these bars wrapped tightly in plastic for up to 3 months.

To long ferment the bars start the process the day before by mixing 1/3 cup of active sourdough starter with the rolled oats. Use your hands and knead the starter into the oats like you are kneading bread. The mixture will be dry. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. The next day proceed with the recipe instructions. You may need to use floured fingers or parchment paper to spread the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet before toasting.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230

Did you make this recipe?

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4 Comments

  1. These granola bars are great! I am so happy to find a recipe for long fermented sourdough granola bars! While I realize the importance of fermented grains, I was not ready to give up chewy granola bars! I fermented the oats over twelve hours. I didn’t have cranberries or coconut so I substituted with raisins and sunflower seeds. Flavor and texture were great! Thanks, Alicia, for a tasty and delicious long fermented sourdough granola bar recipe!

  2. Love these fermented granola bars. I substituted the sugar and butter, for chocolate protein powder. I had to add more peanut butter to make the consistency right. Delicious snack that has the sourdough benefit while helping me up my protein.

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