Published Oct 12, 2021, Updated Mar 03, 2023
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These no bake cereal bars are the perfect combo of chewy and crunchy. They hold together well so they’re portable and make a delicious, healthy whole-grain snack!
Like trail mix in bar form, these cereal bars are packed with nutrient-dense superfood seeds, cereal with whole grain and dried fruit. They’re held together with a blend of almond butter and honey so they’re nutty, sweet and perfectly chewy with a little crunch from the cereal.
Plus, they’re so quick and easy to make. I’ve already made two batches in the past couple of weeks and I can easily see them becoming a weekly staple around here. Isaac loves snacking on them while out and about and they’ve quickly become a daily afternoon snack for me.
Are Cereal Bars Healthy?
It’s fair to say that not all cereal bars are healthy… there are some store-bought versions that are basically candy. But my version is definitely healthy! They’re packed with fiber, healthy fats and protein thanks to the seeds, oats and nut butter. These bars are only sweetened with honey so they’re much healthier than cereal bars you’d find in the grocery store that are typically loaded with added sugars and oil.
Why I Love Whole Grains
With the paleo and grain-free food trends, I think grains have gotten a bad reputation but it’s important to remember that whole grains (like oats, rice, corn, sorghum, spelt, wheat, rye, barley, etc) are whole, real foods and unless you have an allergy or intolerance, they’re really good for you.
Whole grains provide key nutrients in our diets like vitamins, minerals and fiber. Studies also show that eating more whole grains may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like heart disease. And it’s crazy because 95% of Americans do not get enough whole grain in their diet! When you make these bars you’re packing in a good amount. Now that is something you can feel good about.
Here’s What You Need
- Cheerios – I like using original Cheerios as a base for these bars. You could also use a flavored variety like honey nut or pumpkin spice (check out these pumpkin spice cereal bars) for more flavor!
- old fashioned oats – my fave brand of oats is Bob’s Red Mill. They have a gluten-free oats if needed too!
- unsweetened coconut flakes – just look for unsweetened coconut (without any added sugar).
- dried cranberries – try to find unsweetened berries if you can or cranberries that are only sweetened with fruit juice. Goji berries, dried cherries, raisins, dates, figs or dried blueberries would all make for good alternatives to the dried cranberries if needed.
- seeds – I use a combination of pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds and chia seeds.
- almond butter – natural creamy almond butter works best! Make sure it doesn’t have any added ingredients and is just almonds and salt. You can also use peanut butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
- honey – this is the natural sweetener I like to use for these bars because it’s sticky and keeps the bars together. I don’t think maple syrup will hold the bars together as well.
- vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
- salt – salt helps all of the flavors come together.
How to Make Cereal Bars
Start by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the almond butter and honey over low-medium heat. Stir frequently to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. The longer you heat, the harder the final cereal bar will be! If your mixture comes to a boil you will have a pretty firm cereal bar. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and sea salt.
Pour the liquid mixture over the cereal mixture and toss to coat everything.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the lined pan. Press down firmly with a spatula or your hands. This step is key! You want to really pack these bars into the pan. If you don’t, your bars might not stick together.
After the bars are fully pressed into the pan, place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Remove from the freezer, cut into bars or squares and enjoy!
How to Store Leftovers
These bars store really well! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you store them in the freezer, I recommend letting them thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying them.
More Snack Bar Recipes to Try
- Apple Granola Bars
- Chocolate Chip Almond Granola Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
- Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Fruit and Nut Bars
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Larabars
- Tahini Fig Bars
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Nut Free Granola Bars
The Most Popular No Bake Recipes
- No Bake Cookies
- No Bake Energy Balls
- No Bake Protein Cookies
- 5-Ingredient No Bake Brownies
- No Bake Almond Cookies
- No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars
- No Bake Chocolate Coconut Nests
- Crispy Chocolate Rice Cake Bars
- No Bake High Fiber Bars
No Bake Cereal Bars
- 1 ½ cups Cheerios
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or goji berries
- ¼ cup pepitas, aka pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ Tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup natural creamy almond butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place Cheerios, oats, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, pepitas, sunflower seeds and chia seeds in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- In a small saucepan, heat almond butter and honey over low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and sea salt.
- Pour over the cereal mixture and gently toss to coat everything.
- Pour into lined pan and press mixture down firmly with a spatula or your hands.
- Place bars in the freezer for about 30 minutes to setup. Remove from freezer, cut into bars or squares and serve.
- Store leftover bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They should last about 1 week.
- Mix-ins: Feel free to customize these bars by changing up the mix-ins. You can easily swap the cranberries for another dried fruit like raisins and the seeds can easily be swapped too!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I made rhese following the directions and ingredients as written but the bars crumbled as soon as I tried to cut them (I pushed them into the pan by hand to ensure they would hold together). The flavor was wonderful. Hoping there’s a trick I missed!
Oh no! So sorry to hear that you had troubles with these bars. I wonder if maybe your nut butter wasn’t drippy enough? What brand did you use? Also, just confirming you let them set up in the freezer before cutting?
I used regular Sunbutter (avoiding nuts for my kids’ school) and did chill them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Should the nut/seed butter and honey mixture boil for a certain amount of time or just until smooth?
Good question… I’d recommend letting the mixture boil for about 1 minute or so. Did you do that or just heat until the mixture was combined and smooth! I could see this being the issue!
I’ve made these countless times. I sub with regular Kraft peanut butter. Always turns out amazing!! Thanks so much for this recipe!! It’s very sub friendly. I sub with whatever cheerios I have on hand, and different nuts. Different dried berries, etc. cannot wait to try your other recipes 🙂
Woo! I am happy to hear that you are loving this recipe, Nikki. I love how you are able to mix up the ingredients in these bars, it keeps them so fun! Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.
Thoughts on swapping pure maple syrup in place of the honey? Do you think it would be sticky enough and would you say o e for one swap as far as quantity?
Hi Milissa – Unfortunately I do not think that maple syrup will hold the bars together as well. So sorry. If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out.
Hi, would love to try! but I was always told by beekeeper friends that heating honey turns it unhealthy and I should avoid it at all costs. Can I make the recipe without heating it up or replacing the honey for something else? Thank you!
Hi Yamil – I have never heard that heating honey turns it unhealthy. You could try maple syrup, but unfortunately I am not sure they will stick together as well, they might be a bit more crumbly. If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out.
I’ve made these several times now, and we love them. But they don’t hold together, even with pressing down well, and freezing ( I forgot then once in the freezer overnight. easier to cut, but still didn’t stick together when defrosted)
The only thing I changed in the recipe is that I left out the coconut, which I don’t like. Any suggestions on how to make them stay firm? Thanks!
Hi Diane – Are you using creamy almond butter? How long are you heating the almond butter + honey mixture for? The longer you heat that mixture, the better your bars will hold together. Hope this helps!
Absolutely love this recipe!! I make these all the time and think they’re the perfect amount of sweet while still being healthy!
WOO! These are SO good, glad they are a hit, Angela. Thank you for your review + star rating, I appreciate it!
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