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September 5, 2019

by Alyssa

Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa

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Crispy, crunchy, full of oats, honey, and quinoa, these gluten-free granola bars are delicious. They're the perfect healthy snack and great for on-the-go!

Healthy Crispy Granola Bars

If there's one thing you'll find in my snack stash at all times it is bars. They're something I travel with, I almost always have in my purse and I also use them as a pre-workout snack.

But buying boxes of bars can get a little pricey, not to mention finding ones that are tasty and healthy can be tricky. So I've been on a mission to recreate some of my favorite granola bars into a healthier (and homemade) option.

Today it's these Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with almond butter and honey. They're crunchy, they're sweet, they're a cinch to whip up and they're actually healthy. With just 6g of sugar, 117 calories and 3g of protein, they make the perfect little snack!

How to make Quinoa Granola Bars

Ingredients for our Gluten-Free Granola Bars

When I was creating these quinoa granola bars in my head, I was trying to replicate the texture and crunch of a Nature Valley bar, but make them healthier and with fewer ingredients. I wanted that crispy, I wanted some sweetness and I wanted something that I'd be able to make ahead and take with me on busy days.

These gluten-free granola bars tick all those boxes and more. They use just 9 ingredients, are super easy to make, are ultra crispy and they taste phenomenal.

Here are some of the ingredient highlights:

  • rolled oats: the main base of these granola bars which add fiber and texture
  • quinoa flakes: high in protein and fiber, but also helpful in holding these bars together
  • quinoa crispies: adds that nice crunch that I was looking for
  • honey: one of the best natural sweeteners out there and so tasty in these gluten-free granola bars
  • almond butter: high in protein, a healthy fat, great for flavor and one of the ways we keep these from crumbling

Add those 5 superstar ingredients in, along with a few others for flavoring and you've got one dang good granola bar on your hands!

Crispy Granola Bars with Quinoa

Tips for Getting Granola Bars to Stick Together

One of the challenges that you might face when you make homemade granola bars is getting them to stick together. Especially when you're baking them. But after making batch after batch of these granola bars, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that might help you from having a crumbly mess on your hands.

1. Use a Liquid Sweetener
When sugar cooks it starts to caramelize and when caramel cools, it hardens. That's the trick I use when I'm making a baked granola bar. I either make sure to use honey and maple syrup – usually mixing it with some nut butter – and once it bakes and cools, it should help your granola bars stick together!

2. Use Your Strength
Next up is your muscles. Specifically, how hard you press that granola bar mixture into the pan. You want to press hard. Like really, really hard. Get the mixture has compacted as you can and if you need help, use the bottom of a flat glass, jar or measuring cup to help you. This will help everything hold together once it's baked!

3. Score Before You Break
And my final tip is to score your granola bars as soon as they come out of the oven, then let them cool completely and then break them into bars. Scoring just means to cut light lines into the warm bars so then when you do cut them completely through, you're breaking them on even lines. Check out the video at the end of the post to see what I mean!

Healthiest Granola Bars

The Healthiest Granola Bars

It's no secret that making things at home is almost always healthier than the store-bought options. And I'd say that's especially true with things like granola bars.

The healthiest granola bars out there? Definitely homemade ones.

Why? Because many store-bought granola bars are loaded with sugar, unhealthy oils, additives, and preservatives. Not to say that you can't find healthy ones out there, but it can be tricky. And when you have options like these crispy gluten-free granola bars which are healthy, make-ahead friendly and fairly low sugar, it's kind of a no brainer!

crispy quinoa granola bars

More Healthy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa

Crispy, crunchy, full of oats, honey and quinoa, these gluten-free granola bars are delicious. They're the perfect healthy snack and great for on-the-go! 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 12 bars
Calories 117kcal
Print Pin
Healthiest Granola Bars
5 from 2 votes



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Melt the honey and almond butter together. Then pour over the dry ingredients and mix together until everything is combined.
  • Transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking dish and press down with your hands (hard). Press, press, press. Make sure it's fully into all the corners and packed in there.
  • Bake for 16 - 18 minutes until the bars have started to brown. Remove and immediately slice into bars, but keep it in the pan to let it cool completely. 
  • Once they're cooled, remove them from the pan and break them into bars.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.9mg
crispy quinoa granola bars


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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. […] Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa […]

  2. […] Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa […]

  3. I do love bars but I cannot take the sweetness. The only quinoa cereal we get In Rural Ireland ( wonderful health shops dotted about you know) is so sweet I cannot eat it!
    I mix granola roughly by mixing gf cornflakes, gf buckwheat flakes and oats, some raisins, nuts and seeds so bypass any extra sugars. It suits me but I know others love sweet things.
    I will try this without honey or maple but with coconut oil in recipe and see if it will stick. What do you think about chia egg or even the powdered egg replacer?

  4. […] Crispy Gluten-Free Granola Bars with Quinoa – These healthy, gluten-free granola bars are the perfect snack for those looking for something crispy, sweet and nutritious!… […]

  5. Keep on trying different recipes for gluten free, dairy free, soy free, crunchy granola bars for my son and I am looking forward to trying this one 🙂 One question, do you grind up the flax seeds before adding in or just use them as is. I haven’t used flax seeds yet on flax meal and when I went to order some, it said to make sure you grind them first, but I didn’t know if this was always the case.


    • Laurie:
      The deal with flax is that consuming the seeds whole doesn’t grant you any of the goodness locked inside of them. They will just pass through your system, essentially untouched. It’s also important to grind them to release the fats and oils that allow them to be used in recipes as a fats/oil substitute.

      Hodgson’s Mill is one of my favorites for these kinds of things, here’s a link to their milled flax: http://www.hodgsonmillstore.com/en/cereals/milled-flax-seed-71518-01015-001_group

      Hope that helps!

      • And they go rancid quickly too! Small amounts in fridge I read. Mit seems to be just fine then….. I am but rampant and do pumpkin seeds with it, sunflower often and so just the one jar is there for sploshing about.

  6. I’d love to try this recipe for a friend who lives gluten free. I was wondering if there is any way to substitute something for the honey as she isn’t allowed to have any. I might just have to make myself some. If I do I kind of hope to crumble it into chinks to make it a better snack. Especially if I add dried fruit to the mix.

    • I would say that you could probably substitute brown rice syrup for the honey, but other than that, I’m not sure how other liquid sweeteners would work out. Maple syrup, agave and those are much less sticky and I don’t think they would help the bars stick together. I suggest brown rice syrup, but if she can’t have that, I might just turn this into granola rather than granola bars. It would be delicious with the other two options (maple syrup and agave), and I personally love snacking on granola! Let me know what you end up trying and how your friend likes them 🙂

  7. I just attempted these bars. After taking them out of the oven and letting them cool, they still crumbled. I gently cut them and salvaged what I could, placing them back in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 mins. They came out black and are burnt to a crisp. Not too happy with this recipe.

    • Hi Christie – I’m very sorry to hear these didn’t work out for you! Did you make any substitutions or follow the recipe exactly? My hunch is that your oven might run a little hot if you don’t have an oven thermometer. Also, I cut my granola bars while they were still warm, then transfered them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. I’m afraid that if you let them cool before cutting them, they would break apart because they’re crispy. Perhaps that’s what happened? If you do try the recipe again, my suggestion would be to cut / score them, then let them cool and if they’re crispy and firm, I wouldn’t return them to the oven. If they aren’t totally crispy yet, I would bake them, but keep a close eye to make sure they don’t burn. Maybe 5 minutes would be fine in your oven. Thanks for letting me know about the problems! I’ll test the recipe again and see if I have any other suggestions for you 🙂

      • Thanks so much for the helpful response 🙂

        I will definately give it another go. Like a crazed woman I bit off the unburned tops and the few bites I got were so delish! Looking forward to my next attempt!

        Thanks again! 🙂

  8. Ah I cant reach a quinoa oats in my country, but I already tried quinoa itself with alot of desserts and sweets, and I love it! Those bars looks delicious 🙂

  9. Oh, these sound and look really good, Alyssa! I was a fan of those bars back in the day. Now they are “supposed” to be gluten free, but my body told me otherwise when I tried them after that announcement came out. I’m not familiar with quinoa crispies.


  10. Hi!!! Sounds delicious 🙂 I’m in Australia, haven’t seen Quiona Crispies, could you substitute for corn flakes???? Cheers Leigh

  11. These look great! Thanks for sharing.

    Brandi from Bran Appetit has recipes for savory oatmeal for dinner. You might like that 😉

  12. Lovely recipe but I am not sure about the quinoa cripsy’s do I make them or buy them? Is Blanched Almond flour regular Almond Flour? I would really like to make these and I am grateful other people explained where to get the Quinoa Flakes, I appreciate it.

  13. OK – these are next on my list after we eat all the quinoa crispy treats! I actually have all the ingredients to make these too. For anyone wondering – I found quinoa flakes at Whole Foods in the section with the gluten free bread crumbs. Planned to use it like Panko to bake up some chicken, but will have to save some for these bars now.

    • Thanks! I purchase mine from Trader Joes, but Bob’s Red Mill also sells them. You can get them on Amazon for super cheap! Enjoy 🙂

  14. are the quinoa flakes in the recipe a “cereal” type flake?
    (also, I believe you mean 1/2 cup of the flakes although it only says 1/2…)
    thanks for the wonderful sounding recipe – have to bake for our teachers for appreciation day and they want some gluten-free treats. sounds like a good one to try!

    • Quinoa flakes are to quinoa what rolled oats are to oats. Does that make sense? They can be found at most health food stores, sold in a box, either in the gluten-free asile or the breakfast cereal asile. The most popular brand is Ancient Harvest, but I like to buy them in bulk online! Hope you enjoy 🙂


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