These Pumpkin Granola Bars are easy to make with wholesome rolled oats, pure pumpkin and cozy fall spices. They’re naturally sweetened and perfect for breakfast or a healthy grab-and-go snack for school or work lunches. Vegan, gluten free and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins. Includes options for grain-free, paleo and low carb.
Updated October 2020
Easy Pumpkin Granola Bar Recipe
Looking for a healthy snack for on the go? These Pumpkin Granola Bars are easy to make using pantry-friendly ingredients. They’re made with pure pumpkin, cozy fall spices and perfect for pumpkin lovers!
Homemade oatmeal bars take no time at all to make and they are so much better than anything you can find in the store. Want more oatmeal bar recipes? We also love these Strawberry Oatmeal Bars, Keto Granola Bars and you can find 12 more granola bars HERE.
Why we love this no bake pumpkin breakfast bar recipe
- Freezer-friendly and works great for meal prep
- Vegan and made with wholesome gluten-free ingredients without any dairy or refined sugar
- Options to make these grain-free, paleo-friendly with low carb sweeteners
- Easy to customize using ingredients you already have in your kitchen
- Quick and simple snacks for on the go or for packing into lunchboxes or an after school or post workout snack
- A delicious and healthier treat for curbing that pumpkin pie craving with more healthy and wholesome ingredients.
- Perfect if you’ve got some leftover canned pumpkin to use up.
Ingredients you need to make these pumpkin breakfast bars
To make these healthy pumpkin bars with oats, a few key ingredients are required in order to achieve that perfectly soft and chewy texture we all love.
Feel free to mix and match the ingredients and brands with the ones you love and have on hand.
- Cashew butter – feel free to sub with any nut or seed butter you like. Be sure to use drippy near the top of the jar and not near the bottom of the jar.
- Coconut oil – you can also sub with vegan butter OR any other butter you like
- Coconut nectar – we love this lower glycemic sweetener for making healthy oatmeal bars but feel free to use any other thick and sticky liquid sweetener of your choice such as date syrup, brown rice syrup or honey (if not vegan). You can also use maple syrup but since the consistency is thinner, you may have to use less. For low carb, sub with Yacon syrup or any brand of sugar-free maple syrup you like.
- Pumpkin puree (be sure to use pure sugar free canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) or homemade fresh pumpkin puree by roasting your own sugar pumpkins
- Pure vanilla extract – adds flavor, balances sweetness and makes this easy pumpkin spread delicious
- Homemade pumpkin pie spice – you can use your favorite brand or make your own pumpkin spice. It’s just a combination of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves and ground mace.
- Gluten free rolled oats – we like to use half quick oats and half rolled oats but feel free to use what you have on hand.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut – you can also sub with crispy rice cereal
- Cashews, roughly chopped – feel free to sub any other nuts you like
- dried blueberries
- oat flour
- banana chips
- chocolate chips
How to make Pumpkin Granola Bars
- HEAT UP THE WET INGREDIENTS: For this recipe, we start by heating up the cashew butter, coconut nectar and coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Allow to bubble and simmer for 1 minute, until mixture has thickened, while continuously stirring (to avoid burning and sticking). If you’re not a fan of cashew butter, feel free to switch it out with your favorite nut or seed butter.
- STIR IN THE DRY INGREDIENTS: Once thickened, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, oats, shredded coconut and chopped cashews.
- TRANSFER TO PAN: Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and press down VERY firmly and flatten with a flat spatula until tight and compressed. Press in the reserved cashews evenly along the bars. Toss in other add-ins of your choice – I added dried blueberries, apricots, banana chips and papaya to one batch and then left the other batch plain.
- FREEZE: Place in the freezer (or fridge) until hardened, about 1 hour.
- CUT INTO BARS: Once the bars are set, use parchment paper to lift out from the pan. Slice into even bars.
How do I bake Pumpkin Granola Bars
If you prefer the texture and added crunch of a baked granola bar, you can place the pan in the oven and bake them for 25 minutes at 325 F. Baking the pumpkin oatmeal bars helps them hold better and not fall apart at room temperature.
Helpful tips for making the best breakfast bars
- For easier removal: line the baking pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang
- Try NOT to go overboard with your mix-ins, otherwise, the granola bars will crumble and fall apart
- If granola bar mixture seems too dry, the trick is to add just enough warm water (1-2 teaspoons at a time) to the mixture to help the ingredients bind and stick.
- Other ingredients that help granola bars bind well: egg, flax egg, pureed banana, coconut oil
- Alternatively, if granola bar mixture seems too wet, experiment by adding some more oats, shredded coconut or ground flax-seeds, finely ground oats or almond flour to help everything bind.
- Another important step is to press the granola mixture down VERY tightly and firmly into the pan. Use a spatula or lay a piece of parchment paper over the mixture while pressing down very hard using your hands.
- If the recipe calls for baking – try not to overbake and allow to cool completely before slicing into bars
- Chill the pan in the fridge or freezer prior to cutting into bars for a cleaner slice.
Can you freeze these bars?
To freeze these no bake pumpkin granola bars, you can flash freeze them on a large baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Then once the bars are hard, you can either:
- transfer and store them into an airtight container;
- OR wrap the bars individually with waxed paper or parchment paper and then store the wrapped bars in a resealable bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To thaw, simply grab the amount of granola bars you want out of the freezer and leave them on the counter for 30 minutes.
More easy pumpkin recipes you will love:
These Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars are easy to make with wholesome rolled oats, pure pumpkin, maple syrup and cozy fall spices. They're perfect for breakfast or a healthy grab-and-go snack for school or work lunches. Vegan, gluten free, dairy-free and refined sugar and easy to customize with your favorite add-ins.
- 2/3 cup creamy cashew butter , or nut or seed butter of your choice
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar , can also sub with another thick sticky sweetener such as brown rice syrup OR 2/3 cup of date paste. Maple syrup will work too but it will be thinner so you may have to use a little bit less. For low carb, sub with with Yacon syrup or sugar-free maple syrup and adjust the amounts according to your taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice**
- 1 tablespoon canned or pure pumpkin puree , not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 cups gluten free oats , to make these grain-free / paleo - sub with 1 cup roughly chopped square coconut flakes (Bob's Red Mill) and roughly chopped sliced almonds
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped cashews , plus 2 tablespoons left whole and un-chopped
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut , or crispy rice cereal
- - total 1/4 cup: dried blueberries, apricots, papaya, banana chips or any other fruit you like, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips etc.
- Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Melt nut butter, coconut nectar and coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat or in a large microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.
Allow to bubble and simmer for 1 minute, until mixture has thickened, while continuously stirring (to avoid burning and sticking). If you're not a fan of cashew butter, feel free to switch it out with your favorite nut or seed butter.
Once thickened, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, oats, shredded coconut and chopped cashews.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and press down VERY firmly and flatten with a flat spatula until tight and compressed. Press in the reserved cashews evenly along the bars. Add other add-ins of your choice - I added dried blueberries, apricots, banana chips and papaya to one batch and then left the other batch plain.
Place in the freezer (or fridge) until hardened, about 1 hour.
Once the bars are set, use parchment paper to lift out from the pan. Slice into even bars.
- Bars are softer when left out at room temperature. For best results, store bars in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.
Bake granola bars in preheated oven at 325 F for 30-35 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
**if you don't have pumpkin pie spice - sub in 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon cloves and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg