Oh boy were these nut free granola bars delicious! No, I’m not just saying that because this is my blog and I claim everything to be tasty af — it’s because I kept returning to the fridge to grab another, and then another! I could have eaten the entire pan right then and there.
First, let me share that these granola bars that were inspired by YOU! Yes, the lovely, loyal, incredible AK readers out there. These nut free granola bars came to fruition from your requests on my previous reader survey. While scrolling through your comments, I noticed that a few of you had allergies to nuts or you were baking for little ones who couldn’t have nut containing items in their lunchboxes.
Well be prepared… everything’s about to change. Yep that’s right — you don’t have to seek out any more store-bought granola bars because these are the real deal. Chewy, slightly crunchy, gluten free & packed with fruit, nutritious seeds and whole grains — these nut free granola bars are about to become your (or your little one’s) favorite snack.
Here’s how the story goes: I was strollin’ through the grocery store and suddenly realized I had sunflower seed butter leftover from when I made my allergy friendly chocolate zucchini bread (so good!). Then the reader survey came to mind; right then and there my brain went on a creative mission to make the best nut free granola bars ever.
Immediately, I headed to the bulk section of the store to fill up on pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa and dried figs. A little something different than the usual ingredients! I headed home, both determined and deliriously excited to whip these up.
The nut free granola bars of your dreams
Besides being absolutely delicious, these nut free granola bars will be your new favs because they’re:
- Truly superfood bars: made with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, chia, quinoa and oats! It’s the perfect energy bar!
- Allergy friendly: just make sure you are using gluten free oats and vegan chocolate if you are making it for someone with an allergy.
- Soft and chewy: with a little hint of crunch from the quinoa & seeds.
- Basically no bake: all you have to do is toast the quinoa, oats & seeds.
Everything you’ll need to make these nut free granola bars
As I mentioned, these quinoa granola bars are packed with superfood ingredients you can feel good about. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Oats: the core of these bars is made from gluten free rolled oats for the perfect chewy texture.
- Quinoa: for a boost of protein and fiber you’ll also need quinoa.
- Seeds: we’re packing in the protein, omega-3s, and nutrients with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed meal.
- Sunflower seed butter: instead of using traditional nut butter in this recipe, I’m keeping it nut free by using natural, creamy sunflower seed butter!
- Sweetener: these bars are naturally sweetened with a little honey, and get extra flavor from vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
- Extra mix-ins: you’ll also be adding chopped dried black mission figs for a lovely, chewy texture and sweetness.
- For topping: this is optional, but I love melting chocolate chips to drizzle on top of the bars. SO GOOD.
Customize your bars
There are tons of easy ways to make these nut free granola bars your own. Here’s what I can suggest:
- Swap the seed butter: if you’re not nut free you can swap the sunflower seed butter for your favorite natural nut butter.
- For the seeds: if you only have a couple of types of seeds, feel free to use more of one than another (i.e. more pumpkin seeds than sunflower seeds, etc.)
- To keep vegan: swap the honey for coconut palm syrup and remember to use dairy free chocolate chips for the topping.
- Choose your dried fruit: raisins, dried blueberries, or dried cranberries would be a great swap for the figs.
Easy nut free granola bars in 5 simple steps
- Toast the dry ingredients. Start by adding the oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and toasting them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 325 degrees F.
- Heat the wet ingredients. While the oats and seeds are toasting, heat the sunflower seed butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt in a saucepan and mix until smooth.
- Mix the bars. Let the sunflower seed butter mixture cool, then pour it into a bowl with the toasted quinoa, oats and seeds. Stir them together, then fold in the flaxseed meal, dried figs, and chia seeds.
- Shape the bars. Pour the mixture into an 9×5 or 8×4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper, spread it out evenly, and press the mixture down.
- Top & freeze. Melt your chocolate chips and drizzle the chocolate over the bars, then place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes until the bars have solidified. Slice, and enjoy!
Store these nut free quinoa granola bars in an airtight container or a Stasher Bag in the fridge for up to 1 week.
More no bake snacks
- No Bake Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Monster Cookie Energy Bites
- Sea Salt Cashew Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
- The Best Lactation Energy Bites
- Salted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Quinoa Crunch Bars
Get all of my no bake snacks here!
If you make these no bake nut free granola bars be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them!
Toasted Quinoa, Dried Fig & Dark Chocolate Nut Free Granola Bars
Incredible superfood nut free granola bars made with toasted quinoa, oats, dried figs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and chia. These easy nut free granola bars are packed with fiber, protein, and omega-3s, and are naturally sweetened for the perfect easy snack!
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup organic or homemade sunflower butter
- 1/3 cup honey (or coconut palm syrup if vegan)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup black mission dried figs, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Add oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet and spread around evenly. Once oven is preheated, toast the oats and quinoa for 8-10 minutes. Once done toasting, pour oats and quinoa into a medium bowl and set aside.
While quinoa and oats are toasting, add sunflower butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt to medium saucepan over low heat. Stir every so often until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl with the oats and quinoa. Stir well to incorporate. Fold in flaxseed meal, dried figs and chia seeds.
Line an 8x4 or 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper; pour mixture in and spread out evenly, then press mixture down in the pan very firmly.
Next melt chocolate chips for 20 seconds in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan on the stove top. Drizzle over bars. Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes or until mixture has hardened. Remove bars from pan and cut into 10 bars. Store bars in the fridge. Enjoy!
If you're not allergic to nuts, feel free to also sub out the seeds for any kind of nut you desire. Same goes with the nut butter!
Instead of dried figs, try another dried fruits such as cranberries or blueberries.
You can skip the chocolate drizzle if you want, but who doesn't love a little dark chocolate? Seriously.
This is exactly what I call an ideal breakfast for office days ! And your photos : absolutely amazing ! Bravo. Keep on rocking !
Made them twice, and they are delectable!! Can the bars be frozen?
I always wash my quinoa before I use it. Will this change the recipe any
Not at all. Feel free to rinse the quinoa — you’ll be toasting it anyway in the oven so it shouldn’t matter! Great question.
You know a recipe is great when your boyfriend eats it without a second thought…even though they “claim” they don’t like something. 😉
soft and chewy are the best! plus, i’m a serial eat on the go breakfast person, so no crumbs to clean up on my clothes afterwards!
This looks so amazing! I wish I can grab them off my screen!
What can I use instead of sunflower butter?
Hi Jessica! You can use any natural nut butter you’d like if you aren’t allergic to nuts!
Would Tahini work as a sub for the nut butter? I know someone allergic to nut butters AND sunflower seeds.
Yes, that’s an excellent swap!
I made these last night – they are so very very good! I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of adding some dates because I didn’t have enough figs on hand. I think next time I make them, I might even play around with the flavors & dried fruits – so many possibilities. These would easily run about $6 for a box of four at the store, but they are incredibly easy to make at home. Thanks for such a great recipe!
oh my, these were great, thanks for the great recipe! I edited/swapped: 1/2 cup of almond butter instead of the sunflower butter, I did 1/4 cup of honey and it was plenty sweet enough and I added 1 big tablespoon of tahini sauce, and finally I did not have faxmeal so I did not add that. I did the chocolate dizzle on top, this is a keeper!
Is cutting up the dried figs recommended or just add them as is from the package. Wondering how to spread the chiewiness around.
You should cut the dried figs — it says above!
Judging by the fact that my toddler kept grabbing bites of the mix as we were mixing these together and yelling “yummy!” each time, I feel like it’s safe to say these are a hit! And he hasn’t even tried the finished product! These were really simple to put together and are easily the best granola bars I’ve ever made. Thank you for the great, wholesome recipe!
I don’t normally comment on recipes, but these were SO good. they are the best granola bars I’ve ever made! the changes i made were: almond butter instead of sunflower butter, i didn’t do any sunflower seeds but just doubled up on pumpkin seeds and added some sesame seeds, and i did half figs and half dried cherries. divine! thanks for the recipe 🙂
I made these and followed the directions pretty much exactly and for some reason the batter is not staying together. I added more sunflower seed butter (until my jar is empty) and it’s still not setting. I’m not sure what went wrong. I may try adding some tahini a 1/4 cup at a time to see if they will set. I hope they do because the mix tastes great and these will be great to bring to my boys nut-free school.
STOP ADDING MORE SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER!
Adding more of the “liquid” ingredients, in this case sunflower seed butter (or tahini) will not help your bars to set. Definitely do *not* add any tahini, since that tends to be more liquid than other butters. In fact, it will keep your bars from setting at *all.* Stop adding ingredients that function as liquids if you want them to set!
Add some more oats, or flax meal–you need to add more solid ingredients to the mix in order to get the bars to set up. It will help to grind up your oatmeal in a food processor, to create an oat flour, since you need something to soak up all the extra liquid you added in the form of sunflower butter. If you just want to add more seeds, then grind them up into powder–*not* until they turn into paste, but into a thick seed meal.
I just made these wonderful bars. I substituted dried cranberries for the figs and aside from this, followed the recipe exactly. They are perfect and you are right, the little bit of dark chocolate drizzle just adds a little extra to the bars.
Thank you for the recipe. I will certainly make them again.
Oh, yummeroonies! These are fantastic! Thank you for the recipe! Even though I have two picky eaters at home, they will eat them! Hallelujah! I didn’t have figs, so I used dates. And I didn’t have flax seeds, so I used hemp seeds. Turned out perfectly 🙂 Thank you again!
They are one of my favorites! Thank you for making them and taking the time to leave a comment!
Thank you so much for this recipe! Made them twice, and love them. I have a nut free household (due to an allergy), and everyone loves these! I found some allergen free seeds online (lots of the ones in the grocery store are cross contaminated with nuts in production), so we have plenty to keep making these as needed! Super simple and easy.
Your bars look delicious! They are my plan for a good weekend. How long do they stay fresh? Do you put them in the fridge after freezing them?
Greets from Germany! 🙂
PS: great photographies!
They stay fresh for a week in the fridge!
Hi there — as a mom of a child with a peanut allergy, I love seeing nut-free recipes. But it is vitally important to note that bulk dry ingredients are usually not safe for nut-allergic people. Be sure to read all ingredient labels carefully — figs and chocolate often carry nut warnings on them.
Mine fell apart a little when I cut them. Did not look quite as beautiful as the picture!! Suggestions for next time? Otherwise love them.
Can i sub honey with maple syrup?
I hope so as I don’t have enough honey so will throw in some pure maple syrup.
These came out awesome. I couldn’t find sunflower butter so I used almond butter. Also couldn’t find the pumpkin seeds so I used almonds (no nut allergy here). So good, healthy & filling. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy lady from Rhode Island.
I was excited to try these and got all started and for some strange reason didn’t have quinoa. Because my mouth was already watering over these I made with hemp seed instead and added cocao nibs. So delish!!
Thank you for the recipe!
I just made these and they are delicious. I substituted dates for the figs, because we love dates, and that made them just sweet enough. Perfect for a quick ski snack.
How would you suggest storing these, and for how long? Are they freezable? Thanks!
I made these today and sadly, they just crumbled like granola after I pulled them out of the freezer. I wonder where I went wrong. Any tips?
That said…I’m totally excited to have amazing tasting granola now!
I LOVE how easy this is to make substitutions! I was out of a few of the ingredients so I added chopped raw almonds, cacao nibs, and used almond butter. So good!
Oh, and I added prunes instead of the figs.
Perfect! They’re great for doing a little “DIY” 🙂
Looks like a great recipe! Will it work if I sub in maple syrup instead of honey? Thanks!
Nothing against flax seed meal but I have a ton of hazelnut meal in my freezer already. Do you think I could substitute that? Or would it be too greasy?
Hi Mitzi – I think hazelnut meal should work!
Do you think you could substitute crushed hemp seeds for the flax seed meal?
I think so if you put the hemp seeds through a food processor!
I love these just as the recipe calls for. Maybe I will try some other things in it when my digs are gone. So so good!
I’m so glad you love! I think it’s such a great combo in there as-is, too 🙂
Made these today exactly as recipe states except subbed dates for figs as that’s what I had. They took a lot of muscle to cut after pulling from freezer…they were only in there about half an hr. A lot of the chocolate drizzle fell off during cutting…but lemme tell ya…..Super delicious! Like OMG delicious!
Picky kids asked for seconds. Excellent snack for nut-free school lunches. Thank you!!
Will definitely make again and again and play with other subs.
I”m so glad these were kiddo-approved! And yes, great for nut-free school lunches.
Oh my goodness!! I just made these and had one for an afternoon snack – I am in love!! They are so perfect! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!! I had dried cranberries on hand, so I used them instead of figs, but, WOW! Amazingly good!!
These are one of my absolute favorites! Glad you enjoyed 🙂 and dried cranberries are perfect!
I also had the problem of them crumbling. They were still really tasty but wondering if I did something wrong. The sunflower seed butter and honey didn’t end up being very creamy so that could have been it. I’m gonna try again with a bit more butter and honey. Either way they were great!
Hi Jeff! I would double check your ratios, and be sure to leave them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes so that they set 🙂
I make a 5 ingredient granola bar from the minimalist baker (https://minimalistbaker.com/healthy-5-ingredient-granola-bars/) and had problems with it crumbling initially- When I put it in the loaf pan I top with a piece of baking paper and press down really firmly with the heel of my hand- that tends to help a lot.
I really want to try these but flax doesn’t agree with me. What can I use as a sub for the flax and chia?
You could try using almond meal and leaving the chia seeds out!
These are the bomb!
I’ve been making these delicious bars in double batches! They are the perfect snack or treat if your craving something sweet! My mom calls it her “crack”! Lol
I’ve been supplying her with them since she’s stuck in bed after foot surgery and can’t get around.
Amazing! So happy to hear that. We can definitely name these “crack” bars haha. I’m glad she’s getting a good treat while she heals up!
Can we replace the honey with maple syrup?? Waiting on the answer to make them !! Thanks
Hi Melissa! Maple syrup should work in here 🙂 Enjoy!
I decided to make a double batch of these today per the recipe and they are pretty tasty. My son is a fan as well. We made them with figs this time and were ok, but I like the suggestion of using other dried fruits. I’m considering mango and cranberry with the chocolate chip inside the mix instead of melting and drizzling for speed and one less thing to wash.
Mango and cranberry + chocolate chips sounds delicious in here! Totally customizable 🙂
I can’t get quinoa past my kids… do you think puffed rice or millet would work ?
Millet should work!
These were delicious but the quinoa overpowered them. It was like crunching on gravel. What can I use besides quinoa next time.
I can’t use nut butter due to allergies at school and wouldn’t really use sunflower butter apart from this recipe. What could I use instead?
You could try tahini (sesame seed butter) – I have tons of delicious tahini recipes for using it too: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/healthy-recipes-using-tahini/
These were delicious but the quinoa overpowered them. It was like crunching on gravel. What can I use besides quinoa next time.
Sorry to hear you didn’t like them! You can reduce the amount of quinoa or you could probably sub oats.
Can you freeze them once finished and thaw them later?
I wouldn’t recommend it – the bars will crumble.
Should these come out crunchier or chewier? I froze mine and then cut them, and while they taste great, they crumbled a bunch when cutting them, but are very crunchy. Perhaps I toasted my oats too long or left them in tbe freezer too long?
It sounds like they might have been in the freezer too long!
Yum! These were so easy and delicious. I left out the quinoa (raw quinoa makes me sick. Weird, I know.) Instead I added chopped, roasted hazelnuts. Oh wow, they were perfect!! Also, for the chocolate topping I melted 2 T coconut oil and added 2 T raw cacao powder, a dash of pure maple syrup, and vanilla to taste. It sets up just like chocolate! I use it all the time on healthy brownies and bars. On ice cream it hardens just like magic shell. Delicious!!
Perfect!! I’ll have to try that magic shell 🙂
Can you come up with a way to make this without oats? I am allergic to oats, wheat, and corn.
I’ve only made the recipe this way, but feel free to try any of these delicious snacks!
These are b**ody amazing! I used almond butter as we don’t have nut allergies and these don’t have to go to school. Thank you!!!
Awesome, so happy you liked them! 🙂
Do you think I could sub tahini (in smaller amount?) instead of any sunflower or nut butter?
Yes I think that would work well. Try a tablespoon less.
These granola bars are packed with superfoods yet they are so tasty.
Amazing. Loved them. Super delicious! Would say it took more like 25 mins since I needed to cut up the gigs and would definitely suggest a bigger dish over the bread loaf pan so they are smaller.
Glad you loved these! Feel free to adjust the size as needed.
Definitely 5 stars!! These are excellent. A good combo of chew and sweet. As an endurance athlete, I am always on the hunt for good, clean energy packed stuff to eat; this fits the bill. I did substitute dried cranberries for figs, (as we are not fig folks) and added a dash of dried blueberries. Love, Love, Love these..and oh yeah, don’t skip the chocolate!
So happy you found this recipe! Such a great treat (especially for endurance training!) Love the idea of dried cranberries + blueberries, too.
I’m an AK lover through and through. This blog has forever changed the way I view healthy baking, cooking, and eating. And I love it!! Unfortunately this is the first recipe I’ve ever followed from AK that didn’t turn out. My bars crumbled when I cut them 🙁 But they still taste good. Looks like I may have made myself some fancy granola for my fruit and yogurt bowls!
So sorry you had this problem, I think perhaps putting them in the freezer may be causing the hardening. I’ll update the recipe ASAP!
Actually 5 star in the taste department- something went wrong but I think I know why…. I bought sunflower spread thinking it had no sugar- then saw it contained confectioners sugar- I ended up reducing the honey so they wouldn’t be super sweet – probably the “ binding” factor that would’ve kept them together- sooo yummy though!, I’ll eat em anyway. This is just a heads up for other people trying the recipe
Ah that’s probably the culprit! Let me know if you give them another try 🙂
Delicious – my 4 year old gobbles these up in his school lunch, and I’ve been snacking on them too
Amazing! So happy to hear that 🙂
Just made these with my daughter, switching a few ingredients (we used peanut butter and maple syrup). Oh my goodness they are delicious! The crunchy quinoa is a game changer. Definitely keeping this recipe to try different variations.
Perfect! Such a great snack!
I ended up using tahini butter and some almond butter since I didn’t have sunflower butter. Mine came out VERY crumbly and did not stick together after freezing it 30 min. 🙁 Is there a way to rescue this dish once something like this happens?
Did you try thawing the bars first before cutting? It sounds like they were simply too cold or that the tahini and almond butter may have been too dry of a combo? All nut butters are different, so feel free to add in a little coconut oil next time if it seems dry!
So delicious. I make these often and keep them stocked in the freezer for quick snacks. Awesome for long runs or mountain bike rides.
This was great! Thanks for easy instructions and video. I swapped out the sunflower seeds, added almonds, and swapped cashew butter for the sunflower butter. Easy, pretty and yummy.
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
I almost never leave reviews, but I have made this recipe three times in the last month and they are delicious! Packed full of nutrition and yet indulgent. Even my husband, who was reluctant to try them, said they brought him “joy.” Thanks for a great recipe!
Love it! So happy to hear that 🙂
This recipe is delicious…
I didnt have all the ingredients so swapped oats for puffed amaranth, used puffed quinoa instead and put tahini in to make up for some missing sunflower butter. They are hands down the best nut free bars I’ve ever made and are so easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
Ooh those all sounds delicious! I’m so glad you loved these, thanks for your review 🙂
Alternative to the oats? And sunflower butter?
Hmmm I’m not sure how they’d turn out without the oats! For the sunflower butter, feel free to swap with any nut/seed butter you like 🙂
Another phenomenal recipe! So easy to make and so delicious! I used medjool dates instead of figs! Enjoying them now with an oat milk latte for breakfast! Thanks, Monique!
Great sub! So happy you’re loving these 🙂
Could I sub date paste for the honey without any issues?
Do you mean the thicker paste (not date syrup)? The mixture may be a bit thick but it might work! I haven’t personally tried it.
Apparently, you are supposed to rinse the quinoa before eating it raw. It has a natural pesticide on the shell and you have to rise it before consuming it. If not it can cause GI issues over time. I just made a batch of these without rinsing them. Maybe you could amend your post and add a note suggesting people rinse the quinoa pre-bake?
So delicious and satisfying!! How long would these keep in the fridge or even the freezer do you think? Thanks!
Yay! I think they should be good in the fridge for about a week + freezer for up to 3 months probably 🙂
These are AMAZING!! I use dates instead of figs and double the pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower seeds since I never have them on hand. I also use half honey, half maple syrup and 100% cocoa for the drizzle. I currently avoid tree nuts, gluten and dairy and so there’s a very limited selection of store bought bars, esp being clean. Needless to say, these are delicious and I love having a healthy snack on hand. So easy and customizable! I share this recipe with lots of people.
Thank you for creating!!!
I doubled this recipe and it turned out great! I had to bake the dry ingredients for roughly 20-22 mins because the quinoa was too hard to bite until then. I didn’t have pumpkin seeds so used roasted, salted sunflower seeds to substitute. I also used almond butter instead of sunflower butter, and dried blueberries instead of figs. Overall the process took roughly 1.5 hours from start to finish. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Yay! I am so glad you are loving this recipe and it turned out great for you!