My grandmother Mimi passed along quite a few traits to me, her only granddaughter. I inherited her eyes, her name (hence the ‘e’ at the end of Kathryne), her sweet tooth, and her love for pecans, among others. I mentioned this in my cookbook, but Mimi’s family owned a small pecan tree farm, so she enjoyed a lot of pecans in her long life.
When the recently-formed American Pecan Council asked me to develop a recipe featuring pecans, the answer was easy. “Challenge accepted!” I came up with these pecan granola bars, which are bursting with warm, sweet, delicate pecan flavor.
I started by toasting the pecans on the stove (I’m not turning on the oven unless absolutely necessary this summer). Then, I whipped some of those fragrant toasted pecans into pecan butter, which is so good. If you haven’t tried it yet, you have been missing out.
Add some maple syrup, cinnamon, oats, and chopped toasted pecans, and you’ve made a batch of wholesome and delicious homemade granola bars. I even pressed pecans into the top to highlight their supreme pecan-ness. You can skip that step if it seems like too much trouble, but I think they’re cute that way.
I haven’t heard much about pecan nutrition in the past, probably because the council didn’t exist yet to spread the word. While all nuts have their own merits, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that pecans contain the highest amount of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory flavonoids of all nuts.
Pecans are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the same beneficial fats that you’ll find in olive oil and avocados. Compared with most other nuts, they’re higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates, which means that these pecan bars will keep you fueled for a while. All great news for pecan lovers!
Pecan Granola Bars
- Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 1 hour chill time)
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 16 granola bars 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
These homemade pecan granola bars are a delicious snack or breakfast! Store them in the freezer and you’ll always have a wholesome snack ready when you need it. These bars require an hour-long rest in the refrigerator to set. Recipe yields 16 small (2-inch square) granola bars.
- 1 ¼ cups pecan halves (5 ounces)
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using regular table salt or salted nut butter, scale back a bit)
- 1 cup homemade pecan butter* or creamy almond butter or peanut butter
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line a 9-inch square baker with one strip of parchment paper, cut to fit neatly across the base. The parchment paper will make it easy for you to slice the bars later.
- For maximum flavor, toast the pecans: In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently (don’t let them burn!), until they are nice and fragrant, about 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool. Set aside 16 of your prettiest pecan halves for garnish, then chop the rest. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to blend. Set aside.
- If you have made pecan butter for this recipe*, add the maple syrup and vanilla to your food processor or blender and blend to combine. If not, in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, measure out 1 cup nut butter. Top with ½ cup maple syrup, followed by the vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended. (If you must, you can gently warm the liquid mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop.)
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a big spoon to mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. Add the chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly dispersed. The drier the mixture, the more firm the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems wet. Conversely, if you used a super thick nut butter, you might need to drizzle in another tablespoon of honey to help it all stick together.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared square baker. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture fairly evenly in the baker. Cover the bottom of a flat, round surface (like a short, sturdy drinking glass) with a strip of parchment paper (see photo) and pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible. Press the reserved pecan halves into the surface to create 4 even rows and 4 even columns (see photo).
- Cover the baker and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. This gives the oats time to absorb moisture so the granola bars can set. When you’re ready to slice, lift the bars out of the baker by grabbing both both ends of the parchment paper. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the mixture into 4 even rows and 4 even columns (these “bars” stick together better in a square shape).
- For portability, you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Bars keep well for a couple of days at room temperature, but I recommend storing individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for best flavor. They’ll keep for several months in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from my almond coconut granola bars.
*PECAN BUTTER NOTES: My recipe for pecan butter conveniently yields the exact amount you will need for these bars. If you will be making pecan butter for these bars, you will need a total of 3 ¼ cups pecan halves.
MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten-free oats.
IF YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE: Check out more of my granola recipes and pecan recipes.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with the American Pecan Council and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!
So um……YES PLEASE! Pecans are what I freakin live for. Haha, thanks Kate!
Right? The best nut out there.
Yum will definitely give these a go! I can’t eat cinnamon – happy to just skip it but wondered if you have a recommendation for a sub? I often throw cloves or nutmeg in things instead but wasn’t sure if that would work here. Thanks, Kate!
I made them with nutmeg since I also can’t have cinnamon. Turned out good :)
Man these look amazing! Do you think there’s a way to limit the sweetener without affecting the bars ability to hold together tooo greatly? Like 1/4 cup or something?
Hey Michelle, I think you could if you replace it with an equal amount of additional nut butter!
Am I missing something; where is the recipe? These look yummy! I’d like to try them. :)
Hi Giselle, I’m sorry, I was updating my recipe plugin so it disappeared for a minute. The recipe should be visible now. Please let me know if you still can’t see it!
Your almond coconut granola bars are a bi-weekly ritual in my house, and I was just thinking how great other nuts would be. Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to make this and add chocolate chips
You’re welcome, Natalie! I hope you like them–let me know how they go!
This looks delicious! I love pecans! Also I hear you for not wanting to turn on the oven unnecessarily this summer. We only have a swamp cooler, which doesn’t work very well during the hottest months of the year. I got home from work today and my apartment was 89 degrees! Do you maybe have a list of dinners that we can make without turning on the oven? (And also minimal stove time?)
Mmm I love pecans! Simple but delicious. Will be giving these a try :)
Let me know if you do, Hannah!
I read the blog for making Pecan Butter. Your story about the fresh pecans reminded me of the 2 pecans trees in my neighbors front yard, where I lived a few years ago. The house was vacant, so when I walked my dog, he would sit on the grass and crack the pecans with his teeth. He would spit out the shell, then eat the pecan. I was always amazed he could do that!
Haha! That’s amazing!
These sound amazing! I have just ordered your book through Barnes & Noble. Looking forward to receiving it as I love your recipes. I wish it was summer here though…:-(
I hope you enjoy the book, Tiffany! There are plenty of warm soups and dishes in the book, so no worries. :)
Kelly Senyei @ Just a Taste
I love pecans, too. Can’t wait to try these bars!
Let me know how they turn out!
Pecan Granola Bars…YUM! I made the pecan butter from your recipe and it was delicious in and of itself. I used the maple syrup rather than the honey. Also, I was shocked to find out that I had NO vanilla extract so I thought…I could use almond extract–but I had NONE of that either. Instead I used Amaretto! It worked very nicely!
Great! I’m glad the amaretto swap worked just as well, too. :)
James | Thyme to Mango
I’ve been on a real pecan kick lately, putting them (and the obligatory maple syrup) in everything! I’m always on the look out for quick, easy and – naturally – delicious breakfast snack food situation for my work mornings (I get up at 3am, no one has the enthusiasm to make breakfast at that hour!). Will be making these on my next days off!
Oh my goodness, a 3AM wake-up call doesn’t really call for a leisurely breakfast, does it? I’m so glad you found these! I hope they make your early days a bit easier.
James | Thyme to Mango
Kate, these have made my mornings this week a little bit awesome! They are so, soooo good! I also had fund making pecan butter (I didn’t know pecan butter was a thing, and now I want to put it in everything!). Thank you for such a great recipe.
Hooray! I’m so glad these were such a hit. And welcome to the wonderful world of pecan butter! Life’s just better with pecan butter in it. Thanks for following up, James!
Yay! I’ve cut way down on using oil these days, and I’ve been wondering how to get my granola fix! I’ll be trying these. Thank you!
Perfect! Thanks, Stephanie. Let me know how you like them.
Pecans and granola are two of my favorite things. I can’t wait to try it out.
I hope you do!
Made it. Loved it. Easy, yummy from first thing in the a.m. to a late night snack.
Could you give calorie count? I hate to ask but they’re to easy to keep eating.
Hey, Rindy! So glad you liked the granola bars. If you scroll down past the notes, you’ll see a section that says NUTRITION INFORMATION. If you click that, it’ll drop down.
My 4-year-old son adores these! He wasn’t sold on them until I pressed the pecan halves in, at which point it was all I could do to keep him from face planting them.
Haha! That’s such a great image, Megan. I’m glad he was such a big fan!
These are wonderful! My whole family loves them. I added dark chocolate pieces and Craisins. Delicious.
These bars are amazing! Thank you for another great recipe
Just made these today for weekday snacks and breakfast this week. These are delicious! Taste like pecan pie. Yum!
Yum is right! I hope you enjoy them, Mariel!
Hi there, where do I find the nutritional information for your recipes?
Hi, Shannon. The nutritional information can be found right under the notes for my recipes. Simply click on “Nutrition Information” and it will drop down with the info.
When I click on the link there is no drop down…..at any rate, thank you for the quick response, really love your site – fantastic recipes!
Hi Shannon, could you please tell me which device and browser you’re using? I’d like to figure out why the nutrition facts aren’t showing up for you. Sorry about that!
Just wanted to let you know in Firefox the nutrition info doesn’t show up for me, but when I use Chrome it does. I’m using a Dell computer.
Hope that helps!
These were awesome! They taste like cookie dough and were so easy to make.
Thanks, Aliza! I’m happy you enjoyed them.
I made this with peanut butter (it’s what I had) and it was awesome! Granola bars are one of the last “store brought” treats I hadn’t tried making at home, since most recipes are either too much work, too full of sugar, or don’t seem like they’d taste very good. This was super easy, had a reasonable amount of sweetener (though I am wondering about adding some mashed banana next time in place of half of it), and tasted delicious!
Great! Let me know if you use banana to lower the sugar, I’d love to hear how that turns out.
Hello @cookieand kate
I have tried your granola recipe, banana loaf recipe and some others they have all been amazing.
I’m going to give the pecangranola bars a go ! so excited.
Love that name by the way !
Im going to make these bars today.My husband and i went to Barbour Farms yesterday in Byron Ga.and i got excited to see that they had pecan butter ! After i walk this morning im going back to buy more pecans.Then home to make this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it. I will let you know how this turns out. I was thinking about making these and giving them for some of my friends at church for Christmas !
Excited from Byron Ga. Diane
P.S. i wanted to know if the sugar free Smuckers maple syrup would work ?
Hi Diane, I’m sorry I missed your question earlier! I’ve never worked with that variety of maple syrup, but I would definitely recommend sticking to natural maple syrup for the best flavor and results. I wouldn’t want that pecan butter to go to waste!
These are INCREDIBLE. Thank you so much for this and the Pecan Butter Recipe. Will make them again as soon as I run out :-D
You are welcome, Tia! Thank you for your review.
Once a week my three year old and I make these “garnola” bars. They g in school lunches, and with mommy and daddy to work for snacks (she loves to know we are all eating the same thing during the day). We’ve used every kind of nut, alternate between maple syrup and honey or a combo (but usually cut it to a little under a 1/2 C), and sometimes add flaxseeds or dried fruit – always perfect!
That’s so sweet. She sounds darling! Thank you for sharing, Sarah.
Another winner to add to my arsenal of healthy meat-free recipes. I’m not a vegetarian but gallbladder surgery back in November rendered me unable to eat meat more than twice a week without awful consequences. I am so happy to have delicious recipes that even my picky family members will eat.
We had a little more than one cup of pecan butter so I chopped up an apple and swiped the leftover butter out of the blender with apple slices for our midday snack. I added a chopped date to our pecan butter for a little sweetness and it was a flavor explosion in our mouths. It also allowed me to cut back on the sweetener in the bars by a bit with no adverse effects on the final product.
3rd time making these bars – they are sooo good I can’t stop myself from munching once I make them.
Thanks so much! Love this recipe and really enjoy perusing your blog.
I have had this recipe book marked for a while and finally tried it. All I can say is amazing! My kids, who claim they don’t like nuts, are huge fans! I asked my husband if we should freeze some and he didn’t think they would last longer than a day or two because they are so delicious. We love your blog and cookbook!
Thanks for your support! I love that your husband didn’t want to freeze them so you could eat more. That’s great!
I have made these pecan granola bars a few times and they are always a huge hit! (just sent a care package of them to my daughter!) I love that they are super easy and a great snack. I always use Kate’s recipe for homemade pecan butter too. So yummy in itself! I must say I never adorn the bars with pecans on top – they do look lovely, but I just have all the pecans in the batter. They are delicious! Thanks, Kate! Your website and cookbook are my go-to’s for recipes!
That’s great, Emily! Thanks for the love and commenting. I really appreciate it.
These bars are wonderful. My 2 and 4 year old can’t get enough. I appreciate that I know what’s going into the granola bars and my girls still feel like they’re getting a treat!
Wonderful! Thanks for the review.
Made these today. I used maple syrup. Wonderful
Great to hear, Donna!
love this recipe for a special treat! I added a few vegan chocolate chips to the top.
Thanks for sharing, Sharon! Sounds delicious.
Just made these and am waiting for them to finish hardening in the fridge. I used my mom’s cashew butter in place of the pecan butter and it was uber yummy! Excited for the final result!
Thank you for sharing, Callie! What did you think of them?
Love these! How many calories though?
Hi Jaslyn! The nutritional information is below the recipe notes. :) Make sure you allow pop-ups.
I love granola bars and I love pecans so this really works for me. In fact pecan anything works for me, too! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
You’re welcome, Millican!
I love the pecan granola bars. I ran my pecans though a grinder instead of chopping. Grinding pecans made it a little dryer so I had to add more syrup next time I will use less pecans. I am not used to using salt but being others were going to eat them too I added the salt I will use a little less salt. The best bars ever. Just ate one and really want to eat them all.
Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
Just to let you know that your privacy settings are in total breach of the European legislation and your website has been reported to the ICO.
Combination of ingredients tastes great but they did not bind together to form bars. If I add more honey it may be too sweet. Any ideas please?
Hi Walley! I’m sorry to hear that. It is important to make sure everything is firmly packed down to help hold it together. Did you follow this step?
I just made these for the first time and they were SO delicious. Will be a staple in my house going forward.
Wonderful, Katie! Thank you for your review.
Loved these. Used almond butter. Made it very thick and hard to mix but I just added a bit more maple syrup. Will try homemade pecan butter next.
Love this recipe! These are so nutritious and delicious! I made my own pecan butter and used 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of honey. Mainly because maple syrup is so expensive but I love it so much.I used our own pecans from our pecan trees. I took a batch of these to my gym and everyone loved them. I will definitely be making these in the future and maybe even give them as Christmas gifts instead of sausage balls, LOL. I wish I could post a picture of them – they’re so pretty! Thank you for the recipe!
You’re welcome, Jackie!
Blended the almond butter with maple syrup and vanilla extract in the KitchenAid with the whisk attachment. It was looking really good but I let it go too far, even on a low speed. Separated into coffee like solid and an oily liquid. Tried hitting it up to see if it would blend back together, no luck
Hi Daniel, I’m sorry you are having issues. I’m not quite sure what has gone wrong.
Oh my gosh, I made these to serve for breakfast at our b and b. Since we had vegan guests they were great for everyone. First off, the pecan butter is sooo good. I had to make a second batch so I could make the bars. I added some dried cranberries . Well these absolutely flew off the plates. I have had many ask for the recipe and always give you credit. These are the best! Thank you
I’m glad you love them, Cam!