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I know better than to leave my house without two essential staples: water and snacks.
No matter where I go, how long or short the trip may be, whether I’m making a quick pit stop at the grocery store to grab some eggs or preparing for an all-day hike in the park, I ensure that I always have a jumbo-sized water bottle filled to the top and a full inventory of snacks ready to go.
While the water is a permanent given, my personal snack stash is a frequently rotating stock of whatever I’m currently craving.
Recently, I’ve been keeping a few containers of these homemade pistachio granola bars in constant supply in my purse, backpack, car, and pantry.
In fact, another batch is baking in the oven right now to replenish my quickly dwindling reserve!
There are no crazy ingredients here – you’ll see all of the usual heavy-hitters expected to show up in a simple and easy granola bar recipe. But with just a little more fanfare dedicated to the pistachio, the gorgeously green nut speckled throughout these bars!
Along with chopped raw pistachios, two different varieties of oats, apricots, and cranberries create a multicolored base.
Combined with honey, almond butter, vanilla, and salt, the mixture is then pressed into an 8-inch square pan and baked until lightly golden brown around the edges.
Creamy almond butter and honey are a delightfully sticky duo in this recipe. Both are necessary binding agents for all of the dry ingredients, keeping the bars soft and chewy without having to mix in any other oils or sugars.
Mixing everything together in your stand mixer will be easier and faster than trying to combine the sticky and tacky ingredients by hand, especially if you are in constant pursuit of ways to shave off some time spent in the kitchen.
But if you’re ready for a good upper body workout, combine it all by hand with a sturdy spoon or spatula – I certainly won’t stop you, but I’ll watch from the sidelines!
How is your own snack supply? Don’t leave the house empty handed! If you need a refill, make these sweet and chewy pistachio granola bars ASAP.Print
Pistachio Granola Bars
- Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
Sweet and chewy homemade pistachio granola bars are packed with healthy and colorful ingredients, all combined with almond butter and honey.
- 1 1/4 cups shelled raw pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 6 whole)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons almond butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with two pieces of parchment paper to create a sling, with one crossing over the other. Lightly grease the paper with additional cooking spray.
- Place the pistachios, oats, apricots, dried cranberries, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.
- Add the honey, almond butter, and vanilla to the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, mix the ingredients together for another 30 seconds to form a wet mixture that holds together slightly when pressed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and briefly remix.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared pan. Using your hands, very firmly and evenly press the mixture down, spreading it along the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until aromatic and lightly golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour.
- Using the exposed paper on the sides of the pan to help you, lift the entire baked square from the pan. Dispose of the paper and place the square on a cutting board.
- Slice the square into 12 equal bars and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Granola Bars
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Snacks
Keywords: pistachio, granola, bars
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat the oven to 300°F and position the rack in the center of the oven. Set out an 8-inch square pan and lightly grease the bottom and sides with cooking spray.
Line the pan with two small pieces of parchment – one will be placed perpendicular to the other to create a criss-cross shape, and the paper will extend up each side of the pan.
Don’t try to cut or tear away the excess paper – this will be useful to help you lift the whole baked granola square out of the pan.
Lightly grease the paper with more cooking spray.
Measure out the old-fashioned oats, quick oats, dried cranberries, honey, almond butter, vanilla, and salt.
Measure and chop the dried apricots and pistachios, using a sturdy cutting board and sharp knife.
In a pinch, use unsalted roasted pistachios if raw nuts are not available.
While almond butter is a popular spread found in most grocery stores, pistachio butter is a rare and special treat that would be the perfect substitution if you’re looking for something a little different to use in this recipe that will also bump up the flavor even more.
If you’re willing to splurge on the nut spread, consider buying it online. This natural pistachio butter from Nutty Gourmet is available in two-packs of 10-ounce containers on Amazon.
Step 2 – Mix Dry Ingredients Together
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all of the dry ingredients together on low speed: the pistachios, oats, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and salt.
Mix until everything is equally distributed. This will only take about 30 seconds.
Step 3 – Add Wet Ingredients and Mix
Turn off the mixer before adding the honey, almond butter, and vanilla to the bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, mix everything together for another 30 seconds to form a wet and sticky mixture. It will hold together when pressed lightly with your hand.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and remix briefly at low speed.
Step 4 – Press into Pan
Dump the contents of the bowl into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape anything that is sticking to the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Using your hands, very firmly press the mixture down into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Make sure it is flat and dispersed evenly. The top of the parchment paper on each side of the pan will still be exposed.
To prevent having a big, sticky mess on your hands, you can use another piece of parchment paper placed on top of the mixture to act as a barrier while you are pressing it down. You can also use the bottom of a clean measuring cup to help you flatten everything down into the pan.
Step 5 – Bake
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, placing it in the center of the rack.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The mixture will be incredibly aromatic – you will smell the intoxicating scents of warm honey and vanilla! – and lightly golden brown around the edges when it’s done.
Step 6 – Cool, Cut, and Serve
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a heatproof surface. Cool the granola bar square completely in the pan, which will take about an hour.
Don’t try to cut into the square right away – be patient!
The mixture still needs to cool and set completely in the pan before cutting. If you try to remove it and cut it too soon, the square may crumble and fall apart.
Step 7 – Cut and Serve
Did you read the recipe in full, allowing it to cool completely? Perfect!
You can now lift the square out of the pan, using the excess paper to help you lift it.
Remove and dispose of the paper, and place the square on a clean cutting board.
Slice the square into 12 rectangular bars with a sharp chef’s knife. Serve them now, or store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to one week.
Pistachios Can Play Nicely
Are pistachios the shining star in this granola recipe? Yes.
But can they play nicely with other ingredients? Yes!
You don’t need to woefully forgo your favorite mix of raw nuts, dried fruit, and seeds in this recipe – as with most granola and granola bar recipes, you can play around with different combinations as you wish.
Just stick to the measurements outlined in the recipe!
Replace a portion of the pistachios with other chopped nuts such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts. You can also sub in some seeds, like chia, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds.
And you can use your favorite dried fruit instead of apricots and cranberries. Replace these with an equal amount of raisins, currants, or chopped dates.
How will you customize your granola bars? Pure pistachio, or a mixed medley? Leave a comment below!
If you’d rather keep the pistachios at the forefront, you might want to make these granola bars just as they are – or try even more pistachio-forward recipes!
If you want to bake tender spiced muffins or roll handmade chocolate truffles, go green with these recipes the next time you’re in the kitchen and craving a sweet treat:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Lorna Kring on March 26, 2015. Last updated on February 26, 2023.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.