Pumpkin Granola Bars have those warm, yummy flavors of fall. With a variety of seeds taking the place of the nuts, these nut-free granola bars are a delicious treat, snack, or even breakfast with a cup of coffee or hot milk!
***This post was updated in September 2023.
This Nut Free Pumpkin Granola Bar Recipe is so delicious that you won’t even miss the nuts!
Fall Pumpkin Granola Bars
We are approaching the end of summer and the onslaught of pumpkin everything is coming upon us. I’m not complaining because seriously, this has to be the very best time of year.
If you’ve ever planted pumpkins, you know how they grow much like zucchini’s, and most of the time, we use pumpkins for carving or pies – and just like my 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies, these Pumpkin Granola Bars are a fantastic way to enjoy even more pumpkin flavors…. And in a healthy-ish kind of way.
Ingredients Needed To Make Pumpkin Spice Bars
Oats: Using quick oats brings the best results for this recipe.
Cranberries: Dried, unsweetened cranberries are best. You can use sweetened, but you might find the granola bars too sweet.
Sesame Seeds: Use the freshest you can find.
Pumpkin Seeds: Also called pepitas, use the freshest pumpkin seeds you can.
Orange Zest: Freshly zest is perfect.
Pumpkin Pie Filling: Use the brand you like the most. Yes, FILLING, not the puree.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Adding a bit of extra spice helps amp up those warm flavors.
Maple Syrup: The darkest syrup you can find is perfect.
Honey: Helps everything stick together.
Applesauce: Unsweetened is preferred, but use what you have on hand.
The Four Simple Steps to Make These Fall Granola Bars
- In a bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
- Then combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Add the extra ‘add-ins’.
- Bake, cut and cool!
Super easy, right? (and also super delicious!)
PRO TIP: Roasted or unroasted seeds are fine to use in this recipe. Use what you have on hand!
The beauty of these fall granola bars is that they’re not overly sweet like a conventional granola bar is.
They have the sweetness from the maple syrup and the cranberries, but they also have the added crunch from the sesame seeds and pepitas. Lastly, the soft chewy texture from the oats really rounds out the flavors and textures of this pumpkin granola bar.
Variations and Substitutions
If you don’t have dried cranberries, you can use raisins as well.
Adding coconut strips or shreds would be delicious.
Try different seeds if you don’t have what’s called for, on hand. For example, sesame seeds for sunflower seeds, etc. Also, you could substitute or simply add (for more nutrition), flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp, and sunflower seeds.
***SaltyPot Tip: You may want to add an extra few tablespoons of maple syrup if you want to add more seeds to the recipe, just to help them bind better.
Storing the Granola Bars
Guess what? These nut-free bars freeze like a dream! Freeze them on parchment paper, single-layered in an air-tight freezer container.
Leave them overnight in the fridge to thaw, or remove a few that you want from the container and leave them on the counter, covered, for an hour or so before serving.
Pair these gorgeous fall pumpkin bars with a coffee, tea, or a latte and you’ll be set for quite a few hours! For a kid-friendly snack, serve with hot chocolate or milk. Warming the milk just adds extra coziness to the whole snack, and these pumpkin spice bars are perfect for dipping!
Also, if you opened a larger can of pumpkin pie filling and leftovers you’re not sure what to do with, why not try making this delicious (and adorable!) Leftover Pumpkin Pie Filling Bread!
This Pumpkin Granola Bar Recipe Second Act
If you have a few leftovers of these pumpkin bars and you’re looking to repurpose them, here are a few solutions:
- Crumble them up and serve on top of ice cream for a nice crunchy texture.
- Crumble and add on top of pumpkin pie for a strudel texture!
- Crumble the bars and make a parfait by layering some of the crumble on the bottom, then layer pumpkin fluff alternately with the granola crumbs.
These aren’t your ordinary granola bars… go ahead and give them a try! Let me know what you think. I bet you’ll love how easy and delicious they turn out!
- 3 cup oats
- ½ cup pumpkin pie filling
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup honey (pure honey)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablepsoon sesame seeds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Use a greased (or parchment-lined) 9 x 13 baking dish
- In a large bowl, measure the syrup, honey, pumpkin pie filling, applesauce, and vanilla together.
- In another bowl, measure out the oats, all the seeds, and the pumpkin pie spice. Mix very well.
- Fold everything together ensuring everything is mixed well. Press very well into the pan.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Let them cool until you can manage to touch them and then cut them into bars. Let them cool completely.
1. If the seeds you used are not salted, add a dash of salt to the oats before you mix everything together.
2. An advantage to using parchment paper (instead of greasing the dish) is that you can use the corners of the paper to lift the entire recipe of granola bars out of the pan to cool.
3. Cut the bars while they are still warm and pliable. After they cool, it may be more difficult.
4 If you don't have dried cranberries, you can use raisins as well. As for seeds you could substitute or simply add for more nutrition, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp and sunflower seeds. Add a few extra tablespoons of maple syrup if you add more seeds to help the bars bind together before going into the oven.
5. Using pumpkin pie filling will help the bars set up as they bake and cool, rather than using pumpkin puree.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.