So… hypothetical question.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

If you were to, you know, find yourself waist deep in couch cushions glued to the TV without seriously being able to turn your head away in the middle of a, let’s just say Homeland, marathon, as in you had to rewatch ALL previous episodes to see if they had clues because you’re sure they did, and then you almost have a heart attack because you can’t take the suspense but then you also seem to find yourself in an emotional pickle because you sort of want Brody to be good even though he’s bad and you really have no idea how you feel about, well, anyone for that matter… except Saul, because you know you love Saul, and it’s raining outside and you’re practically paralyzed by writing ridiculous run-on sentences but you’re so so so hungry and just can’t even get up to get any food because you can’t pull your body away from this TV show that is CLEARLY REAL LIFE and is doing a number on you… what would you eat?

Because I’m pretty sure that if this ever happened to me – which it obviously would not – I’d like some sort of quick snack to get me out of that predicament.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

But I don’t think it would ever happen. Ever. I mean, I can’t even imagine something so obnoxiously insane.

If, and I really do mean if, something like that did transpire in my sad little life – which consists of making the difficult daily decisions of “should I brown my butter today or not?” and “how can I DVR more than two shows at once?” – these would be the perfect cure. I know. It’s okay to hate on me.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

I ended up making these bars after Sara, noticing my slight quinoa obsession, asked on Facebook if I thought quinoa would work in granola bars. Hmmm… why yes I did. And I think that I probably have five more versions of quinoa granola bars up in my brain, so this is just the beginning. Fortunately. Or unfortunately.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

The deal: these bars are best chilled. You mix the ingredients until they are wet and sticky (would you have rather me said moist?) then press – and I really mean PRESS – them into a square pan. After a few hours in the fridge, remove them and cut into squares. While slightly annoying, I took the time to individually wrap each square with plastic wrap tightly and boy am I glad I did. Stuck on the top shelf in the fridge, these were the first snack my peepers saw and therefore, the first snack I grabbed.

Talk about portion control! Unless you grab, like, five at once.

Again… never happens to me.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

In recipe logistics, I often alternate between butter and coconut oil for the fat in my granola bars (I find the room-temp solids help hold bars together best), and it wasn’t that difficult of a decision  (see?) to throw some brown butter in the mix. If you don’t want to use brown butter (um, why are we friends? just kidding. sort of?), coconut oil makes a great sub and I’ll find it in my heart to forgive you. As usual, these bars can still get a bit crumbly so should be handled gently. But the quinoa pop totally makes up for that.

Oh and the brown butter.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I


No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars

Yield: makes 12 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes (includes quinoa cooking time)

Total Time: 2.5 hours


1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted brown butter, lightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine quinoa, oats, almonds, flaxseed and salt, stirring to mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Stir in honey, brown butter and vanilla extract, mixing well with a spoon until combined and entire mixture is moistened. If it still seems too dry, add additional honey 1 tablespoon at a time, but you don't want it to be too wet.

Line a 9x9 baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, into all the corners and evenly top it off with a spoon. You want it packed as tightly as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then remove and lift granola bars out of pan, cutting into 12 squares. These work best refrigerated.

No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars I

IwillnotwatchHomeland, IwillnotwatchHomeland, IwillnotwatchHomeland.

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97 Responses to “No-Bake Brown Butter Quinoa Bars.”

  1. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — October 16, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    Well I didn’t get to the bean cakes last night,I was out voted with mac and cheese!
    You should write a book on Quinoa recipes, your on a roll! What about a nice muffin recipe??


  2. #
    Kim in MD — October 16, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    Yum! Keep the quinoa recipes coming…I love them!


  3. #
    Liz — October 16, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    I say, enjoy Homeland AND more of these delicious bars!


  4. #
    Aggie — October 16, 2012 @ 7:27 am

    These are awesome!!! Quinoa bars. Total genius.


  5. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mamma — October 16, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    I am pretty sure you knew I just googled sweet recipes using quinoa… I have 2 cups sitting on my counter cooling waiting to be used this morning! This will be made…. in about 20 minutes!


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 16, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    These sound awesome Jess! I love using quinoa in granola bars and have been doing some experimenting lately. I’ve found that I enjoy the no-bake kind rather than baked, and like you, thoroughly enjoy using coconut oil in the recipes! I hope you’ve got a big stash of these for future Homeland marathons!


  7. #
    jessica lynn — October 16, 2012 @ 7:35 am

    Wait, ARE there clues in the previous episodes??? I just started watching it (and had a marathon myself last week—totally caught up in just a day) and I’m so hooked.

    I think I’m going to make these! I ate quinoa twice when I was pregnant early on, which was a mistake since it actually made me sick (everything made me sick), and I haven’t wanted to eat it since. But, this actually looks good and looks like a way to bring it back into my diet!


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 7:36 am

      haha no, I don’t think there are… I’m just insane.


  8. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 16, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    I’m making a batch of quinoa today! I’m going to save some to make your bars! What a great recipe!!


  9. #
    Amy m — October 16, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    I think I am very impressionablein the morning…..I am going to make these bars and start watching Homeland. Weird


  10. #
    Brittany — October 16, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had brown brown. Perhaps that should change.


  11. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — October 16, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    I’m having to give up a lot of food that is in my regular diet as of late and I don’t think these will break the rules!…. except for the chocolate but that is a rule I’m having a hard time not breaking. I mean, cummon- it’s chocolate!


  12. #
    Kim — October 16, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    These sound awesome…they are only missing one thing- my absolute obsession: Peanut Butter.
    Think it can be added in? If so, in addition to the butter or instead of? And how much? I’m not good with measurements!
    Thank you!!


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

      You definitely can, I think I would start with 1/4 cup pb (melt it) and then prob subtract 2 tablespoons or so of honey?


  13. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — October 16, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Whoa! These look like some more serious bars. I think my husband would love them!


  14. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 16, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    I’m pretty sure the quinoa automatically makes these a health food.. and the brown butter (obviously cancelled out by the quinoa) automatically makes these taste ridiculous.


  15. #
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — October 16, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    I’ve only ever made quinoa bars once. I know, weird. I love the idea of baking them no bake!


  16. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 16, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    I’m pretty sure quinoa automatically makes these a health food. And the brown butter automatically makes these ridiculous – just a guess, since I haven’t had one yet.


  17. #
    Brianna — October 16, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    I LOOOOOOOVE HOMELAND!!! And brown butter. And quinoa. What a perfect thing for me to do during the debate tonight (cause I find it hard to sit still for 90 min unless I’m watching Homeland). :)


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      ha, no kidding.


  18. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish — October 16, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    I would never have thought to put quinoa up in my granola bars, but I love the way it sounds!


  19. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — October 16, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    holy yum!! Homeland is the best show around!! I am obsessed!


  20. #
    Alexis @ Hummusapien — October 16, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    OMG these are like, revolutionary. I love that they’re no bake! Still super healthy even with the tad bit of yummy brown butter and chocolate chips :) Can’t wait to make these babies!


  21. #
    Katie — October 16, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    I’ve been hankering for a granola bar lately. Thank you muchly!


  22. #
    Ashley — October 16, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    HOMELAND for life!!! Can we start a club?? Pretty please?? You bring the quinoa bars, I’ll handle the doughnuts.


  23. #
    Diane, A Broad — October 16, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    This sounds amazing! But… can I leave the flax seeds out? I don’t know where I’d find them in Paris.


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 9:33 am

      Yes you probably can, you might want to sub in something else though with a similar consistency, maybe almond meal?


  24. #
    mrs. williams — October 16, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    LOVE Homeland, LOVE your writing, LOVE your pictures.

    Hate the word moist. Good call not using it.


  25. #
    Tracey — October 16, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    What a neat idea! I’m still iffy on quinoa but brown butter makes everything better :)

    Ditto on Saul, he’s the best!


  26. #
    jessicaA — October 16, 2012 @ 9:42 am

    I just wanted to let you know that even though I know the set up has changed slightly and when I press the arrow it’s going to show the recipe in a pretty box (and I usually don’t because I’m reading at work and can’t cook now and have already pinned the recipe to see if I have everything I have to make it later tonight…..) *ahem* I still MUST press the arrow to scroll past the recipe to see what little one liner you stuck at the bottom. Thank you. Also, for creating another run on sentence writing monster. You rule.


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

      Thank you Jessica!!


  27. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 16, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    i love the portion control idea, although yeah…i’d totally grab 5. at least i know myself, right? ;)


  28. #
    Amarachi — October 16, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I’m obessed with anything qunioa, so I need to make them!


  29. #
    Becca — October 16, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Um, gluten-free and dairy-free if you use the coconut oil, and looking FABULOUS. On my list to make! Mini chocolate chips would work perfect in this recipe.


    • Jennie — October 16th, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

      I am gluten and dairy free, but still kinda new to it. Just wondering about dairy free chocolate? Is there such a thing? And to make this gluten and dairy free, I just need to sub the brown butter for coconut oil? Sorry, still learning. And getting sick of eating the same boring thing every day!


      • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

        There is definitely dairy-free (or vegan) chocolate… not sure of brands but check out and… they may have ideas. I think maybe Trader Joe’s chips are vegan? Not positive though!

      • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

        Oh, and yes to the coconut oil!

      • Jen — October 23rd, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

        Enjoy Life makes really great chocolate chips that are free of all top allergens! Including dairy. They’re pricey but definitely worth it!

  30. #
    kim@hungryhealthygirl — October 16, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    Yum! I love bars and the idea of using quinoa…these are a must try!


  31. #
    Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles — October 16, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    The versatility of “granola” bars is one of the greatest pleasures in life, I think! :) I love that these are gluten free, and can be made dairy free – plus, the fact that they’re high protein and uber tasty looking is a big time bonus!


  32. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — October 16, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I don’t know why I never thought to use quinoa with sweets but these look amazing! It sounds odd, but I imagine the textures of these bars to be very satisfying and a super-healthy post-workout snack. Thanks!


  33. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — October 16, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    i’ve never used quinoa in granola bars but this looks like a great idea! i like the idea of adding PB to this as well…


  34. #
    Julia Jolliff — October 16, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    I have not used quinoa in granola bars..what a great idea. They look so much better than store bought!!!


  35. #
    Holiday Baker Man — October 16, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    I have all of this stuff in the cupboard now!


  36. #
    Nicole — October 16, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    Ummmmm just thought I should let you know I share your obsession with Homeland. And think about it about 99% of my day. As I will be doing about these bars.


  37. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — October 16, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    You are so creative!


  38. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 16, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    these are so you! quinoa and browned butter! I love that they’re no bake and I bet the chewy texture is just primo! I love texture to the max!


  39. #
    Jen — October 16, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    These look yummy! I will try these using the coconut oil for my fiance and I, and adapt them for my multiply allergic daughter by using quinoa flakes in place of oats, cashews for almonds, raisins for the chocolate chips, and grapeseed oil in place of butter. I may even try a combo of cooked quinoa and millet, as I love the flavor!


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

      Love that idea – let me know if they turn out!


  40. #

    What a fun way to incorporate quinoa! Combined with the other ingredients, this is quite the fiber-rich treat. Absolutely delicious!


  41. #
    Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut — October 16, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Girl, you are just too funny! I feel the same way about Saul although it is pissing me off that he can’t fight for his wife. (Although, I am only about mid-way through the season so I’m hoping that changes.) Oh and these bars look so good…pinning now!


  42. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — October 16, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    The dark multi-color quinoa is totally tricking me into thinking they’re chocolate (like, have cocoa powder in them)… But that’s okay. Because I love me some quinoa in whatever form I can get it!

    I really really really need to get into Homeland. But first I have to get caught up on Breaking Bad. And How I Met Your Mother. And The Wire. And my BF wants me to watch Dr. Who.. and then I realize my life literally revolves around TV.


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

      Actually, they look more brown because I didn’t have patience in making this batch and added the chocolate chips while the quinoa was still warm…


  43. #
    Casey — October 16, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    Yeaash!! I just made a huge pot of quinoa yesterday and have been looking forward to making a bunch of quinoa recipes all this week. Can’t wait to try this one, do you think I could use like part oats, part flour to replace the flax?


    • Jessica — October 16th, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

      I think you probably can!


  44. #
    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions — October 16, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Oh good. You put chocolate chips in these. That was my primary concern, as it always is with granola bars. No chocolate chips = not worth it.


  45. #
    Riley — October 16, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Quinoa in granola bars is such a great idea! I’m so glad you shared this recipe, I can’t wait to play around with the ingredients!


  46. #
    nicole — October 16, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    please please please never use the word moist.


  47. #
    Annie — October 16, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Can’t wait to make these! I’ve been on a quinoa kick lately, as evidenced by my muffins:

    I’d love to see what type of amazing quinoa muffin recipe you could come up with!


  48. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 16, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    I prefer wet and sticky to moist. haha! These look yummy


  49. #
    luv what you do — October 16, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    I just made a batch of quinoa cookies…very similar. I love using quinoa in energy snacks and these look fantastic. I need to get on the brown butter train!


  50. #
    Amanda — October 16, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    I can’t wait to make these!! They look sooo good. And Homeland? Yeah, I’ve been having a marathon the past few days. Must. Figure. It. Out.



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