The perfect snack for peanut butter lovers, these no bake peanut butter granola bars have a chewy texture and a bit of crunch. Crafted with wholesome ingredients, you'll appreciate how customizable this healthy snack is, how well it freezes and how it tastes like a sweet treat.
Peanut Butter is arguably my favorite food. I eat it in some form. Every. Single. Day.
Some days in the form of Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars (made with simple ingredients and 12 g protein per bar!) for an energizing and delicious treat, other days as a topping for pancakes, and sometimes with an Oat Flour Peanut Butter Cookie to satisfy my sweet tooth.
But these crunchy snack bars are the one great recipe that I always come back to.
Made with healthy ingredients, they come together quickly and freeze well so you can keep them on hand for the next time you need a quick snack.
So let's make some crunchy oatmeal peanut butter bars!
- Quick Oats- Using quick rolled oats helps to bind the bars. You can substitute 1 and ¾ cups large flake old-fashioned oats, pulsed in a blender 3-5 times. If you need gluten free granola bars, ensure that you are using certified gluten-free oats.
- Crisp Rice Cereal- Provides the crunch in these Crunchy Peanut Butter Snack Bars. If you prefer to leave them out, you can replace them with an additional ½ cup of oats.
- Ground Flaxseed- Adds some fibre and healthy fats to the homemade granola bars. If you don't have any on hand, feel free to use additional quick oats.
- Chia Seeds- These can be left out if needed.
- Add ins- Add whatever you have in your pantry that you like- some great options are dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, etc. Or use an additional ½ cup of crisp rice cereal or oats.
- Creamy Peanut Butter- You will need 1 and ⅛ cups (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) of smooth peanut butter. I typically use natural peanut butter but shelf stable peanut butter would work as well.
- Coconut Oil- You need an oil that is solid at room temperature or these bars will be melty and fall apart easily. It might work to substitute butter but I haven't tried it.
- Pure Maple Syrup- Honey or agave syrup also work. See this post on maple syrup substitutes for more options.
- Fine Sea Salt- I usually use ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt as I'm a fan of the sweet and salty combo. That said, if you prefer a less salty bar, use ¼ teaspoon or leave it out completely.
1. Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
2. Mix wet ingredients. In a microwave safe bowl, melt together peanut butter and coconut oil. Stir in maple syrup and salt until well combined.
3. Combine. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir to combine.
4. Freeze. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Press the mixture firmly into a 9x9 pan and place pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. (TIP: wet your hands to push down on the mixture so that it doesn't stick to your fingers)
5. Slice and Enjoy! Remove bars from the freezer and lift from the pan using the overhang of the silicone liner or parchment paper. Place on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into desired size of homemade granola bars.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Store no bake peanut butter oatmeal bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. If you are planning on packing them along, you can also individually wrap them in reusable plastic wrap.
Bars can also be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days as well but will hold their shape (and crunch!) best if chilled. (These No Bake White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies hold together well at room temperature though.)
Enjoy straight from the freezer or allow to come to room temperature.
Make it Your Own
- Crunchy Peanut Butter Energy Balls- Scoop out 1-2 tablespoon of mixture, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes and then move into a container. Be sure to lightly wet your hands as you go so that it doesn't stick to you.
- Add a Chocolate Topping- Make these no bake peanut butter bars taste like a delicious dessert! After pressing the bars into an even layer, place them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Melt 4 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate in a small bowl in 20 second burst in the microwave, stirring after each, until melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the no bake bars and tilt the pan so that the chocolate covers the bars completely. Place in the freezer for an additional 20 minutes before slicing.
- Or a Chocolate Drizzle- If you don't want to commit to a full chocolate topping layer, you can also melt 1 ounce of chocolate and drizzle it over the bars for a healthy treat.
- Make them Peanut Free- If needed, you can use cashew butter, almond butter or sunflower seed butter (which would also make them nut free) instead of peanut butter.
Tips and Notes
- Ensure the Bars Hold their Shape: When shaping the mixture in the pan, press it down firmly to create cohesive bars. Wetting your hands slightly can prevent sticking and make the pressing process smoother.
- Use Quick Oats: For best binding, I recommend using quick oats rather than large flake. If you only have large flake, you can pulse them a couple of times in the blender or food processor.
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And if you liked this recipe...
...you might also like these other packable snacks!
No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- 1 and ½ cups quick oats
- 1 cup crisp brown rice cereal
- 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup add ins
- 1 and ⅛ cups natural style, creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, rice cereal, flaxseed, chia seeds and add ins.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and coconut oil. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until melted. Add maple syrup and salt and stir to combine.
- Using a rubber spatula, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
- Line a 9x9 baking pan with a silicone mat, parchment paper or wax paper and pour the mixture into it. Wet your hands, and press the mixture firmly into the pan. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and using the lining, pull the bars out and place on a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars and enjoy.