Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Applesauce Bars made with 6 wholesome ingredients for a health-conscious treat. Make them for easy grab-and-go snacks to enjoy throughout the week!

Applesauce bars cut into individual slices on a sheet of parchment paper.

One of the most popular recipes on my site is my 4-Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Bars. Have you made them??

While I’ve received a great deal of feedback from readers who make this recipe on a weekly basis, I have also been asked many times for a replacement for bananas.

For those who have a banana allergy or simply don’t enjoy the flavor of bananas, I’m here with an equally delicious and easy recipe using unsweetened applesauce instead of bananas.

This version is also lower in fat as I use less almond butter. I find that the richness goes down a bit but the bars are still delicious without as much fat.

The end result is a chewy bar with pockets of melted chocolate and loads of oatty flavor. 

Healthy enough to enjoy with breakfast, yet tasty enough to have for dessert, this healthy dessert bar recipe is perfect for those who relish less sweet treats.

I’m willing to bet this recipe will turn into a household staple with just as much assertiveness as the banana version!

The best part is this easy recipe requires zero baking experience and no fancy maneuvers.

Stack of oatmeal applesauce bars on a sheet of parchment paper.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for these easy oatmeal applesauce bars.

Ingredients for Applesauce Bars:

Rolled Oats or Quick Oats: Used as the base for the bars instead of all purpose flour, we need oats! Any kind of oats except for steel cut oats will work, including rolled oats, quick oats, instant oats, or old fashioned oats.

For gluten-free applesauce bars, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. I use gluten-free sprouted oats.

Unsweetened Applesauce: Used for moisture and a little natural sweetness, unsweetened applesauce blends with the oats to make a chewy bar texture.

You can use homemade cinnamon applesauce or store-bought applesauce. This is the perfect use for extra jars of homemade applesauce!

Unsweetened Almond Butter: While the recipe doesn’t necessarily need added fat, healthy fats like almond butter or peanut butter bring more flavor and richness to the bars. 

Pure Maple Syrup: Used to add some sweetness to the bars, we need a little sweetener like pure maple syrup. You can adjust the amount of sweetener depending on your personal taste.

I keep it relatively low and use 2-3 tablespoons because the chocolate chips add a decent amount of sugar. Adding 1 to 5 tablespoons of brown sugar is what I would recommend for sweeter bars.

Chocolate Chips: Bringing the fun, chocolate chips are the life of the party here. Without them, the bars will taste fairly dull (yet still tasty in my opinion), but with them, we’re looking at a chocolate goo fest.

To keep the bars lower in added sugar, use sugar-free chocolate chips.

Sea Salt and Ground Cinnamon: Salt is a flavor enhancer and brings out the sweetness and richness of baked goods so don’t skip it! Ground cinnamon brings a hint of warm flavor, which I love. Swap out the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice of apple pie spice if you’d like.

Recipe Customizations:

  • If you try to limit your fat intake, decrease the amount of almond butter to 3 tablespoons.
  • Enjoy a nutty crunch? Add ½ to ⅔ cup walnuts or pecans.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, chia seeds, or hemp seeds for some omega-3 fatty acids.
  • If you have vanilla extract on hand, add 1 teaspoon.
  • Enjoy dried fruit? Add ½ cup to ⅔ cup of raisins, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries in addition to or in lieu of the chocolate chips.
  • ​For more apple flavor, add 1 cup of finely chopped apple to the oatmeal mixture.
  • For a protein infusion, add ⅓ cup of your favorite protein powder and an extra ⅓ cup of applesauce. You can also add ⅓ cup of egg whites for a protein source, in which case you won’t need to add more applesauce.
  • Make pumpkin bars by swapping the applesauce for canned pureed pumpkin. If you go this route, I recommend adding 1/3 cup of brown sugar.
  • Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice for just the right amount of spice.

Now that we’ve covered the healthy ingredients and some potential adaptations, let’s bake some applesauce bars!

How to Make Chocolate Chip Applesauce Bars:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips to a food processor (oats, applesauce, pure maple syrup, almond butter, ground cinnamon, and sea salt).

Ingredients for oatmeal applesauce cookies in a food processor, ready to be blended together.

Note: if you don’t own a food processor, you can add all of the wet ingredients and dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix by hand or with an electric mixer. 

Blend until all of the ingredients are combined and a thick mixture forms. It’s perfectly fine if the mixture is grainy and not smooth – this is normal.

Mix in the chocolate chips until they are well distributed throughout the applesauce mixture.

Ingredients for oatmeal applesauce bars in a food processor with chocolate chips on top, ready to be mixed in.

Transfer the applesauce bar mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer. If you’d like, press extra chocolate chips into the top of the dough.

Baking pan of applesauce bar batter with chocolate chips on top, ready to go into the oven.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the bars are slightly golden brown around the edges (I do 10 minutes).

Chocolate chip applesauce bars in a baking dish, fresh out of the oven.

Allow the bars to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The longer you wait to slice the bars, the cleaner they will slice. So if you are able to wait until they are room temperature before slicing into them, the slices will come out with a perfect edge.

Chocolate chip oatmeal applesauce bars cut into squares and ready to eat.

Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also store bars in a large zip lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat the bars from frozen, place one on a plate and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, or until warm.

For a more decadent treat, spread cream cheese frosting, apple butter, peanut butter or almond butter over the bars just before consuming. You can also make a powdered sugar glaze by combining 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of water.

The next time you’re craving a sweet treat without a lot of added sugar, whip up these quick and easy oatmeal applesauce spice bars!

I love the idea of whipping up a batch of these bars on a weekly basis to have them on hand whenever the sweet tooth strikes.

They are just the perfect treat with great flavor and my favorite part is you can absolutely make them your own by trying different add-ins.

While traditional old fashioned applesauce bars tend to be high in fat and sugar, I love that these delicious bars fall on the more health-conscious end of the sweets spectrum so that you don’t have to wait for special occasions to enjoy them.

For those that follow a lower calorie diet or keep tabs on their macros, easy applesauce recipes like this are magic!

The nutrient information is in the recipe card below, showing the full nutrition facts breakdown for your daily values of macronutrients.

Chocolate chip applesauce bars on a sheet of parchment paper, cut into squares.

If you enjoy healthy recipes like these applesauce oatmeal snack bars, also try out some of these bangers.

More Healthy Treats:

Let’s make oatmeal applesauce bars the latest and greatest trend. 😉

Applesauce bars cut into individual slices on a sheet of parchment paper.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Applesauce Bars

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These easy applesauce bars are fun to customize and are a healthier option for those who prefer wholesome treats.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips to a food processor (oats, applesauce, pure maple syrup, almond butter, ground cinnamon, and sea salt). Note: if you don’t own a food processor, you can add all of the wet ingredients and dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix by hand or with an electric mixer.
  • Blend until all of the ingredients are combined and a thick mixture forms. It’s perfectly fine if the mixture is grainy and not smooth – this is normal.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips until they are well distributed throughout the applesauce mixture.
  • Transfer the applesauce bar mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer. If you’d like, press extra chocolate chips into the top of the dough.
  • Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the bars are slightly golden brown around the edges (I do 10 minutes).
  • Allow the bars to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The longer you wait to slice the bars, the cleaner they will slice. So if you are able to wait until they are room temperature before slicing into them, the slices will come out with a perfect edge.

Notes

*For sweeter bars, increase this amount to 5 tablespoons, or add additional brown sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Bar (of 12) · Calories: 196kcal · Carbohydrates: 26g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 9g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 4mg · Sodium: 151mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 12g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Desserts & Treats
Cuisine: American
Keyword: applesauce bars, applesauce recipes, breakfast bars, dessert recipes, easy desserts, gluten free breakfast recipes, gluten free dessert recipes, gluten free oatmeal recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Read to the end, please….I wanted to try this healthier recipe to cut down on butter, flour and sugar. I made this exactly according to the recipe and added about 1/2 cup of walnuts. Baked for 25 minutes total. First bite was awful. I’m just not a big fan of oatmeal in general and you kind of expect a little more sweetness. I hate waste so I did not stop there. Second bite was better. After the third bite, I was hooked. I can honestly say this is now one of my favorite desserts. It definitely satisfies the sweet tooth. Seriously give it a chance. Don’t stop at first or second bite. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

    1. LOL, I love this thorough review, Cynthia 🙂 I find a similar experience with lower sugar treats – at first if you’re expecting something very sweet you’re let down but as you grow accustomed to it, the sweetness level is just fine for an enjoyable experience. I appreciate you sharing such a glowing review! I also add more sweetener on the occasions I want something that tastes more decadent, and it works out great! Happy baking! xo

    2. @Julia, thanks for sharing this recipe! I really meant it when I said it is now one of my favorites, and it is easy to put together too! Take care!