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No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars are an absolute dream for peanut butter lovers or anyone who digs oats, or chocolate. This healthy dessert recipe requires few ingredients, very little prep and is great for school lunches or after school snack!

Stack of peanut butter oatmeal bars with a layer of chocoalte on top.

Humans of all ages, if you’re into oats, chocolate, nut butter of any kind, or granola bars, these easy no-bake peanut butter oatmeal bars are a must make!

Packed with energizing wholesome ingredients, these simple peanut butter oat bars are everything you want in a treat.

They are perfectly sweet, packed with peanut butter goodness, a delicious display of how versatile oats can be, and pack chocolate decadence to bring sweet and salty dreams come true.

Plus, these peanut butter bars are easy to customize based on what you have on hand!

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this healthy snack.

Ingredients for No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars:

Creamy Peanut Butter: The majority of the flavor and part of the glue that holds the whole operation together, unsweetened natural peanut butter is the star of the show here.

You can easily replace it with any thick, well-stirred seed or nut butter such as almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or cashew butter. Crunchy peanut butter works too!

Pure Maple Syrup or Honey: The sweetener! Pure maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, or your favorite sticky sweetener is what adds sweet flavor to these healthy peanut butter oatmeal bars.

You can scale the amount back for a lower sugar option, or increase the amount depending on how sweet you like your treats.

Oats: Old fashioned oats bring oat flavor and nutty texture to the recipe. For the best result, stick with whole rolled old-fashioned oats instead of quick oats or instant oats. I use gluten-free sprouted oats.

Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds, or Flax Seeds (Optional): Adding an infusion of omega 3 healthy fats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds are an easy addition to bring a nutrient boost to the mix. You can easily omit them!

Ground Cinnamon and Sea Salt: As you’ve probably seen, I love adding ground cinnamon and sea salt to the majority of my dessert recipes because they both are flavor enhancers.

A pinch of cinnamon adds warmth and interesting nuance, and a pinch of salt brings out all of the individual flavors of each ingredient. It also makes a dessert taste sweeter without the need for added sugar.

For the Chocolate Layer: Chocolate chips and coconut oil or butter. The chocolate topping not only adds rich chocolatey goodness, but it is paramount in helping the bars stay held together nicely.

The simple combination of chocolate chips and coconut oil, coconut milk, or butter is all you need. The thick layer of chocolate really seals the deal for me.

Use your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or sugar-free chocolate chips.

Top down photo of peanut butter chocolate bars with one bar tipped up so you can see the layers.

Optional Additions:

Add ½ cup of chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts for a great addition bringing an additional texture element.

If you have dried fruit on hand and love a good trail mix vibe, add ½ to ⅔ cup of raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, etc.

Add ½ cup of chocolate chips or cacao nibs to the oatmeal base for even more chocolate flavor.

Looking to make protein bars? Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder.

If you have vanilla extract on hand, add 1 teaspoon to the wet ingredients.

Turn these into peanut butter banana oatmeal bars by replacing 1/2 cup of the peanut butter with one large ripe mashed banana.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients list, let’s make these delicious peanut butter oatmeal bars!

How to Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars:

Add the peanut butter and pure maple syrup to a large microwave-safe large bowl.

Microwave for 15 to 20-second intervals stirring well in between, until the ingredients mix together easily, about 40 to 60 seconds total.

Note: if you don’t own a microwave, you can prefer this step using a small saucepan and heat on the stove top over medium heat.

Wet ingredients for bars in a red mixing bowl.

Stir in the oats, hemp seeds, ground cinnamon, and sea salt until everything is well-combined.

Mixture of oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey in a mixing bowl.

Transfer the peanut butter oat mixture to a 8” x 8” square pan lined with parchment paper and press it into an even layer. I used glass Tupperware, but an 8-inch pan or a 9-inch pan (for thinner bars) works great too.

Oatmeal peanut butter mixture in a pan.

To make the chocolate topping, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20-second intervals, stirring well between, until the mixture has melted and is creamy, about 60 seconds total.

Easy chocolate ganache in a mixing bowl

Pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter oats and spread it into an even layer. 

Cover with plastic wrap and transfer the bars to the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the chocolate has set up completely.

When you’re ready to cut the bars, remove them from the refrigerator and tug on the parchment paper to pull it out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut equal sized squares. Serve, and enjoy!

horizontal photo of peanut butter oatmeal bars with one tipped up so you can see the layers

Store peanut butter oatmeal bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. After that, you can transfer the rest to a zip lock bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Enjoy these as healthy breakfast bars or a delicious treat any time your sweet tooth is activated. The perfect dessert when you want a healthier version of a peanut butter dessert with health benefits.

If you love peanut butter recipes, also try my 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream, Low-Carb Peanut Butter Protein Balls, Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins, and Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Longing for more no-bake desserts that are easy to whip up? Check these out!

More No-Bake Dessert Recipes:

Enjoy these delicious no-bake oatmeal bars!

Stack of peanut butter oatmeal bars with a layer of chocoalte on top.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Easy, delicious no-bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars with a thick layer of chocolate makes for an amazing healthy dessert or breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds, optional*
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil**

Instructions

    1. Add the peanut butter and pure maple syrup to a large microwave-safe large bowl. Microwave for 15 to 20-second intervals stirring well in between, until the ingredients mix together easily, about 40 to 60 seconds total. Note: if you don't own a microwave, you can prefer this step using a small saucepan and heat on the stove top over medium heat.

    Wet ingredients for bars in a red mixing bowl.

    2. Stir in the oats, hemp seeds, ground cinnamon, and sea salt until everything is well-combined.

    Oats on top of wet ingredients in a bowl.

    Mixture of oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey in a mixing bowl.

    3. Transfer the peanut butter oat mixture to a 8” x 8” square pan lined with parchment paper and press it into an even layer.

    Oatmeal peanut butter mixture in a pan.

    4. To make the chocolate topping, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20-second intervals, stirring well between, until the mixture has melted and is creamy, about 60 seconds total.

    Spoonful of ganache

    5. Pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter oats and spread it into an even layer. 

    Peanut butter bars with a chocolate layer on top

    6. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer the bars to the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the chocolate has set up completely.

    Finished peanut butter oatmeal bars in a pan

    7. When you’re ready to cut the bars, remove them from the refrigerator and tug on the parchment paper to pull it out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut equal sized squares. Serve, and enjoy!

    Sliced peanut butter oatmeal bars on parchment paper

Notes

*You can replace the hemp seeds with chia seeds or flax seeds or omit them altogether.

**Use butter or coconut milk in place of coconut oil if you prefer.

Store peanut butter oatmeal bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. After that, you can transfer the rest to a zip lock bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1 Bar (of 16)
Amount Per Serving Calories 263Total Fat 18gCarbohydrates 23gFiber 4gSugar 9gProtein 7g

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Laura

Sunday 18th of September 2022

Followed the recipe as is, added some slivered almonds on top. Whole family loved them! Super easy to make!

Julia

Monday 19th of September 2022

So thrilled to hear it! Love the idea of adding slivered almonds on top...how fun! xo

Susan

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I made these into cookies. It made 16 large cookies. I did add the hemp seeds but not the cinnamon. I did not make the chocolate topping. They are great without it. I did not heat the ingredients as instructed. I was able to mix the ingredients easily in a large bowl. I shaped the cookies into a ball then flattened them and then I did bake the cookies on a pan with parchment paper for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. They make great cookies! Thank you. 👍

Julia

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

I'm so thrilled to hear the recipe works out as cookies too, Susan! Thanks so much for sharing that...this is so helpful to others who want to try the same thing. xoxo :)

Carrie

Friday 19th of August 2022

DELICIOUS! Used almond butter, chia seeds, honey and used soy milk for the chocolate topping. Did not have the coconut milk so gave the soy a try. It worked out just fine. We both have sweet tooth and I could easily eat the whole pan of these to myself. Will be making on repeat I am sure!! DELICIOUS!

Julia

Monday 22nd of August 2022

I'm so thrilled you enjoy them, Carrie!! Thanks so much for reporting back with your changes - this is super helpful to others who want to try the same thing! xoxox

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