No-bake, gluten-free, crunchy, delicious, and super easy to make, these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars make a great breakfast, snack, or lunchbox treat.
With just a handful of ingredients, these no-bake bars are loaded with flax seeds, oats and nut butter, which means they pack a healthy punch of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, protein and a plethora of vitamins and minerals, yet, you will feel like you are eating dessert! Who doesn’t want that?
Ingredients you need
Peanut butter, oats, maple syrup…need I say more?
Many people love granola bars, but most of the ones you find in the store have some questionable ingredients.
These No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars are creamy and chewy, with a little crunch for texture and optional chocolate drizzle. The best part — they are good for you!! Gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Oats ~ Use old-fashioned rolled oats for best texture. Quick oats can be used in a pinch, but do not use steel cut oats.
Cereal ~ I love the crunch that crispy brown rice cereal provides. It’s a nice contrast from the chewy oats.
Note: Many cereal brands add vitamin D3 derived from animals and are, therefore, not vegan. If this is important to you, be sure to choose a vegan variety, like Nature’s Path, Barbara’s, or One Degree.
Flax ~ Use flaxmeal, not flax seeds. You can either buy flaxmeal from the store or grind your own flax seeds easily at home in a small coffee grinder. A food processor can be used as well.
Flax is high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
If you don’t have it or can’t have it, you can use ground chia seeds or leave it out and add additional oats instead.
Peanut butter ~ For the healthiest option, choose an organic, natural peanut butter. The only ingredients should be organic peanuts, and maybe, salt. I prefer creamy peanut butter, but you can use crunchy if you like.
You’ll need to stir this kind peanut butter before using as the natural oils separate and rise to the top. It can be quite difficult to stir in the jar. I recommend transferring the entire container to a large mixing bowl, stirring well until perfectly smooth, and then transferring back to the original container. If you store it in the fridge, it shouldn’t separate again.
For a nut-free option, try using sunflower seed butter instead.
Sweetener ~ Pure maple syrup is my sweetener of choice. It’s delicious and provides the liquid needed for this recipe.
Extras ~ I like to drizzle chocolate over the top of these easy no-bake bars before serving, but you can stir in chocolate chips, if you prefer. You can also add a scoop or two of protein powder, nuts or seeds, dried fruit, or a dash of cinnamon.
How to make the recipe
Stir together the peanut butter and maple syrup (1) until smooth (2).
Add the oats, crispy rice cereal, and flaxmeal (3) and stir well to combine (4).
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into a parchment-lined 8×8 baking dish. Place in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up.
Cut into squares and enjoy!
Note: I cut this batch into 9 squares, but they are quite large and very rich. I suggest cutting into 16 squares instead.
Storing: Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge and they will stay firm, yet still be soft and chewy. Leftovers will keep well for up to a week.
Freezing: You can also freeze these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars. Cut them into bars and place them in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet. Transfer them to the freezer for about an hour or until frozen. Once frozen, transfer the bars to a freezer-safe plastic bag with pieces of parchment in between each bar. They should keep well for up to 3 months. Let thaw slightly before serving.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant or steel cut.
~ Don’t skip the crispy brown rice cereal. It adds great crunch!
~ Use an organic, natural peanut butter.
~ If the peanut butter is very thick and you’re having trouble mixing it easily, you can microwave it for a 10 to 15 seconds to thin it out.
~ Stir really well! Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
~ Press the mixture firmly in the baking pan.
~ Drizzle with chocolate. Optional, but delicious!
~ For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter.
~ For gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats and brown rice cereal.
Most store-bought bars and many recipes you’ll find online are not very healthy. They typically contain butter and loads of sugar. This version contains no oil, no butter, no flour, and only unrefined pure maple syrup. They’re full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
If you are gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats and crispy brown rice cereal. While they are naturally gluten-free, those products are often processed in facilities that also handle ingredients with gluten and may have cross contamination.
Yes! These bars freeze beautifully! They will keep well up to 3 months.
These bars are no-bake and are, therefore, more crumbly than baked goods. Be sure to press the mixture firmly into the pan and allow them to firm up in the fridge before slicing in bars.
More vegan snack bars and bites
- Tahini Dark Chocolate Granola Bars
- Healthy Pumpkin Fudge Bars
- Sugar Free Apple Pie Bars
- Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls
- Dairy-Free Cinnamon Truffles
- Sunflower Fig Balls
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Chocolate Drizzle, optional
- ¼ cup dairy free chocolate chips
- 1-2 tbsp non dairy milk
For the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- In a large mixing bowl, stir the peanut butter and maple syrup togehter until smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is coated evenly.
- Press mixture firmly and evenly into an 8×8 baking dish. Place in the fridge to set.
For the chocolate drizzle, optional
- In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk until smooth. Add 1 more tablespoon of milk if needed to thin.
- Drizzle chocolate over the top of the bars.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
Storage/Freezing Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge and they will stay firm, yet still be soft and chewy. Leftovers will keep well for up to a week. You can also freeze them. Cut them into bars and place them in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet. Transfer them to the freezer for about an hour or until frozen. Once frozen, transfer the bars to a freezer-safe plastic bag with pieces of parchment in between each bar. They should keep well for up to 3 months. Let thaw slightly before serving.
Nutrition facts calculated without optional chocolate drizzle.