Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars

Soft and chewy peanut butter oatmeal bars made with healthy, wholesome ingredients. The chocolate is optional. Sort of. 😉

Easy (and healthy!) Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars made from a few wholesome ingredients. Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s discuss something.

Is there really such a thing as “too much peanut butter?” Because I’m pretty sure we test those limits over here on Sally’s Baking Addiction.

My goal for today’s bars was to create a wholesome, quick, and easy oatmeal bar with little ingredients and a whole lot of taste. I also wanted a bar that you could easily adapt using your favorite mix-ins or whatever you have on hand. I also wanted something overloaded with peanut butter because well… duh.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars-7

In these 100% vegan bars (except for that chocolate drizzle!) you’ll find your standard kitchen staples.  Nothing weird, nothing requiring a google search, and quite certainly nothing you’ll have to visit a special grocery store for.

Whole wheat flour, oats, a touch of brown sugar, baking soda, peanut butter, more peanut butter, even MORE peanut butter, and some chunks for texture.  I added dairy-free chocolate chips and raisins to my bars, but feel free to add your favorites!  Dried cranberries, white chocolate, more nuts, seeds, dried banana chips, etc.

Disclaimer: I am mildly obsessed with raisins and I don’t care if this makes me an old woman.

Easy (and healthy!) Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars made from a few wholesome ingredients. Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Each bar is rather dense and holds its own. They’re soft, rather moist and not dry in the slightest. I kept my bars in the refrigerator and LOVED biting into them cold.  The chilled chocolate chips and peanut butter combination is spot on and easily filled me up when I wanted a snack or something to bring to work. Or a midnight munchie.

Midnight bites happened a lot with these babies!

In addition to adding in whichever chunks-of-stuff you’d like, you could easily make these bars your own by adding in more or less brown sugar.  I found that 1/2 cup was plenty and didn’t make these bars overly sweet, especially since I added chocolate chips and a light chocolate drizzle. Chocolate was a complete necessity to my peanut butter bars.

Peanut butter & chocolate: saving tastebuds everywhere on this blog.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars | sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m a huge sucker for healthy recipes requiring a small number of ingredients and taking as little time as possible. With only 8 common ingredients, plus your little add-ins, I’m claiming these bars to be just as easy as my 5 ingredient healthy peanut butter chocolate energy bites. And they only take about 25 minutes to make start-to-finish! 🙂

I hate long ingredient lists and recipes taking for-ev-errrr in the kitchen.  None of that with these!

Oh! And these bars are completely vegan.  I used dairy free chocolate chips and almond milk in the dough, but melted regular chocolate chips with peanut butter as the chocolate drizzle.  The drizzle is completely optional and you could make it with dairy-free chocolate chips if a vegan bar is what you’re going for.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars | sallysbakingaddiction.com

A small and common ingredient list, a whole lot of peanut butter, chocolate for my tastebuds, no butter or oil to keep my skinny jeans looking fab, chewy plump raisins, and a recipe taking less than 25 minutes.

So as I sit here getting over a tummy-ache as I write this post, eating peanut butter spread on saltine crackers – exactly what I had for lunch AND breakfast, we can just go ahead and answer that first question with a huge no.

There is never such a thing as too much peanut butter.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars made from easy, wholesome ingredients. Vegan option available. Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars

Soft and chewy peanut butter oatmeal bars made with healthy, wholesome ingredients. The chocolate is optional. Sort of.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter (or chunky)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (127g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (80g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk (I used almond milk, but use whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup (90g) dairy-free chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup (70g) raisins (or whichever mix-ins you'd like)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. On medium speed, add in the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. The dough will be very thick and clumpy, but it will come together. Slowly add the milk in a steady stream, mixing until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips and raisins. Use your hands to make sure everything is combined, if needed.
  4. Once dough is completely combined, press it lightly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 17-20 minutes until the bars are lightly golden and set. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares. I keep mine in the refrigerator in a covered container. Bars will be good stored up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes:

*I melted 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for the chocolate drizzle. This is completely optional. Be sure to use whichever mix-ins you like instead of the called for chocolate chips and raisins.

 

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211 comments

  1. How can I make if I don’t have a mixer? it seems too tough to mix the mixture with a spoon as peanut butter is thick.. should I melt the peanut butter?

  2. I’m looking to try these but don’t have wheat flour on hand. Do you think regular flour would would?

  3. In love with these Sally! Problem is, I eat half of the batter before it makes it into the baking dish…!

  4. Hi sally! Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us all. I just recently made your detox smoothie and it was delicious!!
    I have a question about peanut butter.
    What kind do you usually prefer? An all natural? Or name brand sugar-filled one?

  5. Thank you for this recipe. It’s perfect for when you want to bring a treat that is not too desserty! I skipped raisins and added sunflower seeds, which I thought was very good.

  6. Hi,

    Just trying this yummy recipe with my 3yr old who loves baking. I’m just wondering how long they would keep in the fridge? 🙂

  7. I am totally peanut butter crazy so when I found these I was so excited! I made them last night but doubled the ingredients for a larger tin and more bars (or slice as we call it in Australia). I also added chopped dried apricot instead of the raisins. It is a little crumbly – do you think adding an egg would help it bind together better? They are delicious though 🙂

  8. Hi Sally,

    I doubled this recipe since I only had a 9×13 inch pan. My mom decided to cook these for 40 minutes because they were underdone after 20-25 minutes. They were super thick and really hard and dry once they were finally pulled out. Do you have any suggestions as to how ling this should cook for?

  9. Tried the peanut oatmeal bars this week and they were fabulous! Satisfying snack and healthy too! Can I share this recipe on my blog?

  10. have you ever doubled this recipe? I was wondering the baking time if doubled? My family loves these and I’m taking them to a family gathering and 1 recipe definitely isn’t enough 🙂

  11. I love these bars and make them all the time sometimes with other nut butters! Now that it is fall I was wondering if you have a version of these bars with pumpkin? Thanks

  12. How many calories in each square? Delicious!

  13. Made these at altitude (6200 ft), baked at 165 and they still came out gooey, not in a good way, I feel like there should have been less peanut butter and more oats.

  14. I want to try these but only have white flour at home and would really like to keep them healthier, so was wondering what would happen if i used all oats instead of flour?? I don’t mind them coming out crunchy and more granola-like, in fact I prefer that but not sure if it’ll work. I also have some oat bran – would that be better?
    Thanks!

    • Kate, I’m really unsure without testing it myself. I recommend grinding up the oats to make oat flour and using that instead.

  15. Thanks for the recipe!! I used with almond flour instead of flour. It was a little crumbily. Do you think it’s the flour? Or something else? 

    • Most definitely the flour. How do they taste besides the crumbliness?

      • They taste amazing! Hubby and 2 year old gobbled some up and I felt guilt free!! Also I think i tried to transfer too soon (before completely cooled) which caused some crumbling. Thanks for the recipe!! Can’t wait to try the pumpkin version!  

  16. Just curious, why are the gram measurements different for the different ingredients when the cup measurements are the same? Just a curiosity lol th

    • Different ingredients weigh different amounts. Sugar is heavier than flour, so a cup measurement of sugar will weigh more than the same cup amount of flour.

      • Oh! That makes sense 🙂 thanks! This recipe is super delicious by the way 🙂 I make it weekly for easy take on the road breakfasts!

  17. These look great! Can I use natural peanut butter? If so, should I add salt??

  18. Just found this recipe while looking for healthier snacks and I LOVE THEM!! I used natural pnut butter, all-purpose flour and plain soymilk plus added a ripe banana- then my mixins bittersweet chocolate and dried cranberries. They came out moist and delicious! Thx for sharing such a fast and easy recipe with no butter, no eggs and so little sugar- it was just what I needed!

  19. I love these bars!  Not too sweet, substantial texture, and peanut butter-y.   Today, being lazy, I skipped the creaming step.  Just stirred pnb and brown sugar with spatula til combined, and hand stirred the rest in.   Still yummy!  
    I’m thrilled I can whip out a batch even quicker.  Many thanks for sharing your terrific recipes!

  20. This is so delicious and easy to make. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, my child is allergic to peanut. Thank you for sharing.

  21. How many calories are in each bar? Curious!! Made these today and they were great. 

  22. Hi Sally! I make these bars all the time. I am obsessed. It’s been about 3 years since I started making them and I still love them, I can eat the whole batch by myself and have eaten nothing else all day. My kids love these too! Recently I started using the powder peanut butter and yesterday I made these using it. They are not the same. They are alright, better cold, but I was hoping maybe you had a better ratio for me. It saves about 100 calories per serving (I get about 12 bars per batch). They came out more cake like which was fine, but were lacking in the flavor department. I should add that I usually omit the raisins and opt for milk chocolate chips but I use less.

    • Loss of fat = loss of flavor. Could you add a Tablespoon or two of melted butter? I know that adds calories, but it might be worth the taste!

    • What about coconut oil? Healthier fat? Still fat and calories….but maybe a better option?

      • Crystal. I did try coconut oil. Thanks for the suggestion. It helped, but nothing compares to the original recipe! Lol Soooo good. 

  23. Hi Sally.. can i use quick oats instead?

  24. If anyone scrolls down this far, just a heads up about subbing in crunchy peanut butter. I also used  a gluten-free flour. The ratio I used was 1:1 for the regular peanut butter (as suggested) and flour. I use a bit less flour, as it is more grainy in texture and drier than wheat flours; however, I realized pretty quickly that the peanut butter was not working out quite right. Halfway through mixing the dry ingredients I was getting a definite dry crumble.

    Kneading at the end didn’t produce a “dough,” though I’m not sure what the consistency of the dough should have been, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it. To compensate, I added extra liquid (between 1 – 3/4C. milk instead of 1/2C.) a little at a time until it became more of a slightly sticky, cohesive dough. I baked it for about 23 minutes total and they came out gooey in the center, cut easily, and reminded me a little of brownies.

    If using crunchy peanut butter, increase the amount by another quarter, or just double it. Another option would be to chop your own peanuts & add them for the crunch. But a 1:1 sub means less moist, fatty goodness to work with and could leave the recipe high and dry.

  25. Hi there! I just made these this evening and I am so in LOVEEEE!! I’m a quick, on the go breakfast kind of gal, and these bars are exactly the kind of filler upper i need in my mornings. I just wanted to say I actually made these with a few changes… I didn’t feel like messing with an electronic mixer (lol lazy me), so I actually mixed everything by hand. By the time I added in the oats/flour it was just too unbearably hard to use a spoon lol so i used my hands 😉 the dough was kind of dry, for not using a mixer, so I actually added an egg white to keep it together. Instead of raisins I added in dark chocolate chips and chia seeds for that extra punch, and also a bit of local honey and pure maple syrup for flavor! So fantastic. Thank you!!

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