Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares.

These healthy snack bars are so easy to make!  Only 1 Tablespoon of refined sugar, gluten-free, no butter, no oil, and made with 100% good for you ingredients.

Healthy Strawberry Squares on

This week I’m taking advantage of the abundance of fresh strawberries on sale at my local market. I made a couple new recipes for my cookbook (a cake! a pie!) and finished off my strawberry supply with a batch of these healthy treats.

Strawberries are a nutritional power house and one of my favorite fruits to bake with. Juicy strawberries go with everything from chocolate to banana to homemade whipped cream. I love them with Greek yogurt, I love them in smoothies, or alongside these sugar free chocolate bars.

Healthy and Easy Strawberry Oat Squares Recipe on these are delicious!

My latest strawberry obsession are these healthy oat-y almond squares.  They’re gluten-free, have only 1 Tablespoon of refined sugar, no butter, no oil, and are laughably easy to throw together.  They’re like a Strawberry Nutrigrain Bar – but better.  Thicker oat-y base, thicker strawberry filling, and lots of texture on top.

The strawberry filling inside? 2 cups of diced strawberries boiled down with maple syrup, cornstarch, and 1 Tablespoon of sugar.  It’s like a very thick homemade strawberry jam.

The oatmeal base of these bars is practically the same recipe I use for my Breakfast Cookies. Quick oats (not whole oats), almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and cinnamon.  nstead of a mashed banana, I used an egg to bind it at all together. Using a banana may make the bars overly crumbly. However, if you follow a vegan diet, you may try using the mashed banana or even a flax egg to replace the egg.

It’s important to use quick oats in this recipe. Quick oats are more finely ground up old fashioned rolled oats (aka whole oats). Quick oats have been pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats and therefore have a more powdery texture. You may not even notice a different or realize there are two kinds of oats in those tall canisters at the store! But you need quick oats in this recipe because their fine texture will hold together the best.

The oatmeal base is all made in one bowl. How’s that for easy clean-up? You’re literally going to dump it all into 1 large bowl and mix it around by hand until the oats are moistened and everything is combined. To make the topping, you’re simply going to take 1/2 cup of the base that you’ve just thrown together and mix it with 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. Crumble that on top of your homemade strawberry filling.

Without the addition of almonds, you won’t have enough topping to cover the strawberry filling.  So don’t leave those almonds out!  Peanuts, pecans, or walnuts may be used to replace the sliced almonds.

Deliciously Healthy Strawberry Squares recipe by wholesome, guilt-free goodness!

The bars take about 25-30 minutes in the oven. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool before digging in! I threw the pan in the refrigerator for quick cooling. I have zero patience – especially when eating strawberry bars is the end result.

There is an abundance of juicy strawberry filling in each bite. I hate biting into fruit-filled bars only to find that there is hardly any fruit hiding inside. Since I made these on Monday, I’m happy to report that there are none left.  The batch only makes about 9-12 bars, depending how large you cut them.  We dug right in and there was no turning back! They’re a healthified version of any fruit/streusel bar, and I couldn’t resist their almond-y, oat-y, strawberry-to-the-max flavor.

Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares

Yield: 9-12 squares

Print Recipe

These healthy snack bars are so easy to make! Only 1 Tablespoon of refined sugar, gluten-free, no butter, no oil, and made with 100% good for you ingredients. Gluten Free if using certified GF oats.



  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups finely diced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Oatmeal Base + Topping

  • 2 and 1/4 cup quick oats (not whole rolled oats)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted almond butter (or peanut butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup apple butter*
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. Make the strawberry filling first by mixing the cornstarch with the warm water until it all of the cornstarch has dissolved and there are no more clumps. It should resemble milk. Set aside. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup, and sugar together in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in the pre-mixed cornstarch. Whisk until all clumps are gone and set aside to thicken and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.
  3. Make the oat crust/topping: In a large bowl, combine the quick oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter, and beaten egg. Mix until all of the oats are moistened and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the oat mixture. Press the remaining oat mixture into prepared baking pan. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even. Spread the strawberry filling on top. To the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture, add the sliced almonds. Crumble this over the strawberry filling and, using the back of a spatula, press the topping down firmly into the strawberry filling. You want to make sure it sticks well.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The topping will be lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
  5. Makes 9-12 squares, depending how large you cut them.  Squares stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Bars freeze well, up to 2 months.

Additional Notes:

*You may use pumpkin butter, mango butter, or any other fruit butter to replace the apple butter. The bars won't be as moist if using applesauce instead of apple butter.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.



Today’s oatmeal base and topping is practically the same recipe I use for my Breakfast Cookies.

Healthy cookies for breakfast!

Healthy Breakfast Cookies! Get the simple recipe at


If you like berry bars, give my Apple Blueberry Pie Bars a try.

Apple Blueberry Pie Bars


Q: What are your favorite recipes using strawberries?




194 Responses to “Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares.”

  1. #
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girlposted July 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    These are simply gorgeous, Sally! I love how bright and vibrant they are – I want to reach right through the screen and grab one!


  2. #
    Erinposted July 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    These look so yummy! Strawberries = summertime. :)


  3. #
    Marjory @ Dinner-Momposted July 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Hi! These look amazing and are high on my list of must try soon recipes. Do you think you could leave out the egg without replacing it since there are a lot of sticky ingredients? Just wondering…I’ll let you now when we make it. :)


    • Sallyreplied on July 12th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Marjory! You need the egg in the recipe because it acts as a binder. I fear the crust will crumble without it. Enjoy!


  4. #
    Kathyposted July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

    These look delicious! I love that they are healthy! Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits!


  5. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodlesposted July 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Oh wow these look gorgeous! I don’t know how you make the filling look so vibrant but it looks awesome. These bars sound fantastic!


  6. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Bakingposted July 15, 2013 at 7:59 am

    No way.

    I kind of hate you right now.

    But not really. I’m just jealous that I couldn’t do something similar. I’ve tried like 7 times (seriously) since March. I’ve just given up. But now I can make these! Yay. Thanks for making them healthy. :) Going to share on FB now!

    Oh and like Heidi, I love the pictures! 😀


    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thanks for sharing these on FB, Erin!! I love these bars. And I just know you would too! It’s always such a defeat when you keep trying on a recipe and it just won’t work out. That happened to me a few weeks ago. I just threw up my hands and moved on!


      • Erin @ Texanerin Bakingreplied on July 15th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

        It was kind of fun to see how many likes and shares it got in a short amount of time (at least for me :))

        And I’ve put these on my list to do in the fall with apples. I can’t wait! I might just make them sooner and keep the pictures until the fall. 😀

        • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2013 at 6:16 pm

          I’ve made them with apples before – so good!

  7. #
    Jenniferposted July 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Can you substitute the maple syrup with honey? Other then that I have all the stuff. BTW my mouth is watering.


    • Sallyreplied on July 15th, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Hi Jennifer! I’ve never tried it before. I know for the oatmeal base and topping you can, but I am not sure about the jam. I can’t see why not though. Enjoy!


  8. #
    Sallyposted July 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Hi Mags! Maple syrup is not refined sugar, which is what I said in the text.


  9. #
    Laura Dembowskiposted July 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Oat bars are so yummy! These are perfect for summer with the strawberries and health factor.


  10. #
    nehaposted July 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hey Sally,

    Inspired by your recipe I just finished making chocolate cupcakes, and needless to say that I have not baked chocolate cupcakes like this before. They are light, chocolaty and the very best batch I have ever baked. THANKSSSS, its a great RECIPE

    Now i want to try these strawberry oat bars. Was wondering about the oats. I have these quaker oats, 2 mins porridge. Will these work?


    • Sallyreplied on July 29th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Neha – I’m not sure about the porridge. I suggest buying regular oats if you can get ahold of them.


  11. #
    Samina @ The Cupcake Confessionposted July 30, 2013 at 1:52 am

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How colourful and pretty! Can’t wait to try it myself! *LOVE LOVE LOVE ITTTT*


    • Sallyreplied on July 30th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Let me know how you like it! Thanks Samina.


  12. #
    Sallyposted August 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Misty – as you can see, some of the strawberry peeks through the top layer. That’s normal. Sorry there was not enough crust on top. Perhaps save more crust for the topping if you make them again.


  13. #
    Emilyposted August 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Made these with blueberries (didn’t have strawberries) and they were delish! Thanks for sharing :)


    • Sallyreplied on August 19th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Yes! I love them with blueberries too. Thanks Emily!


  14. #
    Katie @ Veggie and the Beastposted August 24, 2013 at 10:12 am

    These are so beautiful! I’ll need to make these before summer ends and takes all the fresh fruit with it :)


    • Sallyreplied on August 24th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Yes you must try them Katie! They are unbelievable. Enjoy!


  15. #
    Beckyposted August 26, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Hi Sally
    I love the look of these, berries are some of my favorite things to bake with! The only thing is I’m from England and I can’t seem to find apple butter anywhere :( is there anything I could substitute it with? Also when you say an 8×8 tin is that inches or cm (silly Britain with all its different measurements!)
    Thanks :)


    • Sallyreplied on August 26th, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Hey Becky! Yep I mean inches when refer to a 8×8 baking pan. And a replacement for apple butter – there is nothing that would replace it exactly. You could use applesauce instead of apple butter. I don’t highly suggest it because the texture of the crust may be a bit more crumbly, but in an emergency I think it would be OK. Enjoy!


  16. #
    Estherposted September 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Hi Sally, these looks super yummy! I already have homemade jam, how much would I use? Can’t wait to make then!


    • Sallyreplied on September 2nd, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Hi Esther! I’d say about 2/3 cup of jam. You want a good layer of it, but not *too* much. I bet your homemade jam is delicious!


  17. #
    Ninaposted November 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I have been making a recipe of yours every week and I’ve loved them all! I’d like to try these next, but I was wondering if I could use frozen strawberries instead of fresh? If so, do you defrost first or cook them frozen (which would obviously defrost them anyway!)? Also are frozen berries always an acceptable substitute in any recipe? Let me know…Can’t wait to get baking!


    • Sallyreplied on November 4th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      You may use frozen strawberries for the filling.

      It’s always best to follow the recipe with regards to using frozen or fresh. There are a lot of factors that go into recipes and it would depend on what you are making.


  18. #
    Leelaposted January 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    These look great- I don’t have maple syrup around and am working with a college budget here… could I use honey or regular syrup instead?


    • Sallyreplied on January 12th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Honey or regular syrup would be just fine. Enjoy!


  19. #
    Tracyposted January 13, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Hey there,
    This may be a stupid question but is it possible to use something other than egg in the oatmeal base? This sounds fabulous but I need to do w/o the egg! Any suggestions welcome. Thanks so much!


    • Sallyreplied on January 13th, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Tracy, not a stupid question at all. Try using 1/4 cup of mashed banana instead. It will bind, just as the egg does.


  20. #
    Katieposted January 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Have them in the oven right now…can’t wait to try them! Have missed nutrigrain type bars since going gluten free and these look amazing and so much healthier! Pinning to my board so I don’t lose the recipe thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on January 13th, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Hope you enjoy them, Katie!


  21. #
    Tracyposted January 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Hey Sally,
    I made these today and they were wonderful. I noticed your site says we can publish your recipe as long as we re-write it in our own words or add your link. I did both!

    And the squares are delicious! I hope it will be ok to check out more of your foods so I can feature your baking on my blog again! I just started blogging and am loving it.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


    • Sallyreplied on January 17th, 2014 at 6:55 am

      Happy you loved these oat squares and shared them, Tracy!


  22. #
    Ashleyposted January 20, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I somehow stumbled across your site via Pinterest, and I am hooked now! These look delicious as do all of the recipes I’ve seen thus far. I just wanted to say thanks for such a wonderful site–beautiful pictures, thorough and pleasant directions, and yummy recipes! Can’t wait to try!


    • Sallyreplied on January 21st, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Thanks Ashley! So happy you found my blog. What would we do without Pinterest? Let me know how you like these strawberry squares!


  23. #
    Mattposted February 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    These look amazing. It’s my turn to provide cakes for my coworkers this week and I think I’ll give these a go!


    • Sallyreplied on February 3rd, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Hope everyone enjoys!


  24. #
    Zach and Tylerposted March 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    OMG Sally, you naughty gurl, you did it again! These bars changed us. Like seriously though, they are divine. Every mouth watering bite brings tears of joy and looking at them, we feel so content with our lives. Thank you for sharing this life changing recipe


  25. #
    Devraposted March 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I just made some of these! I added white chocolate chips to the topping :-) sooo good!


    • Devrareplied on March 21st, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I ate the whole pan in 24 hours…. It was too good to stop…


  26. #
    Suki Chengposted March 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Sally
    I live in the UK ( Scotland)
    I looked everywhere and no one seem to know what apple butter is ! :(
    What can I use instead of the fruit butter!
    Your recipes are so amazing and looks absolutely YUM !
    I love to make this .
    Thank you Suki


    • Sallyreplied on March 29th, 2014 at 7:43 am

      applesauce would be just fine instead of apple butter – keeping in mind the bars won’t be as moist.


  27. #
    carmella cerulloposted April 1, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Sally, wonderful recipes, but would like the nutritional information with it. Is there a site I could go on to get it myself. Also, I notice there’s a lot of apple butter, peanut butter, maple syrup. Is this too much sweet or fat? Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes.


    • Sallyreplied on April 1st, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Carmella – I do not have nutrition information on my recipes – sorry! I’m unsure of a website providing this at the moment. I do not find these bars to be too sweet – there’ only 1/4 cup of maple syrup in the pan. And they are certainly filling, thanks to the healthy fats in the almond butter.


      • carmella cerulloreplied on April 1st, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Thanks so much Sally. I just stumbled on your blog and am sure glad I did. I’m sure I’ll be addicted from now on. Thanks for your prompt reply!!

  28. #
    Alannaposted April 5, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I made these and they are delicious! I froze them individually. How can I unthaw them without using the microwave?


    • Sallyreplied on April 6th, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Overnight in the refrigerator is great for thawing. Thanks Alanna!


  29. #
    Kaitlinposted April 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    These look fantastic! I was wondering if it would be alright to line the baking sheet with wax paper rather than aluminium? I’m looking forward to making these :)


    • Sallyreplied on April 24th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Wax paper is not ideal for baking – the thin coating of wax burns. You may line the baking pan with parchment paper though. I find aluminum so much easier to mold into the shape of the pan.


  30. #
    Amy Clarkposted April 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

    So I tried These last night And Ended Up With Completely Soggy Bars That Fell Apart When I Tried To Cut Them. I Had A Feeling That Might Happen When I Saw How Much Strawberry Jam I Had. I Followed The Recipe To A T. They Are Tasty, But Not Very Practical. Any Thoughts? Pardon All The Caps, My Phone Is Acting Weird.


  31. #
    Jessica @ www.bikinibaker.composted April 28, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I’ve made these twice now — once with peanut butter, once with sunflower butter. Not sure which I liked best! They were both awesome! I eat one for breakfast and it keeps me full for hours. Delish, Sally! :-)


  32. #
    Kristenposted June 2, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Could you use regular butter instead of apple butter? Or what else could I substitute for the apple butter?


    • Sallyreplied on June 2nd, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      I don’t recommend butter. Applesauce works well, but the crust won’t be quite as moist.


  33. #
    Gabbyposted June 21, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Hey Sally!

    Just wondering what fruit butter is…? (And apple sauce) for that matter)
    Living in the UK, I’ve never seen either of those things… Wondering if they have a different name, or anything else they could be substituted for?



  34. #
    Jessicaposted June 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Do you know if these work well doubled in a 9×13″ pan?


    • Sallyreplied on June 30th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Definitely! I am unsure of the bake time, though.


  35. #
    Jess Cposted July 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hey sally, I was wondering if I could use frozen strawberries instread of fresh. Also, where did you purchase your apple butter? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on July 7th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      You may use frozen strawberries for the filling. I get apple butter from the farmer’s market or the grocery store.


  36. #
    Hayleyposted July 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Never had peanut butter and strawberries together before but I love both so am looking forward to giving this a try!

    (P.S is there anything peanut butter DOESN’T go with?)


  37. #
    Stephanieposted August 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    What a great, healthy way to use fresh strawberries! I’ve made these twice now, and love them! I used fig butter instead of apple butter as that’s all I could find, and I don’t have maple syrup so I used agave nectar, but I doubt it made a difference in taste! My only issue is the quick oats (trader joe’s) I was using seem to make these really dense and heavy. I’m going to try these with maybe standard Quaker oats next time (because there WILL be a next time!)! Thanks for this recipe!!


  38. #
    Jaclyn looposted August 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Hey Sally! I really wanted to make these but since summer is almost over, my local stores have stopped selling fresh strawberries. I have frozen ones. Could I simply thaw them out and use them?


    • Sallyreplied on September 1st, 2014 at 10:29 am

      You may use frozen strawberries for the filling. No need to thaw.


      • Jaclyn Looreplied on September 1st, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        That’s great to hear! Thank you!

  39. #
    Hope C.posted October 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    These strawberry-oat squares are really good; my family really liked them! Thanks, Sally!


  40. #
    Shelleyposted October 6, 2014 at 5:38 am

    We only have plain old butter in New Zealand… I wondered if you can tell me how to make Apple Butter? Your Strawberry squares sound divine… Thanks.


  41. #
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nutposted December 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    These look amazing! I’m glad to see the comment that frozen berries can be used since I have a ton!!


  42. #
    Determined WW Mommaposted January 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I calculated WW Points – they are only 5 points per serving if you cut into 12 squares. I definitely want to try this recipe!


  43. #
    Rachelposted January 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    These look delicious and I saved to make this week!! Going back to work full time in 2 weeks and looking for things I can leave for snacks for the kids, I was reading through the comments and saw all the people from the UK who couldn’t find apple butter and I found this company (I have no affiliation with them, just googled) I also saw people wondering about removing the egg…. it might sound weird but maybe a bit of potato starch mixed in water to about the same volume as 1 egg would help bind it and not alter the flavour. I did that in some veggie burgers once to make them for vegan guests…. Anyway can’t wait to try them as is (frozen berries though as its January!!)


  44. #
    shauntae nolandposted January 20, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Do you know the calorie count per square?


  45. #
    Jenniferposted March 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Just made them, realllly happy with the result!! I would just add a little more strawberries the next time, but other than that, it’s a perfect treat! :)


  46. #
    Brittanyposted March 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Hi! These look SO good! I can’t wait to try them out! I am doing a strawberry recipe round-up and am wondering if I could include this recipe? I would be using a photo only and linking back to this post for the recipe. Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on March 28th, 2015 at 10:03 am

      That is OK.


  47. #
    Courtneyposted April 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Do you by chance know how many calories are in these?


  48. #
    JOLLposted April 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Hi there! These look great! just one question: is there a healthier substitute for the cornstarch I could use? Also, I don’t have cornstarch… :) Thanks!


    • tinareplied on May 5th, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      I was hoping for a cornstarch sub too!


    • Kerryreplied on June 15th, 2015 at 2:59 am

      I was out of cornstarch and used tapioca starch. It came out fine. 


  49. #
    Amberposted May 31, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    How long does it usually take for the filling to thicken? mines been setting for about 20 minutes and its still a bit runny..


  50. #
    Kerryposted June 15, 2015 at 2:56 am

    have these in the oven now and I have to say these are going to be a regular part of the breakfast rotation! Fiancée loved making them with me and I’m sure he’s going to eat more than half within the day haha :-) thanks for a great recipe! 


  51. #
    Jessica Blantonposted July 6, 2015 at 1:04 am

    I just made these for my family and they are amazing!  Thanks for the wonderful, healthy recipe!  :)


  52. #
    Kimposted July 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you Sally, these are fantastic. Local peaches are in now, so I think I will try those next time!


  53. #
    Tennilleposted August 18, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    This looks so yummy. I can’t wait to try. My question is. I brought this big bag of granola from Costco. I would like to find other ways to use it besides a yogurt addition. Can I use it in this recipe?


    • Sallyreplied on August 19th, 2015 at 7:44 am

      You can sprinkle it on top of the squares before going into the oven.


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