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

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Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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) chunky or creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (127g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 8×8 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.

Notes

  1. Chocolate Drizzle: 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.

Keywords: healthy peanut butter oatmeal bars, peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars

Healthy Peanut Butter Bars

258 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Hi Sally. My goodness these are delicious. We added chopped dried bananas which our children love. I am tracking calories as part of a lifestyle change / diet. I wonder if you had worked out the calories for these or even point me in the right direction to try and find out. I will most certainly be using your other recipes. Thanks again, these will remain a go to snack for my family and I.

  2. So good! I used honey instead of brown sugar, used oat flour instead of wheat, crunchy peanut butter, added a banana and an egg. No raisins. Yummmmm! Tastes like a warm chocolate chip cookie!!

  3. Hi Sally! This is my boyfriends fav recipe of all time! He wants me to make it this weekend, however I also have tons of bananas in need of being used up. Any tips as to how I could incorporate them into this recipe?

    1. Hey Rebecca! That would take a little recipe testing, but let me know if you try anything. You could also try these oatmeal banana peanut butter bars instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/29/peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-oatmeal-bars/

  4. These were absolutely delicious, however, they crumbled when I cut them (I did wait until they were cool). I’m guessing I pressed the dough too lightly. I will definitely try again and see if I can get my squares to stay together. I had the same issue with the Soft Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola Bars – they tasted incredible but they crumbled when cut.

  5. Oh these smell so good in the oven right now! My husband and I are trying to eat healthier and cut the processed junk out of our families diet and your website has been key. I used cashew milk in these as I needed to use some up and ran out of whole wheat flour so I did half all purpose and half almond flour. Can’t wait to indulge in these a bit! 🙂

  6. Absolutely looooooove! I substituted gluten free flour and coconut milk and they were still delicious. Thank you for this recipe.

  7. These are so freaking good! I made as is, but I love how versatile the recipe can be.
    I had to chuckle at the “Bars will be good stored up to 2 weeks” note at the end of the recipe. These won’t last two hours in my house – I was eating them before I even put them in the oven! LOL

  8. Can’t wait to try them. I am gluten free so I used teff flour in place of whole wheat flour. Left out the chocolate chips and rains. Instead I chopped up salted mixed nuts and then added some unsalted sunflower seeds and chia seeds. I also subbed xylitol in place of brown sugar since we are trying to cut out sugar. Used all natural peanut butter with no sugar. I left out the salt since the nuts had salt and I added them in with the beating of the mixture. Had to add extra coconut milk because with my additions of nuts and seeds made the batter was drier. Will see how it holds together. It is in the oven right now. But it looks yummy.

  9. Can you use white while wheat flour?

    1. Absolutely!

  10. Avryl Espiritu says:

    Can I make these in a 9×13 pan if I double the recipe? Will baking time change? Thank you

    1. Yes, you can double this for a 9 X13 pan. The bake time will be slightly longer!

  11. Hey Sally, I’m a big fan of your recipes. I tried this out and poured the dough mixture in a baking dish lined with parchment, and baked it for 20 mins. The bottom half turned out half baked… not sure what went wrong. Do you think I could salvage it by flipping it over (unbaked side on TOP) and baking again? 🙁

    1. If this happens again and you notice it right after removing it from the oven, you can certainly flip it and put it back in!

  12. Christina says:

    Hello i really like this recipe. I would like to know if i can substitute the brown sugar with a sweetner or a healthier sugar substitute?

    1. Hi Christina! I haven’t tested it, but coconut sugar would be the best alternate option.

  13. Hey, just wondering how long these would keep for in the fridge for?

    1. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!

  14. I LOVE this recipe! I’m curious though, I know this recipe is meant to be healthy, but do you think it will work if I use speculoos instead of peanut butter? Speculoos is sweeter than regular peanut butter though, should the brown sugar amount be lessened, if so, by how much? Comments or suggestions would be much appreciated❤

    1. These would be great with speculoos cookie butter! I recommend reducing the brown sugar down to 1/3 cup or even 1/4 cup total.

  15. Could I use ground flaxseed instead of raisins? Would I use the same amount?

    1. You can just leave the raisins out if you wish- no need to add anything extra.

  16. At first bite, I wasn’t convinced because they appeared cake-like. But by morning, I had FALLEN IN LOVE WITH THESE BARS! They were incredibly moist and satisfying! Had two for breakfast and one with lunch…They were that good!!! Added an egg and half cup applesauce. This recipe lends itself to a lot of fun variety. Next time might try some mix-ins as suggested?! Will make these again soon! Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad you gave them a try and enjoyed them so much!

  17. This recipe is easy and delicious as is 🙂 as well as, all the suggestions via the comments sound interesting too.

  18. These are wonderful! I first made them for vegan family, but I like them so much I make them regularly. To keep from eating them all in a couple of days, I cut them, individually wrap, and freeze. They are just as good straight out of the freezer.

  19. Hi Sally , well I made these bars. Taste wise very good but they crumbled when eating them. The only difference I used white flour instead of whole wheat. Don’t know if that would matter?

    1. Hey Cindy,
      I thought of doing the exact same thing – using white flour since I don’t have any whole wheat home – so I’m glad I read your comment before baking. I googled a little and it seems that whole wheat and all purpose flour are not easily interchangeable. Using whole wheat flour yields denser baked goods. White flour on the other hands yields more airy, crumbly baked goods. And then of course there’s the whole proportion/ratio explanations. Baking truly is a science. I always underestimate that.

  20. I have made these 4 times and again today for my 10&13 yo daughters. They are SO SERIOUSLY GOOD!! Checking out your other recipes today

  21. Hi Sally,

    Could I use coconut flour instead of whole wheat flour?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Dalia, I haven’t tested this recipe with any gluten free alternatives. Let me know if you do!

  22. Marcie Begleiter says:

    Just made first batch. Good, moist bars, not too sweet! Drizzled chocolate peanut butter ganache on top and sprinkled with a little dash of chunky salt. My social-distanced book group is going to love these!

  23. Are these freezer friendly? Can I freeze them after baking?

    1. Yes, they should good covered tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  24. Just made these again, trying to get my husband to stay away from them as they cool. Love this easy, guilt-free recipe!

  25. Could mashed banana be added to this recipe? If so, how much and would I need to adjust amounts of other ingredients? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Anna! I haven’t tried it, but you can certainly test it out. I recommend my peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip bars.

  26. Being a Vegan I was looking for a recipe that didn’t include any eggs or butter. This recipe is perfect!! I made the bars yesterday and OMG they’re very good!! Not too sweet (which is what I was going for) but just the right amount of sweetness and flavor. Thank you so much for this recipe Sally 🙂

  27. Cheryl A Sampson says:

    Awesome recipe turned out great. Will definitely be using this again. I am not a vegan. Was looking for a desert.because I thought I had all the stuff for another one I was going to make.came across this and thought I would make it. It was awesome and my bf . like it too and he isn’t a vegan eighther.he said that it was delicious.

  28. These were delicious! I was craving oat bars with peanut butter (pregnancy) and they hit the mark perfectly. Definitely a repeat!

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