Healthy Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars

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

peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars on a white plate

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.

overhead image of a jar of peanut butter

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.

peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars on a wood board

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.

peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars with a chocolate drizzle on a cooling rack

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.

peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars with a chocolate drizzle on a cooling rack

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.

peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars on a white plate

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peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars on a white plate

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

2 images of peanut butter chunk oatmeal bars

40 Comments

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  1. Just made these and I am ever so glad I did. They are absolutely delicious! They were sweet enough with the amount of brown sugar you suggested and so decadent! I added dried cranberries instead of raisins (bc I didn’t have any) and I am definitely going make them again. Also, I’m with everyone else, no such thing as too much pb.

  2. Oh Sally these came out great!!!! I could not wait for them to cool down… I may have eaten 2 right away… I used milk chocolate and butterscotch chips, YUM! So my pan of 12 bars came out to 300 cal each… in the future I’d maybe only do a 1/2 cup total of add-ins instead of 1 cup total (since I don’t like healthy things like raisins). I gotta make these again! Maybe M&M’s instead of milk chocolate for more color. Great texture and moisture!!! I was confused at first with how thick the dough was looking, but it all came out awesome in the end!

  3. OMG just took these out of the oven! I couldnt even wait for them to cool….sooooo good!!! Thanks for the healthy recipe!!!

  4. I made these today and they came out great. All three kids (7,5,2) loved them. I’m always looking for snacks I can bake for them and this one is perfect – seems like a cookie, but much less sugar. Thanks!

  5. Hello, I’m curious if I could use the regular flour instead?

    1. Yes, all-purpose can be substituted

  6. I just made these and they turned out great! I left out the chocolate chips and added some walnuts to make them a bit healthier. They are scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe to feed my husband’s and my peanut butter addiction 🙂

  7. I just made these, they are amazing! Used chocolate almond milk for the milk, added a mashed banana, half the flour and 1/4 cup ground flax and 1/4 wheat germ, oh and dried blueberries instead of raisins because I just don’t like raisins. SO GOOD! Thanks for sharing yet another amazing recipe!

  8. Tammi Martin says:

    My family is Gluten and dairy free (Well, the small members are). We made these with *certified GF oats* and instead of wheat flour we used half oat flour and half Bisquick GF baking mix. (And our milk choice was soy) They turned out fabulous, and they tasted even better when stored in the fridge over night.

    Thank you for sharing something that won’t make my babies sick, is easy to make, and is absolutely tasty!!

  9. Made these with butterscotch chips because that’s what I had on hand. I love the combo of butterscotch and peanut butter. These are a great grab and go breakfast. Love!

  10. Made these yesterday, they are wonderful! Instead of chocolate chips I used peanut butter chips with the raisins.

  11. Hi, would you be able to freeze these? If so, what would be the best method of freezing them?

    1. They freeze well. I cut them into squares and either freeze the squares individually or two together. Good for about 3 months.

  12. 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 🙂

    1. Absolutely! Double and bake in a 9×13 pan. Unsure of the exact bake time– I’d say around 35 minutes.

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

    1. You can use quick oats here, yes!

  14. 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

  15. Can you use white whole wheat flour?

    1. Absolutely!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  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!

  29. Will it be ok to use natural peanut butter?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ruth, We often use Skippy Natural, and other readers have reported success with natural peanut butters. If yours is oily make sure you mix it well before using!

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