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

262 Comments

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  1. Oh OK thanks. They r yummy by the way.

  2. We’re enjoying these, Sally! Thanks for the recipe. Any tips on cutting them? Even with a sharp knife, they seem to break apart at the edge when I’m cutting them. I don’t mind too much, but I was wondering if there’s a special way to do it?

    PS. I’ll be pre-ordering your book and I know I’ll love it! Congrats on your success!!

    1. Hey Kristina, they do sometimes break apart when cutting. I make them more than any other recipe on my blog and sometimes I put them in the refrigerator to chill and then cut. That seems to help! Thank you for the congrats, it means a ton!

  3. Hi- I made these without a mixer and though delish, they were crumbly and fragile and dry in spots. Did I undermix?

    Didn’t use any add ins.

    1. This happened to me as well. I think next time I’ll try it with more liquid, so perhaps a little more milk so they’re not so dry, or agave

  4. Hi Sally! Accidentally found this recipe when searching for healthy ways to bake with the two 3 pound jars of peanut butter sitting lonely on my shelf. I loved this recipe and am looking forward to trying your other healthy baking options. I too am a baking addict but trying to keep the pounds off as I recently lost 40 pounds. Though this can be hard, having a daily sensible treat has kept me on course. So happy to meet you! Thanks for the healthier delicious options. Keep them coming!

    1. Thanks Joanne! And congrats on the weight you lost. That’s quite an accomplishment! I’m happy you still treat yourself. These bars are great. One of my favorites!

  5. Hi Sally:
    I am eager to make these, and I have asked you this probably many times before but quick oats would be okay right?
    I am just so hesitant when I see “old-fashioned rolled oats” on your ingredient list because I am not sure if I could use quick oats or not whenever I see it. So I am so sorry if I have asked this before in other recipes!

    And assuming that you can use quick oats in your raisinet cookies, you can use them in your peanutbutter oatmeal scotchies too right?

    In fact, I would think that using quick oats for any oatmeal cookie (including the good ol’fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie)…

    1. Hi Rachael – you can use quick oats here. I don’t suggest using quick oats in my raisinet oatmeal cookies or my PB oatmeal scotchies though… because those recipes were created using a specific amount of flour vs oats. Quick oats, which are more powdery (flour-y) than whole oats, may change the texture of the baked cookie. However, you are more than welcome to try!

  6. I made these to try and replicate a granola bar a friend of mine has bought at our local farmers market. She says these are better than the ones she bought. I replaced oat flour for the whole wheat flour. These are awesome!

  7. I just made these and I cooked them for 20 minutes and they came out a little crumbly did I do something wrong by over baking? Or are they supposed to be like that? Sorry for the questions!

    1. They’re slightly crumbly, yes. But over baking will make them even more crumbly, so try only about 17 minutes if you make them again.

  8. Just made these tonight. I used natural peanut butter and only 1/4 cup brown sugar and they are SO DELICIOUS. I normally like my PB and chocolate separate, but I’m starting to come around. Thanks Sally. =)

    PS. My cookbook should arrive on Thursday. Can’t wait!!

    1. So glad you’re excited for the book! This recipe is actually inside the book. So you can make these again reading it from a solid book and not a print-out or the computer. 🙂

  9. Stumbled across this recipe searching for healthy treats containing peanut butter and oats, as I have some left from a flapjack recipe. This are awesome! My hubby and I are both trying to lose weight and these make a wonderful treat post work out. They also taste too naughty to be good, so a real healthy incentive. Thank you so much for sharing. How do u get hold of your recipe book? I’m from England. All the best 🙂

    1. Apologies for the typos. Darn iPhone!

    2. Hi Sarah! My book is available on Amazon.com and in book stores – wherever books and eBooks are sold. I know they are available all through England as well.

  10. Hi Sally!

    I’ve made these peanut butter bars so many times they are pretty much a staple in our house, so thank you 🙂 I am wondering if it is possible to substitute honey for the sugar and if so what would the approximate conversion for that be?

    Thanks,
    -Grace

    1. I’ve never tested these with an unrefined sugar alternative, Grace. So I can’t say what would and would not work. If you test it out, let me know!

      1. Made these with a bit over 1/4 cup of honey and scaled back the milk and they were delicious!

  11. Julie @ This Gal Cooks says:

    Any sweet treat with a whole lotta peanut butter in it is a huge winner in my book! Added bonus – a dairy free peanut butter treat! Dairy and i don’t always get along and while I shouldn’t eat it, I still do. But I’m trying to stop eating so much. Yay for tasty dairy free treats. 🙂

  12. These look wonderful Sally!! I still can’t believe how you make things healthy but indulgent at the same time. Amazing! P.S. There is never too much peanut butter. Never!! xx

  13. Well, I was in a baking mood today, and that seems to be happening more often since I discovered your blog! I made these oatmeal bars, the https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/01/salted-caramel-dark-chocolate-cookies/ (salt is genius), and for the 4 legged critters the https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/23/homemade-peanut-butter-dog-treats/. Of course, all were a big hit.

    1. two great choices!! Thanks Elizabeth, you sound like a peanut butter loving gal. And your pups too.

  14. I tried this recipe last night with only 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup stevia and it was amazing! I have tried the recipe before with the full amount of brown sugar, and the two recipes taste the same. Just in case someone wants to try halving the sugar, but is scared they won’t turn out. 🙂

  15. These just popped up on my Pinterest feed and my daughter screamd “LETS MAKE THOSE!”. I have my orders….!

    1. So sweet. Hope you both enjoy!

  16. i just made these yesterday and gah! i am in love!

    I did change a few small things: I used 1/3 cup coconut sugar plus a little molasses (i might reduce this next time as i try to limit sugar as much as possible and they were plenty sweet!) and since coconut sugar is a bit notorious for drying out baked goods i used 1/2 cup applesauce instead of the almond milk (i needed two tablespoons of almond milk in addition to the applesauce!). I also used homemade peanut butter.

    these are sooooo so good and comforting. i think the applesauce helped bind everything together cos they are not crumbly at all (not even when i sliced them pretty much right out of the oven… i am impatient). next time i’m gonna try em with oat flour, a bit less sugar, and i might replace some of the pb with more applesauce.

  17. YUM. I have made these about 6 times in 8 weeks. And I always eat most of the pan because my hubby isn’t a pb freak like I am. I have tinkered and used banana in place of 1/2 the PB, reduced the sugar to 1/3 cup b/c of the banana sweetness, added butterscotch chips instead of raisins, added cocoa powder, and added flaxseed to make them more lactation friendly. They are always delicious, though I have found that with the addition of banana I have to cut way back on the almond milk. Thanks for this fabulous recipe!

    1. Your version sounds delicious Beth – thank you for sharing!

    2. Didn’t think about adding flaxseed! I will have to do that the next time I make them. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  18. These are super good!!!! The only thing I changed in the recipe was – peanut butter 🙂 I used 1/2 Sunbutter & 1/2 Peanut Butter!!!

  19. My family loves these healthy bars. I make them with natural Peter Pan peanut butter and they aren’t crumbly at all. They are moist and delicious. Thank you for this fabulous healthy recipe!

  20. Laura Waxman says:

    these sound delicious! I just might make these this weekend – with my substitutes of gf flour, coconut sugar and cacao chocolate! thanks for sharing!

  21. I’ll make these tonight and I’m excited to see how they turn out 🙂 for now, a big thank you for adding metric measurements! That saved me a lot of hassle!

  22. O.M.G! They taste like heaven! I gave a little piece to my hubby so he can try it and he was like ” So you want something too?” and then ate the whole bar ^^
    I really like that it´s crunchy and the taste is awesome. I always thought I dont like peanut butter but this is so yummi ( I am from Germany)

    Keep it up!

  23. 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.

  24. Hi Sally,
    I would like to make these bars and freeze them into individual portions. How long would you recommend I microwave a bar after freezing?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Becky, I would say 20 seconds.

  25. So, I have these in the oven right now. I skipped the chocolate chips because I didn’t have any on hand. I added in a little over 1/2 cup of finely chopped apples. My toddler is OBSESSED with peanut butter, so I’m really excited about these as an alternative to processes snacks and a break from 3 peanutbutter sandwiches a day lol

  26. I was looking for a breakfast-on-the-go for weekdays and these sound perfect! I can’t wait to make them today, but I have a question: I would like to incorporate more protein into the recipe, do you think chocolate protein powder could be a substitute for some of the flour?

    1. Hi Jamie, I’m sure you can sneak some protein powder into this recipe and remove some flour. I’ve just never tried it before so I am unsure of the proper ratio. Let me know what you try!

  27. I made a batch of these earlier. I played with the recipe a little. As a breastfeeding mom, I try to incorporate oats in as many things as I can, so I decreased the flour and increased the oats. I also used chocolate chips and peanut butter chips as my mix-ins. So yummy! Yet another of your wonderful recipes going in the recipe box. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. My family, my husband in particular, has loved every one of your recipes I’ve made. Keep em coming!!!!

  28. Hey Sally!! Just wanted to share how I made these, and managed to make them unhealthy 🙁
    But for my mix-ins I used white chocolate chips and heath bar pieces (my two mix ins that I always keep on hand) and made the drizzle with white chocolate and peanut butter.
    My gosh this is so good.
    Might’ve warmed it up and put some caramel ice cream on top too….

    1. Also used white chocolate peanut butter haha!

  29. Could you substitute the wheat flour for all purpose flour ? What would be the ratio ?

    Thanks!!

  30. 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?

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