Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars

These chewy peanut butter trail mix bars are filled with healthful, wholesome ingredients like almonds, oats, nut butter, and raisins. Add chocolate chips for delicious flavor and pop them into the refrigerator to set. They’re no bake, easy, and totally customizable based on what you have or like.

no bake peanut butter trail mix bars

Always in my regular rotation of homemade snacks, these no bake peanut butter trail mix bars are my favorite pick-me-up. The combination of chocolate chips and peanut butter make it feel like you’re indulging, while the nuts and oats keep you nourished and satisfied.

It’s a fact: 1 batch disappears in 24 hours. Same exact story with my no bake coconut granola bars. (Please tell me you’ve tried those by now!)

While I’ve been making these for years, I recently made 2 small updates to the recipe. They used to crumble and fall apart easily. However, gently pulsing some of the ingredients together and adding a touch of coconut oil keeps these granola bars compact, while still offering plenty of texture.

no bake peanut butter trail mix bars

Why You NEED to Try These Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars:

  • From mixing bowl to refrigerator in 15 minutes
  • 9 simple ingredients
  • No bake, chewy, soft, wholesome
  • Most of the ingredients are customizable
  • Sweet, salty, totally satisfying
  • Freeze easily

As much as I love granola bars, I can’t always justify buying them at the store. Obviously store-bought is the more convenient choice, but these are so simple that I end up throwing 1-2 batches together at a time. You also have complete control over what you’re putting in them. Like my healthy berry streusel bars, the ingredient list here is pretty small– and you can make substitutions based on what you have.


Customize Them (Ingredient Substitution Ideas!)

I’ve made the bars countless times and here are the swaps I know work:

  • Instead of almonds or cashews, use all almonds, all cashews, or use all or a mix of peanuts, pecans, or walnuts. I don’t recommend skipping the nuts.
  • Oats are a key ingredient, so I don’t recommend any substitutions. However you can use quick oats if that’s all you have.
  • If you don’t have ground flax, add another 1/3 cup of oats in step 3. See recipe note.
  • Feel free to use any dried fruit you enjoy. If the dried fruit you’re using isn’t small like dried cranberries and raisins, chop into smaller pieces.
  • Instead of honey, you can use pure maple syrup, agave, or brown rice syrup.
  • Feel free to use your favorite peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, natural or processed, or another nut butter you love like almond butter or cashew butter.
  • Coconut oil holds these bars together, so I don’t recommend leaving it out. If needed, you can replace with butter because you need a fat that’s solid at room temperature.
  • You can use regular size chocolate chips, but the mini size make these bars easier to cut. Feel free to skip the chocolate chips and replace with sunflower seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts.

healthy peanut butter granola bars

Overview: How to Make Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars

  1. Pulse some of the ingredients in a food processor. The food processor (or a blender!) is key in this preparation. Pulsing about 10x gently breaks down the nuts and oats, which guarantees the bars will stay intact.
  2. Pour the pulsed mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. (Except for the chocolate chips– we’ll stir those in last!)
  3. Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave. Pour over dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Press tightly into a lined 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan.
  6. Refrigerate. The bars take about 1 hour to set up in the refrigerator.
  7. Cut into squares or rectangles.

All of the different textures – the dried fruit, the crunchy salty nuts, chewy oats, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth peanut butter, and the dots of chocolate – work SO well together!

nuts and oats in food processor

pouring melted peanut butter and honey over trail mix bars ingredients

peanut butter trail mix bars before refrigerating

no bake peanut butter trail mix bars

Are These Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars Healthy?

I say this a lot with the lightened-up recipes I publish, but “healthy” is a relative term. In my eyes, these are perfectly healthy granola bars. They’re made with whole foods like almonds and fiber-filled oats, plus there’s no white flour or refined sugar. However, they may be too sugary for someone who needs to watch their sugar intake and they’re obviously not ideal for anyone allergic to nuts.

When it comes to labeling recipes as healthy, use the best judgement for YOU. 🙂

  • I’m unsure of the nutritional information for these, but feel free to calculate it yourself using an online calculator and the exact products/brands you use.
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healthy peanut butter granola bars

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These healthy peanut butter bars will make you feel like you’re indulging! Bonus: they’re no bake! Bars are gluten free if using certified gluten free oats.


Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (about 95g) whole almonds
  • 2/3 cup (about 95g) whole cashews
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (120g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats or quick oats, divided
  • 1/3 cup (32g) ground flax
  • 1/3 cup (40g) dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup (50g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (120g) honey (or maple syrup or brown rice syrup)
  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
  2. Pulse the almonds, cashews, and 1/2 cup (40g) oats in a food processor about 10x or until lightly chopped. (Without pulsing these ingredients, the bars will fall apart.)
  3. Pour pulsed mixture into a large bowl. Stir in remaining oats, the ground flax, cranberries, and raisins until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a medium pan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil together. Stir to combine, then pour over the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips, then stir to combine everything.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using the back of a flat spatula, press the mixture tightly and firmly down into the pan. Make sure it’s compact, which helps guarantee the bars will hold their shape.
  6. Place bars into the refrigerator to set up for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  7. Cut into rectangle or square bars. Cover and store the bars for up to 1 week at room temperature or for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Layer the cut bars between sheets of parchment in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  2. Ingredient Questions: I’ve made these bars countless times with all sort of ingredients substitutions. See all successful ingredient substitutions in the blog post above.
  3. Nuts: Instead of almonds and cashews, feel free to replace with your favorite nuts. I like to use salted nuts for a sweet/salty bar, but feel free to use unsalted. You can use raw or roasted, whichever flavor you prefer. I usually use roasted.
  4. Ground Flax: If you don’t have ground flax, replace with the same amount of whole oats. No need to pulse these with the ingredients in step 2. (Use in step 3.)
  5. Dried Fruit: Feel free to use any dried fruit you enjoy. If the dried fruit you’re using isn’t small like dried cranberries and raisins, chop into smaller pieces.
  6. Peanut Butter: Feel free to use your favorite peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, natural or processed, or another nut butter you love.
  7. Chocolate Chips: You can use regular size chocolate chips, but the mini size make these bars easier to cut. Feel free to skip the chocolate chips and replace with sunflower seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts.

Keywords: peanut butter trail mix bars, trail mix bars

61 Comments

  1. I sent some of these bars to my sister to snack on while she is working at the hospital, and she said they tasted like heaven! I will definitely be making these again! Thank you so much for your fabulous recipes, Sally! They never fail to impress.

    1. So thoughtful to mail these to your sister! I’m so happy they were a hit 🙂

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Hey sally, these look really good but I was wondering if u could make them vegan or if they are already vegan? I checked the vegan section of your site and I didn’t see them so I assumed they weren’t. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Elisabeth, If you use maple syrup or brown rice syrup in place of the honey, these bars are vegan 🙂

  3. I haven’t cut mine yet, letting them set a bit longer. But…should you let them peanut butter mixture cool before stirring in? I didn’t, and my mini chocolate chips immediately melted when I added them. I’m sure they will be delish either way, but they don’t look like your photo…they are brown due to the chocolate. And I feel like I could have used regular chocolate chips since they melted anyway? Would love to know about whether to cool the melted ingredients, for future reference. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jill! I usually don’t, but you certainly can let the mixture cool down next time. I usually warm the mixture on the stove. It’s not usually piping hot when I pour it over the dry ingredients.

      1. Thanks, Sally. I did mine on the stove as well. Will experiment a little more next time. They are tasty anyway!

    2. I had the same thing happen! They were still delicious, but a bit sweeter than I’d hoped for and I couldn’t really taste the salt from the salted nuts. This time around I used crunchy peanut butter and I let the mixture cool before adding in the chocolate chips to keep them from melting. Fingers crossed, but I know they’ll be delicious regardless!

      1. Klaire, I made them again yesterday and did the melting step first. I also melted on very low heat. The bars came out perfectly with intact chocolate chips! We enjoyed the first batch too, it was just different. 🙂

      2. Jill, that sounds like a really good idea for my next batch, because I know I’ll be making these again and again! Thanks!

  4. We made these to eat as an afternoon snack while we are building our log cabin. They have a good nutritional balance for us and keep us going until we break for dinner. We love them.

  5. I’ve made these twice now and they are just to-die-for! Sooo easy, and I had all of these ingredients in my pantry! Swapped pecans for the cashews. These are honestly like a dessert- 10/10!

  6. Amazing recipe! So easy to make!

  7. I consider myself a rather experienced baker, but have never made granola bars before. I like the ease of swapping the nuts and raisins for whatever you have on hand or prefer to eat. These were absolutely delicious AND easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. This is now something we have to have in the fridge at all times, it’s so good! For some reason the last time I made them, they didn’t hold together so had to add more peanut butter and honey, but there’s NO such thing as too much PB! I eyeballed the chocolate chips and that may have been what made them a little crumblier – but 1/3 cup just isn’t enough! Lol. Love love love this recipe!

  9. So easy to make, and really delicious. We have some in the fridge and some in the freezer. The mini chocolate chips are a nice touch.

  10. These were absolutely delicious. As is every single recipe I’ve made from this website. I made the Guiness brownies this weekend and have been dubbed a baking goddess (didn’t tell anyone that Sally should be getting the credit)! Anyway, my experience with this trail mix bars recipe is that they are GOOD when freshly made, but cut them up and let them sit covered in the fridge for 2-3 days, and they are GREAT! The flavors blend and the oatmeal softens as it slowly soaks in the honey or syrup. Thank you again, Sally!

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