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. The ingredient list is pretty small and forgiving; 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

58 Comments

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  1. I made these bars and they were amazing! They are so tasty! I can’t stop eating them. I will try to make them every week!

  2. Hi Sally — I know this an older recipe of yours, but I just wanted to tell you I’ve been making a batch of these trail mix bars in one form or another literally every week since I came across this page a few months ago. I love how it’s so customizable … I make them as you wrote them all the time, and sometimes mix it up with some almond butter, sunflower seeds, different nuts … they always turn out so well! I’ve made lots of your recipes (including my second favorite — the chocolate peanut butter smoothie) and love reading your blog, thanks for all your hard work!

  3. These are the BEST granola bars I have made at home. And I have tried A LOT of recipes. I love how easy they are. I read another post about putting them in the freezer. Going in tonight because I could eat the entire batch!

  4. Hi Sally – I made these this weekend and just had one this morning. I AM IN LOOOOOVE. The combination of flavors is amazing! I followed your recipe with the raisins and dried cranberries. I also used natural peanut butter and it worked perfectly. They are a fabulous consistently, and nice and filling. Plus super easy to make which I adore. It doesn’t get much better than this! What an amazing treat that you can feel good about. So glad I found this recipe and made the bars! I agree that you should post MORE of your healthy recipes. 🙂

  5. OH MY GOODNESS. These are incredible. I made a batch of these bars and I scarfed down three in a sitting! (of course I was on the treadmill for an hour, so is it justified? Maybe?). Will definitely make again!!

  6. They look amazing! Definately making them this weekend. And I would seriously love to see all of your healthy snack recipes. I love cooking and baking and so do all the people I work with. (By that, of course I mean they love when I bake and bring them some) Anyway, they always enjoy the fatty, buttery, oily stuff which I do bake often, mostly for them. But I need some healthy snacks to keep around the house and these will be perfect. And any others you could share that I can whip up and store for the week, that would be great!

  7. Sally- I just made these and they are wonderful! I added in some mini M&Ms and they taste a bit like Monster cookies without (as much) guilt! Now, if I can just keep from eating the whole pan myself… Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  8. I rarely leave a comment on blogs but I made these bars today and I have to tell you home amazing they became! They are just wonderful!! This will be a new staple recipe for me.

  9. Sally,
    I made these yesterday night and they turned out delicious– I was very happy 🙂 I have a question though- my bars didn’t stick together as well as I thought they would, they kind of broke whenever I picked them up. I used a little less honey than what the recipe called for. Do you think that was it? Thanks again for publishing this recipe- it was amazing! 🙂

    1. Ana, yes– reducing the honey (the sticky binder!) is the cause for the bars falling apart. Sometimes I like to crumble these up over yogurt. That could be a yummy way to enjoy your crumbly batch.

  10. All my favoirite things in one bar! Love these, have made them three times in the last three weeks and shared with my parents and brother who loved them to. Really adaptable have tried both maple syrup and honey and different nuts each time plus added the chocolate whilst everything was warm and it melted the second time – chocolate peanut butter nut bars – yum. Great post workout breakfast on the run. Thank you!

    1. Great recipe. Followed exactly except for reducing the maple syrup in half, as we are trying to have less sugar in our lives. And they sort of crumble, though still taste great. Suggestions for adding something else as a binder? We will take them hiking so can’t be perishable. Thanks in advance.

  11. Sally, I just ate one of these bars instead of the peanut butter M&Ms in my cabinet! They are soooo good!! Me and my toddler are both scarfing them down, and I can’t wait for my husband to try them. Thanks for this fantastic recipe I feel great about feeding my family!

  12. Hi! Your recipe looks great 🙂 Any tips for crushing the nuts without a food processor? Would just chopping them be okay? Also, did you use salted or unsalted nuts? Thanks! 

  13. These are the best! It’s so hard stopping at one, i cut them up and wrap them separately to try and stop myself from having the whole lot (sometimes works, sometimes it doesn’t :P) Definitely a great alternative to muesli bars or its always a good accompaniment with a coffee! 

  14. I just tried making this at home since we ran out of Clif Bars for the week. I improvised a little since we were missing some things in the pantry. I didn’t have flax seeds, and used chia seeds. Also I used blanched slivered almonds and raw pignolias (pine nuts). Then finally we only had a few dried cranberries left, so I used those up and some goji berries (basically super berries). So far I had a few little taste tests and it tastes amazing! All I have to do is wait an hour now. This is basically a minestrone for a bar!

  15. I just made these using sunflower seeds and roasted peanuts. They are really tasty with great texture.

  16. Hi! I love these bared! I’m trying to eat lower sugar, do you have a suggestion for using something diffeeent then honey? Can I add more peanut butter for the binder?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Meghan! Feel free to play around with the recipe based on your preferences. I’ve only made these trail mix bars as written.

  17. Hi! I love this recipe, on my 4th time making this month. I took out the dried fruit and melted the chocolate chips with the peanut butter and honey, they taste like No Bake Cookies and I can’t stop eating them! Thanks again for the great recipes!

    1. Hi Amy, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  18. You describe these as being sweet, salty, and totally satisfying yet I don’t see salt or salty items listed in the ingredients. What am I missing!
    They do sound fabulous though. I like recipes with wholesome ingredients.

    1. I see in the notes where you mention using salted nuts. I only have unsalted so I think I’ll just add 1/2t coarse salt. I like the sweet/salty too. I think it gives a nice balance. I’m trying these for sure!

  19. I am in love with this recipe. I made the same recipe by replacing 1/3 of oats with protein powder. Its yumm….

  20. Hi Sally! I’d like to make these but I’m worried my blender can’t handle it. Could I soak the nuts for a while first to soften them?

  21. I’ve been making these since you first published them. So easy and so good!! I even sent boxes of them to my college wrestler for years for him to eat during tournaments. And I’ve used all kinds of fruit combinations, but my favorite is your recipe combo or dried cranberries & raisins!

  22. Love this recipe. Love every recipe of yours that I’ve made. Always foolproof.
    Thank you!

  23. Trail mix and peanut butter are two of my favorite things so I am all for combining them into one! These bars look like the perfect, nutty sweet treat!

  24. I made these last night. Absolutely fantastic!!! Easy and fun to make, and the taste is so multilayered.. what a feast for the mouth!

  25. I’ve made these this morning and although they taste really really yummy, they are quite soft and squidgy. I was expecting something a little firmer even after three hours in the fridge; is this how they are supposed to be? I’m not complaining if they are but if I wanted to take one to work I’d have to use a little tub!! Not sure they’ll last very long

  26. When I finished making these, I put them in a lined 9×9 pan. Then I overlapped the parchment paper, covering the top of the bars, & pressed my 8×8 pan firmly into the 9×9 pan. They are now very compressed, & cooling in the fridge.

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