Do you know how some days you just crave a Snickers bar for no absolute reason? And I don’t know about you guys, but it makes my stomach feel quite bloated at the end of it. It does keep me full for a few hours, but they’re way too sugary to keep having them every time.
But, you guys. I’ve been CRAZY obsessed with these no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars! As a healthier replacement for the high-calorie and sugar-loaded Snickers, these are so addictive and for good reason: It’s a slice of heaven in a small square!
The best part is that you can keep having them without worrying about the calories. Who knows how much sugar goes inside your regular Snickers? This recipe is made with oats, almond flour, peanut butter, and some chocolate chips. The hardened oats give these bars a fun crunch, while the thin layer of melted chocolate peanut butter mix sweetens it.
What are no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars?
This recipe is made of oatmeal and almond flour packed together tightly with honey and peanut butter. Then, it is topped with a chocolate and peanut butter mixture. Chill it in the fridge for an hour and let it set. All done! Notice how there are no ovens involved? Yup! It is THAT easy to make and 100% beginner-friendly. It takes just 15 minutes to prepare and just a little over 1 hour to chill.
Can you make these peanut butter oatmeal bars ahead of time?
Absolutely! Because these are no-bake oatmeal bars that harden at cold temperatures, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. I fully support the idea of making a whole bunch of bars ahead of time and simply thawing them to room temperature before enjoying them.
When to serve these peanut butter oatmeal bars?
This is a great pre- or post-workout snack, or when you’re having an extremely busy day and can’t fix up a healthier salad. They make great desserts, too! I’m definitely serving these the next time I have guests over. I’m sure it’s going to be a hit with the kids.
So, what exactly goes inside these peanut butter oatmeal bars?
The bottom layer is a chunky almond oatmeal bar made with the following ingredients:
- Old-fashioned oats – Get your favorite bag of gluten-free, old-fashioned rolled oats.
- Almond flour – Almond flour is a healthier alternative to all-purpose wheat flour and is low-carb.
- Creamy peanut butter – Scoop some sticky and gooey peanut butter. We use creamy peanut butter in this recipe, but feel free to go for the chunky kind for added texture.
- Honey – Measure ½ cup of honey for some sticky goodness. This will act as the glue and hold the oatmeal bar ingredients together.
- Salt – Season the oatmeal mixture with ½ tsp salt to balance out the sweetness. Behind every great-tasting sweet dessert is a pinch of salt.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is the cherry on top of these chocolate peanut butter bars.
The top layer of chocolate topping is made of:
- Chocolate chips – If you are going for less sweet bars, buy semi-sweet chocolate chips. Children will love it!
- Smooth peanut butter – For the topping, use only creamy peanut butter. When it dissolves in the melted chocolate, we will get a smooth topping that freezes evenly.
Step One: Make the oatmeal and almond bar.
In a medium bowl, mix together the rolled oats and the almond flour. Once well mixed, set it aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the peanut butter and honey together until smooth.
- Pro Tip: If your peanut butter is liquid at room temperature, simply mix the honey and peanut butter together without warming it up.
Step Two: Add vanilla extract and salt into the honey and peanut butter mixture, then stir. Combine these wet ingredients with the almond oatmeal mix. Stir thoroughly and ensure the oats are coated with honey and peanut butter.
Step Three: Spread the oats into an 8×8” pan and set aside.
- Pro Tip: Firmly press the oat mixture into the pan. Use a spatula to pack it tightly to prevent your oat bars from crumbling.
Step Four: Make the chocolate peanut butter topping.
Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave. Start by heating it for 60 seconds. Stir then heat in 30-second increments until smooth.
Step Five: Assemble the oatmeal bar and the topping.
Spread the melted chocolate and peanut butter over the oat mixture in your 8×8” pan. Let the pan sit in the fridge until the chocolate has set (this takes just about 1 hour, but I usually give it 3 hours just to be on the safe side).
Once the bars have been set, cut them into 16 squares and serve. Top with sea salt if desired.
- Pro Tip: If you are making these chocolate bars ahead of time, store them in an airtight container separated by parchment paper (this prevents the bars from sticking to each other). Place them in the fridge or in the freezer. They only need to be thawed for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
There are many ways to vary this chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars recipe.
- Dark chocolate chips – You can definitely make this recipe with dark chocolate chips. They are slightly bitter and contain less sugar, but if that’s your thing, go for it!
- Using chocolate bars – Do you have leftover chocolate bars in the fridge that you’re bored of eating? Go ahead and melt them for this recipe!
- Make these vegan-friendly – These chocolate oatmeal bars are gluten-free but can be easily made vegan-friendly. Instead of regular chocolate chips, use dairy-free chocolate chips. Don’t forget to replace the honey with maple syrup.
- Add some toppings – Sure, these oatmeal bars are really convenient grab-and-go snacks. But if you’re feeling fancy, serve this as a dessert after dinner topped with raspberries, strawberries, or some coconut flakes.
Find more chocolatey recipes below:
- Avocado Chocolate Mousse
- Flourless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate-covered Strawberries 6 Ways
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe
For The Peanut Butter Oat Bars
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup liquid honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
For The Peanut Butter Oat Bars
- In a small bowl mix together oats and almond flour. Set aside.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl gently melt the peanut butter and honey together until smooth. (If your peanut butter is liquid at room temperature, simply mix the honey and peanut butter together without warming).
- Add vanilla and salt and stir until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread into an 8×8” pan and set aside.
For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping
- Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave (start by heating for 60 seconds. Stir then heat in 30 second increments until smooth).
Putting It Together
- Spread melted chocolate/peanut butter over oat mixture in your 8X8 pan.
- Let the bars sit in the fridge until the chocolate sets (I usually give it 3 hours).
- Cut and serve! Bon Appetit!