These healthy peanut butter bars feature a chewy oatmeal base, a fudgy peanut butter filling, and a creamy chocolate frosting. They use wholesome and simple ingredients.
With my busy schedule and the constant struggle to keep my diet healthy, healthy snack bars are what keep me going when I have to skip meals or don’t have time to make breakfast.
These healthy peanut butter bars, made with oats and peanut butter and topped with a rich chocolate frosting hit just right when it comes to flavor and texture. They are perfectly gooey with a deliciously chewy oatmeal base.
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s healthy enough for breakfast. Who doesn’t love starting their mornings with something sweet? These bars feature healthy and wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, peanut butter, and even pack in some protein!
- No baking required. Similar to no bake oatmeal cookies or chocolate oatmeal bars, these don’t need any oven, so prep time is almost non-existent!
- It’s only a few ingredients. Despite having three layers, you don’t need too many ingredients to make these bars. The main ingredients in the first two layers are oats, maple syrup, and peanut butter.
- Perfect texture. I like to describe these as a cross between chocolate peanut butter bars and no bake oatmeal bars, but just that much more delicious. They are thick, chewy, and have that glorious fudge center.
These intensely rich peanut butter oatmeal treats are made with the following ingredients.
- Oats. Use rolled oats for a chewy and sturdy base. Quick oats will also work, but I find it can be a little more fragile, especially when you cut into them.
- Peanut butter. Always use smooth and creamy peanut butter, preferably all-natural. If you can’t tolerate peanuts, try almond or cashew butter, or make these completely nut-free using tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Maple syrup. The sticky syrup helps hold the oats together, and also I prefer using pure maple syrup as it provides the best flavor and doesn’t contain refined sugar. You can use any syrup you have at home, including honey, rice syrup, and agave nectar.
- Peanut butter. Same here. Use any nut or seed butter you like. Make sure it’s sugar-free.
- Maple syrup.
- Oat flour. You can make oat flour yourself just by blending rolled oats in a food processor.
- Chocolate frosting. This 4-ingredient healthy frosting works perfectly for this recipe, or else melt chocolate chips with peanut butter to create a ganache.
How to make healthy peanut butter bars
These bars are super easy to make. The only difficult part about making them is to have the willpower to not eat them until all layers are ready and set.
Step 1 – Prepare the bar base
To make the base of these bars, add the oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Mix well until fully combined.
Transfer this mixture to an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread it out evenly and press firmly. Refrigerate until firm.
Step 2 – Make the fudge filling
Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat and mix until fully melted. You can do this on the stove too using a double boiler.
Add oat flour to this mixture and mix well until a thick batter remains. Pour the fudge mixture over the bar base and refrigerate.
Step 3 – Top with frosting
While the fudge center is firming up, prepare your chocolate frosting. When your frosting is ready, spread it evenly over the peanut bar and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until the frosting has firmed up.
Once set, cut into bars and serve.
Recipe tips and variations
- Top with chocolate. If you don’t have time to make a healthy chocolate frosting, just melt some dark chocolate and use it as a final layer for the bars.
- Warm your knife before slicing. To get nice, clean cuts, run the knife under hot water before slicing. Wipe the knife clean after each slice.
- Sprinkle with flaky salt. The salt will bring out the flavor of the chocolate frosting and create a delicious sweet-salty combination.
- Add some crunch. Mix chopped nuts into the fudge filling or use crunchy peanut butter. For a more buttery crunch, fold in chocolate chips.
To store. Store these bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze. Arrange the bars in a single layer in an airtight container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the bars to soften at room temperature before eating them.
More delicious peanut butter recipes to try
- Peanut butter brownies
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- Peanut butter balls
- Chocolate peanut butter balls
- Peanut butter mousse
Frequently asked questions
Rolled oats have a coarse texture and provide a sturdy and stable base for the bars. While instant oats will work too, they will yield a much softer texture.
When made with certified gluten-free oats, these bars are naturally gluten-free.
While it is safe to store these bars at room temperature, they soften significantly as they sit out. Thus, it is recommended to keep them chilled.
Healthy Peanut Butter Bars
For the healthy chocolate frosting
- 1 serving chocolate frosting *
- Line an 8 x 8 or larger baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your rolled oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Mix until fully combined. Transfer to the lined baking dish and refrigerate.
- While the base is forming up, prep your fudge center. In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, combine your peanut butter with maple syrup and melt. Add your ground oats and mix very well until a thick fudge batter remains. Pour over the base and refrigerate.
- While the bars are firming up, add frosting to the top and refrigerate again for 30 minutes or until the frosting has firmed up.
- Cut into bars and enjoy!
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