Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars


5 from 1315 votes
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These oatmeal chocolate chip bars are Soft, chewy, and LOADED with chocolate chips- They are a five ingredient dessert that bakes in just 12 minutes. 

oatmeal chocolate chip bars.

If you love dessert bars but want to make them a little wholesome, swap out the standard flour and use oatmeal to make these chocolate chip oatmeal bars.

They are thick and chewy and make the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or post-dinner sweet tooth fix!

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. How to make oatmeal chocolate chip bars
  3. Recipe variations
  4. Recipe tips and tricks
  5. Storage instructions 
  6. Recommended tools to make this recipe
  7. More oat-based dessert bars to try
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Why this recipe works

  • 5 ingredients. Simple pantry staple ingredients, so that means no eggs, butter, or milk! Instead, they use mashed banana to add moisture and also extra sweetness.  
  • Quick and simple. With barely any prep time and just 15 minutes in the oven, these make a speedy sweet treat.
  • Healthier. Similar to raisin cookie bars, these ones are packed with whole grains, healthy fats, and naturally sweetened; these are a guilt-free dessert.
  • Easy to customize. This is the kind of baked good you can easily adapt to use up any mix-ins you have on hand. 
  • Perfect texture and flavor. These cookie bars are soft, slightly chewy, and have an almost buttery texture without any actual butter in it. It has notes of chocolate with every bite. They taste like a thick and jumbo oatmeal chocolate chip cookie but with a more tender exterior.
chocolate chip oatmeal bars.

How to make oatmeal chocolate chip bars

The Ingredients

  • Rolled Oats (Old Fashioned Oats)– They provide a chewy texture and a fabulous substitution for flour. They are also a much healthier alternative to it, providing fiber and protein too!
  • Almond Butter– Gives these cookie bars that buttery texture and flavor we love without any butter!
  • Maple Syrup– Provides sweetness and also masks any banana flavor. Do not omit, as it will change the texture of the cookie bars.
  • Bananas– Overripe, mashed bananas! The riper they are, the sweeter they will be! Bananas replace any need for butter or eggs while also providing sweetness and a softer texture.
  • Chocolate Chips– What is a good cookie without chocolate chips? I like using semi-sweet chocolate chips, but milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips work, as do chocolate chunks. 
  • Baking soda– Optional, but helps with the leavening of the bars.

The Instructions

Make the batter. Stir together all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Fold them through, then transfer to a lined pan.

Bake the bars. Bake the oatmeal cookie bars for 15-17 minutes or until golden on top.

Cool and slice. Let the bars cool completely before slicing and serving.

how to make oatmeal chocolate chip bars.

Recipe variations

These cookie bars are very forgiving and have plenty of ingredient substitutions, including basic pantry staple ingredients.

Gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip bars. Swap out the oats for gluten-free rolled oats or buckwheat flakes. 

Banana alternative. You can substitute the banana for unsweetened applesauce or pumpkin puree. Neither are as sweet as bananas, but they will still yield a similar texture. You may need to add extra maple syrup to make up for the lack of sweetness from the banana.

Use other nut butter. Swap out the almond butter for either peanut butter or cashew butter, or keep them nut free by using tahini or sunflower seed butter. 

Lower the sugar. Instead of maple syrup, you can use a sugar-free or reduced-sugar version.

Use regular sugar. If you don’t want to use syrup, brown sugar or coconut sugar work.  

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Don’t Overmix the Batter. When making the batter, mix everything until just combined. You don’t want these to turn out rubbery,
  • Avoid over-baking. These bars will continue to cook as they are cooling down, so remove them from the oven once they are golden.
  • Add Mix-ins. Enhance the bars by adding mix-ins like pecans, walnuts, butterscotch chips, or vanilla extract, 
  • Press the Batter Firmly. Press it firmly into the baking pan when transferring the batter into the pan. This will cook them more evenly.
  • Cool Completely Before Cutting. This is important to ensure the bars are fully set. 

Storage instructions 

To store: Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

To freeze: Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and place them in ziplock bags or a freezer-safe container. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.

Reheating: These bars become firm once refrigerated, but to have a gooey cookie bar, microwave it for 20-30 seconds.

  • Mixing bowls. I prefer mixing by hand, and these are super versatile and sturdy.
  • Stand mixer. If you want to make these bars even more quickly, a stand mixer will help out in a cinch. 
  • Spatula. To fold through the chocolate. 
chocolate chip bars.

More oat-based dessert bars to try

Frequently asked questions

Can I use instant oats instead of regular oats? 

Yes, instant oats will work for this recipe. However, the bars will be softer and less chewy.

Can I add an egg?

There is no need to add eggs to this recipe, but if you’d like to increase the protein, adding 1-2 eggs will not affect the texture.

oatmeal chocolate chip bars recipe.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

5 from 1315 votes
These oatmeal chocolate chip bars are Soft, chewy, and LOADED with chocolate chips- They are a five ingredient dessert that bakes in just 12 minutes. 
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 17 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, reserving 1-2 inches of parchment paper over the sides, for easily removal.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all your ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold through the chocolate chips, reserving a few to top the cookie bars with.
  • Transfer the batter into the lined pan, adding extra chocolate chips on top. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until just beginning to go golden around the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


TO STORE: Leftover cookie bars should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealable container. They will keep fresh for up to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and place them in ziplock bags. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.


Serving: 1Cookie BarCalories: 182kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 246mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 17g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. hi any idea for a crunchy bar, not a fan of soggy ones. i love soft cookies but not granola bars. would love a recipe thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      These are delightful. Used apple sauce and added the 1/2 tsp of baking soda mentioned on Instagram and they turned out so good. Will make again!

    1. Hi Elisa, actually, it’s not wrong at all and seeing as it’s been made by thousands successfully, I’d check your sources. Eat Bananas!

  2. 5 stars
    Turned out great didnt have quite enough bananas so my 3 year old and subbed in a little applesauce with the bananas we had. Also used butterscotch and chocolate chips.

  3. 5 stars
    Used honey instead of maple syrup since I was out, and mixed peanut and almond butter. Very delicious. Better than expected even. Will make again!

  4. These were just a tad moist for me. The flavors were wonderful and didn’t feel overly sweet. Next time I will add a little salt and one less banana to try to firm them up. Sure makes a great breakfast with coffee 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Just made these. 3 bananas was enough to make 1.5 cups of mashed banana. Also as I was making these I thought 4 cups of oatmeal would be way too much for an 8 x 8 pan. Sure enough it was, and I had to use two 8 x 8 pans. A 9 x 13 or half the recipe would work fine. It’s an easy recipe for for a homemade snack bar.

  6. 5 stars
    I am giddy with excitement. They are baking as I type and we cannot wait to have them. Finding a recipe that goes with our diet is hard, but thankfully I stumbled across these. Yay!

  7. I am constantly disappointed when a recipe can not be Pinned. Have to put on paper means it will get lost in shuffle. Also uses a precious resource