These peanut butter breakfast bars are the perfect healthy breakfast recipe. This is what I make my kids on school days. But I eat it too! It’s a great recipe because everyone loves it, tastes delicious, and all you need is five minutes to whip some up. Peanut butter breakfast bars are easy to make, healthy and delicious. They are packed full of protein and fiber.
Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars
- 4 cups sweetened oat cereal flakes with raisins
- ¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup snipped dried apples
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup chunky peanut butter
- ¼ cup butter, melted, or cooking oil
- Step 1Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with foil. Coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
- Step 2Combine cereal, rolled oats, flour, and dried apples in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Step 3Stir together eggs, honey, peanut butter, and melted butter in a small bowl. Pour over the cereal mixture. Mix well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Using the back of a large spoon, press the mixture firmly into the pan.
- Step 4Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 30 minutes or until the edges are browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars using a serrated knife (see Tip).
Tip: To store, individually wrap bars in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place individually wrapped bars in a freezer container or bag for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight.
179 calories; protein 4g; carbohydrates 26g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 11g; fat 7g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 35mg; sodium 122mg.
Filling, kid-friendly, and packed with a few of my life-long ingredient loves (peanut butter, banana, and honey), these easy homemade baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are yummy, hearty, and guaranteed to keep you powered for hours.
These oatmeal breakfast bars are one of the very first recipes I ever posted on my site.
So many of you have written to tell me about how they’ve enabled you to survive long meetings, fueled you after a workout, and become a favorite of your kids. In fact, this recipe is so simple, many of you bake them with your kiddos too!
How to Make Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
This soft-baked oatmeal breakfast bar recipe combines the three musketeers of breakfast flavors: peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal. It’s a trio that’s comforting, homey, and classic in the best possible way.
While these oatmeal bars are fine on their own, my favorite way to eat them is warmed up for breakfast with extra sliced bananas and peanut butter.
- Old Fashioned Oats. Make these bars wholesome, filling, and slightly chewy (like these Granola Cookies). For best results, do not swap for quick or instant oats as this will impact the overall texture of the bars.
- Whole Wheat Flour. I will always take any opportunity to sneak in some whole grain goodness into a recipe (see these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. If you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, you may swap for an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
- Cinnamon. Warm, earthy cinnamon pairs perfectly with the tender, nutty oats, and creamy dreamy peanut butter.
- Banana. Adds moisture and naturally sweetens the bars (just like in Healthy Banana Bread). If you don’t love bananas, you may swap for other fresh or dried fruit. Blueberries are a wonderful substitution and raisins or dried cranberries are another great option.
- Honey. Helps bind the ingredients together, adds sweetness, and helps the bars caramelize and turn golden in the oven.
- Peanut Butter. Gives these oatmeal breakfast bars a subtle peanut butter flavor. Almond butter, sun butter, or cashew butter may also be used.
- Applesauce. Another all-natural sweetener for these healthy oat bars that also adds moisture and helps bind everything together. (It does the same thing for these Applesauce Muffins.)
- Milk. Helps bring everything together into a cohesive batter.
- Baking Powder. Gives these bars a gentle rise and soft-baked texture.
- Egg. Keeps these bars soft and tender.
- Vanilla. Just a kiss of pure vanilla extract to marry everything together.
- Combine the dry ingredients
- In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine.
- Fold in the diced banana.
- Pour the batter into a greased baking pan.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven golden. Remove, cool, and cut into bars. ENJOY!
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- 8×8-inch pan
- Large measuring cup (doubles as a mixing bowl, for fewer dishes)
Whether you are seeking to survive a shift at the hospital, your 8 a.m. meeting, or looking for an easy snack your kids will love, these portable, tasty, and super-satisfying bars are sure to satisfy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Oatmeal Breakfast Bars Gluten Free?
No. This recipe, as it is written, is not gluten free. If you would like to make a gluten free oatmeal breakfast bar, readers have reported success swapping the whole wheat flour for an equal amount of oat flour or almond flour. Be advised that the texture of the bars may turn out slightly different however using one of these swaps.
What Can I Swap the Applesauce for?
To be honest, omitting the applesauce isn’t something I recommend. The applesauce both binds and moistens the bars so it’s an important ingredient! The closest thing I can suggest (and readers have reported success with) is pumpkin puree, though it will affect the flavor. Another idea is to try replacing it with half oil and half yogurt, though I haven’t tried it this way, so it would be an experiment.
Can I Make Oatmeal Breakfast Bars Vegan?
Possibly. I have not tried making these oat bars vegan so it would be an experiment. I would suggest swapping the honey for maple syrup and the milk for your favorite non-dairy milk of choice. As for the egg, you could try swapping it for a flax egg.
5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Five ingredients are all you need to make a batch of these easy Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars. These homemade granola bars are gluten-free, soft-baked, studded with chocolate chips, and perfect for healthy snaking. You’ll never buy store-bought granola bars again!
Servings: 16 squares
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use verified gluten-free, if needed)
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (substitute nut or seed butter for a peanut-free version)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (you can substitute honey)
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 whole eggs (or use flax egg for vegan-friendly*)
- Optional add ins: walnuts, pecans, almond, chia seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 350℉. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Transfer mixture to a greased 9 x 9 inch baking dish, very firmly pressing mixture into pan in an even layer. Pro tip: for easy removal, line the pan with parchment. If desired, sprinkle additional chocolate chips over top, pressing them into the mixture.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until center is baked through. Start checking at 12 minutes as all ovens are different.
- Let the bars cool completely (this is important) before cutting into 16 squares or 12-14 bars.
How To Store Homemade Granola Bars
We almost always include some sort of energy bite or bar recipe when we’re prepping meals for the week. They’re easy, on-the-go fuel that the whole family will eat!
To make them ahead, simply prepare the recipe as written. Once your gluten-free granola bars have been cooled and cut, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. But our guess is they won’t last that long!
Peanut Butter Granola Bars Are Freezer-Friendly, Too!
We also like to stock our freezers with homemade granola bars and bites so that we always have something on backup during those weeks when a meal prep doesn’t happen.
To freeze homemade granola bars:
- Prepare the recipe as directed
- Once the bars have been cooled and cut, transfer them to an airtight, freezer-friendly container or bag, separating each layer with parchment paper.
- Label freezer bag with the date, and store for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- When ready to enjoy, let thaw on the counter or pop in the microwave for a minute or two until warm.
Are Granola Bars Healthy?
You might be surprised to learn that not all granola bars are healthy options. When you inspect the ingredients in many store-bought granola bars (and some homemade granola bars), it actually resembles more of a candy bar than a healthy snack bar. These quick and easy granola bars are loaded with nutrition powerhouse ingredients, making them a perfect healthy snack or on-the-go breakfast. Note: if you are eating these for a quick and healthy breakfast bar, pair one of these peanut butter granola bars with a hard-cooked egg, yogurt, or handful of nuts or seeds so you’ll get enough protein and calories to start your day right and power through.
Nutrition In Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars
When you keep this Healthy Granola Bars on hand, you’ll always have a good-for-you option within reach. Here are some stand-out ingredients in this healthy snack bar recipe:
- oats: the oats contain a great soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce LDL and total cholesterol, keep your gut microbiome healthy, and help balance blood sugar
- peanut butter: a great choice that supplies healthy monounsaturated fat, B vitamins, magnesium, and protein
- eggs: this healthy powerhouse ingredient gives you high-quality protein, healthy fats, iron, and two eye-health ingredients, lutein and zeaxanthin
Homemade Granola Bars: Recipe Substitutions And Cooking Tips
The goal is to make this homemade granola bars recipe work for YOU and your family’s needs! As always, if you try out this recipe (with or without substitutions!) we’d love to hear how it goes!
- Gluten-Free – Rolled oats are naturally gluten-free, however, they may come in contact with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, or rye thus becoming contaminated with gluten. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if your gluten-free granola bars are intended for someone with celiac disease
- Nut-Free – Swap out the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter, tahini, or pumpkin seed butter
- Dairy-Free – Use dairy-free mini chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life brand
- Egg-Free and Vegan – Substitute 2 “flax eggs”. To make enough flax egg mixture for this recipe, mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal) with 5 tablespoons water. Let set for 5-10 minutes before adding to the recipe
- High-Protein Granola Bars – Feel free to add in your favorite protein powder! Simply substitute 1/2 cup of protein powder for 1/2 cup of oats. See our posts on our top recommended Whey Protein Powders and Plant-Based Protein Powders. You could also mix in unflavored collagen peptides for a protein addition that will give your hair, skin, and nails a health boost.
Healthy Granola Bar Variations:
We made this gluten-free granola bars recipe pretty lean with only a few ingredients, but by all means, feel free to customize the bars and make them your own by adding a few extra ingredients. Simply take a quick scan of what’s floating around in your pantry and get creative with what you have on hand.
Some of our favorite additions include:
- Dried Fruit (try dried blueberries, cherries, cranberries, or raisins)
- Chopped Dates
- Coconut Flakes
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Chopped candy bar
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Dash of almond or vanilla extract
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.)