Are you looking for an easy no bake granola bars recipe? These peanut butter granola bars are just 5 ingredients and come together quickly and easily. Made with peanut butter, oats, and honey, these homemade granola bars are a great healthy option to store-bought versions that are loaded with refined sugar!
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If you’re looking for a simple granola bar recipe that comes together in just minutes, you’re in the right place. These no bake granola bars are just 5 ingredients and can be customized to suit your flavor preferences.
These peanut butter granola bars are the perfect snack for you and your kids. They are great for keeping in your freezer for when you want a quick snack or something to add to your kids lunchbox to take to school.
What do I need to make homemade granola bars?
Here’s a quick-reference grocery list of the ingredients you’ll need to make these no bake granola bars:
- Creamy peanut butter, good quality with minimal ingredients. Look peanut butters that include just nuts and salt and without added sugar or oils. Smuckers Natural creamy peanut butter is a great option, and includes just salt and peanuts.
- Sweetener: either honey or maple syrup. I tested these with both honey and Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup, which is refined sugar free.
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- Vanilla Extract
- Mini Chocolate Chips – I use and love Lily’s Dark Chocolate Mini Baking Chips.
Are you shopping for ingredients at Target? While you’re there, pick up some of my 30 Best Healthy Target Snacks for some quick and easy healthy snack options.
How do I make healthy granola bars?
- First, start by microwaving the peanut butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 45-60 seconds, just enough to easily combine the two ingredients. Stir together well to combine.
- Next, you’ll add in the vanilla extract. Stir this into the peanut butter mixture.
- To the peanut butter mixture, you’ll then mix in the oats as well as the mini chocolate chips. The mixture will be loose and slightly sticky.
- To a 9×9″ square pan lined with ether parchment or waxed paper, firmly press the homemade granola bar mixture into the bottom of the pan.
How do you get homemade granola bars to stick together?
Pressing the mixture firmly into the pan is key to getting the granola bars to stick together after they are cut. Use your hands or the back of a measuring cup to press together well. Once in the pan, freeze to set. This will help when you’re ready to cut the bars.
- Once the granola is pressed into the pan, freeze for 1-2 hours to set. This will help the granola bars hold their shape when cut.
- With your sharpest knife, cut into 16 bars.
- In a small bowl, melt the reserved chocolate chips in the microwave.
- Drizzle the top of the granola bars with the melted chocolate. This is a great addition to this simple granola bar recipe! Instead of drizzled chocolate you could also add mini m&m’s or more mini chocolate chips.
Other mix in options and flavors for healthy granola bars:
- Almond butter, coconut, and chocolate chips. This will give you a bit of an almond joy type of flavor and consistency.
- Almond butter, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
- Dried apples and cinnamon.
Frequently asked questions about making no bake granola bars:
Most store-bought granola is made with an excessive amount of high-fructose corn syrup or other refined sugar. This dramatically increases the calorie content per serving.
Store-bought granola bars are heavily processed and are not considered healthy. They contain excessive amounts of refined sugar and unhealthy oils.
The healthiest granola gar is the one you make at home. Because you get to control the ingredients, you can make healthy granola bars with little to no refined sugar, or unhealthy oils.
Inspired to make some other healthy chocolate treats? Check out these recipes:
- Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
- Chocolate Protein Mug Cake
- Chocolate Coconut Date Balls
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Covered Banana Bites
- Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- The BEST Monster Cookie Recipe
If you loved these no bake granola bars, check out some of my other healthy snack ideas:
No Bake Granola Bars
- Line a 9 x 9" square pan with either parchment or waxed paper. Set aside.
- To a microwave safe bowl, melt together the peanut butter and honey or syrup for 45-60 seconds. Stir together, then add the vanilla extract. Stir.
- To the peanut butter mixture, stir in the oatmeal, one cup at a time using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon. Mixture will become thick.
- Lastly, add in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. (Be sure to reserve the final 1/4 cup of chips for the melted chocolate drizzle.)
- Firmly press the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Use the back of a glass or measuring cup to firmly press the granola to the bottom of the pan. Freeze the granola for 1-2 hours, so the granola becomes set for cutting into bars.
- When ready to cut into bars, lift the frozen granola out of the pan from the sides of the paper. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 16 long bars.
- Melt the reserved chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions – I only needed 30-40 seconds for the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
- Drizzle the cut bars with the melted chocolate. Let melted chocolate harden or set to room temperature before enjoying.
- Freezer: I found the bars keep very well in an airtight container in the freezer. They hold their shape well and are easy to transfer to a lunchbox container to enjoy later. The bars will keep for up to 3 months frozen.
- Refrigerator: The bars also keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep for up to two weeks refrigerated.
- Room temperature: These homemade granola bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature. As they soften, they become a little crumbly.