Oatmeal is the base of many good meals and snacks. This recipe for chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars is one of those things that is a family favorite. I love how fast it is to whip these up with ingredients already on hand in the kitchen. Plus, it never hurts that these are three of my favorite flavors all in one recipe!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
You've probably had something similar to this in the past. Perhaps a granola bar from the snack department or the classic no-bake cookies. They all have similar methods, but this one, it's my favorite. Why? Because it cuts into perfect little bite-sized bars that are ideal for sharing.
If you like oatmeal bars, then you might also like these chewy chocolate peanut butter bars that are all mixed together rather than layered. Of course, you can also start your day with white chocolate blueberry baked oatmeal too if you want. Equally delicious and super easy to make!
Are These Bars Healthy?
Healthy depends on what you think and your own personal dietary needs. In this instance, I would not label these as a healthy snack option. While oats are in themselves healthy, combining with large amounts of butter, sugar, and chocolate, it isn't exactly a healthy snack.
As with all foods, this should be eaten in moderation. Essentially, enjoy them, but don't eat the entire batch in one sitting.
Can I Lighten These Up to Make Them Healthier?
If you are concerned about the sugar, fat, or calories in this recipe, you can lighten it up a bit with a few changes. While they are delicious just as they are, a few changes can make a difference that will make them more appealing for your meal plan.
- Use vegan butter or margarine in place of regular butter.
- Choose reduced-fat peanut butter or sugar-free peanut butter.
- Use sugar-free chocolate chips in place of traditional ones.
- Replace the milk-chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate with dark chocolate chips.
- Use a brown sugar substitute in place of brown sugar in the oatmeal mixture.
What Kind of Oats Should I Use?
For this recipe, old-fashioned rolled oats are best. They will absorb the butter and sugar mixture well and still maintain the texture you want when they harden after refrigeration. Steel-cut oats are not good as they will be too hard and not soften for this, and instant oatmeal is too powdery and won't hold the texture you want in these bars.
Can I Add Other Mix-Ins To These?
Yes! While these are pretty basic and easy to make, you can definitely add other ingredients into the bars for a little bit of extra flavor or texture. Below are a few suggestions that pair well with these textures and flavors.
- Crunchy peanut butter in place of creamy.
- Replace the peanut butter with Nutella or cookie butter spread.
- Chopped peanuts, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts.
- Mix into oatmeal mixture mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or cinnamon chips.
- Dried cranberries, chopped dates, raisins, or golden raisins.
- Replace chocolate chips with just peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.
- Shredded coconut.
How Long are Oatmeal Bars Good?
These are good for 4 to 5 days as long as they are stored properly in an airtight storage container. You can also store them in Ziploc baggies, wrapped in plastic wrap, or left in the original dish but covered tightly with plastic wrap.
Do I Need to Refrigerate These?
While you do need to refrigerate them to harden after assembling, they do not have to be refrigerated afterward. They will last longer when refrigerated, but it isn't a must to keep them fresh or safe for consumption.
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Rolled oats
- Ground cinnamon
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Line the 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper and set it aside.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Cook until the butter is completely melted and the sugar has dissolved. Around 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat, and add in the oats, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine well.
Divide the oat mixture in half, and spread half of the mixture into the baking dish in a single even layer.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter and microwave on high for 30 to 40-seconds and stir to combine. If not melted, continue heating for an additional 10 to 15-seconds until just melted. Stir until smooth.
Pour at least ¾ of the chocolate and peanut butter over the oats in the pan, and spread evenly.
Pour the remaining oats on top of the chocolate and spread them out into an even layer.
Drizzle the top of the bars with the remaining chocolate and peanut butter mixture.
Cover and place into the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
Uncover, slice, and serve!
More Tasty Snack Recipes
Snacks and desserts are a big part of our house with a teenage boy! Below are some more great ideas that are fast, easy, and delicious. They are all ideal for sharing with the kids, packing into lunch boxes, or even tuck into a cookie jar for a fast on-the-go snack. Make sure to bookmark, print, or pin the recipes below for later!
- The Ultimate Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Tasty M&M's Peanut Butter Energy Bites
- Easy Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Recipe
- Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 gm)
- ½ cup brown sugar (100 mg)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (240 gm)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (1.38 gm)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.5 gm)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (170 gm)
- ¾ cup peanut butter (180 gm)
- Line the 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Cook until the butter is completely melted and the sugar has dissolved. Around 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat, and add in the oats, ground cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine well.
- Divide the oat mixture in half, and spread half of the mixture into the baking dish in a single even layer.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter and microwave on high for 30 to 40-seconds and stir to combine. If not melted, continue heating for an additional 10 to 15-seconds until just melted. Stir until smooth.
- Pour at least ¾ of the chocolate and peanut butter over the oats in the pan, and spread evenly.
- Pour the remaining oats on top of the chocolate and spread them out into an even layer.
- Drizzle the top of the bars with the remaining chocolate and peanut butter mixture.
- Cover and place into the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
- Uncover, slice, and serve!
This can also be made with any nut butter or sunflower butter preferred.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 5gSugar: 22gProtein: 9g