5 ingredients are all you need to make a batch of these easy and healthy granola bars. They’re gluten-free, soft-baked, studded with chocolate chips, and perfect for on-the-go healthy snacking. You’ll never need or want to buy a store-bought granola bar again!
Skip the grocery store and make healthy granola bars right in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be 100% in control of what’s going into the granola bars. Many of the store-bought granola bars come with a lengthy list of ingredients, are made with refined sugars, and include an array of pesky preservatives (so they’re able to hang out on the shelves for a longer duration of time).
These 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars are simple to make, made with only real food ingredients, and are refined sugar-free. Best of all, you know exactly what goes into them! Peanut buttery, chocolaty, subtly sweet, and soft baked! You can’t beat that.
Peanut Butter Granola Bars Ingredients
- Rolled Oats – simple, old-fashioned rolled oats.
- Natural Peanut Butter – we like the drippy kind of peanut butter made with only peanuts and maybe a little salt, but use what you have on hand. Feel free to sub any kind of nut or seed butter.
- Maple Syrup – could also substitute honey.
- Chocolate Chips – because chocolate and peanut butter is a pair that can’t be beaten.
- Eggs – egg-free version noted below and in the recipe card.
- BONUS add-ins – get creative with what you have on hand, or let your kids be chefs for the day and choose their favorite add-ins! You’ll find a full list of our favorite substations and mix-ins below!
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How to Make Healthy Granola Bars:
This is one of our favorite granola bar recipes because of how easy it is to throw together! Bonus: there’s no need to dirty your food processor or blender — everything is mixed together in one bowl for easy clean-up!
- Toss together all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Transfer the dough to a 9×9 pan. Pro tip: for easy removal line the pan with parchment. Press the dough firmly into the pan.
- Bake the granola bars for 14 to 17 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and then cut into bars or squares.
Recipe Substitutions + Cooking Tips
The goal is to make this 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 needed!
- Nut-Free – Swap out the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter, tahini, or pumpkin seed butter.
- 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. We suggest an Organic Whey Protein or an Organic Plant-Based Protein. You could also mix in unflavored collagen peptides for a protein addition that will give your hair, skin, and nails a health boost.
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Healthy Granola Bar Variation Ideas:
We made this 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
- Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.)
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 the 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.
Nutrition in Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars
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 breakfast, pair a granola bar 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).
When you keep these granola bars on hand, you’ll always have a healthy option within reach. 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. The peanut butter supplies healthy monounsaturated fat, B vitamins, magnesium, and protein. The eggs are a healthy powerhouse ingredient, too, giving you high-quality protein, healthy fats, iron, and two eye-health ingredients, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Other healthy Bars and Bites recipes to try:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
- Key Lime Pie Energy Bars
- No-Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- No-Bake Fruit and Nut Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Bites
- 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 organic 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, 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 14-17 minutes or until center is baked through. Start checking at 12 minutes as all ovens are different.
- Let cool completely before cut into 16 squares or 12-14 bars.
*Flax egg: To make enough to replace the 2 eggs in this recipe, mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal) with 5 tablespoons water. Let set for 5-10 minutes before adding to recipe.
**For a boost of protein, add 1/2 cup of your unflavored, vanilla, or chocolate protein powder and reduce oats by a 1/2 cup.
- Serving Size: 1 square
- Calories: 200
- Sugar: 10 g
- Sodium: 50 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 6 g
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.
About Stacie Hassing
Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.