These no-bake peanut butter granola bars are as healthy as they are delicious. They don’t use any processed sugars, can easily be made vegan and gluten-free, and are super easy to make.
Updated January 2023
Easy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Peanut butter granola bars can serve a lot of purposes. You can eat them for energy before or after a workout. You can have them as a snack. They make a great breakfast. And, when they’re as delicious as this recipe is, they make a pretty darn good dessert, too.
Yet for as rich and mouth-watering as these granola bars are, they’re just as healthy. They use date paste instead of processed sugar, and can easily be made vegan and gluten-free. They’re full of nuts, oats, and other healthy ingredients, while still being chewy, soft, and luxurious. Plus, they’re easy to make, and don’t require any baking!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need to make these rich and chewy peanut butter granola bars. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient.
- Pitted dates
- Peanut butter – You should use creamy, unsalted peanut butter for this recipe.
- Coconut oil
- Vanilla extract – Make sure to use 100% pure extract.
- Rolled oats
- Oat flour
- Shredded coconut – Make sure to use unsweetened coconut.
- Ground flaxseed
- Ground cinnamon
- Mini chocolate chips
What is Date Paste?
Date paste is simply a paste made out of dates and water. Dates are very sweet, so date paste can be used as a sweetener. It’s a great substitute for processed sugar, while being healthier and having a richer, more caramel flavor.
How to Make Peanut Butter Granola Bars
These granola bars may have complex flavors, but they’re simple and straightforward to make. Here’s how.
- Prep. Line a 9×9-inch or 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, with some overhang. Spray with a baking spray.
- Make the date paste. Heat the dates and water in a pot over medium low heat. Mash and stir the mixture with a fork as it heats up. After a few minutes the mixture will become smoother, and eventually turn into a paste.
- Make the base. Add the peanut butter and coconut oil to the date paste and stir to combine. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Add the flour. Pour the oat flour into the mixture, along with the coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together gently.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Add the oats and flaxseed, and gently stir to combine. Carefully fold in some of the mini chocolate chips.
- Put in the pan. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Add the rest of the chips. Sprinkle the rest of the mini chocolate chips on top, and press them into the granola.
- Chill. Place the peanut butter granola bars in the freezer for an hour, or in the fridge overnight until they’ve chilled and firmed up.
- Cut. After the mixture is sufficiently chilled, cut them into bars and discard the parchment paper or aluminum foil. Eat cold.
Here are some easy variations you can make to these chewy, melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter granola bars.
- Mix up the nut butters. I like to use peanut butter for this recipe, but you can use any kind of nut butter. These bars are fantastic with almond butter or cashew butter.
- Make it vegan. It’s easy to make this recipe vegan. All you have to do is replace the mini chocolate chips with vegan mini chocolate chips.
- Make it gluten-free. It’s also easy to make this a gluten-free recipe. The only thing you have to do is make sure that the oat flour you’re using is certified gluten-free.
- Add other extracts. This recipe calls for vanilla extract, but you can use other types of extracts, too. These peanut butter granola bars would be delicious with maple extract or almond extract.
- Add dried fruits. These bars aren’t lacking for sweetness, but if you have a sweet tooth you can add some dried fruit to the mixture as well.
How to Store Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Keep these peanut butter granola bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. I recommend eating them straight out of the fridge, as they can get too soft when left at room temperature.
Can I Freeze Them?
You sure can! Just place them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can thaw them before eating, or eat them frozen.
More Granola Bar Recipes to Try
If you loved these peanut butter granola bars – and I know you did – then check out some of my other favorite granola bar recipes.
- Chewy granola bars with almond and cranberry
- Pumpkin granola bars
- Strawberry granola bars
- Keto granola bars
- Chewy granola bars
These no bake peanut butter granola bars are full of flavor and nutritional value. They can easily be made vegan or gluten free, and work great as a snack, a breakfast, or a workout supplement.
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1/2 cup water
- homemade date paste from above equals to about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or nut or seed butter of your choice (preferably creamy and unsalted)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats (use Certified Gluten Free oats to ensure they are gluten free)
- 1/2 cup oat flour you can also make your own by blending rolled oats in a food processor (use Certified Gluten Free oats to ensure they are gluten free)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt leave out if your nut butter is salted
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips divided (we like Pascha's or Enjoy Life brand to keep these bars dairy-free and gluten free)
- Line a 9×9 square pan (for thicker bars like in the pictures) or a 9×13 rectangular pan for thinner bars with parchment paper or foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray leaving an overhang over the pan for easy removal of bars.
- Add dates and water to a medium pot on medium-low heat. Mash down with a fork and continue stirring and mashing while the mixture heats up. The dates should soften after about 3-5 minutes. Continue mashing and stirring until paste becomes smoother and uniform. It is okay to see some chunks still – as long as it is a uniform paste then it is ready to use.
- Once the date paste is smooth and softened, add peanut butter and coconut oil to the pot. Stir constantly to combine and remove from heat once the mixture is smooth and the coconut oil has melted (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour in the oat flour, shredded coconut, ground cinnamon and salt (if using) and mix in gently.
- Toss in the rolled oats and flaxseeds and combine gently with a spatula or large spoon. Gently fold in half of the chocolate chips but make sure the mixture is completely cool or else the chocolate chips will melt.
- Pour granola mixture into prepared pan.
- Spread evenly and press down very firmly using a flat spatula. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips evenly. Press down firmly again with a spatula or your hands to flatten and bind together. Chill in the freezer for at about 1 hour or refrigerator overnight to set.
- Remove from the freezer/fridge and use the foil overhang to transfer the uncut bars to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into even rectangles.
- Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you have to stack them, be sure to use parchment paper or foil in between the layers, otherwise, they’ll stick together. Bars are best enjoyed straight out of the fridge since they tend to soften up at room temperature.
These bars do soften up when left at room temperature or above so I think they are best straight from the fridge or slightly chilled.
Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! -
I need to give the date paste a try! These look delicious, as always!
You should totally try it if you are a fan of dates. Some people aren’t but the date paste is a great natural substitute for anyone trying to cut down on added sugar. Aaw thanks Amber 🙂
I’ve wanted to make homemade peanut butter bars for a long time. This looks like the perfect recipe to start with. Love chocolate and peanut butter!
I too go through phases where I make the same thing over and over but with different flavour profiles, I think us bakers can’t help ourselves! Peanut butter and chocolate…… perfect 😀
SO much goodness in this tiny bar. I LOVE it! In fact, I love all of your no-bake recipes 😉 as my trials have demonstrated, they’re always awesome! Have a great weekend, Kelly!
The Squishy Monster -
I love making bars with dates and every one of your granola bars are just amazing, Kelly!!