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Here’s an oatmeal bars recipe that’s beyond easy! These healthy breakfast bars are irresistibly tasty and great for busy mornings and snacks.

Oatmeal bars
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Here’s a recipe that’s perfect for breakfast and all those in between moments, too. This ridiculously easy no bake Oatmeal Bars recipe! These were big winners in our house and quickly solidified themselves into the weekly repertoire. These breakfast bars star peanut butter, honey, and Old Fashioned oats, and they’re a healthy breakfast or snack you can feel good feeding yourself or your family. In fact, I had to remind myself I didn’t need to sneak these like a treat.

Variation: Try our fan favorite Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, No Bake Energy Bites or Peanut Butter Energy Balls!

Ingredients for this oatmeal bars recipe

These oatmeal bars have just 4 ingredients plus salt (because salt’s a given, right?). This makes them easy to whip up on moments notice…and we do. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: That’s the standard oatmeal you’re used to, not steel cut oats! Because it has the texture of rice, it’s not a substitute here.
  • Peanut butter: Use creamy, no sugar added peanut butter. If all you have is sweetened, leave out a bit of the honey. Use sunflower butter as a nut allergy substitute.
  • Honey: Honey adds a warm, golden flavor and a nice sticky texture. See our notes on vegan substitutes below.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds just the right hint of complexity.

Of course, you’ll need a little salt to round it out for the perfect flavor. Make sure to use kosher salt, since it flavors foods more gently than table salt.

Oatmeal bars recipe

How to make no bake bars: a few tips

Over here we love a good no bake recipe: and not just because you don’t have to wait for the bake time! No bake recipes are as close to no fail as you can get. Here are a few tips to note about the process of making this oatmeal bars recipe:

  • Use a small glass to get them perfectly flat. You’ll mix the ingredients together then throw them into a square pan with parchment underneath. Pat them as flat as you can, then roll over the top with a small glass. It gets the most uniform texture.
  • Freeze first! Freeze the pan for 15 minutes, which sets the bars. They will still be a little soft at this point.
  • Cut into bars. Then cut them into bar shapes. You can eat immediately, but we prefer waiting for another 1 hour of refrigeration for them to set completely.
Oatmeal breakfast bars

Make large or small oatmeal bars (we prefer small)

One of the things we like about this recipe is cutting the bars smaller: to get more of them! Here are a few notes on the pros of smaller oatmeal breakfast bars:

  • Make 32 rectangle-shaped bars for more servings & less calories and sugar. The sugar in a small bar is only 1 teaspoon, and it’s still a super satisfying snack or treat. We prefer this size for most versatility (though the photos show the squares).
  • Make 16 square bars for breakfasts. If you’re eating them as breakfast bars, you’ll probably want a larger bar to be more filling. Of course, you could just eat 2 small bars!

Vegan oatmeal bars variation

Want to make these into vegan oatmeal bars? We typically use maple syrup as our liquid sweetener of choice, which is vegan. But in this recipe, the flavor and texture of honey is integral to the structure of the oatmeal breakfast bars. Here’s our preferred vegan sweetener:

  • For vegan oatmeal bars, try agave syrup! It’s a little thicker than maple syrup, so it will work a little more similarly to honey.
  • You can also try maple if it’s your only sweetener on hand. Just note that the bars will do better right from the refrigerator.
Oatmeal bars

When to eat oatmeal bars…breakfast, snack or anytime!

Yes, we love these oatmeal bars because they are perfect for those times in between meals when you’re hungry and don’t want to grab and unhealthy option. Here are a few ideas we’d recommend:

  • Breakfast: Grab them as you go out the door, or crumble over Greek yogurt
  • Snack: Grab one from the fridge anytime
  • Sweet treat: This is all we need to feel like a satisfying treat without a splurge. They’re especially good for kids (our son loves them!)

Oatmeal nutrition info

What’s so great about eating oats for snacks and in oatmeal breakfast bars? Well, these whole grains have a lot of good going on. Here’s some of the benefits you get from oats (source):

  • High in plant based protein. 1 cup of raw oats has 11 grams protein, or ~20% of your daily need!
  • High in fiber. 1 cup of raw oats has 8 grams of fiber, ~30% of your daily need.
  • Very filling: Oats may reduce appetite and help you eat less calories overall.
Oatmeal breakfast bars

More oatmeal recipes

It might sound silly as a “foodie” and cookbook author, but one of my favorite foods is oatmeal! I eat it every day and it’s always satisfying and filling. It’s great for healthy breakfasts and naturally gluten free snacks. Here are our top oatmeal recipes:

This oatmeal bars recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, see the notes in the recipe.

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Oatmeal bars

Easy Oatmeal Bars (4 Ingredients!)

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 large or 32 small 1x


Here’s an oatmeal bars recipe that’s beyond easy! These healthy breakfast bars are irresistibly tasty and great for busy mornings and snacks.


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added, or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • ½ cup honey (or agave syrup* for vegan)
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a sticky dough. If the mixture is dry and not sticky, add a bit more honey and/or peanut butter; different peanut butter brands perform differently here. 
  2. Add a sheet of parchment paper to a 9 x 9 pan. Place the ingredients in the pan and press it into an even layer. Use a small glass to roll over the top to get it smooth. 
  3. Freeze the bars for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and use the parchment to lift it out of the pan. Cut into 16 squares or 32 rectangles. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. You can eat right away, or refrigerate for about 1 hour for a more solid texture.  


*Maple syrup is generally our sweetener of choice, but the flavor and texture of honey really make these bars. Since maple syrup is not as sticky as honey, for vegan substitute we recommend agave syrup. 

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. SRB says:

    I added Chia seeds in & melted 70% dark chocolate & rolled them into balls & in the chocolate. Lovely

  2. Kayla D says:

    Can you store leftovers in the freezer? My son isn’t a fan of the same thing on repeat and I’d rather not waste any. I know fridge for 2 weeks, but I just don’t think we’d eat them that quickly.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes! Just wrap them tightly.

  3. Izabella Toney says:

    Do we put it back in the Freezer after we are done eating?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

  4. Lori Newcomer says:

    I love these. I had to use a little more PB and honey but they taste really good. I’m trying to lower my LDL and need a variety of things to eat for breakfast. I think other things could be added and may try something the next time I make them. Bonus; my hubby likes them too.

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