Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars

No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars quickly and easily come together in the food processor with wholesome ingredients like oats, nuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, and honey!

No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars with text overlay.


 

Today's Energy Bars evolved as a quicker way to make one of our family's most beloved no-bake recipes. You see, one of my daughter's favorite things to have for breakfast or as a snack are Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites, and consequently, she frequently asks if we can whip up a batch. My boys enjoy them..and my husband is a fan of them...and I like them, too...soooo we make them a lot!

But I have to admit that, after making them approximately eleventy billion times, I got a teensy bit tired of the rolling process -- ha. So one day it occurred to me that perhaps I could blend up the ingredients as usual and then -- instead of rolling them into little balls -- I could quickly press the mixture into a baking dish. And thus we arrived at Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars!

Aerial view of stack of Energy Bars.

Reasons to Love 'Em

What makes this combination of ingredients so great, whether pressed into Energy Bars or rolled into balls?

Well, my kids love these bars because they're yummy, and they also think it's fun to help me make them.

I love them because they're wholesome, filling, and easily adaptable to whatever ingredients I have on hand, meaning that I can switch out the type of nut, nut butter, or dried fruit that I use.

And even better, they're super quick and easy to make using just a food processor. Because unlike my Copycat KIND Bars, this Energy Bar recipe is no-bake!

Energy Bars being scooped out of glass dish with spatula.

Energy Bar Ingredients

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Aerial view of labeled ingredients.
  • Nuts. Use your favorite type or whatever you have on hand...pecans, walnuts, cashews, and almonds all work beautifully.
  • Oats. This recipe calls for old-fashioned rolled oats. If you opt for quick oats instead, you may have to use slightly less since they're packed more densely. And be sure to use gluten-free oats for gluten-free Energy Bars!
  • Raisins. You may substitute dried cranberries or even dried cherries. Or sometimes I leave out the dried fruit and add mini chocolate chips instead. 😉
  • Chia seeds. You can leave them out if that's your preference, but I always like to sneak in extra good stuff where I can. For that matter, if you like, you can add other types of seeds as well.
  • Cinnamon + nutmeg + vanilla. For that tasty oatmeal cookie flavor.
  • Peanut butter. Any type of peanut butter should work. I've made these Energy Bars with creamy or crunchy, regular or natural, no-stir or the kind that separates (just be sure to stir it first!). Even better, you can opt to use alternative nut butters or non-nut butters, such as almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
  • Honey. For natural sweetness. But I've also made this recipe with maple syrup.

And that's it!

Zoomed side view of stack of Energy Bars.

How to Make Energy Bars

The first time I made this recipe, I wasn't sure the recipe would work in bar form. But sure enough, it did!

  1. Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Aerial view of nuts ground in food processor.
  1. Add the oats, raisins, and spices and pulse until combined.
Aerial view of oats added to food processor.
  1. Add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla and pulse until all ingredients are blended, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Aerial view of all ingredients combined in food processor.
  1. Dump the mixture into an 8- by 8-inch baking dish and press firmly into an even layer.
Energy Bars pressed into pan.
  1. Cover and chill until firm and cut into bars.
Energy Bars sliced and stacked in dish.

The important thing to understand is that since the no-bake mixture needs to be chilled to hold its form, these Energy Bars should be stored in the refrigerator.

So while they're not ideal to toss in a purse or backpack, they can definitely be popped in a lunchbox with an ice pack, and they're great straight out of the fridge for breakfast or as an after-school snack. My husband even tends to sneak them for dessert...shhhhh!

Close-up of sliced Energy Bars in dish.

So three cheers for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars! Because who wouldn't love a recipe with the appealing flavor and nutrition of Energy Bites...but without the manual labor?! 😉

Energy Bar recipe with missing bite.

More Wholesome Bar Recipes

Energy Bars sliced and stacked in dish.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars

No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars quickly come together with wholesome ingredients like oats, nuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, and honey!
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 210kcal
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup raisins, OR dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup peanut butter, OR alternative nut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a large food processor, pulse the nuts until finely ground (but stop before they start turning to nut butter!). Add the oats, raisins, chia seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the nuts; pulse five (1-second) pulses to combine. Add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla to the mixture; pulse until all of the ingredients are well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Scrape the mixture into an 8- by 8-inch baking dish; firmly press into an even layer. Cover and chill for two hours or until firm. Use a knife to slice into bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  • These Energy Bars are no-bake and do not harden. Keeping them chilled will firm them up, but they must be stored in and served from the fridge. They are not intended to be portable.
  • Recipe may be doubled and pressed into a 9- by 13-inch dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on August 24, 2017, and updated on March 20, 2021.

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4.94 from 30 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe, have been making it weekly for months now. Sometimes I use different butters, cranberries or raisins. I modified it by adding a layer of chocolate on top (just made from coconut oil, honey and cocoa). Of course it melts fast so it doesn’t travel well. It’s our favorite! Grab a piece anytime during the day as a quick breakfast or snack!

  2. Made these today and I must say the recipe is simple and quick! They smell great and taste great! I don’t have a food processor so I just whipped everything together by hand. I warmed the peanut butter so it would be easier to pour into the bowl. Worked like a charm! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. 4 stars
    It’s definitely a delicious combination however I was not able to get mine to stick together. I cut one out this morning and it crumbled.

    1. Hi Rhonda! I haven't tried this recipe in my Vitamix, but I imagine that it would work okay? You should be able to grind the nuts first and then mostly combine the other ingredients as directed in your blender. But worst case scenario, if you couldn't get everything to completely and thoroughly incorporate, you could always dump the mixture into a bowl and finish combining it with a wooden spoon. Hope that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    These are my favorites. I'm only allowed to eat them during exercise, and they are so good it makes me want to exercise just so I can eat one!

    Thanks for the recipe! I also add some maple syrup, because why not, and replaced the raisins with dark chocolate chips. They are delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I used flax seeds vs chia since we didn't have the chia and these bars were delicious. Very easy & quick to make.

      1. 5 stars
        Frozen after 2hrs in the fridge, 1 bar taken out the evening before cycling/running the following morning. All good - not too sweet, very tasty. I don't have a food processor so just combined all the ingredients in a bowl before chilling.

  6. 5 stars
    I love this recipe.
    Truly I am so glad to find this website.
    I have make a lot of the granola recipes and the vanilla creamer.
    Everything I have made everyone wants me to make more.
    Thank you for all your hard work. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I love these bars and usually make a double batch. The only thing is I find them to be very sticky without baking (even after chilling for a few hours), so I do bake them anyway (15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F). Delicious! Sometimes I use toasted coconut if I don't have any other type of dried fruit. This time I added some hemp protein powder to add more protein.

  8. 5 stars
    These energy bars are very good and my grandkids really enjoy them. I made 2 batch of them the same week.

  9. 5 stars
    I did half almonds half pecans. I also doubled the recipe to make sure it would last through the week. I loved these and so did my husband! He’s a hard sell and I caught him snacking on them throughout the week. Reminds him of a Clif bar. Great recipe and adaptable!

  10. Amazing recipe!!! Thank you so much 🙏
    Do you think we can roast the nuts before we mix the ingredients and substitute the honey with maple syrup? I want to try this next time but am afraid it wont work!
    Thank you again
    Caroline

    1. Glad you enjoy these, Caroline! And I see no reason why roasting the nuts and/or using maple syrup wouldn't work. 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I would like to try it out. Would you happen to know what the nutrition facts are, especially the calorie count?

    Thank you,
    Nina

    1. No, Jose, these bars shouldn't be baked. You can search my site for lots of other baked granola bars and breakfast bars, however, in case you'd prefer any of those recipes instead.

      1. Thank you for this recipe, I was Searching the internet to find an alternative to power balls “ we love them, and go through them so fast” and wanted something similar but not as time consuming. Can’t wait to give these a go