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No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Snack Bars

When the kids get home from school they are famished. It doesn’t matter how much stuff I cram into that lunch box, they’re still hungry when they get home.

So, when I saw a recipe for quick and easy no bake oatmeal peanut butter bites on a blog I read regularly, I was all in.

The recipe includes flax seed which I have in my stockpile. That box has been sitting there on the shelf mocking me for weeks….

So, you bought me. Now what are you going to do with me? You have no idea lady. I’m flax seed. Are you intimidated by me or what? Yeah, I see you grabbing that white flour. So much for your healthy intentions. Slacker.

It was time to show that flax seed box that I meant business.

The flax seed and oatmeal were the two things that grabbed my attention in this recipe, but the no bake part sealed the deal.

It’s been very busy around here with the back to school thing and all, so the less time it takes to make a recipe, all the better.

It took all of five minutes to whip this up. Some peanut butter and honey zapped in the microwave, and then a quick folding in of the dry ingredients.

The original recipe has you rolling the mixture into balls and then coating them with nuts, but I didn’t have the time for all of that prettiness. I had hungry kids to feed and they weren’t waiting for any ball rolling.

A quick press into a pan, and then a pop into the freezer. Five minutes later I was slicing and serving.
As Aidan munched on his second bar, he asked what was in it. I rattled off the ingredients and ended with the flax seed.

“I don’t like flax seed” he said. “You do today” I retorted.

With that he shrugged his shoulders. I win.

The following recipe is inspired by the How Sweet It Is recipe, but greatly modified. I added my own ingredients, and took out some, but do pop over and check out the original. It’s pretty beautiful!

No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Snack Bars
adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seed
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix the oats, flax seed, coconut and salt in a mixing bowl. Heat peanut butter and honey just until warm and liquidy. Pour this on top of oat mixture. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Mix until the chips are incorporated. Press into a pan and chill until it holds its shape. About five minutes in the freezer. Slice and serve.

The beautiful thing about this recipe, besides the sneaky nutrition, is that you can toss in whatever you have in your pantry. Craisins, nuts, and other dried fruits, dump it in!

Oh, and for you couponers out there, have you been looking at those jars of Planter’s Nutrition peanut butter on your shelves wondering what the heck you are going to do with them all? Yeah, this recipe is perfect for that!

How about you? Do you make homemade bars like this? What are your favorite ad-ins?

There are affiliate links in this post to products that I believe you would find useful.


  1. I love it! No baking and you beat the snarky flax seed and your son in the battle of the wills! Well done Melanie! I must try these soon, thank you!

  2. Melanie, you are a life saver! My husband recently decided to try an all raw diet. He’s been living on salads, smoothies, sprouted wheat “crackers” and guacamole. He’s always asking me for a snack, and I have no idea what to give him.
    I made a 1/2 batch of these bars for him. I made some modifications. I used almond butter, and only used raisins as an add in. Because of these changes, I had to add more oats and flax meal. They are delicious!
    I made a full batch for the kiddos and myself. I only had mini choc chips on hand. When I added the melted pb and honey, it was warm enough to melt the baby choc chips. This is NOT a bad thing. O M Goodness these are good!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Oh good!!! I love when a recipe fills a need. That makes me happy! I’ve been wanting to try almond butter. I’m going to have to make a Trader Joes run one of these days to give it a whirl. I like the combination you tried. Sounds great!

  3. Hi Melanie!
    I’ve made these a few times – so good and gluten free! May have to whip up another batch today! Lots of Planters Peanut Butter to use!! Judy

    • Lol, I know you have quite a PB stash Judy! I have more of the Nutrtition than anything else, and I’m not loving it. So, I’m going to use it up in recipes like this. 🙂

  4. Pretty sure the kids had a little extra love for mom that day. Yummy!

  5. mmmmm yum! I need to make these on the weekends to keep on hand for by busy work weeks!

    • Angie- They freeze great. I made a bunch and wrapped them up individually and tossed them in the freezer. They defrost quickly, so a great place to store them!!

  6. I’ll have to try these too. We use the milled flax seed in pancake batter, oatmeal, salmon patties and things like that. Will you be loading this ne to pinterest?

    • I’m going to slip the flax seed into my baked goods from now on. No one seems to notice it. There’s a pin button on the bottom of the post if you want to pin it. 🙂

      • Just be careful to use the milled flax seed. When it is the whole seed they will taste it in the food. The pin is ere now for some reason it wasn’t coming up before. Thanks!

  7. Super yum!!!

  8. My kids were always famished after school. First, they ate fruit and milk, then onto goodies, even healthy goodies! However, this is healthier than anything I ever thought of that had chocolate in it! I am going to make some of these for me. Do you use sweetened coconut or unsweetened? No one in this town carries unsweetened.

    • You know, I’d LIKE to use the unsweetened but I can’t find it locally. I’ll have to check at Trader Joes or Whole Foods the next time I’m up that way. Let me know what you think when you make them. They are just so darn versatile. I think you could even add more flax seed if you’d like. I’m going to add a full cup next time and see how that goes over.

  9. You had me at “no bake!”

  10. I have no flax seed is there something else I can use? I think my girls would LOVE these and a great snack after school before Cheer practice since we eat dinner so late. 🙂

  11. Did you use milled flaxseed? I have whole flaxseed which I sprinkle on my poached eggs with spinach. I don’t think you get the benefits of the flaxseed if it is whole. I usually grind it in a mini coffee grinder.
    Have you tried Market Basket for unsweetened coconut? The one in Sagamore seems to have everything, and you’d just have to call and ask.
    Thanks for the recipe. I have a daughter-in-law who is a vegetarian and a cousin who is a vegetarian; this would work great for both of them as a ‘dessert’ at family reunions.

  12. I’ve made this recipe without the coconut to cut down on the calories a tad and I use Sun Butter instead of peanut butter due to a nut allergy in the family. I’ve never warmed up the honey and sun butter/peanut butter and it is still delicious. I’ve shaped the mixture into balls…about the same size ball that a cake pop might be…. but I do like the bar idea 🙂 My kids love this recipe and I love that they are getting a healthy snack! Oh.. we’ve added Craisins, too. Yummmy.

  13. Tamara Algots says:

    I made these with craisins, chia seeds and chopped peanuts for my husband to take while he’s out in the field. Super easy! And I substituted peanut butter for Nutella for myself. Yummy. (:

    Thank you for the great idea!

  14. Tiffanie says:

    Absolutely love this idea.. Great snack for the kids. But I made it today, for the first time, and they seemed dry as I was putting them in the pan, then when I served them to the kids, they crumbled. I followed your recipe, should I add more peanut butter and honey?

  15. Brittany says:

    I’m going to make these tonight. Do I need to keep them in the freezer the whole time or can I put them in between parchment paper in a container and leave them on the counter once they are firm and done in the freezer? Can’t wait to try these! 🙂


  16. My girls don’t like coconut what else would you suggest to put in there?

  17. YUM can’t wait to make. I’m trying to add to myfitnesspal recipies, how many bars did this batch make?

  18. These were a huge hit in our house. I added raisins and chia seed. I also used unsweetened coconut shavings and natural PB. Sooo yummy.

  19. Thanks so much for this recipe! It went over well at our pre-school co-op this afternoon.
    I added dried cranberries as you suggested, and also substituted Rice Krispies for the coconut.
    I used a ~9 x 14 inch pan and cut it into about 18 bars since I was serving small kids.
    I will definitely be coming back to this one: lots of fun ways to customize! And when you think of it, nutritionally they’re about the equivalent of a PB&J sandwich. I could let my anti PB&J son eat these for lunch every once in a while without too much guilt!

  20. Melissa says:

    Could you use PB2 in place of regular Peanut Butter?

  21. Youssef Es-sayesy says:

    i made it and it was very delicious,
    i think i’ll be addicted to it

  22. Can you use agave instead of honey?

  23. Can i use Organic peanut butter and quick Cooking oats

  24. Hi, just tried these peanut butter bars and they are delicious! wonderful recipe! just made them for a lunch for my friends and they all want me to bring them next week! Amazing recipe!!! 🙂

  25. I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. I have used it many times…more often than not, I just mix it all up and leave it in the mixing bowl. Why bother with another dirty dish when it will be gone before the day is over? 😉 delish!

  26. I had a problem with my first batch of these being too crumbly, idk if it is because I used raw honey or that we are at at the bottom half of the natural pb which is always drier…or both maybe. The second time(in three days) I added 1/4 of coconut oil and they held together nicely. Our new favorite quick cookie.


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