Sunday morning, I woke up with an unreasonable craving for granola bars. It probably had a bit to do with the statement Mr. How Sweet made on New Year’s Day… something along the lines of wanting to buy Fiber One bars in bulk? I raised an eyebrow.
He does not need any more fiber. Trust me.

Why won’t he eat my own granola bars?

I’m sure if I could create a granola bar out of chicken and steak, he’d go to town on that.
But now that I’ve left you with that digusting image in your head , let me tell you about the deliciousness that is these peanut butter granola bars.

They may just be the simplest bars you’ll ever make!

You only need five ingredients to begin. They will create a simple, perfect peanut butter granola bar, but I also like to think of it as a base for a packed peanut butter granola bar.
Since I’ve made six batches of these bars since Sunday, I can tell you what works: chocolate chips, dried cherries, almonds, wheat germ, dried figs, and dried banana.

Yes, dried banana. A peanut butter, honey and banana granola bar! Mmmmm. I think I’m in heaven.

Into this particular batch went a boatload of chocolate chips, because well… we all know nothing is better than chocolate and peanut butter.

I know I don’t need to explain myself to you guys. You know me.

And since you know me, many of you are probably wondering when I’ll cave and add bacon. Honestly, I just thought about it for the first time as I was writing this post. Perhaps I need to make an Elvis granola bar? I am giddy at the thought.

I might need to be committed after that one.

The best part? You don’t even have to bake these bad boys. I baked 3 batches and left 3 other batches as no-bakes. I can’t decide which I like better, but I do love that the chocolate gets a bit melty in the oven.
Have you ever bit into a warm granola bar? You need to experience this.

The funniest part of these granola bars is that before I perfected this easy concoction on Sunday afternoon, I had 3 failed attempts – all more complicated and full of fluff. Sometimes simple is better, no?
At least I’m off to a good start with 2011 recipe disasters. Nothing like getting ahead.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars

makes 12-16 granola squares

4 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too!)
add ins:

chocolate chips

wheat germ


dried fruit (I made some with cherries!)

other nuts

Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened. This works as a perfect, simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough! If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or syrup (or honey) 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.

Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

These would also work as a great no-bake granola bar, but I liked how they came together and the chocolate chips melted as they got warm. If you want to make no-bakes, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Off to dream of bacon granola bars. Don’t hate.

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284 Responses to “5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars.”

  1. #
    W — February 12, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

    I like this recipe but my chocolate chips always melt and make the bars brown because of the melted peanut butter. Suggestions?


    • Andy — February 18th, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

      Maybe put the chips in the freezer before you start, then fold them in with only two or three folds immeaditly before packing in the tin. Be quick. They should keep shape in oven when packed in. (I freeze berrys overnight so they dont break up in heavy mixes like scones). You could dot the chips on top instead?


    • Melissa — May 25th, 2012 @ 12:09 am

      I used Adams all-natural creamy peanut butter at room temperature. It is already pretty runny when not refridgerated, so i didn’t need to melt it at all. I also added maple syrup because it needed more liquid, and substituted grape nuts for the peanuts because i never have peanuts on hand. I can’t wait to try another variation with this recipe: espresso molasses with chocolate chips!


  2. #
    Amy — February 14, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    These look great! And the nutbutter & fruit possibilities are endless, almond and apricot sounds pretty good too. A healthier option for my husband and easy to make with the kiddo. Thanks for the recipe, I got here via Pinterest.


  3. #
    Kristy — February 18, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    Mine are super crumbly. Any suggestions? I halved the recipe because I wanted to make sure I liked them before I wasted all the ingredients, but if anything I added a little more PB and honey than too little. I also added a bit of flax seed and wheat germ. They still taste good but I’ll just have to eat it like trail mix rather than a granola bar!



    • Kristy — February 18th, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

      I read some of the previous comments and go some ideas. Next time I’ll try more PB and honey and see how that works out.


    • Marie — March 27th, 2013 @ 11:15 am

      Reducing the amount of rolled oats will make it not so dry/crumbly…. start with 1/2 c. and go from there. :)


    • rae — February 10th, 2015 @ 11:26 am

      OR you could crumble it over frozen youghurt…


  4. #
    Beth — February 20, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    I made these yesterday and they turned out great. In addition to the oats and peanuts I threw in a few tbs of flax seeds, a handful of raisins and a handful of coconut. I also used honey.

    Mine did not crumble. I probably used closer to 1c of peanut butter, and I pressed really hard using wax paper. I also pressed chocolate chips onto the top :) They kept their shape pretty well during baking.

    When I make again, I think I’ll increase the peanuts and/or add more nuts.


  5. #
    sandy — February 20, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    I left mine crumbly and added it to my trail mix!


  6. #
    Patricia Zickefoose — February 26, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    Until they decide exactly what is going on with the arsenic levels found in brown rice syrup, I would use an alternative with no known arsenic levels such as honey or agave. Also, posting calories, fiber, et al with these recipes would be helpful.


  7. #
    Michaela — March 4, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

    The chef where I work, made bacon ice cream……..


  8. #
    Abby — March 15, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    I bet you could omit the extra 1/2 cup of peanuts and just use chunky peanut butter – maybe a full cup instead of 3/4. I’m going to try it! They would also be a hit with almond butter or a nutella/nut butter combo!


  9. #
    valerie — March 24, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

    We added in craisins & semi sweet choc chips. My husband’s coworkers are all asking me to make again!!

    Thank you!


  10. #
    Lori — March 31, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…I’m allergic to honey and really didn’t know there is another alternative to honey…I didn’t want to put corn syrup on it…and I don’t know if brown rice is any better, but at least it sounds healthier…


    • Mindy@FindingSilverLinings — August 14th, 2012 @ 11:06 am

      Try agave nectar


  11. #
    Martha — April 1, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    These sound great – I’m looking forward to nap time so I can make them. Has anyone tried maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup or honey?


  12. #
    jess — April 21, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    Has anyone tried this using powdered peanut butter? I love saving on the calories and fat, wonder if it would work in this recipe.


  13. #
    Julie — April 25, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    Just made these last night and not sure what I did wrong but they did not stick together. So this morning I whipped up another batch of “sauce”, recrumbled the granola and mixed it all together. Just want you all to know that this did not work either. So will try again afresh, tomorrow. Tasted good tho’.


  14. #
    cindy — May 6, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    has anyone tried molasses?


  15. #
    dianna — May 31, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    i simplified this recipe. 4 c granola cereal,1/2 c peanuts (chopped),3/4 c peanutbutter,1/2 c honey.melt peanutbutter,add honey,mix. add to granola cereal and chopped peanuts,mix well,chill.super simply and really good.


  16. #
    Camille — June 11, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!


  17. #
    Sheniqua — June 30, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    I was just wondering if you knew how many calories was in 1 bar


  18. #
    Kimberly — July 11, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

    Sounds yummy… what could be substituted in lieu of an oatmeal allergy? Yes, that makes it no longer a “granola” bar, but still interested in making them!


    • Abbie — April 28th, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

      Try quinoa flakes ;)


  19. #
    Mindy@FindingSilverLinings — August 14, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    If the mixture is not holding together, you have to place a piece of waxed paper on top of it when it’s still warm and really press. Store bought granola bars are packed and dense, so really press these. I have a batch sitting on my counter and they are amazing!!!


  20. #
    caitlyn — August 18, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    I made these this morning, found on pinterest, they are delish! To keep them from crumbling I pressed down on them with back of a spoon a couple times while they were baking in the oven.. hope that helps, happy baking!


  21. #
    DJ Waldow — August 20, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    Just made these. WOW. Easy and delish. I saw a few other people posted about them being too dry. I had the same issue. Simple as adding more PB or honey? Any idea how to tell if they are “too dry” before putting them in the oven?

    Really good as is, but less like bars … more like granola.


  22. #
    Jill — August 29, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    I am gonna try these they sound good but alot of you are saying that they are falling apart! Hope that doesn’t happen to me!!!!! I don’t like how there is so much crap in some of the packaged granola bars from the store, so I’ve decided to take a different approach. P.S. I suck at baking


  23. #
    Diane — November 8, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    Thanks for a great recipe idea!
    I made these this morning and they came out pretty good. My only real change to the basic recipe was I ended up using right at 1 cup of peanut butter.
    I think some of the issues people are having relates to what brand of peanut butter they are using. Some are thicker than others, more or less sweet and more or less salty. I used Jason’s Natural and it has no added salt or sugar. Even though I used roasted/salted peanuts as one of my additives the mixture was still a little bland so I added a bit of salt – that enhanced the sweetness (think salted caramels).
    My additions were chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped roasted peanuts, slivered almonds and a small amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    I pressed these down HARD into the pan. They held together fairly well – one corner bar crumbled when I cut it but the others stayed pretty solid.


  24. #
    Gina — November 28, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    How long would you let them cool before cutting into squares?


  25. #
    Ashlyn — January 30, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

    Does syrup work instead of honey… ( syrup for pancakes)


  26. #
    DeAnna — April 14, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    I just tried this and although i did add in more honey and pb, they still came out dry. so bummed. i’ll still snack on the pieces – guess this was a trial run. will make these again another time.


  27. #
    Cassie Haw — April 14, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    I’ve made these several times and have definitely had to add more pb and honey but… granola bars are supposed to be kind of dry and not terribly moist, right?


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  29. #
    Lori — September 26, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    I put this recipe into my Myfitnesspal recipe log. No extra add ins..just basic recipe using honey. 16 servings at 189 calories each.


  30. #
    Stephant — October 1, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    These look awesome… do you think grade b maple syrup could bs subb’d for the agave or honey?


  31. #
    Inhaling Hope — November 22, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    I made these today and they were amazingly delicious. However, as many people have said the simply crumbled when I tried to take then out of the pan. I only used 3 cups of oats and added lots extra peanut butter and honey in hopes that it would do the trick. Nope. At least it still taste good.


  32. #
    Stacey — January 27, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

    Awesome recipe. Was hoping to find the calorie content… any thoughts?


  33. #
    Sarah — December 20, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

    These were amazing! i added a lot of extra nuts and dried fruits to the mix. I used honey instead. At first they were crumbling a lot. Then I reheated the first batch in the oven and as it was warm, I took it out and used waxed paper and pressed down firmly all over the top. The second batch came out perfectly after I pressed firmly during baking.



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