No Bake Peanut Butter Chia Healthy Granola Bars

I made these No Bake Peanut Butter Chia Healthy Granola Bars in honor of my sister, who recently informed me that she is, “over quinoa.”

The best healthy granola bar recipe! No Bake Chia Bars made with peanut butter and honey

Over quinoa? Has the sun set on this little fiber and protein-rich powerhouse? Did its popularity rise, then fade into oblivion like the cupcakes and Krispy Kremes of yore? Or could my sister just have been toying with my emotions?

I’m hoping it’s the latter, because in addition to a fierce addiction to these Chicken Quinoa Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers, I have enough quinoa squirreled away in my basement to feed a small football team, assuming that football team is, you know, into quinoa.

No Bake Healthy Granola Bars made with Peanut Butter, Honey and Chia. #glutenfree

No Bake Chia Bars with Peanut Butter and Honey. A fool proof healthy granola bar recipe!

Since my sister is due to pop any second with my very first niece or nephew (yes, I am going to be an aunt!), I thought that the least that I could do would be to create a recipe for her that was mommy-friendly—no baking, one bowl, freezer friendly, healthy, endlessly flexible, kid-approved, and super-powered—and was quinoa-free. It was also a good challenge to myself to incorporate new ingredients and grains that would still provide fabulous nutrition benefits, without involving the q-word.

No Bake Chia Bars with Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Honey

The first thing that you should know about this healthy granola bar recipe is that it is ultra versatile. The base is peanut butter, oatmeal, and honey, and from there, how you customize the no bake bars is up to your preferences (or what is immediately available in your pantry). I stirred in a generous handful of nuts for protein, chia seeds for fiber, and millet for crunch.

Healthy homade granola bars with chia, peanut butter and honey

If you’ve never had millet, it’s a whole grain that’s ridiculously affordable, nutritious, and most commonly associated with bird seed, but do not be fooled. Cooked, it makes a refreshing swap for oatmeal or rice, and raw it adds an addictive crunch to everything from Pumpkin Granola to these Buttermilk Crunch Muffins. If you don’t have or prefer not to purchase millet, you can swap it for additional rolled oats, extra chia, or for a similar crunchy texture, uncooked quinoa (sorry sis).

Peanut butter base secured, it’s time for fun part of any homemade healthy granola bar recipe: the mix-ins! I loaded my chia bars with walnuts and chopped dates, but feel free to swap any combo of dried fruits and nuts you love—or just go with a giant handful of chocolate chips. Whichever homemade granola bar path you choose, I am confident in your decision.

No Bake Peanut Butter Chia Bars

These no bake healthy granola bars are soft, chewy, loaded with smooth peanut butter and honey flavor, and best of all, they are great for you too. They’re also freezer-friendly, so you can use these last few weeks of summer to stock up before the back-to-school madness strikes.

Or in the case of our family, baby madness!

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No Bake Peanut Butter Chia Healthy Granola Bars

A healthy granola bar recipe made with chia, peanut butter, and honey. No bake and perfect for adding chocolate chips or any of your favorite ingredients!


Yield: 12 bars (1 8x8-inch pan)

Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (quick cooking can also be used—I just prefer the chewier texture of the old fashioned)

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, and almonds or a mix. I used walnuts)

  • 1/4 cup uncooked millet or uncooked quinoa

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use the kind that must be refrigerated or the bars may not set)

  • 1/3 cup honey (I like raw—use maple syrup to make vegan)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup desired mix-ins: chocolate chips, dried cherries, raisins, chopped dried apricots, chopped dried dates, etc. (I used chopped mejool dates)



Directions:


  1. OPTIONAL: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the oats, nuts, quinoa or millet, and chia seeds on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until the mixture is lightly golden and smells toasty, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper, lightly mist with cooking spray, then set aside.

  3. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt together the peanut butter and honey, stirring frequently until creamy and smooth. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.

  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, millet (or quinoa), nuts, and chia seeds. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the top, then with a rubber spatula, stir until the ingredients are evenly coated. If using chocolate, let the mixture cool for 1 to 2 minutes to ensure the chocolate doesn't melt, then stir in any desired mix-ins (if you are not adding chocolate, you can stir in the mix-ins right away).

  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. With a rubber spatula, press it firmly to the edges, then place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top and press down firmly with your fingers to make sure it is spread tightly and evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the bars to set and the flavors to mingle. Use the plastic or parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan, slice into bars, and enjoy.


I love toasting the ingredients in Step 1, because it deepens the bars’ flavor. That said, if you can’t handle turning on your oven, it is totally fine to skip this step! If you have time, I would still suggest toasting the nuts in a dry saucepan on low heat before adding them, because it does so much to maximize their flavor, but this is optional too.


Store leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To freeze, individually wrap in plastic, place in a ziptop bag, then freeze for up to 2 months.


Recipe adapted from The Lemon Bowl


// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

32 comments

  1. Ahhh I’m so glad you made these bars!!! Wish we were still snacking on them together!! Xoxox

  2. These look so delicious and PACKED with protein! Pinning- I love chia :)

  3. I love that you put chia into granola bars! It’s a nice mix up from the traditional chia seed pudding!

  4. Love these bars and I love that it’s not baked. Definitely a keeper!

  5. These sound really good! 

  6. Over quinoa? I just got started on that bandwagon. Looks like I have to get on the chia bandwagon now too!! Lovely!

  7. Oh these are perfect for me to take to work! PB and Chia it’s like a party for my belly! 

  8. Hi there! 
    Thoughts on if these bars will set if made with almond butter? They look soooo good but we have a peanut allergy in our house

  9. These are truly amazing and couldn’t be easier to make. Even my 4 year old son demands that I make a batch every week. He has no idea that they are good for him! Thanks so much for coming up with this recipe!

  10. You can eat raw millet or quinoa? 

  11. yummy recipe, made them twice now. definitely hold up better with creamy peanut butter (do not hold together with natural type) freeze well. great portable breakfast to go

  12. Oh. Em. Gee. These are sooooooooooo good. I was looking for new ways to eat chia seeds as I used to eat them all the time, kind of forgot about them, and then remembered how tasty and nutritious they are. I was expecting it to taste a little more bland which I was fine with, but I was blown away. They are surprisingly filling as well, and I’m someone who can put away a whole pizza. Thank you!

  13. What is the nutricional information on these? Calories, sugar content, fat per serving? Thanks

    • Hi Katrina! Regarding nutritional info, this is something that I’ve actually started adding to all of my new recipes, effective late January 2016 (you’ll see it in the recipe box at the bottom). Unfortunately, it’s pretty time consuming, so I’m unable to go back and add it to past recipes. If you’d like the nutritional info for any of my older recipes (or really any other recipe or food), you can actually calculate it yourself for free at myfitnesspal.com (this is how I calculate the new recipes on my blog). I’m sorry I can’t give you the information for this exact recipe, but I hope that My Fitness Pal will be a helpful resource for you.

    • Katrina- I made these last night and put the ingredients into Fitness Pal and here is what I got:
      Total Calories: 3236 Carbs 297 Fat 199 Protein 90 Sodium 816 Sugar 85;
      I cut mine into 8 bars so each bar would be approx:
      Calories 405 Carbs 37 Fat 25 Protein 11 Sodium 102 Sugar 11
      I used approx 1/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips as an add on.
      ***I am sure it varies based on what brands you use and any mistakes I made have made calculating :) but hopefully pretty close to what they might be.

  14. These are so good! And so quick to mix up. Super good for breakfast when I’m in a rush, which I find I’m in more than not. So thank you so much#

  15. Erin, thank you so much for this recipe! I’m always looking for new healthy granola bars recipes and this one is the best I’ve tried yet. I have to hide them from my fiancé if I want them to last more than 2 days haha!

    Rating: 5
  16. These were amazing! I highly recommend baking the quinoa, oats, nuts and chia seed! Made these with crunchy peanut butter and added raisins.
    I love these.. will make these more often. My 4 year old son also loved them & had fun making making them too.

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad you loved them, Genevieve! Thank you so much for sharing your tips and taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  17. Jennifer Raiman Reply

    My bars wont stick. I’ve used both batches now for just granola. BUT why? i’m confused no one else seems to have the same problem and i’ve followed your recipe to a T. any suggestions?

    Rating: 3

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