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These soft, easy homemade baked oatmeal Breakfast Bars are yummy, hearty, nutritious, and guaranteed to keep you powered for hours. They’re filling, kid-friendly, and packed with delicious ingredients like peanut butter, banana, and honey.

the best breakfast bars recipe

Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

  • Go-To Recipe. These breakfast bars with oats are one of the very first recipes I ever posted on my site. Since then, many of you have told me how these bars (along with Healthy Oatmeal Cookies) have become a weekly staple in your homes (and your kids love them too!).
  • Healthy and Hearty. Forget the cereal bars from the store! Just like my Healthy Granola Bars and Peanut Butter Protein Bars, these easy healthy oatmeal bars will help keep you full. With protein, fiber, and healthy fats, they satisfy for hours.
  • Cozy Goodness. This soft-baked oatmeal breakfast bar recipe combines the three musketeers of breakfast flavors: peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal. It’s a trio that’s comforting, homey, and classic in the best possible way.
  • EASY! This recipe is a one-bowl wonder and is so quick and easy, your littlest bakers can help.

This is one of those recipes you’ll turn to consistently, and it will never let you down!

easy healthy breakfast bars recipe

5 Star Review

“I made these bars for breakfast every day last year!! They are amazing: keep me full all morning, lightly sweet.”

— Dawn —

How to Make Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

The Ingredients

  • Old Fashioned Oats. Makes these breakfast bars wholesome, filling, and slightly chewy. For best results, do not swap for instant oats as this will impact the overall texture of the bars.
  • Whole Wheat Flour. I will always take any opportunity to sneak in some whole grains into a recipe.
  • Cinnamon. Warm, earthy cinnamon pairs perfectly with nutty oats, and creamy dreamy peanut butter.
  • Banana. Adds moisture and naturally sweetens the bars (just like in Healthy Banana Bread).
  • Honey. Helps bind the ingredients together, adds sweetness, and helps the bars caramelize and turn golden in the oven.
  • Peanut Butter. Gives these oatmeal bars a subtle peanut butter flavor. Almond butter, sunflower seed butter (a nut-free option), or cashew butter may also be used.
  • Applesauce. Another all-natural sweetener for these healthy oat bars that adds moisture and helps bind everything together. (It does the same thing for these Applesauce Muffins.)
  • Milk. Helps bring everything together into a cohesive batter.
  • Baking Powder. Gives these bars a gentle rise and soft-baked texture.
  • Egg. Keeps these bars soft and tender.
  • Vanilla. Just a kiss of pure vanilla extract to make the bars taste exquisite.
Bananas, oats, honey, cinnamon, and peanut butter on a weathered wood board

The Directions

mixing ingredients for the best breakfast bars
  1. Combine the Dry Ingredients. Don’t forget to preheat your oven.
mixing wet ingredients for breakfast bars
  1. Stir the Wet Ingredients Together. Make sure this bowl is big enough for both the wet and dry ingredients.
wet and dry ingredients in a bowl for simple breakfast bars
  1. Add the Dry Ingredients to the Wet. Stir to combine.
breakfast bars batter in a baking pan
  1. Fold in the Banana. Pour the batter into your baking pan.
baked easy breakfast bars
  1. Bake the Bars. Bake breakfast bars at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cut into bars. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  • To Reheat. You can gently warm the bars in the microwave if you’d like.
  • To Freeze. Freeze the bars in a freezer-safe ziptop bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Leftover Ideas

Crumble leftover bars over a bowl of Greek yogurt for a tasty spin on granola.

easy breakfast bars stacked

What to Serve with These Easy Breakfast Bars

Sometimes a breakfast bar is enough for breakfast, and other days you need more! Here are some ideas of what pairs well with these bars:

  • Baking Pan. Perfect for making these soft-baked oatmeal breakfast bars.
  • Measuring Cup. Doubles as a mixing bowl so you have fewer dishes to wash.
  • Mixing Bowls. This set has a size for the wet and dry ingredients.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Swap as You Please. Not a fan of bananas? Swap them for other fresh or dried fruit. Blueberries are a wonderful substitution and raisins or dried cranberries are another great option. No whole wheat flour on hand? You can swap it for an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
  • Use the Right Oats. Please don’t use quick oats or instant oats for this recipe, as the texture of the bars may be negatively impacted. Old-fashioned oats ensure the bars stay together and have the ideal texture.
  • Dress Them Up. While these oatmeal bars are fine on their own, my favorite way to eat them is warmed up for breakfast with extra sliced bananas and peanut butter. You could also add chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or any other toppings you enjoy.

Breakfast Bars

4.72 from 194 votes
Healthy soft-baked oatmeal breakfast bars with peanut butter, banana, and honey are an easy, on-the-go snack made with wholesome ingredients.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Servings: 8 large bars

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Place rack in the center preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very wet.
  • Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, cut into bars, and serve.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze the bars in a freezer-safe ziptop bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • BIGGER BATCH: You may increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bake in a 9×13 inch pan for 25-30 minutes to yield more bars.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgPotassium: 349mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 2mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Oatmeal Breakfast Bars Gluten Free?

No. This recipe, as it is written, is not gluten free. If you would like to make a gluten free oatmeal breakfast bar, readers have reported success swapping the whole wheat flour for an equal amount of oat flour or almond flour. Be advised that the texture of the bars may turn out slightly different however using one of these swaps. Make sure you’re using gluten-free oats too.

What Can I Swap the Applesauce for?

To be honest, omitting the applesauce isn’t something I recommend. The applesauce both binds and moistens the bars so it’s an important ingredient! The closest thing I can suggest (and readers have reported success with) is pumpkin puree, though it will affect the flavor. Another idea is to try replacing it with half oil and half yogurt, though I haven’t tried it this way, so it would be an experiment.

Can I Make Oatmeal Breakfast Bars Vegan?

Possibly. I have not tried making these oat bars vegan so it would be an experiment. I would suggest swapping the honey for maple syrup and the milk for your favorite non-dairy milk of choice. As for the egg, you could try swapping it for a flax egg.

Can I Make These Bars for a Crowd?

Yes! Breakfast bars are a good idea for a crowd. You can increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bake the bars in a 9×13-inch pan for 25-30 minutes to yield more bars.

More Healthy Breakfast Bars Recipes

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




309 Comments

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  1. Made these today and they are delicious. I made a few substitutions as with the diet I follow I am unable to consume apples, honey or bananas. Used maple syrup in place of the honey and yogurt in place of the applesauce. Cut up some green grapes for the fruit- made for a nice moist cake.

    We like that the sugar is minimal- trying to lower/limit the family’s sugar intake.5 stars

  2. I am trying to keep calories low, can I leave out the peanut butter and add in egg whites to help with the combining property?
    also can I use oat flour not wheat flour?

    1. Hi Tami! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be hard for me to say how those substitutions would work. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    2. I tried this recipe yesterday, it is so easy to make and taste so delicious! I have to make some changes because i don’t have all of the ingredients. I skipped the cinnamon. I used overripe mashed banana in place of apple sauce. And i used half cup of coconut flour & half cup of whole wheat flour. These bars are still so delicious with all of those changes! Will definetely make this again soon. Thanks Erin!!5 stars

  3. There’s no way this has 8g of protein per serving. 2 Cups of oats has about 20g and an egg has about 6g but there are 9 servings sooo where is all the protein coming from??

    1. Hi Sarah! This is a rough nutritional count and unfortunately the way the nutritional facts are set up, I am not able to change them. For anything else you can calculate the calories/protein for free at MyFitnessPal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you! When in doubt, you should definitely check them out yourself with the ingredients you use at home!

    2. Recipe states 8 servings, not 9. Also, the peanut butter contains significant protein, which you didn’t mention.

    3. Milk (12g), peanut butter (8g), whole wheat flour (16g) and banana (1.3g) all have protein sooo that’s where it’s coming from.5 stars

    1. Hi Elena! Yes you can use almond butter but I’ve not tested the recipe with almond flour. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  4. I made these bars yesterday and had bhopes based on the reviews. I followed the recipe except only had mashed bananas so used those instead of diced bananas. I have to say they are so bland, I’m considering throwing them out, but I’ll put some jam or honey on them first to see if that helps. I don’t have a super-sweet tooth, but these definitely need more honey or something! Also, beware of making these in muffin cups because they do NOT release from the paper.

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Elizabeth. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

    2. I made these yesterday, and I agree that they’re pretty bland, in almost the same way that unflavored oatmeal is. I prefer unsweetened overnight oats, but even the oat flavor is somewhat muted. I followed the recipe as written, but substituted mashed banana for applesauce, and added pre-hydrated dried cranberries. From what I can tell, it’s very important to the bars having flavor that there are larger pieces of banana left in them. To me, the bars are perfectly flavorful when there’s a little bit of fruit in the bite, and the sweetness of that fruit makes the rest of the bar’s taste stronger. That being said, I will be adding more dried cranberries next time, dicing the banana a little larger, and I could see more cinnamon helping. Or, anything you usually like in oatmeal which would hold up in the oven! Also, for other bakers: I had no issue getting it to release from parchment paper, which I lined my 8×8 pan with instead of greasing it.4 stars

      1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Lore. Any changes made to the recipe can result in a different tasting bar than the one I’ve tested. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  5. These were excellent. Used a whole banana and mushed it, no applesauce so added an extra egg. Used oat milk. Was 1/2 cup short of oats, so added 1/4 chia seeds and 1/4 cup flax seeds. Also added some walnuts and pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup each), a little dried cranberry. I was nervous about my changes with chia and flax, so I let it sit for 15 minutes to absorb before baking. Texture is spot on (soft and slightly chewy), just delicately sweet and loaded with protein and fiber. Will make on repeat. Many thanks for the excellent base recipe. Also love reading about everyone else’s adjustments, so helpful.5 stars

  6. I LOVE this recipe! I eat these for breakfast on busy days and give them to my kiddos for afternoon snack. Great alternative to overnight oats for a whole grain breakfast.

    I made these subs and loved the outcome:
    -Original Soy milk, instead of unsweetened

    -Sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter

    -Flax egg instead of egg (separately mix 1TB ground flax mixed with 2.5TB water, wait 5 mins, then combine with wet ingredients.

    -1.5tsp Baking Powder instead of 1tsp

    2 bananas instead of 1

    Then I topped with hemp hearts and chocolate chips. I lined the pan with parchment paper and it worked great.

    Thanks for the amazing recipe!!5 stars

  7. I made these yesterday, and while they were slightly different than I expected, they’re still quite good! I would describe them as if you made good oatmeal into a cake, but only changed the consistency. I substituted mashed banana in place of applesauce and added about half a cup of dried cranberries I rehydrated with hot water, and they’re wonderfully moist and springy, with a caky texture inside of a slightly chewy, but not oily outer-layer. Their flavor is very mild, which is mostly pleasant, and something I was looking for as someone who struggles with nausea in the mornings, but in bites around the edges that don’t have any fruit, what little flavor there is somewhat cardboard-like. That being said, it’s nothing that popping a dried cranberry or chocolate chip in one’s mouth doesn’t fix, and it could probably be fixed by adding in a little extra fruit to begin with, or dicing the banana into larger chunks than I did so it doesn’t disintegrate as much in the oven. Little bits of sweetness in the bar really brighten the whole thing. I will definitely be making this again and fiddling with it! I may have mixed my cinnamon in poorly, but I could only taste it strongly in some bites, so I will try adding a bit more next time, too. I could really see any add-ins you like in oatmeal being good in these too!4 stars

  8. Wonderful recipe. Yum! I upped the sweetener a little (maple syrup), skipped the banana, and added some dried cranberries. Even my sweet-loving husband approved. I keep trying to find healthy recipes that he can eat instead of cookies and candy, so this was a win! And I’m thinking these would be great to take on a hike. Next recipe I’m going to try is: Cookie Dough Protein Balls. Thank you!5 stars

  9. I was wondering when you write the nutritional value of a dish if it would be possible also the write the sodium information. I follow weight Watchers and when I calculate my points we also need the sodium intake in our recipes. I love all your recipes…thank you.

    1. Hi Diane! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

      1. Are these supposed to be wet / gooey inside? I cooked at 375 F for 15 minutes longer than the recommended time and they are still very moist on the inside. I did do a double batch and made first batch in 8×8 pan so wondering if because I split a big batch up something wasn’t mixed right. Thoughts? Have never made these before.

        1. Hi Katie! Yes, they will be moist due to having the banana and applesauce in the mixture. You could try baking them a little longer. Hope you enjoy them!

  10. These were awesome! Not too sweet, used maple syrup instead of honey, added a bit more cinnamon than the recipe, then added 1/2 dark chocolate chips and a fistful or two of dry roasted salted pumpkin seeds. Really good.

    Looking forward to the almond butter cookies :)5 stars

  11. Added extra banana, PB and some semi-sweet chocolate chips. I love that there is no added sugar in this recipe, which makes me feel really great about serving this to my kiddos before they get on the school bus. It’s tasty but not overly sweet (I did add extra honey also) and has a good amount of protein punched into each serving.5 stars

  12. I am used to making the no bake protein balls with oats, honey etc. wanted to try something different for the family. Unfortunately, these turned out very bland. Unlike others, I made zero substitutions. Followed everything in the recipe aside from adding chocolate chips. Even with the added sweetness of chocolate, I could not get the kids, nor my husband to eat these (and he will eat anything!). I think for healthy on the go oatmeal snacks, we will stick to our no bake recipes. Really wanted to like this yet tasted pretty bad :(2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Veronica. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  13. I’m sorry to say but these bars turned out so gross. The texture was weirdly hard but also gummy. Zero flavour. Not sure what I did, I followed the recipe exactly. So disappointed, threw the whole batch in the garbage as was completely inedible.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Miranda. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would have been a hit for you too! I know it can be so disappointing to try a new recipe and it does not turn out for you.

    2. Hey Miranda, I made these 2 days ago and had the same reaction. I submitted a comment and am hoping the author replies soon with some suggestions. I just don’t understand how people are saying these taste great when they don’t taste like anything to me. I seriously asked if upping the peanut butter to 1/2 cup would alter the baking temp/time. 2 tsp of cinnamon and a couple Tbl of honey and peanut butter does not give this batch any flavor. I don’t know what we’re doing wrong!

  14. I REALLY wanted to love these. I made them for my teenage son as he often skips breakfast because he’s bored of the usual choices we have. He has braces, so I was hoping for a calorie dense, protein packed option that won’t break his braces or take an hour to clean from his braces. Lol. I’m wondering if adding more than the recommended 2T of peanut butter would adversely affect the outcome in the baking process. I’m thinking more like 1/3 – 1/2 cup. I used 1% milk because that’s what we drink. I used regular flour instead of wheat flour because that’s what I had on hand. I made two batches. One with pb and banana and the other with Nutella and craisins. Both were super flavorless. Other than that, they were super easy to make, bake, cut, and store. I don’t want to give up. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Krystal, First of all, I am sorry you were disappointed with this recipe. That is a real bummer and frustrating. These are definitely not your typical breakfast bars, especially if you usually buy them from the store. The amount of sugar here is very low, which is likely why you are tasting them as “flavorless.” I’d start with upping the honey to 1/3 cup and the PB to 1/4 cup to start (reduce the applesauce to 1/4 cup). If that works out fine, you can add more PB next time. Adding chocolate chips is never a bad idea either. You can also check out my classic PB protein bars which are a real crowd favorite and may be more up your alley: https://www.wellplated.com/peanut-butter-protein-bars/. I hope it goes better for you next time please let me know!

  15. These are good for those of us who aren’t quite ready to eat in the morning but have to have something before lunch. I will definitely add more honey to make them a tad sweeter next time. The recipe worked perfectly. Saving this one.4 stars

  16. Hi. I made these bars pretty much according to the recipe. But I added a little extra peanut butter and honey. They were DELICIOUS! Came out really good. Definitely adding these to my recipe book.5 stars

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