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.
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!
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
- 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.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients. Don’t forget to preheat your oven.
- Stir the Wet Ingredients Together. Make sure this bowl is big enough for both the wet and dry ingredients.
- Add the Dry Ingredients to the Wet. Stir to combine.
- Fold in the Banana. Pour the batter into your baking pan.
- Bake the Bars. Bake breakfast bars at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cut into bars. ENJOY!
- 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.
Crumble leftover bars over a bowl of Greek yogurt for a tasty spin on granola.
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:
- Fruit. Pair these oatmeal bars with your favorite fresh fruit or Fruit Salad.
- Smoothie. For a healthy breakfast, serve oatmeal bars with a Green Smoothie, Avocado Smoothie, or Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.
- Chia Pudding. Chia Seed Pudding or Coconut Chia Pudding would be tasty with these bars.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- 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.
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk I used unsweetened vanilla almond, but any kind will do nicely
- 3 tablespoons honey (or more if a sweeter bar is preferred)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter creamy or crunchy—I used natural creamy
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 medium banana quartered and diced
- 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.
- 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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.