Filling, kid-friendly, and packed with a few of my life-long ingredient loves (peanut butter, banana, and honey), these easy homemade baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are yummy, hearty, and guaranteed to keep you powered for hours.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars surrounded by slices of banana and a spoonful of peanut butter

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These oatmeal breakfast bars are one of the very first recipes I ever posted on my site.

So many of you have written to tell me about how they’ve enabled you to survive long meetings, fueled you after a workout, and become a favorite of your kids. In fact, this recipe is so simple, many of you bake them with your kiddos too!

The origin of this baked oatmeal bars recipe is my friend Elisabeth. She created it in a desperate quest to find a healthy oatmeal breakfast bar that wasn’t as sweet as Healthy Oatmeal Cookies and would keep her first-year medical-resident husband full during the long hours he had to endure between breaks at the hospital.

She offered me one while Ben and I were visiting her in Nashville, and I was simultaneously hooked and FULL.

Oatmeal breakfast bars have been a regular in my breakfast and snack recipe rotation ever since (they’re also the base for my Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars).

3 healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Bars surrounded by bananas, oats, and peanut butter

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

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.

For another healthy and hearty breakfast on the go, try my No Bake Granola Bars.

TIP!

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.


The Ingredients

  • Old Fashioned Oats. Make these bars wholesome, filling, and slightly chewy (like these Granola Cookies). For best results, do not swap for quick or 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 grain goodness into a recipe (see these Apple Oatmeal Cookies. If you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, you may swap for an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
  • Cinnamon. Warm, earthy cinnamon pairs perfectly with the tender, nutty oats, and creamy dreamy peanut butter.
  • Banana. Adds moisture and naturally sweetens the bars (just like in Healthy Banana Bread). If you don’t love bananas, you may swap for other fresh or dried fruit. Blueberries are a wonderful substitution and raisins or dried cranberries are another great option.
  • Honey. Helps bind the ingredients together, adds sweetness, and helps the bars caramelize and turn golden in the oven.
  • Peanut Butter. Gives these oatmeal breakfast bars a subtle peanut butter flavor. Almond butter, sun butter, or cashew butter may also be used.
  • Applesauce. Another all-natural sweetener for these healthy oat bars that also 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 marry everything together.
Bananas, oats, honey, cinnamon, and peanut butter on a weathered wood board

The Directions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Fold in the diced banana.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased baking pan.
  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven golden. Remove, cool, and cut into bars. ENJOY!
Homemade soft-baked oat bars on a white countertop with bananas and peanut butter

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

Whether you are seeking to survive a shift at the hospital, your 8 a.m. meeting, or looking for an easy snack your kids will love, these portable, tasty, and super-satisfying bars are sure to satisfy.

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.

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.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars with Banana and Honey. Healthy, filling, and absolutely delicious!

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

4.85 from 71 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 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins

Servings: 8 large bars

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups old fashioned 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

Instructions
 

  • Place rack in the center preheat oven to 375 degrees. 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.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Once cooled, bars can be wrapped individually in plastic and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze in a zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours 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: 23mgSodium: 121mgPotassium: 349mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 2mg

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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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250 Comments

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  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe. PB, banana and honey are my faves. I’d like to go wheat-free either by blending additional oats to make oat flour or using something like almond flour. I’m also interested in adding protein powder. Have you tried the recipe this way? Can you make any recommendations?

    1. Hi Libby! I would not recommend using almond flour in place of the whole wheat flour. They do have pretty different properties, so I don’t know how well it would come out. You could try oat flour, but I’ve never tried the recipe this way, so it would definitely be an experiment. While I haven’t tried it myself, other readers have added protein powder with success. I hope this helps!

      1. Hi Erin!
        I made this recipe with almond flour because I didn’t have WW flour at the time. I did add 1/4 of ground flaxseed, so not sure how that may have changed the outcome, but they were good! My family critiqued … what I will try next time is an extra banana, a little more cinnamon, and brown sugar instead of honey only because honey is messy and I cant be bothered. Overall, great recipe and can definitely be tweaked for individual preference … thank you!5 stars

  2. Just tried this recipe – it really is the perfect afternoon snack, filling – and just enough sweetness! I will definitely make these again!5 stars

  3. Hi, I am looking forward to trying this recipe, would using regular rising flour be ok?? I dont have whole wheat flour…..just curious.

  4. I made these are they are hearty, and were a little on the bland side for my kids. I used regular flour and added mini chocolate chips, but, not enough for the kiddos. So, I dipped them in white and semi-sweet chocolate and now, the kids think they are fantastic. I also didnt have applesauce so I used more banana, overall, it’s a nice snack bar and I’m glad I tried them.4 stars

  5. Thanks for this great recipe! The sweetness was perfect.
    The bars came out tasting a bit too heavy for a snack. I substituted whole wheat for spelt flour and oil for applesauce.
    Next time I guess I’ll try following the recipe exactly :)5 stars

    1. Hi Karen, to be honest, that is kind of tricky, because the applesauce both binds and moistens the bars. It’s an important ingredient! The closest thing I can suggest is pumpkin puree, though that will have an effect on the flavor (I’d add a bit more honey or even try swapping maple syrup for sweetness and maybe extra cinnamon for fun). Another idea is to try replacing it with half oil and half yogurt, though I haven’t tried it this way (or with pumpkin puree), so I’m afraid I can’t guarantee the results. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. The applesauce is just a key component.

  6. Hi, Can you tell me if the Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are a chewy bar or a hard bar. My husband does not want to break his teeth. Thank you!

  7. I added some dried apricots and did part oats and part quinoa and pulsed it through the food processor. Thus helped with the texture for me, abs I also added some maple syrup, great!5 stars

  8. I am looking for something to replace the Quaker Oats breakfast flats. These look very promising but can I make the thinner? Maybe bake the original recipe in a 9 by 13 pan?

    1. Hi Debbie! You can definitely use a 9×13 pan. All of the instructions for this is listed in the recipe notes of the recipe card. Hope you enjoy them!

  9. Hello!
    I am going to attempt these soon, although I do have a question. I’m not particularly fond of honey, is there something else you’d recommend? Thank you.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation! I made them with 25ml of maple syrup, and also refined white flour since I didn’t have any whole wheat, and they turned out perfect! Thank you so much, this is now a staple to always keep in my purse for emergencies.5 stars

  10. I made these bars for breakfast every day last year!! I’m an educator, who eats breakfast at my desk when I get to work. They are amazing: keep me full all morning, lightly sweet, and I cut them into 10 bars, which last two weeks for me. I freeze them individually and just put one in the frig the night before. I’m back to baking these breakfast bars once again and just love this recipe. I do add raisins, or dried cranberries sometimes. Just perfect! Thank you :).5 stars

    1. Hi Dawn! That makes me so happy to hear! So glad that you are enjoying these bars and I’m loving your additions!

    1. Hi Lorena! I’m not sure what size your pyrex is but you can bake in a 9×13 inch pan pan. Increase the ingredient quantities by 1.5 and bake for 25-30 minutes. Hope this helps!

  11. Hi Erin! I would love to make these bars, but have a question… I love peanut butter, but unfortunately my daughter’s nursery is nut-free so cannot send food with peanut butter. Have you tried substituting tahini or something else for the peanut butter? Or would I be able to just leave it out? If not, then I may just make them as a “home and errand snack”. I will leave a star review after I bake. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Carrie! Peanut butter is key to the bars so I wouldn’t leave it out. I haven’t tried it before but maybe sunflower butter would work. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

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