Strawberry Oatmeal Bars are a healthier fruit dessert made with fresh strawberries, whole grain butter crumb topping, and a lightly sweetened vanilla glaze. This healthier oatmeal bars recipe is a favorite, because these delicious treats are easy to make and just 100 calories each!
Now that spring is in bloom, it’s time to bake fresh strawberry oatmeal bars, one of YOUR favorite healthy desserts!
These strawberry oatmeal bars have become one of the most cherished recipes on my site over the years.
I love hearing the different ways you’ve stumbled upon it, often through word of mouth, but equally as much because you were looking for healthy desserts under 100 calories, healthy desserts for kids, easy oatmeal bars, or (and perhaps best of all) healthy strawberry recipes you could feel completely justified eating for breakfast.
I have been baking these strawberry oat crumble bars for years, maybe more than any other dessert!
They’re unbelievably easy (one bowl, no mixer!), work with fresh or frozen strawberries, and, as the reviews attest, they are wonderful: scrumptious, buttery, fruity, and sweet—everything a strawberry dessert can and should be.
Just for you, the best recipe for strawberry oatmeal bars!
The Best Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. EVER.
A bewitching cross between a soft bar cookie and a streusel-topped crumb bar, these sweet treats are the perfect use for the fresh strawberries that are finally starting to make their way into grocery stores in big, juicy quantities.
(If you are looking for frozen strawberry recipes, these strawberry oatmeal bars will work with them too! See the recipe notes for more details.)
They’re sweet but not too sweet, buttery, and bursting with juicy berries in every inch.
An Easy Dessert Recipe
Sometimes you want to put a lot of effort into your strawberry dessert. In that case, make Strawberry Cake.
Sometimes (like now) you want dessert FAST. I’ve got you. These oatmeal bars are EASY!
- The top and bottom “crust” of the oatmeal bars comes together in a single bowl.
- Since the recipe calls for melted, not softened, butter, you don’t even need to wait for the butter to come to room temperature prior to baking.
- Most strawberry oatmeal bar recipes require making the filling in a separate bowl; these fresh strawberry bars do not.
- Once you’ve pressed the first crust layer into the pan, simply scatter the filling ingredients—diced strawberries, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar and cornstarch—right over it, then sprinkle the remaining oatmeal crumble on top.
Looking for a strawberry oatmeal bars vegan recipe? Just swap the butter for coconut oil.
In the oven, the strawberries “cook” into a bright, strawberry-pie-like filling that’s reminiscent of homemade strawberry jam.
Made with oatmeal, whole wheat flour, and little added sugar (the sweetness of these bars comes almost entirely from the fresh strawberries themselves), these healthy oatmeal bars are wholesome enough for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Try one warmed up with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
More Ways to Enjoy
- For those who prefer a sweeter take, a drizzle of vanilla glaze (recipe included below) sweetens the strawberry bars enough for dessert. (Another dessert option: these Strawberry Jam Bars!)
- Mix up the fruit! For example, these Blueberry Oatmeal Bars use the same base recipe, with a different juicy filling.
- If you feel the need to garnish them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you have my blessing!
Let’s eat some Strawberry Oatmeal Bars!
More Strawberry Desserts
Recommended Tools to Make This Healthy Dessert Recipe
- Favorite 8×8 inch baking pan
- Parchment paper (I love these precut sheets)
Healthy Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
For the Strawberry Bars:
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats gluten free if needed
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or substitute all-purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make gluten free
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy free)
- 2 cups small-diced strawberries about 10 ounces, divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1/2 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar divided
For the Vanilla Glaze (optional but delicious, especially if you prefer a sweeter bar):
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk any kind you like
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.
- Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).
- While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.
- The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan. The bars will be a bit thicker but will still be delicious. To make them gluten free, substitute the white whole wheat flour with a 1:1 baking mix.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, let the bars cool completely and do not glaze. Wrap tightly in plastic before placing in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator and top with glaze before serving. (Bars can be frozen already glazed if needed.)
- If you want to use frozen strawberries, let them thaw completely and pat them dry before making the recipe.
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This is sooooo good! Planning on making it again! My husband loved it as well. How can something healthy be this good :-)
Hi Mary! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I want to use up some strawberries in this recipe, but I don’t think I have enough. Could I supplement with either strawberry jam or freeze-dried strawberries? Thanks!
Hi April! I haven’t tried it myself but other readers have used jam with great success. Hope you enjoy it!
I’ve been making this for about 3 years now. T he kids love it! I’ve used it with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (the most popular), peaches and any seasonal fruit. Frozen berries in winter work great also. I only made a single recipe the first time.and since then I make 2 double batches every time it’s made. It freezes well in a plastic container with layers separated by waxed paper. I have to make it when nobody is home so I can hide the back stock in the freezer in the garage. The kids won’t leave it alone. I don’t even use the glaze unless we’re taking it somewhere and want to get all “fancy”. This recipe stands well on its own without the added sugar on top. This is a lifetime favorite now and everybody at church, school, sports looks forward to a “healthy” desert/breakfast bar.
Hi KP! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
This was easy and absolutely delicious! It’s a family favorite now, will definitely make it again.
Hi Tomoko! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Very nice! Enjoying now.
Hi Sue! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Can’t wait to make these! Can i use frozen berries?
Hi Nicole! Other readers have reported success with using frozen strawberries in this recipe. I suggest letting them thaw completely first and patting them dry to remove any excess moisture. I hope this helps!
These bars came out delicious and I actually felt good about eating them!!
All went well in the prep until after the glaze. They started out with a slightly crunchy bar, but then the bar became soggy. They stayed that way until they were gone, which wasn’t that long, but this affected the presentation. What did I do wrong?
Hi Marcia! Sorry to hear you had trouble with them. I would wait to put the glaze on until you are ready to serve. They will soften as it sits in the glaze.
The best straberry bars recipe out there!
The whole family absolutely loves it!
I like to add vanilla to the straberry mix, and when I feel fancy I also switch the lemon juice for a good quality white balsamic vinegar.
Hi Juliette! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
These came out good. Just a little fragile. Maybe next time I will double the oatmeal mixture to have a thicker crust that can support the 2 layers of strawberries and crumble. Adding the glaze made them wet, but tasted great.
Hi Holly! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Had extra strawberries in the fridge, googled “strawberry recipes” and decided to make these. Was certainly not disappointed, these are amazing! Had to pack them away in the fridge to stop eating them. Can’t wait for more tomorrow. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Hi Dede! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
This looks so good! Novice baker here so I have a question. I have Quick Cooking or Steel Cut oats in my cabinet. Can I substitute either for this recipe?
Thanks in advance.
Hi Mike! I prefer using old-fashioned rolled oats, but you can use quick oats. The texture of the bars will be softer because rolled oats are more sturdy and hold up better in baking. I hope you enjoy!
Can you freeze these?
Hi Cecilia! Yes you can! Tips are in the “notes” section of the recipe card! Enjoy!
Hi Erin, can I use quick oats for this recipe? Thanks.
Hi Cynthia! I prefer using old-fashioned rolled oats, but you can use quick oats. The texture of the bars will be softer because rolled oats are more sturdy and hold up better in baking. I hope you enjoy!
This was so yummy! I made it with a mix of strawberries and blueberries and my two young kids loved it as did my husband. Sooooo good! We had it with ice cream (instead of icing) for a dessert but it was good by itself…maybe even better. I love that it has a small amount of sugar and fresh fruit instead of jam or jelly. Will be making this again! Thank you!
Hi Susie! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
These bars were so delicious and easy! My house smelled wonderful, too. I was impressed that they came out looking exactly like the photo. I’ll definitely be making these again.
Hi Amy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Is there a reason that you wouldn’t just toss the strawberries in the lemon/cornstarch/sugar mixture, and then put them on top of the crust? Just curious, as it seems like it would be easier. Which is kind of ridiculous, recipe is already pretty easy! Thanks.
Hi Leslie, those ingredients are all added in separately and not mixed together. You are layering them and won’t be needing cornstarch or lemon on the top layer. This is the way I’ve tested and remade the recipe multiple times and works great. Enjoy!
I made these with strawberries and rhubarb in a tart pan and skipped the glaze. They were spectacular! Thanks for a healthier version of a delicious bar.
Hi Hettie! LOVE that you added rhubarb as well! Such a great combination! Thanks so much!
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