Chockful of peanut butter, oats, banana, and chocolate chips, this Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bar Recipe is a keeper! A one-bowl recipe that is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and 100% satisfying!
This post was originally published on March 7, 2021. It was updated with new recipe information and photos on May 22, 2023.
Why You'll Love This Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe
- Nutritious: These peanut butter bars are made with oats, mashed banana, and maple syrup, making them as good for you as they are full of heart-warming flavor!
- One-Bowl: Because no fuss in the kitchen is never a bad thing! Not only are these oatmeal peanut butter bars a one-bowl recipe, but they also do not require a hand mixer or stand mixer!
- Versatile: Peanut butter banana oatmeal bars are as amazing for a snack as they are for breakfast or dessert! According to a friend, they even make a great late-night snack! 😉 These bars are sure to satisfy however you choose to enjoy them.
- Gluten-Free & Vegan: With no wheat products, eggs, or other animal products, these vegan oatmeal bars are fantastic for our gluten-free and plant-based friends!
These gluten-free bars are made with a handful of pantry staples:
- 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour - Provides structure and flavor. My favorite brands of gluten-free flour are King Arthur's Measure for Measure Flour and Bob's Red Mill.
- Gluten-Free Oats - Old-fashioned oatmeal is the best for this recipe. Not all oats are certified gluten-free (see below for more information), so always check for the certification label.
- Peanut Butter - I prefer natural peanut butter, but classic jarred peanut butter also works.
- Banana - Have overripe bananas on hand? This healthy banana oatmeal bar recipe is a great way to use them up!
- Chocolate Chips - Or, chocolate chunks. Semisweet chocolate is my recommended pick! Use vegan chips to keep this recipe plant-based and dairy-free.
- Brown Sugar - The caramel-like flavor of this sweetener is the perfect complement to the peanut butter and banana. Be sure to pack the brown sugar tightly in the measuring cup when measuring.
- Maple Syrup - Another fantastic complement to the nut butter, banana, and oats!
- Vegan Butter - Just ¼ cup provides richness and dimension to the recipe.
- Non-Dairy Milk - Such as almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, or even coconut milk.
- Ground Cinnamon - For sweet and warm flavor notes.
- Baking Powder & Salt - The powder leavens the baked banana oatmeal bars and the salt enhances the flavor of them!
- Flour - These oatmeal chocolate peanut butter bars can also be made with the same amount of all-purpose flour. The recipe will no longer be gluten-free, however.
- Nut Butter - Almond butter, sunflower butter, and even tahini can substitute for peanut butter. Using sunflower butter or tahini will make this recipe nut-allergy friendly.
- Milk - Dairy milk can work in place of the plant milk but the recipe will no longer be considered dairy-free!
- Butter - Similarly, unsalted butter can substitute for vegan butter but the recipe will not be vegan or dairy-free if doing so.
How to Make Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Chocolate peanut butter banana oatmeal bars are as fun to make as they are to eat! Here's how to whip them up:
Step 1: In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and peanut butter and heat for 20 to 30 seconds, or until melted. Add the brown sugar and mix until combined.
Step 2: Add the mashed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl. Stir again.
Step 3: Stir in the gluten-free flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Step 4: Stir in the non-dairy milk.
Step 5: Fold the oats and chocolate into the batter. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Pour the batter into a prepared 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Spread it out so the surface is even.
Step 7: Bake the gluten-free peanut butter bars for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Recipe Success Tips
- Don't overheat the peanut butter and butter when melting them together in the microwave. For best results, warm the peanut butter and butter on medium heat. Natural peanut butter in particular can get gummy and tough if overheated.
- Use extra-ripe bananas. The browner and blacker the bananas, the better! As the bananas overripen, the sugars in the bananas get extra sweet, contributing great flavor to these gluten-free banana bars.
- Let the batter rest before baking. Letting the gluten-free oatmeal bar batter rest before baking will allow the flour to absorb the moisture in the recipe properly, creating the best texture.
- Cool the bars completely before enjoying. When baking with gluten-free flour blends it is best to let the baked goods cool completely before enjoying them. Otherwise, the texture and flavor can be undesirable or off. Cool the gluten-free oatmeal bars in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the cooling process.
As mentioned above, it is best to cool the peanut butter banana bars fully before serving. If you would like to serve the bars warm, you can warm them back up in the microwave on low heat before serving.
Whether served warm or at room temperature, oatmeal banana bars are fantastic served with:
- Tea, coffee, or lattes
- Sliced fresh fruit
- Peanut butter
- ... and more!
- Store: These peanut butter chocolate oatmeal bars keep covered in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: The bars can also be kept in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To be able to individually thaw the bars, wrap them in parchment paper or plastic wrap before freezing them in the freezer bag.
- Defrosting: Thaw bars at room temperature for 30 minutes - 1 hour or until completely defrosted.
No, unfortunately not all rolled oats are gluten-free. Though oats themselves should be gluten-free, they often are processed on equipment that also processes wheat products. Because of this, the only oats that are guaranteed to be gluten-free are those that are certified to be gluten-free. If you avoid gluten, always check the gluten-free certification label to be safe.
There are many brands of certified gluten-free oats. Bob's Red Mill, O Organics, One Degree Organic Foods, and Quaker Gluten-Free Oats all carry gluten-free oatmeal varieties that are easy to find in the United States.
Though I am not a dietitian or physician and cannot make definitive health claims, I can say that this recipe is full of nutritious whole foods ingredients like bananas, oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup. For a full analysis of this recipe and how it can fit into your diet, consult a nutrition professional or dietitian.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Mixing Bowls
- 8 x 8-Inch Baking Pan
- Wire Cooling Rack (Optional)
More Bar Recipes
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you loved this banana oatmeal bars recipe as much as I do. For more mouth-watering dairy-free, gluten-free, and/or vegan dessert inspiration, make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also get all of my newest content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my email newsletter — I promise not to spam you!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (Gluten-Free!)
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and peanut butter and heat for 20 to 30 seconds, or until melted. Add the brown sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the mashed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl. Stir again.
- Stir in the gluten-free flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Stir in the non-dairy milk.
- Fold the oats and chocolate into the batter. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Pour the batter into a prepared 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Spread it out so the surface is even.
- Bake the gluten-free peanut butter bars for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Enjoy!
- Store: These peanut butter chocolate oatmeal bars keep covered in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- Freeze: The bars can also be kept in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To be able to individually thaw the bars, wrap them in parchment paper or plastic wrap before freezing in the freezer bag.
- Defrosting: Thaw the bars at room temperature for 30 minutes - 1 hour or until defrosted.