No-Bake Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Has it felt like the surface of the sun in your neck of the woods this year? It has certainly been ungodly hot in here in Pittsburgh. Some people bask in the glory of blazing hot summer days. I am not one of those people. For someone who constantly complains about being cold and needs to carry a hoodie into a movie theater in the middle of July, you’d think I’d enjoy a little warmth. A little warmth, yes. Sweltering, disgusting heat and humidity? No thank you. Once we reach more than two days above 90 degrees, I start doing the equivalent of a rain dance, which I can only hope brings about fall weather sooner rather than later. I can’t help it. The heat and humidity make me miserable – I get a headache, get cranky and am generally intolerable. If I could create a climate where it’s in the mid-70’s, sunny and breezy for eight months out of the year and then cold and snowy for November through February, I’d move there in a second. I’m not aware of any such place, so I’ll continue to hide in the air conditioning until it cools down a bit. Although I still do my fair share of baking during the summer, I try to minimize the time spent over the stove and with the oven blasting. Enter the wonder of no-bake cookies and bars!
No-bake recipes are fabulous. They usually require less than 15 minutes of your time, no oven, and are the perfect way to satisfy any instant gratification you require from a sweet treat. If you have kids, these types of recipes are also great to have on hand for quick after-school snacks. Or maybe a bunch of ravenous teenagers end up at your place, ready to eat you out of house and home. They’re also great for mom if you’re in dire need of something sweet, don’t have a lot of time and want something easy. Then these are your best friend.
Feel free to make all sorts of substitutions to this recipe. Use almond or cashew butter, Nutella or Biscoff, different flavors of chocolate chips, etc. You could even stir in chopped nuts, dried fruits or marshmallows at the end. Have fun, be creative, and keep cool these last few weeks of summer!
One year ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Two years ago: Beer Waffles with Cinnamon-Caramel Apples
Three years ago: Zucchini Bread
Four years ago: Italian Bread
Five years ago: Chicken Spread[/donotprint]
No-Bake Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
- 3 cups (243 g) old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups (360 g) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup (258 g) creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (122 ml) milk
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. (You can use a 9x13-inch if you want thinner bars.)
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oatmeal, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, the peanut butter and vanilla extract; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium heat. Bring to a full boil (there should be bubbles covering the entire surface) and boil for 2 minutes.
- Immediately pour the hot mixture (carefully!) over the oatmeal mixture and quickly stir to combine, ensuring that all of the oatmeal mixture has been moistened. Turn the mixture into the parchment-lined pan and use the back of a spoon to press it evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips over top and gently press them into the top of the mixture.
- Allow the bars to sit at room temperature to set up, which takes about 30 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Thankfully, I read the other reviews. I realized as I was reading this was going to go terribly WRONG!! There is no way anyones bars look like the posted picture. I have made a flippin candy bar vs’ a nice granola bar. Wasted a ton of sugar and butter, so annoying. I would recommend taking this down-with the costs of baking goods skyrocketing this recipe could easily mess up a family on a strict budget trying to make the best of hard times. I only used half of the butter and sugar mixture otherwise these would be complete SLOP!!
THESE ARE THE BEST COOKIES I HAVE EVER MADE!
Please delete this recipe. Too many wasted ingredients! But my bad I should have read the comments first…
Fail. All the chocolate chips melted immediately from the boiling mixture. Not even waiting for it to set cause it looks so wet. In the trash it goes. Followed the directions exactly
I am really disappointed in this recipe. The picture doesn’t look anything like the final product and I followed the recipe exactly. This recipe is basically a mush of melted chocolate with oats. Wayyyy too much chocolate and wayyyyy too sweet. I wasted all my ingredients and I’ll be chucking this in the garbage. I was expecting a chewy oat bar with a bit of chocolate. This recipe is anything but.
These look really good! I love no-bake recipes for doing with my toddler.
I made this recipe last week. They look nothing like the picture and I do not see how they possibly could. Adding boiling hot liquid to the oatmeal/pb/chocolate mix will certainly turn everything dark. Not what I was expecting. The bars were enjoyed, but I am still in search of the recipe for the oatmeal bars shown in the picture.
I am known for my banking skills and the best recipes. This recipe is quite amazing. Although it looks and sounds like an average bar, it tastes far from. I am disabled and mixed mine in a mixer so it came out more chocolatey looking but it was so good even I ate one, and I don’t eat anything due to ibs. This recipe will be passed on and on to both friends and family.
So I just whipped this up, its cooling on my counter right now. How did you get add the sugar mixture without completely annihilating the chocolate chips in the oatmeal mixture? I added mine and it instantly melted them all and its not a chocolatey mixture…. not that its a bad thing….
Hi there. I’m assuming this isn’t you – they copied and pasted your whole recipe on G+. I would love to share your recipe there with a link to your post if I may – just let me know. Good stuff!
I made these. if you want it to look like the picture, after you’ve spread the bar in the pan sprinkle the two cups of chocolate on top. instead of pouring the hot mixture over top of the chocolate, which causes it to melt.
Tried it with almond butter, son is allergic to peanuts, turned out great.
I made these and wrote about them here. They were great! I didn’t think they were too sweet. Maybe people cut them into large slices? The recipe says there are 16 servings in a 9×9 pan which makes for a tiny bar, just a few small bites.
I would totally make these again.
These tasted great, but yes…turned chocolate brown like others have said. That didn’t deter me, but I do think 2 cups of sugar was overboard. I think the Aussie said it best when she said Americans seem to like things overly sweet. These were crazy sweet. I have kind of sworn of white sugar lately, using things like dates, agave, etc. and clearly, that’s part of it. But even with a love for regular sugary treats, these were SO sweet that they almost hurt my teeth. And I’m a huge fan of sweet treats!
So I can totally agree that these don’t look like the picture. However, they are still delicious and hardly a waste of ingredients! I think in this world where we can so easily gain access to whatever we want to eat whenever we want it, people become very spoiled! They were dee-lish. Period.
Hi, this is my first attempt at a recipe from this site. Finally. I made these bars as I wanted what was in the pic, a different no-bake bar. . Basically its kind of a deconstructed no-bake cookie in bar form by leaving out cocoa & using choc/chips. I followed the recipe “as written”. I ended up w/a wet, heavy light colored no-bake bar. It wasn’t tasty because I got more of white sugar liquid taste. They were real soft too after setting up. As for adding MORE than 3 cups of oatmeal, no way. Don’t want a dry bar & too much white sugar is probably the error vs blaming a 2 minute boiling point. Sometimes at home when a recipe is developed we have our own “personal touches” to accomplicing a recipe successfully where other folks can’t get it done “like the pic” & feel a waste of ingredients was the end result. I do believe there’s too much white sugar. Therefore I would add the peanut butter & vanilla to the saucepan & reduce the sugar to 1 & 1/2 cups would may help, then stir the chips in after the hot PB is mixed in with the oats. Or just sprinkle on the chips after the oat mixture is in the pan.
I wonder how this recipe would turn out if the sugar, butter & milk were omitted hence eleminating the cooking in the saucepan, and mixing together half of one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk to the creamy peanut butter & vanilla extract in a separate bowl …then in another bowl adding oatmeal & the dry ingredients & choc/chips. Then pour the PB mix into the the oat mix & stir until mixed thoroughly. Press in.a pan, let ’em set up & eat them. Any thoughts on this? THX!
for anybody is wondering about calories..
I just calculated the calories for the bars, and without the chocolate chips they are about 310 a piece!
So I made these according to directions before reading comments my mistake. They came out melted brown from hot mix into oat mix. All in all I was ok with that. But it is super super sweet maybe ill try again using honey instead of sugar and only a little, two cups of sugar was crazy on top of peanut butter and chocolate, actually I used peanut and treenut free chocolate and used fresh sunbutter in place of peanut butter and no that does not affect recipe
I am just wondering if you have ever tried substituting the granulated Spenda or something similar in this type of recipe, or any other.
Hi Suzette, I have not used Splenda in any of my baking.
oops I mean coconut milk NOT oil!
I made these yesterday. A few substations though. Instead of sugar I used one cup of Agave. I used coconut oil instead of canola. Added the chocolate chips at the VERY end. They came out AWESOME! Thanks for the start of a great recipe!!!
OK its morning, used coconut oil in place of butter! coconut milk in place of milk, Agave in place of sugar. Love them!
Hi, I just made these and my only concern is about the peanut butter, where do i have to add it? to the candy mixture or to the oat one???? besades I did not had any problem with the chocolate melting may be because I wait a little bit before pour it; the only thing is, I over boil the mixture and got crumbly. But it wasn’t a problem for us we just sprinkle over ice cream and it was great.
Hi Zely, The peanut butter goes into the bowl with the oats, as mentioned in step 2.
Made these tonight and really wished I had read all the comments first! I was hoping for a bar that looked like the picture, but like many other readers, my chocolate chips melted and made the whole thing turn chocolate brown. I would definitely have folded them in after…
Can’t really go wrong with this combo though so I’m hoping they still taste great!
This looks so fast and delicious!
Made these last week, wish i would have taken a photo to share because mine came out just fine. Yes, some melty spots but very few, and the chips on top were perfect. Loved them and will definitely make again!! Reminded me of peanut butter fudge, the consistency and taste. Setting the timer for two minutes once the rolling boil was a great tip, thank you!!!
Made these today. Yum! Thanks!
It looks delicious! And no-bake makes it irresistible! However, can I replace the semisweet chocolate chips with m&m’s? That’s the only chocolate we have in the house and its too hot to walk to the stores.
Hi Karly, You could definitely substitute M&M’s for the chocolate chips. Enjoy!
Could I use quick oats instead of the fashioned kind? Will it just change texture or maybe not turn out? I seriously love all things, peanut butter, chocolate and oats! I am anxious to try this no bake recipe because it’s been so stinking hot here in the south that baking cookies just isn’t a good idea. Can’t wait to devour these!!
Hi Angela, The quick might “dissolve” a little more than the original, so the texture could be a little different, although I don’t know that they’d actually be ruined.
I plan to make these today after i pick up chocolate chips. What if the choc chips were frozen ahead of time? Just a thought…. Will let you know!
I guess I should stick to baking, anytime I try to do anything over the stove I screw it up. So I haven’t tried the Golden Graham bars again, yet. I have all the ingredients, just not mentally there yet. So I decided to give this recipe a whirl, a little apprehensive. So my first question is, when you combine the ingredients over the stove, do you stir at all? I stirred until it started to simmer, and then remembered that you shouldn’t stir; however your recipe doesn’t say either way, so I didn’t. I started to get small bubbles more on the outside that slowly came to the center (I guess some would say this is a simmer), so I started my timer, then I saw medium bubbles more uniformed, so I added more time to my timer. Then it went full on boil and I added more time. So when do I start the timer? And like the other comments, as soon as I poured this really hot mixture into my bowl, it made a noise, I was nervous that my bowl would melt, but it didn’t, thanks OXO, however, it melted everything else (chocolate chips and peanut butter). I added the chips on top and they slowly melted as well. So I had a piece this morning, it stayed together, looks and taste slightly dry, but doesn’t look anything like yours, tasted very rich and heavy, reminded me of this recipe my friend in college had with cocoa powder though and I think we put raisins in it. Anyway, love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
Hi Jade, I stirred to help dissolve the sugar until it started to boil, and then I stopped stirring and just let it go. You should start the timer when it comes to a full boil, i.e. there are constant bubbles over the entire surface, not just around the outside.
Well I know what I’m making this week for a special treat. These look amazing!
Yep these were totally good but all chocolate by the time we were done!
Love these. I need to branch out from my normal oatmeal no bakes and try something like this because whether it’s hot and humid or just hot and dry (SW U.S. where I am) something like this is perfect.
Okay, so I made these tonight.
Mine look NOTHING like the picture! As soon as I added the hot liquid into the oatmeal mixture the chocolate chips melted (I kinda figured they would) so my squares are totally chocolate. Not a huge deal, they still taste good.
I used half the sugar and half the chocolate chips and they are plenty sweet!
Ah good to hear – I was also concerned with the amount of sugar so it’s nice to see someone used less and still enjoyed it. Thank you
These were so tempting to make… so I did. They are just AWFUL…awful delicious that is! Family loved them.. Plan on making them for all our picnics. :-)
My chips melted right into the bars too. Made me sad! I love all things chocolate chip, and once the chips melted these were just plain old no bake bars that everyone makes. Even the chips I placed on top melted into the mixture and I followed all of the instructions to a T. Tasty, but not what I was hoping for.
Hi Holley, I would suggest leaving the chips out until you stir everything together, and then mix them in quickly. I’m wondering if your mixture was way hotter than mine, because my chips on top definitely didn’t melt. Did you use regular size or mini chips? I used regular-size chocolate chips.
Thanks for responding, Michelle! I used a mix of Ghiradelli baking chips (the bigger, flattish ones) and TJs Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups that had been chopped into pretty big chunks. I’m not sure how my mixture could’ve been much hotter than yours. I used a timer as you suggested : ). I did let mine get to a real rolling boil. Perhaps it should’ve been more of a simmer? I would love to find a way to get this to work as intended for me. Like I said, I am a sucker for all things chocolate chips!
You can buy here in Australia choc chips that dont melt when you bake them. Maybe they would be resistant to melting in this recipe?
I was wondering how sweet these are? The sugar amount seems alot and I have been told that American recipes tend to be sweeter than Aussie ones. I’m going to have a go tomorrow, even though its winter here and quite chilly :)
Hi Michelle, I always find it difficult to explain how sweet something is, since everyone’s taste buds are quite different and what might be too sweet to one person is just fine to another. For me, these were the perfect amount of sweet. Hope you enjoy!
i can’t get enough of no bake recipes this summer & yours tops the to-do list!
I love anything with oats and seriously need to expand my no-bake list with this heat!
This recipe has all of my favorite things – definitely need to try it. And the no oven part is appealing. Honestly it’s been so hot here that even using the stovetop sounds a little daunting.
I made a similar treat today. Posting on Monday:) You can never go wrong with that combo!
oh my oh my these look so unbelievable!! i love that it’s no bake too. an even faster and easier way to get in my belly – fast! :)
These look absolutely delicious; can’t wait to give them a try!! Love oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate…thanks!! Happy Friday!!
I have been looking for a homemade bar-type snack to eat after workouts. This looks great!
These look yummy and very creative! I love the hot weather, but only in small doses. Mostly I just like to look out the window at the sunshine and flowers. I’ll take 100 degrees over 30 and snow any day, though. One day I’ll move somewhere with year round warmth, until then, I’m hoping we have another unseasonably warm winter.
No-bake treats rule here too! Love your dense and full-of-goodness bars, Michelle!
I just finished making these. (couldn’t wait, I’m six months pregnant and got the craving immediately!) I do have a question though about adding the hot sugar mixture to the oatmeal and chocolate chips. How did you keep your chips from melting immediately? My chocolate melted as I mixed in the boiling mixture, and turned the bars chocolate brown.
They are still extremely delicious, and they were so easy to make… I just wondered if there’s a trick to making them look like your pictures where the chips stayed intact.
Thanks for the recipe! It was a craving saver in these months when I can’t bare turning on the oven! :)
same thing happened today when I made them. I was wondering the same thing!
Hi Emily and snapdabble, You’ll see that in some spots the bars look chocolate brown, and in other spots not as much. Honestly, you probably did a better job at mixing than I did :)
SO much yum. I’ve been looking for a no-bake bar for a few days because it just became hellish in LA… can’t turn on ANYTHING without feeling like i’m going to die. thank you!
Oh all the no bake granola bars, these might be my favorite. Peanut butter!
You had me at “no bake” :)
Oh my gosh. Living now in Mississippi has me dying in this heat! So, no-bake is just what I’m talking about! These look fabulous…definitely going to try. :)
I like summer because of all the outdoor activities we have planned and I do like it warm. Humidity, however, makes my hair frizz and that makes me cranky! :) I’m all for no-bake desserts!
i could’ve written this post. i’m always cold, but have been a little *too* hot this summer and couldn’t get enough of no-bake desserts :)
These look great! Can’t wait to try them. Are they almost like granola bars at all?
Hi Melissa, They are definitely similar!
Um, no offense, Michelle because I have loved all your recipes and this one is no exception, but Melissa…no, these are not like granola bars at all. See the multiple reviews above and below that indicate the same results that I got when I made these-soft, somewhat sticky no-bake cookies, basically. Granted, they are DELICIOUS and, personally, I was pretty pleased that they didn’t look like the pics above because they were a lot “wetter” and tastier than what I thought would be a PB-flavored granola bar. The directions should have been a dead giveaway: pour something boiling hot onto a mix containing chocolate chips…guess what happens when you do that? You’d have to have either magic mixing powers or leave out the chocolate chips to avoid the melting. Again, for me, it was a happy outcome, but if you’re looking specifically for a firm cookie or granola bar, I’d would either a) add an extra cup or two of oats and/or decrease the liquid mix or b) pass on this recipe altogether. But if texture doesn’t matter, by all means proceed because these are very, very tasty.
Um, yes the sun is messing with me bad. I haven’t been a good baker or runner-too hot. I’m so going to comfort myself with a pan of these! They sound and look delicious!
I love no-bake bars and the fact that these are so versatile!
Here is a really simple trick in preventing any kind of chocolate chips melting while mixing it in with a hot mixture. FREEZE YOUR CHOCOLATE CHIPS OVERNIGHT and right before you need them to mix, take them out of the freezer… If you continue to mix too long they will still melt a little bit, but you won’t end up with everything covered in chocolate. This trick has always worked really well for me. Hope this helps!
These look fabulous! I adore no bake things in the summer, the oven heats up our apartment way too much
I love no bake treats – they come together so quickly. These bars look fabulous. Love all the flavors together. Definitely pinning and adding to the “list”
Love it! Finny today I posted a recipe for no bake peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel balls. I am intrigued by your bars, I have to make you recipe!! Looks like a perfect Sunday recipe for me to make!
Oooh, love that you added pretzels! I’m going to have to try yours too!
DC has been totally ridiculous. I usually love summer but I am SO ready for fall. Can’t get here fast enough. I want crisp cool and and boots! This looks like a great granola bar.
Any sort of no-bake cookie is good in my book :) It’s already starting to cool off here, but I think I’ll still be making these.
These look like a keeper for those care packages to school. I will try to give this recipe a test run this weekened. I live in the east too and can’t wait for the cooler autumn weather. It seems kinda a weird that I am going shopping for a Northface jacket for my son…This will be his first experience with snowbelt country!
Perfect for back to school snacks! Looks great!
Now these I need! They look so chewy and perfect. I’m quite happy to say that the Great British Summer has pretty much been non-existent – I’m a winter girl myself. :)
These look awesome!
I love homemade granola bars – especially nobake ones with PB and chocolate in them! Delish!
I love no-bake desserts in the summer. I do love summer and the heat, but I think I will love it/embrace it more once I’m in a house with a/c someday…it’s too hard to sleep at night when it’s so hot! We had record heat in July here in NY so I feel your pain :)
“No-Bake” really caught my attention these days. IT’s way too hot to bake. :) But then the peanut butter and chocolate chips, etc make it divine!
There is a place like that – it is Alaska
First of all, that picture above is VERY misleading! There’s no way the outcome can come out looking like that. I’m pissed that I even made this because this is just the bar form of the peanut butter/chocolate no bake cookies I’ve been making for years. Once you pour the sugar mixture into the dry mix, it turns everything brown because the chocolate melts! This was just a waste of ingredients because I thought I was making the product in the pictures you posted.
I made these delicious looking bars today thanks to the hot weather and my craving for something sweet, but I completely agree with comment above. The reason I tried this recipe in the first place was due to the picture. Unfortunately they looked exactly like the no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies I make when I’m short on ingredients and time. I was a bit disappointed in the end:( very misleading.
Hi Heather, I’m sorry you were disappointed with the end result. I did make these as written. I can tell you that I mixed very quickly and as you can see in the photos, there are some areas where the chocolate melted, but large areas where it didn’t. If you found there was too much melted chocolate for your taste, I would recommend leaving out the chocolate chips when you initially mix it, and then fold them in. That should alleviate any over-melting you experienced.
These were amazing and I don’t think they are like the original version “only in bar form,” they’re BETTER!! If you mix the oat mixture well first then you don’t have to overstir the melted ingredients in (potentially melting the chips). I noticed as I was mixing that some chocolate started to melt so I stopped, poured into the pan and finished it up. My bars turned out PICTURE PERFECT. I think its absurd to write that it’s a “waste of ingredients” when these are so delicious regardless of whether the chocolate melted faster than they planned.