Sweets for the sweet! Sometimes you just need to have some, am I right?
This easy bar recipe is such a great solution when you have that need. Chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal combined to make bars.
And all you need is a little time on the stove top and with the microwave – no baking required! Perfect for those days when you don’t want to turn on the oven.
Your reward is a buttery and chocolatey bar that has that delicious crumbly taste and texture of oatmeal.
You will love each and every bite. It’s divine!
Why I love these oatmeal bars
Everyone needs some easy recipes in their collection. One never knows when the emergency need may strike! Think last-minute get-togethers, or a potluck at work.
I’ve had this recipe for years, and these bars have never failed me. They are easy to make and always well received. I just don’t think you can go wrong with a chocolate and peanut butter combination.
They only need 30 minutes of time to assemble before you put them in the fridge to chill. In a couple hours (or overnight) they are ready to be cut. And served.
And there’s something about using oatmeal in that crust. It almost makes them seem . . . healthy.
How to make these no bake bars
To start, line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you could grease the pan but once the bars are done I find it much simpler to lift the parchment paper with the block of bars out of the pan before cutting.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Then add the brown sugar and vanilla. Stir for a minute to dissolve the sugar. Mix in the oats, then cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the ingredients are well blended.
Press about ⅔ of the oatmeal mixture into the parchment-lined pan. Reserve the rest of the mixture for the topping.
Chocolate-peanut butter layer
Now, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together. One way to do this is on the stovetop over low heat. Use a small but heavy saucepan and stir frequently until the chips are completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
As an alternative, I like to melt using the microwave. Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a bowl and microwave in 30 to 60 second increments to melt the chips, stirring in between each microwave step. I start with 60 seconds and then switch to 30 seconds at a time as the chips begin to melt. Typically, the mixture will require only 2-3 total minutes of microwave time.
Add to crust
Once the chocolate mixture is smooth, pour it over the crust in the pan and spread it evenly over the crust.
Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer and press it in very gently.
Cover and refrigerate the bars for at least 3 hours before cutting. If you refrigerate longer, such as overnight, allow the bars to warm slightly at room temperature before attempting to cut into squares.
- Use quick-cooking oats for best results. The oat layer is very crumbly; using rolled oats makes the crumble factor even more pronounced! Of course, if that is all you have, you can still use them. They are delicious either way.
- Use mini chocolate chips for the fastest melting. Regular sized chips will work but will take a little longer to melt fully. I’m all about saving those extra seconds!
More delicious bar recipes
- Chocolate Caramel Bars
- Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cranberry Sauce Bars
- Toll House Brownies
More No-Bake Desserts
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- ¾ cup butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- Line an 8x8-inch square pan with parchment paper. (or grease if preferred)
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Then add the brown sugar and vanilla. Stir for a minute to dissolve the sugar. Mix in the oats, then cook over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the butter is fully incorporated into the oats.
- Press about ⅔ of the oatmeal mixture into the parchment-lined pan. Reserve the rest of the mixture for the topping.
- Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together by placing them in a bowl and microwaving 60 seconds. Try to stir, then microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until the chips are fully melted and the mixture is smooth. (Or, melt in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth)
- Pour the chocolate over the crust in the pan and spread it to make an even layer.
- Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer and press it in very gently. Cover and refrigerate the bars for at least 3 hours before cutting. If you refrigerate longer, such as overnight, allow the bars to warm slightly at room temperature before attempting to cut into squares.
Rolled oats can be used in place of quick-cooking oats but will result in an even more crumbly bar than usual.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Can i use cacao powder or chips instead of chocolate?
I've never tried this but I think it would work. Let me know how it turns out!