Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

 I love granola bars. Especially when they’re no-bake and peanut butter and chocolate chips are involved. I’d go so far as to call these healthy because they’re made with whole grains and there’s fruit included. Raisins count as fruit for me.

I made them when I was in Aruba and I made so many things while I was there that I almost forgot about this recipe until I recently saw it peering at me in my saved drafts.

I thought last week’s Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread was the last Aruba recipe, but this one really is.

You probably have everything you need to make these fast, no-bake, vegan, and gluten-free numbers in your cupboard right now. If you need additional convincing, there’s a big dollop of peanut butter, oats, crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, raisins, and chocolate chips involved.

After making the batter, which takes just five minutes to stir together, pack it into a pan and place the pan in the freezer to encourage the bars to set up faster.

When I removed the pan from freezer and the bars came into contact with the 88F degree heat inside my kitchen, the bars started sweating and glistening a little. It happens to me too in the heat.


The heat and humidity in Aruba was actually a great recipe test because the bars held together, stayed chewy, and didn’t turn into a melty gooey mess even in the very hot and humid Caribbean air, which renders a box of Saltine crackers soggy in mere hours.

In climates without 90F temperatures and 90% relative humidity, these bars are very shelf-stable stored in an airtight container. Or, wrap them up individually in plasticwrap for a portable on-the-go snack. I pack lunches every day for Skylar and Scott and I am always looking for items to include that are new, interesting, transport easily, and on the healthier side of the spectrum. As opposed to this.

The granola bars are dense and very chewy. The rice cereal adds an unexpected and very noticeable pop of crispiness and crunchiness in each bite. I tossed it in on a whim and am glad I did.

You can also try these bars using other cereals; or try shredded coconut flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or whatever little seeds, nuts, or crunchy bits you enjoy in your granola bars.

The bars are ripe for customization and tweaks. I used a raisin medley but try diced medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or any dried fruit you love from dried cherries to blueberries.

The chocolate chips can be replaced with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips; or use toffee bits, mini M & M’s, mini marshmallows, diced peanut butter cups, or any diced candy if you want to make these more dessert bar and less granola bar.

The peanut butter can be replaced with other nut butters from almond to cashew; Biscoff or cookie butter spread to Nutella. If using a thinner nut butter like almond butter or a thinner spread like Nutella, you may need to use less since those spreads are runnier than peanut butter and could render the batter a bit runnier, or you may need to bump up the quantity of dry ingredients.

The cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and raisins are perfect fall flavors. Or anytime flavors for me.

The flavors were apparently perfect for the family too because this batch of ten bars was gobbled in 36 hours. Good thing they’re fast to make.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free)
Prep time
Total time
Serves: Makes one 8-by-8-inch pan, about 10 rectangular bars
  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup or honey may be substituted)
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 2 cups quick cook oats (Quaker, Bob's, or similar)
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal (Crispy Rice Cereal, Rice Krispies Cereal, or similar)
  • ⅓ to ½ cup raisins, roughly chopped if they're large such as golden raisins
  • ⅓ to ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped (or use mini chips)
  1. Prepare an 8-by-8-inch baking pan by lining it with foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine corn or brown rice syrup (I suspect maple syrup or agave are not quite sticky enough to properly bind the ingredients so bars will hold together), peanut butter, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine mixture. Heat for 1 more minute on high power and stir to combine.
  2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and stir to combine. Add oats and stir to combine. Add rice cereal and gently stir to combine so it doesn't become too crushed. Add the raisins and fold to incorporate. Add the chocolate chips and quickly and gently fold to combine so chips don't begin to melt. Pour mixture into prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or hands, and place pan in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until bars have set up.
  3. Slice bars into desired sizes and shapes; I prefer 10 bars cut into rectangles about 4-inches long by about ¾-inch wide, similar in size and shape to a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar; choose any shape and size desired. Bars will keep in an airtight container or wrapped in plasticwrap at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Optional recipe tweaks and suggestions:

Try other cereals or add shredded coconut flakes, flax seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or other seeds or small nuts.

Try diced medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or other dried from cherries to blueberries.

The chocolate chips can be replaced with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips; or use toffee bits, mini M & M's, mini marshmallows, diced peanut butter cups, or any chopped and diced candy bar will work if you want to make these more dessert bar and less granola bar.

The peanut butter can be replaced with other nut butters from almond to cashew; Biscoff or cookie butter spread to Nutella. If using a thinner nut butter like almond butter or a thinner spread like Nutella, you may need to use less since those spreads are runnier than peanut butter and could make batter a bit runny, or you may need to bump up the quantity of dry ingredients.

Take care that all ingredients used are in keeping with your dietary path and needs from the types of cereal, oats, chocolate, and add-ins used if bars must be kept vegan, gluten-free, or soy-free.

Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, GF) – If you omit the chocolate that’s used two ways on top of these bars, they’re quite healthy. Minus the chocolate, the bars themselves are just oats and dates, bound together by peanut butter, and I love them

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF) – Crunchy, easy, packed with the flavors of fall, and you’ll never have to buy overpriced storebought granola again

Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – Makes just 3 bars in 5 minutes, perfect small-batch and fast recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Do you have a favorite granola or granola bar recipe?

Making granola and granola bars at home is so easy, cost-efficient, and you can control what does or doesn’t go into the bars. I’ll always control them so more chocolate goes in, of course.

Feel free to link up your favorite recipes.

Thanks for the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + KitchenAid Stand Mixer + $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway entries – ends Monday

Check back over the weekend for new giveaways each day. Have a great weekend!


  1. Oh my God!!! Just made these and they are in the freezer now but I swear I couldn’t stop licking the spoon!!!!! They are amazing, can’t wait to take them out of the freezer!!!! Thank you!

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  5. These look so stinking good! I have everything in my cupboard to make these. They will make the perfect snack to bring up to the farm!

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  7. I made these yesterday using Nutella, 1/4 cup, white chocolate chips and raisins. The rest I left the same. I always use Brown Rice Syrup though. They are so so so so good. Thank you! This is such a versatile recipe.

    • So glad that you tried them and that Nutella worked out perfectly along with brown rice syrup. And that you used white chips & raisins. I am loving the sound of your flavors! And yes, such a versatile recipe! Thanks for coming back to LMK what you tried!

  8. I think I’m going to be making these this week!

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  10. These bars are still the best! A go to favorite in the summer when I need something portable but don’t want the artificial crud. Added protein powder for the first time and they are amazing!

  11. I made these yesterday for my husband as he’s trying to gain weight and they are perfect for after the gym. I’ve added linseed and soya protein powder to increase the fiber and protein content, so they became the most perfect and most delicious protein bars!! My husband tried one last night (btw, he usually hates eating, thats crazy i know..) and he said: ” wow, these are AMAZING! you might have found the perfect food to make me gain weight cause I’m gonna devour them!!” I agree with him btw :) Thanks Averie!

    • So glad they’re a big hit for you and they’re my fave granola bar on my site!

      I was actually getting ready to make a joke to you – because every day you write to tell me you make 1 or 2 of my recipes (and they’re the breads, the cakes, the heavier stuff) and I was beginning to wonder if had hollow legs or super sonic metabolisms because although I do make it all and eat some, I don’t make it all at the pace you are! :) I hope you husband enjoys these – sounds like he will!

  12. Well, I have my zumba classes, jogging and gym helping me out! lol On top of a 2 years old daughter, which is already a workout, as you probably can imagine :) Then, I also freeze a lot of stuff, I have in fact an over loaded freezer and I love it! :)

    • That’s awesome you’re so active (and chasing your daughter around – I can relate, yes!) and then freezer overload…I can totally relate to that as well. You are smart to freeze stuff though – it ALWAYS gets eaten and always comes in handy! :)

  13. I made these last night and they were really nice – firm and chewy. I’m in the UK where corn syrup is hard to find, so I swapped it for golden syrup and it worked just fine.

  14. I’m thinking of making these for my vegan friend (it’s so hard to find good, easy to make, transportable vegan recipes), but I was wondering if I could use regular rolled oats.

    • You could but just pulse them a few times in the food proc or blender so the texture is finer. That’s all quick cook oats are is slightly ground whole oats. For binding/consistency/texture, I like quick cook in these. Also my Tuesday post is a vegan/GF granola bar (with coconut)!

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  16. I just posted these on my blog. I love them and they have been HUGE hits with everyone I’ve given them to. Love having these as an easy treat to make for friends. Hope you come take a look at my post!

  17. I have made these 2 times in the last 2 weeks, my husband LOVES them(finally found a recipe he liked), and my kids said it is like they are getting candy bars in the lunchboxes…..although we did put mini reeses pieces/no raisins in 1 batch;-) they are delicious!! Thank You!

  18. Hi Averie! Just wanted to leave a comment saying that I ALWAYS have a batch of these around. I’ve made them with all different add-ins: peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds… I always leave out the brown sugar as I find them plenty delicious without it. So good and so easy to make! Thank you for providing me with an easy recipe using ingredients I always have around. I also shared this recipe (giving you credit!) with a friend of mine because she asked what those bars were that I was always eating. Again, thanks!

    • Thanks for coming back to comment and for letting your friend know about my site. So glad you love these (me too!) and glad you can keep the brown sugar out and still get great results. Good to know!

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  20. These are pretty awesome!! I ran out of oats and put some rice cake cereal to substitute, turned out great, thank you for the recipe!!

  21. Made them GF . The best chewy granola bars ever!
    Will never buy any GF bars at the store again.
    Ready in a snap.
    I just used 9×9 pan for thinner bars.
    Thank you

  22. I agree with all the positive comments here, best granola bars ever, so much better than store bought, I will be making these again and again! I’ve tried them with silvered almonds and craisins, Thanks for the greatest recipe :)

  23. I wanted to let you know that I made these granola bars tonight and they are absolutely delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I’ve linked your recipe on my blog so that others can enjoy these as well!

    Thanks again!

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  25. OMGracious! So I’ve made your granola bars tonz of times, but haven’t taken time to comment. My family loves these! Since my daughter is GF they make a wonderful snack we can ALL have. We’ve made lots of versions, smores, white choco cranberry, the list is endless. As I sit to write this I’m making my 19 yr old sister a batch of protein peppermint ones using the snickerdoodle recipe as my base!

  26. hi I’ve actually tried your chewy oatmeal raisen cookie recipe first recipe from your website and OMG! I can eat the whole batch by myself (not a good thing :) Oh how it reminded me of my childhood days in the states the memories…anyways back to my intention of commenting, here in Istanbul we can’t find rice crispy cereal of any sort or rice crispy treats :( , so my question is what can I subsitute for that? Thanks in advance. BTW I’m bookmarking a ton of your recipes that I’ll be trying in the future.

    • If you can’t find anything like Rice Krispies or anything that’s light, airy, crispy, if there are no dry cereals like that at all…then….I would say just add more oats. They won’t be as light and won’t have the exact same texture as my recipe, but it will work.

      Do they sell rice cakes in your grocery stores? Healthy, circular-shaped things that usually have no taste? You could grind some of those up in a food processor or just mash them until they break and then use the crumbs. Maybe try that.

      Let me know how it all goes!

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  28. Tried this one today, but instead of 2 cups of rice cereal, I used 1c crushed corn flakes, 1/4c peanut butter chips, 1/4c coconut & 1/2c mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Amazing!!

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