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: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one 8-by-8-inch pan, about 10 rectangular bars


2/3 cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup or honey may be substituted)

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 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)

1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins, roughly chopped if they're large such as golden raisins

1/3 to 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped (or use mini chips)


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.

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.

Slice bars into desired sizes and shapes; I prefer 10 bars cut into rectangles about 4-inches long by about 3/4-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!


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  4. So glad you found the recipe and shared it with us! These bars look absolutely fantastic, I’m all for making granola and bars at home and this one is surely next on the list.
    I’m linking one of my favorite granola recipes which has a lot of coconut and dried fruits.

  5. Yummy! I have to try these – they look so good! :)

  6. I love a chewy granola bar! Your cuts are always so perfectly clean. It’s very impressive! I cut things and they looked half chewed by the time they get on the blog, ha!

    • I put everything I can into foil-lined baking pans, then I remove the foil, then I clean-cut it on the counter. Food sites pretty much will reject me on comp if I don’t. FG will occasionally take the artfully ‘chewed on’ bite taken out pic, but not often. Finnicky little buggers :)

  7. Averie! Get out of my head! Just WEdnesday I spent about an hour googling “chewy granola bars” and “peanut butter chewy no bake granola bars” and “granola bars with rice krispies” lol! What a great go-to recipe – a perfect chewy granola bar base for adding in your favorites – I LOVE your idea of adding m&ms for a fun dessert granola bar. Or what about an all peanut butter granola bar half-dipped in chocolate? My head is swirling with ideas!!

    The best part about these bars is that there are NO weird ingredients in them – I hate clicking over on yummy looking recipes to find items that you need to buy at a specialty store. I love the TJs raisin medley – it made your pumpkin granola really pop on screen and brings a pretty contrast of colors to today’s bars. You are the queen of granola bars! I can’t wait to get home tonight and start creating my own! :)

    • I carried a bag of TJs raisin medley down to Aruba with me! I bring 1-2 bags of it with on every trip. Bringing food makes your baggage weight add up so quickly but raisins are ungodly! expensive in Aruba (dates are unheard of) and so I bring them b/c I use them in everything.

      That’s too funny about the granola bar googling situation – we are always on the same wavelength! Krispies, PB, nobake, chewy. Crazy!

      They’re so easy. I don’t dip them in choc b/c I do want more of a granola bar, not a dessert bar. Have the desserts covered in this house :) And also b/c when Skylar holds them, she gets a mitt full of chocolate (mess city!) so I keep it to a minimum but go crazy girl!

  8. Golden raisins are a favorite of mine for adding to baked goods!

  9. Yum. I love that they are climate tested too ;-) I’ve only made granola bars once and it was one of your recipes, another no-bake (maybe that last recipe).

  10. I love how compact they are! Homemade granola bars are SO much better than store bought by a mile.

  11. You sure do make granola bars looks good! I love the combination of peanut butter, raisins, and chocolate chips.

  12. I go through boxes of granola bars more quickly than I care to admit. Homemade versions of anything are always better so I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe! They look scrumptious (love that texture)!

  13. Oh my goooooodness. These look so delish! I love that making granola and granola bars are so easy, yet it’s silly I’ve yet to try it.

  14. I love PB with chocolate – these are my kind of bars!

  15. Hey girl! Your granola bars look amazing. They would be a great treat to take on a hike.

    I wanted to say thank you for the sweet comment you made on Zoe’s post. All the comments made her day, and yours was especially sweet and real. My husband said, “You can tell Averie is from the Midwest, she has that midwestern spirit.” Anyway, I know Skyler is going to be your best cooking pal when she gets a bit older. Zoe wants to cook with me all the time and I just love it!

    Have a great weekend!

    • That is so sweet of your hubs to say that. I can tell just by looking at your guys, you have that midwest spirit, too. I can honestly see you living on Lake Mtka and having a lake cabin and doing all that MN stuff. I can see you never leaving Marin, either. Who would! But I can see you up in the north woods one day again. I keep thinking about what you told me about your trip and going back there…how it felt so nice to be there.

      I don’t get comment replies from you so always forget to go back and check them out but seriously Zoe’s mousse looked better/easier than the Saveur/Bon App recipe I had been reading 12 hrs prior!

  16. I saw these on Pinterest earlier and just knew they were yours!! I love homemade granola bars and these must be the next ones I make. Gorgeous pictures, as always!

  17. These bars look absolutely professional. I can’t get over how perfectly they’re cut. They would be prefect to send to my daughter at college, thanks for the recipe!

  18. These kind of remind me of trail mix in bar form–yum!! I always have a jumbo container of oats in the pantry and a pretty continuous supply of PB. My husband prefers the preservative/chemical free homemade bars (and I can always add a little protein powder for him) and they are soooo much cheaper and tastier to make yourself! Love this recipe–I just set up my ziplist account this am so this one is going in!

    • Yes if you want to add protein powder, it will firm up the dough/batter in no time. Works as a nice little glue/binder. I don’t cook with it or use it anymore in recipes b/c then if someone doesn’t have that exact type/brand, I get too many questions but ad-lib and use some! It will be great.

      Glad you like the ziplist feature and this made the cut :)

  19. Amazing, Averie! You’ve combined my favorite combo into a granola bar! And I have all the ingredients on hand for a late-night Friday baking session :)

  20. So how is it that I’m just now discovering your lovely site?! I noticed your Pinterest follow, followed back and then followed the links here – YAY!! Gorgeous site! Can’t wait to check out all your other yummy recipes! xoxo

  21. These look fantaaastic. I love the oats + crispy cereal idea.

  22. These look perfect. I’m always looking for a good granola bar for grab-and-go breakfasts! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  23. mmm – these bring back childhood memories of eating those quaker chewy granola bars. i love your addition of rasins!

  24. These look like a perfect energy bar, lots of chunks of great stuff in them! I’m always looking for new granola bar recipes. Can’t wait to try this!

  25. oh that looks just incredible!! yum!

  26. How’d you know I was looking for the ultimate in granola bar recipes? In other words ones that stick together and clearly those do! Will be trying Monday- for Tuesday on account of the short school week. Cheers!

  27. I love how those look just like the granola bars from the grocery store I ate as a kid, but I bet they taste so much better!

  28. These look great! Last time I made granola bars, they didn’t seal right so they were interesting shapes :)

  29. Great granola bars!!! They look wonderful! I just LOVE granola bars especially ones that have Peanut Butter in them!

  30. Granola and I are like this. (Note intertwined index and middle finger.) I really could eat it for every meal for the rest of my life and be perfectly content, but (like I’ve mentioned before), my tummy and large intestine may not always agree! :-P These look so delicious! I love the color combo of the raisins and they are so perfectly cut! I love that! I need to practice more patience in the kitchen I think. :-) Would love to try these with all the different flavors of chips: butterscotch, white chocolate, etc. YUM, Averie!

  31. Yum– these look like the perfect on the go snack– which I’m ALWAYS looking for now :-) Delicious!

  32. The bars looks fantastically delicious! I bet they are so good as a snack. Healthy snack!

  33. Fantastic idea, and I love how customizable they are. I’m not a big PB lover (I know, I know) but I bet almond would work nicely too. Also love the date and chocolate ones you’ve posted – one of my favorite combinations!

  34. My favorite thing to grill is fresh pineapple!

  35. oooo…these look perfect to eat for breakfast on my drive to work! I love the extra notes you have for extras to do with these. I want to reach and grab one….beautiful pics (as always)

  36. I love love love no bake bars! These sound amazing!

  37. I love home-made granola bars: I make them not to sweet, and can use any ingredients I want. The best part is No Bake part… :)

  38. I made these this morning and just cut them. They are delicious!! May never buy one again. Thank you so much for an easy recipe. I had everything I needed to make them, I used brown rice syrup and then followed the rest of the ingredients and they are so good, I hope I can stop myself from eating them all!!!! I will definitely make these again and maybe try different things next time. But, I love this recipe!!!!

    • So glad they’re a hit and that the brown rice syrup did the trick for you. I love these, too. And that they’re easy! You can wrap them up in clingwrap and freeze them, too. They keep for months in the freezer. Just pull out as needed.

  39. Thanks for the recipe! I’m running a 15k race in December and always looking for healthy snacks. I love that your bars have peanut butter and dried fruit – great for energy! I’ll probably add some walnut or peanut pieces to mine. I’ll definitely try making these at home!

  40. Those are probably the best looking granola bars I have ever seen. I MUST make those.

  41. Your peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars are not gluten free because they call for rice crispies. If you use gluten free rice krispies then they will be, but the regular one’s have gluten in them.

    • The bars more definitely ARE GF because I used GF crispy rice cereal and linked to a variety of options within the post. There are different versions of Rice Krispies brand, both GF and non. There is also Erehwon/Nature’s Path Krispy Rice cereal which is what I linked to in the post and used and it is GF. I link to as many products as possible but it’s up to the individual to read labels and choose products that are in accordance with his or her needs. I call for crispy rice cereal, not Rice Krispies. Big difference. Hope you make the bars and enjoy them!

    • Averie, Thanks so much for these so useful recipes! Does Quaker Oats also market gluten free oats? I didn’t know that. People who really need to be gluten free should know that Bob’s has regular and gluten free oats so they don’t get into trouble. (the oats are no different, but regular oats are contaminated with wheat). Thanks again for kid-friendly recipes!

    • Glad you enjoy the recipes! And oats are inherently a gluten-free grain, just like rice is, but due to cross-contamination in the production process gluten can be introduced. I’m sure you know this already though.

  42. So I made these and they are awesome! I didn’t add the sugar and they are still sweet and delish. Do you have suggestions for reducing the honey that would still “bind” the mixture as needed? Could water or applesauce work?

    • In an entire pan of bars, 10 servings+, you’re really using such a small amount of honey or binding sweetener that I just wouldn’t worry about it. Using any less and no, I fear they will not hold together. You could try increasing the nut butter amount, but you’d be adding more calories since it’s more calorically dense than honey. Water would turn the oats into slop; and applesauce would likely do the same. I would just enjoy them and not get too hung up :)

  43. I have made these bars three times already! When I made them yesterday I used almond butter instead of peanut butter and dried cranberries instead of raisins. They were really good. You can customize them any way you want, apparently. They are hard to resist!! I like these much better than the ones I was buying that only had 5 bars in the box. I will definitely keep making these, I think they are not only tastier, but more cost effective, too. And, that always helps!! Thank you so much for this easy, delicious recipe.

    • Almond butter with cranberries sounds great and glad you’ve made them three times already…wow! And I agree, they’re hard to resist and way more cost effective (and better) than storebought!

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  47. Sounds good, except for the microwaving! I’d leave that out. Also I’d use
    a different nut butter.

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