No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars Recipe

I forgot how much I love a NO BAKE recipe!  No heating up the kitchen and practically instant gratification! The only problem with these chocolate-peanut butter-oat bars is that they are so tasty and satisfying, I kind of can’t resist them.  So after I made this batch, I gave them all to my sister-in-law and she and her family flipped for them!!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • requires no baking
  • uses all pantry ingredients you probably already have
  • flexible and easily nut-free (check the substitutions on the bottom)
  • great as a snack
  • lasts a long time (1-2 weeks) in the fridge
  • NOT an over-the-top blood sugar-spiker dessert – sweetened only with dates and the sugar in the chocolate you choose!

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars Ingredients

  • Dates: I love medjool dates. They have a caramel-like flavor. Always check the inside when you pit them to be sure they have no bugs. I store them in a sealed jar in my pantry or in the fridge or freezer.
  • Peanut butter: I’m a fan of peanut butter, but you can use any nut or seed butter of choice in this recipe. I always use “natural” nut butters.
  • Coconut oil: I prefer using an unrefined coconut oil. It helps solidify the mixture because coconut oil hardens when refrigerated. 
  • Vanilla extract: look for pure vanilla extract without additives or artificial flavors.
  • Rolled oats: use old-fashioned rolled oats, not steel-cut oats. Look for gluten-free oats, if necessary. 
  • Shredded coconut: I always have shredded coconut on hand for when I make granola. It adds a nice chew to this base. 
  • Crunchy element: you can use chopped nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, puffed quinoa, a combination of these or any other crunchy element.
  • Chocolate chips: I like dark chocolate chips, but you can use semi-sweet. I wouldn’t recommend using milk chocolate chips because they are mostly sugar. 
  • Flaky salt: is used for finishing dishes. I love adding flaky salt to desserts too. It adds a nice crunch of salt. 

How to Make No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars

  1. Place dates in a medium bowl and fill with boiling water, making sure dates are fully submerged in water. Soak dates for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
  2. Line a large loaf pan (9 x 5 or 10 x 5) with unbleached parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor or blender, blend dates with 1 Tablespoon of soaking liquid, nut butter, coconut oil, salt and vanilla until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in oats, shredded coconut, nuts and seeds. Stir until well combined. If you have a large capacity food processor, remove the blade and stir in rolled oats, coconut, nuts and seeds into the food processor bowl. Mix until well combined.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan and spread evenly in one layer and smooth at the top.
  5. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
  6. Spread melted chocolate evenly over oat mixture. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and refrigerate until mixture is firm, about 8 hours to overnight. (chocolate will be firm, but filling will be sticky and medium firm). The longer they stay in the fridge, the firmer they will get.
  7. Remove mixture from the loaf pan and cut into bars or squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Tips for Making No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars

  • Soak the date in hot water until soft. This will make them easier to blend. Don’t throw out the soaking liquid because you’ll need about 1 tablespoon of it. 
  • If you don’t have a food processor or your food processor is not that strong, I recommend blending the dates in a blender so the mixture comes out smoother. 
  • I like to line the loaf pan with parchment paper so I can easily pull out the bars from the baking dish when it’s time to cut them. 
  • Keep these in the fridge so they stay firm. 

Substitutions for No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars

  • Peanut butter – almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower butter, Granola Butter, or tahini
  • Coconut oil – coconut butter or unsalted dairy butter
  • Chopped nuts – seeds, cacao nibs, puffed quinoa or something else that is crunchy.
  • Dark chocolate chips – semi-sweet chocolate chips. Look for dairy-free brands if necessary or ones sweetened with stevia if that works better for you.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter-Oat Bars
Serves: 12 2-INCH PIECES (Makes 1 Loaf)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • Boiling water
  • 6 Tablespoons peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter (¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons) or nut/seed butter of choice
  • 3 Tablespoons melted unrefined, virgin coconut oil or coconut butter
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, puffed quinoa, puffed buckwheat, or a combo
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (or unsweetened chocolate with stevia added to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined, virgin coconut oil
  • Flaky sea salt, if desired
Instructions
  1. Place dates in a medium bowl and fill with boiling water, making sure dates are fully submerged in water. Soak dates for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
  2. Line a large loaf pan (9 x 5 or 10 x 5) with unbleached parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor or blender, blend dates with 1 Tablespoon of soaking liquid, nut butter, coconut oil, salt and vanilla until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in oats, shredded coconut, nuts and seeds. Stir until well combined. If you have a large capacity food processor, remove the blade and stir in rolled oats, coconut, nuts and seeds into the food processor bowl. Mix until well combined.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan and spread evenly in one layer and smooth at the top.
  5. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
  6. Spread melted chocolate evenly over oat mixture. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and refrigerate until mixture is firm, about 8 hours to overnight. (chocolate will be firm, but filling will be sticky and medium firm). The longer they stay in the fridge, the firmer they will get.
  7. Remove mixture from the loaf pan and cut into bars or squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

 

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Comments

4 Comments

  1. So good! My husband can’t have dates (boo!) what do you recommend? Can I use maple syrup? Thanks! Stephanie

    • The dates are provide a thick stickiness which helps hold all the ingredients together. I haven’t tested it, but I would swap in another dried fruit like dried figs.

  2. These look so good! I’m going to make them tomorrow.

    • Let me know how you like them!


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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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