Soft and chewy, these banana oatmeal bars are super easy to make with just a handful of pantry items. They're the perfect make-ahead, grab-n-go breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Banana Oatmeal Bars
One of the most popular recipes on my blog is this 3 ingredient cookie. It's absolutely amazing just how much yumminess can result from this simple yet powerful trio - peanut butter, mashed bananas, and oatmeal.
So these healthy oatmeal bars were bound to happen! You're going to love this one-bowl recipe made with simple ingredients and no added sugar.
I'm not kidding when I say that these are always in our freezer for a quick breakfast or healthy snack for toddlers, kids, and adults!
And if you are looking for a no bake version, try these oatmeal balls!
- Rolled oats (old-fashioned oats) - while quick oats will work, the texture will be much softer.
- Overripe bananas - The more ripe they are, the sweeter and more moist the bars will be. So grab ones with lots of brown spots. And if you often have more ripe bananas than you know what to do with, here's a collection of healthy banana recipes to try out.
- Creamy peanut butter - Helps bind the bars together and adds protein, healthy fats, and a delicious nutty flavor. Smooth, natural style works best. You can also use any nut butter, like almond butter or cashew butter, or seed butter, like sunflower butter.
- Carrots - this is optional but highly recommended. It's such an easy and delicious way to slide in more veggies and boost nutrition.
- Ground flax seeds - I recommend purchasing whole flaxseeds and grinding them yourself (I love to use my coffee grinder for this). That's because once ground, they go rancid quickly due to their high oil content. And you just don't know how long those bags of ground/milled flaxseeds have been sitting at the store.
- Baking Powder - gives the bars a little lift and makes them less dense.
This is optional but here are some suggestions if you'd like to invite more fun, variety, and nutrition. Try stirring in:
- Dried fruit - like raisins, blueberries, apricots, dates (be sure to finely chop any large fruits)
- Unsweetened coconut
- Finely chopped nuts or seeds
- Finely grated carrots or even zucchini (might sound strange but my kids love it and such an easy way to get more veggies into their bellies)
- Chocolate chips
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
How to make Banana Oatmeal Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash bananas in a large bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup. Freeze any leftover bananas. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
- Combine until well-incorporated.
- Add in the oats and the rest of the remaining ingredients
- Stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into a lined 8 inch square baking pan.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove, cool completely, cut into bars.
Tips for Success
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up.
- Since there's no additional sweetener, use over ripe bananas. If you desire a sweeter banana oat bar, feel free to add some maple syrup or honey.
- Be sure to measure out the bananas as every banana is different in size . Too much and you can end up with mushy oatmeal bars or if little, the bars will be dry.
These peanut butter oatmeal bars are great as a quick breakfast or easy snack.
You can enjoy straight from the refrigerator or warmed with extra banana, a drizzle of peanut butter, or whatever toppings you fancy. Totally optional though.
A lot of times we just grab one as we head out the door for school or wherever life takes us.
Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze, cool completely. Then flash freeze to prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer safe container or bag. Will be good for up to 3 months.
More Banana Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Banana Oatmeal Bars
- 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (240g), about 2 medium bananas
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (125g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups rolled oats (175g)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
Optional add-ins: ½ cup
- grated carrots, chocolate chips, fruit, coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash bananas in a large bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup. Freeze any leftovers.
- Stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add in the oats and the rest of the remaining ingredients, including chocolate chips, carrots, or any of the optional add-ins. Stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into a lined 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove, cool completely, cut into bars.
- Since there's no additional sweetener, use over ripe bananas. If you desire a sweeter banana oat bar, feel free to add some maple syrup.
- Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.