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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.

An overhead shot of sliced banana oat bars with sliced banana.
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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!

Related: Easy Oatmeal Recipes for Babies and Kids

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.
  • 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.

Variations

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

A four image collage of cooking process.
A two image collage of before and after baking.
  1. 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.
  2. Combine until well-incorporated.
  3. Add in the oats and the rest of the remaining ingredients
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into a lined 8 inch square baking pan.
  6. 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.

Serving Suggestions

a straight on shot of two stacked bars.

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.

Storage Suggestions

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!

4.98 from 47 votes

Banana Oatmeal Bars

Soft and chewy, these healthy 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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 Squars
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (240g), about 2 medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (125g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats (175g)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup

  • grated carrots, chocolate chips, fruit, coconut

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 49mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

4.98 from 47 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. Hi, I would like to bake these but I don’t have ground flax seeds. Is it ok to use an egg instead?

    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I just made these for my 12 month old, and they were loved by the whole household! Very easy to make, and I love how versatile the recipe is. I didn’t have quite enough mashed banana, so added enough applesauce to make a cup. I also did a mix of almond butter and peanut butter. Added in some unsweetened coconut and topped half of the pan with frozen raspberries. Everyone went back to seconds!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow these were great! Approved by my 16 month old and my husband, who is usually critical of my “healthy baking.” I added shredded zucchini and doubled the flax. Thanks for the recipe:)

  4. 5 stars
    I just fell in love with this recipe! This is the first time that the adults find a baby snack so so delicious 😋

  5. 5 stars
    This is now a staple in our house, but with almond butter. And chocolate chips, always. I try to make two batches at a time to have enough to freeze, but between my toddler and me, these don’t last long. I’ve also added shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, hemp seeds, chia seeds, extra flax, shredded coconut, raisins, sour cherries, pepitas, and even brewer’s yeast to turn these into lactation bars. I’ve really pushed the upper limits of how many add-ins I can do. I do decrease the oats a bit if I’m adding lots of dry. Thank you, Min, for the nutritious recipe!

  6. Hi! Any chance I can substitute applesauce for the bananas? Bananas make my kids so constipated unfortunately😥

    1. You may be able to substitute with applesauce although I haven’t tried it. Also, while underripe bananas can cause constipation, overripe bananas can actually help!