Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Published Aug 23, 2023, Updated Oct 06, 2023
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These oatmeal chocolate chip bars are a tasty, wholesome treat made without flour, oil or refined sugar. They’re chewy, loaded with chocolate chips and so easy to make!
Introducing your new favorite snack: oatmeal chocolate chip bars!
Most cookie bars are made with lots of butter, white flour and brown sugar but I love making mine with with wholesome, healthier ingredients like almond butter, maple syrup, bananas and rolled oats. You won’t find any flour, oil or refined sugar here!
They’re also super easy to make in just one bowl. Trust me, these bars are easily going to become a new family favorite.
Why You’ll Love These Bars
- They’re naturally sweetened and packed with fiber, omega-3s and protein.
- So easy to make… just mix, bake and enjoy.
- They’re a great choice for breakfast, a mid-day snack or healthy dessert.
- You can customize the recipe with your favorite nuts or dried fruits.
- They happen to be egg-free, gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Cookie Bar Ingredients
- almond butter – adds a rich, creamy texture to these bars and helps to bind everything together. The almond butter also adds some healthy fat so there’s no need for added oil in these bars. Check the ingredient label to make sure the only ingredient is almonds (or almonds and salt). I used Wild Friends almond butter, but I also like the 365 organic almond butter from Whole Foods. You’ll want your almond butter to have a drippy consistency rather than super thick.
- ripe banana – adds a natural sweetness and moistness to the bars. Plus, it’s a great way to use up those overripe bananas on your counter.
- maple syrup – we’re only using 1/4 cup of maple syrup to keep these bars low-sugar. Make sure you’re using pure maple syrup instead of pancake syrup as that’s loaded with corn syrup and additives.
- flaxseed – instead of an egg we’re using ground flaxseed to help bind these bars together. The flaxseed also adds fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill organic flaxseed.
- vanilla extract – a nice flavor enhancer.
- old fashioned oats – the base for these bars and what gives them a chewy texture. Plus, they’re a great source of fiber and keep you feeling full. Oats are often cross-contaminated, so make sure to grab certified gluten-free oats if needed. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats.
- baking powder – helps the bars rise.
- sea salt – to bring all the flavors together.
- chocolate chips – because everything is better with chocolate, right? I love Lily’s chocolate chips for a low-sugar option and Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips for a dairy-free/soy-free option, but feel free to use your favorite type of chocolate chips. Semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips would both be delicious!
How to Make Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Then grab an 8×8 inch baking dish and either line it with parchment paper or give it a good spray with cooking spray, then set it aside for later.
Mix wet ingredients: In a medium bowl combine the drippy almond butter, mashed ripe banana, maple syrup, flaxseed and vanilla extract. Use a whisk to mix everything together until well combined.
Add dry ingredients: In the same mixing bowl add the old-fashioned oats, baking powder and sea salt. Stir everything together to combine thoroughly.
Add chocolate chips: Gently fold in the chocolate chips until they’re distributed throughout the batter.
Bake: Transfer your batter to the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly across the pan, smoothing out the top as you go. For a little extra indulgence, sprinkle a few more chocolate chips over the top. Place the bars in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they turn a beautiful golden brown color on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool: Once baked, it’s crucial to let the bars cool completely in the pan before you attempt to cut them into squares for serving. This will ensure they hold their shape and don’t crumble apart. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Notes
Almond butter – If you don’t have it on hand or prefer a different nut butter, feel free to swap it out. Peanut butter or cashew butter would both work well. For a nut-free option use tahini or sunflower seed butter.
Banana – The banana here acts as a natural sweetener and helps to bind the ingredients. If you don’t have any ripe bananas, unsweetened applesauce would be a good alternative. You can also use pumpkin puree for a different flavor twist.
Maple syrup – You could substitute this with honey, agave nectar or even date syrup if preferred.
Flaxseed – If you don’t have flaxseed, chia seeds could be used as a substitute as they also have good binding properties. You could also use 1 egg if you don’t need these bars to be vegan.
Chocolate chips – Swap the chocolate chips with chocolate chunks or even another mix-in of choice. Shredded coconut, dried cranberries, raisins or chopped nuts (like almonds, pecans or walnuts) would all be great options!
How to Serve
These chocolate chip oatmeal bars are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways throughout the day:
- On-the-go breakfast: These bars are healthy enough for breakfast and perfect for those busy mornings when you just need to grab something and go. They’re portable, mess-free and will keep you full until lunchtime.
- Breakfast accompaniment: Serve a bar as a side along with your usual breakfast. They pair well with hard boiled eggs, egg white bites, baked egg muffins or a protein shake.
- As a snack: Enjoy a bar for a mid-afternoon snack or post-workout treat. My kiddos are obsessed with them.
- For dessert: I love having one of these bars for a healthy dessert after dinner. For the ultimate treat, serve one with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
How to Store
At room temperature: Once cooled, place the oatmeal cookie bars in a sealed airtight container. They will stay fresh for about 2 days at room temperature.
In the freezer: For longer storage you can freeze these bars for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. To enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours at room temperature.
More Bar Recipes to Try
- Apple Granola Bars
- Coconut Chocolate Chip Larabars
- Fruit and Nut Bars
- Apple Oatmeal Bars
- No Bake High Fiber Bars
- Tahini Fig Bars
- Toasted Coconut Chia Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Nut Free Granola Bars
- Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
More Oatmeal Recipes to Try
- Baked Oatmeal Cups
- How to Make Oatmeal
- Easy Baked Oatmeal
- Overnight Oats
- Protein Oatmeal
- How to Make Oatmeal for Babies
- Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
- Berry Baked Oatmeal Bars
- Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- ¾ cup drippy almond butter, I used Wild Friends almond butter
- ½ cup mashed ripe banana
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- Flaky sea salt, for topping, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Add nut butter, mashed banana, maple syrup, flaxseed and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add rolled oats, baking powder and sea salt to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.