Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars (vegan, gf)

You had me at chocolate. And peanut butter. And the no-bake factor is always a plus. And they are gluten-free, to boot.

When I found this recipe on Vegan Heartland, I couldn’t wait to try it. I was surprised to find that I had all of the ingredients on hand (if you’re vegan, you probably do, too). As Matthew (Vegan Heartland author) notes in his recipe post, these crunchy, sweet bars are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants + omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. But don’t think that means you can eat the whole pan, cuz short on calories they are not. Nor are they short on flavor or texture. I LOVE ’em!!!

These are super easy and quick to make. The hard part is waiting for them to firm up overnight. I simply have no patience, so I just put the pan in the freezer for an hour, and voila! – they were good to go.

Oops! I just realized I left the pumpkin seeds out of the ingredients shot.

Such nice, even bars. Not. If I could have a do-over, I would cut it into 16 bars. There’s always next time.

When storing the bars in a container, place a sheet of parchment paper between the layers to avoid bars sticking together.

Breakfast is served! Thanks again to Matthew at Vegan Heartland for this excellent recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars (vegan, gf)
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, American
Serves: 12-16 bars
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (use gluten-free if desired)
  • ¼ cup flax seed meal
  • ⅛ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut butter of choice – I used almond butter)
  • ½ cup vegan, gf chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
  1. Line an 8×8 (or similar size) pan or baking dish with parchment paper. Leave extra on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars later.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flax seed meal, seeds and nuts; mix thoroughly.
  3. Add agave nectar to the mixture and stir until well coated. Add peanut butter (or other nut butter) to the mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan/baking dish and press firmly until it is evenly distributed. Original recipe instructs to allow mixture to then sit overnight (to firm up) before cutting into bars. I’m not that patient—I put mine in the freezer for an hour or so and it seemed to work just fine.
  5. Using the parchment paper handles, remove the entire block from pan/baking dish, then cut into bars.
*Feel free to substitute your favorite nuts/seeds for any you don’t have on hand or don’t like. You could sub dried fruit for chocolate chips, too.
*I found that the bars start to lose their firmness if left out for too long. Best to store them in the freezer. When storing the bars in a container, place a sheet of parchment paper between the layers to avoid bars sticking together.


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  1. Katie says

    Yum! I wonder how brown rice syrup would work vs agave? Maybe hold them better? These look so easy! I gotta pick up some seeds! Hubby might see me raiding the bird feeder out back! JK

      • Katie says

        Ok, couldn’t find sesame seed in the feeder ;) I wonder if I could sub coconut for the sesame seed. I know they are a different size but…..I let ya know how they turn out….gotta pick up parchment paper too as I just ran out today!

    • Jil says

      I just made these and used brown rice syrup and no agave. I also added just a bit of unsweetened coconut flakes and cranberries, but then halved the chocolate. :) They are awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. says

    Oooh Livvy…those look delish! I actually have all the ingredients and will make these for my boys tomorrow. I think I will try raw honey instead of the agave. I’ve got to get me some parchment paper though. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    PB & Chocolate is one of my all-time fave combinations, too. . . but sadly can’t have PB right now, so I’m SO happy to see that you used almond butter!! I think I need to add this recipe to my weekend roster. :)

  4. Melissa Stauffer says

    Looks great, Livvy. I am wondering if our Pure Maple Syrup would work in place of the Agave Nector, whitch could be hard to find in our area, They look so good. Thanks for posting it. :)

    • says

      Hi Melissa! It’s possible that could work, but it’s also possible that pure maple syrup might not have enough ‘guts’ to hold it all together. I know that Meijer carries agave nectar! I wonder if the Amish store might have it, too? Sometimes they have weird stuff like that, don’t they? Maybe I’m dreaming.

  5. KayBird says

    I made these today. I used half peanut bitter and half Nutella. They turned out really well. Super yummy with extra chocolate from the Nutella though probably not so healthy.

  6. Jennifer says

    I thought this recipe looked really tasty, except that I can’t have chocolate or peanuts (arr elimination diet). So, I altered it by using almond butter instead, and added a touch of vanilla, molasses (because I ran out of agave before 1/2 c), and a good amount of cinnamon. They taste exactly like cinnamon rolls. Thank you for the inspiration.

  7. Becky says

    LOVE! I added coconut flakes and a little bit of almond extract. I did 1/2 honey 1/2 agave with almond butter. Did not add pumpkin seeds or cashews…so yum. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  8. says

    These are fantastic! I made them. I have tried many granola bar recipes and never got the ratios just right. I did sub brown rice syrup for agave since I think it’s a bit tackier, but that’s no big thing. I found your site through the vegan post on buzzfeed. What a great find!

    • says

      So glad you gave them a try and liked them! Matthew did a great job with this recipe. And thanks for checking out 86 Lemons – hope you’ll stick around :)

    • says

      Funny you should ask. I mistakenly bought some Café Mocha cups for the Keurig. It is more like hot chocolate than coffee, and I believe it contains dried milk (not to mention loads of sugar), so I don’t drink it. Thought I’d use some up by way of a prop ;)

  9. Kristine says

    Just lovely snack on the road! I added powdered dried banana and dried raspberries left over from summer, used almond butter and turned out yummy! Thanks for the recepie!

  10. Renee says

    I bought everything ,I prepared it Lyvvi …but there’s no how much degrees and how long do I put it in the oven..?

  11. Sherlock says

    These are awesome! I halved the recipe to make as snack bars for my 4 year old. Got 4 small bars big enough for her. I lightly processed my oatmeal too so it wasn’t so raw oatmeal-y. I think next time I will use brown rice syrup as it tends to be waaay more sticky than agave or honey.

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe!


  12. Michele Berger says

    I am absolutely addicted to these! I make them weekly! My family loves them, too! I sent some home with a friend (another Michigander!) too!

  13. says

    This recipe is a keeper. It’s a great alternative for those that want to make their own bars and it’s a great way to use up any seeds or nuts you might have left-over. I also added a little bit of shredded coconut to mine.

  14. Carol Rothlisberger says

    Just found your site by accident–what a nice surprise! I’m a 13-year type 2 diabetic and finally decided to start taking better are of myself. I’ve been putting bars in my bag for emergencies and these will help. They’re great for a low blood sugar attack.

  15. Mandy says

    I love love love these bars. I made them for the first time a couple of months ago and have made 3 batches. They are a perfect morning tea snack. I sit and enjoy every bite with a cup of tea every morning. I add coconut and walnuts to mine. Thanks so much for such a lovely recipe. Delicious!!!!

  16. Caitlin says

    I’ve been meaning to make these for ages- we’re travelling this weekend and I always like to take as much with me as possible and then to stop when we arrive to save money on going out for every meal. Do these bars keep you feel and make for a full breakfast? Maybe + a banana?

    • says

      Hmmm… I don’t know if these would be the best travel bars, unless you pack them in a cooler or thermal bag with an ice pack. They tend to loose their firmness if left out too long (I keep mine in the freezer). But you could try using brown rice syrup instead of agave. Since it’s stickier, it might help them hold together better. And yes, I would say a bar and a piece of fruit would probably be just right for breakfast. If you want another option, I just posted a recipe for Strawberry Breakfast Bars this morning – they would be great for travel. Have a great trip!

      • Caitlin says

        Thanks for the speedy response, ma’am!

        I had actually already planned to use at least part- brown rice syrup b/c I didn’t feel like buying more agave. Decided to use all and zero agave. Also, when we get to our destination I’ll pop them in the freezer for a bit in hopes of them sticking back together and if not, so they’re a sticky yummy mess?? Oh well!

  17. Liz says

    we are making these for the first time….how many calories do you reckon are in each bar (if you make into 16 bars)??

    • Meagan says

      I entered the recipe into the calorie count database on 287 calories if you cut them into 14 bars. SO that works out to about 250 each for 16 bars.

  18. Meagan says

    I have been making these bars for a couple of months, they are great! I recently decided to start playing with the ingredients a little and have been adding about 2 tsp. of cinnamon and using about 1/2 to 2/3 the amount of avage nectar and subbing the rest for molasses This tones down the sweetness a bit if you don’t want somethign so sweet early in the morning (I eat one of these and a banana before my morning run).

  19. says

    These look wonderful – all the things I love to add to muesli bars are in here. I’m making these this week thanks so much! You can add carob instead of chocolate I imagine or cranberries/goji’s?

  20. says

    These were life savers for me right after I had my baby and needed protein rich snacks on hand, while nursing. Seriously, thank you so much for this recipe. Now, a year and a half later, family and friends still ask for them all the time! This one’s a keeper!

  21. Jen says

    So I made these but I don’t use agave nectar, so I had substituted pure maple syrup. The flavor was great but they didn’t stick together as bars so we just crumbled it as a granola and put it on top of greek yogurt. Yum. Next time I might try using honey.

  22. says

    Made these today with white chocolate chips, walnuts instead of almonds and 1/2 agave 1/2 honey. They were delicious, filling and easy to throw together.

  23. says

    I just have to tell you how much we love these bars! I’ve been making them for my 11 year old for breakfast and they’re fabulous! (Occasionally I steal one :) ) I make a batch every 3 weeks and keep them in the freezer and they make a great breakfast for him. Healthy, filling, and much better than toaster waffles! Keeps him totally full until lunchtime! Though I do need to start buying honey (I use that instead of agave) at costco because we’re going through it so fast now!

  24. Heather Palmer says

    Excited to have found this recipe! Hubby and I just made them…now we wait. Looking forward to eating these on my commute tomorrow =)

  25. Aida says

    My husband loves these bars. I cut down on the peanut butter and also used cranberries instead of chocolate. They are yummy

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