3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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Stack of gluten-free vegan Peanut Butter Granola Bars

When I was in college I was the queen of snacks. I was away from home or my dorm 90% of the time, so I had to rely on quick meals to get me through the day, granola bars being one of my favorites.

Granola bars were granola bars, as far as I was concerned. That was, until I discovered the Larabar. Simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, amazing flavors – I was hooked after one bite of the apple pie flavor (a stellar recommendation from my sister – my longtime partner in healthy eating crime).

Ingredients for making our homemade gluten-free vegan Peanut Butter Larabars

Though I’ve made date-sweetened granola bars in the past (see my 5 Ingredient Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Bars, Super Seedy Bars, Brownie Granola Bars), I’ve yet to make a plain and and simple peanut butter version.

This simple, 3-ingredient recipe is an homage to my beloved Larabar Peanut Butter Cookie bar. After a recent trip to Trader’s left me in need of a snack, it was the first thing I reached for. As soon as I got to my car I downed that thing like a champ and thought, “Yep, these need to happen on the blog.”

Well, it’s happening NOW.

Food processor with ingredients for making Copycat Peanut Butter Larabars

These bars are so easy it’s almost a non-recipe.

Dates pulsed in a food processor, then mixed with natural salted peanut butter and rolled oats. The result is a salty-sweet dough that can either be rolled into snack balls or pressed into a pan and cut into bars that are super handy for on-the-go snacking.

Food processor with freshly blended Copycat Peanut Butter LarabarsPlate of our amazing 3-ingredient gluten-free Peanut Butter Granola Bars

These bars are seriously magic. They’re:

Vegan
Gluten Free
Peanut Buttery
Supa moist
Naturally sweetened
Hearty
Wholesome
Salty-sweet
Healthy
Portable
& Yum yum

I thought these would make the perfect on-the-road snack for those traveling next week for the holidays. Though John and I will be cozied up right in our little Portland apartment, eating Shepherd’s Pie, and watching an Office Christmas marathon, I’m considering making another batch of these gems solely for couch-time snacking.

Freshly sliced homemade gluten-free vegan Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Consider these bars a little gift from me to you this holiday season. I hope all is merry and bright in your world, and you’re spending next week with the ones you love most.

And, speaking of gifts, if you’re looking for gifts for foodies and aspiring home cooks, check out our Simple Kitchen Essentials post! It’s a top-to-bottom account of everything in our simple kitchen.

If you make these bars, pretty please let us know! Take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers!Stack of simple homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars

3-ingredient peanut butter granola bars that are naturally sweetened, wholesome, and perfectly salty-sweet. A healthier snack for lunches, road trips, and more.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Batch of Peanut Butter Granola Bars on a plate
4.89 from 35 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 (bars)
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1-2 Months
Does it keep? 2-3 weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups packed dates (pitted // 1 1/2 cups yield ~32 dates)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (creamy, salted is best, but most any kind will do)*
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (GF for gluten-free eaters)

Instructions

  • If your dates are not sticky and moist, soak in warm water for 10 minutes and then drain. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.
  • Add dates to a food processor and pulse until only small bits remain - it will likely clump into a ball - that’s what you want. If any big pieces remain, use a knife or spatula to push them down, then turn the machine back on to pulse.
  • Add peanut butter and oats and pulse a few more times until incorporated, stirring and scraping down sides as needed. If you prefer denser bars, add more oats.
  • Transfer to a parchment-lined 8x8 dish and press down until flat, OR scoop out 1 Tbsp amounts and roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet or plate. Transfer to freezer to set.
  • If making bars, slice into 8-10 bars (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and store in the fridge or freezer to keep fresh. They can be a little flimsy at room temp, so be gentle with how you stack them.
  • Will keep in the fridge for several weeks and in the freezer for up to a couple months or more.

Notes

*If your peanut butter isn’t salted, consider adding 1/4 tsp sea salt.
*Inspired by Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars
*Adapted from my No Bake Cookie Bars
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 bars Calories: 214 Carbohydrates: 31 g Protein: 6.5 g Fat: 8.5 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 4 mg Fiber: 4.2 g Sugar: 22 g

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  1. Shannon says

    I’m a biker too! So glad I found these searching for bars to make for a camping bike trip. Love the simplicity, nutrition, and the taste is incredible. Husband loves them too! Also I’m trying to be a no plastic person and energy bars (including Lara ☹️) are wrapped in it for a single use. I followed the recipe and made them into “logs” not balls and followed another reviwer’s advice and rolled them in unsweetened shredded coconut to prevent stickiness. I’ll put them in a small Stash bag in my camelback for ride energy. Many thanks for this great, easy, healthy recipe!

  2. Zog says

    I’d like to give a feedback from a cyclist’s point of view.

    I tried to do these for fueling on long solo rides (>45mi). I made 50g bars, 1/4 inch thick, and baked them as I was afraid they would melt because of the heat (I keep them in the back pocket of my jersey), 15min @ 350°C. Then I wrapped them in cling film.

    The inside is still soft and somehow a bit raw (though 15 min is too much, I reckon 12 would be enough), but the baking creates an outside crust. So it doesn’t melt, doesn’t stick to cling film and is still easy to chew.

    As for nutrition it gives the expected fuel boost and lasts a good 30min. Also oat contains lots of magnesium, which is beneficial for muscle endurance and cramp prevention.
    So we’re close to perfection here :-) I am looking forward to trying the same with other dried fruits or nut butter !

    Thanks a lot !!

  3. anne says

    didn’t expect too much to be honest, but they were very nice! the given proportions work perfectly :)

  4. BexT says

    These are great! I only had 200g of dates so made it up with 100g of dried mixed berries (soaked in warm water for a few minutes). Also added a couple of tablespoons of flaxseeds. First time I’ve made them and they’re so tasty. I cut mine into 9 for a 200cal treat. I love that the sweetness comes from the fruit and nothing else. This is going to be a permanent feature in my fridge from now on! Thank you :)

  5. Christeen Livingstone says

    Hi Dana,

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I just made these as I needed a quick study pick-me-up. These are delicious and easy to make. We are low on baking ingredients, so I appreciate that these are made with staples that most people have in their pantry. My husband also approves, so it’s a win-win.

  6. Diana Franco says

    I made these for my husband and he loved them! I did tweak it a little and added some chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut, & cinnamon.

  7. jeanne says

    Just made this — added some flax seeds and some dried cranberries. Didn’t have enough dates so used only 18 instead of 32. Super delicious and so easy! I made them into tablspoon balls. I love that these are no sugar and no sugar substitute, too!

  8. Christine Teixeira says

    Made this tonight and LOVE it!! I think next time I will use crunchy peanut butter or add nuts for an added crunch. But definitely enjoyed as is. Thanks!!!

  9. Kiri says

    Thank you for this amazing recipe! Made this with added coconut oil, cacao powder and nibs for a chocolate hit ? ?

  10. Alexa says

    My 5 and 10 year old just made these, they added chia seeds and cinnamon and made the tbsp balls. They love them!! Thank you for helping steer us away from store bought bars!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks, Alexa! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers. xoxo!

  11. Greg says

    I’d been buying the protein/granola bars at the store only to realize how few actually had nutritional values. Fortunate to find this recipe. Simple, detailed, easy to follow. I added apprx. 4 tbsp of whey powder to up the protein/calorie count… and was a bit worried about using a nation brand pb. Only 4 stars because, boy did it make my food processor work for it! (added two tbsp of coconut oil to loosen it up a bit) flavor was amazing! Surprised at how well dates and peanut butter go together! (okay, raised to five… I’ll see if I can find a more powerful processor as I’m sure to be making more of these)

  12. Alexandra Mann says

    My daughter loves Larabars and I tried making these as a cheaper alternative. They are SO delicious and much better than actual Larabars! Perfect sweet/salty combo.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Margaret. We are so glad you enjoyed these! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  13. Teagan says

    Are you able to use a blender instead of a food processor? I don’t have a food processor, but I do have a Ninja blender. Do you think that would work? It has a lot of blades.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Teagan, we haven’t tried that, but have some concern that it might cause the blender to overheat. If you give it a try, we would recommend pulsing and then allowing breaks to reduce that risk. Hope that helps!

  14. J. S. says

    Am I reading it right? Is it one & half cup of dates ? It would be great if you could give the weight of the dates
    Thanks

  15. Liz says

    Very rarely does a recipe actually come out perfectly for me on the first try (I am an enthusiastic, but slightly culinarily challenged cook!) but these are sublime, and easy. And yum. And salty sweet. And wholesome. And vegan. And everything promised and more. I didn’t change anything in the recipe, but I should imagine adding nuts or chia seeds or something would only make them better!
    Thank you sooooooo much for this wonderful recipe – I shall use it for the rest of my life and pass It on to anyone who will listen!
    Xxxxxx

  16. Cindi says

    OK. I just read the post reguarding not having a food processor to incorporate all 3 ingredients. I will have to invest in one. Thx!

  17. J says

    Simply amazing. Added a heaped spoon of LSA for an extra health kick, then baked at 160^C (fan) for 10 minutes. Turned out moist, toasty, and held together perfect even at room temp.

  18. Jenny says

    This recipe is great! I have been looking for a good recipe like this for a longtime and for one that was actually tasty. This is it! No added sugars, and super yummy! :D

  19. Sally T says

    Hi, from Dorset here in England,

    I don’t have a any machine that can “pulse” the softened dates. Can I chop them up finely ? Would that be ok instead? Not sure how I can get them “mushed” up enough without a machine, any ideas.

    Thans in anticipation

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sally! Chopping them up finely will kind of work, but you almost want to mash them up if that makes sense. I think you could achieve this by hand, but have not tried it myself! I would probably chop them finely and then go over them with a rolling pin?

  20. Brandon M says

    Great recipe. I started making them for a good snack while training for a triathlon but I never get any now because my wife and kids have fallen in love with them! Time to double or triple the batches going forward!

  21. Rae says

    I just made this recipe for the first time, and I absolutely love it.
    I was searching your website for something quick & easy that I could make plenty of while doing my meal prep for the week and that would satisfy my intense craving for PB&J.
    I added a 1/2 cup of dried fruit to make the “Jelly,” and I used a crunchy peanut butter that has Chia and flax seed in it. They are perfect! The seeds and the dried fruit combine to make a perfectly yummy Jelly taste and feel.
    I shaped them into 26 little balls and my calculations bring them out to about 80 calories each – – making them an ideal afternoon snack.
    I’ll definitely be making this again soon. Next time I’m going to try adding 1/4 cup dried strawberries + 1/4 cup dried blueberries.
    Thank you so much for sharing these awesome plant-based, healthy, minimal recipes.

  22. Ashley says

    I made them but with some chopped up pistachios. I dislike dates but in these balls they are very good. Its a brilliant idea. A good substitute for honey and other things.

  23. tabea says

    Hi, i see a lot of peanut butter recipes and was wondering if i can change the peanut butter with chestnut puré, because i love the taste of chestnuts?

  24. Anna says

    I’ve had an extra tough couple of weeks, and my husband is late coming home from work. I promised to have something for him to eat, but with life + depression I was afraid it wasn’t going to happen. Then I remembered your blog. And found this recipe. And am inspired! These look perfect and we love most of your recipes, especially the few-ingredient bars like this. THANK YOU for the awesome recipes, and for giving me the will to get off the couch.

  25. Carole J says

    Had some sad, dried dates in my pantry, reconstituted them and made this recipe today…delicious!
    Question: have you ever tried baking these for a crispy granola bar? If so, how long to bake & what oven temperature?

  26. Angela says

    Just made these and added a Tbsp of Nutella, dried tart cherries, chia seeds and rolled them in hemp hearts. Best balls I ever tasted!!!!! Thanks

  27. Leanne says

    Don’t use a Vitamix to make these! The mix is too thick and your motor will shut off! I got most of it mixed together and then had to mix the rest in a bowl. I also pulsed the oats a couple of times before I added them to the mix as I didn’t want big oats in my bars. They smell incredible though – just waiting for them to set in the fridge before diving in! Yummo!

  28. Alissa says

    Has anyone ever tried these with Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter? I love them with Peanut Butter, but I would love to bring them to my child’s play group, and peanuts are not allowed! :)

  29. Wally says

    Dates make a great base for a lot of my favorite things, and this looks like it will be another one. I love simple recipes so this is perfect for me!

    Cheers,

  30. lisa says

    Oh my days! These are so gorgeous! Been having cravings for peanut butter for some unfathomable reason, and these really hit the spot. Thank you!

  31. Alyssa says

    Saw this recipe featured in a Buzzfeed article once, thought I’d give it a whirl while visiting my boyfriend stationed in FL… Surprisingly, he had all three ingredients though the peanut butter he had was a peanut-coconut butter mix. Um, hello, delicious!!! I’ve made your recipe both ways– regular peanut butter and the 50-50 mix– and while both are delightful, the sweetness from the coconut really makes these pop!!!

    Looking forward to trying your other recipes~

  32. Big jo says

    Can you substitute the peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter…i’m assuming yes just as long is its creamy, right?

  33. Lori says

    Delicious! I rolled them into balls and then rolled some of them into coconut to have two “flavors.” Great on-the-g0 snack for the whole family.

  34. Lee-Anna says

    These look great! Do you think we could add more nutritional ingredients? Nuts and Seeds perhaps? Has anyone tried?

  35. Nisha says

    This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Quick question do you use fresh or dried dates?

  36. willow skylar says

    hi can i substitute the dates with something else? not prunes or raisins either though. maybe with honey?

  37. Theresa says

    I am thinking about making these for a long hiking trip. Do they stick together, or could they be put in a big ziplock bag? Do you think I could add chia seeds for a little more protein?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Definitely add chia seeds! You can put them in a ziploc bag. I would just recommend wrapping them individually in plastic wrap or parchment to keep them separated. Good luck@

      • Theresa says

        Thanks! I think I’m going to try to solve both problems by making them into balls instead of bars and rolling them in chia seeds. I’m thinking that way, they won’t stick. We’re going to be hiking in Yosemite, and the less waste we have to carry with us, the better!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I wouldn’t used steel cut because they’ll be too tough and chewy. I would only used rolled oats.

      • Ana says

        I’m glad I didn’t. Went to trader’s last night and grabbed some dates and rolled oats, and made some of this AMAZING energy bars. I shaped into balls and put some coconut on top. OMG, how good they are! I am making the ones with dark chocolate tonight.

        Ps: my boyfriend is so addict to them now!

  38. Cyndi says

    I saw a bunch of boxes of dates on clearance at my job yesterday for $1.50 a pop per box, and was debating on getting some. I think this answered that question for me!

  39. Laurel says

    I made a variation on these last night. Kind of a combination of these and your 5-ingredient bars. I used prunes instead of dates (less sugar), a tablespoon of honey, almost half a cup of freshly homemade peanut butter, and a cup and a half of oats. I added in a few chopped almonds at the end, because yum. They didn’t hold together all that well (I’m thinking I probably should have used less oats…and maybe more honey?) but they taste fantastic! Do you ever use prunes in place of dates? Any tips on getting the bars to hold together better?

  40. Sarah says

    I just got done making these and they are fantastic! They are super easy and quick, but most importantly they taste amazing!

  41. Zoe says

    For cooks who have difficulty obtaining dates, there is an absolute fun website that carries hundreds of types of fruits, nuts, a wide variety of great stuff delivered right to your door. Can either order in 1# bags or in bulk. If you’ve never shopped online at nuts.com give them a try!

  42. Cristine says

    Does this say 32 dates? Or is that coming across my screen wrong?! Cause that would be crazy talk! Lol. Lease look great regardless…. I am on a Dell computer, so not sure if its just coming across weird, i’ll have to check my Mac!

  43. Nina says

    These are amazing! So easy to make, so healthy and so tasty. This was my first time using dates and definately not the last time!!!

  44. Ilse says

    These are so good! I used raisins instead of dates cause I dont really like dates and they tasted amazing! I dont usually like healthy stuff (oops) but these are great

  45. Ana says

    This is wonderful! Dates aren’t easy to come by where I’m from though. Any alternatives you’d recommend? Was wondering if raisins, plum or prunes would do.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Any of those should do. However, they won’t be “as” good as the dates (just a warning). Good luck!

  46. Luna says

    I used this recipe as inspiration and used more peanut butter, less dates, added some agave and flax, then I used a flax-walnut-agave mixture to encrust the bottom… They came out a little dry(should’ve used more dates, but they’re sooo expensive here), but certainly a great recipe… Thank you so much!

  47. Melanie | Melanie Makes says

    Can’t wait to give these a try, Dana! These granola bars would make for a great activity to make together with my daughters.

  48. Grace says

    These look so tasty! I made a similar 3 ingredient recipe using dates (and/or raisins), oats, and peanuts (or any other nut). Just grind them up in the food processor. I love those, and they also remind me of Larabars. These look even more moist though with the nut butter instead of whole nuts ground up. Yum!

  49. S Lauren @ Modern Granola says

    These look delicious! I love how easy they are. I’ll definitely be making these to keep in my handbag for holiday errands. Thanks a heap!

  50. The Vegan 8 says

    I use to eat the peanut butter chocolate chip Larabars allll the time, so good!! So, of course I love these and how simple they are. Homemade always tastes better too, doesn’t it?!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It does! And I love that you can make them as salty or sweet as you prefer. Glad I have a fellow PB bar fan!

  51. Karen says

    Mmmm…sound good except for the dates. Unfortunately, I just don’t care for them. Do you know if it’s possible to substitute raisins? I always wonder about that when I see recipes with dates. Maybe I’ll just have to give it a try. Thanks for a great blog.

  52. Kathryn says

    I’m pretty much instantly drawn to anything that has “3 ingredients” in the title. But what a tasty 3 ingredients they are! I need to get better at packing snacks for long days and this is a great place to start.

  53. DessertForTwo says

    Well these sound absolutely fantastic! And I found a random 2-pound tub of dates in the back of my pantry yesterday (who does that? Me, that’s who). I can’t wait to whip these up!

  54. Lauren @ Kale and Cookie Dough says

    These are one of my favorite snacks. I haven’t made them with oats before. These look super delicious!

  55. Danielle @.Chits and Chats and Chocolate says

    I used to make these all the time, before I became too addicted, that is. So I can vouch for the fact that they a fantastic!