Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars

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Squares of our easy gluten-free vegan PB&J Oat Bars

You guys. I don’t even know what to say, other than if you make these bars you’ll want to eat every last crumb!

And that they taste exactly like a PB&J sandwich, but somehow better.
And that they’re vegan and gluten-free!

Can you tell I’m just a little excited about this one?

Measuring cups of oats, almonds, and coconut sugar for making Vegan PB&J Bars

This simple 8-ingredient recipe starts with a crispy almond-oat crust that’s naturally-sweetened with coconut sugar and made with coconut oil in place of vegan butter (a swap you guys continue to request).

While the crust bakes up, prepare your jam filling. Strawberry jam is heated into a pourable sauce with the addition of a few fresh strawberries. The result is a sweet, 2-ingredient topping that pairs perfectly with the peanut butter swirl.

Cooking strawberries and jam in a saucepanPouring strawberry mixture over the crust for Gluten-Free Vegan PB&J Bars

This is where things get serious: Jam on crust, swirled with generous amounts of peanut butter, and topped with crushed, roasted peanuts.

I mean, WHOA. Bake that up and put it in your mouth STAT.

PB&J Snack Bars with marbled peanut butter and fruit layerParchment-lined baking pan filled with a batch of our PB&J Bars recipe for a gluten-free vegan snack

I think you guys are going to LOVE these bars! They’re:

Tender
Crispy on the edges
Gooey in the center
Peanut buttery
Jam-packed (<- see what I did there?)
Savory-sweet
& Insanely delicious

When would one enjoy a PB& J snack bar? I’m so glad you asked. I would recommend sharing one with a friend over tea in the afternoon. Or taking one to go for a mid-day snack. Or, digging into one (or two) for a wholesome after-dinner dessert. Or anytime, anywhere, for any reason…really.

Squares of our gluten-free vegan PB&J Oat Bars for a healthy vegan snack

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve made it), and pretty please take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! We adore seeing our creations come to life in your kitchens. Cheers, friends!

Grabbing a bite of a vegan gluten-free PB&J Oat Bar for a healthy snack

Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars

Simple, 8-ingredient peanut butter and jelly bars with a naturally-sweetened oat-almond crust, and a strawberry jam and peanut butter topping! The perfect hearty snack or dessert!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars beside dairy-free milk and a bowl of peanuts
4.46 from 33 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings 9 (bars)
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-4 Days

Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

FILLING

  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam (ensure vegan friendliness)
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries (or raspberries // chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp natural salted creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp roasted salted peanuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Add oats, almonds, sea salt, and coconut sugar to a food processor or high speed blender and pulse into a fine meal, making sure no large pieces remain.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and add melted coconut oil. Stir with a spoon to incorporate. Then use your hands to work the oil into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (such as a drinking glass).
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Then increase heat to 375 degrees F (190 C) and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are slightly golden brown.
  • In the meantime, add jam and strawberries to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat until hot and pourable - about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Once crust is slightly golden brown, remove from oven and immediately add strawberry jam. Use a spoon to spread into an even layer. Then dollop on peanut butter in 1 teaspoon amounts.
  • Use the handle end of a spoon (or a chopstick) to gently swirl the two together. Top with crushed peanuts (optional).
  • Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C) and bake for another 12-17 minutes or until the strawberry topping is warm and bubbly.
  • Remove squares from oven and let cool completely - 2-3 hours. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and slice into 9 even squares, or 10 bars (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Store leftovers in a well-sealed container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or the freezer up to 1 month.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 9 servings)

Serving: 1 bars Calories: 289 Carbohydrates: 31 g Protein: 5.2 g Fat: 17.1 g Saturated Fat: 7.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 59 mg Fiber: 3.3 g Sugar: 18 g

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  1. Preeti D. says

    Oh my!!! I have had my eye on these bars for a few weeks now and I finally set time aside to bust my apron out. These bars are absolutely DELISH :) If you are a fan of peanut butter and jam then don’t hesitate to get these into the oven. The crust is very satisfying, I added a handful of pecans to the mix along with a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. I found that I had to add the extra oil to help the mixture come together. I these beauties alongside your morning cup of tea or coffee… YUM! Thank you for another well-rounded and healthful recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Priti, that might work, though the crust will likely be more tender and less crunchy!

  2. Laura says

    These bars are hoarded at my house. I’ve made them a dozen times since finding this gem of a recipe. I have tried different jams, jellies and fresh fruit combinations. All delicious! I’ve substituted a handful of Medjool dates (In food processor) for the coconut sugar depending on what I have on hand. The dates may hold the crust together a bit better, but the taste is similar. These go so quickly that I always double the batch and store in the freezer (in the hopes that no one else remembers they’re there!).

  3. Kim says

    These bars are amazing!! I don’t have a food processsor so used a combination of oat flour and almond meal for the crust and it turned out really well. I started off using 3/4 cup each oat and almond meal, 4 Tbsp coconut oil and then added a little more (~3-4 Tbsp) oat flour to get the “wet sand” consistency. I also used a little more PB than the recipe called for because I LOVE It and wanted these to be very peanut buttery :) After baking, I put it in the fridge for a couple hours and the crust became pretty solid… but it required a lot of self-control to not sneak a taste!

  4. Heather says

    Wondering if I can use almond flour instead of the almonds in the food processor and what the measurement would be for almond flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think that would work! We would say start with the same amount and adjust based on how the dough looks- adding more flour if it seems too wet/oily and more coconut oil if too dry. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Nickia says

    I used what I had. Used cane sugar instead. Was still so good. I used fruits I already had in the freezer.

    The crust is quite firm. A bit crumbly but sure it will toughen up from being in the fridge it is pretty good. I’m satisfied. :)

  6. Danielle says

    These are so tasty! I think I should have left mine in the oven a little longer for the jam to get a bit harder, but theyre still so good. Thanks!

  7. Megan Russman says

    I have made these a handful of times and every single time, they are wonderful! I have used brown sugar and coarse turbinado sugar when I did not have coconut sugar on hand. There is a slight flavor difference when changing up the sugars, but not remarkably so! I am a die-hard PBJ fan, so these are my jam! Thank you for sharing this! ?

  8. Rachel says

    These are excellent bars! I have made these a few times now and I change out the fruit that I use making them different every time! We use these after biking or skiing and they hold up well and I often get compliments on their deliciousness. Thanks again for your amazing talents and for sharing your recipes. I always recommend your website to friends!

  9. YP says

    I did not make this exactly as written, but used 1 c raw pecans and cane sugar instead of coconut sugar in the crust. I otherwise followed the instructions exactly. My crust did not stick together at all and the whole thing was just crumbly (albeit tasty crumbly) mess. I just scraped it up and ate the jumbled up mess myself, but was not able to serve these with dinner as I’d hoped.

  10. Eve says

    I am not vegan or gluten free, but I like to have a variety of inclusive (and just plain good!) recipes in my repertoire. I made your lemon bars the other day and made these last night with no alterations.

    These turned out great. I let them set up overnight in the fridge and they sliced beautifully this AM. The base is not any more crumbly than a more traditional crust to my eyes. It holds up pretty well. I will say that when I did 4 tbsp of oil in the crust with the last recipe that worked totally fine and I felt the 4 1/2 here seemed to be too much. In the future I will see what the mixture looks like with a lower amount and then add as needed.

    All in all, these are delicious! There is definitely a subtle coconut flavor from the oil and the sugar. I personally love it, perhaps even more than conventional treats. It doesn’t overpower the other flavors but compliments them really well. This will definitely be a repeated recipe in the future.

    • Lisa says

      I used 3/4 cup almond flour as a substitute and it turned out really well. I made the lemon bars. They were so good. Thank you.

  11. Cheryl says

    I made a batch to fuel a big workout day (2000 meter swim, 4 hour bike, 2 hour run) and they were great! Easy to carry, and they were so much better than sugary power bars. They are easy to chew and digest, and provided enough energy to keep me going. And they tasted really, really good.

  12. Baileigh Wegner says

    These peanut butter and jelly bars came out so delicious. I made a homemade strawberry chia seed jam which was so thick and tasty on these bars. The only struggle was the crust not wanting to keep together very well, but i figured out once the bars are stored in the freezer for a couple hours the crust stays together just fine. thank you for this amazing recipe!

  13. Sydney says

    Hey, these look delicious and perfect to use with the 4 gallons of berries I just picked! Do you know if they freeze well? Thanks so much.

  14. Tilly says

    These are so beautiful, oh my! I made them tonight, with a few small adjustments. Used sour cherry jam instead of the strawberry, but then didn’t have quite enough of it, so I used some black raspberry jam for the remainder. I also used a combination of chopped strawberries and cherries to mix in. It was a really good combination! As well, I didn’t have enough whole almonds left, so I used 3/4 cup almond flour to completely replace the almonds. It worked just fine. The crust stayed together beautifully and they got lots of compliments! However, I’d definitely use way, way more peanut butter and/or less jam next time. The ratio was off and I could barely taste the pb. But overall, really nice and a very, very pretty dessert!

  15. K. Cruz says

    Made these. Came out alright. Need to leave peanut butter in oven a bit longer for it to melt. Like how you make your own flour out of oats and almonds..felt healthy while making with hand immersion blender.

  16. Michelle says

    Bought a new food processor yesterday and the first thing I did was come home and make these with some strawberry preserves my boyfriend’s mom had sent home with us. These were a HUGE hit- absolutely delicious!

  17. melissa vought says

    I am in the process of making these bars and was wondering if the whole top should be bubbly or just around the edges. It seemed like it would take substantially more time than the recipe called for in order for the whole top to bubble and I was concerned about burning them.
    Thanks,
    Melissa

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! The strawberry topping should be bubbly but watch closely to ensure you don’t burn them!

  18. P says

    Hi Dana! I think there might be some volume-to-weight oddities in the measurements for this recipe. 4 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil weighs about 57 g, not 68 g — and more importantly 3/4 C jam can’t weigh 300 g (probably more like 170-180 g). Not sure what the intended quantity really is! I made these tonight and opted to use about 275 g of jam (seemed like a lot, but also seemed proportionate to the crust) and so far so good! I had to bake them a bit longer in order to cook down the jam a bit.

  19. Angel says

    These taste good, but mine were really crumbly & didn’t stay together too well. Any suggestions? Thank you for your delicious recipes!

  20. Amie Bashur says

    Made this and it was so good!! My jam already had strawberry chunks so I didn’t add the fresh berries. Kids loved it.

  21. laura says

    Only just stumbled across your site (late to the party i know..) but these were gorgeous!
    My efforts weren’t as swirly and pretty as yours,and i don’t have a food processor so my base was more flapjack-y than crumb-y but they were so quick & simple to make!
    My non-vegan-and-suspicious-of-everything-vegan-i-try-to-feed-him husband has already finished off two of them,& i’m now looking forward to trying out some of the other recipes on here :)
    All the best from the UK,
    Laura

  22. Crystal says

    I used regular sugar instead of coconut sugar and blueberries instead of strawberries and almond butter instead of peanut butter. I’ll admit I am not the most precise baker, but my crust didn’t stay together at all. It’s like a loose granola with a sticky layer of almond butter and jelly on top. I’m guessing I didn’t process the crust ingredients long enough. I have trouble with things like cashew cream too, so maybe I’m too impatient.

  23. Adrian Hertel says

    Hi!
    I was just wondering why you are using raw as opposed to blanches almonds. I thought that people usually use blanched almonds in baking because the skins are a little bitter.

    Thanks :)

  24. karl says

    I wonder how good these would be made with almond butter instead? also how sweet do they come out, maybe I cut some sugar. I haven’t cooked with coconut sugar yet so not sure how sweet it is in relationship to regular sugar which I always adjust. Also do you do think the regular oats are candidates, I don’t have rolled oats, and definitely don’t use quick oats. will come back and post results, look healthylicious.

  25. Sophie says

    Hi Dana! I was wondering where you purchase your wood backgrounds for photos as well as colorful papers. Thank you!

  26. Isabella says

    I’m normally not a sweets person but I do enjoy a good PB&J sandwich, now and again, with a tall glass of super cold milk. Mmm Mm… what a treat! But, since I’m into clean-eating these days, I can’t have one of my favorite treats anymore. Luckily, you have come through for me again. I changed / tweaked the recipe a bit, however. Where it called for Peanuts, I used Almonds (including my homemade Almond Butter). Also, I added ground Flaxseed to the crust and ground Chia seeds to the jam. A successful and very enjoyable outcome, if I say so myself. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!

    #ilovetocook #somanygoodnoms #fromscratchwithlove #cleaneating #organic #nongmo #glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #dessert #healthy

  27. Melissa says

    I was sooo excited to try these, so I made them last night after making your spaghetti squash pasta recipe. The flavors are wonderful, this is the one thing I’ve been missing since switching to a vegan diet, then being told medically I needed to be on a gluten free diet as well! On point! I will say they tasted great, but my crust didn’t firm up like I thought it should. But they will all get eaten, I’m packing them for me while at my boys’ soccer tournament this weekend. Not sure what I did wrong. May try using a tad less coconut oil next time… Any comments/suggestions?
    Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful recipes! Your website has been a savior!
    Melissa

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Melissa! These are a little tender by nature. One thing that might help them firm up is using a little less oil, as you suggested. This should help!!

  28. Christin says

    Holy WOW, these are so good. I made them with raspberry jam and fresh raspberries (everything else exactly the same) and they turned out perfect! I let them cool for 2 hours after taking them out of the oven, then put them in the fridge overnight. The next day they were perfect texture. I brought them to a dinner party and they were a huge hit. Thanks so much for making me look good. =)

  29. Vrinda says

    Oh my goodness! These are sooooooo delicious. The bars held together just fine. I’m making them true to recipe next time. The fresh strawberries in the topping raise the whole recipe to a higher level of lusciousness.

    My second minimalist baker recipe in as many days and another hit.

  30. Vrinda says

    Yum. Just baked these. Waiting for them to cool. I normally make a recipe as written the first time before deciding on mods. But I was worried by the comments that the base doesn’t come together do I subbed 1/2 the oats in the base with all purpose flour. I had not enough jam (sugar free raspberry was all I had) so I upped the fresh strawberries and added a bit of brown sugar to the topping. Impatiently waiting for them to cool. Thanks for a lovely recipe.

    • Vrinda says

      Just another reader with a suggestion for you – I would sub all purpose flour. That is the classic recipe base for bars. If you prefer wholewheat, I’ve made bars with that too. If you don’t do gluten, you could try a gluten free baking flour/mix that you use for cookies or pie bases.

  31. Karina says

    Amazing! Even with a newborn and a toddler trying to destroy my peace, these bars were worth the stress and tears and mess. I used some homemade low sugar strawberry jam (we don’t like it nearly as much as the strawberry perserves from food in jars so I needed a way to use it) and it was perfect. Yay for a new snack bar!

  32. Hunter says

    This was a great recipe, I loved how it was a bit of a grown up take on a PB&J! I used Raspberry Jam and topped it with both almond and peanut butter. I also used turbinado sugar instead of coconut sugar. It was amazing! The only thing different I would do next time is add less sugar, or even none, to the crust but that might just be because the jam I was using was so sweet (Bonne Maman Jams)! I’m going to start bringing these with me for a snack. Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  33. Emily says

    What type of nuts would work well as a substitute? I try to avoid almonds since they are rough on my stomach. I can’t wait to try these once I figure out a different nut to use!

  34. Nanci Malone says

    Love them! So simple, quick and delicious! My non-veg husband approved and I trust my daughter will agree. Thanks for your sharing your skill! Keep up the good work!

  35. diandra says

    Hi Dana,

    The crust has been in the over for about 25 min now. It still feels soft though. I did add a little extra oil because it didn’t seem wet enough. should I keep baking? or transfer to a freezer?

  36. Ciarra Godson says

    Made these today and they were SO good. I can’t stop eating them! I had to bake the crust for an additional 12 minutes which helped the crumbliness and I also cooled on the counter for two hours and then put in the fridge for an additional hour. They were firm and held together great! I will definitely make these again. Probably as soon as they’re gone :)

  37. Lindsey says

    These looked too good, just made a batch tonight using my favorite concord grape jelly and frozen mixed berry blend. Can’t wait to see how they turn out tomorrow morning!

  38. Angelica Martin says

    This is perfect food to make for my boyfriend so he won’t get hangry. I will likely overeat them for breakfast, lunch, snack, maybe dinner…thank you!

  39. Amber | Quite Good Food says

    PB & J isn’t really a thing here in New Zealand, so would you believe I’ve NEVER tried the combo before?! Anyway I made these and wow they’re amazing! Now I have a new baking addiction…

  40. Andrea says

    Hi Dana!

    I don’t have any coconut sugar, but do you think it’s possible to substitute with maple sugar? Or any other good substitution suggestions?

    Thanks!

  41. Connie Bueher says

    Let me tell you, I can’t really imagine anything at all that tastes better than a PB&J Sandwich hahaha. But I will give this recipe a try, and when I do, I’ll come back here and tell you my thoughts on it lol. The bars look great! Awesome recipe as always, Dana. xx

  42. Ronee says

    Made this today! Tasted super yummy! I was craving something fruity. My crust didn’t turn out at all though :-( It was crumbly and didn’t get firm like a crust. Not sure what happened. I just kind of flopped the ‘bar’ over and ate it more like a cobbler. It will still get eaten, so no worries!

    • joan jett says

      My crust didn’t turn out at all either. I baked it a bit more and cooled it for a day. There isn’t really much binding agent to speak of. Perhaps flax seed in the crust would be better than just oatmeal and nuts, which aren’t going to stick together. Too bad. I was going to mail these out of state to a friend but when they get there, I’m afraid they’re just going to be a crumbly mess.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Pro tip! Almond FLOUR in place of almond meal works to hold these together more firmly. Also, adding a little extra coconut oil + a dash of maple syrup adds more binding power! Good luck.

        • Joanjett says

          Sorry, but almond flour is the same thing as almond meal. Unless you’re saying you should grind the nuts into a flour instead of the sandy texture described in the recipe. And I used a good heaping tbs more of the oil.

  43. tammy thiele says

    You are seriously on a roll! I can’t wait to make these…and as I just bought my husband some specialty nut butters I may try them in the next batch for a fun twist!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Tammy! I think you’re our most loyal fan from the beginning! So kind. Thanks for the support and love! Hope you love these. xo

  44. Jessi says

    These look like a lot of fun! Do you think any of the ingredients would need to be changed for a different jam besides the fruit to go with it? My dad likes black raspberry jam, and I was going to show him this recipe. :)

  45. Reemaz says

    I saw this post before going to sleep last night and I just couldn’t wait until the next day has come! I just have to make these today! I don’t want to end up licking my screen!

      • Reemaz says

        I certainly did! Although the crust was crumbly, (I assume I added more almonds than I should have) they tasted absolutely fantastic! I used raspberry jam and frozen raspberries.
        Next time I am adding more peanut butter!
        Thanks a lot Dana for this super simple and awesome recipe!

  46. Kathryn - The Scratch Artist says

    umm…YUM! I am a PBJ fiend so any way that I can get more of it in my belly puts a smile on my face <3 <3

  47. Carlos says

    I love this recipe and with some of my favorite ingredients. I will try with a Fig & Strawberry Jam that I have in my pantry. Also, you photos are beautiful!!
    I hope to get to take photos like you one day.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      They travel OK if they’re in a container, rather than a bag. And separate them with parchment to keep them fresh! I’d also freeze them beforehand, just to make them more sturdy. Good luck!

  48. Emilie @ Emilie Eats says

    These are gorgeous and look soooo delicious! My boyfriend just said “are those vegan? I’d eat them.” That’s when you know it’s good!

  49. Sara says

    These look amazing! I want to make them, but I can’t have oats. :/
    What do you think I could substitute in for the cup of rolled oats?

    Thanks for sharing all your amazing recipes. I made the sweet potato lasagna last night for dinner and was blown away by the tofu ricotta. You’re a culinary genius, Dana!

  50. Sara says

    Oh my goodness! I just made peanut butter AND I have a few of last summer’s strawberries stashed in the freezer! Hello party in my mouth!

  51. Marty says

    I am making these for my husband. He is not going to know what to do with himself. Thank you so much. I am not going to tell him this is your recipe. I am just st going to let him think I am a genius or divine. Well OK, I will tell him later.

  52. Theresa says

    Dana, thank you so much for including metric measurements and celsius, it really helps! I am baking these in Berlin right now, will report about results ;)

    • Theresa says

      Ok, they are amazing. I love it that there’s not so much peanut butter in them (cause, less healthy) but definitely enough to taste them. And adding fresh strawberries to the topping is making it taste much more fresh than just plain old jam – which is good because I don’t really like jam.

  53. Heidi Kokborg says

    Dana, these snack bars look absolutely incredible! Peanut butter and jam are the perfect combo so I just know I am going to love these bars. I can’t wait to try them!

  54. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says

    Its always peanut butter and jelly time in my household! This recipe is a more grown-up version of the classic childhood sandwich, and I’d love to eat one for breakfast or even dessert!

  55. Lauren says

    Oh Dana, these are going to be perfect for postpartum snacks! I’ll stash these in my freezer and hopefully forget about them for the next month. Though that doesn’t sound likely, they look too good :p