Made with simple, healthy ingredients, these No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars are a delicious dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-sugar recipe. Make them ahead of time for a nutritious breakfast, midday snack, or chocolatey dessert you and your kids will love!
You guys, these No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars are seriously the easiest recipe that I’ve ever written a blog post for. WE LOVE THAT. Honestly, ready with just 4 steps they’re embarrassingly simple to make, and I”m not even sure they should be classified as a real recipe. However, I do know that they’re so good it would be a shame not to share them. So, here we are!
As per usual, these oat bars developed out of a need to cure a chocolate craving. I mean, nothing new around here with that. After rummaging around the kitchen, I found butter, sugar, vanilla extract, oats, chocolate and Georgia Grinder’s cashew butter (code: kellyk). Now, don’t get me wrong. With recipes like Vegan Iced Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, and Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Bars, I’m no stranger to a good oat recipe, but this time I needed to switch things up. Keep it interesting, ya know?
Luckily, these Vegan oat bars came out totally amazing! The best part? They are super quick to make and can be kept all week for the perfect snackage, but that’s enough talking.
Let’s get baking!
Ingredients for Chocolate Oat Bars
The true beauty of this oat bar recipe is that all you need is a few simple ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. However, since I’m always so kind, I’m also giving you alternatives to meet all your needs. I know. You’re welcome. To make this recipe you’ll need to gather the following ingredients.
Butter – I used vegan butter, but any you have on hand will work. I have yet to try this recipe with coconut oil but if you try it, let me know how it goes!
Sugar – Coconut sugar, sugar replacement such as Stevia or monk fruit , honey, or maple syrup all work well with this recipe. If you’re using honey or maple syrup, be sure to reduce the amount added to ⅓ cup to avoid overpowering the recipe.
Vanilla Extract – These chocolate oat bars will turn out best if you stick to using actual vanilla extract, but if you’re in a pinch almond extract will work or you can leave it out altogether.
Salt – Salt helps bring out natural flavors in baked goods. Therefore, I don’t recommend you omit this ingredient. However, if you absolutely must, you can remove it from this recipe. Just be warned that it won’t be quite as delicious.
Gluten-Free Rolled Oats – Oats are the base of this recipe and provide the bulk of the bars as well as healthy fiber and complex carbs to keep you full. However, you could also use quinoa flakes or cereal in its place.
Chocolate Chips– regular ole chocolate chips do the trick but if you have a preferred chocolate bar that you’d like to use, chop it up and throw it in!
Cashew Butter – If you don’t have cashew butter handy, use peanut butter, sunflower butter, or any other type of nut/seed butter you have available!
How to Make Vegan No-Bake Oat Bars
You’re seriously going to laugh when you read how to make these bars. In fact, you probably don’t even need to read it. You already know, but humor me anyway. Just in case.
To start, heat the butter, sugar, and half of the almond butter together in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes or until the sugar starts to dissolve. Stir the mixture, and heat it again for another 30 seconds until the sugar is no longer grainy.
Then, stir in the vanilla, salt, and oats, and pour the mixture into a greased 8X8 inch baking dish saving 1/4th of the mixture for later.
Press the “dough” down firmly, and heat the chocolate and almond butter in a second bowl for about a minute or until the chocolate has melted.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the oats, top them with the remaining dough, and drizzle any leftover chocolate on top. To finish, pop the dish in the fridge for at least 2 hours, cut, and serve!
Tasty Extras & Add-Ins
Of course, these bars are absolutely freaking incredible on their own, but there’s always room for a little more, am I right? So, if you’re feeling experimental, why not try incorporating a few extra ingredients into the mix? Limited to nothing but your imagination (and taste preference), the options are endless. However, to get you started, I’m including a few of my personal faves below!
Nuts – With the use of cashew butter, these healthy no-bake bars are nutty enough all on their own. However, adding a handful or two of chopped nuts is a great way to provide some texture and add even more healthy fats to the mix.
Seeds – Similar to nuts, seeds provide a fun crunch and tasty texture to these otherwise soft bars.
Coconut – Add dried coconut flakes for a little Samoas action. I recommend using an unsweetened kind since we’re already adding sugar to the recipe, but you do you.
Dried Fruit – Imitate your favorite granola bars or oatmeal cookies by tossing in raisins, cherries, or any other dried fruit you like. Just make sure to chop the fruit into fairly tiny pieces before adding it to the mixture.
Pretzels – Pretzels are an easy way to add some crunch and a bit more flavor to this recipe!
Sprinkles – Everything is better with sprinkles, don’t cha think? Pop in a little or a lot for a dash of color to brighten your day.
Protein Powder – These bars are already pretty high in protein thanks to the natural protein found in oats and nut butter, but if you’re looking to ramp it up even more, feel free to add in a scoop of collagen to the mix! *which would no longer make it vegan but you do you!
These oat bars can be eaten all on their own, but if you want to make a bigger meal out of them you can! Personally, I love to eat them alongside a cup of coffee. They’re also amazing crumbled over yogurt, a smoothie, or fresh fruit.
Meal Prep & Storage
For the bet results, I recommend storing these bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Then, serve them cold, or at room temperature!
I’d love to know what you included to make this recipe your own. Let me know down in the comments below, and stay tuned for more great recipes!
xoxo – Kelly
Dying to tell everyone you made this recipe and loved it?? Don’t forget to share a picture and tag @thekellykathleen so that I can profess my love to you and re-share it for all to see!
No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 1/2 cup sugar coconut, sugar replacement or 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt optional
- 3 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips
- In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the butter, sugar and half of the cashew butter together for 1 1/2 minutes or until the sugar starts to dissolve into the butter. Stir and heat again for an additional 30 seconds. (The sugar doesn’t need to be 100% dissolved but you don’t want it grainy.)
- Stir in the vanilla, salt, and oats before pouring 3/4th of the mixture into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Make sure to press the oats down firmly! Save the last 1/4th for the top.
- In a smaller bowl, heat the chocolate and the last half of the cashew butter in the microwave for a minute, stir and heat again it necessary.
- Pour the mixture over the oats and spread it out evenly – reserving a little for a drizzle on top if you’d like! Top with the leftover oats and pop it in the fridge to set for at least two hours. Cut and serve!
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