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No Bake Oatmeal Bars (5 Vegan, Gluten-Free Recipes!)

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Try these healthy no bake oatmeal bars that you can eat all year round. From chocolate peanut butter fudge to carrot cake, we’ve rounded up the best no bake oatmeal bars that will provide an energetic nutritional boost to help quench your cravings. 

If you’re only familiar with cooked oatmeal and overnight oats, then its time to open the door to no bake oatmeal bars. Oats are easy to buy in bulk at the market and contain a number of health benefits.

These tasty recipes require very little creativity, are super easy to put together and require zero baking at all! From homemade peanut butter and chia seed jams to pistachios and crushed pretzels, the door is open for you to explore a wide variety of oatmeal toppings that will pair nicely with your nutritious energy snacks. 

No bake oatmeal bars are made with ingredients that are available in the market year round. If you are looking for a new snack idea, upgrade your meal prep with these fun oatmeal recipes. 

It’s a great breakfast, midday snack or a healthy dessert that will help you stop craving junk food and sugar-filled sweet treats. Save time by preparing these make-ahead snacks that you are guaranteed to enjoy all week long. 

How do you get oatmeal bars to stick together?

The answer is laying in both the binding agent and the amount of moisture inside the mixture. The binder helps to ensure that the oats and add-ins in the no bake oatmeal bar will stick together.

Ingredients that are used to bind the mixture together include nut butters, chopped dates, maple syrup, honey, agave, melted marshmallows, mashed banana and ground flaxseed mixed with water. However, the most common binding agent seems to be peanut butter.

Can you make no bake oatmeal bars without peanut butter? Yes, peanut butter is definitely an ingredient you can remove from the equation or simply substitute it for another nut butter that you prefer. 

Why are my no bake oatmeal bars not sticking together? If the no bake oatmeal bars are crumbling into granola and not sticking together, then you may have a moisture problem. The moisture level in the individual ingredients may vary for lots of reasons (i.e. brand, climate and storage conditions).

If the recipe was followed and all of the ingredients were properly measured, then you have the option to add nut butters, syrup or honey to help bind the crumbly mixture together, but those have a tendency to alter the recipe and make it taste too sweet. In this instance, add a tablespoon of water or melted coconut oil to increase the moisture level which helps the uncooked oatmeal stick together.

Are no bake oatmeal bars good for breakfast?

Oatmeal is a healthy whole grain that offers plenty of vitamins and minerals, and is recommended for regular consumption. The fiber-rich food also contains healthy fats and plant based protein.

Here are some of the benefits of oats when added into you diet routine:

  • Antioxidants: Whole grain oats contain a wide range of antioxidants and beneficial compounds that the body needs.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals: Oats contain b-vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium along with many other vital vitamins and minerals for a healthy and balanced diet. 
  • Plant-based protein: Oats are full of protein that help to build muscle within your body.
  • Soluble and insoluble fiber: Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food that helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and diverticular disease. 

Whole grain oats have fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that benefit a balanced diet. Oats also help you to feel full which reduces the cravings you feel throughout the day. They also improve overall digestion and promote heart health, there are many reasons to incorporate oats into your diet routine. 

Basic Ingredients For No Bake Oatmeal Bars

Hot oatmeal and overnight oats are a great way to integrate whole grain oats into your diet, but they are not the only alternative. No bake oatmeal bars are great for breakfast, a post workout snack or even as a healthy dessert option.

Oats are nutritious and fulfilling, they are a perfect base ingredients for making no bake bars. Here are a few reasons why each element is so important to each recipe.

  • Oats: When it comes to making no bake oatmeal bars, it is recommended to use old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats instead of steel-cut. Rolled oats and quick oats are both steamed and then flattened, therefore they are partially cooked in the process. Steel cut oats are not recommended for raw food recipes. Although oats are naturally gluten-free, its recommended to purchase certified gluten-free if you adhere to a strict wheat-free diet. 
  • Fruit: Fruits can be dried or fresh and are a great way to add natural sweetness to a recipe. Mashed banana can be also used as a binding agent to hold the oatmeal base together. Raisin, dates and dried blueberries can be incorporated into the no bake oatmeal mixture, while fresh strawberries and chia-seed jams can be used to decorate the top of the bars.
  • Nut butter: Almond butter, cashew butter and peanut butter are great ways to add healthy fats along with binding the oatmeal mixture together. Peanut butter is not the only option, so consider trying the recipes with other nut butters.
  • Liquid: Flax egg, coconut oil and a splash of water are some of the liquid options that are used to help hold the shape of the no bake oatmeal bars.
  • Protein: Oats are a source of plant-based protein, however nuts and seeds are also protein boosting ingredients that make the bars a great option for a fulfilling snack.
  • Natural sweetness: A drizzle of maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, chopped dates or agave nectar definitely helps to kick the sweet tooth craving. If you are vegan, other options include date syrup, coconut nectar and brown rice syrup. 
  • Spices: Not all spices go well with the no bake oatmeal bars. The spices used in these recipes include allspice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. 

Best Toppings for No Bake Oatmeal Bars

Adjusting the subtle sweetness and crunchy texture are the best way to take your no bake oatmeal bars to the next level. Here are the best toppings and flavor combinations that we have tried thus far:

  • Carrots + Walnuts + Raisins + Cinnamon 
  • Chocolate + Peanuts + Coconut + Raisins
  • Dates + Walnuts + Strawberries + Pistachios
  • Peanuts + Chocolate + Vanilla + Sea Salt
  • Marshmallow + Chocolate + Peanuts + Pretzels

Chop the dried fruit, blend in the nut butter and sweeten to your liking for a delicious and flavorful no bake oatmeal bar. The bite sized snacks will have a ton of flavor and you’ll fall in love with the tasty treat.

Best No Bake Oatmeal Bars

No bake oatmeal bars are easy to make, healthy and fulfilling. Explore the innumerable flavor combinations and customize your favorites to meet your personalized taste.

The recipes are perfect meal prep snack ideas for your busy schedule. Make ahead and store in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast or afternoon snack. 

They are also high in fiber, protein, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals, which makes them great for something to eat post workout. Enjoy the best zero bake oatmeal bars knowing that you are getting a vegan, gluten-free and heart-healthy snack that will compliment your balanced diet.

Five different no bake oatmeal bars
Collage of four separate no bake oatmeal bars
One piece of no bake oatmeal bars from five different recipes
Five different recipes for no bake oatmeal bars
No bake oatmeal bars featuring five different recipes

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