Need something to get you through the mid day slump?! These peanut butter and jelly vegan granola bars are an easy snack to have on hand for whenever hunger strikes. They’re naturally gluten free and vegan and perfect for both kids and adults.
This recipe was originally published on November 11, 2018 but has been updated with a modified recipe and new photos as of November 11, 2019. Total coincidence by the way!
I’m an avid snacker. I don’t think I go more than an hour without eating something. Partially because I’m recipe testing all the time, but also because I just love to eat!
These bars are completely gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, and require fewer than 10 ingredients. They’re bursting with PB & J flavor in every bite and are so deliciously chewy. Have I convinced you to try these yet?!
Prep the chia jam and set aside. I like either raspberry or strawberry for this recipe, but anything goes!
In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup and peanut butter. Microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until it is soft enough to work with. You just want to make sure the peanut butter has melted slightly so all of the other ingredients can mix in more easily.
Add in all remaining ingredients and stir together. Try to make sure everything is well coated.
Take half of the mixture (it doesn’t need to be exact, but try to be as close as possible) and add it to an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Press down firmly, I suggest using a heavy object such as a jar, water bottle etc. to make sure it is very firmly pressed.
Add a thin layer of chia jam to the top (about 1/4 cup). You don’t want too much, but spread it out evenly over the first layer. It’s not a problem to add more, it just makes it a bit messier when you apply the second layer of the granola mixture.
Take the second half of the granola mixture and press it on top using the cup, jar etc. Make sure it is all very well packed in there. Press hard enough so all of the ingredients stick together, but not so hard that you end up denting the top layer.
Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set. Cut into 12 bars by cutting in half one way, cutting in half the other way (so you have a t shape) and then cutting each quarter into 3 even pieces.
How to make sure they stick together
With these vegan granola bars, the peanut butter and maple syrup do most of the sticking. It’s important to melt them slightly before adding any other ingredients so everything is well coated.
The other key to making everything stick together is is pressing the mixture down very firmly when you shape it in the pan.
You can use your hands, the bottom of a cup, or whatever you have to really make sure everything is pressed down and packed together. Then, when it goes to set in the fridge everything will stick together really well.
Recipe tips and tricks
- At room temperature, these vegan granola bars get somewhat soft, so I suggest storing them in the fridge.
- These bars will keep in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month in an air tight container.
- The peanut butter can be subbed for any type of nut butter such as almond or sunflower seed butter.
- This recipe calls for quick oats, not rolled oats. If you only have rolled oats, you can pulse them a few times in a food processor or blender until they are roughly chopped. Careful not to turn them into flour though! A few quick pulses should do the trick.
- The peanuts can be omitted if you don’t want the peanut crunch. Alternatively, you can use crunchy PB if you want extra crunch!
- I recommend using peanut butter, not peanut spread which has sugar added to it. You want the only ingredient to be peanuts, if it has salt in it, simply omit the added salt in the bars!
Looking for more snack ideas? Try these:
No Bake Peanut Butter & Jelly Granola Bars (Vegan)
- 2 1/2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup puffed rice or rice crisps
- 2 tbsp oat flour (arrowroot or tapioca starch, or any neutral flour)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp peanuts
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt (omit if peanut butter is already salted)
- 1/2 batch chia jam (I like raspberry for this recipe)
- Prep the chia jam and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup and peanut butter.
- Microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until it is soft enough to work with.*
- Add in all remaining ingredients and stir together. Try to make sure everything is well coated.
- Take half of the mixture (it doesn’t need to be exact, but try to be as close as possible) and add it to an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Press down firmly, I suggest using a heavy object such as a jar, water bottle etc to make sure it is very firmly pressed.
- Add a thin layer of chia jam to the top (about 1/2 cup). You don’t want too much, but spread it out evenly over the first layer.
- Take the second half of the granola mixture and press it on top using the cup, jar etc. Make sure it is all very well packed in there.
- Place in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
- Cut into 12 bars and transfer to the fridge.