No bake granola bars are super easy to make and use only a few ingredients. They are naturally dairy free and can be made gluten free with zero effort. This recipe is extremely easy to customize to your own tastes and preferences, making microwave granola bars one of the absolute best options for breakfast or simple snack meal prepping!
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Why This Recipe Works
- Easy: No bake granola bars are about as easy as it gets. Do some mixing, pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes, and you’re done!
- Versatile: This recipe is super customizable so you can add ingredients and flavors to make it what you want.
- Family friendly: From kids to adults, we all love a good granola bar from time to time and being able to make your own is an easy win.
- Perfect for prep: These microwave granola bars are the perfect option for a breakfast prep for when you don’t have much time in the mornings. It’s also great for getting a quick snack ready ahead of time that you know what all is in it!
No Bake Granola Bar Ingredients
To make these granola bars you’ll need two cups of puffed cereal, two cups of rolled oats, and a cup of creamy peanut butter. Additionally you will need a half cup of honey, a quarter cup of light brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
If you don’t have puffed rice cereal on hand or just want to try something a little bit different you can give these other cereal selections a try:
Making Your Granola Bars Gluten Free
In order to make this recipe gluten free simply make sure the puffed cereal you use is gluten free. Use the gluten free variety and make the recipe as normal. Some puffed rice cereals are made with malt and may have small amounts of gluten so be sure to check your label.
Gluten free cereal ideas:
- Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal
- Gluten Free Rice Crispies Cereal
- Cocoa Puffs Cereal (Yes, they’re gluten free!)
Ingredient Substitutions & Ways to Customize
There are countless ways to make these no bake granola bars your own. We all have our specific flavors that we gravitate towards so try a bunch of different things! Here are a few of my favorite tweaks to this recipe to try out:
Nut and Seed Recommendations
- Chopped walnuts
- Chopped cashews
- Sunflower seeds
- Chopped almonds
Recommendations on the Sweeter Side
- Mini chocolate chips
- Hershey’s Shell
- Crushed Heath bars Pro tip: Freeze them ahead of time and crush them before thawing to make the perfect chunks.
- Almond bark
Fruits to Try Out
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped dried mangos
- Other dried fruits
Random Good Stuff to Try
- Shredded coconut
- Pumpkin spice seasoning
How to Make No Bake Granola Bars
Start your microwave granola bars by lining an 8 by 8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil and toss the oats and puffed cereal together in a large mixing bowl.
Make sure to leave about a 2 inch overhang with the aluminum foil so you have something to grab onto later when transferring the bars.
In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, and salt. Place this mixture into the microwave and heat it for a minute.
Remove the bowl from the microwave, give it a stir, and place back into the microwave and heat for another minute.
Add the vanilla extract to the mix and stir it again to incorporate it all together.
Now, pour the peanut butter mixture you just made over the oats and puffed cereal and gently fold it all together.
This is where you will add the chocolate chips or other optional ingredients you want to add to make your no bake granola bars your own style.
Once everything is good and combined, pour your mixture into the baking dish you prepared earlier. Firmly press it into an even layer in the baking dish.
Cover your bars with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 30 mins to an hour. If you’re in more of a hurry you can also place it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Once they have adequately chilled, lift the bars out of the baking dish using your handy aluminum foil. Cut your no bake granola bars into the size and shape that works for you and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Storing and Freezing
Store the microwave granola bars in the refrigerator. You can use an airtight container or a plastic bag that seals. Another option is to individually wrap them in plastic wrap or tin foil for an even easier grab-and-go snack or breakfast!
If you’re freezing these bars for later, individually wrap them in plastic wrap or tinfoil and place into a larger bag that can seal.
Try to remove as much air from the bag as you can and place into the freezer. This will ensure they don’t try to freeze together while, at the same time, making it easier to grab just a couple out of the freezer when you’re ready.
This recipe works best with the rolled oats. Specifically don’t use steel cut oats or instant oats. Instant oats get a bit too soft and don’t work well for the bars and the steel cut oats are a bit too hard of a texture. The rolled oats are in the “goldilocks” zone.
You can use chunky peanut butter if you wish. It would be the same as using the standard creamy peanut butter but also adding peanuts.
Yes! These granola bars are perfect for freezing and thawing out when you need them. Make a double batch and have them on hand in a pinch.
You microwave the peanut butter/honey mix to soften it a little which helps it to work its way into the rest of the ingredients to hold it all together.
You can use almond butter for this recipe if you wish. Just make sure it is on the thicker side and mixed up well ahead of time. This will ensure that it holds everything together with the honey appropriately.
You do not have to use the puffed rice. The puffed rice works great due to its small size and texture but there are a number of different cereals you can try out.
Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love:
- Brioche French Toast Casserole
- Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
- Breakfast Burrito Skillet
- Mixed Berry Baked Oatmeal
- Apple Spice Slow Cooker Oatmeal
- Peanut Butter Avocado Toast
PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 2 cups puffed cereal
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- optional: 1/2 cup mini choclate chips
- Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil leaving a 2-inch overhang. In a large mixing bowl, toss together oats and puffed cereal
- In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, brown sugar and salt. Microwave mixture for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add vanilla and stir to incorporate
- Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and toss well to evenly coat. Add chocolate chips or nuts or any ingredients you’re adding in and gently fold into the mixture
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, firmly press mixture into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 15 minutes or chill in refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Lift bars from dish using foil overhang and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Gluten free no bake granola bars: To make this recipe gluten free just make sure the puffed rice cereal you use is gluten free and make the recipe as normal.
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