3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars Recipe
You only need three base ingredients to make these simple and delicious 3 ingredient peanut butter banana bars! These sweet and chewy little bars are made from whole foods so your kids get a balanced and nourishing snack.
If you browse through the snack bar aisle at the store, you’ll notice a couple of things. First, the selection is REALLY LARGE. You likely have dozens of bars to choose from.
Second, (and disappointingly!) the bars are almost all made from highly-processed and highly-sweetened ingredients. This is true even of the brands that promote themselves as “health foods.” We like to make our own snack bars–ones that are simple, whole, and nourishing.
These 3-ingredient bars have the sweet flavor and handheld appeal of a store-bought bar, but they’re ONLY made from peanut butter, oats, and bananas (plus a couple of optional toppings!) If you love minimally-processed snacks made with everyday ingredients, we think you’ll love them.
Why We Love These Homemade Snack Bars
- With only three ingredients in the batter, making these bars is fast and easy. Even your kids can do it!
- Peanut butter, bananas and oats provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, so you know your kids are eating a snack that will sustain them.
- The toppings are totally customizable. From nuts and seeds to sprinkles and chocolate chips, the possibilities are yours to explore!
- They’re free from added sugars (not counting those in chocolate chips) but they taste like dessert!
Ingredients to Make Peanut Butter Banana Bars
As you might have guessed from the recipe title, there are only 3 ingredients in these yummy homemade snack bars. You can add additional toppings if you want to make them extra delicious and vary it up!
- Bananas – use ripe bananas. The more ripe, the sweeter your bars will turn out.
- Peanut Butter – creamy peanut butter is what we like to use for this recipe. You can use crunchy peanut butter if you like the extra crunchy texture though!
- Oats – old fashioned oats work best with their chewy texture for these bars.
How to Make 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars
If there’s anything simpler than the ingredients in these bars, it’s the instructions for how to make them. Don’t blink or you’ll miss ’em:
- Mix mashed bananas with peanut butter and oats.
- Press the batter into a baking dish.
- Sprinkle on the toppings.
It’s that easy!
Can you freeze 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars?
Yes! These bars freeze well. Just slip a square of parchment paper in between each bar so they don’t stick, then slide them in a gallon zip-top freezer bag. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
- Sugar Free Cookies (Sweetened with Fruit!)
- 4-Ingredient Butternut Squash Souffle Bites
- 3-Minute Rice Krispy Treats
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Bars
- 3 medium banana
- 2 cup oats, dry
- 6 tablespoon peanut butter, all-natural
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, dark
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch glass dish with parchment paper. (We also used our fingers to grease the sides of the dish with coconut oil.)
- Mash the bananas and mix together with oats and peanut butter.
- Spread the dough evenly in the prepared dish, then sprinkle with walnuts and chocolate chips. Lightly press the nuts and chocolate into the bars.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then slide a spatula under the parchment paper and carefully transfer the whole uncut bar onto a rack for further cooling. (You can cut the bars at this point, and eat them warm! The more time you give them to cool, the easier it will be to cut them.)
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Can’t wait to try this! We don’t keep “junk food” in our house, but I have a hard time coming up with snacks for the kids besides plain fruit. I’m sure they will love these! Thanks for the recipe.
That’s awesome Nicole! Hope your kids love them!
Are these meant to crisp up a little? They’ve been baking for 30mins and still soft?
This looks delicious. I am always looking for healthy dessert recipes for my family. I am looking forward to trying this one. Thanks for sharing!
No problem at all Jenay! Hope you all love them!
Making this now :). I love your recipes and make them for my 2 1/2 yr old daughter & hubby & I frequently! Where is the nutritional info for each recipe? Thanks so much :).
These look so yummy! Thank you! Can you recommend a variation for one of my children who doesn’t care for bananas? I’d like to be able to include her too. I like these for everyone else though!
Hi Kari! I don’t know what you could replace the bananas with since they are the things that hold the bars together. I might have her try them anyway though. My daughter won’t touch a banana, but loves these. 🙂
these look very delicious will be anxious to try them
@Jess- we only analyze the recipes for the ones we add to our meal plans. You can get details about that here: https://www.superhealthykids.com/meal-plan-memberships/
All the other recipes you can analyze at http://nutritiondata.self.com/
Could you use PB2 in place of the Peanut Butter?
Yes, PB2 would work great.
How long will these keep please?
They never last too long at my house, but they should keep for at least a week in the fridge. They also freeze great and would last there for months.
What type of oats? Will the quick cooking kind work?
I personally prefer rolled oats, but quick will work!
Hi! Can you substitute almond butter for PB?
Almond butter would definitely work!
Can you use sunflower seed butter?
Could I replace the oats with something else as my toddler is gluten free
Avril, not sure where you live, but in the US you can get oats that are gluten free. Can you not get those?
OK, did I miss the part about how to make the topping? I’m assuming melt the chips, add the walnuts, spread on top? Sorry, but I don’t bake but want to start doing so to make healthier sweets.
Hi Jacquline! How you ad the toppings is totally up to you. Melting and spreading on top would definitely work, or you can mix the chips and nuts right into the batter. Or, you can wait and add them after if you don’t want them to melt. 🙂
It’s not clear in the instructions about when to add the toppings. Before or after they bake? I can see adding the nuts before they bake, but it seems like the chocolate chips would melt.
Hi Cindy! You can do it either way. I’ve mixed nuts and chocolate chips in with the batter before, or added them before or after baking. If you top with chocolate chips before you bake, they will melt, so if you’d prefer they not, I’d just add them after the bars have cooled a bit.
It’s a bit unusual that you would say this is a gluten free recipe – Oats are definitely NOT gluten free! It could cause some serious illness if one were to make this recipe and offer it to another saying it is gluten free!
Actually Jenny, that is only true per the standards of Australia. In the US, oats ARE considered gluten free. People with celiac do make sure they are processed in a gluten free plant, but it is an option. Bob’s red Mill has one. http://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-rolled-oats.html
I made them this morning and they are pretty bland. I’m going to try the chips next time. I do use Bob’s Redmill gluten free oats.
Definitely try it with some chocolate chips mixed in or on top! I prefer them with just nuts, but my kids like the chocolate chips ones, of course. 🙂
I have a sin who absolutely does not like peanut butter. What are some other things u could use as substitutes?
Hey Nicole! Any nut butter would work. I’ve done almond butter and it was delicious.
3/8 of a cup? Do I have brain fade or ? How much exactly is that? 2/8 is 1/4 cup, 4/8 is a 1/2 cup. Is it about 1/3 of a cup? Never seen anyone use 8th’s. I get it now, just do it three times.
I’m making these and love them. I’m adding organic cocoa powder + ground flax to my recipe (reducing oats). (I like to freeze them and eat them frozen.) My 7-year old son loves them too.
I have made these twice now, not measuring the ingredients either time, but going by consistency of the mix before baking- such a great recipe! First time I added shredded coconut and a bit of honey while skipping the nuts and chocolate chips. Second time added chocolate chips, skipped the nuts (no coconut or honey). Both times were great! My 2 1/2 year old and 12 year old both loved them! What a great, versatile recipe; I plan on making this many times, and adding whatever I have on hand (I’m thinking maybe raisins next time)! Thank you so much!!
With all these wonderful comments, I expected these to be really good. They were not. It may be a good base for a recipe, but you need more than 3 ingredients to make these things taste good.
These definitely need some sort of a topping. I made them without a topping and they just taste like a very bland banana bread type thing. I’m going to smear some Nutella on top so hopefully that helps! Other than that, it’s a pretty good base recipe. I’m sure coconut shreds or some other addition would kick this up a notch!
Can you use regular peanut butter versus natural?
I used about half and half because that is what i had in hand, and it worked great.
The dark chocolate chips I used did not melt during baking. Thus, they just fall off. Next time, I will either mix them in the batter or will press them into the batter before baking. Also, these bars are good, but very bland. I think some vanilla extract or cinnamon and/or a dash of salt might be good to add.
Great recipe my whole family loves! Next time I am going to bake with walnuts on top (they get nice and toasty), and drizzle with melted choc after to hold the crumbs together a bit. Will try the almond butter recipe as well – thanks for posting!
This recipe did not come out so good for me. The oats were hard to chew. I did not top with chocolate chips but still do not recommend.
Hi Tiffany I just made this bars and cooked them for 20 mins and it doesn’t appear to be done I didn’t have a glass dish so I used a loaf pan do I need to let them cook a bit longer and do they need to set before I cut them
Made this tonight and it worked and is delicious,
Excellent good recipe.Thank you
Did you use a sugar-free peanut butter? If not, would you recommend mixing in honey?
Wow! So delicious and so easy! I mixed up some powdered peanut butter which made it even less calories and fat. I love this recipe. Also easy to split in half, simple measurements.
Do you think it would work if I put cream of wheat instead. Just curious?
Delicious! But instead of topping mine with walnuts, I topped it with a homemade “chocolate sauce” made with coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey.
I just made these and they were delicious! Thank you for the recipe! I had some ripe bananas and googled banana recipes. Mmmm.
That’s great! Thank you Maria.
I added dried cranberries, coconut and a 1/4 cup brown sugar…yummy!
I made these for my husband as a healthy snack and he has ask for more.
Ridiculous amount of pop ups. I refuse to use this site anymore because of it.
I just made your recipe. I did add pumpkin puree and about two heaping tablespoons of honey. They’re yummy thank you for the recipe
Thanks so much. This recipe was just what I needed to use the ingredients I had on hand.
I really wanted to love these. As I made them, the batter tasted bland, added some vanilla and a dash of salt. It tasted better. Cooked as directed and they crisped on top but were still gooey. Cooked longer, but they never got any less gooey or sticky. Tried them and they were GROSS. I threw the entire pan away. Waste of bananas and peanut butter. And oats.
Just tried these with walnuts and they’re yum straight out of the oven. Thank you!
Are they supposed to be like a rubber constituency?
I think I put too many oats it and now the mixture is very thick ! How can I fix this?!
Can I use steel cut oats or do they need to be rolled oats?
Thank you very much was delicious I love sweets and this was very yummy.
PERFECT! These 3 ingredients are staples in my workout routine. I was able to bring these on my travels to help me maintain my routine while away. They were fantastic! I bought nice brown bananas for a perfect sweetness.
What other nut could go on top?
These are so quick and easy to make and taste Delicious.
I have a whole case of bananas to use up so I just made these. I almost doubled the batch (not enough oats to double so I added about 3/4 extra of everything). I then added cinnamon for flavor (we love cinnamon, didn’t measure) and unsweetened coconut for healthy fats (about .5-2/3 cup), plus some maple extract (again, didn’t measure). The batter was delicious and while it tasted different with the extract vs without, it didn’t taste like maple, meaning I didn’t add much. Oh, I also added some vanilla extract cuz we love that too. I baked for 20 minutes then left in the oven after I turned it off cuz it was still a little moist. Y’all, these are delicious!! They are not too peanut buttery (my kids love peanut butter, but not other food that tastes like it). Easy peasy to make!
Forgot to add I didn’t not add any toppings. We were out of nuts and I was going to melt the chocolate and drizzle on, but wanted to taste them first. No need for the chocolate in my opinion.
These look yummy. But they are not gluten free, I have celiac and if I was to eat these, not only would I get a stomach ache, headache, and well if I ate 1/4 of the pan it could kill me
Easy to make. Everyone I serve it to loves it!
I was wondering where you posted the chocolate frosting that you put on the 3 ingredient peanut nut butter banana bars ? I noticed you did not mention the chocolate frosting in your recipe . Thank you for your responce back.Or if you have a heathy chocolate frosting recipe that would be great too.
It’s just melted chocolate chips!
The directions are very unclear (i.e. use the big Pyrex even if the mixture is minimal because they are meant to be thin and will not hold into bars if they are thick.) Also, there is no “bake 18-20 mins, cut and enjoy” You have to let it cool before you cut. I really wish more effort was put into explaining this recipe because then I wouldnt have a disasterous mess on my hands. I may try it again now that I have learned what you are really suppose to do or I’ll just find a more detailed recipe.
I had high hopes for this. Made it exactly as posted. Sorry but none of us liked this and I had to throw it out. I felt like the little flavor it had just wasn’t good. If you do decide to try it, the chips don’t melt on top so you either have to pour melted chocolate over the top or push them down into the mix before baking.
this recipe sounds great could you leave out the chocolate chips use nothing or something else .
Yes! I’d use nothing instead.
I hate to give a bad review, but I tried these and they were terrible. I thought how could 3 ingredients taste any good, and I was correct; it was like eating a bland energy bar. The nuts and chocolate could not help at all. The texture was like gummy paste. I would at least add a drop of salt, stevia and cinnamon or something to give it flavor.
I’m going to try this recipe today, I’ll let you know how it comes out.
Perfect! Kids and parents all loved these!!
These are FIVE ingredient bars!
bananas, peanut butter, oatmeal, walnuts, and chocolate chips
You don’t make them without those toppings, do you?
I think some of these comments are ridiculous. How did y’all make it this far in life? No shit you have to let it cool some. That’s common sense if you don’t want to burn yourself. And for those commenting on how bland it is, how did you think the combination of these ingredients would turn out? Add what you need to add according to your palate. In the future, do you want the author to add “oven” as a 4th ingredient…I mean, just so there’s no confusion for some of you smart ones out there…
That’s five ingredients i was about to make this when I realized there were two more ingredients I consider toppings ingredients myself but after reading the reviews im not even going to bother
I just made these tonight and they are so amazing! My entire family loved them! I doubled the recipe and used extra ripe brown bananas and OMG so delicious! I also topped mine with shredded unsweetened coconut and mini dark chocolate chips before baking and they came out perfectly. I baked mine for 30 minutes because of the double batch and that they were extra thick but let me tell you so woth it! My husband and kids are eating them right now and my husband just asked for seconds! We are eating them warm right from the oven and they are to die for! Thank you so much for such a wonderful, easy and healthy recipe!
I made these today and my son is a picky eater and loved them! I think they’re pretty good also! Thanks for sharing! Oh and for the ppl that have not learned anything about manners… if you don’t like the recipe simply don’t make it! Seems to me that it takes more effort to complain and comment that you don’t like it than its worth, get over it!
WOW! A 3-5 ingredient healthy treat bar! This is awesome! I’ve made oatmeal-banana cookies before. This is taking dessert to the next level! Will make them soon.
Old fashion oats, or quick? Do I put chocolate on before or after baking?
We typically use old fashion oats, but you could use quick. And put the chocolate on after baking.
Add honey! The original recipe is very bland but I added honey and it tastes much better.
Made today. They are awesome. Loved them. Will definitely make them again.
Amazing!!! So simple and everyone loved them!
Ha! You call it 3 ingredients and get on your soap box about your pet peeves, but then add 2 more ingredients anyway! Regardless, they are good.
I like these! I did make a few adjustment/additions: I halved the recipe. I used steel cut oats. I added about 2 tablespoons of honey. I added approximately 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I added a 1 ounce box of raisins for flavor. My “dough” was very thick, so I just spread it out on a silicon baking sheet to about 1 centimeter thickness. The dough held its shape. I cooked for about 20 minutes & let sit for about 20 minutes to cool.
The consistency of the bars is soft and chewy, but I like it. If I had some brown sugar, I think I would have sprinkled on a very light dusting over the top before baking, just to really bring out all the flavors. Overall, I love how easy the recipe is & I think it makes a good snack.
These are simple to make and you feel like you are eating something healthier than banana muffins or bread. I skipped the chocolate as I am allergic and they are still a good treat.
My daughter and I are making these now! The look good!
I guess it’s not low carb. That’s what I was looking for. Already had them in the oven before reading the nutrition label.
These are good if you taste your batter prior to baking. There’s nothing in there that can’t be eaten raw. If it’s not Sweet enough, add some sugar. Not pb enough add more. Great base recipe to make it how youd like. I made an oatmeal style cookie out of them.
I made these, and added just bit more PB cause hubby likes PB, I did not add chocolate cause Iam not a fan of chocolate chips ….they turned out pretty good. Definitely a keeper.
Any idea of the nutrition, calories per square?
Hi Wayne, thanks for reaching out. We don’t calculate nutrition data on our recipes on the SHK site, BUT all these recipes are also in the Prepear app, and they have nutrition facts there (plus other nifty features like ingredients you can check off while you’re cooking.) You can join Prepear for free here: https://app.prepear.com/
Just made these and they are cooling down so haven’t tried them yet, you can’t go wrong. So easy and what’s not to love! My favourite peanut butter and bananas. I was looking for a recipe to use up bananas when they’ve gone soft, I usually make a fab banana Bread that my kids love but wanted to try something different.
They are so good.
This recipe is fantastic! It’s healthy and my kids love it! When you eat them hot right out of the oven they’re gross, haha. You have to let them cool and then they’re amazing! Especially when you eat them straight out of the fridge! Thanks for the recipe!
I’m excited to try these. I’m making vegan gluten free for about 5 people at my wedding including myself and I’m looking for quick and easy but healthy. I see you said in the one comment they freeze well….so I might be able to make these in advance and just pull them out for my wedding. I was also thinking of adding some cinnamon since my wedding is in late fall. They will be made today to try. Thank you I’ll let you know how they turn out. 🙂
Good luck with your wedding! We hope it all turns out beautifully!
No added sugar do leave out chocolate chips maybe top with fresh sugar free shredded coconut
The flavors are decent, but the texture is terrible. Like chewing on rubber or a wet dog toy. Should have been more skeptical with all the baking I do, to know better than to bake this nd think a decent bar would come out.
Going to try this 5 not 3 ingredient bar!
I made these without the nuts and chocolate, added 1/2 cup shredded coconut in the mix and some on top and was actually surprised how tasty it was considering some comments here.
I think the key is very ripe = sweet bananas. Also if you’re used to 200g of sugar in a cake then obviously this will be less sweet :-D.
What I did not like at all -other videos keep popping on the screen which is annoying.
Easy directions and yummy! I read a few comments saying it didn’t say when or what to put on as a topping (it says before baking) although mixed in would be delish as well, like you said many times. Can’t wait to use dried cherries next time and other variations. Thank you!!
Added a little cinnamon , chopped walnuts chopped dark chocolate chips on top and a couple tablespoons of honey to the bananas and peanut butter , oat mixture. I loved the chewy texture,
How many carbs n calories in one bar
Hi Abby! One bar has 33g carbs and 250 calories. You can find full nutrition facts on this and all of our recipes in the (free) Prepear app, here: https://www.prepear.com/
I will never throw away another over ripened banana ever again! Fantastic recipe, fun to make and fast. My family loves it including my super picky and fussy son.
This are great, my kids love them! I think really ripe/brown bananas are a MUST so they are sweet enough. I sprinkled chocolate chips on top before baking and as soon as they came out of the oven, I used a spatula to spread the chocolate chips around (they partially melted), so there was a thin layer of chocolate all over top.
My question is: how long do you think these would last in the fridge?
Hi Kerry! That’s a great technique with the chocolate chips, I love it! I would keep these in the fridge for a maximum of about three days. Banana baked goods sometimes turn a bit gray after that. But you can also freeze them if you want them to last a bit longer.
These turned out great!!
I even used dry microwave packets of cinnamon oatmeal. This recipe is fool proof. 🙂
This recipe is amazingly easy and so tasty. I have shared with friends and they agree! Thanks for this.
I made these last night, to use some ripe bananas. We loved them, plan to make again. Did add walnuts, and a bit of toffee chips . Will see if grandkids like them today. Thanks for this recipe!
Sounds delicious.,,will make them.
Hi, do I have to cook the oat before doing this bars? or at least activate them before?
Hi Maria, nope–no cooking required for the rolled oats! They’re already steamed and flattened before you buy them at the store. (And you’re going to cook them again in the bars anyway. 🙂 )
Question about the calories. It says 200 but doesnt say th amount attached to that.
What is it based on?
Hi Betina, that amount is for one bar, if you cut the pan into 12 bars.
Could I use bananas that were overripe and therefore thrown in my freezer?
Hi Tracy, you may be able to use them but the texture of the final bars might be a little different (more sticky.)
I think the only thing I will add next time is some salt, not a lot but it’s what I think is missing.
I always have a bunch of bananas in my freezer for baking. Can I use those for this recipe or they have to be yellow?
That might work Veronique, although the texture might be a bit gummy because the defrosted bananas will be SO soft. I think it’s a great experiment, I just can’t promise they’ll turn out exactly the same. 🙂
I will be making these for my Grandchildren. Thank you.
So simple and delicious! I called them breakfast blondies. The kids loved them!
Not bad! I love how simple and easy they were to make! I don’t have a 8×8 pan, so I improvised with a mini-loaf pan (has like 6 mini loaves) and it worked fine! Just tasted it and it’s good! I used frozen bananas and it came out fine.
I needed a way to use up some bananas. No little ones in the house! But i’m sure my husband and I will enjoy these. 5 more minutes on the timer! ?
Just made these and they worked great, but my kids are a bit over the taste of banana (I’ve overused it in healthy baking recipes haha!). Does anyone know if unsweetened applesauce would work as a substitution for the banana?
Hi Michelle, good question! In general applesauce doesn’t have the binding power of banana, so I would guess the bars would fall apart with that substitution. You could try adding a little bit of ground flax seed and water to get some extra binding power if you like.
OMG these cookies are so good ? I wish if found this recipe a long time I always have ripe bananas. I’m going to have my grandkids make these when they come to visit this weekend. Thanks for this recipe.
So glad you loved them!! Hope your grandkids enjoy them as well! 🙂
Fast, Easy & DELICIOUS!
Made this several times.
I made these and they are so easy and good! I like the idea that someone posted about using coconut and honey, I will try that next time too!
Easy to make can’t wait to taste…
Had a question.
How long can they be stored for.
2-3 days at room temperature, but if you want to store them longer they freeze great!
Do these need to be stored in fridge?
If you will have them around for more than 2 or 3 days, then I would pop them in the fridge. They freeze great too!
This is ok recipe but definitely need the chocolate / other toppings to make it more tasty. I wanted to try the mix without the chocolate first and found it needs more kick to it. So I separated the bars into 2 batches – one coated with melted chocolate, the second batch topped with avocado frosting. Both turns out better. Also, I used frozen ripped banana which has a lot of moisture in it when i mix the dough so it helps making the bars less dry.
Beautiful and inspiring recipe – I made them adding some shredded coconut, a bit of vanilla, and cinnamon. I didn’t use any toppings. I found them really delicious! Will play with adding cacao nibs and raisins next time. I love that they are so tasty and simple, and that they don’t need any sweetener besides the banana. Great snack for school, hiking, or picnics. Thank you!
Made these the day before. Coming back here to make it again! Super delicious. I only had one banana then so I used 1/3 of all the ingredients listed. SO OBSESSED. It’s amazing when it’s hot, I usually eat it right out of the oven (No need to cool for me!) But tastes great the next day too. The PB flavor really shines through once it’s cooled down. Love! -Angie <3
Won’t the chocolate chips melt in the oven?