Recipe for Peanut Butter Granola Bars

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Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars - Healthy breakfast or energy filled snack!

These bars are no bake, stored in the refrigerator, filling, and tender. What’s more, they’re actually on the healthier side of things. Well, for now. I mean, give it a week or so and someone is going to decide oats are unhealthy, it’s only a matter of time :). The ingredients are as simple as they can be and the bulk of the “cooking” process involves stirring and patting into a pan. They make an excellent breakfast or a quick energy snack in between meals and since they aren’t “too sweet” they are perfect for school mornings when you want your kid to be well fed but not bouncing off the walls :).

In short, I love them and I made a huge batch at a fraction of what I used to pay for the store bought Milk Bite version. The options with this are limitless, really. If you have any peanut butter allergies, use sun butter. Add in dried fruit, nuts, coconut, whatever you like to personalize them. You can follow my recipe to the letter or use it as a springboard for something entirely different.

 Let’s get to it so I can get me another bite of one of these bars!

Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars - Healthy breakfast or energy filled snack!

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Oats
  • Evaporated Milk (can use regular)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Vanilla My Vanilla was not in the mood for photographs today and we mustn’t pressure our ingredients when they wake up on the wrong side of the pantry.

On my finished product, I melted some white chocolate chips and drizzled that over in addition to sprinkling a little bit of coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate before it set. It was a wonderful touch.

Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars - Healthy breakfast or energy filled snack!

Place all of your ingredients (except oats) in a large bowl and microwave for a minute or two until the peanut butter is good and melty and can be easily stirred together with all the other ingredients. You can do this in a pot on top of the stove if that makes things more right in your world.

Stir that together until smooth. Add oats. Stir until very well coated.

Press into an 8×8 pan. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

If you want to make a pretty topping like I did, melt chocolate chips (flavor of your choice) in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then spoon into a zipper seal bag. Snip a corner off and squeeze in a zig zag (or zag zig, depending on your level of rebelliousness) pattern on top of the bars. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea or kosher salt.

Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars - Healthy breakfast or energy filled snack!

Cut into bars and store in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to three months (or until you remember they are there and decide to eat them).


Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars

Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars: ingredients as simple as can be and most of the "cooking" process involves stirring & patting into a pan.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: milk
Servings: 8 large bars or 16 snack size
Calories: 179kcal


  • 6 cups quick oats
  • 12 ounce can milk or 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Place all ingredients except for oats in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for about a minute or two, just until peanut butter is a little melty. Stir with a large spoon until mixture is creamy and well blended.
  • Stir in oats until fully incorporated.
  • Press mixture into an 8x8 pan. Cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving.


To make the topping as pictured: Melt 1 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then spoon into a quart size zipper seal bag. Snip off just one corner and squeeze in a zig zag design over top of bars. Sprinkle lightly with a teaspoon of coarse sea or kosher salt.
These bars keep very well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for several months.


Calories: 179kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

You may enjoy these peanut butter no bake recipes:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls No Baking Necessary

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookie Bites


 “Live your happiest life by knowing that often Plan B is even better than Plan A. Ditto on Plan C.” 

~Unknown 🙂

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  1. Hi Christy,

    I do not know whether to thank you for this recipe or the hundreds of other magnificent recipes before this one!

    Oats, honey, milk and peanut butter, how much better does it get?

    You are such a beautiful Lady. A Bear Hug all the way from Arizona !

    – God Bless You and Your Family, – Dave

      1. Thanks Christy for your kind words, I am glad to have “made your day”.

        I am Southern by heritage (East Tennessee and North Alabama) and I guess when I was growing up here in Arizona, I never knew we were eatin’ Southern all the time. My mom just called it “home cooking”. Oh Yeah!! I am old enough to remember that we had an aluminum canister (said Bacon vertically embossed on the side) for use in just about anything from fried potatoes, eggs, some veggies, etc. YUM!!

        I looked at virtually all of your magnificent recipes (back to 2008?) on your web site and have tried a bunch of them. Your recipes are fabulous, thank you Dear Lady for your love of cooking and sharing recipes !!! You are definitely a Genius Master Chef !!!

        – God Bless and another Bear Hug from Arizona

  2. I seldom have honey on hand-do you think I could sub corn syrup aka known as Karo? If yes do you think clear or dark? I know some readers will freak out over corn syrup but I am 68 and have used it all my life. My mother had five children and our formula was nothing more than evaporated milk and a bit of Karo.

    1. I’m with ya Elaine! When my son was little, the doctor had us put a little bit of dark karo in his bottle a few times a day and my mother was raised on that same formula you mentioned! We even have a handwritten recipe for it :). Karo would work just fine and I’d go with whichever you like, dark or light will work equally as well. I prefer dark for the richer flavor but you may prefer the mildness of clear, it is probably closer to honey in flavor.

      1. I remember my MIL telling me about the Karl syrup and evaporated milk for babies back in the day!!! Thanks Christy

  3. These look yummy! Might add some ground flax seed to make them even healthier! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. I emailed this recipe to my husband at home and he just finished making them. He said they are very good and hopes there are some left for me when I get home LOL

      1. Girl- I LOVE you!!! These are better than any of the store bought ones I’ve had. No choc drizzle for me tho- I sprinkled mine with Flaked coconut(just a couple tablespoonsful tho) If I had kids they would think I had lost my mind letting them eat these- they are THAT good!!!!!! yet so HEALTHY!!!!

        I LOVE your recipes, but everytime I make something, I have to go thru and use a calorie calculator and then divide into caloric servings.
        (I know being from the South, it’s the taste that counts, but I have some serious health issues and am on a strict caloric intake- so I can have pretty much anything I want as long as it’s not riddiculously sugary/fatty as long as I stay within my caloric budget…and so Sundays are usually a Southern Plate Sunday Dinner Recipe Day. Pure BLISS!!!!!!

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