These no-bake oatmeal raisin bars are easy to make with just 4 simple ingredients and taste like an oatmeal cookie!
Say hello to soft and chewy oatmeal raisin bars, no baking required! These bars combine the natural sweetness of dates and the wholesome goodness of oats with sweet bites of raisins and chocolate chips.
They make an energizing, fuss-free snack for busy home cooks, on-the-go families and anyone with an active lifestyle.
With no oven time and just 4 ingredients, so they’re quick and convenient to make. They’re also easy to customize with different add-ins like nuts or coconut.
For more oatmeal cookie treats, you have to try these oatmeal cookie bars and peanut butter banana oatmeal bars. For more no-bake goodies, these oatmeal chocolate bars and cashew coconut balls are both easy and delicious.
Alright, ready to whip these up? Let’s go over what you’ll need, how to make them and some tips and tricks for success.
The complete list of ingredients with measurements is located in the recipe card at the end of the post. Use that when you’re ready to make the recipe.
- Dates: You can use any variety of date as long as they’re soft and moist. If not, you’ll have to soak them before using in the recipe.
- Oats: You can use rolled oats, quick oats or large flake oats.
- Raisins: Any variety of raisins works. You can substitute dried cranberries, nuts or seeds or omit them and use all chocolate chips.
- Chocolate Chips: Any chocolate chips, chocolate morsels or chopped dark chocolate works.
- Optional: I like to add salt, vanilla and cinnamon to enhance the flavour but they’re all optional.
Additions & Variations
- Nuts: You can replace up to half of the oats with pecans, walnuts or almonds. Blend them at the same time of the oats.
- Nuts or Seeds: You can replace the raisins or chocolate chips with chopped nuts or seeds of choice. Try pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Coconut: You can replace the raisins or chocolate chips with shredded coconut or add up to 1/2 cup shredded coconut to the recipe.
- Spices: Experiment with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom or nutmeg.
- Chocolate: Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to the dough to make chocolate oatmeal raisin bars.
- Energy Bites: If you prefer, you can roll the dough into energy balls instead of making bars.
For more variations on this recipe, try these nut-free granola bars, sesame coconut energy bars (nut-free as well), peanut chocolate chip energy balls and no-bake oatmeal almond bars.
Step 1: Blend Oats
Add the oats to a food processor and blend into a grainy flour. Some larger pieces left behind are totally fine.
Step 2: Add Dates & Flavourings
Add the dates, sea salt, vanilla and cinnamon, if using, and blend into a sticky, clumpy dough you can easily press together between your fingers.
My dough isn’t getting sticky! If the mixture isn’t forming sticky clumps (it should if your dates were moist), add 1 tsp of warm water and process again. That should be enough but you may need to repeat 1-2 times.
Step 3: Add Raisins and Chocolate Chips
Add the chocolate chips and raisins and process briefly to mix them into the dough.
Step 4: Press into Pan
Line a 7 to 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so it sticks out over the sides of the pan, this will help you lift the bars out once they’re set.
Firmly press the dough into the pan, really working it into the corners.
Quick Tip: To smooth and even out the bars, lightly wet your hands and rub them over the surface to smooth.
Step 5: Freeze then Slice
Place the pan in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so to help the bars firm up, then lift them out of the pan, slice into squares and enjoy!
No, you can skip the chilling if you’re short on time, however, chilling helps the bars hold their shape and makes them easier to slice.
The recipe is gluten-free as written. If gluten cross-contamination is a concern in the case of celiac, make sure you use gluten-free certified oats.
To make this recipe without added sugar, use sugar-free chocolate chips such as Lily’s or replace the chocolate with chopped nuts. For a lower-sugar option, use chopped dark chocolate with high cacao content (over 80%) instead of chocolate chips.
- Dates: It’s important to use soft, moist dates to bind the bars together. If your dates are not soft or you’re unsure, pit them if they’re not already pitted and place them in a bowl of hot water. Soak for 10-15 minutes then drain well and proceed with the recipe.
- Serving Size: You can make 8 large bars, 16 squares or 32 mini bars. I like making 32 mini bars so I can choose my serving size, 1, 2, 3, or 4!
- Measuring: While accuracy is not hugely important for this recipe, I always reccomend using a digital kitchen scale to easily and accurately measure you ingredients.
- Fridge: In a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezer (Recommended): In a sealed container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Enjoy straight from the freezer as they don’t freeze solid.
- Room Temperature: If taking to-go, they’re okay at room temperature for 1-2 days but will get soft and mushy if they get too warm. Keep cool for best results.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
These delicious, no-bake bars taste like an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie but are vegan, oil-free, nut-free and easy to make in minutes!
- Place the oats in a food processor and process briefly to break down into a grainy flour.
- Add the dates, sea salt and cinnamon, if using and process into a thick, sticky, clumpy dough you can easily press between your fingers. If it’s not turning into clumpy dough, add 1 tsp warm water and process again. That should be enough but you may need to repeat 1-2 times if your dates were on the dry side.
- Add the chocolate chips and raisins and process briefly to mix through.
- Line a 7-8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper so it sticks out over the sides of the pan then firmly press the dough into the pan, really working it into the corners. Once you’ve pressed the dough down, I recommend wetting your hands and using them to smooth the surface of the bars.
- Place in the freezer for an hour to firm.
- Lift out of the pan and cut into 16 squares.
Storing: Sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 4 months. Okay at room temperature if taking to-go but will get soft so try to keep in the fridge or at least keep cool until you’re ready to enjoy. I recommend storing them in the freezer as they don’t freeze solid and can be enjoyed straight away.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 169
- Sugar: 25 g
- Sodium: 74 mg
- Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Fiber: 3.7 g
- Protein: 2.3 g
Keywords: no-bake oatmeal raisin bars, no-bake oatmeal bars
Originally pubslihed on December 14, 2016.