{Nature Valley Copycat} Soft Baked Oatmeal Squares

A Nature Valley Copycat recipe. Soft-baked oatmeal squares made with natural ingredients – no butter or oil included! These bars are peanut butter flavored and bursting with peanut butter chips along with a peanut butter drizzle on top.

Nature Valley Copycat - Soft-Baked Oatmeal SquaresI have been working on this recipe for ages.

Seriously, it has taken me about 98,463 failed attempts, and at least 3,234 extra large jars of peanut butter.

Minus the scoops of peanut butter I was eating from those jars, about 2,672 jars of peanut butter for the recipe experimentation on these bars.

I really, really like peanut butter.

Nature Valley Oatmeal Squares

And these bars have been a long time in the coming, but they are honestly the best of the best. They have no added oils, no butter, no eggs, and very little sugar.

They taste even better than the Nature Valley oatmeal squares I was trying to replicate. Which, by the way, have a lot more sugar and random ingredients than these do.

By making these, you’ll know exactly what is in them. And don’t have all the bad-for-you nasty preservatives and words you can’t pronounce. Or at least words I can’t pronounce.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These bars are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack that will leave you full for quite some time thanks to all the protein and whole grains.

The base of these bars is (obviously) oats. Old fashioned oats and then oat flour. But don’t freak out if you can’t find oat flour, because you can make it in about 30 seconds. I just grind up oats in my blender or food processor until the oats resemble flour. It’s super quick. The only thing is make sure to measure the oat flour AFTER grinding them and not before!

And other than that, these bars are pretty quick and easy. Oh, and did I mention delicious?!

Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

5.0 from 6 reviews
{Nature Valley Copycat} Soft Baked Oatmeal Squares
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour *
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter + 1/4 cup for top drizzle
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, or sub another milk
  • 1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Stir to combine,
  4. In another medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup peanut butter, vanilla extract, and honey.
  5. Microwave for about 15 seconds, Remove and stir to combine. Return to the microwave for 25 more seconds. Stir until completely combined
  6. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well.
  7. Add in the milk and peanut butter chips. Stir until completely combined
  8. Press into the lined tray
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
  10. Remove and let cool completely before removing and cutting into 12 squares.
  11. Once they are cut into squares, place 1/4 cup of peanut butter in a small resealable bag.
  12. Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the peanut butter on the top of the bars.
  13. Sometimes these bars can be a bit crumbly and you may want to refrigerate them.
*To make oat flour, just grind up oats in a blender or food processor. Just make sure to measure the oat flour AFTER grinding the oats.

Want more Oats?

Easy PB cup overnight oats by Chelsea's Messy Apron
Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats

No-Bake Cookies
No Bake Healthy Breakfast Cookies

NO BAKE easy granola with customizable add-ins from Chelsea's Messy Apron

No Bake Easy Granola

Fudgy Granola Bars
Dark Chocolate Fudgy Granola Bars


  1. says

    These look awesome Chelsea! I’m such a sucker for anything with oatmeal and peanut butter and soft-baked makes them even better:)

  2. says

    Chelsea, these look and sound perfect! I’m always trying to find the “perfect” granola bar recipe — it takes work, because I’m very serious about granola bars! Pinning these to try!

  3. says

    I really love peanut butter too!!! And these look like a peanut butter lovers dream bar! Thank you for perfecting the recipe b/c they look seriously perfect and so delicious! Pinning and can’t wait to make these soon!

  4. says

    I feel like I’ve pinned every last recipe you shared! need to get to work! I think it’s best to have a jar of peanut butter for baking and for eating! these are right up my alley. I love how there is very little sugar. my kiddo and I would eat these up!!

  5. says

    Oh my gosh! I actually love those soft baked oatmeal squares and I eat them at work. The cinnamon version is always sold out at my store, so I’m usually buying the PB ones. I cannot wait to try out your version that I know will be even better. Pinned!

  6. says

    These look amazing, checking them out from freedom fridays and I pinned this! I also really, really love peanut butter, so these are perfect! :-)

  7. says

    Congrats on this awesome recipe, Chelsea!! I seriously eat nature valley oatmeal squares ALL THE TIME, but I will be making these bars this weekend because they look WAY better and I love that I can pronounce all the ingredients in them! Pinned : )

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Omg I have them almost every day haha, they are so good! thanks Jenn and thanks for pinning :)

  8. says

    These look amazingly scrumptious! So glad you finally nailed the recipe – I know how great that feels :). I can’t even tell you how excited I would be to have these for breakfast – can’t think of a better way to start the day!

  9. says

    Okay, you’ve convinced me. I am going to make these and I’m sure they’ll be delicious. I like the Nature Valley ones, I’ve only tried the brown sugar oat ones but I would love to make them from scratch without all the preservatives. Thanks Chelsea! By the way, they look so delicious!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Thank you so much Jessica! Oh gosh the brown sugar ones are so good! Now I need to recreate those :)

  10. says

    I haven’t had a nature valley bar in soooo long … I used to eat them all the time though!! I love that you made this recipe! So many good ingredients in here … and I can never ever ever turn down peanut butter : ) Happy friday friend!

  11. says

    I’m a gigantic pb fan too! I can never get enough! Plus, I love those nature valley peanut butter and oats bars! These look great.

  12. Kristy says

    Hi Chelsea! I found your recipe on Pinterest, and because I am a peanut butter fanatic, I was so excited to try it. I’m an expat living overseas, and it isn’t always easy finding specific ingredients, so I had to modify the recipe a little, but it didn’t matter because they turned out great! I used regular whole wheat flour instead of the white whole wheat, subbed dark chocolate chunks for the peanut butter chips, used coconut palm sugar I purchased on a recent trip to Thailand in place of the brown sugar, and added some ground flax seed. They were not overly sweet, which I actually prefer. I am guessing the peanut butter chips probably add more sweetness than dark chocolate. These will make a great pre-workout snack for me, and my husband who usually turns his nose up at anything that looks remotely healthy enjoyed them as well. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      This is SO good to hear Kristy! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and letting readers know the great changes you made! Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend :)

  13. Deneen says

    What a delightful surprise to Google NV Copycat Soft Oatmeal Squares and find your recipe. Looks simple enough, however I am seeking the Cinnamon version of these soft squares. Any chance on modifying the recipe to omit peanut butter?

    Thank you, Chelsea, for your forthcoming response.


  14. Sam W. says

    I just made this recipe, and it performed amazingly in nearly all aspects! The only thing I didn’t like was that it had a tendency of sticking to the roof of my mouth as I chewed it, but that’s an unimportant aspect.

    My family and I have been wondering if the number of failed trials was what you actually had to go through to create this recipe (I think it is because you said ‘seriously’ and because of the specificity of the number of trials and peanut butter jars, but my family says you could be exaggerating).

    I’m going to replace the peanut butter chips with dark chocolate chips the next time I make this recipe to see how it compares. Thanks for creating and sharing this recipe; I love replacing foods my family buys with homemade alternatives :).

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Oh that is so good to hear! Thank you for taking the time to comment and leave a review :)

      Haha!!! I am definitely an exaggerater :) I probably had in reality about 6-8 fails before I was happy with the bars! I’d love to hear how it is with the dark chocolate chips – that sounds fantastic and is definitely healthier than peanut butter chips. Thanks again for your comment Sam!

  15. moshe says

    These are great! Made the first batch exactly like the recipe and they came out great. next batch I changes one tbsp of brown sugar for one tbsp of jam (used plum jam but i think any jam will work well. 1/4 cup = 4 tbsp).

  16. Amber says

    any ideas on how to make the cinnamon brown sugar ones? We’re not huge peanut butter fans, but LOVE the other ones.

  17. Ashley says

    Hello Chelsea! While searching for a copycat recipe of the Nature Valley oatmeal squares, I stumbled upon your blog and I’m impressed with everything I’ve viewed, like your homemade cookie dough bites for the cereal and the no bake cookies. I’m definitely going to make this recipe. I’m preparing myself for it, I just grinded up oats in my sister’s magic bullet and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just made oat flour! I didn’t think I could grind up oats in the magic bullet,since the texture is so soft but I did. I bought some silk milk today. It’s a mixture of almond and coconut milk. I’ll be using this for the milk part.Tomorrow morning, I’m going out to buy the rest of the ingredients I don’t have. I’m already in love with your site Chelsea! Thank you for all the recipes. I have a family reunion next weekend and I’m sure I could make a potluck dish. Have a great day!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Hi Ashley!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment – that means a lot to me :) Isn’t making oat flour the coolest thing ever? I love watching them go from oats to flour in seconds!! Thanks again SO much and sorry for the delayed response! I hope you were able to try these and liked them :) Have a good one!

  18. Nikki says

    I have been looking for a recipe similar to the Nature Valley forever! So glad I stumbled upon yours! My husband prefers the blueberry bars, do you have any tips on how to substitute the peanut butter for blueberry instead?

  19. Ali says

    These are one of the best tasting “healthy” things I have ever baked! I’ve never actually had the nature valley bars, but I don’t think I need to anymore. I can’t believe there’s only 1/4 cup of sugar in the whole thing! Also, if it’s of interest to anyone, I used regular whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips and it worked great!!

  20. says

    Dear Chelse,
    I baked a batch of these this morning (actually around 3am) by 9 am they were GONE!!! I am right now busy making 4 more batches for neighbors and myself plus typing up your recipe to give to them.”WARNING” Ladies these are so beyond good that they ought to be illegal cause I could NOT stop eating them.These have got to be by far the “BEST” oatmeal bars (the copy-cat soft ones) EVER!!! A part of me wishes I never found you and your recipe but I can’t help but Thank you and wanna jump through the internet and hug you for sharing this out-of-this-world-GREAT recipe. Lord help I can’t quit eating them they are just that GOOD no no nonot just GOOD……..YUMMY-LISHOUS.
    Thank you from the bottom of my southern Texas heart.Now I gotta go find a rehab that will cure an oatmeal bar addiction.
    Again Thank for sharing
    Dianne M.
    San Antonio, TX

  21. Emily says

    I’m soooo excited I found this pin and recipe!! My son eats a NV square every morning and it is my daily dose of guilt. Just kidding, I’m not that dramatic. I had them for me when he was a baby for a quick snack, then it turned into him trying them, then now at 2 years old he eats one while we get ready for work. I’m excited to try this. Mostly for the better ingredients for my son, but also because those squares are pricey and sometimes the quality is weird. Like sometimes they are soft, sometimes they are hard…yuck! Thank you!!

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