These no-bake peanut butter bars are super simple to put together and require only 6 ingredients! And they’re a no-bake treat, which means you will have them ready quickly, without needing to turn on your oven.
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Peanut butter and chocolate is one of the ultimate best combinations, and you’ll find it featured in these amazing no-bake bars. (I love it in Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Buckeyes too!)
Creamy peanut butter is mixed with crushed Nilla wafers for crunch and flavor, then it’s topped with decadent melted chocolate. The bars chill in the fridge so they’re a great option on hot days or when you just don’t want to bother with using the oven. I dare you to stop at just one!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
I love using peanut butter in desserts. It adds such a delicious creaminess to whatever dish you add it to. These bars remind me a bit of a peanut butter pie, but the cookies are folded into the bars rather than being used as a crust. When you take a bite you’ll get all that delicious sweet peanut buttery taste that’s made just a little crisp by the cookies. And of course, Nilla wafers are a beloved classic for a reason! They are so comforting and flavorful.
To really finish strong, we’ll pour a mixture of melted chocolate and peanut butter over the peanut butter cookie base. Then it firms in the fridge to become an almost candy-like bar that’s perfect on a potluck table or as an after school snack treat like Rice Krispie treats.
Ingredients for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Nilla wafers – These are the classic Nilla wafers we all know and love!
- Butter – Use salted butter.
- Powdered sugar
- Peanut butter – Smooth rather than chunky peanut butter is best in this recipe.
- Vanilla extract
- Peanut butter – Smooth peanut butter is ideal for the topping.
- Chocolate – Use semisweet chocolate rather than milk chocolate.
- Crunchy peanut butter for smooth peanut butter in the bar mixture. This will definitely alter the texture of the bars, but if you like a lot of crunch, go ahead and swap crunchy peanut butter for the smooth.
- Substitute milk chocolate for semi-sweet chocolate. This will make the chocolate-peanut butter topping much sweeter, but milk chocolate and peanut butter also tastes great together!
How to Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- Process the cookies: Add the Nilla Wafers to a blender or large food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients: Add the butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla and mix until smooth (the mixture will be thick). Scrape down the sides of the blender and pulse to make sure everything is well-mixed and evenly combined.
- Place in a pan: Spread the peanut butter mixture into a 9×13 pan. Use a metal offset spatula to make the peanut butter mixture smooth and level.
- Make the topping: Place the chocolate and additional peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each time to melt the chocolate. Once the mix is completely melted and smooth, pour it over the peanut butter in the pan and spread it evenly.
- Chill the bars: Place the pan in the fridge for about an hour so the bars cool and firm. Then cut into pieces and serve.
To chill the bars faster, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will help the chocolate solidify.
How to Store No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve straight from the fridge.
You can sub graham crackers, animal cookies, shortbread cookies, ladyfingers, or gingersnaps for Nilla wafers. But keep in mind that the flavor of whatever dessert in which you make the swap will change.
The peanuts in smooth peanut butter are ground uniformly, so the resulting peanut butter spread is very smooth. In contrast, crunchy peanut butter is, as you’d expect, crunchy with peanut bits still in it.
Peanut butter can be a healthful option when people enjoy it as part of a balanced diet. It is rich in several nutrients, including protein and magnesium, which may help protect the heart and manage blood sugar and body weight.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars
- 3 cups Nilla wafers
- 1 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- Add the Nilla Wafers to a blender or large food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs.
- Add the melted butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla and mix until smooth. It will be pretty thick. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pulse to make sure everything is well mixed and evenly combined.
- Spread the peanut butter mix into a 9×13 pan. Use a metal offset spatula to make the peanut butter mix smooth and level in the pan.
- To make the topping, add the chocolate and ¼ cup peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after heating each time to melt the chocolate. Once the mix is completely melted and smooth, pour it over the peanut butter in the pan and spread it evenly.
- Put the pan in the fridge for about an hour to cool.
- Cut the bars and serve!