Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

BY : PUBLISHED : December 23rd, 2021 UPDATED: February 2nd, 2022

These Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars are something else! They are no-bake, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free pretzels), oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free! But most of all, these chocolate date bars are unbelievably luscious and downright irresistible; you would think they came straight off a bakery or coffee shop.

several finished Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars cut up into bite size squares against a white background

These yummy, made-from-scratch treats have a sweet and salty flavor combination and a nice balance of chewy and crunchy texture in every mouthful. Make a batch and keep them chilled, so you have a quick snack anytime your chocolate cravings hit. They are also perfect as a healthy dessert, a replacement for a breakfast bar in the morning, or holiday giveaways!

The Best Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

If you are in need of an impressive treat or dessert, look no further than this yummy treat!

  • No-Bake.  This is the ideal recipe when you're craving something sweet but can't be bothered with your oven or when you're pressed for time but still need to whip up a dessert. All you need to do is to mix, layer and chill! And if you enjoy no-bake recipes, here are some delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies that are so good!
  • Energy-boosting.  These protein-rich, fiber-filled treats are not only delicious, but they are also great snacks to jump-start your day or replenish your energy mid-day.
  • Customizable. This recipe is easy enough to tweak and make your own by adding more yummy treats that you like! This holiday season, add some dried berries or crushed peppermint candies to make them more fancy and festive! You can also add nuts, dried fruits, sprinkles, or crushed cookies. I'm sure you can come up with some more great ideas!
  • Simple. You will only need to use heat if your peanut butter is too dense; otherwise, this recipe is as simple and straightforward as it can get. Make them with your kids for a fun bonding time in the kitchen.

A 5-Ingredient Recipe

  • Pitted dates - They are sweet and almost caramel-like in flavor, making them an excellent addition to our recipe. It also helps bind the ingredients together while giving the bars a chewy texture.
  • Unsalted peanuts – These will be used for the base of the bars, giving them a nutty flavor and a sturdier structure.
  • Cocoa powder - I used unsweetened with this recipe to ensure it does not become overly sweet as the dates will provide enough natural sweetness. Make sure to sift before using.
  • Salted pretzels – These will be used to make both the bar base and topping. The saltiness of these twisted goodies perfectly balances the sweetness of the dates.
  • Natural peanut butter – This wonderful spread makes an entire layer of creaminess and nuttiness in this Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars recipe.

ingredients for Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars against a white surface

How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Preparations:

  • Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
  • If your peanut butter isn't liquidy enough to spread, heat it over low heat on a stovetop or in a microwave until it softens.

Steps:

1)  Make the Bar Base.  Add a cup of dates and peanuts to a food processor and give it a good mix.  Scrape the edges clean, then toss in the rest. Mix in the cocoa powder and a cup of pretzels.  Blend until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

process of adding ingredients into food processor process of adding ingredients into food processor process of adding ingredients into food processor

2)  Make the layers. Place the date mixture in the prepared pan. Evenly level the mixture using a spoon or spatula. We're aiming for a thickness of 1-1.5 inches. Spread your peanut butter on top.

process of adding mixture to tray process of adding peanut butter being added to Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars mixture process of adding pretzels to Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars mixture

3)  Add the Toppings. Add the crushed pretzels, or whatever toppings you are using, on top of the peanut butter layer.

pre-frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars before being put into freezer for completion

4)  Pop in the freezer.  Let it set in the freezer for about 20 minutes and slice into squares.  Enjoy!

Tips when Making Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

  • We want the dates and nuts to be finely grounded, so make sure you do not overcrowd your blender or food processor. Pulse them a cup at a time.
  • If your bar base is too dry, you can add more dates to moisten it. Just make sure to not add too much, or your bars will become too sweet. On the other hand, if they become too moist, add more pretzels to balance both the flavor and consistency.
  • It's easier to remove the frozen bars from the baking pan if you line it with parchment paper with an overhang on the sides.
  • To cut through the bars quickly and neatly, place your knife under warm water first before slicing. To get smooth and clean edges, wipe your knife between cuts.

Storing Notes

Make a big batch and store these delicious bars in the fridge or freezer.  I would suggest to pre-cut them into individual servings before storing them. Place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between the bars and keep them in an airtight container for about 7 days in the fridge or freeze them for longer shelf life for a month or two. From frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!

several finished Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars cut up into bite size squares against a white background

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. What can be used to replace peanut butter? If you're not a peanut butter fan, you can swap this with other nut butter like almond or cashew.
  2. Why are the bars not holding up?  Simply add extra pretzels or dates if needed. Make sure your peanut butter isn't too runny. Follow the recommended measurements because they've been tried and tested.
  3. My peanut butter is too thick. What should I do?  Heating it up will make the peanut butter creamier especially if you just pulled it our of the fridge. If you feel like it is still too thick after heating, add a bit water to thin it out.
  4. Can I use salted peanuts to make these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars?  We prefer unsalted peanuts because the pretzels are salty enough for this recipe.

More Quick and healthy Energy Bars to try!

  1. Chewy Gluten-free Peanut Butter Granola Bars - The most convenient grab-and-go snack ever! A combination of crunchy oats and cereal with the sweetness of dried fruits and peanut butter to create a delicious and healthy snack. Just what we needed to get our day started.
  2. Banana Chocolate Chip Bars - A delectable and healthful decadent dessert that requires very little effort to make. This recipe is ideal for satisfying our sweet needs.
  3. Strawberry Oat Bars - A delicious dessert with a fruity flavor, a fantastic sweet treat for your friends and family. It's got everything you'll ever need in one bar.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

several finished Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars cut up into bite size squares against a white background

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Lauren Bossi
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars are something else! They are no-bake, gluten-free (if you use gluten-free pretzels), oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free! But most of all, these chocolate date bars are unbelievably luscious and downright irresistible; you would think they came straight off a bakery or coffee shop.
4.96 from 24 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 323 kcal
METHOD No-Bake
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups of pitted dates
  • 2 cups of unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of salted pretzels plus more to crumble on top
  • 1 ½ cups of natural peanut butter

Instructions
 

  • Combine dates and peanuts in a food processor one cup at a time to ensure good mixing. Periodically scrape down the sides.
  • Once combined, add cocoa powder and a cup of pretzels to the food processor and pulse until fully combined.
  • Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and put the date mixture inside, leveling with a spoon or spatula until it is an even 1-1.5 inches thick.
  • If your peanut butter isn't liquid-y enough to spread, heat it over low heat on a stovetop or in a microwave until it softens. Once softened, pour and spread the peanut butter in an even layer atop the date base.
  • Top the peanut butter layer with crushed pretzels (or more nuts), pop in the freezer to quickly firm up the layers (about 20 minutes), slice into squares and enjoy!

Notes

  • We want the dates and nuts to be finely grounded, so make sure you do not overcrowd your blender or food processor. Pulse them a cup at a time.
  • If your bar base is too dry, you can add more dates to moisten it. Just make sure to not add too much, or your bars will become too sweet. On the other hand, if they become too moist, add more pretzels to balance both the flavor and consistency.
  • It’s easier to remove the frozen bars from the baking pan if you line it with parchment paper with an overhang on the sides.
  • To cut through the bars quickly and neatly, place your knife under warm water first before slicing. To get smooth and clean edges, wipe your knife between cuts.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 12gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 176mgPotassium: 425mgFiber: 5gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Lauren Bossi

My name is Lauren Bossi; I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I've got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I'm not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.

View all posts by Lauren Bossi

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  1. Teodora Grujic says

    Great idea for my daughter's birthday! Thank you for sharing!

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