Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

These Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly bars have a honey roasted peanut and oat crust and a jammy strawberry filling. The gluten-free treat is sure to please adults and kids alike!

These Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect gluten-free after-school snack for both kids and adults alike!

Is there any combo more classic or delicious than good ol’ PB&J? I don’t think so. And if you beg to differ, these Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are here to show you what’s up.

To all my fellow Trader Joe’s fans, I know you won’t blame me when I say one of their kitschy products inspired me to make this totally addicting, no-bake recipe. Sure, I’d enjoyed my share of honey roasted peanuts back in the day when my dad would take down that classic Planter’s can from the kitchen shelf after a long day at work, but my indulgence in those sweet and salty goobers stopped as soon as I was responsible for buying my own groceries. It’s not that I didn’t like them, it just never crossed my mind to throw them in the shopping cart.

That all changed, of course, when I saw a gleaming bag of Honey Roasted Peanuts staring back at me from the “What’s New” section of my local TJ’s (anyone else ALWAYS get sucked in by that section?) Let’s just say they’re now a regular item on the hubs’ and my weekly shopping list, and we enjoy them almost daily in the same way my dad always did – as a little late afternoon nibble to hold us over until dinnertime.

I’d been racking my brain trying to figure out some delicious way to work them into a recipe when my Instagram feed was suddenly filled with all my friends’ kids starting their first days of school, holding up those cute letter boards saying what they wanted to be when they grow up, showing off their cute new back-to-school clothes. Almost immediately, I realized the perfect recipe would be something easy and semi-healthy that all these mamas and papas could make as a treat for their little ones after a long day in the classroom.

These Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect gluten-free after-school snack for both kids and adults alike!

We all know that PB&J is a quintessential back-to-school combo, and I was going to make it into something special that these kiddos would look forward to coming home to. Hence, these Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars were born!

I’m all for a little indulgent treat now and then, but I also believe that there are tonnnnns of delicious healthier options we can all choose from every day. So in creating this recipe, I wanted to find the balance between indulgent treat and healthy sweet. The recipe is also extremely easy and requires no baking, so you can make it at any time during the day (or even the night before) and it will be ready to be enjoyed by your hungry little ones as soon as that dismissal bell rings.

These Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect gluten-free after-school snack for both kids and adults alike!

Everything for these Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars comes together in just a couple of easy steps.

First, you’ll want to make a strawberry “jam” that will serve as the top layer of the bars. This is an easy, stovetop process that takes only 20 minutes or so (mostly unattended) so don’t stress because I mentioned the word “jam.” Once you’ve simmered some strawberries, maple syrup and water until everything is broken down and combined, you’ll simply stir in some chia seeds to help it all thicken up and not make TOO big of a mess when you go to cut into everything.

Strawberries simmer over the stove to make a delicious jam for Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

While your jam is simmering, combine those OG honey roasted peanuts, oats, butter and some dates quickly in a food processor to make a crumb mixture that is then pressed into a baking dish to form the crust. Spread the “jam” over top, pop everything in the refrigerator and, voila! You’ll have these Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars sliced and ready to feed some very hungry little mouths.

A honey roasted peanut and oat crust makes up the base of these Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned the kids gobbling these up, but be sure to set aside a few for yourself. You’re not going to want to miss them. Plus, they’re gluten-free! Even more reason for every single person in your family to enjoy them.

These Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are the perfect gluten-free after-school snack for both kids and adults alike!

Read on for the recipe!

Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Prep Time
30 mins
Refrigerator time
2 hrs
Total Time
30 mins
 

A tasty, no-bake bar with a honey roasted peanut and oat crust and a jammy strawberry filling, this gluten-free treat is sure to please adults and kids alike!

Course: Dessert
Keyword: after-school, dessert, gluten-free, jelly, kid-friendly, no-bake, peanut butter, snack
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 200 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the jam:
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds OR 1 teaspoon tapioca flour
For the crust:
  • 1 cup honey roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 dates, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving enough on each side to assist you in pulling the bars out. Set aside.

  2. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer until fruit is broken down and forms a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Let cool slightly. 

  3. While the strawberries are simmering, make the crust. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles the texture of wet sand. Dump contents of food processor into prepared baking dish and use your fingers to press it evenly along the bottom. 

  4. Spoon cooled strawberry jam on top of the crust and spread evenly. Cover and chill for at least two hours, if not longer. 

  5. Cut into 12 bars and enjoy!

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote

A dairy-free, protein-packed breakfast with no sugar added, this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote will satisfy every member of the family!

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry-Orange Compote is grain- and dairy-free with no sugar added. The perfect healthy breakfast for everyone in the family!

Are you a creature of habit or a fan of change? This is a big debate in our family – the hubby likes to keep things consistent while I’m more of a fan of shaking things up. Take, for example, breakfast. As much as I love the consistent healthiness factor in our daily Power Protein Smoothie, I sometimes long for some other healthy dish such as this Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal or this Mediterranean Smashed Avocado Toast.

But even though mom and dad may be sticking to the same old breakfast every morning (and honestly, most often for convenience’s sake) I’ve been really focusing on mixing things up for the little one so she is introduced to a wide variety of flavors and nutrients. I originally made this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote for her to enjoy, but after tasting it I couldn’t help scooping up a big bowl for myself!

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is the perfect meal prep breakfast that doesn't even need to be heated up to enjoy!

As I mentioned in my Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes post, we’re following the baby-led weaning method for introducing Raia to food, and have already tested her on dairy, wheat and nuts/nut butters with no adverse reactions. However, this recipe doesn’t contain ANY of those potential allergens, so even if you aren’t doing BLW (or your child has shown some sort of adverse reaction to any of the above) this is the perfect healthy recipe to keep in your arsenal.

Did I mention it’s so delicious you’ll probably even want to make it if you DON’T have any kids?

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Compote is the perfect make-ahead recipe for baby-led weaning, but it's delicious enough for the entire family to enjoy!

As all chia puddings do, this recipe does need to be started a day or two in advance, but aside from that the preparation is sooo easy. If you’re any sort of meal prepper, this recipe is for you. You’ll want to get the chia pudding started at least one night before you want to eat it, but I found it got even better with a couple of days in the refrigerator to set up.

As far as the compote, I recommend making it the day before as well since I’m not so sure how a warm compote would taste on the chilled pudding (could be good, though!) You can also use this compote as a no-sugar-added way to make a delicious PB&J for your little ones. Because we all know that’s another go-to for all us busy moms!

I can promise you this – once you taste this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote, you won’t want to stop making it. It’s tasty, nutritious and, once it’s prepped, takes no time at all to serve. It’s the perfect breakfast for these last few summer days and still a great option once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is the perfect make-ahead back-to-school meal for the entire family to enjoy!

Here’s to easy, healthy, family-friendly meals!

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote (Baby-Friendly!)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 min
Resting Time
12 hrs
Total Time
16 mins
 

A dairy-free, protein-packed breakfast with no sugar added, this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote will satisfy every member of the family!

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: baby-friendly, breakfast, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, kid-friendly, make-ahead, meal prep
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 90 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pudding:
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the compote:
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
Instructions
  1. Combine the chia seeds, oat milk and vanilla extract or paste in a Mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine and place in refrigerator for at least 12 and up to 36 hours.

  2. To make the compote, combine blueberries, water and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking until blueberries break down and mixture is reduced to a jam-like texture. Let cool completely before serving with chia pudding. 

  3. To serve, scoop some chia pudding into a bowl and top with compote.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken

Winner winner chicken dinner!

This Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken is the perfect, easy weeknight dinner.

You heard me. Today I’m bringing you the ultimate in chicken dinners, perfect for you to whip together in these first few days of fall when we’re craving comfort food but not quite ready to pull out the Crockpot. Artichoke dip lovers, you’ve been warned.

This Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken is basically my excuse to take a favorite appetizer and turn it into a full-fledged meal. It’s high-protein and also happens to help meet your daily quota of healthy veggies. You can also easily enjoy it alone as a light meal, or if you’re a carb-lover like me you can serve it atop a bed of bowtie pasta tossed in a simple lemon, butter and pine nut sauce with even more spinach thrown in for good measure.

Have I convinced you yet that this needs to happen for dinner tonight?

Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken served over a simple bowtie pasta for the perfect kid-friendly weeknight dinner.

What if I told you this Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken has the revered appetizer spread both inside the chicken roll-ups AND slathered all over the top? Yea, thought that might win you over.

There are a couple of things that I absolutely love about this recipe that I just MUST bring to your attention:

First, it makes plenty of spinach-artichoke dip, so rest assured that you will have plenty to snack on while your main course is cooking or for your next Sunday football get-together. You don’t even have to bake it if you don’t want to, totally up to you!

Second, this is a “set it and forget it” meal, meaning once you’ve constructed your cute little chicken roll-ups, all that’s left to do is pop them in the oven and worry about whatever you’re going to serve with them (if anything.) That’s a functional fall meal if you ask me.

This Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken is creamy, delicious and sure to please the pickiest of palates. In fact, I’m pretty sure any kids you have with a mind of their own about what they will and will not eat will gobble this up faster than you can say “eat your vegetables.”

Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken is a protein- and vegetable-packed dinner that's incredibly easy to make.

I love baking sweet treats and mixing up cocktails for y’all, but as we move into comfort food season I also want to make sure you have plenty of healthier comfort food choices on hand for just any weeknight dinner. If you have anything you’d like to see me make, or any parameters for a recipe you’d like me to stick to (i.e. sheet pan dinners, Crockpot cooking, etc.) please tell me in the comments below!

I’m working hard to get a ton of stuff queued up for you guys for when I’m out on “maternity leave,” so now’s the time to put in your requests!

In the meantime, here are a few of my other “healthy” comfort food dinners that would be perfect for you to start whipping up this fall:

Bruschetta, White Bean and Pancetta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Champagne Roast Chicken with Grapes and Shallots

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Pizza with Fontina

Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp

I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with the most delicious food! Xo

A plate of Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken served over a bed of spinach and pine nut bowtie pasta.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

The classic appetizer dip is rolled inside and slathered on top of lean chicken breasts to make the perfect weeknight dinner that even the kids will love!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 large chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thick
Instructions
  1. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, garlic, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic powder in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can make this up to a day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator if you’d like. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a glass or ceramic baking dish large enough to hold your chicken roll-ups with cooking spray. Set aside. 

  3. Spread the flattened chicken breasts out on a large cutting board and season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. Place a couple of tablespoons of the prepared spinach-artichoke dip on each breast, then roll up the breasts and secure with a toothpick or two (you could also wrap with kitchen twine if you’d prefer.)

  4. Place the chicken roll-ups in the prepared baking dish and place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. 

  5. Remove roll-ups from oven and turn broiler on high. Spread more of the spinach-artichoke dip over top of each roll-up and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the spread on top is slightly browned and bubbly.

Recipe Notes

Serving suggestion: Cook up some bowtie pasta and toss it with some more fresh spinach, toasted pine nuts, butter and lemon juice. Place chicken roll-ups over top of pasta for serving.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars

Who’s up for a back-to-school treat?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to kick off fall and back to school.

I sure am, even though it’s now officially been over 10 years since I’ve been in school. But I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t want some Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars in their life?

I realize it’s not been too long since I posted my last cheesecake recipe, but when you’ve got something good going on I’m all about celebrating it. And when the ideas are flowing I’m always anxious to share them all with you!

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are definitely my jam. They’re the perfect size, meaning you don’t feel completely laden with alllll the dairy after devouring a huge piece. And did I mention they’re full of one of my favorite flavor combinations ever? Yep, in case you didn’t know, I’m a huge fan and could eat PB&J basically every day of my life until the end of time if given the opportunity.

It’s peanut butter-jelly time, my friends.

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars are the perfect back-to-school treat for your little ones!

Let me tell you, we are not skimping on any flavor here. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, the peanut butter and jelly flavors really shine along with the cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of the Classic New York-Style Cheesecake but, especially at this time of year with school starting up again and fall creeping back onto the scene, it’s fun to mix it up and sneak in some classic childhood combos.

So, what do you think? Ready to hear how perfected the ultimate Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars? You’re going to be blown away by how easy this is…

A bite of these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars is all you need to soak your day's worries away!

First, we start with a peanut butter-y graham cracker crust. All that’s required for this step is graham crackers, peanut butter, butter and a food processor. That’s it! Pulse it all together and press it into a square baking dish lined with parchment paper. We bake it off just a tad to get things to set a crisp up a bit, then we’re off to the races with our strawberry jelly swirled cheesecake batter!

The first step to Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars: a peanut butter-graham cracker crust!

True to my usual habits, I stuck to using one block of regular cream cheese and one block of light cream cheese for my batter base. Remember, we’re all about that balance! It’s all very similar to my other cheesecake recipes, so if you’ve made either of those before (and even if you’ve not) you’re in good shape to whip these up tonight.

Once the cheesecake batter is poured all over the peanut butter-y graham cracker crust, you’re going to want to strategically place some hefty dollops of your favorite jam or jelly over top. We’re incredibly lucky to have a huge store of homemade jams on hand from my in-laws, so I opted for some classic strawberry, but you can really use any flavor you like.

Drag the dollops through the batter with a knife or toothpick, and you’ll get the beautiful swirly look you see in the photos.

Delicious strawberry jam is swirled through the cheesecake batter in these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars right before baking.

Into the oven (no water bath required) for a quick 30-ish minutes, then some time to set up in the refrigerator, and you’ll have you AND your kids’ new favorite after-school snack sliced up and ready to devour as soon as they get home from school (or as soon as 5 o’clock rolls around and you’re done with work if you don’t have kids of your own.)

It doesn’t seem like much, but what this recipe lacks in difficulty it most definitely does not lack in flavor. The peanut butter in the crust carries through the entire bar and meets up with the strawberry jam that’s perfectly swirled through the cheesecake, giving you all three flavors in every single bite.

A close-up look at super-tasty Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars.

If these Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars aren’t the perfect September treat, I don’t know what is!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

 Combining a classic back-to-school flavor pairing - peanut butter and jelly - with creamy cheesecake, all in easy handheld bar form. The perfect after-school snack!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 bars
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the graham cracker crust:
  • 8 full sheets graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite jam or jelly
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an inch or two hanging off the sides. Set aside.

  2. Now, make the crust. Combine graham crackers, peanut butter and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly yet sticky. Press this mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake in the 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. 

  3. While crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheeses, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and sour cream. 

  4. Remove crust from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust.

  5. Place jam or jelly in a small ramekin and microwave for 20 seconds. Scoop dollops of jam evenly over top of cheesecake batter, then drag a knife or toothpick through the dollops to create a swirl pattern. 

  6. Bake cheesecake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden and the middle is still slightly jiggly. Let rest, out of the oven, until cool enough to touch and then transfer to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.

  7. Remove cheesecake from the refrigerator and, using the overhanging parchment paper, pull bars out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut the cheesecake into 12 bars. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecake Bars | CaliGirlCooking.com

Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats

Every new school year deserves a fun and healthy breakfast…

Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats are loaded with filling Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola and honey for the ultimate kid-friendly breakfast!

Am I right? Well, you’re in luck, because these Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats will make any reluctant schoolchild excited to get up in the morning and ready to take on the day with lots of filling protein and other healthy nutrients from alllll the festive fruits.

We all know that breakfast bowls are taking over the mainstream, and I’m sure no stranger to the idea here in the CaliGirl Cooking kitchen. It was over a year ago now that I completely changed my breakfast game with this Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal, and just a few weeks ago I showed you how to sneak some extra servings of the good stuff into your kids with these Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls. Oh, and if we’re talking about more fun kid-friendly breakfasts, we can’t forget these Breakfast Banana Splits! (Which will also surely get your kid out of bed for school in the morning, just saying.)

So, what’s up with these Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats? To be honest, not much, but you wouldn’t guess it from all they’ve got going on! There’s actually no cooking involved, it’s more compiling a bunch of fresh, delicious and healthy ingredients together and serving them in a fun and festive way. They take almost no time to throw together, which means they’re just that much more perfect for a busy weekday morning when you’re trying to get homework organized, teeth brushed and kids out the door.

Let’s get into it!

A Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boat will keep your kids full and energized well into lunchtime.

We start out with some fresh papaya halves, then give them a good squeeze of lime juice. If you’ve never taken lime juice to your papaya before, you’ve really been missing out. Don’t skip this step. It’s a game changer!

Next step is to load up the boats with some plain Greek yogurt – because we all need that protein – and then top it with any fresh fruit we can imagine. I used strawberries, kiwis and blueberries, but feel free to improvise and use what sounds best to you. Just about anything would be delicious!

The final touches to our Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats are a sprinkle of our favorite granola and a drizzle of sweet honey. That’s it! See, I told you it wasn’t hard.

A Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boat ready to be devoured by any hungry adult or kiddo!

So now that I’ve made such a big deal about this tasty back-to-school brekkie, tell me, do you have kids who are starting up their school year this week? Are you so relieved or secretly bummed you don’t get to hang out with them all day anymore? I obviously don’t have any kids in school yet, but in my current state I can tell you I’m incredibly grateful for healthy, easy recipes that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, just like these Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats!

Do you have any fun back-to-school recipes you always turn to at this time of year? If so, I’d love to hear about them!

Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats are the perfect healthy, kid-friendly, weekday breakfast for kids and adults alike!

Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A healthy, kid-friendly breakfast to serve up on a school day that's full of protein and vitamins to keep your little ones energized until lunchtime!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 2 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 papaya, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime, divided
  • 1 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Sprinkle of your favorite granola
  • Drizzle of honey
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lime over both halves of papaya. 

  2. Divide yogurt evenly among papaya halves, then divide all fruit evenly on top of yogurt.

  3. Sprinkle granola over fruit, then drizzle on honey. Serve to your hungry kiddos!

Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats | CaliGirlCooking.com