In my opinion, peanut butter and chocolate are the ultimate flavor combination. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars are those delicious flavors with salty and crunchy pretzels to take them to the next level! Plus they are only 5 ingredients and no-bake for a simple and tasty dessert.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars – The EASY Way!
Ok, talk about an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe. These peanut butter chocolate bars only take 5 ingredients and are no bake for the win. This makes them perfect for taking to sports practice, whipping up when your kids show up with the team at home unannounced, bringing to a work potluck, or throwing in your kids lunch box. Where ever these appear, they don’t ever last long!
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Customizable – Don’t want these too sweet or want them sweeter? Add more or less powdered sugar. Like crunchy peanut butter? Use crunchy. These bars are great because you can adjust them to your taste buds!
- Scaleable – This recipe makes 24 perfect little bars of deliciousness in a 9×13 pan. But, you can certainly cut the recipe in half and make them in an 8×8 pan or double the recipe for two pans of bars.
- Only 5 Ingredients – How easy is that? You probably already have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge!
- No-bake – As he holiday season approaches, oven space becomes more and more limited. I am making casseroles and cozy baked dishes, so trying to bake a dessert is just not feasible. That is why these no bake peanut butter pretzel bars are great because no oven is needed!
This chocolate peanut butter squares recipe is as simple as promised! Just 10 minutes of prep for a family-friendly treat.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Pretzel Twists – I prefer to use mini pretzel twists because they not only taste great, but they work perfectly for topping each of the 24 bars (4 across and 6 tall). However, you can use any type of hard pretzel you like and decorate how you like.
- Peanut Butter – I like to use creamy, traditional (as opposed to natural) peanut butter because it mixes well with the butter and pretzels. You can use chunky peanut butter, but you may need to add more than this recipe calls for to hold the bars together.
- Powdered Sugar – This is a must! The fine sugar helps to create almost a frosting that holds these bars together. Feel free to add more or less depending on your desired sweetness level. If you add more, you will likely need more butter.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted can be used. The butter just helps the peanut butter base to combine and spread on the bottom of the pan.
- Chocolate Chips – I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you could get wild and try dark chocolate or milk chocolate! These will get melted with a little bit of peanut butter to create the top of the bars.
- Melt the chocolate slowly – I note to melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each time. This ensures that the chocolate melts without burning or overcooking. Once chocolate overcooks, it seizes up and can’t be salvaged.
- Make the base thick – One of my gripes with other pretzel peanut butter bars is that the base is never thick enough. I like to taste the peanut butter, the pretzel, and the chocolate! So, when making these bars make sure to use the quantities I include in the recipe card for a flavor-packed base.
- Line the pan – I always line my baking pan with parchment paper and line it all the way up the sides. This makes it super easy to lift the whole pan of bars out once they are cool to cut them. You could also use foil.
- Get your hands dirty – To spread the base of the bars out into the pan, I recommend just doing it with clean hands. I find this to be the quickest and easiest way to spread them evenly. This is also fun to have the kids help with! You can use a spatula or the back of a spoon if you really don’t want your hands sticky.
Recipe Short Cuts
With this recipe having so few ingredients and being pretty quick as it is, I don’t have many shortcuts to offer, but here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe a little faster!
- Make in advance – These bars are great because you can make them up to a month in advance and store them in the freezer, covered. When you are ready to enjoy them, take them out the night before to thaw in the fridge.
- Use melting chocolate– In the baking aisle, you will often see chocolate chips and baking chocolate. Baking chocolate has a lower melting point so it will melt faster in the microwave than chocolate chips, therefore speeding up these bars!
- Use mini pretzels – I know I already mentioned this, but by using mini pretzels you have the filled and the topping in one ingredient. Which is pretty nifty in my opinion and saves me time thinking about how I will decorate these bars.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars– For a maybe more adult take on these bars, try using dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet.
- Salted Carmel Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars– After making these bars, drizzle the top with salt caramel and enjoy the ooey gooey goodness!
How to Store No Bake Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars
After making these delicious bars, you can store them to enjoy over the week. To save leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 5-7 days
- in the freezer for up to a month
More Easy Desserts Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dessert recipes here, or see a few of our reader’s favorite recipes below.
- 5 cups mini pretzel twists, (3 cups crushed), plus 24 more
- 2¼ cups creamy peanut butter, divided
- 2 cups powdered sugar, (confectioners sugar)
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Crush 5 cups of pretzels into small crumbs by placing them in a zip top bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin, or by pulsing them in a food processor.
- Combine the pretzel crumbs with 2 cups of peanut butter, powdered sugar and the melted butter. Mix until evenly combined.
- Spread the mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. You can line the pan with parchment so you can more easily lift the bars out after cooling if desired.
- Combine the chocolate chips with the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe dish. Microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted and smooth.
- Spread the chocolate over the top of the peanut butter pretzel bars. Press the 24 whole pretzels lightly into the chocolate 4 across and 6 down to be centered on each bar.
- Chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then cut into 24 bars.