Gluten Free Breakfast Bars | A Nutri-Grain Style Recipe

Gluten Free Breakfast Bars | A Nutri-Grain Style Recipe

This healthy breakfast bars recipe is made with whole grain oats and oat flour, and plain yogurt. The perfect grab-and-go recipe for busy weekday mornings and they taste just like Nutri-Grain bars!

A bitten Nutri grain bar on a plate with a cup of coffee

These bars certainly aren’t sugar-free, and they have more than just whole grain oats and oat flour, but it can be so fun for a gluten free family (or just a gluten free child—or adult!) to eat what “everyone else” can have. The crust on these bars is perfectly tender and chewy, and only lightly sweet, so the strawberry filling seems just right.

Don’t worry that there are more than a couple of ingredient in this recipe! You make the simple crust all in one bowl, then roll out the dough, cut it into 4-inch squares and fill them with some preserves.

Raw shaped Nutri grain bar on a tray

Breakfast to go

I have about 1000 recipes for granola bars and energy bites here on the blog. All 3 of my kids (and my husband and I) love the taste, texture and chew of oats (yes, they’re gluten free, but you can also replace them in baking!). And they’re a great source of energy, protein, you name it.

But sitting down to a nice hot bowl of oatmeal isn’t always possible. Anything I can make ahead and have the kids grab on their way out the door is a win. The whole “busy family” thing sounds so cliche, but it’s really true!

Baked Nutri grain bars on a tray

How to keep the filling in the bar

The biggest trick with baking these bars is keeping the filling from leaking out onto the baking sheet during baking. First, know that some filling will most likely leak out.

Preserves are relatively thick, as far as jams and jellies go, but they still melt in the oven. I’ve got some tricks for keeping the filling inside the bars, though.

Keeping the shaped and filled bars cold before baking will help quite a lot. The longer the dough itself takes to spread at all in the oven, the better.

As written, the recipe makes a relatively stiff dough, which helps to lock in the filling. You don’t want the dough to be so stiff that it’s a struggle to knead or roll it out. But if you keep it from being too soft, it will help do its job better.

Finally, this recipe was originally published on the blog in 2012, when my youngest was only 7. That has nothing to do with keeping the filling in the bars. I just wanted to show her to you wearing a sweet tie-dyed dress, holding her very first Nutri-Grain bar in her little 7-year-old hands ?…

A hand holding a Nutri grain bar in white paper

Ingredients and substitutions

I’ve tried my hand at some of these ingredient substitutions. Others are just my best-educated guesses…

Dairy-free: To make this recipe dairy-free, you need to replace both the nonfat dry milk and the yogurt. I’ve replaced the nonfat dry milk successfully with powdered coconut milk (Native Forest is a good brand), and the for the yogurt I’ve used plain coconut milk yogurt. Both were easy, successful substitutes.

Egg-free: There’s only one egg in this recipe, and it really does help hold the ingredients together. But it could probably be replaced with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Oat-free: In the U.S., there are certified gluten free oats that are grown on dedicated fields. We use them all the time. I buy them as whole rolled oats and grind them in a blender or food processor a bit for “quick oats” and more fully for oat flour.

If you can’t or would rather not have oats for any reason, though, they can be replaced in gluten free baking. Click through that link to read all about my suggestions for replacing each grind of oats. The short answer is that the oat flour should be replaced with quinoa flakes and the old-fashioned oats with beaten rice.

If you’d like an oat-free version of breakfast bars, try my homemade cereal bars. They’re made with crisp rice cereal instead of any form of oats, and they’re a family favorite, too.

Sugar-free: I haven’t tried making this recipe without the 3/4 cup of granulated sugar or the regular strawberry preserves. If you’d like to make the recipe with unrefined sugars, you can try replacing the granulated sugar with coconut palm sugar (just grind it into a finer powder first) and be sure to use no sugar added preserves.

To make the recipe sugar free entirely, you can try replacing the granulated sugar with Swerve brand granulated sugar substitute. Those sugar substitutes tend to be drying, though, so you’ll almost certainly need to add more water to bring the dough together. The preserve filling can be replaced with sugar-free preserves.

This healthy breakfast bars recipe is made with whole grain oats and oat flour, and plain yogurt. The perfect grab-and-go recipe for busy weekday mornings. #nutrigrain #glutenfree #gf #breakfast #grabngo

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 15 bars


2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch

6 tablespoons (36 g) nonfat dry milk

1 cup (120 g) certified gluten free oat flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (75 g) certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (114 g) plain yogurt, at room temperature (sour cream will also work)

2 tablespoons (28 g) neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or sunflower oil)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/4 cup (2 ounces) lukewarm water, plus more as necessary

6 ounces seedless strawberry preserves


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, cornstarch, nonfat dry milk, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, oats and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the ingredients in the bowl and add the yogurt, oil, vanilla, egg, and water, and mix to combine. If necessary to bring the dough together without crumbling, add more water by the teaspoonful. The dough will be sticky and somewhat stiff, but not dry. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pastry wheel, trim any rough edges of the dough and cut out 4-inch squares, gathering and rerolling scraps as necessary.

  • To shape the bars, place about 2 tablespoons of strawberry preserves down the center third of each square of dough, and fold the ends over each other to cover the filling. Pinch the ends of each bar together to seal. Place the shaped bars about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the freezer or refrigerator to chill until firm. This will help prevent the filling from leaking out of the dough during baking.

  • Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator or freezer, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the bars are very lightly golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, about 15 minutes. Allow the bars to cool on the baking sheet until firm. If any filling has leaked out (and likely some will), once it’s cool, the preserves can be peeled off the parchment paper.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Recipe modified and published on page 221 of in Gluten Free Classic Snacks; photos mostly new, video new in 2018. 


Comments are closed.

  • Mary Jo
    July 25, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    Am I missing something in my recipe, because I can’t see where it calls for banana and yet it has been mentioned in the comments?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 26, 2018 at 8:29 AM

      Hi, Mary Jo, the recipe used to call for bananas, but it’s been modified and no longer does.

  • Michelle O
    June 2, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    So I went to go make these today and then I noticed that the pastry flour calls for dry milk. I try to be as dairy as possible (the little ones are). I have “Better than Milk” powdered soy….oops deathly allergic to that. Ok, almond flour has been a good dairy free alternative in small amounts, oops deathly allergic to that too! Darn, what can I use?? So I brainstorm and I come up with trying shredded coconut, finely processed in my vitamix. I have seen coconut milk powder and I have used coconut cream in your dairy free white chocolate recipe. We will see if it works. All the dry components are ready to go. I will let you know Nicole.

  • May 31, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I did a google search like you said – the best looking one that came up was yours! You always make pretty food – well, at least what I see on the blog :).



    • May 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      When my family moved from CA to OK a few years ago (we hadn’t gone gluten-free yet) for some reason all we bought for the trip were gluten-filled Nutri-Grain bars and canned ravioli. Yuck – those bars sure wore out fast, and cold ravioli . . . nobody likes. Blah. But, I’m sure these gluten-free ones would taste a lot better!

  • Carol
    May 30, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Thanks so much for this recipe – I was afraid I’d have to devise one myself! Having tried commercially-available gf cereal bars, I thought I’d never have good ones again, but these look great. I’ll have to go out and buy bananas, as I don’t have any, and maybe some jam, as it’s not something I have a lot of in my fridge. Or maybe I’ll just mix my favourite blackcurrant jam with fresh-made applesauce. In any case, I’m now looking forward to having a quick, eat-out-of-hand brekkie. Cheers!

    • May 30, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      Jam and fresh applesauce sounds great, Carol. Just be sure to reduce the applesauce well so that it doesn’t have much of any liquid left, or it will leak. You want something thick that holds its shape for the filling. One way or another, sounds like you’ll make it work!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle O
    May 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Have a told you lately that I love you! Well I do. A must make on my bucket list!

    • May 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      You have, Michelle. But hearing it never gets old. Thank you! :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Toni
    May 30, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    I’ve been looking for this exact recipe for nearly a year! I should have known it was in your head! Thanks for sharing : )

    • May 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      You forgot to search my head, Toni! Don’t feel bad. I forget to do that sometimes, too. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kara
    May 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    These look so great and I can’t wait to try them with some different fillings. Is there something in place of the banana that I can use? or is it OK to leave it out? I am allergic to banana.. :(


    • May 29, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      You definitely can’t just leave it out, Kara. You’ll have to experiment. Maybe try chunky applesauce, by weight.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Peggy
    May 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I’m looking forward to making these with different fruit fillings…maybe even chocolate or a cream cheese filling! So many possibilities!!! Thanks, Nicole, for taking such good care of our GF baking needs & desires & showing us all the possibilities available!

    • May 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      Oooh chocolate sounds like a great idea, Peggy. I’d go with a mix of chocolate and something else, though, or it will harden after they cool and you’ll need to eat them warm. Maybe make a ganache. Sign me up for that one!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Casandera
    May 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    HI Nicole…

    Is there any way to sub out the oats/oat flour? My family can’t tolerate oats even GF oats but we love the idea of making these bars! Any suggestions?

    • May 29, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      Hi, Casandera,
      I don’t have any, but check out the comments on my Facebook page. There are some suggestions from other readers about what they usually use in place of oats. Hopefully that will help.
      xoxo Nicole

    • Michelle O
      May 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      You may want to try quinoa flakes and quinoa flour. You could also sub the oat flour with brown rice flour. But note, anytime you alter a recipe the recipe can still turn out great but may have a different taste and texture than the original.

      • May 30, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        Thanks for lending a hand, and for making that last point, Michelle!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Janet
    May 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Oooh I have been waiting for something like these. You have made GFBoy’s day! He loved to grab one of those other bars for breakfast on the “rushed” mornings (you know those he didn’t want to get out of bed days)

    • May 29, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      I know those mornings, Janet! I know them well. But it’s usually because I haven’t gotten out of bed in time to make a proper breakfast. My kids are up and ready. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Janet
        May 29, 2012 at 9:09 PM

        GFBoy wants a batch of chocolate peanut butter filling and one with apple cinnamon. I’ll update you when I try them out.

  • Bethany
    May 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Just made some peanut butter protein bars last night…should have waited for these! Thank you for using weights in your recipes…do you have an aprox. weight for an extra large egg? I get my eggs from my CSA and they are usually on the small side.

    • May 29, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Hi, Bethany,
      I’m jealous that you get eggs from your CSA! Extra-large eggs weigh about 65 grams out of the shell.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Bethany
        May 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        Awesome! And ya…I totally dig getting my eggs from a CSA. My chickens live in a school bus! http://www.grantfarms.com/

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