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Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

These no-bake lunch lady peanut butter bars taste just like the grade-school cafeteria recipe! Soooo good and easy to make.

The sweet and salty combination of peanut butter and chocolate make these a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Plus, they only call for six simple ingredients.

Sweet Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars
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The Best Peanut Butter Bars

Do you remember these no-bake peanut butter bars from school? They’re such a nostalgic treat everybody loved from the lunch lady.

It’s a simple dessert featuring crunchy graham crackers, creamy peanut butter, and Hershey’s chocolate. 

Made from scratch, these homemade goodies will make you feel like a kid all over again. 

So make a batch and spoil your children. And sneak a couple for yourself while you’re at it. I won’t tell!

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars in a Baking Pan

Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Bars

  • With just 6 ingredients, they’re super easy to make!
  • No oven needed
  • Loved by kids and adults alike
  • Taste just like peanut butter cups (Yum!)
  • You can freeze a batch and save for later.
  • Chocolate + peanut butter = Need I say more
Easy Homemade Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Tips & Tricks

No-bake dessert bars like this are so easy to make! Still, if you want the best, follow my tips and tricks:

  • Make them crunchy. I love using creamy peanut butter. But if you want to add a little more crunch, use crunchy peanut butter. You can also throw a few chopped nuts into the mix.
  • Use pretzels. Swap the graham crackers with crushed pretzels for a candy bar texture. Or, use half of both. It’s delish! If you go either route, I recommend using unsalted butter. Those pretzels are salty enough!
  • Go gluten-free. Want to make this a gluten free dessert? Just use gluten free graham crackers. No one will ever know!
  • Try natural peanut butter. If you want to use natural peanut butter, I recommend Skippy Natural. Just be sure to keep the bars in the fridge. They will soften quickly when using natural peanut butter.

How to Store

Leftover lunch lady peanut butter bars are the perfect midnight snack!

Fridge or freezer, they store well. So you can have some on hand for when your sweet tooth strikes.

To Store: Place the leftover bars in an airtight container. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

To Freeze: Place the lunch lady peanut butter bars in a freezer-safe container, label, and freeze. Frozen peanut butter bars will last for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Course: DessertsCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time


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Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect combo of creamy peanut butter and chocolate. It’s like a homemade Reese’s Cup!


  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter

  • 2 cups Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips

  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Place the graham crackers in a food processor and blend into a fine powder.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter with 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring well between each spin.
  • When smooth, pour the butter mix into a large bowl, add the graham crackers, confectioners’ sugar, and salt, and mix well.
  • Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Pour the cracker mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. While the bottom layer chills, prepare the top layer.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips with 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. Microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring well between each spin
  • Spread the melted chocolate over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.
  • Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

10 thoughts on “Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars”

  1. I have been looking for this recipe for years thank you so much for sharing I haven’t made it yet I’m going to do it today thank you so much

  2. everything was going good till i added the butter to the chocolate chips what a disaster. it turned into a hard paste. wasted chocolate chips and butter.

    • Hi Paul, sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you.

      You mentioned adding “the butter to chocolate chips” – did you mean peanut butter?
      Can I ask: did you melt the peanut butter and chocolate together? They should both be in the bowl to melt together. Microwave them in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring well between each spin.

      If you want to try this again, you might want to melt the peanut butter and chocolate in a double boiler over low heat:
      Add 1-2 inches of water to a small pot, place a heat-proof bowl on the rim and add the PB and chocolate.
      Stir while the water simmers until smooth.

      Hope this helps!

  3. These are delicious and just like I remember. Thank you….Do they need to stay in the refrigerator or can they stay at room temperature?

  4. I made these today for a pot luck luncheon tomorrow. I had no trouble melting the ingredients. I used low power and only for 30 seconds at a time. Turned out very creamy and smooth. I added a bit of real almond extract to the topping and it added a nice flavor without being overpowering. Used your salt tip and finished with coconut sprinkled as a topping. I am sure I will bring an empty pan home!


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