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Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

These lunch lady peanut butter bars taste just like the cafeteria recipe back when everything was made from scratch! Soooo good and easy to make.

The sweet and salty combination of peanut butter and chocolate make these a garuanteed crowd-pleaser. Plus, they’re easy to make with just 6 simple ingredients.

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If you’re a peanut butter fan, then you’re going to love these creamy peanut butter bars!

Sweet Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

The Best Peanut Butter Bars

Do you remember these peanut butter bars from school? Back in the day when school lunches we’re actually good.

Not too long ago, school lunches were all homemade. I remember the lunch ladies infamous chocolate cake, cinnamon rolls, and the famous peanut butter bars.

But today is a different story. Everything has to be made in bulk and laws have been passed to ensure the kids have “healthy” lunches.

That’s when dessert was taken off the menu. Along with a number of other regulations that have most kids wrinkling their noses.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars in a Baking Pan

In elementary school I actually looked forward to lunch, but by the time I got to high school, I started packing my own. I’d love to hear about your own experience in the comments below.

But today I thought we’d take a little trip down memory lane. Back in the ‘ol days when lunch ladies made everything from scratch.

One of my favorite desserts were these no-bake peanut butter cookie bars.

I’ve heard peanut butter treats were quite popular back in the day because it was a government commodity and provided in large quantities to lunchrooms.

All you need is some creamy peanut butter, graham crackers, confectioner’s sugar, butter, chocolate chips, and a dash of sea salt.

This recipe is fool-proof and one of my go-to’s when I need something to whip up for a family get-together, birthday party, or a weekend treat!

Easy Homemade Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

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

Tips & Tricks

  • To make things easy, you can crush the graham crackers in your food processor.
  • These are super easy to freeze. Simply put the lunch lady peanut butter bars in a freezer-safe container, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Makes the perfect midnight snack!
  • I personally love using creamy peanut butter for the best texture. But if you want to add a little more crunch, you can also use crunchy. Or even just throw a few chopped nuts into the mix.
  • The pinch of sea salt helps cut the sweetness and makes it taste even more like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!
  • For more of a candy bar texture, you can also switch out the graham crackers with crushed pretzels. If you decide to go this route, you may want to leave out the extra salt and use unsalted butter.
  • Another variation we love is to use half graham cracker crumbs and half crushed pieces of pretzels. Delish!
  • Want to make this gluten free? Just use gluten free graham crackers. No one will ever know!
  • If you want to use natural peanut butter, I recommend Skippy Natural. Just be sure to keep them in the fridge as they will soften quickly (when using natural peanut butter).

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Course: DessertsCuisine: American


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Prep time


Cooking time





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 2 graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 cup 1 confectioner’s sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 peanut butter

  • 2 cups 2 Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips

  • 4 tablespoons 4 peanut butter

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 sea salt


  • Place the graham crackers in a food processor and mix into a fine powder.
  • In the microwave, melt the butter WITH 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter.
  • In a large bowl, add the butter and the 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter that you just melted. Add the graham crackers, confectioners’ sugar, salt and mix well.
  • Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • While the bottom layer is chilling in the refrigerator, prepare the top layer.
  • For the top layer, melt the chocolate chips with 4 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • Spread the melted chocolate over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares. This prevents the chocolate topping from cracking.
  • Enjoy!
Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

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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 :)

3 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


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