No-Bake Lemon Pie Bars
These fresh and flavorful no-bake lemon pie bars are easy to make in minutes with just 4 everyday ingredients. Perfect for a quick, tasty snack or healthy dessert that tastes just like a lemon Larabar.
Why Make this Recipe
- quick and easy – blend these up in minutes in your food processor with just 4 simple ingredients
- healthier snacking – skip the vending machine and snack aisle and enjoy your own healthier homemade treat
- energy to-go – these bars make a great snack for hiking, long runs, road trips, and travel days
- dietary restriction-friendly – these bars are vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and have no added sugar
Looking for a nut-free energy bar? Try these sesame energy bars.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- almonds – look for plain, “raw” almonds that have no added oil or salt, blanched almonds would also be suitable
- cashews – same as the almonds, plain cashews are best, they’ll most likely be labeled “raw cashews”
- dates – soft, moist dates are important for this recipe as they bind everything together, medjool, deglect noor or sayer dates are all suitable
- lemon – 1 whole lemon should do the trick, you’ll need some of the juice and a bit of zest…lime works here too!
You can scroll down to find the complete written recipe. In this section, you’ll find step-by-step photos for visual reference. Have a quick peek before you start the recipe.
Step 1. Add the almonds and cashews to your food processor and blend into a coarse, grainy flour. If there are a few larger chunks left behind, that’s ok.
Step 2. Add the dates, lemon juice, lemon zest, optional sea salt and blend it all up into a thick, sticky dough.
How do I make lemon zest? Use a citrus planer or even just a regular box or hand held grater to grate off some of the lemon peel. You’ll need about 2 tbsp of zest.
Step 3. Press the dough into a square baking dish. Pop the whole pan into the fridge or freezer until they firm up a bit then slice and enjoy!
Quick Tip: For easy removal, I’d suggest lining the baking dish or pan with parchment paper. This will allow you to lift the finished bars out of the pan and easily slice.
FAQs and Tips
- Bars or balls. Feel free to follow the recipe to make bars or roll the dough into no-bake lemon energy balls.
- Use soft dates. It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are on the dry side, soak them in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using in the recipe.
- Swap the nuts. The recipe calls for both almonds and cashews but you can use all cashews or all almonds if you like. If choosing one, I would go with cashews for their mild flavor and softer texture.
How should I store these bars?
These bars are best stored in the fridge or freezer. They’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months and fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Do the have to stay refrigerated?
Nope. The bars travel well, especially if you wrap them individually and keep them cool. They’ll be fine out of the fridge for a day or so, even longer if kept cool. They’ll get a little soft if warm but that’s ok!
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- Place the nuts in a food processor process until broken down. They should resembled a coarse, grainy flour but a few larger chunks left behind are ok.
- Add dates, lemon and sea salt and blend into a thick, sticky dough you can press between your fingers. If it’s not sticking together, add 1 tbsp of warm water and blend again.
- Line a 7-8 inch square baking dish or pan with two strips of parchment paper so they hang out the sides of the pan. This will help you easily lift the bars out once they’re done.
- Firmly press the dough into the pan, taking time to really work it in and flatten it into all the corners. Alternatively, roll the dough into balls.
- Place the bars or balls into the freezer for an hour to firm up a bit (not totally necessary if you’re dying to dig in).
- Cut into 8 large bars or 16 squares and store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. I recommend storing them in the freezer.
The almonds can be replaced with an additional cup of cashews.
To make the lemon zest, yse a citrus planer or a regular box or hand held grater to grate off about 2 tsp worth of lemon peel.
Lightly adapted from Leite’s Culinaria.
It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are on the dry side, soak them in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using in the recipe.
Keywords: no-bake lemon bars, lemon energy bars, lemon pie bars
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on January 8, 2014. It was updated on April 10, 2020 with new photos and text.