June 10, 2021

by Alyssa

Healthy Lemon Bars (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

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These Healthy Lemon Bars are a sweet, gluten-free and dairy-free treat with an oatmeal-almond crust and jammy, honey and lemon filling. They're naturally sweetened with honey and use just a few simple ingredients. These lemon bars are sure to become a favorite!

slices of lemon bars with powdered sugar on top

I've always found lemon bars to be such a treat. They're tart, sweet and have the best gooey, jammy texture. And when the crust is crisp, a bit crumbly and buttery, it's a totally winning combo!

I wanted to adapt this delicious dessert to be gluten-free and dairy-free so everyone can enjoy. And these bars do not disappoint. I think you'll love how sunny, tart and sweet they are.

collage of the steps to make healthy gluten-free lemon bars

How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

There are two components to these bars: the crust and the filling. Start by making the almond-oat crust, which needs to bake before you add the filling.

Gluten-Free Crust

Whether you always bake gluten-free or this is your first time, this crust is straightforward to make. It only needs five ingredients. And one of the benefits of using gluten-free flours is that you don't have to worry about overmixing anything. There's no gluten to develop, so this crust won't become tough!

Here's what you need to make the lemon bar crust:

  • Oats. Use rolled oats for this recipe. And make sure they're certified gluten-free if necessary
  • Almond flour. You can find this at many well-stocked grocery stores. I like Bob's Red Mill brand.
  • Arrowroot starch. This is a gluten-free thickener that's also available at most grocery stores.
  • Coconut sugar. feel free to use organic cane sugar if you prefer.
  • Coconut oil. To help hold the crust together and give it tenderness.
  • Egg. This also binds the crust ingredients well.

stack of four lemon bars with almond crust and lemon fillingLemon Bar Filling

While the crust bakes, whip up the vibrant vegan lemon bar filling. You'll need just five ingredients:

  • Lemon juice or zest. To give your bars the boldest, brightest citrus flavor.
  • Eggs. For that creamy custard-like texture.
  • Honey. Or maple syrup or agave if you prefer.
  • Arrowroot powder. Again, this helps thicken things up to the perfect sliceable texture.

overhead of a tray of lemon bars topped with powdered sugarWhy Do I Need to Bake the Crust Separately?

Blind baking is the term for baking a crust before it's filled. You do this to make sure the crust cooks all the way through. It also helps firm up the crust and brown it a bit so it stays crisp and doesn't turn soggy when you add the lemon bar filling.

bitten-into dairy-free lemon bar with almond crustStorage

You can store the fully cooled lemon bars in the fridge for up to five days. For longer storage, pop them into the freezer for up to three months. You can defrost them on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

I like to serve the lemon bars at room temperature, but you can also serve them chilled.

More Healthy Dessert Recipes

If you make these healthy Lemon Bars, be sure to let me know what you think with a review below!

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

These sunny lemon bars are gluten-free and dairy-free with a thick almond and oatmeal crust and jammy lemon curd filling.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16 squares
Calories 149kcal
Print Pin
overhead of lemon bars with one turned on its side
4.67 from 9 votes

Ingredients

For the crust:

For the filling

  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 (or 2!) lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  • Add the oats, almond flour, starch sugar into a food processor. Process until combined and the oats are a crumbly texture. Add the oil and egg and pulse together until a sticky dough forms.
  • Pour the dough into the baking pan and press it flat using your hands. Poke a few holes in the dough with a fork to let the steam escape.
  • Bake the crust for 8 - 10 minutes while you make the filling.
  • Add all the filling ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Once the crust has finished baking, pour the filling on top. Carefully transfer it back to the oven and bake for another 16- 18 minutes.
  • Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge and cool completely.
  • Cut the bars into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1square | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

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19 comments

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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19 comments
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  1. Could you please experiment with developing a vegan version of these (that is Not cashew “Cheesecake” based; it’s too rich, temperature dependent, and overdone) please? Maybe chia seeds to start? Thank you 🙂

  2. I made these and they taste great, but the lemon filling ended up underneath the crust! Did I miss something in the instructions? I flipped them over and they are fine.. Maybe I put too many stem holes in the crust ?

      • Ohhhh…that may be the thing. I’ve experienced exactly the same. Taste is absolutely freaking awesome, but it kinda sided down or got mixed with the crust. I am doing it again today, so try the “fewer holes” option defo. Thank you!

  3. I’m sorry was really looking forward to this recipe but these are not vegan. They contain mostly egg, is there a vegan replacement for the egg?

    • Hi Paige! Unfortunately, I have yet to find a vegan alternative that keeps the flavor of traditional lemon bars (since they’re an egg-based dessert). You could try maybe try coconut cream though!

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