Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
Published Feb 14, 2018, Updated Aug 29, 2021
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These no-bake peanut butter chocolate protein bars taste delicious and each bar has 9 grams of protein. Plus, they’re so easy to make.
As both a personal trainer and a health coach, I have studied about the importance of fueling up after workouts. Within an hour of working out, it’s important to get a mix of protein and carbohydrates into your body — protein to help rebuild muscles and carbohydrates help to rebuild energy stores.
I went through a major phase, constantly packing RXBARs for a post-workout snack. I was buying them by the case because they were (and still are!) that good.
It didn’t take long for me to realize how much money I was spending on RXBARs and I figured I should probably reign it in. These copycat protein bars are a product of that realization, and you guys…they’re amazing. Treat yourself to a protein bar for a fraction of the price! I can’t wait to experiment with more flavors. Maple sea salt, I’m looking at you!
Why I Love These Homemade Protein Bars
- High in protein! Just like my regular easy protein bar recipe, these bars are packed with protein – about 9 grams per bar.
- E-A-S-Y. Seriously, I can throw these together in 15 minutes or less!
- Gluten-free and paleo-friendly, with a vegan option.
- Chocolate. ’Nough said.
Ingredients in Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
- medjool dates – you can buy medjool dates that are already pitted or pit them yourself (it’s super easy). Two brands that I like are Natural Delights and Joolies. You can find Natural Delights in the produce section of most grocery stores (near the bananas) and Joolies are offered on Amazon and Thrive Market.
- peanuts – helps to pack a solid protein punch in these bars.
- egg white protein powder – collagen and vegan protein powders work too. My favorite vegan brand is Nuzest which is plant-based and has a minimal, clean ingredient list. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
- cocoa powder or cacao powder – either option will work.
- sea salt – if peanuts are salted, leave this out.
- dark chocolate chunks or chips – I like to use Lily’s dark chocolate chips to keep this recipe low in sugar and dairy-free.
Notes & Substitutions
Nuts – Allergic to peanuts or prefer a different nut switch up the added nuts and add walnuts, pecans or almonds (or any other type of nut!) to the bars.
Mix-ins – Feel free to get creative with your mix-ins! Coconut would be a great addition.
Balls – if you’re more of a ball type of person, you can absolutely roll them into protein balls – or better yet, try my protein ball recipes!
How to Store Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
These bars are perfect for your weekly meal prep. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or store in the freezer for up to 1-2 months for a quick on-the-go protein snack.
Benefits of Medjool Dates
Medjool dates are healthy! They contain natural sugar, but they have a low/medium glycemic index score because they also contain a good amount of fiber, which slows the release of the carbohydrates and gives you sustained energy rather than spiking your blood sugar crazy high. They’re also low in fat and packed with nutrients like potassium (50% more potassium by weight than a banana), copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.
More Protein Recipes to Try
- Protein Balls
- Strawberry Protein Muffins
- Protein Pancakes
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal
- Protein Shakes
- Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies
- Protein Oatmeal
More Easy Treats to Try
- 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
- 4-Ingredient Almond Coconut Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Snickers Stuffed Dates
- 4-Ingredient Samoas
- Healthy Cookie Dough Bites
- 4-Ingredient Avocado Truffles
Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- ½ cup peanuts
- ½ cup egg white protein powder, collagen and vegan protein powders work too
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, if peanuts are salted, leave this out
- 1-3 Tablespoons of water, if needed
- 2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chunks or chips
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Add dates, peanuts, protein powder, cocoa powder and sea salt into the base of your food processor. Process until everything is combined and peanuts are broken down into tiny bits.
- At this point the mixture might be sticking together well and forming a ball of dough. If so, great! If not, it may be dry and not really sticking together (it will depend on how moist your dates were). If this is the case you’ll want to add a little water. Add 1 Tablespoon, run the food processor and see if the mixture starts holding together. If not, add another tablespoon and blend again. You'll likely only need to add 1-3 Tablespoons of water.
- Once the mixture is holding together, transfer into the loaf pan lined with parchment. Fold the parchment over top and press the mixture evenly into the pan.
- Once even, add chocolate chunks and press those into the top of the mixture as well.
- Place the mixture in the fridge to harden up (about 30 mins to 1 hour) before removing from pan and cutting into 5 bars.
- Store bars in fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
- Nuts – allergic to peanuts or prefer a different nut? Switch up the added nuts and add walnuts, pecans or almonds (or any other type of nut!) to the bars.
- Mix-ins – feel free to get creative with your mix-ins! Coconut would be a great addition.
- Balls – if you prefer balls, you can absolutely roll them into protein balls — or better yet, try my protein balls!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Can you freeze these?
Hey Sarah – Yes, you can totally freeze these. 🙂
I’m allergic to dates. What can I use instead?
Hey Madalyn – The dates are a big component to this recipe, so I don’t recommend swapping them with anything else. If you’re looking for a protein snack that doesn’t have dates you could try my protein balls or these cinnamon raisin protein cookies . 🙂
These were SO good and easy.
I’ve loved all of your recipes – thanks so much.
I am wondering why they would only last a week. There are no ingredients in recipe that has short life span.
Hey Karen, To ensure the freshness of these bars I recommend one week in the fridge. If you want them to last longer, you can freeze them and pull them out to the fridge as needed. 🙂
How much of collagen and protein powder equivalents to 1/2 cup egg white protein powder (collagen and vegan protein powders work too)?
It would be the same amount – 1/2 cup. 🙂
Would you recommend to add peanut butter into the recipe? If yes, how much to add?
Hey Michele – Are you looking to use peanut butter as a sub to something in the recipe?
Can I use peanut butter powder in place of the protein powder?
Also, I have used dried plums (prunes) in place of dates in several similar recipes and the texture was perfect. Do you think the flavor combo would work with these?
Hey Doreen – I haven’t tried dried prunes or peanut butter powder, so I’m not 100% sure how the recipe would turn out. I would imagine it’d be fine, but you’ll have to let me know if you try it and how they turn out!
Thank you for responding to my question about subbing dried plumbs for dates and peanut butter powder in place of protein powder.
The bars were great!!
So glad I made a double batch.
The texture was perfect, even out of the fridge.
The bars weren’t too sweet as I used craisins rather than chocolate chips on top(think peanut butter and jelly).
Next batch I want to use dark chocolate chips.
Yay!! So glad these bars were a hit, Doreen! Thanks for making them and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!
excellent post thank you for sharing
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