Easy Protein Bars

DF GF VG

These no-bake peanut butter protein bars are made with simple ingredients and super easy to whip up. They’re an awesome protein-packed snack to meal prep for the week.

I always try to eat protein with each meal and snack. There are some quality store-bought snacks that are high in protein, but a lot of protein bars at the grocery store are loaded with questionable ingredients.

Chocolate chip peanut butter protein bars on a plate.

That said, one of my favorite store-bought protein bars are perfect bars. They have a ton of different flavor variations and are made with real ingredients. My favorite flavor variation is dark chocolate peanut butter (obviously!), so I took it upon myself to make a homemade version.

And if I do say so myself, this homemade version tastes just like the real deal! They seriously taste like dessert, but are packed with protein and made with minimal, nutritious ingredients.

Protein Bars vs. Granola Bars

There are a few differences between these protein bars and my granola bars. The obvious difference is that these have protein! I mixed in some vegan protein powder to make these more filling. These also seem a little bit denser to me compared to the granola bars. They’re almost like protein balls in bar form where as the granola bars have more texture and seem a little lighter to me. You really can’t go wrong, both recipes are on regular rotation in our house, it just depends on what we’re in the mood for!

Ingredients measured out to make protein bars: honey, oat flour, protein powder, peanut butter, salt, vanilla, chocolate chips and coconut oil.

Here’s What You Need

  • vanilla protein powder – any vanilla protein powder works. My favorite 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.
  • oat flour – make your own by grinding rolled oats or buy store-bought oat flour. Make sure to grab gluten-free if needed.
  • salt – omit if peanut butter has salt.
  • natural creamy peanut butter – you want to use natural, drippy peanut butter not a thick peanut butter spread. I usually go for the store brand and read the label to make sure it just one or two ingredients, the nuts and salt. Any natural creamy nut butter will work. Almond butter or cashew butter would be great options.
  • honey – this natural sweetener holds the bars together and gives the bars a subtle sweetness. I haven’t tested this recipe with anything else, but I think another liquid sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup would work well. 
  • coconut oil – you want it to be in it’s liquid state when you measure so heat it for a bit if needed!
  • vanilla extract – a delicious flavor enhancer.
  • chocolate chips – I recommend Lily’s chocolate chips because they have zero sugar added.
Four photos showing the process of making protein bars and placing it in a pan.

Are Protein Bars Good For You

Protein is a super important macronutrient to consume and many people find it hard to meet their protein goals without supplementing with protein products like protein bars. I personally think it’s best to get your protein from whole, real foods when possible, but protein bars are a great option when needed. And they can help with weight loss because they can keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals and prevent mindless snacking.

Of course, you can buy protein bars at the store, but I really like making my own so I know exactly what’s in them. There are some protein bars on the market that really aren’t much better than a candy bar… loaded with artificial sweeteners and preservatives. These homemade bars have 12 grams of protein and they’re made with simple whole food ingredients!

When to Eat Protein Bars

These protein bars could be a breakfast replacement if you don’t have time for a full meal or are a great snack option. I like to have one as an afternoon snack… you know, when that 3:00 PM hunger rolls around! But they’re also a great post-workout snack as well. The protein helps repair and rebuild your muscles!

Chocolate chip peanut butter protein bars on a wood cutting board with a knife.

How to Store

One of the best things about these bars is that they store really well! I love making a batch every couple of weeks so I have healthy, protein-packed snacks ready to grab. After the bars have set, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to store them in single portions so they’re ready to grab and go! If you do freeze them, just thaw in the fridge before enjoying.

More Bar Recipes to Try

Protein Bars

4 from 92 votes
These no-bake peanut butter protein bars are made with simple ingredients and super easy to whip up. They're an awesome protein-packed snack to meal prep for the week.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder (I used Nuzest)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, omit if peanut butter has salt
  • ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter that’s drippy, or almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil (to help moisten), more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 Tablespoons chocolate chips, plus extra chocolate chips for topping

Instructions
 

  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
    Loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Combine protein powder, oat flour and salt.
    Oat flour and vanilla protein powder in a bowl. Whisk is beside the bowl.
  • Add in peanut butter, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. The dough will be quite thick. I suggest combining the dough with your hands. If it’s still too dry add more coconut oil, 1 teaspoon at a time.
    Spatula in a mixing bowl with peanut butter protein bar mixture.
  • Mix in chocolate chips with hand or spoon.
    Peanut butter protein bar mixture with chocolate chips in a bowl.
  • Press dough into a lined loaf pan and add more chocolate chips on top. Press the chips in with your hands.
    Chocolate chip peanut butter protein bar mixture in a loaf pan lined with parchment.
  • Let bars chill in fridge for at least one hour before cutting.
  • Remove bars from the fridge, cut into 6 equal-sized bars and enjoy.
  • Bars will last about one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Video

Notes

  • Honey: I haven’t tested this recipe with anything else, but I think another liquid sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup would work well. 
  • Peanut butter: any natural, drippy nut butter should work. You can try almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar Calories: 294kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 12g Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 169mg Potassium: 37mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 13g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: protein bars

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    13 comments
    1. Caroline
      September 19, 2021 AT 12:35 pm

      5 stars
      I have made this 3 straight weeks and it is my kids new favorite breakfast item! They love the brand name version of these, but I don’t get them very often bc they’re so expensive. These taste almost identical and they’re so easy! I bought the nuzest protein powder that Brittany suggests and it works perfectly! I now have to double the recipe and use an 8×8 pan so I’m not making more every 4 days.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 1:46 pm

        Ah yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Caroline! I’m so pumped everyone is enjoying these protein bars. Thanks so much for trying them out and coming back to leave a review. It means so much to me!

    2. So
      September 4, 2021 AT 1:32 pm

      Hey. Could I swap the oat flour for coconut flour? Would you happen to know what the ratio would be? Looking forward to trying them

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 6, 2021 AT 9:37 pm

        Unfortunately not. Coconut flour can’t be subbed 1:1 with other flours as it soaks up way more liquid and I wouldn’t recommend trying it for this recipe. I have no idea how the bars would turn out.

    3. Kerri
      August 28, 2021 AT 1:57 pm

      These look amazing and I can’t wait to try them…I just have one question! This may sounds silly, but where do you find “drippy” peanut butter? Every healthy, 1-2 ingredient, one I’ve ever tried is always so thick and definitely not “drippy” 😊 thanks so much!!

    4. Robert Pattison
      August 23, 2021 AT 5:47 am

      5 stars
      Thank God!!! Finally found something. I have been looking for easy protein intake recipes. Amazing work!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 23, 2021 AT 12:07 pm

        Ah yay! So happy to hear these protein bars were a hit, Robert! Thanks so much for the review and star rating. It means so much to me!

    5. Genny
      August 21, 2021 AT 4:07 pm

      5 stars
      OMG! They are soooo goood and easy to make! Thank you thank you thank you ❤️

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 23, 2021 AT 12:31 pm

        Yay!! So glad you’re loving these protein bars, Genny! Thanks so much for the review and star rating. It means so much to me!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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