Pumpkin Protein Balls
Published Sep 12, 2023
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These pumpkin protein balls are studded with chocolate chips and the perfect no-bake, protein-packed snack for fall! They’re vegan, gluten-free, super easy to make and great for meal prep!
If you’ve been following me for awhile you know how much I love my protein balls. I have a few different recipes on the blog already, but I wanted to develop a seasonal variation to celebrate the beginning of pumpkin season. Cue these pumpkin protein balls!
They’re made with pumpkin puree, packed with fall flavors and studded with chocolate chips. And the combo is SO good! Protein balls are so easy to make and perfect for on-the-go healthy snacks or post-workout treats throughout the week.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Every bite is loaded with fall flavors!
- Vegan, gluten-free + dairy-free.
- Easy to make… you only need 1 bowl and 10 minutes of prep time!
- Portable, freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep.
- Protein-packed… one ball has 5 grams of protein!
- old fashioned rolled oats – rolled oats are the best type of oat to use for protein balls! Oats are naturally gluten-free, but often cross contaminated so make sure to grab certified gluten-free oats if needed. My fave brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats.
- almond or cashew butter – this will serve as a binding agent and provide a good dose of healthy fats and proteins. Look for a brand with just one or two ingredients (nuts and salt). Some of my favorite brands are Wild Friends creamy almond butter, 365 organic creamy almond butter and Artisana raw organic cashew butter.
- pumpkin puree – what gives these protein balls its fall flavor. The pumpkin also adds moisture and added nutrients! You can use canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree. If using store-bought, just make sure the ingredient list is only “pumpkin” – you don’t want to accidentally buy pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugars.
- vanilla protein powder – the main source of protein in these protein balls. Your favorite brand of vanilla protein powder works, but Nuzest is one of my favorite brands. It’s plant-based and has a minimal, clean ingredient list. Plus, the vanilla flavor is delish. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
- ground flaxseed – a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and additional fiber. I love Bob’s Red Mill organic ground flaxseed.
- pumpkin pie spice – you can easily make your own pumpkin pie spice at home with a combo of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and nutmeg or use a store-bought blend.
- chia seeds – adds a bit of crunch and more fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- maple syrup – this natural sweetener adds the right amount of sweetness to these protein balls and pairs perfectly with the pumpkin, almond or cashew butter and chocolate chips.
- pinch of cinnamon – adds an extra depth of warmth and spice.
- chocolate chips – because everything is better with chocolate, am I right? I recommend Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips which are allergen-friendly or Lily’s chocolate chips because they are low in sugar and calories.
How to Make
Start by placing all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir the mixture until everything is well combined.
Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the dough and roll them into balls.
Once all the protein balls are formed, store them in an airtight container in either the fridge or freezer.
Substitutions & Notes
Maple syrup – If you want these pumpkin protein balls to be low-sugar try using monk fruit sugar-free maple syrup. If you don’t need these protein balls to be vegan you can use honey as the liquid sweetener.
Protein powder – I prefer the vanilla protein powder as it pairs nicely with the pumpkin and chocolate chips, but feel free to use your favorite brand and flavor of protein powder for this recipe! Chocolate protein powder would also be delicious!
Chocolate chips – You could always skip the chocolate chips and add a different mix-in. Some great examples include: dried cranberries, raisins, shredded coconut, crushed nuts or cacao nibs.
Pumpkin puree – Pumpkin is the star ingredient in this recipe and I love the flavor of it adds to these protein balls, but you could also use sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree instead of the pumpkin puree if you’d like.
Tips for Success
- If the mixture is too dry/crumbly: This can happen if your nut butter isn’t drippy/creamy enough. You can fix this by adding some more pumpkin or a splash of water or milk to the mixture to help bind the ingredients together and make it easier for rolling into balls!
- If the mixture is too wet: Add a bit more rolled oats until you reach the desired consistency.
- Difficulty in forming balls: If the mixture isn’t holding together when you try to form the balls, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before shaping.
- Double the recipe: This recipe makes 12 protein balls, but you can easily double the batch to save time in the future!
How to Store
- At room temperature: Protein balls can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but they may become softer and less firm over time. To store them at room temperature, place them in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in a warm environment.
- In the fridge: Store these protein balls in a covered container in the fridge. They will keep well for about 1-2 weeks. I like using glass storage containers or Stasher bags for storing protein balls.
- In the freezer: For longer storage, you can freeze them. Just place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before enjoying.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Try
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
- Healthy Low Sugar Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Flourless Pumpkin Muffins
- Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Vegan Pumpkin Protein Bars
- Healthy Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- Healthy Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
More Protein Ball Recipes
- No Bake Protein Balls
- Vegan Protein Balls
- No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- Almond Joy Protein Balls
- Vegan Protein Balls
- Coconut Protein Balls
- Cinnamon Raisin Cookie Protein Balls
Pumpkin Protein Balls
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Once combined, use a small cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop and form the dough into 12 protein balls.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.
- Maple syrup – If you want these pumpkin protein balls to be low-sugar try using monk fruit sugar-free maple syrup. If you don’t need these protein balls to be vegan you can use honey as the liquid sweetener.
- Nut butter – If you’re looking to swap the almond butter or cashew butter with another nut butter or seed butter you could use peanut butter, tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- protein powder for this recipe! Chocolate would also be delicious! – I prefer the vanilla as it pairs nicely with the pumpkin and chocolate chips, but feel free to use your favorite brand and flavor of
- Chocolate chips – You could always skip the chocolate chips and add a different mix-in. Some great examples include: dried cranberries, raisins, shredded coconut, crushed nuts or cacao nibs.
- Pumpkin puree – Pumpkin is the star ingredient in this recipe and I love the flavor of it adds to these protein balls, but you could also use sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree instead of the pumpkin puree if you’d like.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.