With oats and protein powder as the base, these pumpkin protein bars are gluten-free and if you use a vegan protein powder they’re vegan as well. They have a nice pumpkin pie flavor, a hint of sweetness and a good protein to carb ratio — perfect for munching on before or after your workout. Or as a grab-and-go breakfast bar.

I have another pumpkin recipe for ya. Perhaps the last one for this year… unless I get a wild hair and decide to try my hand at making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Probably not likely because every time I make pumpkin pie it cracks and isn’t pretty enough to post. We shall see.

Pumpkin Protein Bars in a clear baking dish on a woven place setting.


I have a few recipes I go back to often but as a food blogger (and lover of trying new things) I often find myself creating a recipe, making it a handful of times and moving on. It’s on a random day when I’m cleaning up my recipe index or looking through old blog posts for a specific reason when I stumble upon an old recipe and remember how delicious it was. I decide to make it again and most of the time it’s just as good as I remembered, but sometimes I feel like it needs a little tweaking. These vegan Pumpkin Protein Bars are a good example. I made a batch a couple weekends ago because I knew I’d be traveling and they make a great protein-filled travel snack. Plus, the photos needed an upgrade.

Pumpkin bars cut in squares scattered on the woven place setting. Clear baking dish with some bars in the upper right corner of the picture.

While the bars tasted just fine they turned out a light shade of green because I used a Designer Protein Sunshine protein powder made with sunflower seeds. I actually really like the protein powder but sunflower seeds have chlorophyll within them and when combined with baking soda and heated it releases and turns whatever you’re making green. This has happened to me before (but I had forgotten about it). I wasn’t alarmed about the color, but I really didn’t want green pumpkin bars for the new photos. Green pumpkin bars are kind like green ketchup. It’s just not right.

Hand holding one square pumpkin bar. Two small pumpkins out of focus in the background.

Since I was determined to get new photos I decided I needed to make another batch of the bars and this time I decided to tweak them a bit. The result was this recipe, which I like even better than the original because they’re not as moist (I had some readers comment that the other bars were very wet and my first batch was really moist and almost gummy). I also maple syrup instead of molasses and cut down the amount a little so the bars have less sugar and still taste just as good.

Oh, and I put a few dairy-free dark chocolate chips on top of the bars because they’re cute and chocolate makes everything better.

With oats and protein powder as the base, these bars are gluten-free and if you use a vegan protein powder they’re vegan as well. They have a nice pumpkin pie flavor, a hint of sweetness and a good protein to carb ratio — perfect for munching on before or after your workout. Or as a grab-and-go breakfast bar. Hope you love this new version as much as I do.

Pumpkin Protein Bars stacked on a marble countertop. Two small pumpkins out of focus in the background.

If you make these pumpkin protein bars be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!

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Pumpkin Protein Bars (Vegan + Gluten Free)

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 16


These pumpkin protein bars are perfect for snacking or breakfast. Each bar has less than 60 calories and 5 grams of protein! 


  • 1 cup rolled or quick oats (certified gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 12 Tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 8X8 glass Pyrex dish with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients including oats, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients including the maple syrup, pumpkin and almond milk.
  3. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly into the prepared dish, sprinkle on a few dark chocolate chips and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean.
  5. Bars keep best if stored in the refrigerator.
  • Category: Breakfast/Snack
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 56
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: pumpkin protein bars, protein bars, pumpkin recipes, healthy pumpkin recipes, protein bar recipe

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  1. Vegan pumpkin protein bars with pumpkin flavor, a hint of sweetness and a good protein to carb ratio — perfect for before or after a workout. Or as a grab-and-go breakfast bar.

  2. I love this recipe! I have a question about nutritional value. How many grams or ounces does one protein bar have? I want to measure it exactly so I consume exactly 56 calories and the recipe doesnt say how big one bar is.

  3. Hi! What would you recommend as a sub for oats? Sadly I need to eliminate grains from my diet and this looks amazing!

    • Hey Mary! I haven’t tried making this recipe with anything other than oats, but it will probably work just fine to swap the oats for AP flour or AP gluten-free flour. I’m just not sure how they’ll turn out since I haven’t tried it yet. Another option would be to make these other pumpkin bars of mine. They don’t have oats in them. Definitely let me know if you end up making them with the flour instead of oats and how they turn out! 🙂

  4. Made this tonight after doing a google search for protein powder pumpkin bread. I had whey protein powder and white sugar on hand so I used those and it was still very very good. I had to bake it for closer to 40 minutes. I would describe the texture as very dense bread, and is perfect for on-the-go breakfast this week. thanks for posting your recipe, its a keeper!

    • I’m so glad that you found and tried this recipe. And happy to hear that it turned out well for you with the whey protein powder and white sugar. Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating, Waverly. It means the world to me. <3

    • Hi Sarah! I haven’t tried using banana to sweeten these protein bars. The chocolate can easily be left out as it’s not necessary for the recipe, just an add-in. Maybe try raisins instead. If you don’t like maple syrup you can easily sub it for another liquid sweetener like honey or agave. You could certainly try replacing the 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 1/4 cup of mashed banana, but it definitely won’t be as sweet and I’m not sure how it will affect the texture of the bars. Let me know if you decide to experiment.

    • I’m pretty sure that they will work as muffins, I’m just not sure how you should adjust the baking time because I haven’t tired them as muffins (yet). Let me know how they turn out if you decide to try it.

  5. This may be my new favorite recipe! I just made these and I can’t wait to make it again and play with the recipe more.
    I did modify it slightly. I always do. I used whey protein, a mix of fresh baked and pureed 3/4 cup pie pumpkin and 1/4 sweet dumpling squash. Molasses (equal amount) instead of syrup and a splash of maple extract.
    I wanted to see how it would cook as a mug cake so i popped a little batter in a mug and microwaved it. So good, but it did flatten a bit.
    I can hardly wait to try this as a waffle batter! I bet it will make some lovely crisp, fluffy waffles.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating, Megan. I so appreciate it and I love how much you experimented with the recipe. I can’t wait to hear how the batter works as waffles. You’ll have to let me know when you try that.

  6. I love your website and am always looking for gluten free recipes. With this recipe, can I replace the protein powder with something else. I am not a fan of the taste of protein powder. Thanks!

    • I haven’t ever tested the recipe with something to replace the protein powder. I think using 1 cup of oat flour to replace the protein powder should work, but I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure they will turn out the same. One option would be to try these pumpkin bars instead. You’d need to use oat flour or gluten-free flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour. 🙂

  7. Just made these and they’re soo good my fam loves them! Question: are you supposed to store them in the fridge after baking?

  8. These are delicious! Just made them today. What kind of camera do you use to take pictures of your work? The pictures turned out beautifully!

  9. Wow! I am excited to try this one! Can you please tell me what plant-based protein powder you use to NOT get green results? My powder leaves me endlessly green results with recipes.

  10. Not sure if I clicked post comment, but I was wondering how would sub the rolled oats for steel cut oats processed into flour? Would you still do 1:1?

  11. Hi I just made them and I love them!!now I used Vega Vanilla sport protein and I got 18 bars. I followed your recipe to a T. I was wondering if the nutrition would still be the same if i used Vega protein? Which protein powder did you use?

    Thank you for the amazing recipe

    • Hi Ariel. I’m so glad you like the Pumpkin Protein Bars. I bet the nutrition facts are pretty similar with the Vega Vanilla sport protein, but you could also put all the ingredients into the myfitnesspal nutrition calculator if you’re interested in the specific stats.

  12. I made this today and have to admit, I tweaked the recipe in my endless quest to pack a little more nutrition in. I added a handful of walnuts, a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes and omitted the syrup as my protein powder is presweetened. I also used cow’s milk because I was out of almond milk but couldn’t wait to try your recipe! I loved it although I could see where some might also need the syrup. It was also a little spongey in texture, probably because of all my adjustments and honestly I didn’t mind. Maybe a quick toasting right before I hand them over to the fam….

  13. I just made these and they are delicious! I have a friend that wants to try, but isn’t a fan of using protein powder. Do you like a gluten-free flour (coconut, almond, etc.) could substitute well? Thanks!

    • Hi Caitie. I’m so glad you like the recipe. 🙂 I haven’t tried them with any other flours, but I’m thinking that almond flour or even oat flour would work well. I’m not sure about coconut flour since they’re aren’t any eggs. Let me know if your friend does decide to test out using a flour instead of protein powder. I’d love to know how they turn out.

  14. Made these, love these! So easy and clean ingredients that I always have on hand. I completely omitted the maple syrup as the vanilla protein powder I use is already quite sweet- didn’t miss it at all! I cut mine into 8 big bars to share with my hubby. A perfect snack or breakfast on the go- thank you!

  15. Brittany, have you ever used date paste in any of your bars? I’ve been using dates as my sweetener in chia pudding, and was wondering how the texture might change if you use something a little more solid in lieu of maple syrup.

  16. Just made these. The flavor is good but they were dry. When I cut them, they crumbled. I will still eat them but in crumbled pieces.

    • Oh no! I’m sorry. I wonder why they turned out dry? My only thought it that some brands of pumpkin have more moisture than others… or maybe your oven cooks hot and they were baked too long. If you try the recipe again maybe add more almond milk or pumpkin to keep them from drying out.

  17. Just made these today for meal prep – they are DELICIOUS! I was far too eager and cut into them when they were still warm and soft… heavenly! Happy snacking all week now 🙂

    • I made these bars and cooked them for 40min. and they are still not cooked. Still very soft toothpick still comes out with soft mixture. Anyone else have this problem?

  18. I made these with half vanilla and half chocolate protein powder. I also put more dark chocolate chips on top as I was making these for an afternoon snack to satisfy both my sweet tooth and my protein craving. I love them. Pop one out of the freezer in the afternoon and it is thawed before you know it. My new favorite afternoon snack.

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