Made with only 6 ingredients, these no-bake homemade peanut butter protein bars are the perfect high-protein snack! Whip them up today and you can enjoy a sweet high protein treat all week long.
While there are many protein bars on the market, not all protein bars are particularly nutritious or high in protein. Ironically, while many protein bars claim to be “high in protein”, they often have just as much, if not more, sugar than protein, which is exactly why making a homemade protein bar recipe is such a great option.
Not only can you control the exact amount of protein, calories, and overall macronutrients they contain, but making homemade protein bars is much cheaper. Serving per serving, these chocolate peanut butter protein bars are higher in protein and lower in cost than store-bought protein bars while being quick and easy to make!
Reasons to Make Your Own Protein Bars
- Quick and Easy. These no-bake protein bars are made in one bowl and ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Cheaper. Serving per serving, homemade protein bars are less expensive than pre-made protein bars.
- Better Quality. By making them yourself you can better control for ingredients used.
- Less Sugar. You can control the amount of sugar in the recipe, or completely omit the sweetener if you’d prefer to make them sugar-free.
- No Fillers. Homemade protein bars do not contain any preservatives, additives, or unnecessary added ingredients.
Ingredients for Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these peanut butter protein bars:
- Peanut Butter: All-natural creamy peanut butter works best, I do not recommend using conventional peanut butter as the bars will be too crumbly.
- Protein Powder: Be sure to use an unflavored or vanilla-flavored protein powder. I used whey protein powder; however, you can use a plant-based protein powder if needed. If you’re unsure of what type to use, learn how to choose the best protein powder for your goals.
- Oat Flour: To help form the dough, bind the bites, and improve the texture.
- Honey: To sweeten the bars and ensure they stick together. If you don’t like honey, you can use maple syrup or another liquid sweetener such as agave or brown rice syrup.
- Sea Salt: To season the bars and balance the flavors.
- Chocolate: Some dark chocolate chip or chopped dark chocolate to create a chocolate drizzle for the top of the bars. While I didn’t include any, you can also fold some mini chocolate chips into the protein bars if you want them extra chocolaty.
These peanut butter protein bars have a texture similar to Quest Bars or Perfect Bars and taste like peanut butter cookie dough.
To Make them Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free protein powder and certified gluten-free oats.
To Make them Dairy-Free: Use egg white protein powder or plant-based protein powder.
To Make them Peanut-Free: Swap the peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter.
To Make them Vegan: Use a plant-based protein powder and swap the honey for maple syrup.
How to Make Homemade Protein Bars
Making protein bars at home is super easy, here’s how you’ll make these peanut butter protein bars:
- Mix the ingredients. Begin by mixing the peanut butter, protein powder, oat flour, honey, and salt together in a large bowl until a sticky mixture forms.
- Fill a baking pan. Once combined, transfer the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, pressing it down firmly until even and smooth.
- Chill. Transfer the baking pan to the fridge to allow the bars to chill and solidify.
- Slice into bars. Once chilled, slice the mixture into bars.
- Drizzle with chocolate. Drizzle the top of the bars with melted chocolate and return to the fridge until solidified.
- Eat and enjoy!
You can find the detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
Consuming a high-protein snack post-workout or in between meals, can help to increase levels of satiety, reduce cravings, support muscle building and recovery, and ensure you’re reaching your optimal protein intake. Exactly how much protein you need per day is dependent upon the individual and their goals, but consuming high-protein snacks is a great way to support your overall protein intake.
This peanut butter protein bar recipe was designed for simplicity, but you can add anything you want! Some optional add-ins include:
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped peanuts
- Chopped almonds
- Shredded coconut
- Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds
- Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dates
- Vanilla extract
What Kind of Protein Powder to Use?
For the best results, I recommend an unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder, however, peanut butter protein powder and chocolate protein powder will also work. While you can use a plant-based protein powder, they tend to have a slightly grittier texture and don’t mix as smoothly with the peanut butter. With that said, if you are using a plant-based protein powder, it is best to opt for a blend that includes all amino acids, as opposed to a brown rice protein powder, pea protein powder, or hemp protein powder.
Homemade protein bars are much less expensive than store-bought protein bars. Protein bars can range from $2 to $5 in stores while making them at home costs less than $1 per bar.
Protein bars are convenient and healthy high-protein snacks. The healthfulness of a protein bar greatly depends on its ingredients. By making homemade protein bars you can better control the ingredients and quality of the bar.
Protein bars range from 5 to 20 grams of protein per bar. A good-quality protein bar should contain a minimum of 10 grams of protein per bar.
To Store: Place the sliced bars in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These bars should not be stored at room temperature for long periods of time.
To Freeze: Transfer the bars to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to thaw the bars before eating.
More Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipes:Print
Peanut Butter Protein Bars
These homemade chocolate peanut butter protein bars are super quick and easy to make, and they keep well in the fridge and freezer so you can enjoy high-protein snacks for days to come.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 10 bars 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups creamy natural peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder, or unflavored
- 1/4 cup oat flour*
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add the peanut butter, protein powder, oat flour (see note below), honey, and sea salt, and mix, using a spatula or your hands, until well combined and a sticky batter forms. The mixture may still be a little crumbly, but be sticky enough that it holds together when pressed together with your hand. If your mixture is too dry, add a couple more spoonfuls of peanut butter and/or honey until it begins to hold.
- Transfer the peanut butter mixture to the baking pan, spreading it out evenly, and pressing it into the bottom of the dish with your hands and/or a silicone spatula. Continue pressing it until the top of the peanut butter mixture is firm, smooth, and a little glossy.
- Once pressed into the dish, transfer the baking pan to the fridge for 30 minutes to set and firm up.
- Once complete, remove the baking pan from the fridge and, using the parchment paper, remove the mixture from the baking pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, slice the mixture into 10 evenly shaped bars.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and then warm in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth, and then drizzle the top of each bar with melted chocolate.
- Transfer the bars back to the fridge, directly on the cutting board, for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has solidified.
- The bars can be enjoyed immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Oat Flour: If you don’t have oat flour, you can make your own by grinding 1/4 cup of rolled oats in a food processor until a fine flour-like texture forms.
Peanut Butter: Be sure to use all-natural, creamy peanut butter. Conventional peanut butter, such as Skippy, Jif, or Kraft, won’t work as well and will leave you with crumbly bars.
Protein Powder: I recommend using whey protein isolate powder for the best results, as it blends into the peanut butter more easily and creates a smoother texture. Although plant-based protein powder will work, it may create a slightly grittier and crumblier texture.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 318 calories
- Sugar: 10 grams
- Fat: 20 grams
- Carbohydrates: 19 grams
- Protein: 20 grams