Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (2022)

Made with oatmeal, protein powder, honey, and chocolate (for happy measure), these healthy Peanut Butter Protein Bars are no-bake and require only a bowl and some elbow grease.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (1)

It has been a crazy past few months, meaning I’ve been relying on more store-bought snacks than usual.

While they certainly have their place, I’ve missed my healthy homemade snacks (that’s you, No Bake Energy Balls).

One of the shiny wrapper foods I’m prone to relying on the most is protein bars.

However, today that changes because I’m taking back my breakfasts and snacks with theseno bake peanut butter protein bars (and perhaps a batch of my favorite No Bake Granola Bars too).

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (2)

5 Star Review

“Phenomenal recipe. I’ve given up my nature valley protein bars because these are better and easy to make!”

— Abby —

While store-bought protein bars are fine, nothing tastes quite as wonderful as making your own wholesome homemade protein bars (orOatmeal Breakfast Bars).

  • I love knowing exactly what is in these peanut butter protein bars. Just like theseProtein Balls, the ingredients for these peanut butter protein bars are simple and nourishing.
  • Also,SO YUMMY. The texture of these homemade protein bars is soft and chewy (check out Peanut Butter Protein Cookies for another melt-in-your-mouth protein treat).
  • PLUS, did I mention that the cost-per-bar is a fraction of the ones at the store?!

As an even-better bonus, these no-bake peanut butter protein bars can be stored at room temperature (like a baked protein bar recipe).

This makes them travel-friendly and easy to keep at your desk or tucked in your gym bag for a post-workout snack.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (3)

How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Making peanut butter protein bars couldn’t be easier.

Once you have your ingredients gathered, simply melt, stir, press, and chill. Voilà!

Homemade protein bars ready and on demand for all your snacking needs.

The Ingredients

  • Peanut Butter. Healthy fats, protein, and the all-out delicious factor. You can use any kind you like, be it shelf-stable or drippy peanut butter. (For another healthy peanut butter snack, try these Peanut Butter Banana Cookies.) For a peanut-free version, swap almond butter, cashew butter, or sun butter.

Ingredient Note

The consistency of your batter can vary based on the type of peanut butter you use. If your batter is looser than you would like, simply add an extra tablespoon or two of oats until it holds together.

  • Oatmeal. Rolled oats are hearty, rich in fiber, and give the peanut butter protein bars their structure. Using certified gluten-free oats makes these bars safe for those with a gluten allergy.
  • Honey. For its natural sweetness and “glue” factor.

Substitution Tip

If you would like to make these homemade protein bars vegan, swap the honey for vegan natural sweeteners, such as pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup.

Or, see these Vegan Protein Bars which are sweetened with dates.

  • Flaxseed Meal. Omega-3s, please.
  • Protein Powder. Pump ’em up! To make these protein bars with protein powder, stir in 1/2 cup (about 2 generous scoops) of your favorite brand of protein powder. (For a protein-packed snack without powder, try this Chia Seed Pudding.)

Substitution Tip

You can use any whey protein or vegan, plant-based protein. I recommend vanilla, though I suspect chocolate would be tasty too.

  • Coconut Oil. To help the bars bind and solidify.
  • Chocolate Chips. No ho-hum bars here. These peanut butter protein bars are loaded with the good stuff. Mini chocolate chips are easy to mix in; for a stronger chocolate factor, use dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.

Recipe Variations

This homemade protein bar recipe is super adaptable. Countless readers have shared how they’ve made this recipe their own in the comments. Here are some of my favorite ideas:

  • Homemade Protein Bars with Raisins. Add a handful of raisins (or other dried fruit) to the mixture.
  • Peanut Butter Protein Bars with Chia Seeds. Swap all or a portion of the flaxseed meal for an equal amount of chia seeds.
  • Crunchy Homemade Protein Bars. For added crunch, stir in a handful of crisp rice cereal.
  • Homemade Protein Bars with Nuts. Throw in a handful of your favorite chopped nuts for some additional healthy fats. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts would all be lovely additions.
  • Double Vanilla Protein Bars. Add 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, use vanilla protein powder, and swap the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips.
  • Salted Chocolate Protein Bars. Use chocolate protein powder. Drizzle the finished bars with melted chocolate, then sprinkle with flaky salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel.
(Video) Money-Saving Recipe! | Homemade Healthy Granola Bars {Crispy or Chewy}
Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (4)

The Directions

  1. Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil in a double-boiler and stir until smooth.
  2. Remove from the heat and mix in the oats, protein powder, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.


If the mixture is still warm, pop the bowl into the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it cool. Cooling the mixture will prevent the chocolate from melting. Don’t worry if they do melt a little—the bars will still be delicious!

  1. Press evenly into a square pan lined with parchment paper, then chill until firm.


When lining the pan, allow the parchment paper to overhang over the sides of the pan like handles. This will make removing the bars to slice much easier!

  1. Remove the bars from the pan and slice them into bars. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store.Store the bars at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can also store them in the fridge, though I find they taste best at room temperature.
  • To Freeze. Place bars in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Storage Tips

I like to wrap my homemade protein bars individually in plastic, then remove them from the freezer as needed.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (5)

What to Serve with Homemade Protein Bars

Breakfast & Brunch

Sugar Cookie Overnight Protein Oatmeal

8 hrs


Blueberry Smoothie

3 mins

Breakfast & Brunch

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

10 hrs

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Mixing Bowl. This space-saving set of glass mixing bowls is my favorite.
  • Square Pan. A square baking pan with sharp corners and sides is ideal for making perfect homemade protein bars.
  • Parchment Paper. Essential for lining the pan for easy bar removal and slicing.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (9)Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (10)

(Video) Peanut Butter Protein Cookies with Chocolate Chips

The Best Mixing Bowls

These glass mixing bowls easily stack to save space in your cabinets. Plus, they’re healthier than plastic or metal, and are very durable too.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (11)

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Leave a Rating

Ready for a pantry upgrade?

Give these peanut butter protein bars a try!

You’ll smile every time you open the door and find them waiting for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Homemade Protein Bars Without Coconut Oil?

While I have only ever made the recipe as it is written with coconut oil, feel free to experiment. Popular swaps include additional nut butter or an equal amount of melted butter.

Can I Make Peanut Butter Protein Bars in the Microwave?

Sure! I prefer to warm my ingredients together on the stovetop to more easily keep an eye on it and better control the heat, but you can heat the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil in the microwave instead. For best results, warm low and slow in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring periodically, until smooth.

Can I Make Peanut Butter Protein Bars as Balls Instead?

Certainly! While I have only ever made these as bars, the mixtureshouldbe able to be shaped into balls instead. Keep in mind that you may need to play around with the peanut butter, oats, and protein powder ratios a bit to get the right consistency. Or, you can try thesePeanut Butter Protein Ballsor Energy Balls instead.

(Video) Healthy NO BAKE Granola Bars are So Easy!

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups rolled oats**
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder about 2 scoops, depending upon your brand
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Line an 8×8- or 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides like handles.

  • Place the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of water and bring the water to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. (Do not let the water boil, and make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl.) Stir and heat until the mixture is smoothly combined. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and turn off the heat.

  • Add the oats, protein powder, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt to the bowl with the peanut butter mixture. Stir to combine. The mixture will seem very dry at first but will come together as you stir. It won't be sticky but should hold together when pressed (see recipe notes for more details).

  • Fold in the chocolate chips. (If the mixture is still fairly warm, pop the bowl into the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it cool. Cooling the mixture will prevent the chocolate from melting. Don’t worry if they do melt a little—the bars will still be delicious!)

  • Press evenly into the prepared pan and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

  • Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment handles and transfer them to a cutting board. Slice into bars as desired and enjoy.

  • TO STORE: Store the bars at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • TO FREEZE:These homemade protein bars can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • STORAGE TIP: I like to wrap mine individually, then remove them from the freezer as needed. You can also store them in the fridge, though I find they taste best at room temperature.
  • *INGREDIENT NOTE: The consistency of the bars will vary based on the brand of peanut butter you use. Add a tablespoon or two extra oats if they seem too loose. If they seem too dry, add additional peanut butter, honey, or even water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the bars hold together easily when pressed into the pan.
  • **GLUTEN FREE: If you are particularly sensitive to gluten, I recommend sourcing oats (e.g., Bob’s Red Mill) that are processed in a gluten free certified facility.
  • The nutritional information will vary based on the brand of protein powder you use. If you’d like to calc them with a specific brand, you can do so for free at

Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 9gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgPotassium: 178mgFiber: 3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg

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This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

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Peanut Butter Protein Bars – (18)

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

(Video) Easy LEMON Bar Recipe with Shortbread Crust

Learn more about Erin


Is protein bars good for weight loss? ›

Not only are protein bars good for weight loss, but they are also great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Protein filled recipes are a healthy choice for the long term, even after you've reached your weight loss goals, protein can help maintain your strength, muscle and body composition.

Are protein bars good for you? ›

Protein bars can be great sources of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and micronutrients. But many protein bars are high in sugar and fats and may not provide enough of some essential nutrients.

Do protein bars keep you fuller for longer? ›

Protein bars can help us get the protein we need.

"You will also find that due to the fiber content in most bars, along with the inherent fact that your body has to take more time in breaking down solid food, bars can help you feel more satiated for longer."

How many calories are in a peanut butter protein bar? ›

200 calories. Gluten free. Directions: Adults, for best results drink 8 fl.

Can you eat a protein bar instead of a meal? ›

Can I eat a protein bar as a meal replacement? The short answer is yes. Most protein bars will suffice as a meal replacement because they tend to have at least 15 to 20 grams of protein per bar. Because protein suppresses hunger hormones and is digested slowly, you should be full until your next meal.

Should you eat protein bars everyday? ›

Having a protein bar occasionally is okay but adding them every day might be causing you to miss out on important nutrients. Protein bars are very processed, and they might not have the nutrients that fruits and veggies have. Thus, add them, but make sure you have a variety of whole foods for the rest of the day.

When should you eat protein bars? ›

The best time to eat your protein bar is post workout. After your workout it will deliver protein to your muscles and help with muscle recovery and growth. It is generally recommended that if you are going more than 4 hours between meals, a protein bar is a great way to get a 'protein top up'.

Who should eat protein bars? ›

Those high protein bars are best for people following high protein diets to build muscle. For most people not following high protein diets, anywhere between 10 and 20 grams is fine. The Dietary Reference Intake for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.

Do protein bars have side effects? ›

Protein bars often contain compounds called sugar alcohols, which are lower in calories than traditional sugars. Sugar alcohols are associated with multiple gastrointestinal side effects including abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.

Is one protein bar enough for breakfast? ›

A healthy breakfast that combines a variety of nutrients, including protein, is a smart way to get your day started off on the right foot. Protein bars can be an occasional and acceptable part of a healthy and well-balanced morning meal, provided you choose one that's high in nutrients and low in sugar.

Can I get all my protein from protein bars? ›

All told, if you're simply trying to meet your daily protein requirements, a bar is a fine way to arrive at your total, as it contains just as much protein as a serving of many whole foods. Odds are that you don't need the boost, however. Most Americans get more than enough protein without even trying.

Is a protein bar and banana a good breakfast? ›

Yes but for a short period . The protein bar has many ingredients in it plus the banana is a great combine but you will need more protein and calories to get full up to lunch or your next snacks . You should add liquids may be drink chocolate and milk or and healthy smoothie. You will be fine.

Is peanut butter protein good for weight loss? ›

Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss ( 1 ). Getting enough protein may support healthy metabolism and reduce your appetite. It may also help you lose body fat without losing muscle. Protein shakes are a convenient way to add more protein to your diet and have even been shown to aid weight loss.

Is peanut bar good for weight loss? ›

Yes, you read that right! Despite their high fat and calorie content, peanuts could actually help in promoting weight loss. Even though they are relatively high in calories, the rich fibre and protein content in peanuts could help in increasing satiety and can make you feel full for longer.

Is peanut butter protein good for you? ›

Nutritional benefits of peanut butter. Share on Pinterest Peanut butter is a good source of protein and vitamin B-6. Peanut butter provides a good amount of protein, along with essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

What happens if you eat a protein bar everyday? ›

According to the Mayo Clinic, even if you're seeking to put on weight, you should aim for nutritious foods and try to avoid overdoing it with sugars and unhealthy fats. On the other hand, if you eat a protein bar every day, it's possible that you could end up gaining weight unintentionally.

Can I eat 3 protein bars a day? ›

While eating 3 protein bars per day can provide a healthy amount of protein, carbs, and fats, it can be bad if you are using them to replace meals. This is because they lack vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can be low in fiber. Thus, eating them as a snack is okay, but eating them as meal replacements isn't.

What happens if u eat too many protein bars? ›

Though an elevated protein intake may aid satiety and give a boost to weight loss, overeating protein can be detrimental and cause you to gain weight. This is particularly true with protein bars, which often contain added calories from carbs and fats.

What are some cons of protein bars? ›

Some of the major cons of protein bars include: Highly processed ingredients, like soy protein isolate and soy lecithin. Sugar alcohol, insulin, and soluble corn fiber that can leave you feeling bloated. Large amounts of high fructose corn syrup, often made from genetically modified (GMO) corn.

How much protein do I need a day? ›

The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. For example, a person who weighs 165 pounds, or 75 kilograms, should consume 60 grams of protein per day.

What is the purpose of eating a protein bar? ›

Protein bars can be a convenient way to add carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. Also, they may curb appetite, fuel a workout, or support muscle repair after exercise. Still, they can't replace the quality and nutrient composition of whole foods.

Should you eat a protein bar right before bed? ›

Studies have shown that if you consume an ample amount of protein right before bed, you'll take full advantage of this spike in growth hormone and maximize muscle gains. This happens because you're providing the amino acids that are needed for repair and growth.

What happens if you eat a protein bar at night? ›

Improved Recovery and Performance

As earlier stated, consuming protein before bed helps to increase muscle protein synthesis overnight. More efficient protein synthesis can help improve muscle strength, and thereby reduce the risk of injury.

What is the symptoms of too much protein? ›

Symptoms associated with too much protein include: intestinal discomfort and indigestion. dehydration. unexplained exhaustion.

Can protein bars give you kidney stones? ›

Too Much Protein

Generally, consuming regular amounts of protein on a daily basis will not increase your risk of kidney stones unless you have a preexisting condition. Once you begin ingesting more protein than your body can handle, it can become a problem.

How much of a protein bar should I eat? ›

Genuinely speaking, there's no need to have more than 1-2 protein bars a day. If you're trying to get more protein, you'll benefit more from getting it from lean protein sources through your meals.

Do protein bars wake you up? ›

Many people think an "energy" bar will immediately make them feel energetic. Not true. Energy bars won't boost your energy level any better than real food. The "energy" in energy bars refers to the calories they contain.

Can I eat protein bars instead of protein shakes? ›

They come in a variety of flavors, and many of them offer as much protein as you might get in a small meal or large snack. You can also use a bar as a substitute for a protein shake, with the understanding that you may not be getting the exact same nutrients or health effects.

Can I eat protein bars instead of shakes? ›

Both protein bars and shakes are convenient sources of protein. Whether you consume a bar or shake will depend on your personal goals and preferences. Protein shakes will generally help with weight gain, while protein bars can be better for weight loss. But, either can be used in each case based on your overall diet.

Is 10g of protein a lot? ›

To get the most out of your day (and your workout), make sure your snacks also contain some protein. "For your snacks, aim for about 10-15 grams of protein. An example of that would be around 200 grams of yoghurt, a milky coffee and a few handfuls of nuts and seeds. It is relatively easy to get it in," McLeod said.

Are eggs better than protein bars? ›

If you're an athlete or you train like one, you need more protein than a person who sits at a desk all day and never sees the inside of a gym. If you're doing resistance training to build lean body mass, you need more for growth and muscle repair.

Can protein bars replace breakfast? ›

Protein bars are a convenient breakfast option that offers fiber, micronutrients, and of course protein. A protein bar that includes high fiber as your breakfast will help control blood sugar and aid in keeping you satisfied longer, while the protein will help build and repair muscles.

When should I eat a protein bar? ›

The best time to eat your protein bar is post workout. After your workout it will deliver protein to your muscles and help with muscle recovery and growth. It is generally recommended that if you are going more than 4 hours between meals, a protein bar is a great way to get a 'protein top up'.

How much protein should I eat if I want to lose weight? ›

If you want to lose weight, aim for a daily protein intake between 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (. 73 and 1 grams per pound). Athletes and heavy exercisers should consume 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per kilogram (1-1.5 grams per pound) if aiming for weight loss.

Are protein bars good for breakfast? ›

Protein bars can be a quick, nutrient-dense breakfast, but they shouldn't be your go-to morning meal. Applegate recommends eating real food, such as fruits and vegetables, most of the time and reserving a protein bar for an occasional breakfast meal.

What do protein bars do? ›

Before a workout, a protein bar can help to boost your performance and post-workout it will contribute to muscle repair and growth. Due to their high protein content, our Smart Bars are ideal for aiding recovery and are the perfect post-workout snack.

How much protein do I need? ›

How much protein do you need? Anywhere from 10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein. So if your needs are 2,000 calories, that's 200–700 calories from protein, or 50–175 grams. The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.


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