This easy Energy Balls recipe makes the perfect healthy snack, made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, and coconut. Whip up a big batch in just 5 minutes, and make extra to freeze for later.

Looking for more healthy snacks? Try my Banana Oat Muffins, Carrot Muffins, Applesauce, or No Bake Granola Bars!

Homemade energy balls stacked on top of each other in a bowl.

Why I love this healthy snack:

  • No Bake – Only 5 minutes to make and all you need is a bowl!
  • Adaptable – Use this recipe as your base and substitute any of your favorite ingredients! I like to include chopped almonds, raisins, craisins, or butterscotch chips. The options are endless, and you can use a different nut butter or swap it out for sunflower butter if needed for allergies.
  • Grab-and-Go – Keep them in the fridge for any snacking emergency or simply grab a few on your way out the door!

Ingredients in Energy Balls:

  • Oats:  This energy ball recipe is made with both rolled oats and steel cut oats, which add a fun crunch and an extra dose of healthy grains full of fiber and protein. The steel coat oats are not cooked before hand, but will soften once combined with the other ingredients and refrigerated.
  • Coconut. Any kind, sweetened or unsweetened.
  • Crispy Rice cereal.  Rice Krispies or any off-brand work well. You could even use crushed rice chex.
  • Ground Flax seeds: The flax seeds are a great source of omega-3, protein and fiber,
  • Peanut Butter: or your other favorite nutter butter, or sunflower butter for nut-free energy bites.
  • Chocolate Chips.  Because everything tastes better with a handful of chocolate chips.
  • Honey. This is (along with peanut butter) is the major binding ingredient.  Add more honey if your energy balls seem dry or crumbly. You can substitute agave.
  • Vanilla Extract.
Separate bowls with the, labeled, ingredients needed to make Energy Balls.

How to make Energy Balls:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming into balls. (If the mixture isn’t holding together well enough you can add a little more nut butter or honey to help it bind).
  3. Form into balls.  I like to use a cookie scoop to make 1-2 inch uniform balls and gently roll them with my hands.  Wet your hands with water or spray them lightly with cooking spray for easier rolling.
  4. Serve, refrigerate, or freeze. See more freezing directions below.
Two process photos of the ingredients for energy balls stirred together in a bowl, then rolled into balls.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Store no bake energy balls covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, depending on freshness of your ingredients. 

To Freeze: Make energy bites then place in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or at room temperature.

Recipe Variations:

  • Add dried fruit: dates, raisins, or anything you like.
  • Higher protein:  If you’re looking for extra high protein balls, add 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor) and about 1 Tablespoon more honey to ensure they aren’t dry or crumbly.
  • Add nuts: Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
  • Without flaxseed:  Replace flaxseed with an extra ½ cup oats or cereal.
  • Nut Butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or any nut butter. You may also use sunflower butter for anyone with a nut allergy!

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Recipe

Homemade energy balls stacked on top of each other in a bowl.
Prep 5 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total 5 minutes
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Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming into 1-2 inch balls. (If the mixture isn’t holding together well enough you can add a little more nut butter or honey to help it bind). Keep refrigerated for an easy snack on the go.
  • Feel free to include other “add-ins” like chopped almonds, raisins, etc.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, depending on freshness of your ingredients. 

Notes

Freezing Instructions: Make energy bites then place in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or at room temperature.
Variations:
  • Add dried fruit: dates, raisins, or anything you like.
  • Higher protein: add 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor) and about 1 Tablespoon more honey to ensure they aren’t dry or crumbly.
  • Add nuts: Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
  • Without flaxseed:  Replace flaxseed with an extra ½ cup oats or cereal.
  • Nut Butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or any nut butter. You may also use sunflower butter for anyone with a nut allergy!

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 3gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 37mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 0.9mg

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I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated July 2020 and January 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I make these often but not this recipe. I actually tried this recipe for the first time and GAME CHANGER according to my husband! He says that I cannot make any other recipe but this one. I will say that I didn’t have any steel cut oats and I was so hungry for them that night that I couldn’t wait until I did so I improvised with Fiber One All Bran Cereal and it worked, they were fabulous. I even wondered if a scoop of instant coffee would bring these to a whole other level of greatness to change the flavor up??

    1. Great to hear that you tried our energy ball recipe and it was a hit, especially with your husband! We’re always happy to hear about delicious improvisations like the one you did with the Fiber One All Bran Cereal. That’s the beauty of cooking, you can always make it your own. As for adding instant coffee, that’s a great idea! It’s always fun to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. We can’t wait to try it ourselves and see how it turns out. Thank you for sharing your experience with our recipe, and we’re so glad it worked out for you! 🤗👨‍🍳

  2. I see these referred to as “energy” bars but I don’t see any caffeine or similar ingredient that give energy (other than protein, sugar, etc). I’m looking for a grab-n-go breakfast snack that DOES have an energy component for my early-morning college student who doesn’t drink coffee (and I’d rather he not reach for energy drinks). Is there an ingredient I can add that will give an added energy boost?

  3. 5 stars
    We LOVE these! I don’t anyways have cereal on hand, so we swap with crushed graham crackers. The kids gobble them up!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is so handy for quick snacks and packed lunches. All my kids really like these, and they are so easy to pop it straight from the freezer into a lunchbox as a favorite protein source and treat. I have made this recipe several times and they have always come together really well. I’ve had issues with recipes like it being too crumbly, but not this recipe. It’s a keeper!

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