The BEST Protein Bars are healthy, no-bake, and contain nothing artificial! These are chewy, delicious, easy to customize, and are the perfect healthy snack.

Looking for more healthy snacks? Try my Energy Balls, Applesauce, Carrot Muffins, or learn how to make The Perfect Charcuterie Board.

Homemade protein bars made with oats and peanut butter.

Why I love this recipe:

No Bake – No heating up the house, and only takes 10 minutes to throw the ingredients together and put in the fridge.

Healthy – Nothing artificial here. These bars are filled with normal pantry ingredients and sweetened with honey.

Taste Delicious – I’ve had one to many unappetizing protein bars in my life, so I’m all about making them from scratch, with ingredients I recognize, and they taste wonderful!

Ingredients in Protein Bars:

  • Rolled Oats – quick oats would also work.
  • Protein Powder – Add your favorite whey or plant based protein powder including Chocolate, vanilla, or plain flavored.
  • Peanut Butter – or substitute any nut butter or sunflower butter.
  • Honey – Naturally sweetened and no added sugar. You could substitute agave.
  • Ground Flax Seed
  • Banana – mashed, for sweetness flavor and binding.
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Mix-Ins – I like to customize my bars with chopped dates, dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, or raisins), mini chocolate chips, or unsweetened coconut flakes.
Labeled ingredients needed to make Protein Bars.

How to make Protein Bars:

Combine Ingredients: Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Press firmly into an 8×8 inch pan.

Protein Bar ingredients mixed together in a bowl.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars.

A pan with chilled protein bar mixture pressed into it, ready to cut into bars.

Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

Freezing Instructions:

Layer bars in a freezer safe bag or container, with a piece of parchment paper between layers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter before eating.

Recipe Variations:

  • Mix-Ins: Customize these bars with your favorite mix-ins! Some ideas: chopped dates, dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, or raisins), mini chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, crispy rice cereal, chopped nuts, or anything you like!
  • Nut Butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter.
  • Protein Powder: Use your favorite kind. Chocolate, vanilla, or plain would all work great for this recipe!
  • Vegan Protein Bars Recipe: Use your favorite vegan protein powder.

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Recipe

Homemade protein bars.
Prep 10 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter , or favorite nut butter or sunflower butter
  • 1 banana , mashed
  • 1/3 cup honey , agave or real maple syrup
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup protein powder*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Mix in options: chopped dates, dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, or raisins), mini chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, nuts

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients until well combined. Mixture should be fairly soft and not dry or crumbly. Add a splash of water or milk, or an extra drizzle of honey, if needed.
  • Press very firmly into an 8×8 inch pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars.
  • Store bars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Freezing Instructions: Layer bars in a freezer safe bag or container, with a piece of parchment paper between layers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter before eating.
Protein Powder: Use your favorite kind. Chocolate, vanilla, or plain would all work great for this recipe, or try half protein powder and half unflavored collagen peptides.
Chocolate Protein Bars: Use chocolate protein powder. 
Nut Butter: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter.
Vegan Protein Bars Recipe: Use your favorite vegan protein powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 10gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 64mgPotassium: 187mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 23IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 1mg

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About The Author

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very tasty and feel good about the “real” ingredients. I made a couple changes only to use what I had on hand. I used monk fruit as my sweetener and used chia seeds in place of the flax. Also used natural peanut butter and a few drops of water. Will make again. Maybe with dried apples and cinnamon.

  2. 5 stars
    These are not just the best protein bars I have eaten but one of the tastiest bars I have ever eater-thank you!
    As I am on a nutrition plan, it would be very helpful to know if calories etc. are based on a serving or a 100g basis. Many thanks

  3. 5 stars
    De-licious!!! My husband needs to eat when taking a night time med. the pharmacist recommended protein bars but I wanted to be able to control the sugar. The are great!

  4. 5 stars
    These are delicious. I switched the peanut butter to peanut butter powder for health purposes and just reconstituted it with water. I also used sugar-free chocolate chips. They are so good… No store-bought protein bar compares!

  5. Thank you so much for the recipe! I’m putting them in the fridge to harden now.

    Do you know how long will they last at room temp vs the fridge?

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made lots of protein bars and I think this is one of the better recipes. It was important for me to get at least 12g of protein without having high fat and this recipe does it. I threw in some pumpkin spice. I will make this again. Thanks Lauren

  7. 5 stars
    So delicious and easy!! I used exact recipe and added some raisins. I’m looking forward to trying the different variations. My non vegan, picky, sugar freak fiancé even loved these!!

  8. 4 stars
    After reviewing comments, I made the following changes.
    I pulsed the oats in my food processor so they are not so big.

    Used 1/4 cup peanut butter & 1/2 cup almond butter to make up 3/4 cup
    Used equal parts honey and maple syrup to make up 1/3 cup
    1/3 cup flax instead of 1/2 cup
    1/2 cup protein powder instead of 1 cup

    Added mini chocolate chips, almond slivers and chopped dried cranberries

    The bars turned out very moist and not too overpowering from protein powder. This will be my go to protein bar recipe.

    YUM!

  9. 5 stars
    I just made these for the second time. This time I made a double batch and froze half for postpartum to come home and know there’s a healthy snack for me.
    I added 1/2 cup golden raisins, 3/4 cup pepitas, and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
    I only used 1/2 the suggested protein powder (used Orgain Organic Vanilla) and instead added more oats for the sake of texture.
    I love this recipe. It’s so delicious everyone in my house eats them and enjoys them. I love how easy it is to make.

  10. 2 stars
    One whole cup of protein powder really messed this up. Tastes sooo bad and is incredibly dry. Maybe try 1/4 and I think this would be better

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t like it. You could try half protein powder and half unflavored collagen peptides!

  11. 5 stars
    Have been using this “Base” recipe for months now creating different variations of protein flavors and add-ins. It is really truly a great foundation for a low cost protein bar. I have found that they come together easier by pulsing/blending the whole oats into a powdery chopped mixture before mixing with the other ingredients.

  12. My mix turned out incredibly dry even after tons of mixing. I had to throw in some applesauce to get it to be moldable as there was still a lot of powder that could not be absorbed. Maybe because my banana was too small? Not sure. But hopefully they will still taste good!

    1. I had the opposite problem! Haha! Perhaps my bananas were too large! My mixture was very gooey, so I kept adding more dry ingredients. I finally had to stop because I didn’t want 100lb of bars. I put in the fridge for a couple of hours and they were sooo soft (like eat-with-a-spoon soft). I moved them to the freezer overnight, which firmed them up a bit. But they were still softer than I’d like. The flavor was good though. I think next time I’ll gradually add the banana and maybe use unprepared PB2, slowly adding water.

  13. 5 stars
    Making this as a care package for my cousin! First time making protein bars and they are so good! Will definitely be making them again!

  14. This looks like a great recipe, and I love how you can customize it! One question: I have an allergy to bananas. What do you think might make a good substitute? I was thinking maybe dates?

  15. 5 stars
    Very tasty. Mine didn’t bar up very well, but this is perhaps because I omitted the honey/agave. I might try them again and roll into small balls rolled in coconut instead of forming a bar. Excellent as a topping for plain, non fat Greek yogurt such as Fage.

  16. 5 stars
    Love these! It seems we always have a batch on hand. The kids love them and they’re great for snacks, to take on the go, etc.

  17. 5 stars
    Lauren, I plan to make these using PB fit peanut butter powder mixed with water. It is 87% less fat than regular peanut butter. Do you ever use baking stevia or monk fruit?

    1. Would love to hear how your bars come out! Lauren doesn’t normally use stevia or monk fruit but it should work great for you. Enjoy the bars!

  18. This recipe looks delicious & so easy. I plan on trying it! It looks like I have all the ingredients except the protein powder!