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No-bake chocolate peanut butter protein bars are one of the best high protein snacks! They are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made keto or paleo. These homemade protein bars are made with healthy ingredients like peanut butter, almond flour, and real maple syrup. Enjoy them as a midday snack or post workout dessert. They’re easy to make and ready in just 10 minutes!
With so many brands of protein bars on the market, it may seem daunting to create your own at home. I mean, how could the homemade kind possibly compare to all the rest? Well, let me tell you… dreams really do come true! These no-bake chocolate peanut butter protein bars are even better than the ones you’ll find at a grocery store.
What’s so great about homemade protein bars? Well, unlike the store bought kind, they are made with no refined sugar, no preservatives, and no additives. Yet, they are loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and a delicious taste. Essentially, you’re getting all the good stuff and none of the junk. Oh, and you’re saving money in the process. Win-win!
These protein bars are reminiscent of peanut butter cups in both taste and texture. So if you’ve been looking for a way to satisfy your sweet tooth in a nutritious way, this is the snack for you. At last, you can enjoy the unbeatable duo of rich chocolate + creamy peanut butter while actually sticking to a healthy diet. (Yay!)
These chocolate peanut butter protein bars are:
- Vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free
- Soft, chewy, sweet, and salty
- Refined sugar-free & naturally sweetened with maple syrup
- A high protein, 10 minute snack
- Made with 8 ingredients using pantry staples
- Easily customizable for keto and paleo diets
- A healthy way to curb chocolate cravings
What are no-bake peanut butter protein bars made of?
- Protein powder: Use your favorite peanut butter protein powder or vanilla protein powder. Any kind can be used, like brown rice, pea, soy, hemp, and more. If you do not follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, you can use whey protein.
- Peanut butter: The key ingredient for a rich, creamy, peanut buttery flavor. If you are a peanut-free household, use sunflower seed butter instead.
- Maple syrup: These protein bars are sweetened with real maple syrup. You may be able to use another liquid sweetener (like coconut nectar or agave nectar) and achieve similar results.
- Almond flour: Almond flour is made from ground almonds. It helps bind the ingredients together into a moldable dough.
- Chocolate chips: Use your favorite chocolate chips to top the peanut butter layer.
- Coconut oil: This helps thin the melted chocolate, which allows it to spread easily across the bars. It also softens the chocolate topping, reducing the chance of it breaking apart when you slice them. Coconut oil is optional, but I recommend including it for these reasons.
- Vanilla extract: A dash of vanilla is needed for the sweet peanut butter layer.
- Salt: Add a pinch of salt for a salty-sweet taste.
How to make peanut butter protein bars
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
First, add protein powder, peanut butter, maple syrup, almond flour, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl. Mix together until dough forms.
Second, line a square baking dish with parchment paper. This is an important step! It will prevent the dough from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Third, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate over the dough. Spread in an even layer across the dish.
Finally, chill the bars in the freezer for 5 minutes or until the chocolate sets. Gently slice 8-12 bars, depending on your preferred size. Enjoy!
These homemade chocolate peanut butter protein bars are easily customizable. You can make various adjustments within the recipe to meet your own dietary needs.
- Peanut-free: replace the peanut butter with sunflower seed butter
- Keto: use keto-friendly ingredient swaps, like stevia-sweetened maple syrup
- Sugar-free: choose sugar-free brands for the maple syrup and chocolate chips
- Paleo: be sure to use almond butter instead of peanut butter
- Nut-free: use sweetened tahini or sunflower seed butter
Tips for making homemade protein bars
Here are all my tips to make the best protein bars at home. Perfect this recipe, and you’ll never want to buy the store bought bars again!
Use peanut butter protein powder. For a rich peanut buttery flavor, I recommend using a high-quality peanut butter protein powder. If you don’t have (or cannot find) this flavor, vanilla protein powder will work too.
Do not pack the protein powder. Instead, gently spoon the protein powder into a measuring cup. If you pack the protein powder into the measuring cup, you will use too much and the protein bars will be very dry.
Salt the bars. I love adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top. It not only adds a delicious salty-sweet flavor, but it also decorates the protein bars!
How to make clean slices: Have you ever cut into a homemade dessert and caused it to crumble all over the place? This tip will change your life. Follow the simple steps below.
- Place a large knife under hot running water for 15 seconds.
- Wipe the knife dry with a paper towel.
- Immediately slice the bars, wiping the knife clean between each cut.
How to store them
Place the vegan protein bars in a sealed container. Keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longterm storage, keep them inside the freezer for up to 3 months. I recommend placing a square of parchment paper between each bar to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer.
More vegan protein bar recipes
- Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Brownie Protein Bars
- Protein Truffles
- Cookie Dough Protein Bars
- Birthday Cake Protein Bars
If you try these No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!Print
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 bars 1x
- Category: Snack, Dessert
- Method: Mix, No Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
No bake chocolate peanut butter protein bars are an easy and healthy snack! These homemade protein bars are vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, and can be keto or paleo. They are a great high protein snack or post workout dessert. Made in just 10 minutes with pantry staples like peanut butter, almond flour, and maple syrup. #protein #proteinbar #chocolatepeanutbutter #peanutbutterbars #vegansnack #snackrecipes #snackideas
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup peanut butter protein powder (or vanilla)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips (or more)
- 2 tsp coconut oil (optional, see notes)
- Combine peanut butter, protein powder, maple syrup, almond flour, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Mix together until dough forms.
- Line a square baking dish with parchment paper. Press the dough across the bottom of the dish.
- Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted. Pour melted chocolate over the dough. Spread across the dough in an even layer.
- Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes or until the chocolate sets. Gently slice into 8-12 bars, depending on your preferred size. Add flaky sea salt on top (optional) and enjoy!
- Coconut oil is an optional ingredient, but I recommend including it. First, coconut oil helps thin the melted chocolate. This allows it to spread easily across the bars. Second, it softens the chocolate layer which prevents it from breaking apart when you slice the bars.
- Store these protein bars in a sealed container inside the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longterm storage, store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Nutrition information below uses stevia-sweetened chocolate chips.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 240
- Sugar: 6g
- Fat: 15g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 16g
Keywords: peanut butter protein bars, homemade protein bars, post workout snack
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I would like to make this as low carb as possible. 18g is nearly 1/4 of my daily carbs so could I replace the maple syrup with some monk fruit and add more peanut butter if it’s dry?
Hi, Cat! Yes, you can certainly try replacing the maple syrup with monk fruit and adding extra peanut butter as needed. The only potential issue is that the extra peanut butter still won’t provide enough moisture. Instead, I would play around with the dough by adding extra melted coconut oil or splashes of milk/non-dairy milk. It will take some trial & error, but it should be doable! Alternatively, you can purchase keto-friendly maple syrup. It is thinner than regular maple syrup, but it might provide better results. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
Hi, I really want to make these, I have gluten free flour but no protein powder.
Should I just add some more peanut butter?
Hi Pamela! This recipe uses almond flour because it can be consumed raw. I do not recommend using gluten-free baking flour. If you don’t have protein powder, you can replace it with extra almond flour. Enjoy! xo
Omg I needed something for my sweet tooth, I’m going to cut it into 24 pieces and try and make it last, lol 😂 Which peanut butter is used in this recipe, if I may ask? Conventional or natural no sugar added peanut butter?
Thank you for this recipe ☺️
Lol! Good luck trying to eat just 1 of the 24 pieces at a time 😉 JK! That’s a great idea to make them last longer. I used a peanut butter brand called Maranatha. It has a thicker, creamier, no-stir type of consistency. I don’t recommend using super runny peanut butter because it will likely be too thin and the bars might not hold together. I think the thicker kinds work better because they almost act as “glue” to hold everything. Enjoy! 🙂
Can you use oatflour instead of the almond?
Hi, Olivia! I highly recommend sticking with almond flour, but you can use oat flour if needed! Keep in mind the fact that oat flour is drier than almond flour, so you will likely want to add a bit extra maple syrup and peanut butter to the recipe 🙂
Is the 240 for if you slice it into 8 squares or 12?
Hi! That is for 12 bars. 🙂
Thank you, I’m excited to try them 🙂
OMG. These homemade protein bars are SO DELICIOUS! I won’t buy protein bars from the store anymore because these are so easy and tasty! Thank you for this recipe 😊 I love them!
Thank you so much, Taylor!! 🙂
Can you substitute regular peanut butter and use powdered peanut butter instead
Hi, Gary! I have not tried this recipe with powdered peanut butter instead. However, if you make the powdered peanut butter super thick (as close to regular peanut butter as possible) it might work. I cannot guarantee it, but it’s worth a try? Let me know how it goes if you try it out! 🙂
What kind of protein powder do you use?
Hey, Emily! There are several brands that I like. My current favorites include ALOHA, Garden of Life, and KOS 🙂
Hi, Kaylie! This looks so good! Do you think it would be possible to sub the almond flour for the same quantity of our flour? Also, do you recommend refined or unrefined coconut oil?
Hi, Bea! Yes, I think oat flour can replace almond flour. Oat flour is drier than almond flour (almonds naturally have more moisture) so you may end up using less. I recommend refined coconut oil for no coconut flavor. Enjoy! 🙂