No bake chocolate protein bars are a quick, easy, and healthy snack! They are vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, and easily customizable for keto and paleo diets. These homemade protein bars taste like a delicious dessert, but they are secretly good for you. Combine your favorite chocolate protein powder with peanut butter, cocoa, almond flour, and maple syrup to make this nutritious post workout treat. Made in just 10 minutes with simple ingredients!

a stack of homemade vegan chocolate protein bars

Homemade vegan protein bars

If you have ever browsed the protein bar section of a grocery chain, you’ll know what I mean when I say there’s an endless supply of options to choose from. However, those options are not always the best. After scanning the ingredients label on nearly every bar, you’ve probably (a) walked away in disappointment or (b) knowingly settled for a mediocre bar.

You may have wondered, “Why are they all filled with weird ingredients? Why is sugar the first ingredient in so many of these bars? Wait, why is refined sugar even IN these supposed health bars?” If you’ve been searching for a protein bar that’s made with minimal ingredients, truly healthy, and tastes DELICIOUS, I have just the recipe for you!

These homemade chocolate protein bars are made with no refined sugar, no dairy, and no additives. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create a high protein snack that tastes like dessert. Nobody will guess that they are actually good for you!

These chocolate protein bars are:

  • Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and grain-free
  • Soft, chewy, peanut buttery, and rich with chocolate flavor
  • Keto and paleo-friendly
  • A low carb & high protein snack
  • Super quick & easy // ready in 10 minutes
  • Refined sugar-free & sweetened with real maple syrup
  • A nutritious way to satisfy your chocolate cravings!
no bake chocolate protein bars on white parchment paper with one of them on its side

What are chocolate protein bars made of?

  • Chocolate protein powder: The key ingredient! This is the main source of protein and it provides chocolate flavor. You can use any type – like pea, brown rice, hemp, and more. If you aren’t vegan, the recipe will still work with non-vegan powders like whey protein.
  • Peanut butter: I absolutely love the flavor of peanut butter, but you can replace it with another variety like almond butter, cashew butter, or even hazelnut butter. For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter or tahini instead.
  • Maple syrup: These are made with no refined sugar, so they are sweetened with maple syrup instead. You can substitute it with another liquid sweetener and achieve pretty similar results, like agave nectar or coconut nectar. Honey will work, but it is thicker and stickier so just keep that in mind. You may want to adjust the other ingredients if you use honey.
  • Almond flour: Ground almonds, also known as almond flour, helps bind the dough together. It is grain-free and gluten-free, so don’t be tricked by the word “flour” in its name.
  • Cocoa powder: For rich chocolate flavor, add cocoa or cacao powder to the dough.
  • Chocolate chips: Top them with your favorite chocolate chips.
  • Coconut oil: This is an optional ingredient used in the chocolate topping, but I really recommend adding it. Coconut oil helps to create a runnier consistency so the melted chocolate spreads more easily. Additionally, it softens the chocolate layer so it won’t break apart when you slice the bars.
  • Vanilla extract: For added sweetness and warmth. I’m a firm believer that no treat is complete without a dash of vanilla extract.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt complements the rich chocolate. Don’t skip it!
bowls of chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, almond flour, peanut butter, chocolate chips, maple syrup, and vanilla extract

How to make 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, combine the peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, maple syrup, almond flour, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together to form a chocolate dough.

Next, line a square baking dish with parchment paper. This helps prevent the dough from sticking to the pan.

Then, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir in between, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Pour the melted chocolate over the dough and evenly spread it.

Chill them in the freezer for 5 minutes or until the chocolate sets. After, slice into bars and enjoy!

no bake chocolate protein bars on white parchment paper with flaky sea salt on top

Recipe variations

This recipe is so versatile. You can customize it and make adjustments meet your specific dietary needs.

  • Keto: use sugar-free maple syrup and stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
  • Paleo: be sure to use almond butter instead of peanut butter, and paleo versions of the other ingredients
  • Sugar-free: simply use maple syrup, protein powder, and chocolate chips that contain no added sugar
  • Peanut-free: use another nut butter, like almond butter or cashew butter
  • Nut-free: skip the nut butter and use sunflower seed butter or a sweetened tahini instead

Tips for perfecting this recipe

Add flaky salt on top. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of the bars to decorate. It also adds a delicious sweet and salty flavor!

How to make clean-cut slices: Place the knife under hot running water for 15 seconds. Dry the knife with a clean paper towel, then slice the bars. Be sure to wipe the knife clean between each cut.

Use your favorite protein powder. The powder is one of the main ingredients in this recipe. Therefore, make sure you use a brand that you truly love! You can get creative and use a uniquely-flavored protein, like mint chocolate, caramel, coffee, etc.

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.

Storage: Store these vegan protein bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 1 week. The bars are also freezer-friendly; they’ll keep for up to 3 months inside the freezer. I recommend placing a square of parchment paper between each one to keep them from sticking together.

three no bake chocolate protein bars stacked on top of each other

More vegan protein bar recipes

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a stack of homemade vegan chocolate protein bars

No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Snack, Dessert
  • Method: Mix, no-bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

No bake chocolate protein bars are a quick, easy, and healthy snack! These homemade protein bars are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, and customizable for keto and paleo diets. They’re made in 10 minutes with peanut butter, almond flour, cocoa, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. That’s right – no refined sugar! Enjoy them as a post workout dessert. #protein #proteinbar #chocolatepeanutbutter #peanutbutterbars #nobakedesserts #vegansnack


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (optional, see notes)

Instructions

  1. Combine peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, maple syrup, almond flour, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt in a bowl. Mix together to form a ball of dough.
  2. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper. Press the dough across the bottom of the dish.
  3. Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir together, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Pour melted chocolate over the dough and spread in an even layer.
  4. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes or until the chocolate sets. Slice into 8-12 bars, depending on your preferred size. Add flaky sea salt on top (optional) and enjoy!

Notes

  • Coconut oil is an optional ingredient, but it provides two benefits. First, it helps to create a runnier consistency so the melted chocolate spreads easily. Second, it softens the chocolate layer so it won’t break apart when you slice the bars. I highly recommend keeping it in the recipe.
  • Store the bars in a sealed container inside the refrigerator. They will keep for 1 week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
  • Nutrition information below uses stevia-sweetened chocolate chips.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 15g

Keywords: homemade protein bars, no bake chocolate protein bars

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