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Energy Balls are sweet, no bake treats that take minutes to throw together, are filled with good-for-you ingredients, and make for quick, portable breakfasts and snacks. Today, I’m sharing that master recipe for energy balls, along with all sorts of tasty ways to use it to create different energy ball flavors.

titled photo collage - Ultimate Guide on How to Make Energy Balls

I have made dozens of batches of energy ball recipes over the years, and while I’m constantly looking for fun ways to vary them up, inevitably, they come back to one simple, foolproof formula.

This is the ONLY Energy Ball recipe you’ll ever need.

Plus I’ve created six easy no bake energy ball flavor ideas!

primary ingredients used to make no bake energy balls

5 Star Review

“This is been my go to snack for over a year! Everyone loves them! Even the picky children in my life. My favorite lunch snack, the opportunities are endless, I just changed it up (nuts, chocolates or fruits) and its a whole new amazing dessert?

— Kelsey —

Types of Energy Balls

Energy balls go by a variety of different names; energy bites, protein balls, power balls, and vegan truffles are but a few.

As much as I love trying different energy ball recipes and techniques, today’s basic energy ball recipe is the little black dress of them all.

Primary Ingredients in No Bake Energy Balls

My tried-and-true energy ball recipe is comprised of four basic ingredients.

Oats

  • While you can use other flours, oatmeal is the champion.
  • Rolled oats are filling, inexpensive, versatile, and gives me the sensation that I’m eating oatmeal cookie dough instead of a healthy snack. YES.

Gluten Free Energy Balls

  • One of the questions I receive most often from readers is how I can state that my oatmeal recipes are gluten free, when most oats on the market run the risk of being cross-contaminated with gluten, a real concern for those diagnosed with celiac.
  • My answer is to look for a brand that is labeled certified gluten free.
Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats

Nut Butter

  • Nut butter, like peanut butter or almond butter, helps bind the balls.
  • It adds healthy fats, making the energy balls sustaining.
  • Nut butter is delicious!

Nut-Free Energy Balls

If you have a peanut allergy or just prefer a different kind of nut butter, any sort can be used. Use sunflower seed butter to make the energy balls nut free.

Natural Peanut Butter

If you opt for the drippy “natural” refrigerated nut butter, your batter may be extra sticky. Simply add a few more tablespoons of oats to even it out, and you will be ready to roll.

Sticky Liquid Sweetener

  • Honey or pure maple syrup can be used to bind the energy balls.
  • I use honey the most, but maple syrup is a really nice option if you’d like vegan energy balls or are making a recipe like these Pumpkin Energy Balls where the maple syrup’s flavor complements the other ingredients.

What About Dates?

Some energy ball recipes use dates (like these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls) as the sweetening ingredients.

Dates do require you to bust out the food processor, so when you are in a hurry or want to keep it as quick and easy as possible, energy balls without dates like these are the move.

Mix-Ins!

  • This is where the tasty experimentation begins.
  • I like to do a combination of superfood additions, such as ground flaxseed and chia seeds (or whatever other superfood you bought a giant bag of at Costco on a whim and now need to use up), along with ingredients I love purely for their taste, like chocolate, chopped dried fruit, and did I mention chocolate?
  • Vanilla extract is a must!
  • If you aren’t a big chocolate fan, we can’t be friends fear not. I have non-chocolate options for you too!
No Bake Energy Ball ingredients

How to Make No Bake Energy Balls

  • You don’t need a food processor to make energy balls and no fancy equipment is needed.
  • While there are many other methods to make energy balls that range from soaking and blending dried fruit in the food processor to using assorted grains and nut flours instead of oatmeal, today’s master oatmeal energy ball recipe is the one I return to again and again.
  • This recipe is simple, I always have the ingredients I need to make it on hand, and I only need to wash one bowl at the end.

Just pile everything into a large mixing bowl and stir!

  • Start with the oats.
  • Following the oats, add the binding ingredients: nut butter and honey or maple syrup.

Now that you have your base, you are ready for the good stuff: mix-ins!

  • While I’ve tried enough different mix-in combos to open an energy balls food truck, I most often find myself choosing chocolate chips and…whatever else I can find in my pantry.

Energy balls = legit excuse to eat chocolate at all times of day.

I like this math.

Energy Ball Variations

  • Chocolate Chip. The classic! I like mini chocolate chips for energy balls.
  • Oatmeal Raisin. Especially good with almond or cashew butter. Add a pinch of cinnamon too.
  • White Chocolate Cranberry. Use almond or cashew butter, honey, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.
  • Double Chocolate. Twice as nice! Add cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips.
  • Almond Joy. Candy bar goes snack. Use unsweetened shredded coconut, almond butter, chocolate chips, and chopped almonds.
  • Trail Mix. A little bit of everything. Use peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, chopped peanuts, and raisins.
white bowls filled with popular mix-ins for no bake energy balls

A Fast and Fabulous Snack

From back-to-school to the holidays to getting by day-to-day, life is BUSY.

This easy energy ball recipe is here for you.

They take just 10 minutes to prep, can last 2 weeks in the refrigerator or in the freezer forever (or until you remember they are in there and immediately eat them), and are endlessly adaptable, so you’ll never tire of them.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • To Freeze. Energy balls can save in freezer for up to 3 months in freezer-safe airtight container. Ziplock bags work great for this.

More Stellar Healthy Energy Ball Recipes

Even beyond the variations included in this guide, I have these additional healthy energy ball recipes, such as energy balls with dates, added protein powder, and some extra fun flavors!

small white plate with a stack of no bake energy balls with chocolate chips and dried fruits

Below I’ve detailed the energy ball step-by-steps, as well as highlighted a few of my favorite combos.

Once you’ve worked your way through those, be sure to check out the other energy ball recipes linked above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Energy Balls Good For You?

No bake energy balls are a perfect healthy snack, treat, and breakfast on the go. They are balanced with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Energy balls for runners, kids, grandma, and anyone between!

How Long Do Energy Balls Last at Room Temperature?

Energy balls will last a few days at room temperature. To make them last longer, store in fridge.

Can I Make Energy Balls Without the Sweetener?

The stickiness of the maple syrup or honey is not just for a touch of sweetness, but also essential to binding together the ingredients.

Energy Balls

4.86 from 224 votes
The only Energy Ball recipe you’ll ever need, plus six no-bake energy ball flavors! Start with this easy base recipe, then add any of your favorite mix-ins.

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 18 (1-inch) balls, approx.

Ingredients
  

ENERGY BALL BASE:

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP:

  • Any nut butter honey, 1/2 cup chocolate chips

TRAIL MIX:

  • Peanut butter honey, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts, 2 tablespoons raisins

WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY:

  • Almond butter or cashew butter, honey, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

ALMOND JOY:

  • Replace 1/2 cup of the oatmeal with 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes almond butter, any sweetener, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup chopped almonds

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE:

  • Any nut butter any sweetener, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, ADD 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE:

  • Almond butter or cashew butter, maple syrup, 1/2 cup raisins, ADD 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl: oats, power mix-ins, nut butter, sweetener, vanilla extract, salt, mix-ins, and any other spices you’d like to add. Stir to combine. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit more oats. If it’s too dry, add a bit more nut butter. It should resemble a somewhat sticky dough that holds together when lightly squeezed. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set (this will make the balls easier to roll later on).
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and portion the dough into balls of desired size. (I use a cookie scoop to make mine approximately 1 inch in diameter). Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Store leftover energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • For nut allergies: In place of the almond or peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball (nutrition info for Classic Chocolate Chip variation)Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 115mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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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 wellplated.com 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!

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418 Comments

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  1. Hi, can I used rolled oats? I did it for 2x with rolled oats and I’m wondering if it will come out the same? If not, I read someone baked them?

    1. Hi Vicky, I’m a little confused. These are made with rolled oats. Also I give in the recipe card ways to swap out the oats if trying to use a different variety. Enjoy!

  2. The ultimate energy ball recipe!!! I love that this recipe includes SO MANY variations. The directions are clear, easy to follow and there are options to make them using the ingredients you already have. We love energy balls and this is the very best recipe out there! Thank you for simplifying this for all of us to enjoy.5 stars

  3. These did something I thought energy balls never could, taste like what they are called. Just did the oatmeal cookie one and omg it was like eating oatmeal cookie dough. I used almond butter and it complimented the oats really well ( made them more oaty) and used cranberries as raisins not very popular in my neck of the woods.

    Made a bit smaller so could feel like I was having more.5 stars

  4. What a wonderful easy to make treat. I’ve made several of the variations, and all of them are delicious! I’ve been sharing them with friends and they all want the recipe. With the weather being so warm I don’t have to heat up the oven , and they are such a nice change from the usual no bake treats.5 stars

  5. I loved these base recipe ideas. I made one that was a mixture or two recipes and the kids tasted it and were like mom, never make it any other way again! I’m excited to experiment and get some different flavor combinations going. I typically make these in bulk to being to events when we need a healthy meal on the go and just pack fruit and veggies to go with the energy balls. They do not disappoint.5 stars

    1. Hi Sammie! I haven’t used dates in this particular recipe but I do use them in this one: https://www.wellplated.com/fig-almond-no-bake-energy-bites/ Hope this helps!

  6. Delicious! Using sunbutter and hemp seed, my add ins were chocolate chips and pepitas. So delicious and an easy go to for breakfast on the move. Much appreciated…5 stars

  7. When using maple syrup, can it be substituted with a sugar free syrup? Also, does protein powder mix in well with these?

    1. Hi Heather! I haven’t tried it myself, but you can play around with adding protein powder, others have tried it. You’ll need to add some additional nut butter and/or honey to offset the fact that the protein powder will probably make them more dry. The good news, however, is that nut butter has more protein AND offers healthy fats, so you’ll still be getting a nice nutritional boost. You could also try these cookie dough balls, which already have protein powder added. https://www.wellplated.com/no-bake-protein-balls/

  8. This is my go to recipe for energy balls. I’ve recently discovered using unsweetened applesauce in place of maple syrup or honey. It works perfectly. Less sugar! I also use natural peanut butter. Thank you for such a versatile recipe!5 stars

  9. Hi Erin,

    Love the recipes!

    Any advice on how to make it shelf stable in room temperature? Will storing it in vaccum packs help? Thanks!

    1. Jen, these will get soft at room temp, so it just depends on how much that bothers you. I don’t think you need to vaccum seal.

  10. Perfect recipe! Just tried this recipe last week using the chocolate chip version. So great & will be making more if the others as my go to snack. Thank you so much!

  11. Total hit with the chocolate chip version my 9 year old has one before and one after cheer practice!…she loves them!5 stars

  12. Thank you, Fabulous recipe! Subbed 1/4 c of oats for protein powder. Needed a bit more almond butter, but held together well. Great base for a variety of mix in options. These are even better than the ones they sell at my gym!5 stars

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