I consider myself a bit of an energy ball aficionado. These sweet, no bake treats take minutes to throw together, are filled with good-for-you ingredients, and make for quick, portable breakfasts and snacks. 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. 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

Energy balls are the perfect healthy treat! No bake energy balls are gluten free and perfect for healthy snacks and breakfast on the go! 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

Types of Energy Balls

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

There are dozens of recipes for energy balls across the web, several of which can be found on a certain website that rhymes with “swell dated.”

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.

It’s comprised of four basic ingredients.

Primary Ingredients in No Bake Energy Balls

  • Oats. While you can use other flours, oatmeal is the champion. It’s filling, inexpensive, versatile, and gives me the sensation that I’m eating oatmeal cookie dough instead of a healthy snack. YES.
  • Nut butter. Nut butter, like peanut butter or almond butter, helps bind the balls, adds healthy fats, and makes the energy balls sustaining. It’s also delicious.
  • Sticky liquid sweetener (a.k.a. honey or pure maple syrup). 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.
  • Mix-ins! This is where the tasty experimentation begins. I like to do a combination of superfood additions, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with ingredients I love purely for their taste, like chocolate, chopped dried fruit, and did I mention chocolate?

Let’s start with the oats. 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, such as Bob’s Red Mill.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats

Following the oats, we have the binding ingredients: nut butter and honey or maple syrup.

  • I most often use honey and regular old peanut butter, but if you have a peanut allergy or just prefer a different kind of nut butter, any sort can be used.
  • 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.

Next, flaxseeds. Or chia seeds. Or whatever other superfood you bought a giant bag of at Costco on a whim and now need to use up.

You don’t need a food processor to make energy balls and no fancy equipment is needed.

Just pile everything into a bowl.

No Bake Energy Ball ingredients

How to Make No Bake Energy Balls

Now that we have our base, we 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.

If you aren’t a big chocolate fan, we can’t be friends fear not. I have non-chocolate options for you too!

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.

It’s simple, I always have the ingredients I need to make it on hand, and I only need to wash one bowl at the end.

white bowls filled with popular mix-ins for no bake energy balls

With the approach of back to school/life craziness at large, this easy energy ball recipe is also the one that I thought was most important to share with you today.

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.

More Stellar Healthy Energy Ball Recipes

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

Recommended Tools to Make Energy Balls

I have a short video showing you the energy ball step-by-steps, as well as highlighting 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.

sheet pan full of no bake energy balls

No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls

4.99 from 101 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 mins
Total: 40 mins

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



  • 1 1/4 cups  rolled oats you can also swap quick oats or a blend of half quick, half old fashioned
  • 2 tablespoons “power mix-ins” chia seedsflaxseedshemp seeds, or additional rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup nut butter of choice peanut butter is my go-to
  • 1/3 cup sticky liquid sweetener of choice honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins see below for flavor options


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


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


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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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!


  • 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.


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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  1. I have made these energy balls with normal breakfast oats and they come out perfectly. My local shop only had loose bio oats so I used those. I put in nut butter, maple syrup and honey but the mix won’t bind. I think the oats, which are whole pieces, no powdery bits, are too dry. Now I have a very expensive mix in the fridge, but how can I make it bind without adding more sweet ingredients? Could I add some water?

    1. I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the mix, Marian. You could try adding some blended oats to create an oat flour, which should help bind the ingredients together better. I hope this helps!

  2. My sister-in-law recommended this recipe and I have been making it regularly for a long time with quick oats, regular smooth peanut butter (e.g., JIF, not runny peanut butter), honey, chia seeds, and mini chocolate chips. We *absolutely* love these and find it hard to not go through them too quickly! They are so great to add into my husband’s packed lunch or as a small sweet addition to my toddlers’s lunch. I do have a question though – curious if you could form the balls and then freeze them? I would love to make a bunch of batches ahead of time as we are having a baby soon and it would be great to have a stock to pull from in our deep freezer!5 stars

    1. Hi Abigail! Yes you can! I have the information listed in the blog post and recipe card about how to store them. So glad you enjoyed them!

  3. I noticed for each of your 6 types, your add ins include more nut butter and more honey/syrup, but I don’t see and amount. Do we need to add more butter and honey in addition to the base recipe, and if so, how much?
    Thanks! Carla

    1. Hi Carla! It actually doesn’t say to include more of nut butters or sweeteners it’s just telling you which to use based off the base recipe. For example for the white chocolate cranberry: the base recipe says 1/2 cup peanut butter but for this one you are using 1/2 cup almond butter or cashew butter instead. Also the sweetener for this one is honey so you are using 1/3 cup honey. Then you are including the add ins of cranberries and white chocolate chips. Does that make sense?

  4. Can you not use any sweetener? Will it still be good/hold together with almond butter if I don’t add sweetener? Honey and maple syrup are pretty expensive to use that quantity regularly, and we are also trying to cut back on sugar in our house. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Megan, I’ve only tested this recipe as written but I do know you’ll need a liquid sweetener for them. I do have other energy ball recipes that call for less honey/maple syrup that you might like: https://www.wellplated.com/?s=energy+balls

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