My wildest dreams are coming true because, thanks to these easy no bake Protein Balls, cookie dough is now a health food!

a bowl of no bake protein balls

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Clean-eating approved, low carb, and protein-packed, these healthy energy bites taste like chocolate chip cookie dough but are made entirely from wholesome, good-for-you ingredients.

As someone who mutates into Oscar the Grouch when she’s hungry, I’m constantly looking for easy, healthy snack ideas.

Call it hanger-management.

These cookie dough protein balls are everything I could ask for in a healthy snack:

  • Quick and Easy. We’re talking one bowl, no baking. Like my reader favorite Energy Balls recipe, you don’t need to use a food processor.
  • Low in Sugar. Just 1 ½ tablespoons of honey is all you need to sweeten these protein balls, so they are good for you and will help you avoid energy crashes.
  • High Protein. These pack 7+ grams of protein per ball, which is impressive for a from-scratch recipe. One or two of these keeps me full.
  • TOTALLY DELISH. Did I mention that they taste like chocolate chip cookie dough?
a bowl of chocolate chip protein balls

5 Star Review

“Made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making these again very soon.”

— Max —

How to Make High Protein Balls

Not all protein balls or energy balls are good for you. Many recipes are so sugar packed, they are better enjoyed for dessert.

Further, if energy balls are low in fiber or protein, they’ll often hide a large number of calories, without actually filling you up.

With all of my energy ball and energy bar recipes, I keep the added sugars to a minimum, use natural ingredients, and pack in as much protein and fiber as possible. These protein balls are no exception!


almond butter, honey, chocolate chips, and protein powder, and almond milk for making protein balls

The Ingredients

  • Vanilla Protein Powder. Protein powder is not just for serious weightlifters or that guy at the gym whose t-shirt is too tight. I regularly add protein powder to my smoothies and no bake recipes like this one to make them more satisfying and ensure my body has the fuel it needs. You do not need to worry that it will make you bulk up, trust me!

Substitution Tip!

  • I most often use whey protein powder (this is the vanilla one I buy). If you’d like these protein balls vegan, you can swap your favorite plant-based protein powder (my sister loves this one).
  • Vanilla protein balls are not the only option! You can use chocolate protein powder to make chocolate protein balls or swap in another flavor you enjoy. Chocolate fans, be sure to check out these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.
  • Coconut Flour. This once-trendy ingredient is now mainstream. Coconut flour can be used instead of oats in protein balls. It’s incredibly high in fiber, protein, and gives a rich texture to baked goods—or, in the case of these protein balls, to no-bake goods. Use it to make any of these coconut flour recipes.

Substitution Tip

To make these coconut protein balls with oats instead, swap in blended oats, a.k.a. oat flour (a similar trick works in this Chickpea Cookie Dough).

  • Nut Butter. More protein, along with heart-healthy fats. Also, soooooo tasty. Feel free to swap peanut butter instead (what I use in my go-to Peanut Butter Protein Bars).
  • Honey. Just 1 ½ tablespoons is all you need.

Tip!

Like oats, coconut flour is heat treated before it is packaged. It’s safe to eat raw oats in energy balls, as well as raw coconut flour (the heat treatment means it is not truly raw).

The Directions

healthy protein ball batter in a bowl
  1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Adjust the amount of almond milk/coconut flour until you have a consistency that’s easy to roll.
  2. Roll into 12 balls and refrigerate. Enjoy!

Dietary Note

To make these energy balls vegan, swap pure maple syrup for the honey. If you prefer energy balls or bars with dates, check out this recipe for No Bake Pumpkin Energy Balls or Vegan Protein Bars.

  • Dark Chocolate Chips. Hello, antioxidants. And chocolate.
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk. To help hold the protein balls together.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate protein balls for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator (really, I feel these last practically indefinitely but we never have them around that long!). I love eating these right out of the refrigerator, but you can let them stand at room temperature first if you prefer.
  • To Freeze. Place the energy balls in an airtight storage container or ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Meal Prep Tip

Make a double batch, store half in the refrigerator, then freeze the other half for healthy snacks on demand.

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

All-Purpose Mixing Bowls

This stacking set is easy to store and versatile.

These Paleo Protein Balls taste EXACTLY like chocolate chip cookie dough! Easy no bake energy bites made with coconut flour, protein powder, and almond butter. {low carb, healthy, gluten free} @wellplated

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

When a recipe is as yummy and EASY as these cookie dough protein balls, healthy snacking is deliciously fun.

I’m completely addicted to these cookie dough protein balls, and I hope that you love them just as much.

Whether you are looking for an on-the-go snack, a post-workout reward, or a sweet after-dinner treat, these bites have you covered.

Protein Balls Video

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These Paleo Protein Balls taste EXACTLY like chocolate chip cookie dough! Easy no bake energy bites made with coconut flour, protein powder, and almond butter. {low carb, healthy, gluten free} @wellplated

Protein Balls

4.74 from 15 votes
Easy no bake protein balls that taste like cookie dough! Healthy, low calorie and perfect on-the-go. Easy to store and ready in 10 minutes!

Prep: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins

Servings: 12 balls

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter you can use natural nut butter, or the shelf-stable kind
  • 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder  about 2 scoops—use plant-based protein powder to make dairy free
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour or oat flour* plus 1-2 tablespoons additional as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice or water
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • To a large bowl, add the almond butter, protein powder, 1/3 cup coconut flour, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons almond milk. Stir until the mixture forms a dough that is soft enough to roll into balls, but not overly sticky. Add additional coconut flour or almond milk as needed to get the right consistency. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Roll into 12 balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.

Notes

  • *Coconut flour is the most high protein and low carb option for these protein balls. It is also grain free. If you prefer not to purchase coconut flour, you can use oat flour. To make your own oat flour, pulse oats in a food processor until smooth, then measure and use in the recipe as directed. (I do not recommend wheat flour, as its taste will be off-putting and unlike coconut flour and oat flour which are heat treated as a part of processing, it is not safe to eat wheat flour without cooking it further first.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1ballCalories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 10mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2g

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More High Protein Snacks

Energy-filled snacks are important to get through the day. Here are some of my favorite snacks that are high in protein:

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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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94 Comments

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  1. Ohh these look delicious Erin! A perfect snack if you ask me, who doesn’t like chocolate chips and nut butter… I’ve gotta get myself some protein powder!

    1. Vivian, I starting using it about a year ago and am never going back! I hope you love the recipe :)

      1. Some of my friends also use it, they use it to make a shake. But I still haven’t tried it, haha! I have to research it I think, to know if it’s useful for me :) 

  2. These sound really great.  I’m always looking for good, higher protein snacks, and am thoroughly sick of energy/nutrition bars.  It’ll be a while before I’ll be able to make these, because we’re not at home and my kitchen where we are is very limited (I also have coconut flour at home and don’t have other uses for it, so I’d rather use what I have instead of buying more).

  3. Really like protein balls (no pun intended), but never had them like this before. Very intrigued, great post! (:

    1. Hi Nayan! Almond butter is ground nuts, while regular salted butter is completely different and a byproduct of dairy that behaves very differently in cooking. The two are not very similar, so I’m afraid salted butter wouldn’t work in this recipe. If you like, you could use a different nut butter, such as cashew butter or peanut butter. I hope that helps!

  4. Delicious recipe! Changed it up a bit based on ingredients I had on hand (Quest PB protein, xylitol sweetened syrup, a mix of walnut & almond butters and butter extract instead of vanilla). Even with all the changes they taste great…thanks!

  5. Hi Erin.  I am deathly allergic to nuts. Is there something else that I can use besides the almond milk?

    1. Hi Sara! Regular dairy milk will work just fine in this. If coconut milk is ok, that will work too. Unfortunately, the coconut flour in this recipe cannot be substituted, so that’s definitely something you want to be aware of if you allergies include coconuts.

      1. I see that you say the coconut flour can not be substituted… is that because of taste? I’m curious because I have oat flour at home that I used for another protein ball recipe and am trying to use the remainder of it.

        1. Hi Krystal, I’m afraid coconut flour cannot be swapped, not just for taste, but also for texture. Coconut flour is VERY unique. It absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so I wouldn’t recommend that swap. If you’re looking to use up your oat flour, you could try either of these recipes or use it in place of oatmeal in these blender muffins!

    2. Sara you might try sunflower seed butter (available at Sprouts).  My hubby is allergic to nuts and this works wherever peanut butter or almond butter is listed on a recipe 

  6. Mine didn’t turn out good at all even though I followed the recipe exactly. They really didn’t taste anything like cookie dough. I guess this is to be expected based on the ingredients. I had to throw them away :(

    1. Hannah, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy these! They are a healthy recipe, so they won’t taste exactly like cookie dough, but as you can see from other reviews, many other readers have enjoyed them too. Do you like the brand of protein powder you chose? That can have a big impact on taste too.

  7. Wow these look delicious! So happy to see a recipe that doesn’t require a blender! Can I sub the whey protein for more coconut flour? I know that menas they won’t be high on protein, but just wondering if it is possible! Have a lovely day!

    1. Hi Victoria! I actually wouldn’t recommend this swap. The two have very different properties, and because coconut flour is quite dry, I’m worried that the balls would not form. The vanilla protein also does a lot to flavor the balls. I know that’s not the answer you were hoping for, but I really want this recipe to turn out properly for you!

  8. Looks great, I can’t wait to try these! Would I be able to use ground flaxseed meal instead of coconut flour? I don’t have coconut flour in my pantry.

    1. David, I’m afraid flaxseed meal and coconut flour are actually quite different than one another, so I wouldn’t recommend the swap. You could add a little bit of extra ground flaxseed if you wanted, but the coconut flour is pretty important to the texture.

  9. Hi Erin,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was wondering if the vanilla protein powder can be raw. My portion powder is and I wasn’t sure if it would change the way they turned out.
    Thank you,
    Fauna

    1. Hi Fauna, I don’t have experience with raw powder and have only tested the recipe with whey. If you’ve swapped your raw powder in other recipes that call for whey, you should get good results here too!

  10. I made these and they turned out extremely sticky. I couldn’t even roll them. I added almond milk and flour and it just got worse. Do you know what I did wrong? They are sticky blobs. ??

    1. Hi Lindsey! I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t turn out—how frustrating! What brand of coconut flour did you use? Some can absorb more moisture than others (it sounds like yours absorbed less) Overall, it sounds like too much milk or honey was added. Next time, I’d suggest adding less liquid and seeing how it comes out.

  11. Great recipe. Here is the best chocolate brownie ball I’ve ever had. Easy to make: http://skinnygirlsguide.com/raw-chocolate-brownie-protein-balls-recipe/5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you loved these Emmy! And thanks for sharing the brownie ball recipe too. I can’t wait to check it out!

  12. I made these tonight, with a few adjustments for allergies. I used peanut butter and regular Fairlife Milk. I also swapped the coconut flour for just gluten free flour mix.
    They were amazing. I’m post-bariatric surgery and needed a high protein snack with a small stature so they would fit in my stomach!
    Soooooo, so good!5 stars

    1. I forgot to mention that I used a high level protein, unflavored powder. I should have upped the vanilla a smidge, but they are still very tasty.
      My nutrition specs are:
      cals: 105kcal | fat: 5.77g | carbs: 9.54g | prot: 7.72g

      Which is pretty good :)

    2. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Desiree! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful feedback!

  13. Hi Erin,

    I read through the comments, but didn’t see this question. Is there any chance I could substitute the coconut flour with almond?

    1. Hi Melody, I wouldn’t recommend that swap. Coconut flour is very unique and absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so it’s pretty important in this particular recipe.

    1. Hi Alicia, for my taste preference, I like the honey because I think some sweetness is necessary to make the balls taste their best, but if you don’t mind them less sweet and want to experiment, you are welcome to play around. If you doesn’t want to use honey, agave or maple syrup would work too.

      1. Thanks Erin! I was just thinking about how to reduce some of the carbs in this energy ball because of the honey. Maybe I’ll try replace it with erythritol.

  14. Terrific recipe exactly as above. Second time I made, substituted cocoa nibs (more healthy and no sugar), unflavored, unsweetened, unflavored protein powder (same reason). Also added a couple of tablespoons of chopped dates and a couple of tablespoons of rolled oats. Equally good. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

    1. Dave, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed these! Cocoa nibs sound like a delicious addition. Thank you for trying the recipe out and reporting back!

  15. Can you swap the peanut butter for powdered peanut butter to lower calories a little bit? Wondering if the texture will be way off.

    1. Hi Kayla, I haven’t tried that swap, but I don’t think I’d recommend it because the stickiness of the nut butter is needed to hold the protein balls together.

  16. I work as a hairstylist who doesn’t always have time for lunch. I was tired of buying protein balls from the local health food store, and have some new diet restrictions; these save my sweet tooth and keep me going at work! Thank you!5 stars

    1. I am so happy to hear that Shandra! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and taking time to report back. It means so much to me and is helpful for others considering making the recipe too!

    1. That sounds delicious Delynne! Thanks for letting me know and leaving this lovely review. These are VERY freezer friendly. Just put them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Then, you can thaw them in the fridge (or at room temperature if you are in a hurry). Just be sure to store them in the fridge once they are thawed.

  17. Is there any way to omit the protein powder? Maybe decrease the liquid? I’m making these for small children and doctor warned against added proteins because they can cause small children to eat fewer calories than they need.

    1. Hi Rickie, you can experiment with using more coconut flour, but the protein powder does both flavor and sweeten the recipe, so you may want to taste and add another sweetener like honey if you’re not liking the flavor. You could also add vanilla extract. I’ve never tried it this way, so you’d definitely be experimenting! Good luck! I hope you enjoy them.

  18. I made these today. They were so good! I used chocolate cashew milk, but followed the recipe pretty well except guessing on measurements LOL, and microwaving my peanut butter a little bit so it was easier to mix
    Fyi i read other posts- these were not even remotely mushy. Don’t know how that could happen5 stars

    1. Jill, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these! Thanks so much for giving them a try and reporting back. :)

  19. Can I use Chocolate protein powder instead? We bought some that doesn’t mix well in a blender ball shaker but we like the taste so we are hoping to find a recipe to use the rest of it.

    1. Jen, I’ve never tried this recipe with chocolate, so I’m afraid I can’t vouch for it. It you want to experiment, you can definitely play around, and I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  20. Just made these and they are DELICIOUS!! I’ve made protein balls before, but these take the cake–er, cookie! Thanks so much for this recipe–changed my week!5 stars

      1. Hi Erin, of course!
        Seriously, thanks so much for the recipe–I keep raving about it to my friends. I am a lifestyle blogger and shared the recipe to my blog. If this is not acceptable, could you please let me know, and I will remove it immediately–I do not wish to infringe on your creations. I’m still new to/learning about blogging so if I’ve made a mistake, I’d like not to be ignorant about it!
        Best, 
        Leighann (http://www.ohleighann.com/quick-easy-healthy-cookie-dough-protein-bites/)

        1. ***Update: I just read your FAQ’s–should have done that from the beginning. Please still take a look and let me know if this is acceptable. I’d be happy to take it down, if not! 

        2. Thanks for sharing the link, Leighann! Your post looks great—and delicious! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  21. I brought these up to an up north cabin weekend with friends. HUGE hit! These were perfect for pre and post drinking :) Also a great snack for the morning with coffee. Two girlfriends texted me after the weekend to say they made them! I also added chia and sesame seeds to mine!5 stars

    1. YAY Emily, I’m so happy to hear these were a hit. Thanks for giving them a try and taking the time to report back!

    1. Hi Gloria, I wouldn’t recommend that swap. Coconut flour is very unique and absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so it’s pretty important in this particular recipe.

  22. Very nice. I used chocolate protein powder and added a tsp of instant coffee powder and it worked great. Mild chocolate flavor. Not too sweet. Will definitely make again. So easy!4 stars

  23. These are delicious! They are smooth and creamy and taste SO decadent, even though they are full of goodness for your body. What I love the most is they are NOT made with oats like most energy balls, which I don’t like the texture of with the cardboardy crunch- these really taste like cookie dough- going to make more today and put them in the freezer!5 stars

  24. Thank you. I was wondering if you vanilla protein powder is sweet already. All the vegan protein powder that I have tried are bloody sweet and made me avoid adding them to many recipes.

    1. Hi Moataz, it’s not overly sweet (I use Optimum Nutrition Vanilla). On its own the powder might be, but once added to the protein balls, it tastes just fine, at least to me and others who have tried it! If you’re interested in another option, these energy bites don’t have protein powder in them: https://www.wellplated.com/energy-balls/

  25. Thank you so much for this recipe! Can’t wait to try it. Is there something i can substitute for Honey? I wasn’t sure if the stickiness of the honey contributes to the consistency?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Caitlin, if you doesn’t want to use honey, agave or maple syrup would work too. For my taste preference, I like the honey because I think some sweetness is necessary to make the balls taste their best, but if you don’t mind them less sweet and want to experiment, you could also try using more peanut butter.

  26. I usually never leave reviews on recipes but this was too yummy to not review. Cookie dough with healthy fats and protein… count me in! I made them for my husband and we both were floored at how great they tasted. Definitely going to be a staple snack or treat in our fridge going forward. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Kathy! I’m afraid coconut flour cannot be swapped, not just for taste, but also for texture. It absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so I wouldn’t recommend swapping it out. This is my favorite brand of coconut flour that can be ordered online. I hope this helps!

  27. Do you think I could use vital proteins collagen powder for the protein powder? It’s unflavored. Or do I need vanilla flavor? 

    1. Hi Becky! I’m afraid coconut flour cannot be swapped, not just for taste, but also for texture and safety. Since these are no bake cookie dough balls, the flour will not be cooked to a safe temperature first. Coconut flour also absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so I wouldn’t recommend swapping it out. I hope this helps!

  28. I see an asterisk next to coconut flour but I don’t see any further notations. Could almond flour be used instead?

    1. Hi Eva! I actually wouldn’t recommend that swap. Coconut flour is very unique and absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so it’s pretty important in this particular recipe.

  29. Great recipe! Just wondering if you could use peanut butter instead of almond butter? Where I live the price of almond butter is double that of peanut butter!5 stars

  30. I make these for an afternoon snack when I’m craving something sweet. Such a breeze to make! I store mine in the freezer and just take 1 or 2 out and eat cold.5 stars

  31. I wasn’t crazy about the taste of these immediately after putting them together. Decided to let them sit in the fridge overnight and give them another shot this morning, and I’m glad I did – the taste is much better! Maybe the flavors just need some time to blend? I followed the recipe exactly except that I used half almond butter, half peanut butter. Delicious!4 stars

    1. Hi LKG, the slight change to the recipe (using two different butters) might have affected the immediate taste. So glad you were able to enjoy them!

    1. Hi Andrea! I’m afraid coconut flour cannot be swapped, not just for taste, but also for texture and safety. Since these are no bake cookie dough balls, the flour will not be cooked to a safe temperature first. Coconut flour also absorbs moisture differently than other flours, so I wouldn’t recommend swapping it out. I hope this helps!