If you feel happier after a snack, then make whipping up this Peanut Butter Protein Balls recipe a part of your weekly routine. Keeping them on hand is a sure, easy way to up the quality of your everyday.
An Easy Protein Balls Recipe for Everyday
A mix of protein-packed ingredients like peanut butter, protein powder, flax seeds, and chia seeds, along with a touch of honey for natural sweetness and chocolate chips for good measure, these easy protein balls take fewer than 15 minutes to pull together.
They don’t require any special equipment.
No food processor, no mixer.
Just you, a bowl, and all the peanut butter you care to lick off your fingers!
About Protein Balls
Protein balls can be good for you when they are made with healthy ingredients, keep sugar to a minimum, and are enjoyed in moderation.
- Protein balls are the perfect size for easy snacking between meals or to enjoy as a post-workout energy boost.
- Yes, protein balls call for high fat ingredients like peanut butter, but it’s healthy fat. Further, fat is important to make the protein balls satisfying.
- Other important factors to consider when weighing the health benefits of protein balls is the amount of fiber, protein, and sugar.
- Fiber and protein (along with fat) make a snack filling so that you aren’t digging in the pantry again an hour later, still hungry.
When your fridge or desk are stocked with healthy options like these peanut butter oatmeal protein balls, you’ll be less likely to turn to processed foods or expensive store-bought protein bars (which often have lots of sugar).
How to Make Protein Balls
This high protein ball recipe is lightly adapted from my go-to Energy Balls, with the addition of protein powder.
- Like the originals, they are filling and wholesome, but (thanks to the protein powder), they offer more grams of protein per ball.
- Unlike protein balls with dates (which require blending), you don’t need a food processor to make this recipe.
- Feel free to change up the flavors and create variations! You can replace the chocolate chips with finely chopped pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, another baking chip of your choice, or simply omit them.
- Peanut Butter. While drippy, natural style peanut butter may not be the best in baked recipes where it can separate (like these Peanut Butter Protein Cookies), it works wonderfully for no bake protein balls like these.
- Oatmeal. Fiber-rich oats make these peanut butter balls filling and help hold them together. For a version without oats, check out these Protein Balls with Coconut Flour.
- Flaxseed Meal. This super food is loaded with omega-3s and fiber (more here).
Since it contains oils, flaxseed meal can go bad quickly. Store it in the refrigerator for freezer. If it smells rancid or bitter, it has gone bad and needs to be thrown out.
- Chia Seeds. Another super food! These cutie seeds pack a wallop of fiber and omega-3s in a low calorie package.
- Vanilla Protein Powder. Adding protein powder is the best, easiest way to create a high-protein snack that’s still reasonably low calorie. You can use any vanilla protein powder you enjoy. (Garden of Life, About Time, Bob’s Red Mill, and Optimum Nutrition are my favorites.) For a dairy-free version, use a protein powder without whey.
- Honey. Just 2 tablespoons are all you need for perfectly sweet protein balls. Feel free to add more to taste (you’ll want to add more protein powder or oats if the dough feels too sticky and lose).
- Chocolate Chips. Because why settle for just peanut butter when you can have CHOCOLATE peanut butter protein balls? I like the dark chocolate mini chips here, which roll in the balls nicely.
- Place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir together.
- Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough into your palms.
- Then roll into balls and refrigerate to enjoy!
- To Store. Refrigerate protein balls for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
- To Freeze. Freeze protein balls for up to 3 months or longer (if they are airtight, you can freeze them practically indefinitely). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature if you are in a hurry.
Meal Prep Tip
Since protein balls are so freezer friendly, make a double batch and freeze a portion for future busy weeks.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Measuring Spoons. These stay well organized in your drawer thanks to their magnetic feature.
- Spatula. Silicone spatula that’s stiff, easy to clean, and exceptionally heat resistant.
Frequently Asked Questions
NOPE! You can use regular peanut butter. Your dough will be dryer, so add additional water as needed. You also can make the peanut butter protein balls with coconut oil (add a few teaspoons of melted coconut oil along with the regular peanut butter).
Yes, I recommend storing protein balls in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. They are fine out of the refrigerator for several hours if you’d like to take them on-the-go or pack them in your lunch.
Yes, because the oats in energy balls are not actually raw! Rolled oats are steamed and pressed prior to being packaged, so you don’t need to worry about cooking them first.
I recommend vanilla protein powder, but beyond that you can use any brand you like. I’ve tested these with both plant-based protein powder and whey protein powder with good results.
Here’s the thing: protein balls are healthy but they are generally not very low calorie. Healthy fats in the peanut butter and flaxseed make these satisfying, filling, and also offer omega-3s. Compared to most protein ball recipes however, this one is fairly low calorie since it uses so little added sugar.
Protein balls are one of many names for a pocket-sized snack made with high-energy ingredients, such as nut butter, oatmeal, flaxseed, and protein powder. Other popular names include bliss balls, energy balls, energy bites, and protein bites.
- 3/4 cup drippy peanut butter or almond butter or sun butter
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats; do not use instant oatmeal
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips or unsweetened shredded coconut or a mix
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Water as needed
- In a medium mixing bowl, place the peanut butter, protein powder, rolled oats, flaxseeds, chocolate chips, honey, and chia seeds.
- With a wooden spoon, sturdy rubber spatula, or your hands, mix the dough together. (I start with a spatula and then switch to my hands.)
- Judge the dough’s consistency. Depending on how drippy your peanut butter is and your brand of protein powder, you may need to add water (if it is too dry) or additional protein powder or oats (if it is too wet and sticky). If you need to add water, add it 1 teaspoon at a time. If oats or protein powder, you can add a few teaspoons at a time. The dough should be easy to roll into a ball, similar to a yummy cookie dough. I recommended getting it to where you think it is just right then letting it sit for a few minutes. Sometimes the oats and protein powder will absorb additional moisture, and you will want to adjust as needed so that the balls are not dry.
- Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough into your palms.
- Roll into balls until all dough is gone. If at any point it is clinging to you or seems just a tiny bit too dry, lightly wet your hands. You should have roughly 16 balls.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate protein balls for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze protein balls for up to 3 months or longer (if they are airtight, you can freeze them practically indefinitely). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature if you are in a hurry.
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