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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.

peanut butter oatmeal protein balls on a plate

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!

peanut butter protein balls with honey and chia seeds on a plate

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).

low calories peanut butter protein balls stacked on a plate

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.

TIP!

For a meal-sized bar, check out my Peanut Butter Protein Bars or Vegan Protein Bars.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

Substitution Tip!

You can make these protein balls with any nut butter of your choice. For a peanut-free protein bar, try almond butter or cashew butter. For a 100% nut free protein bar, use sunbutter.

healthy peanut butter protein balls for a snack on a plate
  • 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).

Whole v. Ground Flaxseeds

Flaxseed meal is made of ground whole flaxseeds. Whole flaxseeds can pass through your body undigested, so you miss the benefits. Ground flaxseeds (flaxseed meal) allow your body to absorb the nutrients.

TIP!

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.

peanut butter protein balls piled on a plate
  • 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.

Market Swap

Craving even more chocolate? You can swap chocolate protein powder for the vanilla or try my Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.

  • 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.

The Directions

peanut butter, flaxseed, chia seeds, honey, oats and chocolate chips in a bowl
  1. Place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
peanut butter mixed with honey, oats, and protein powder mixed in a bowl
  1. Stir together.
peanut butter protein ball ingredients scooped in a bowl
  1. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough into your palms.
peanut butter protein balls rolled smooth by hands
  1. Then roll into balls and refrigerate to enjoy!

Storage Tips

  • 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.

More Protein Packed Snacks

  • 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

Do I Have to Use Drippy Peanut Butter?

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).

Do I Need to Refrigerate Protein Balls?

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.

Can You Eat Raw Oats in Energy Balls?

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.

Does It Matter What Kind of Protein Powder I Use?

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.

How Can I Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls Low Calorie?

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.

What are Other Names for Protein Balls?

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.

Protein Balls

4.96 from 24 votes
Easy no bake protein balls recipe for low calorie, high protein balls. Healthy and great post workout, and for quick snacks and breakfast!

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Servings: 16 balls

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ballCalories: 128kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 7IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg

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More Energy Ball Recipes

It’s always a great idea to have healthy snacks around for quick consumption whenever the craving strikes. Here are some of my favorites:

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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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79 Comments

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  1. Hi Erin. I want to try this recipe but cannot digest flaxseed. Can I use hemp seed instead and continue with the other ingredients?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Chantry! I’ve only tested the recipe as written but you likely could. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    2. i used hemp seeds and they turned out great! needed to add quite a bit of water to get a good consistency but not sure if that is because of the protein powder or peanut butter i used.5 stars

    1. Hi Sandra, I’ve only tested this recipe with the protein powder. It’s lightly adapted from my go-to energy ball recipe if you want to check it out; https://www.wellplated.com/energy-balls/ if you decide to experiment with these, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Nicolette! I’ve only tested the recipe as is, so it would be hard to say for sure. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Ana! I’m sorry, no I don’t believe that would work. The flour is a different consistency than the oats and you won’t be baking these.

  2. I made these today and they are outstanding. I am already thinking about other ingredients I can use in future batches besides chocolate chips and coconut (I used both in my first batch).5 stars

  3. I have always wanted to make peanut butter balls, and this recipe is so healthy! I’m so glad it is made with natural peanut butter and they are delicious using coconut and honey!5 stars

    1. Hi Nolan! All of the nutritional facts are located in the bottom of the recipe card. Enjoy!

  4. Very good recipe- thanks! I omitted honey/maple syrup as they were sweet enough for me and had no trouble staying together.5 stars

  5. These are amazing!! A friend of mine that I go to the gym with shared this recipe with me. I have made them several times and they are a hit! I have shared them with co-workers and everyone asks for the recipe! Only thing I do is I make them more like a monster cookie ball by adding in mini M&Ms instead of chocolate chip! I love them! They are quick and easy to make and not to mention delicious!5 stars

  6. The balls came out ok. I really don’t like the aftertaste of stevia and that’s exactly what my vanilla flavored organic protein powder mix has in it. I was hoping with the other ingredients I wouldn’t taste it as much. Unfortunately I do.

    1. Hi Denise! I’m sorry to hear these didn’t turn out for you. I haven’t tested it with stevia so I can’t guarantee the results.

  7. Probably a dumb question: if I have no protein powder, should I add more of something else? How do I work around it?
    Thanks!
    SL

  8. I had several similar recipes, I keep coming back to this one. I deleted the other ones.
    Costco sells a boxed mix that is pretty much the same recipe. I bought one box and thought it was way too expensive.
    I googled recipes and I had all of the ingredients and made these after a few other attempts.
    This recipe is a 100% winner!!!!!! You will not be disappointed.5 stars

  9. Hi Erin! Thanks for sharing. I’d like to try this recipe, but I have a question. How many grams is each bite approx? if the recipe gives 22-24 units

    1. Hi Pilar, no idea, I did not measure them out in grams. Once you make them you can use a standard kitchen scale to figure that out. Enjoy!

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