Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Have you ever had the munchies, opened your pantry to peruse the options, then realized every item on the shelves is either in a shiny wrapper or cardboard box? That’s been me for the last two months. No more! I’m taking back my breakfasts and snacks with these Peanut Butter Protein Bars. Made with oatmeal, protein powder, honey, and some chocolate for happy measure, these healthy oatmeal protein bars are no bake, and the only equipment you’ll need is a bowl and a spoon.
This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
With the all-out crazy of the last few months (hi, holidays, travel, and general cookbook mania), I’ve been relying on more store-bought snacks than usual. While they certainly have their place, I’ve missed my homemade healthy snacks.
One of the shiny wrapper foods I’ve been relying on the most these past few months is protein bars. Yes, a store-bought bar will do in a pinch, and I appreciate the larger selection of healthy, high-protein options that are on the market now, but nothing feels or tastes as wonderful as making your own wholesome snacks from scratch.
I love knowing exactly what is in these homemade chocolate peanut butter protein bars, the ingredients are simple and nourishing, and the cost-per-bar is a fraction of the ones at the store.
Also, SO YUMMY. The texture of these bars is soft and chewy, and they taste like a thick, bakery-style peanut butter cookie.
As an even-better bonus, these no bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars can be stored at room temperature, something you usually only see in a baked protein bar recipe. That means they are travel friendly and easy to keep at your desk, and you can tuck them in your gym bag for a post-workout refuel.
How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Bars
The ingredient list is short, simple, and a slam dunk.
- Peanut Butter. You can use any kind you like, be it shelf stable or drippy peanut butter.
More detail: Drippy peanut butter is peanut butter that contains only peanuts and salt. It’s looser, needs to be stirred when you first buy it because the peanuts’ oil separates, and then is best stored in the refrigerator to keep it combined and extend its shelf life.
Shelf-stable peanut butter usually has some kind of stabilizer added so that it stays thick, creamy, and combined at room temperature. For baking, it’s my favorite as it behaves more reliably. I most often opt for the confusingly named “all natural” peanut butter that can be stored at room temperature. It does have some additional ingredients added, but the ingredient list is shorter overall.
- Oatmeal. But not just any oatmeal. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats.
I am so pleased to announce that Bob’s and I will be teaming up for another year of sharing healthy recipes! I can’t say enough wonderful things about this brand and company. They put care into how ingredients are sourced and processed to make sure they deliver the max nutritional value, are employee owned (I got to meet many employees and Bob himself a few years ago), and I use and recommend Bob’s products both on and off my blog every day.
One of Bob’s most celebrated resources is its range of gluten-free products, including their certified GF rolled oats. Not every brand of oatmeal is gluten free due to cross contamination that can happen at the factory level, but Bob’s are, as they are produced in a separate, dedicated facility. If you have someone in your life who eats gluten free, I have no doubt they’d love a batch of these Peanut Butter Protein Bars! If you don’t need them to be gluten free, regular rolled oats will do nicely too.
Rolled oats are hearty, rich in fiber, and give the Peanut Butter Protein Bars their structure.
Now that we have our peanut butter and oatmeal, let’s grab the rest of the ingredients:
- Honey. For its natural sweetness and “glue” factor.
- Protein Powder. Pump ’em up! To make these protein bars with protein powder, stir in 1/2 cup (about 2 generous scoops) of your favorite brand of protein powder. You can use whey- or plant-based protein. I recommend vanilla, though I suspect chocolate would be tasty too.
- Flaxseed Meal. Omega-3s please.
- Coconut Oil. To help the bars bind and solidify.
- Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, Chocolate Chips. No ho-hum bars here. These Peanut Butter Protein Bars are loaded with the good stuff.
Once you have the ingredients, it’s as simple as stirring. These healthy oatmeal protein bars are made in one bowl.
Press your bar “batter” into the pan, pop them into the fridge, and they’ll set within an hour.
Ready for a pantry upgrade? Give these Peanut Butter Protein Bars a try! You’ll smile every time you open the door and find them waiting for you.
More Healthy Homemade Protein Snack Recipes
- Peanut Butter Protein Cookies (with protein powder)
- Protein Cookies (without protein powder)
- Protein Oatmeal (overnight oatmeal recipe)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- No Bake Protein Balls
Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter*
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder — about 2 scoops, depending upon your brand
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
Line an 8x8- or 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides like handles.
Place the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of water and bring the water to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. (Do not let the water boil, and make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the mixing bowl.) Stir and heat until the mixture is smoothly combined. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and turn off the heat.
To the bowl with the peanut butter mixture, add the oats, protein powder, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. The mixture will seem very dry at first but will come together as you stir. It won’t be sticky but should hold together when pressed (see recipe notes for more details). If the mixture is still fairly warm, pop the bowl into the refrigerator for a few minutes to let it cool, then stir in the chocolate chips. (Cooling the mixture will prevent the chocolate from melting. Don’t worry if they do melt a little—the bars will still be delicious!) Press evenly into the prepared pan and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Slice into bars of desired size and enjoy.
- *The consistency of the bars will vary based on the brand of peanut butter you use. If they seem too loose, add a tablespoon or two of extra oats. If they seem too dry, add additional peanut butter, honey, or even water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the bars hold together easily when pressed into the pan.
- The nutritional information will vary based upon the brand of protein powder you use. If you'd like to calc them with a specific brand, you can do so for free at myfitnesspal.com.
- Store the bars at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. I like to wrap mine individually, then remove them from the freezer as needed. You can also store them in the fridge, though I find they taste best at room temperature.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 of 12) — Calories: 244, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g, Protein: 9g
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I am sharing this post in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!
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