The world holds two kinds of people: those who walk around with healthy snacks like today’s Vegan Protein Bars tucked into their bags at all times, and those with snack envy (and hanger).

a stack of Vegan Protein Bars made with oats, dates, and peanut butter with chocolate chips

You know which group to choose!

Healthy homemade protein bars made with dates, oats, vegan protein powder, and the nut butter of your choice (I used peanut butter), along with optional (or not optional) mix-ins like chocolate chips (mandatory) and chia seeds (an excellent idea), these no-bake bars come together quickly.

Protein bars also store beautifully. You can whip up a batch, tuck them away in your refrigerator for weeks (or freeze them for months), and grab one anytime you’re heading out the door. Just like these Protein Balls, they make it easy for you to stay happy, hanger-free, and to feel like a glowing, healthy-snacking guru.

After years of spending too much money on pricey store bought protein bars, last year I started making my own. These easy Peanut Butter Protein Bars have been a favorite of mine (and of yours!) ever since.

While I adore that original recipe, I wanted to create another homemade protein bar that was entirely vegan and made with no added sugar.

Today’s recipe is naturally sweetened with dates, and it is delicious.

The bars come together in your food processor, and you don’t even need to turn on your oven.

Make your “batter,” press it into a pan, then prepare to meet the wholesome bar that will beat the pants off of anything you’ll find in a shiny wrapper.

For those with dietary concerns, in addition to being vegan (and therefore dairy free), these bars are also gluten free (make sure you used certified gluten free oats). To make them without nuts, you can swap the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter.

All of that said, you don’t need to be following any kind of special diet to make this recipe. These vegan protein bars are healthy, high protein, and make a super filling snack, post-work out treat, and an excellent on-the-go breakfast.

Protein bars made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chia seeds

How to Make the Best Vegan Protein Bars

Made from whole foods you can pronounce, these easy bars are truly the best you will find, and you’ll know exactly what’s in them.

No more wondering where to buy vegan protein bars or which bars are the healthiest. These are less expensive, great for you, and taste wonderful.

Ingredients for making healthy and delicious protein bars

The Ingredients

  • Vanilla Protein Powder. Talk about a super scoop! You can use your favorite brand vegan protein powder.
  • Dates. Instead of honey, I made these vegan protein bars with dates. Naturally sweet and caramel-y, dates are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Rolled Oats. A powerhouse ingredient that’s packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Rolled oats and quick oats both work well in this recipe. If you need the bars to be gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats like these.
  • Peanut Butter. The “glue” that holds the protein bars together, peanut butter offers healthy fats, is low in carbs, and it tastes scrumptious. Feel free to make these bars with a different nut butter or sun butter (heads up! Sun butter will turn the bars green-ish, but they will still taste yummy).
  • Chia Seeds. Despite being so tiny, chia seeds contain an impressive amount of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Almond Milk. Since every brand of nut butter is different, the almond milk keeps the bars from being too dry and ensures you can adjust the bars to the perfect texture.
  • Salt. FLAVOR!

The Directions

a food processor with dates, peanut butter, and oats
  1. Add peanut butter, dates, and oats to a food processor, pulsing until the ingredients break down.
a food processor with vegan protein powder and chia seeds for making protein bars
  1. Add the chia seeds, protein powder, and almond milk.
vegan protein bar batter in a food processor
  1. Pulse until thoroughly combined (it should resemble cookie dough as in the photo above). Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Press the dough into a pan and let firm up in the refrigerator or freezer. Slice into bars of desired size and ENJOY!
a stack of vegan protein bars

Recipe Variations

  • Double Chocolate Protein Bars. Use chocolate protein powder instead of the vanilla protein powder.
  • Protein Bars with Flax. Swap ground flaxseed meal for the chia seeds.
  • Chocolate Dipped Protein Bars. Instead of folding chocolate chips into the batter, drizzle melted chocolate over the cooled bars (or do both…).
  • Lower Calorie Protein Bars. Omit the chocolate chips or swap them for a different mix in, such as dried blueberries or dried cranberries.
  • Vegan Protein Bars with Almond Butter. Swap almond butter for the peanut butter; this version would be delightful with dried blueberries added in place of the chocolate chips.
Eight delicious and healthy snack bars made with wholesome ingredients

How to Store and Freeze Protein Bars

  • To Store. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Due to their “no bake” consistency, the bars will become soft at room temperature.
  • To Freeze. Place the bars in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

High protein snack bars for quick breakfasts and snacks

More High Protein Breakfasts and Snacks

Simple and delicious no bake vegan protein bars

Have you ever tried making your own protein bars? Whether this recipe is your first attempt or your 50th, I know they’ll be a welcome addition to your healthy eating routine.

If you do try the recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. Thank you! ♥

a stack of Vegan Protein Bars made with oats, dates, and peanut butter with chocolate chips

Vegan Protein Bars

5 from 7 votes
How to make the best vegan protein bars from scratch! Made with oats, dates, nut butter, and NO sugar. High protein, healthy, and incredibly delicious.

Prep: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins

Servings: 12 bars


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter plus 2 tablespoons
  • 10 medjool dates pitted (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds or flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder vegan if desired (I tested the recipe with Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Booster, which is unfortunately no longer available)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  • Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides like handles.
  • To the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the peanut butter, dates, and rolled oats. Pulse several times, until the mixture breaks down and the ingredients begin to incorporate with one another. Scrape down the bowl then add the chia seeds, protein powder, and 2 tablespoons milk. Pulse until all ingredients are well combined. Depending upon your food processor, this may take a few minutes.
  • Check the consistency of your dough. When you pick up a small handful of it and squeeze, it should hold together and resemble cookie dough. If it is too dry, continue pulsing in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate chips and with a spatula (or your fingers), stir to combine the chips and moisten any bits of dough that the food processor didn’t incorporate evenly.
  • Transfer mixture into the prepared pan and press it into an even, flat layer. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 minutes or the refrigerator for 1 hour, until the bars firm up.
  • Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board. Slice into bars of desired size and enjoy.


  • TO STORE: Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Due to their “no bake” consistency, the bars will become soft at room temperature.
  • TO FREEZE: Place the bars in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1barCalories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 11gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 29IUCalcium: 65mgIron: 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 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’m wondering what size bar is the nutrition information based on?  The recipe just states to cut the bars to desired size.  Thank you.

    1. Hi Sandi! This is based on cutting 12 bars from an 8×8 baking pan. If you want an approximate estimate based on your ingredients and portion size, I recommend using a nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal. I hope this helps!

  2. Made these as soon as I saw the recipe today – they turned out great! I make some sort of ball/bar like this weekly and this recipe will definitely be my new go to! I added flaxseed and brewers yeast because I’m nursing but my husband enjoyed it too! 5 stars

  3. Hi Erin! Thank you for the wonderful recipe, I enjoyed these very much. — I just had one question? When I add the recipe to My Fitness Pal, for 12 bars it gives me Calories at 336 Fats 20g Carbs 34g Protein 12g. It’s the Calories & fats that concern me the most. Is this an error on their part?

    Tip: My son thinks this recipe would work well as a base for a cheesecake, what do you think? :)5 stars

    1. Brenda, the nutrition info can definitely vary based on the different brands that you use, especially when it comes to brands of nut butter and chocolate, but I do think that looks pretty high fat content wise. I double checked the calculator I use (it’s actually built right into the recipe card I use to format and code the recipes online) and it seems accurate. My Fitness Pal (sadly) isn’t always accurate for every entry. I calced the info using JIF natural peanut butter. I wish I could help more to figure out what might have happened on your end. Regardless, I am SO GLAD you loved this recipe and that your son did too. I feel like I would definitely try these underneath a no-bake cheesecake (I mean, why not??!!). Thanks for sharing your review!

  4. Peanut Butter, Protein powder, Dates & Oats what a great combination and that too full of proteins. If someone looking for a quick protein source here is it. Those notes which you mentioned in this recipe are very helpful and very easy to understand. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us.

  5. Hello, is there a substitute for the protein powered thing, or can it be left out?

    Recipe looks great but I’m  in at home due to current situation and only going out for essentials.


    1. Hi Jan! Unfortunately, I’ve only tried this recipe with the protein powder, so I can’t vouch for the results without it. However, other readers have reported success with leaving it out. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Erin, I’m sorry to hear that these didn’t stay together for you. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe? The peanut butter does help hold the bars together after they’ve had time to chill in the refrigerator/freezer, so you could try adding some additional. I hope this helps!

  6. I’ve made this recipe multiple times since it was posted, and in my book, that deserves five stars! It’s easy and quick to make, no baking required (great for hot, summer months), no added sugars, and most importantly, they’re delicious! Thanks Erin, I will continue to come back to this recipe again and again. 5 stars

    1. Hi Raj, all nutritional facts are located at the bottom of the recipe card. Each bar is 237 calories. Hope this helps!

  7. Hi, I am very exciting to try these delicious bars. I just had a question. I am a nurse and was trying to research an easy healthy breakfast bar that would hold me over until lunch time. In the nutrition label above, I see that there are 14g of sugar, but at the top of the page I see that it says “Made with oats, dates, nut butter, and NO sugar.” Would you be able to explain the discrepancy in the sugar count. Thank you so much!!!!

    1. Hi Cat! The sugar in the nutrition label also includes natural sugars that you will find in some of these ingredients. When I say no sugar, I mean there is no processed or added sugar. The chocolate chips have sugar, but you can definitely put in sugar free chocolate chips or leave them out. Hope this helps!

  8. Sorry to say that Bob’s Red Mill no longer manufactures their vanilla protein powder. The link in the recipe goes to a 404 page and searching for protein powders only retrieves soy, hemp, and wheat. No flavored powders at all anymore, I’m afraid. :-(

    1. Hi Daveigh! Thank you so much for letting me know! I had no idea! Will definitely make note of this in the recipe card!

  9. These are delicious and so much healthier and economical in the long run than store-bought protein bars, which I like to have on hand. I didn’t have quite enough dates, so I used 1/2 cup dates, and 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots. I also left out the chocolate chips. Thank you for a great protein bar recipe that is simple and wholesome!5 stars

  10. Hi! I am interested to know if these will become mushy while hiking? Can I carry these overnight and they will stay together? Thank you!

    1. Hi Agatha! While I can’t specifically say they will hold up while hiking, I will say due to their “no bake” consistency, the bars will become soft at room temperature, so I would keep that in mind.

  11. Love these!!! I had some chocolate protein powder, so I used that. Very easy to make and really taste great. Thanks!5 stars

  12. Made these tonight and they are delish! Even my kids said they are better than the Perfect bars (they said they liked that they’re not too sticky like the Perfect bars are). I used a little over 1 cup of peanuts (I make my own peanut butter but didn’t have a batch ready so just threw the peanuts in as the peanut butter-took awhile but it worked!) I used Orgain Simple’s Vanilla protein powder and goats milk. Soooo good! Thank you!5 stars