Made with wholesome oats, vanilla protein powder, nut butter, and the natural sweetness of dates, these easy Vegan Protein Bars are the perfect midday pick-me-up, post-workout snack, or on-the-go breakfast.

a stack of the best Vegan Protein Bars with dates peanut butter, and chocolate chips

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

You know which group I’m in!

After years of spending too much money on pricey store-bought protein bars, I decided to start making my own.

Today’s vegan protein bars have been my loyal snack partner ever since (right alongside these easy Peanut Butter Protein Bars).

Made with dates, oats, vegan protein powder, and the nut butter of your choice, along with optional mix-ins like chocolate chips and chia seeds, these easy energy bars require zero baking (like my favorite Energy Balls).

They come together in a snap and store beautifully.

Healthy vegan protein bars made with  no sugar beside bowls of chocolate chips and peanut butter

5 Star Review

“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.”

— Margaret —

How to Make Vegan Protein Bars

No more wondering where to buy vegan protein bars or which protein bars (or Protein Balls) are the healthiest!

These are less expensive, taste wonderful, and are made from whole foods you can pronounce.

Truly, this is the best vegan protein bars recipe you will find.

Dietary Note

For those with dietary concerns, in addition to being vegan (and therefore dairy free), these bars are also gluten free (just make sure to use certified gluten-free oats).


The Ingredients

  • Protein Powder. Use your favorite brand of vegan protein powder. I like to use vanilla protein powder for an extra boost of flavor.

Dietary Note

Not all protein powders are vegan. Powders made from pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp, soy, or a blend of plant-based proteins are best for those who follow a vegan diet.

Avoid powders that contain whey protein, casein, egg, or collagen since all are derived from animal products.

  • Dates. Instead of honey (not vegan), I made these chewy vegan protein bars with dates (like these Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls). Naturally sweet and caramel-y, dates are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Rolled Oats. A powerhouse whole grain ingredient packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Rolled oats and quick oats both work well in this recipe.
Ingredients for making healthy and delicious no bake vegan protein bars
  • Peanut Butter. The “glue” that holds these plant-based protein bars together (and these Peanut Butter Protein Balls). Peanut butter offers healthy fats, is low in carbs, and tastes scrumptious. Feel free to use whatever nut butter you enjoy most (cashew butter or almond butter would both be divine).

Dietary Note

To make these vegan protein bars without nuts, you can swap the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter. (Heads up! Sun butter will turn the bars greenish, 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. (I also love adding them to these Oatmeal Protein Cookies.)
  • Chocolate Chips. An optional (or mandatory) mix-in depending on your position as a chocolate lover. I love the added sweetness and depth they lend these bars. (Make sure to select dairy-free chocolate to keep these bars vegan.)
  • 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! Salt makes other ingredients pop.

TIP!

For a lovely contrast of salty/sweet, try sprinkling the bars with a pinch of flaky sea salt after pressing them into the pan.

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, transfer to a mixing bowl, then fold the chocolate chips in.

TIP!

The texture of the mixture should resemble cookie dough when properly mixed.

  1. Press the dough into a pan, chill until firm, then slice into bars. ENJOY!
a stack of the best vegan protein bars recipe

Recipe Variations

  • Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars. Use chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla protein powder. Add a teaspoon or so of cocoa powder to taste (be careful, it is powerful).
  • Protein Bars with Flax. Swap ground flaxseed meal for the chia seeds. Organic pumpkin seeds would also be a nice way to add extra crunch.
  • Double Chocolate Protein Bars. Use chocolate protein powder. Instead of folding chocolate chips into the batter, drizzle melted dark chocolate over the cooled bars (or do both).
  • Low-Calorie Protein Bars. Omit the chocolate chips and swap them for dried blueberries or dried cranberries.
  • Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bars. Adds a few chopped peanut butter cups (or candy bar of choice) to the mixture for an indulgent treat.
  • Vegan Protein Bars with Almond Butter. Swap almond butter for peanut butter to get an extra boost of vitamin E and healthy fats.
  • Soy-Free Protein Bars. Opt for a plant-based protein powder that does not contain soy.
Eight delicious and healthy vegan protein bars with protein powder and dates

Storage Tips

  • 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.
vegan protein bars with low sugar cut into bars on parchment paper

What to Serve with Vegan Protein Bars

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Food Processor

This food processor is a pricier option but well worth the investment if you regularly make protein bars and energy bites.

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

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.

Simple and delicious no bake vegan protein bars no artificial sweeteners

Have you ever tried making your own protein bars?

Whether this recipe is your first attempt or your 50th, I know it’ll be a welcome addition to your healthy snack routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Protein Bars Without Dates?

The dates are pretty key in this recipe for both sweetness and texture. If you are looking for a protein bar recipe without dates, you can try adding a scoop of protein powder to these No Bake Granola Bars. Or make my regular Peanut Butter Protein Bars with vegan protein powder; swap maple syrup for the honey.

Why Does Sugar Appear In The Nutrition Facts If These Are
Vegan Protein Bars No Sugar?

While this recipe contains no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, there are natural sugars in these vegan protein bars that come from the dates. However, relative to other recipes, these protein bars have less sugar content.

Can I Make These Vegan Protein Bars into Energy Balls?

Sure! If you prefer balls rather than bars, you can shape the dough into balls instead.

Do Vegan Protein Bars Contain Coconut Oil?

No. This particular vegan protein bar recipe doesn’t contain coconut oil. If you like, you can experiment with replacing a tablespoon of the peanut butter with coconut oil.

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

Vegan Protein Bars

5 from 8 votes
How to make the best vegan protein bars without sugar! Made with oats, dates, and nut butter, these are the perfect high-protein vegan snack.

Prep: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins

Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 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)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • 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 of milk. Pulse until all ingredients are well combined. Depending on 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 the mixture to the prepared pan and press it into an even, flat layer. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 minutes or to the refrigerator for 1 hour, until the bars firm up.
  • Lift the bars from the pan using the parchment handles and transfer them to a cutting board. Slice into bars of the desired size (I made 12) and enjoy.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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 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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28 Comments

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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.

    Thanks

    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

  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. 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

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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