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5-Ingredient Protein Bars (no-bake!)

For deliciously nutritious energy on the run, grab a couple of your own homemade Protein Bars! These couldn’t be easier to make and are much more affordable than store-bought bars.

no bake protein bars recipe
Homemade protein bars beat out store-bought bars

No-Bake Protein Bars Recipe

If you’ve ever stashed up on store-bought protein bars, you know it can quickly empty your wallet. The price of high quality pre/post workout energy in the form of a bar…it adds up fast. Not to mention, many pre-packaged energy bars are loaded with ingredients that leave you scratching your head in doubt.

You’re about to leave all that behind, with these super easy homemade protein bars, made of only 5 pure, natural ingredients. You’ll be rewarded with a nice batch of fresh protein bars that cost way less than typical store bought bars.

Feel energized, fueled, and happily satisfied when grabbing your own homemade protein bars on the go. And have leftover cash for that latte after your workout, because you can.

Protein Bars ingredients
Only 5 pure, simple ingredients go into these easy protein bars

Homemade Protein Bars – only 5 ingredients

You’ll love the pure, nutritious, simple ingredients that go into these quality protein bars. All you need are:

  • Whole Rolled Oats: whole oats provide a more robust texture than quick or instant oats.
  • Real Peanut Butter: we love chunky peanut butter, as it lends a bit of crunch to the bars.
  • Whey Protein Powder: feel free to use your favorite flavor, though we highly recommend steering clear of artificial sugars, as those tend to have an unpalatable aftertaste. Our personal favorite is pure, unflavored 100% whey protein powder, which we’ve been using for years.
  • Real Maple Syrup or Honey: it just feels better than sugar. Plus, maple or honey has the sticky texture needed to help bind the bars.
  • Milk: we like cow’s milk for this recipe, but feel free to use your milk of choice.
  • Add-ins: We love dried blueberries, chocolate chips, or even drizzled chocolate on top
  • Tip: If you’re planning to stash these bars in your gym bag, backpack, or lunch sack, we recommend skipping the drizzle on top. They’ll stay a lot neater that way and you’ll like us more.
Protein Bars in pan
Just press protein bars into a pan and chill to set; no baking needed.

Homemade Protein Bars Keep Well and Freeze Well

These no-bake, 5-ingredient protein bars are JUST the thing for a nutritious energy boost.  I make a nice big batch, which comes in handy for pick-me-up snacks when the kids get the munchies. They’re even great for breakfast on the go.

Thankfully, these homemade protein bars keep extremely well at a mild room temperature, stored airtight. They keep even longer if kept in an airtight container or in individual baggies in the fridge. If you like prepping ahead, feel free to freeze some protein bars so you can have them on hand all month long.

Protein Bars on a plate
Play with healthy add-ins for your protein bars recipe: dried fruits and chocolate chips are a favorite.

Protein Bars Recipe
Commonly Asked Questions

What kind of whey protein should be used for protein bars?

We highly recommend steering clear of artificial sugars, as those tend to have an unpalatable aftertaste. Our personal favorite is pure, unflavored 100% whey protein powder, which we’ve been using for years.

Can I use vanilla or chocolate protein powder in these protein bars?

You can certainly use your favorite flavor or protein powder, though we recommend using unflavored, pure whey protein and your choice of add-ins for best results.

How long can I store homemade protein bars?

These protein bars keep well when stored airtight, up to 1 week at moderate room temperature. They can keep longer chilled in fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Do I have to use whole dairy milk for these protein bars?

We love the creamy richness whole milk provides, but feel free to use your choice of milk: almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, and coconut milk can all be substituted.

More to Eat

Try This Maple Cinnamon BakeD Oatmeal, too:

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Protein Bars on plate

5-Ingredient Protein Bars (no-bake!)

4.89 from 188 ratings
These 5-ingredient Protein Bars are super easy, packed with nutrition, and are the perfect pre/post workout fuel. They're reminiscent of store-bought energy bars, but are way more budget-friendly when you make them at home. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong



  • In a medium heavy pot, combine milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup/honey over low heat. Stir just until all ingredients are well combined and warmed through. Remove from heat.
    Protein Bars Peanut Butter in Pan
  • Add protein powder, oats, and optional cinnamon or add-ins. Stir to combine well. Taste and add more maple syrup or honey if desired. If mixture is too thick to stir, add 1 tsp milk at a time just until it's stir-able; mixture should still be thick and not at all watery.
    Protein Bars Oatmeal Mixture in Pan
  • Lightly grease an 8×8 pan. Press evenly into pan, using firm pressure to compress mixture into desired bar thickness. Tip: use wet or lightly greased hands to prevent sticking. 
    Protein Bars in pan
  • Allow bars to cool completely. Once cool, cut into squares. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate and let cool. Wrap in airtight container and store at moderate room temp for several days, or chilled in fridge for a week. 
    Protein Bars on plate


  • Protein powder is to be measured according to standard measuring cups, not the scoops that come inside the tub of protein powder. If needed, check for certified gluten-free labeling.
  • You can use vanilla or chocolate protein powder, but we recommend using unflavored, pure 100% whey protein powder, made without fake/artificial sugars and no funny aftertaste. 
  • Make it dairy-free: use whole almond milk, coconut, or oat milk if you prefer.
  • Lactose-free milk can be used, for those with lactose intolerance.
  • Make it nut-free: use sunflower butter instead of a nut butter.
  • If you’re planning to pack these bars to go, use add-ins rather than drizzling anything on top, to keep your bars easy to transport.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breakfast, snacks
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Kat&Phil

    These sound yummy! Our go to ‘power snack’ is homemade granola bars. Will have to try this recipe next. Thanks!

    • Ashley R
    • 5 stars

    I used to make these all the time. I just love them. They are so tasty.

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you love these, Ashley! They really are tasty 🙂

    • Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    • 5 stars

    You had me at no bake. Since I promised myself to pick healthier food this year, I am going to make these protein bars to snack on instead of chips. Thanks for the recipe. I will make some this weekend.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Kristine! 🙂

    • Joann
    • 5 stars

    LOVE this recipe! Very easy to make and so delish!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Joann! I’m so so happy you love it 🙂

    • Tambi durai


    wondering whether normal cooking butter can be used for making proteins bars if nut butters are not avilable

    thank you in advance

    • Chrissy Benson

    How moist are these? they look pretty dense and was thinking of making them for a crossfit competition.

      • chewoutloud

      Chrissy, these are relatively dense and moist enough to take along with you – they shouldn’t be crumbly or dry out on the road. If you’re making a batch for a lot of people, you can cut them into smaller bite-size squares and they’ll go a long way. We really like them for tough workouts!

        • Amanda

        I look forward to making your 5-Ingredient, no-bake protein bars! Can you tell me how much fat is in each serving?

        Thank you!

          • chewoutloud

          Amanda, it should now be showing on nutrition label, which are approximates. Enjoy!

    • Hannah Murphy

    Hi,I love the sound of this recipe. I’ve just recently tried to make my own protein bar with all organic ingredients (that’s my edge) but they seem to have gone terribly wrong :(I was wondering whether I’d be able to incorporate bananas into this particular recipe as my protein powder is Banana flavour. Could you suggest any changes id have to make or any advice really. Id appreciate it! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      I think you’ll have great success with these bars, Hannah! 🙂 As for incorporating bananas, you can try banana chips or some version of dried bananas. I wouldn’t recommend fresh bananas, as the texture would change and the bars would have a much shorter shelf life. Have fun playing with the flavors!!

    • Ari Hoffman

    Hello! These look great, but I’m really curious on the nutrition values. I’m new to all this so I don’t know how to calculate it when it’s cooked, so do you have any idea to how cooking it effects the nutrition values or how I could calculate it?


      • chewoutloud

      Hello, Ari! 🙂 The minimal amount of stovetop time should not affect the nutritional values at all. These are great for pre-post workout fuel. I typically just use for plugging in some values and getting a general idea 🙂 Hope you love these, Ari.

    • Terry

    One of the questions leaves me more confused! I assumed from the recipe that it was 1 1/4 CUPS ~ as in a standard measuring cup. A reader asked if you meant the scoop that comes in the protein powder. Is it 1 1/4 scoops or cups???

      • chewoutloud

      Terry, yes, it’s referring to cups. Not scoops. Thanks for finding us today and hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

    • Joel

    Can I substitute peanut butter for say almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc?

    Also will it be ok to use almond, hemp, or other type of milk?

      • chewoutloud

      Absolutely, Joel! I sometimes do that for friends who have peanut allergies…almond butter, sunbutter, even cashew butter…all good 🙂 And yes for other type of milk as well, though you might get a bit of texture differences with the milk sub. Enjoy and thanks so much for coming over today! 🙂

    • Rachel Ward

    Hello, do you know what the nutritional value of these are? Even if it’s only rough.

    • Ana Nabo


    In regards to the Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, can we substitute the butter with anything else?

    Thank you 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      I haven’t tried, Ana, but my first thought would be to try coconut oil. But you’ll have to tweak it to get the right texture/consistency 🙂

    • Laurie

    Has anyone tried these with dairy free milk? I was wondering if almond milk could be subbed in. Thanks!

    • dina

    1 and a fourth cups of protein powder or just the scoops that come with the container?

      • chewoutloud

      Good question, Dina. Yes, it’s actually referring to cups, not the scoops. Thanks for checking 🙂

    • Kat

    Hello, I was wondering what 2-3 TB honey meant? Thank you

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Kat! It means 2 to 3 tablespoons. Hope you love it! Thanks for being here today 🙂

    • Hannah

    Do you know approximately how many grams of protein are in each bar? And how many bars does this recipe yield? Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Hannah, the grams of protein will vary, depending on the size of your bar and the brand of whey protein you used, too. Generally, there’s about 8 grams of protein per 2 TB of peanut butter. Most protein powders probably have at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, but again, there’s variation of ingredients in each brand. As for how many bars, that got me thinking to how big/small I cut mine. It can be 8 – 16 bars, depending on the size you cut them. I hope that helps? Thanks for stopping by, Hannah 🙂

        • Mike J

        Can you freeze these?

          • chewoutloud

          Mike, I don’t see why not 🙂 I’d wrap them tightly and freeze them probably up to a few weeks at most. Let them come to room temp before enjoying. Way better than spending a ton on store bars; I can never get myself to justify the cost. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Gargi

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe.I have one question, like when i made it it was where sticky so not able to eat properly all sticked around teeth. Kindly help me . Thanks in advance

      • chewoutloud

      Gargi, I’m not sure why you got stickiness, but perhaps if you chill the bars (covered) for awhile, it will resolve that 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Beth Wilson

    This sounds wonderful! And I really love the fact that it’s all natural. I have a few questions. May I use creamy peanut butter in lieu of the chunky? Also, did you use chocolate or vanilla, whey protein powder? I want to use what you used.

    I buy organic, to stay away from GMOs. I’m assuming the whey protein is NON-GMO. I’ve never bought that.

    Thank you so much, and I look forward to trying this. What a great feeling to know you made such a healthy snack and it’s NOT Frankenfood, like so many “healthy” or “all natural” snacks on the market today.


      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Beth! Yes, you can use creamy PB. I used vanilla whey. There are so many brands available, I’m sure you can find the one you want :). Enjoy!

        • Beth Wilson

        I’m going to try this soon! I already know I’ll love it. And thank you for sharing your recipe.


        • Iain

        I’m guessing you can pack more protein value into it by adding more whey for more nutritional value protein, typically I buy ones with 20g opposed to the 8g protein in these

    • Arielle

    Can I switch out the peanut butter for almond butter?

      • chewoutloud

      I don’t see why not :). Just adjust the amounts if you need to, since almond butter is sometimes drier than PB. Enjoy!!

    • matchamochimoo

    I love the no-bake idea, and this is definitely a energy snack, thanks! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Totally! Enjoy, and thanks for coming over today 🙂

        • rebekah

        Do U think rice protein powder would work instead of whey?

          • chewoutloud

          Rebekah, I’ve never tried rice protein powder, but you sure can give it a try! These bars are pretty forgiving! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

        • Lorraine

        Hi! What’s the nutritional values/content of these protein bars? Thanks in advance!

        • Jere Cassidy
        • 5 stars

        This really caught my eye with just five ingredients. I am one that buys those expensive protein bars and regret it when I bit into one. Glad to have this recipe.

      • Tony

      Hello please help
      For some reason they will not set
      Been in fridge for hours
      Did add more protein powder but
      I added bit more milk to get to get nice mixture but will not set grrrrrrr

        • chewoutloud

        Hi, Tony. The peanut butter and honey should help it to set when chilled. Be sure you do have enough oats, if your mixture needs more solids. If you added more milk, that could have caused a higher liquid-to-solid ratio. Hope that helps!

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