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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


    • Ashley

    Can you use plant based protein powders?

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, you can use plant-based. The texture/flavor will be slightly different. Enjoy!

      • RB
      • 5 stars

      I make these with Vega vanilla plant-based protein powder all the time!

    • Dianne Fitzgerald

    Can you freeze them?

      • Amy Dong

      Yes, freeze them airtight for up to a month!

    • Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
    • 5 stars

    I love the maple with the peanut butter!

    • Dex
    • 5 stars

    I am so impressed with this recipe, was easy to make and it’s very yummy!! I added whole roasted almonds and dates! I used vanilla protein powder!

      • Amy Dong


    • Pat
    • 5 stars

    Thank you! Had some protein powder to use up. Seemed too easy but it was just that! Flavourful and very satisfying. Much better tasting than store bought. Ate a lot while setting but kept calling me back.

      • Amy Dong

      SO happy you enjoyed this! 🙂

    • Karen

    How many grams is 1 serving?

    • Shannon
    • 5 stars

    Thank you for sharing all these recipes. My son’s like cruchy bars…are these cruchy? If not, do you have a crunchy protein bar recipe to share. Appreciate it!

    • Zhen
    • 5 stars

    It’s super hot where I live so I’m always looking for more no bake recipes! Will try these bars over the weekend!

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    I have not make protein bars in a while. I like how this recipe is a no bake recipe. Sounds delicious! Excited to make these!

    • Martha Elliott
    • 5 stars

    These are pretty tasty, but a bit gooey. They may firm up more after sitting in the fridge. I have not eaten a whole one yet -just had a few nibbles when I was cutting them up, but I think they are going to be very filling. I used fat free milk, sugar free maple syrup, mixed dried fruit and Kirkland nut and seed butter and chocolate protein powder.

      • Amy Dong

      Awesome, thank you, Martha!

    • Lee Anne Clarke
    • 5 stars

    Hi! This recipe is absolutely THE best! Thank you so much for sharing! My favorite combination is Almond Milk, Sunflower butter, Honey, Gluten-free Sprouted Quick Oats, Chocolate Plant based Protein Powder, unsweetened Coconut Flakes, Cinnamon Almond Slices and Stevia sweetened Chocolate Chips! They are simple and delicious!

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, thank you, Lee Anne! The variations are endless and super fun! 🙂

    • Kristin
    • 5 stars

    Like that they are so simple and no-bake.
    I used almond butter, next time will try tahini instead.

      • Amy Dong

      So happy you liked these, Kristin!

    • Danielle

    How do you keep the chocolate chips (the ones you mix in) from melting after adding the warm peanut butter mixture? I tried freezing them first but it didn’t work.

      • Amy Dong

      You can let the peanut butter mixture cool a bit if your chips are melting.

    • Meaghan

    I have Oreo protein powder at home so I was wondering if my wife and I could make a certain recipe with that. Do you have any suggestions on what to add with that?

    • Jenna
    • 5 stars

    Absolutely delicious!! And so easy to make! Thank you for sharing! I used birthday cake flavored protein powder, 1 tap of cinnamon as mentioned and a few mini chocolate chips! Definitely a keeper

      • Amy Dong

      So fun using different protein powder flavors, Jenna! 🙂

    • Ann
    • 5 stars

    I tried several no-bake protein bar recipes and they wouldn’t turn out. This recipe did! Absolutely delicious and the bars hold shape. For my first try, I did not put any add ins. I also used the microwave to melt my peanut butter mixture, 30 seconds at a time. (I burned the first peanut butter mix on the stove) I plan to make this recipe again and again!

    • Jan

    I’d like to substitute egg whites for the protein powder. Can you please help?

      • chewoutloud

      Jan, we haven’t attempted that before, so if I were to trial it, I would start off with a small amount of substitution first, just to be sure.

    • Pat
    • 5 stars

    My daughter and I love these protein bars. She takes them to school and eats them after volleyball practice or games. Her teachers want the recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      YAY! So fun for her to share with others 🙂

    • Alan

    How much protein in one bar

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Alan! You’ll find nutrition facts on the recipe here. Hope you love these!

    • Pat
    • 5 stars

    Easy to make. My teenage daughter loves it.

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you guys enjoyed this!

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