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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 your typical CLIF-type 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
pure, simple ingredients

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 use regular cow’s milk, but feel free to use your milk of choice.
  • Totally optional: 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 into a pan and chill; 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 of your choice

Try This Maple Cinnamon BakeD Oatmeal, too:


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Protein Bars on plate

5-Ingredient Protein Bars (no-bake!)

4.9 from 20 reviews

These 5-ingredient Protein Bars are super easy, packed with nutrition, and are the perfect pre/post workout fuel. They’re reminiscent of Clif energy bars, but are way more budget-friendly when you make them at home. 

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup or honey, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup vanilla, chocolate, or plain whey protein powder*
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
  • Optional: 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Optional Add-ins (1 cup): chocolate chips, raisins, dried blueberries, chopped dates, or melted chocolate for topping

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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, simply add a bit more milk.)
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 

Notes

Protein powder is to be measured according to standard cups, not the scoops that come inside the tub of protein powder. If needed, check for certified gluten-free labeling.

We recommend using a protein powder made without fake/artificial sugars, as those tend to have a funny aftertaste. We prefer using pure, unflavored 100% whey protein powder. This one is my personal favorite. 

Make it dairy-free or nut-free: use almond or coconut milk or any other milk of your choice. Use sunflower butter instead of a nut butter.

If you’re planning to pack these bars to go, use add-ins rather than drizzling on top. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂  

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 279
  • Sugar: 26 g
  • Sodium: 108.1 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.4 g
  • Protein: 8.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.6 mg
  • Category: snacks, breakfast
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: homemade protein bars, oatmeal bars

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @chewoutloud on Instagram

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Add a comment

Recipe rating

96 comments

    • Kristin

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Easy to make. My teenage daughter loves it.

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you guys enjoyed this!

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