A quick and easy recipe for vegan protein bars made with just 4 ingredients! These gluten-free protein bars take 5 minutes- You’ll never buy packaged protein bars again! Thick, chewy and satisfying snack bars under 80 calories!
Protein bars are a daily staple in my snacking life. Since I’ve started working out regularly, I’m in need of a healthy high protein snack several times a day.
I’ve moved away from buying expensive high protein energy bars from the stores, for several reasons.
- They were super EXPENSIVE! ($3-$5 for a single bar!)
- The ingredient list on packaged snack bars was not impressive
- The serving size was minuscule
- THEY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE MUCH PROTEIN!
Sorry for yelling, but really…how do you a snack bar ‘high protein’ if it only has 2 grams?
Vegan protein bars recipe
I’ve tried most packaged protein snack bars on the market and let’s just say there have been some duds. Some of the bars I tried had a gritty taste and texture, and others were so soft, they were like chewing gum.
Let’s not talk about one particular protein bar which was like edible punishment…
Ever since then, homemade protein bars have been a staple in my diet. The beauty of making your own homemade bars is that you know exactly what goes into them. It may seem cumbersome and time-consuming to making healthy no bake protein bars, but really- It could not be any easier and they take 5 minutes!
What I also love about homemade protein bars is that they make the perfect pre-workout and post-workout snack! As mentioned here, I’ve started training with a personal trainer, who has made it a rule that I have a protein-rich snack after every session.
As someone who isn’t a huge fan of protein smoothies, these quick and easy homemade bars have been my savior!
How to make vegan protein bars
To make protein bars (or to make protein balls), you only need four ingredients-
- Rolled Oats or Quinoa Flakes
- A nut or seed butter of choice (Peanut butter is most popular, but I prefer using almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
- A sticky sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup are my favorites)
- Your favorite protein powder!
Are protein bars healthy?
Did you see the ingredient list above? They are all wholesome and healthy ingredients!
Saying that, if you did add other things to it or buy one from the shops, then that could be questionable. If you do resort to the latter (let’s be real…we’ve all done it!), then check to make sure the ingredient list is minimal and that there is a hefty dose of protein in it!
Gluten free protein bars
To keep these protein bars nut-free, dairy-free and top 8 allergen friendly, there are some smart swaps-
- Use sunflower seed butter
- Use quinoa flakes instead of rolled oats
- Drizzle with melted dairy free chocolate chips
Let’s quickly talk protein powder!
There are many protein powders on the market and not all protein powders are created equal. I’ve tried and tested many vegan-friendly, gluten-free and paleo protein powders and have my favorites here-
- Vegan protein powder- Brown rice protein powder works really well for these protein bars, as they have a thicker consistency. It’s also naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.
- Casein protein powder- While this type of protein powder does contain dairy, it is still low carb and tastes great. If you are familiar with using casein protein powder, you’ll know that it is super thick- You may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid to help shape the protein bars
I never recommend using whey protein powder for my recipes, as the consistency just doesn’t work well, and they yield sticky and gritty bars. If you only have this kind of hand, you’d be best to omit it completely or pair your homemade energy bars with a high-protein food.
Stop buying expensive and questionable protein bars! These healthy no bake homemade protein bars need just 4 ingredients and they take 5 minutes and clock in at under 100 calories (only 80!)- You have no excuses! They are the ultimate gluten-free, vegan and sugar free protein-packed snack to keep you satisfied between meals!
Need more easy, quick and delicious homemade protein bars? Gotcha covered!
- Homemade protein bars
- No Bake Apple Pie Protein Bars
- 3 Ingredient Paleo Protein Bars
- Cookies and Cream Protein Bars
- Funfetti Protein Bars
Easy 4 Ingredient No Bake Protein Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free) adapted from my 3-Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Vegan Protein Bars (4 Ingredients)
- 3 cups gluten free rolled oats Can sub for quinoa flakes
- 4 scoops vanilla protein powder See post for recommendations
- 1 cup smooth almond butter Can use any nut or seed butter
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon liquid of choice * See notes
- 1 cup chocolate chips Optional
- Line a 10 x 10-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your gluten-free rolled oats with your protein powder and mix well. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, combine your almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice) with your brown rice syrup (or sticky sweetener of choice) and melt until combined.
- Add your wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until fully incorporated. If needed, add some liquid of choice to form a thick batter.
- Pour your no bake protein bar batter into the lined pan and press firmly in place. Melt your chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. Slice into 25 bars.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
I just love your protein bars! Can’t wait to try this one!
Hi, if I want to omit the protein powder is do you have anything nutritious in mind that would do the trick instead?
Hi! 🙂 You can just leave it out completely! 🙂
I can’t believe these protein bars are so easy to make! Heck, I can pretty much make them RIGHT NOW! Might as well, eh? 😉
Why do you consider this sugar free when it contains brown rice syrup?
Did you read the notes? With all due respect, the sugar-free option is listed there. Enjoy
I don’t see any sugar free option in the notes unless you mean your reference to sticky sweetner of choice? Just about to try these with the brown rice syrup.
Hi! Yes, sugar free chocolate and monk fruit sweetened maple syrup
Can I use honey to bind the oats and penut butter? Or it will become too sticky?
Of course it can 🙂
I love what you do, Arman. Healthy goodies with nutritional value. And incredibly easy. Thank you!
You are so welcome, Karen!
Have you tried to use egg white powder for the protein powder in these? If so does it work well? Thanks!
I haven’t tried, but feel free to experiment and see!
I made these today. Are they supposed to firm up in the fridge? Mine are still sticky and “bendy.”
They sure are 🙂
How long can you keep them for? 🙂
Hi! At least 2 weeks 🙂
I made these yesterday for my top 8 allergen free 10 year old. He loves them, but we are having trouble with them being super crumbly. When I cut them, about half of them crumbled into a jumbled mess. No idea what I did wrong. They seemed dry so I added pea protein milk as suggested. Maybe next time I will add more.
Hi there, yes, you’ll need to add more milk/syrup to compensate the different brands of protein powder 🙂
Substitute for Brown Rice Syrup which is basically glucose? Isn’t Brown Rice Syrup just a refined and concentrated sweetener which has a high glycemic index (98), meaning it causes your blood sugar to spike quickly. Is this ingredient added just for the sweetness? What about a Stevia Extract product, actually the addition of a good (healthy) vegan protein powder will be enough for the sweetness in the bar wouldn’t it?
Rob (Vegan Natural – no steriods Bodybuilder).
Rob, there are options included here if you don’t wish to use brown rice syrup. I haven’t tried anything else not listed in the recipe, feel free to experiment and see.
Thanks for your reply Arman. As an exampIe, I have been successfully using a mix of vegan “mass gainer” with a little soya milk, sweet freedom liquid shot, almond or peanut butter rolled into protein balls. Very handy when out and about. Great recipes by the way, thanks again.
Looks delicious! Are there any other substitutes for the oats/qunioa flakes? I’m GF and low oxalate so I can’t have either! Thank you 🙂
Hi- You could try another dry cereal 🙂
these are not sugar free like you say if you’re adding a sweetener
I add a zero calorie sweetener, so it is sugar free. Enjoy!
Just tried your recipe and placed it in the refrigerator. Took a lot longer than 5 minutes.
Are the pictures of the bars with the chocolate drizzle actually made from your recipe? I followed your recipe exactly and it doesn’t look anything like that. Mine looks more like the ones in the Fudge Bar video.
Can’t wait to try them tomorrow.
Hi Chad! That is correct- Did you use rolled oats?