Protein Cereal Bars


5 from 97 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

These protein cereal bars are made with 4 key ingredients and NO baking needed. Each one packs over 15 grams of protein!

Need more high-protein snacks that ACTUALLY taste good? Try my cookie dough protein bars, protein balls, and cinnamon protein bars next.

protein cereal bars.

If you enjoyed my cereal bars but need to meet your protein goals, my protein cereal bars are the answer. 

With the same sweet flavor and crunchy texture, all that’s different is that I snuck in a little extra protein. Not that anyone would notice!

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make protein cereal bars
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More no bake protein treats to try
  7. Protein Cereal Bars (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • 4 key ingredients. Like protein granola bars, each one can be customized, so you never have to have them the same way twice. 
  • Diet-friendly. Easily make these bars gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, or sugar-free if needed. 
  • 15 grams of protein per bar. Making them a no-brainer for a pre or post-workout snack. 
  • Cheaper than store-bought. Packaged cereal bars can be pretty pricey nowadays, and don’t even get me started on store-bought protein bars! These bad boys come in at pennies on the dollar in comparison.
protein cereal bars with chocolate chips on top.

Ingredients needed

  • Dry cereal. I used Whole O’s Cheerios, but any type of cereal will work. Use gluten-free cereal if needed. 
  • Vanilla protein powder. Since protein is a major component in these bars, pick a protein powder you enjoy the taste of. 
  • Nut butter. Any smooth, drippy nut butter works, like almond butter or peanut butter. I went with peanut butter because that’s what I had on hand. 
  • Brown rice syrup. I tested a few different liquid sweeteners and preferred the texture of brown rice syrup. You could use honey or agave if you prefer, but add 1 extra tablespoon since they’re not as sticky. 
  • Chocolate chips. Optional, but it works great in these bars!

How to make protein cereal bars

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Prep. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Step 2- Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the cereal and protein powder. 

Step 3- Mix wet ingredients. In the microwave or stovetop, melt the nut butter with brown rice syrup, then pour it into the cereal mixture. Stir to combine.  

Step 4- Refrigerate. Pour the bar mixture into the baking pan and press firmly into place. Top with chocolate chips if desired, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Alternatively, freeze for 10-15 minutes. Then, slice into bars.

cereal bars with protein.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Use a sharp knife. Otherwise, you’ll make a sticky mess trying to cut these bars. Ask me how I know! 
  • Make them nut-free. Use seed butter like sunflower seed butter or tahini instead. 
  • Cut the carbs. Use keto maple syrup, keto cereal, and sugar-free chocolate chips
  • Avoid overmixing. The more you mix, the more the cereal can get crushed, so only mix until it’s fully combined. 
  • Experiment with other mix-ins, like mini marshmallows, chopped-up candy, nuts, or dried fruit.

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or in the fridge for up to two months. 

To freeze: Wrap leftover bars in foil (so they don’t stick together) and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.

homemade protein cereal bars.

More no bake protein treats to try

protein cereal bars recipe.

Protein Cereal Bars

5 from 97 votes
These protein cereal bars are made with 4 key ingredients and NO baking needed. Each one packs over 15 grams of protein!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix your cereal with your protein powder until combined.
  • In the microwave or stovetop, melt your nut butter with your sticky sweetener and then pour the mixture into the protein cereal mix and stir until fully combined.
  • Pour mixture into the lined baking tray and press firmly into place. Top with chocolate chips if desired and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Alternatively, freeze for 10-15 minutes.


TO STORE. Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or in the fridge for up to two months. 
TO FREEZE. Wrap leftover bars in foil (so they don’t stick together) and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 15gFat: 6gSodium: 89mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 115IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 16g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

You May Also Like

5 from 97 votes (95 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. hi arman — you are turning out to be my go-to preferred site for anything / everything gluten / sugar free. You really do great recipees… many thanks! I would love to try these cereal bars but! Any way to substitute the maple syrup with some kind of sugar substitute, as i’m really trying to avoid sugar and where i live, there is no access to sugar free maple syrup…

  2. 5 stars
    Love these. I don’t have much time for cooking and this is an easy/quick healthy snack. I use dark chocolate which really makes these yummy. Thanks.

  3. Love your recipes! Easy no bake vegan treats, finally! Just wondering if you have any nutritional breakdowns for the recipes e.g. calories per serve for this one? 🙂

    1. Thanks Daniella! For sure! If you go to myfitnspal and add the ingredients, it will give you a full breakdown! Enjoy!

  4. Oh these look delicious and reminded me of the cereal I used to eat when I was a little child – fruit loops 🙂

  5. I would love to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I think one thing why I don’t order salads at a restaurant here is because they are always so boring. And they defnitely never own you. Yet after this salad mountain I wouldn’t have been able to eat cheesecake. Time for the dessert take-away 😀

    I am horrible at packing. I just don’t have a system and so I play bloody tetris for forever. But I am the biggest worst procrasti-unpacker!

    1. Omg. Hi from LAX!!!!!

      I lost my jumper somewhere and the only stores here are GUCCI, BURBERRY AND FRED SEGAL. WTF!!!! I AM FREEZING

  6. I am actually a little unhealthily obsessed with the texture of these bars. Like, what is this beautiful caramel coating?!?! I wish I could sink my teeth into these right now haha.

  7. I don’t think it’s possible for me to go back to normal cocoa powder now, dark cocoa powder is a life-changer so I understand why you stoked up on that bae. I have a lonely box of cheerios sitting in my pantry from a few months ago just waiting to be eaten. So I think These cereal bars are happening soon plus maybe i’ll add some dark cocoa powder too bc the obsession continues <3

    1. Haha love it.

      I’m scared they might take it out of my suitcase…maybe I should have hid it under my towels.

  8. After last week’s success with the 3 ingredient brownies…I need to try more of your recipes! Add this one to the list!

  9. In middle school, I was a hardcore fan of Honey Nut Cheerios and Fruity Cheerios! But I like Love Grown Foods’ Power O’s as a substitute 🙂 anyways, I love that you’ve made such a healthy recipe with this cereal! The bars look so gooey and delicious! And I’ve been owned by plenty of salads before–wayyyyy too many for me to be able to count!

  10. These look really tasty Arman! Did you know that the General Mills Cheerios are all gluten free now? (I’m not sure if the chocolate are, but the rest are!!!) We were SO excited about that!

    1. Hi Emily! That’s correct, although some gluten free folk are still a little suspicious so I used a brand which is strictly GF 🙂

  11. Once I decided that my salad would be improved if I replaced the lettuce with avocado. They are both green after all. Well, I was owned by that salad because it’s had to eat so much avocado in addition to all the other things on top of that bad boy. Still the best salad decision I’ve ever made 🙂

  12. I agree with Megan.. Actually (cough pathetically maybe) when I think about my dream kitchen i would love to have just a humongous freezer.. Like a walk in since I primarily use my freezer as opposed to my fridge to store all the things I’ve made

  13. So as I see it you are on the look for a) packers and b) recipe testers. I’d gladly throw together some boxes to be one of your tried and true tasters. I can do both things very efficiently.
    Who knew cheesecake factory had salads!? Geebuz.

  14. Cheesecake factory salads are comically large. I think I laughed out loud the first time one came to my table.

    Good luck packing, at least you’ve got all your essentials!

    1. Oh man. Hi from LAX. My total luggage weighed 23 kg + 33 kg + 26 kg. Times that by 2.2 and it’s pounds. 😉

  15. Hah! I can only imagine what your luggage is going to look like on the way home. I seriously hope they search your luggage…not to be a hassle to you, but just to see the look on the guy’s face when he unzips that suitcase. Maybe you should bring him some of these cereal bars…you know, as proof of what you do. (Yes, officer, a food blogger is a real thing…)

    1. Dude. I need to send you a photo (I’m at LAX now). One suitcase is legit oreos and I’ve already paid $75 for an overweight fee and another fee for a whole new bag.

  16. Shake hands with the BIGGEST procrasti-packer ever! Love how simple the ingredient list is for these bars, I’ve been on a bar kick lately! Protein/cereal bars, not bars where you drink….or maybe it’s a little bit of both…;)

  17. I am a procrastinator with everything- cleaning cooking, working out…whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing, I’m going to find 5 other things to do instead.
    These cereal bars look amazing! I live that texture!

  18. I’ve been thinking about getting another amaller freezer because I don’t seem to have enough room in mine!

  19. I feel like you just read my mind! I was wondering who gets to eat all your delicious treats. If for some reason your taste testers are not available please send some on the next metro north train to CT!! 😉

    Also that burger you ate for dinner looks awesome!!

  20. Haha I love that term- procrastibaker! Yes, that’s so me. And good luck with the cookbook! So exciting! Your recipes always inspire me so I can’t wait!

  21. Now you have me craving a burger!
    I love that you added protein to these. Do you have any clue if soy protein would work? I have giant jar and it seems to be an unpopular protein for recipes, so I’m having trouble using it up.
    Thanks for hosting and bringing cereal bars with it!

    1. Hi Kate! I’m not too familiar with soy, as I found it to be quite difficult to work with in shakes/oatmeal (my first try with any protein powder) – Saying that, this could be a recipe to try with it- You may need to adjust the sticky sweetener a tad!

  22. Uhm I totally need that burger in my life!! And those cereal bars look unbelievabl-!

  23. You have now given me no excuse to not start buying protein powder! Have you got a post about which brands you use? I am a total protein noob and need all the help I can get! Those salads look AMAZEBALLS btw. Hope you have a wonderful time back home 🙂

    1. For sure! The ones under my ‘shop’ banner are the ones I use with all my recipes and are highly recommended 🙂

      Thank you!