These protein granola bars are an easy 4 ingredient snack that takes 5 minutes to make. Thick, chewy, and satisfying bars that pack in over 20 grams of protein per serving!
Protein Granola Bars
As someone who loves granola and energy bars, I’ve been making homemade ones for years. They are much cheaper than store bought ones and I like knowing exactly what goes into them- none of those preservatives, sugars, and corn syrup!
Now, most granola bars tend to provide plenty of whole grains and fiber, but they often miss the mark on protein. While they do contain some protein (from peanut butter or nut butter), I’m always one to find ways to amp them up even more. Enter- adding protein powder to make PROTEIN granola bars.
I’ve been meaning to share a protein granola bar recipe for quite some time. It has all the delicious tastes of a chewy granola bar, but packs in a hefty dose of protein in each bar! They need just 4 ingredients to make and require ZERO baking.
No refined sugar and no flour are needed, but you’d never tell! The texture is thick, soft, and perfectly chewy. They are sweet, with hints of peanut butter and vanilla throughout.
With such a busy schedule and always needing protein heavy snacks on hand, these protein granola bars are a life saver. I make a batch of these weekly to ensure my snacks are sorted for the week ahead!
How do you make protein granola bars
- Rolled oats– Also known as old fashioned oats. These give the protein granola bars an extra chewy texture and are much more satisfying.
- Protein powder– Vanilla or unflavored protein powder is preferred. I used a vanilla brown rice protein powder which also provided extra sweetness.
- Peanut butter OR alternative– Smooth and creamy peanut butter with no added sugar. Depending on which protein powder you use, you may also want to choose a peanut butter with no added salt, as some protein powder brands have tons of sodium in them.
- Brown rice syrup OR honey– Either of these sweeteners work. They not only provide sweetness, but they hold the bars together much better than other liquid sweeteners (like maple syrup).
Start by mixing together the oats and protein powder in a mixing bowl until combined. Add the peanut butter and syrup and mix very well until fully combined. If using chocolate chips, fold them through until combined.
Now, transfer the protein granola bar mixture into a lined 8 x 8-inch pan and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up. Once firm, slice them into bars.
FAQ and tips to make the best recipe
Are protein bars and granola bars the same?
Depending on the ingredients you use, protein bars and granola bars CAN be the same (as evidenced in this recipe!). However, they are often two separate things, as most protein bars don’t contain rolled oats.
Which protein powder is best?
Brown rice protein powder, casein protein powder, or a whey protein powder blend is best. I never recommend a strict whey protein powder, as it tends to make protein powder recipes gooey and wet.
PRO TIP- Ensure you LIKE the taste of your protein powder, as the flavor will be quite prominent in your protein granola bars!
Can I use quick oats or steel cut oats?
Steel cut oats are not suitable, as they need to be cooked to be edible. You can use quick cooking oats, but your bars won’t be as thick or chewy.
What can I replace the peanut butter with?
If you don’t like the flavor of peanut butter, you can replace it with almond butter or cashew butter. If you have a nut allergy, use sunflower seed butter or tahini.
- Dark chocolate– Dip the prepared bars in melted dark chocolate. Refrigerate them until the chocolate has firmed up.
- Coconut chocolate chip– Fold through 1/4 cup of shredded coconut flakes and 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips.;
- Monster cookie– Fold through 1/2 cup of mini m & m candies, along with the chocolate chips.
- Salted caramel– Drizzle 1/2 cup of sugar free caramel syrup over the top.
- Blueberry almond– Fold through 1/4 cup of dried blueberries and 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds. For a more intense almond flavor, use almond butter.
Storing and freezing oatmeal protein bars
- To store: High protein granola bars are best stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 weeks.
- To freeze: Place individually wrapped bars in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More high protein recipes to try
Protein Granola Bars (4 Ingredients!)
- Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your rolled oats and protein powder and mix well. In a microwave safe bowl, add your peanut butter and honey and microwave in 20-second spurts until the peanut butter has softened. Whisk together until smooth and thick.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If using chocolate chips, fold them through at the end.
- Transfer the mixture into the lined pan and press down on top until smooth. Refrigerate the bars for at least an hour to firm up. Once firm, slice into 16 bars.