Protein Granola Bars


5 from 218 votes
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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

Protein Granola Bars

When it comes to high protein snacks, my favorite recipes to make are protein energy balls, peanut butter protein bars, and these 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

The Ingredients

  • 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). 

The Instructions

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. 

oatmeal protein 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. 

If you’d like a granola bar, try healthy granola bars or no bake oatmeal bars

If you’d like a protein bar, try no bake protein bars or keto protein bars

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. 

Flavor variations

  • 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. 

high protein granola bars

More high protein recipes to try

protein granola bars

Protein Granola Bars (4 Ingredients!)

5 from 218 votes
These protein granola bars are a thick, chewy, and satisfying no bake snack that packs in over 20 grams of protein! Made with just 4 ingredients, they are naturally sweetened and easily customizable!
Servings: 16 bars
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 7 minutes



  • 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.


If your mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to loosen it.
* Vanilla or plain flavored protein powder. Brown rice protein powder, casein protein powder, and some whey protein powder blends are preferred. 
** Almond butter or a nut-free alternative will also work.
*** You can use maple syrup but it won't be held together as well. 
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. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 20gFat: 6gSodium: 107mgPotassium: 234mgFiber: 3gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

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.

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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    love monster cookies! I think I told you this one before – I made them last summer using pretzel m&m’s and I always think about them because they were SO GOOD!

  2. 5 stars
    I love trail mix and easy to grab snacks when I’m doing something outside. If I can have fresh fruit available, even better! Puffed rice sounds good, I’ve never had anything like the kind you share here before though.

  3. 5 stars
    These remind me of M&M monster cookies and I swear those were my magic dust when I was a kid. I hardly ever had the chance to have one but man they were my favorite. I also think I’ll only eat trail mix IF it has smarties or M&Ms in them.

  4. 5 stars
    I love the hunger created by a serious hike! It’s so fun to feed it, haha.
    Granola bars are a must for an outdoor trip!

  5. 5 stars
    Mmmm monster cookies, so good! Considering I haven’t gone for a hike in…..forever, I can’t say what my go-to snack would be. I’d probably save my eating for a good post-hike pizza and wine. 😉

  6. 5 stars
    So I’ve gotta know…did you make it to the top of the mountain? I’m sure Harry Potter would have made it to the top of the mountain. Haha! Great granola bar idea…looks delicious!

  7. 5 stars
    Ha, this just reminded me of when my friend came to visit me in Italy last year and we went to the Cinque Terre. We planned to hike between all five towns (which would take about 6 hours total) so we loaded up on snacks (aka biscotti and croissants). Armed and ready, we were then told that all the trails were closed except one. Whoops. At least we had no danger of starving to death if we got lost.

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never been big on rice snacks, except cocoa Rice Krispies. I keep meaning to buy rice cakes because people really like them, but everytime I think about it in the grocery store, I am like “why am I about to buy a snack food specifically designed for 3 year olds without teeth?”
    I’ll stick to Cocoa Krispies 🙂

    1. Cocoa rice krispies are delicious, I use them in my recipes all the time- Although as a post dinner snack are a top choice!

      The Soy Vay ones are delicious- I reckon you’d enjoy them!

  9. 5 stars
    Hahahaha “edible motivation”. I could always use a little of that 🙂 These are so fun – monster cookies are some of my favorites!

  10. 5 stars
    Mini sweet potatoes, nuts, fruits and raw vegetables are my snacks if I’m going on a super long hike for sure! And I definitely use food to motivate myself up to the top, haha!

  11. 5 stars
    I didn’t know they make dairy free m’n’m’s… Anything with nuts or really good/sweet/nutritious energy bars are some of my go-to snacks when hiking (aka: walking around). Also, I can’t wait to read how you’re changing the blog. I love watching blog changes, because they change as the person changes.

  12. 5 stars
    Those granola bars look so good! I’ll have to try them out 🙂 My favourite snack for outdoor activities is fruit or some sort of trail mix.

  13. 5 stars
    My brother in law eats a huge m&m cookie everyday for breakfast and won’t stop. Might have to forward this recipe to his wife 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Yum! Can’t wait to make these. I can always find the best treats here! I just made monster cookies last week and was looking for a healthy alternative.

  15. 5 stars
    These look so yummy! My daughter would love them.. mainly because of the chocolate candy M&ms 🙂 Great recipe!