Homemade Protein Bars


4.98 from 738 votes
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These homemade protein bars are made with wholesome ingredients and naturally sweetened- they need just 4 ingredients! Packed with over 21 grams of protein and no baking required. 

homemade protein bars.

Need snack time inspiration? Here’s a protein-packed snack that is always a massive hit in our house: protein bars!

I grew up eating Pure protein bars and Quest protein bars but not anymore.

Sick and tired of forking out tons of money for store-bought ones, I opted to make my own and feel SO much better about it… and my wallet is thanking me too!

Table of Contents
  1. Best homemade protein bars recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make homemade protein bars
  4. Dietary swaps and substitutions
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More protein bar recipes to try
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Homemade Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!)

Best homemade protein bars recipe

This protein bar recipe combines two of our other high protein snacks: protein balls and oatmeal energy balls. I love packing them in my bag for a quick and healthy snack between meals, and you’ll often find them in my car, too!

  • Made with just 4 ingredients, they take minutes to prepare. We try to make a batch at least once a week, so we always have some on hand. However, they taste so good, they rarely last that long.
  • They use wholesome ingredients, like coconut flour, and are sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.
  • Each bar packs in over 21 grams of protein.
  • They are great to enjoy between meals as they always keep hunger at bay!

Ingredients needed

Homemade protein bars are simple creatures: they use pantry staple ingredients with the addition of protein powder. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Protein Powder. Any protein powder works, including whey protein, casein protein, and brown rice protein.

Ingredient tip

For flavored protein bars, why not try a flavored protein powder? Chocolate, peanut butter, and cinnamon roll are all fabulous flavors.

  • Coconut Flour. This helps hold the protein bars together while ensuring they have a soft and doughy texture.
  • Peanut Butter. Smooth and drippy peanut butter, with no added sugar. You can also use almond butter.
  • Maple Syrup. Sweetens the bars without adding refined sugar.
  • Chocolate Chips. To cover the protein bars with! To keep these as plain peanut butter protein bars, you can omit the chocolate.

How to make homemade protein bars

Step 1- Mix the ingredients

Add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until combined. Fold through the chocolate chips. 

Step 2- Let the bars set

Transfer the mix into a lined pan and press down until smooth on top. Refrigerate for an hour. 

Step 3- Slice

Using a slightly wet knife, slice into protein bars, then serve.

protein bar recipe.

Dietary swaps and substitutions

This protein bar recipe is very forgiving and it’s easy to make them compliant to a plethora of diets out there with a few simple swaps.

  • Cut the sugar. Replace the maple syrup with a sugar free maple syrup.
  • Replace the coconut flour. Either oat or almond flour can be used instead. You may need to add a little extra flour to compensate for the extra moisture.
  • Make them peanut-free. Almond butter or cashew butter are both great nut butters to use. You could make chocolate protein bars by using healthy Nutella.
  • Make them nut-free. Tahini or sunflower seed butter have an almost identical texture to nut butter.
  • Vegan and/or gluten free. Make vegan protein bars instead.

Storage instructions

To store: Homemade protein bars are best stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks.

To freeze: Place the bars in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

protein bars recipe.

More protein bar recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Do protein bars make you gain weight?

Homemade protein bars are great for weight management or a weight loss diet as they use wholesome and healthy ingredients and have around 150 calories.

Is it healthy to have a protein bar every day?

Solely eating multiple protein bars can have negative side effects, especially if you have an intolerance to protein powder ingredients. 

However, enjoying 1-2 protein bars per day as a snack can keep you satisfied and fuller for longer.

Is eating a protein bar the same as drinking a protein shake?

Most protein shake recipes have few carbs or fat in it, which won’t keep you as satisfied as a protein bar. Shakes are great after a workout, especially if you intend to eat a solid meal soon after.

protein bar recipe.

Homemade Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!)

4.98 from 738 votes
These homemade protein bars need just four ingredients to make and are healthier and better tasting than anything store bought!
Servings: 12 Bars
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes



  • Line a deep pan with parchment paper and set aside. For thicker bars, use an 8 x 8-inch pan. For thinner bars, use any size bigger. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, melt your peanut butter with sticky sweetener until combined. Add to dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. 
  • Transfer protein bar batter into the lined baking dish and press firmly in place. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Once firm, cut into bars and cover in optional chocolate and enjoy! 


* I prefer using casein, brown rice, or paleo protein powder. I never recommend whey as the texture is incredibly sticky and doesn’t form well. 
If the batter is too thick/crumbly, add water/milk until a firm batter remains. 
TO STORE: Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Protein bars store well in the refrigerator, too! Let them sit at room temperature for several minutes before enjoying. 
TO FREEZE: Freeze in a sealable container for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1BarCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 21gFat: 7gSodium: 109mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 3gVitamin A: 9IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
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
    This is the best protein bars recipe I’ve ever made! I like to add white chocolate coating to them and increase the protein even more by doubling the protein powder.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m definitely going to try these.
    I’m vegan ish but at 71 I need protein to replenish or I’ll have muscle wasteage!
    Thank you.

  3. Hello Big Man

    Thank you so much sharing your exciting receipe
    I have learn and hands on turn out many children likes

    Do you have raspberry chocolate or strawberry chocolate bites recipes
    Kindly share if available
    Thanks again

  4. 2 questions
    1. Can I use egg-white protein powder?
    1. If I’d like to reduce the amount of fat per serving, how much PB can I cut?(Or what could I use instead of PB?)


  5. 5 stars
    I didn’t use any chocolate. These protein bars are Delicious, so easy to make, easy to keep in sealed container fridge or freezer and quick to thaw. Friends/family are asking for this recipe 😋

  6. 5 stars
    I made these for the first time and love them. Wasn’t sure on what size to make the pieces for calorie and protein count. Can you help. Thanks.

  7. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time today using Nuttzo instead of peanut butter, and used 1/2 cup of Wholesome Yum allulose & monk fruit powder sugar blend with a 1/4 cup of coconut milk in place of maple syrup. I also added 1/4 cup of hemp seed to up the protein, and couldn’t be more pleased with the resulting flavor. This was an easy and quick recipe that is better tasting than any protein bar my husband has ever bought. To boot, it is sugar free and is made with healthy fats as opposed to seed oils. Excellent recipe!!!!

  8. 5 stars
    Due to migraines, I can’t have nuts, diary, or soy, so finding friendly protein bars is very challenging without compromising one of these dietary restrictions. I made these without the chocolate and they are delicious!! Very soft and healthy.

  9. I have multiple food allergies and cannot consume protein powder. What can I substitute for the protein powder?

  10. What app did you use for the nutritional info? Just asking because I ran it through chronometer and came up with over 300 calories per bar, 12g carbs, and 14 g protein. Even 500 g of peanut butter alone, divided by 12, is 249 calories. (Unless you’re using some strange kind of PB. I was in NZ and got a craving for PB, so bought some, took one bite, threw it away – I don’t know it was, but it wasn’t PB, lol!) I tried various peanut butters, all natural, sugar free, etc, and it doesn’t add up. I wouldn’t care, but I’m on a high protein, moderate carb diet. Anyway- love your website! Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Michelle- The recipe plugin calculates the nutritional values automatically. We include a disclaimer (like most food blogs should!) that these are just estimates and if calories or carbs etc are important, it’s best to double check using an app or similar 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    These bars are REALLY good! At my 5-year-old grandson’s suggestion, we added the chocolate chips to the dough instead of melting them on top. Adds a little crunch and chocolate meltiness to the bars as some of the chips melted when I added them to the warm peanut butter. I substituted oat flour for the coconut and agave nectar for the maple syrup, and used rice protein powder. I used a 9×13 inch cake pan for the bars and they are just thick and filling enough. I did have to add some water to make the dough pliable enough to press into the pan.

  12. morning, Arman – I’m really bad about leaving replies, but the keto hummus & granola have become keepers @ our house – I love chocolate as much as anyone, but I readily substitute walnuts instead as I love nuts!

  13. 5 stars
    These are great!! I added chia seeds for extra fiber and used PBFit (and maybe a little pasteurized egg whites?) instead of peanut butter and to add a little more protein. They were SOOO good!! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    Made these with hemp protein which gave them a greenish tint. Coating was a challenge, added some coconut oil to the chocolate to thin and help coat. Delicious! Looking forward to making more of your recipes.

  15. I have no protein powder. What could I sub? These look great, but I’ll have to order online. What kind of protein powder do you recommend?

  16. 5 stars
    These are so very good, almost like eating a Reese bar, without the chocolate. I am not a big fan of chocolate. I used agave nectar ecause Walmart doesn’t sell keto maple syrup and I haven’t gotten mine from Amazon. I also used a vanilla protein powder and I may reduce the sweetner because the protien powder has erythritol in it. I am a truck driver and I love these because I can make them in my truck.

  17. Making these for the second time! They’re a huge hit at my gym. I used maple syrup the first time, this time I’m using honey from a bee farm owned by my sisters friend. I feel like this time, the batter was nice and smooth, not crumbly. Perfect 🤗
    Just wish I could make them look as pretty as they do in the pics!

  18. Just what I was looking for! I halved the recipe because I didn’t have enough peanut butter and I decided to make it have a chocolate layer instead of a chocolate dip. These are so delicious. I’ve been having one bar for breakfast every morning and I don’t feel hungry for hours. Will make again.

  19. can the protein powder be substituted? I don’t like the taste of the protein powders available around me.

    1. Hi! Sure- Leave out the protein powder, and increase the coconut flour until the dough is thick 🙂

  20. Thanks for this recipe, these were great! I didn’t have chocolate chips on hand, so I put in some cacao nibs for some extra crunch/nutrition. I’ve been snacking on these all week haha. Hits the spot for my peanut butter addiction 🙂

  21. I apologize if this is a dumb question but I don’t understand how these are sugar free when the syrup you use contains 53g of sugar per serving. Would you mind explaining this to me please? Thanks!

  22. Hi! This recipe sounds so delicious!! I was wondering if there was a way to increase the protein in the bars? Like if I wanted each to have 16-20 g of protein in them, do you have any suggestions?

  23. Hi Arman, It appears that I have a sensitivity to coconut. Could you recommend an alternative? I’m ok with soy. I can’t eat milk protein, gluten, or corn either. Thanks!

  24. Hi! How long will they hold when they aren’t stored in the fridge, but in a dark, cooler pantry? Can they wrappedindividually and sealed in some ways? I want to try and make these, but I’m looking for a recioe that will allow me to have these as a “grab&go”-type of bar.. Like if I can have them in my bag for 4-6hours?

  25. Are the carbs listed Net Carbs? cause if not it would be -4net carbs lol which would be awesome but is that a thing….?

  26. Is there any tricks to getting the entire bar coated in chocolate like the pictures? In the video, just the tops are coated.

  27. A query – how do you melt the peanut butter with the sticky sweetener in your bowl? Can’t wait to try this!

  28. I just made these as of 30 minutes ago. I used maple syrup as the sweetener. These taste exactly like dense Reese’s peanut butter cups. 5 stars.

  29. I see the nutritional facts at the end of the recipe, but it doesn’t say how many this is of total recipe and if this included the chocolate chips.

  30. I made these to feed a keep a group of teenage girls powered through a volleyball tournament. The bars were a hit and the moms all took the recipe home. Thank you!

  31. Hi, can you tell me the approx weiweWei W cups of chocolate? I had a batch of lily’s come in the mail melted and havehhavehave h them in recipes that need me but need the weight for it. Appreciated

    1. I wasn’t sure i had enough chocolate chips that weren’t meltedm but I did! It’s 350g if anyone needs the info

        1. 5 stars
          I didn’t use any chocolate. These protein bars are Delicious, so easy to make, easy to keep in sealed container fridge or freezer and quick to thaw. Friends/family are asking for this recipe 😋

  32. What’s the weight for 1 bar? These look very interesting to me….backing down my carbs on my next hike (I have left overs from a bulk order that I don’t want to throw out) but then the hike I’m doing this summer I’d like to do keto- both for health reasons, and also probably 7-8 day carries each way. Ever used pea protein powder for these?

  33. Hi Arman, trying to make these but my dough is still crumbly.. I used Vega protein and coconut flour. followed the recipe for everything else. Even added a bit of almond milk to make it come together. What’s happening ! *cry* *cry*

    1. Hi, you’d be better off using almond or oat, but double or triple the amount, coconut flour is like a sponge and absorbs it all.

  34. Is the two scoops of protein powder equivalent to 2 servings? I have orgain protein and 1 serving is 2 scoops. Thanks!

  35. these look great! only thing is i’m allergic to coconut. yeah, i know. saddest thing ever. could i sub almond flour for the coconut?

  36. I can´t believe these are made with just 4 ingredients! this is a superb recipe, I´m giving this a try, I have always been a huge fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups, bravo

      1. 5 stars
        These look great! Do you happen to have a recipe that is like an Atkins coconut almond bar? They stopped making them, and I want to cry! I was thinking maybe using this recipe with almond butter but wasn’t sure about the protein piwder part.

      2. 5 stars
        For those who are having a few issues here is what i done. maybe it might help. aswell as a general weight of each serving.

        Made a “4X” Batch (48 Bars/Serves)
        – 240g Rolled Oats (blended to a fine powder)
        – 8 Scoops (2Cups of Whey ISO Protein Powder)
        – 300g Of Zero Sugar Maple Syrup (Reduced sweetness is for me).
        – 2Kg of High Protein Peanut butter.
        *No Chocolate*
        – Added some unblended rolled oats for texture.
        – Needed about 150-200ml of water to reduce the mixture from crumbly to firm.

        The lined tray used was approx
        L – 360mm / W – 245mm / D – 20mm

        I spread half the mixture in the tray (this is all that could fit in 1 tray), making it as flat and even as possible. i pre-cut 24 pieces with a spatula. Then proceded to bake the pre-cut mixture in a fan forced oven for 17 minutes @ 175°C (approx 347°F). Once finished, I slid the lining (with the baked mixture on top) onto a cooling rack, further seperating the cut pieces for controlled cooling.

        Once cooled for about 10 minutes i moved the cooling rack to the freezer for a further hour.

        **Repeated for the next batch**

        Upon pulling them out of the freezer and packaging into Zip-Lock baggies, I weighed the first 24 pieces seperately. Results varied from 65g-75g.

  37. These protein bars look so delicious and just perfect as a post-workout treat in the go! Will definitely try them soon 🙂

    1. They’re isn’t the measurements amount on this. Just ingredients. I want to make it. Just not sure how much of everything to put in it. Does anyone know?