Homemade Protein Bars

204 comments

5 from 1004 votes
Jump to RecipeJump to Video

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

These homemade protein bars are made with wholesome ingredients and naturally sweetened- they need just 4 ingredients! I love how each bar has over 21 grams of protein each!

Love high protein snacks? Try peanut butter protein balls, protein cookie dough, and protein granola bars.

homemade 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 a store-bought protein bar, I opted to make my own and feel SO much better about it… and my wallet is thanking me too!

This protein bar recipe combines two of my favorite no bake snacks: protein balls and oatmeal energy balls. I love packing them in my bag for a quick and healthy snack between meals.

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

Why I love this recipe

  • Made with just 4 simple 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

  • Protein Powder. Any protein powder works, including whey protein powder, casein protein powder, and pea protein powder. 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. Sweeten the bars without adding refined sugar. I’ve also made these with honey and agave nectar which works well.
  • 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

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- 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.

Recipe 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 flour 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 fridge in an airtight container. 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.

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.

More protein bar recipes to try

protein bar recipe.

Homemade Protein Bars (4 Ingredients!)

5 from 1004 votes
These homemade protein bars need just four ingredients to make and are healthier and better tasting than anything store bought! Watch how I make this in my kitchen in the video below!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 6 minutes

Video

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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! 

Notes

* 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. 

Nutrition

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!

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 1004 votes (921 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

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

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Kids and I love these! I did spread a bit of melted chocolate chips on top, but we had some without and they were still delicious. I’m about to make my second batch now!

  2. 5 stars
    Made these with whey protein (only protein powder I had on hand) and they still turned out really good! I melted dark chocolate to go on top and they are super tasty!

  3. 5 stars
    Made these with why protein (only protein powder I had on hand) and they still turned out really good! I melted dark chocolate to go on top and they are super tasty!

  4. Hi! Love these bars.. they are a new favorite. just wondering how much each of the bar weighs.. thanks

    1. 5 stars
      There’s a video! Looks like two spoons or forks are used to gently set the bar down in the melted chocolate and then more melted chocolate is spoon over the top of it.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi, can you please update the metric. I have no idea how much “2 scoops” of protein powder would weigh, because ours comes in a bag, without a scoop.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Arman, thanks for sharing your recipe!
    But I’m a bit confused by seemingly contradicting instructions on whether or not it’s possible to use whey protein for these bars.
    Under the header Ingredients Needed you write “Any protein powder works, including whey protein powder…”, but in the first note right under the recipe you say “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.”

    Hope you can clear this up for me!

    Thanks and have a nice day!

    1. Hi! I’m so sorry, I’ll fix it. I would avoid whey, it just is too thin and sometimes will yield wet protein bars 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I love all of the granola bar recipes. However, none mention sugar content. Is there a way to figure that out??

  8. 5 stars
    I love that this recipe isn’t so sweet as the protein bars I was buying. I didn’t have enough peanut butter, so I added almond butter. I used super fine almond flour and used a flour sifter to mix the almond flour and protein powder. I also added about a teaspoon of salt. I added in about 1/2 C dark chocolate chips to add a little crunchy texture. They turned out to be quite delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    These came out SUPER dry and basically just crumbled apart when done. I followed the recipe EXACTLY. What can I add to make these come out moist and not super dry?

  10. 5 stars
    These are amazing! I made a batch last weekend in an 8 x 8 dish. I froze half–I love going two weeks without having to worry about lunch! Since chocolate gives me migraines, I skipped the chips, but the only other sub was honey in place of maple syrup. Well, I added dried coconut, yum! I heated the honey in the microwave and was able to use less that way because it blends it so easily. My only problem is lack of self control–I need to bring 5 pieces on Monday, not half the dish because I can’t stop nibbling! I plan to share this with a friend because she buys Kind bars and boy, are those expensive. Anyway, this woman is a fan of Big Man’s World!

  11. 5 stars
    These are really tasty and easy to make. My husband loves them. I used whey protein because that was what i had and just added some almond milk. I also just pressed a few lillys chocolate chips on the top instead of melting chocolate. I was wondering if you could sub peanut flour for half the peanut butter to reduce the fat a bit and just add a bit more almond milk?

  12. 5 stars
    These are fantastic! I added some dried coconut, but otherwise stuck to your recipe exactly. I used pea protein, because it’s pretty flavorless. I used an 8 x 8 dish, and made 8 one-tablespoon sz balls. I sliced into 12 pieces & froze half for next week.

    1. Yes you can! I use two forks and dip them in the melted chocolate. I let them firm up in the fridge.

    1. 5 stars
      I want to try making these but I want to add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed, would you recommend that I add two extra tablespoons of maple syrup or possibly 2 tablespoons of water to adjust the liquid to dry ratio? Sorry to adjust your recipe. I just want to incorporate it since I have it at home. Thank you so much.

  13. 5 stars
    This might be the best recipe I have ever tried.

    I used pulverized Gluten Free Oats instead of coconut flour
    and I used Powdered milk for the protein powder,
    Trader Joes Almond butter instead of Peanut Butter

    I mixed the batter up with a hand mixer, because it is a really thick dough.

    I prepped a 9 x 12 glass pan by wiping it down with a couple of teaspoons olive oil.
    Then I lined it with parchment paper.

    I pressed the batter in as evenly as I could, but it was too thin on the edges so I folded the edges over so it was more like an 8 x 8 pan. That’s a much better thickness.

    Then I used the bottom of a glass to press down evenly, but I ended up transferring the parchment and dough to the counter so I could run the rolling pin over it evenly, That worked better.

    Then I sliced it on all 4 sided with a pizza cutter to make a perfect square. Save the scraps.

    I pulverized a generous handful of homemade trail mix*** for a topping.

    I heated the ground topping mix for 30 seconds and then pressed it evenly across the square, coated my hands with a bit of olived oil and pressed the topping into the bars, then scatter the scrap dough on top of the topping and roll across a couple of times to press it all in together.

    Slice into squares with a pizza cutter, and refrigerate.

    (***Trail Mix: Mixed up Trader Joe’s roasted nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips)

  14. 5 stars
    I want to make them for my movers tomorrow but i dont have cocont flour. I have tapioca flour, gluten free flour, and walnut I could grind up to make like a nut flour. Can I use one of those and could you recommend which one? Thanks for thr recipe, it looks amazing

    1. Hmmm I think walnut flour would work- Gluten-free flour would too, but you’d need to heat treat it first. Wait, sorry, just realized you’d made them already haha

  15. 5 stars
    All of the photos show a “candy” type coating on the outside of the bars. The recipe does not mention this. Am I missing something?

  16. 5 stars
    Made these last night. I used sugar free PB Fit and sugar free maple syrup. These taste just like the Tiger Bars I used to eat when I was a kid. So yummy!!

  17. 5 stars
    Hi! Just wondering please if you could you use a Natural Gelatin or Collagen Powder as the protein powder in this recipe? Thank you.

  18. 5 stars
    Just made this for the fifth time over a 2 week period- these taste so good and helping me with my weight loss journey!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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?)

    Thanks!

  23. 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 😋

  24. 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.

  25. 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!!!!

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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 🙂

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

  37. 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 🙂

  38. 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 🙂

  39. 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!

  40. 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?

  41. 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!

  42. 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?

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

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

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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 😋

  50. 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?

  51. 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.

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

  53. 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?

  54. 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.

        [MIXTURE]
        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**

        [WEIGHT OF SERVING]
        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.

  55. 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?