Peanut Butter Protein Bars
These homemade no-bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars are easy to make and naturally vegan and gluten-free! Each bar is packed with 11 grams of protein and tastes great! Grab a bar after a workout, in the afternoon when you need a pick-me-up or for a quick breakfast on the go!
Homemade protein bars with peanut butter
When the afternoon slump hits, there’s nothing better than having some energy balls or protein bars on hand.
These protein bars are low-carb, vegan and of course homemade, so no need to buy store-bought protein bars anymore! (Plus homemade protein bars are much tastier!)
These bars are made with a base of almond flour, protein powder and rice crisps. If you want to make these entirely grain-free, you can leave out the rice crisps. (though they give the bars a nice little crunch that I know you’ll love!)
There are plenty of ways you can vary and adapt the recipe to your personal preference. Use any nut butter and any protein powder to come up with the perfect protein bar for you!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Protein-packed. These peanut butter protein bars are packed with 11 grams of protein per bar, without adding *too much* protein powder to them. (too much protein powder can make a bar tastes not so great.)
- Vegan and gluten-free. They’re naturally vegan, gluten-free and can be made grain-free if needed by removing the rice crisps. These protein bars are also sweetened naturally with maple syrup.
- Peanut buttery heaven. If you’re a fan of peanut butter cups, you will LOVE the flavor in these peanut butter protein bars. They’re packed with peanut butter and topped with a chocolate layer that gives you the perfect peanut butter and chocolate combo in every bite.
- No-bake and ready in minutes. No baking needed here! These protein bars are made entirely in a bowl and come together in just 20 minutes. What could be easier?
Ingredients you’ll need for these protein bars
- Almond flour: This is the base of the bar. Almond flour is packed with protein and is grain-free and gluten-free which makes it perfect to use in protein bars!
- Protein Powder: Since these are protein bars after all! The protein powder will bulk up the bars with protein.
- Rice crisps: These add a nice crispy texture to the bars making them super tasty!
- Peanut butter: Peanut butter is loaded with protein and will also help to bind these bars together.
- Maple syrup: The sweetener for these bars! You could also use brown rice syrup or honey. (Make sure to use a liquid sweetener to help bind everything together.)
- Dark chocolate: This is optional, but makes these bars delicious! You can add a chocolate topping or even just a chocolate drizzle on top.
- Coconut oil: this gets added with the dark chocolate to create a smooth and delicate top that’s easy to cut.
How to make Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Mix the almond flour, protein powder, rice crisps and salt together in a bowl.
In a measuring cup or bowl, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl until combined.
Tip: start by mixing with a spoon, and then once it’s partially mixed get in there with your hands. It will be easier to form the dough.
Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and press the dough into the pan. Place in the freezer and prepare the chocolate topping.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave, then pour the chocolate mixture over the protein bars and spread evenly. Pop the pan in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
Remove from the fridge and cut into even squares or bars. Store these Peanut Butter Protein Bars in the fridge.
What kind of protein powder should I use?
There are many different types of protein powder on the market to choose from. It will ultimately come down to personal taste and preference.
Any protein powder will work for this recipe, but I recommend choosing an unflavored protein powder so it won’t interfere with the taste of the bars. If you want to use a flavoured protein powder, go for peanut butter protein powder or vanilla protein powder.
I also personally use and recommend plant-based protein powder vs. protein powder with whey in it. I find plant-based protein powder easier to digest. I use the sprout living epic protein (the “original” blend) for this recipe which I find to be one of the best protein powders I’ve tried.
One thing I love about these Peanut Butter Protein Bars is that they are completely customizable. Here are some ways you customize these bars to suit any dietary needs:
Make them peanut-free: substitute the peanut butter in these bars for almond butter, cashew butter or seed butter.
Make them paleo: leave out the rice crisps and make sure to use paleo-friendly dark chocolate.
Make them keto: substitute the maple syrup in the recipe for stevia. Since stevia isn’t liquid, you’ll need to add more peanut butter to make the bars bind together. Add an extra 1/4 cup of peanut butter in this case.
How to store these homemade protein bars
Store these bars in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. These bars can be eaten directly out of the freezer but may need 2-3 minutes to slightly thaw and soften.
Tips for making Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Opt for runny peanut butter. Runny peanut butter works best in this recipe to bind everything together. Look for peanut butter that says “natural” or “only peanuts” on the packaging. That being said, classic creamy peanut butter will also work.
- If your dough is dry, add a touch of almond milk. Not too much, just a couple of teaspoons. This will help soften the dough and make it stick together.
- Don’t want to use protein powder? No problem! Just substitute for more almond flour.
- Make sure to store these bars in the fridge or freezer. They won’t store well on the counter and won’t hold their shape.
Frequently asked questions
Each bar contains 195 calories, 11 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. This recipe makes 15 bars.
You can really eat these protein bars any time of day! They’re great to enjoy before or after a workout, or a quick breakfast, to help combat the afternoon slump, or even for a little nutritious dessert!
Not with these homemade protein bars! These bars are made with simple and healthy ingredients and can be enjoyed every day (in moderation) as part of a healthy diet.
While some store-bought protein bars are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, these homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars are definitely healthy!
More no-bake recipes to try
- No-Bake Brownies
- Key Lime Pie Energy Bites
- Superfood Snack Bites
- Raw Salted Caramel Slice
- Puffed Quinoa And Nut Bars
If you tried these Peanut Butter Protein Bars or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 15 bars 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These Peanut Butter Protein Bars are vegan, gluten-free and easy to make!
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup protein powder (unflavored is best)
- 1/2 cup rice crisps
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (the runny kind works best)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2–3 tsp of almond milk if needed to help bind.
- 200 grams 70% dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Mix the almond flour, protein powder, rice crisps and salt together in a large bowl.
- Mix the peanut butter, maple syurp and vanilla together then pour into the bowl and mix until everything is combined. If the mixture feels a bit dry, add 2-3 tsp of almond milk. (Don’t add too much!)
- Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper then add the dough to the pan, pressing down evenly. Place in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate topping.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together then pour ontop of the bars. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months.
Runny peanut butter works best in this recipe to bind everything together. If you find your dough is too dry to press into the pan, add a couple of teaspoons of almond milk and mix.
If your dough is dry, add a touch of almond milk. Not too much, just a couple of teaspoons. This will help soften the dough and make it stick together.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 195
- Sugar: 10g
- Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 11g
Keywords: homemade protein bars, vegan protein bars, protein bars with peanut butter
I’m so glad I found this! We love them. Super simple. Already had all the ingredients and it was easy to put together and taste great! No chalky protein powder taste. Rice crisps add a great texture! LOVE !
Happy you enjoyed Abigail 🙂
This has become a staple in our home. I make this every week. It is so delicious and easy to prepare. This morning I made 2 versions- 1 with almond butter and 1 with seed butter ( my husband cant have too many nuts). They cam out fabulous! So much fun to make and even more fun to eat. I take a piece to work with me daily or have one for a light dessert. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
Hi Gabrielle! So happy you love them 🙂
These are SO good! Will be making these all the time 🙂
I brought this to work and you know you have a hit when you’re asked to make it again!
Hi Mark, that’s awesome! So happy tp hear it was a hit at work 🙂
Just had these bars for a quick power breakfast. I loved them! Instead of the protein powder I just used more almond flour as suggested. Also, I used 100% chocolate with cocoa nibs to keep the sugar in check. I love the fact that you can simply store these bars in the freezer. Your future self will thank you for this fabulous pick-me up in the morning or those dreaded afternoon slumps:-)
Happy you loved them Stefanie 🙂 I always keep some of these on hand in my freezer!
I can’t wait to try these. I am not necessarily wanting to make these for the protein since we do not use protein powders. To keep the consistency correct would I just add 1/4 cup more flour or do you have another suggestion. Thank you
Hi Christy! That’s all you need to do. If the dough feels a bit dry (this may depend on the brand of peanut butter your using and how runny it is) you can add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of peanut butter as well!
Hey Jess! These look amaaazing and I will def be making them! Which protein powder did you use? I’ve never even heard of unflavoured. 🙂
Hi Silvia! My favourite Protein Powder is from a brand called Sprout Living! There are many brands that carry “unflavored” or “natural” protein powder (meaning they just don’t have added vanilla flavour to them which I like best for baking 🙂 ) you can also definitely use vanilla or even peanut butter flavoured protein powder too!
Ok, great! And if I want to hit the grams of protein per bar that you give, I should look for a protein powder that has how many grams of protein per what serving? 🙂
Approximately 20-25 grams of protein per serving!
Is there a brand of rice Crisps you recommend?
Hi Pat, you can use any brand but I like the ones from One Degree Organics!
These look amazing! If I didn’t want to use protein powder how would you recommend I change the measurements?
Thanks so much
Hi keeva! You can substitute the protein powder with a little bit more almond flour 🙂
Hi! Can’t wait to make these! How do I correctly measure the 200 grams of 70% dark chocolate for the top?
Hi Nikki! Dark chocolate will often be sold stating the number of grams on the package so you can easily tell that way if needed, otherwise, you can definitely use a kitchen scale! I’d also estimate if you want to use chocolate chips, about 1/2 cup should work!
Can I use agave instead of maple sugar. Will it work in this recipe ?
Hi Nancy, yup! Agave will work just fine!
I am surely banking on these for my daily workouts. They look healthy and delicious too. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. Can I include smores in this recipe?
So happy you liked the recipe! By smores do you mean adding marshmallows? I think if you added a few mini ones chopped up it would work
I love this!!
My question is, how to you measure how much protein is in each bar? If you make this recipe with the 1x scale on here, and you use an 8×8 pan and cut them into 15 squares, they’re pretty much bite sized. Right?
Hi Jennifer, the nutrition information is gathered through a nutrition calculator we use!
What’s the purpose of the coconut oil?
Hi Ashley, the coconut oil is important for the chocolate topping to get a smooth top that will cut easily and not crack
Uhm these are amazing!!!
My husband likes things frozen so we keep them in the freezer. I make them very often! Sometimes I’ll add more of some ingredients to make them thicker. So good, you have to try them if you are considering making them.
Thank you Tara! Glad you and your husband both enjoyed the recipe! These are so great to keep i the freezer and will keep well for months frozen.
Can you suggest something that can be substituted for the rice crisps?
Hi Dawn, you can simply leave them out or just add more almond flour. Though the rice crisps give the bars a nicer texture!