Holy grocery bills — those store-bought protein bars sure aren’t cheap! While a protein bar can be a convenient way to fuel up before or after a workout, some varieties contain a long list of artificial ingredients and added sugars, which can do more harm than good. Luckily, these homemade protein bar recipes have none of the junk and all of the protein, thanks to energy-boosting ingredients like nuts, nut butters, and protein powder. Can’t have whey? Swap in a vegan protein powder instead. Make your bars ahead of time and enjoy them all week, whether you’re snacking on-the-go or need an easy snack to pack in your gym bag.
11 Homemade Protein Bar Recipes
Peanut butter, almond milk, oat flour and a generous amount of rice protein powder make up the base of this decadent bar that gets its name from the bestselling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor. Though the recipe is easy to follow, you may have a hard time waiting for them to refrigerate overnight!
Recipe: Jessica / Desserts With Benefits
Gluten-free and vegan, these bars are packed with healthy dried fruits and nuts, while almond butter, maple syrup and applesauce bind the nutty goodness together. Your belly will be full of happiness, since each serving packs eight grams of protein and four grams of fiber!
Recipe: Kelly / Inspired Edibles
Pure pretzel and peanut buttery bliss with nine grams of protein? Count us in! These bars are low in fat (only three grams per serving) and high on flavor. If you don’t have soy crisps on hand, try using crisped rice cereal instead.
Recipe: Amy / Foods for the Soul
Don’t be fooled by the pretty in pink color! These strawberry and coconut bars pack a serious amount of protein — 17 grams per bar. Coat them in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate for an even more divine bite.
Recipe: Gabriel / One Clever Chef
Healthy protein disguised as dessert? Yes, please! Dates, oat flower, cocoa, coconut, and pecans pack a delicious punch. If your dates are too dry to use, try soaking them overnight before chopping them in a food processor.
Recipe: Sarah / The Sweet Life Online
Made with crystallized ginger, coconut, vanilla, and almonds, there’s plenty of flavor in these dairy- and gluten-free bars. Bonus: You don’t need a food processor to make these extra-hearty snacks.
Recipe: Kristinia / Spabettie
No oven, no problem. Use peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter) mixed with rice crisp cereal and oat flour as a base for these easy no-bake bars. Dress up your eight grams of protein with some chocolate.
Recipe: Angela / Oh She Glows
Super easy to make, and super difficult to resist! These bars are perfect for those with peanut allergies, or those who are allergic to spending hours in the kitchen. It will only take you 10 minutes to mix up the oats, almond butter, honey, and rice cereal (though you might get impatient waiting 30 minutes for the bars to set in the fridge!).
Recipe: Amanda / Running With Spoons
Quash mid-afternoon hunger with these bars that pack seven grams of protein per serving. Blend black beans, cocoa powder, protein powder, and chocolate chips in a food processor, bake and then refrigerate overnight. And for serious chocolate fiends, sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top before popping them in the oven.
Recipe: Katie / Chocolate Covered Katie
Made with six grams of protein per bar, these chocolatey, peanut buttery bites will put store-bought snacks to shame. If you don’t own a food processor, you can purchase oat flour at most grocery stores. To keep it vegan, simply replace the whey protein powder with a plant-based variety and use maple syrup in lieu of honey.
Recipe: Emily Miller / Life by DailyBurn
Whether you’re looking for an energizing treat post-workout or just craving something sweet, these no-bake bars are the ultimate almond and chocolate delight. Made with filling almond butter, rolled oats, cocoa powder, and protein powder, you’ve got yourself a dairy- and gluten-free treat that’s lower in sugar than most energy bars.
Recipe: Lee Hersh / Life by Daily Burn
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Originally published October 2013. Updated July 2016 and April 2022
All images via Shutterstock