Protein Bar Recipes That Taste Better Than Packaged Ones

Store-bought protein bars are all the rage, and every consumer has a preference. There are many varieties to choose from, but the common denominator for all the bars is usually a long and convoluted ingredients list. Unrecognizable and unprounceable chemicals and ingredients fill many of the bars, and not everyone feels good about not knowing what they’re eating. The good news is that you can easily make protein bars at home, and many recipes don’t even require an oven. Here are 6 no-bake homemade protein bars to get you started. Not only will they save you from the scary ingredients of store-bought bars, they’ll also save you money.

1. No-Bake Protein Bars

Oat bar

No-bake protein bars | iStock.com

Our first highlighted recipe from The Big Man’s World proves that you don’t need a lot of unrecognizable ingredients to make a great bar. These no-bake protein bars call for everyday items you likely already have in your pantry, including oats, protein powder, and a non-dairy milk of your choice. The bars are vegan and completely sugar-free, so they’re the perfect snack to pack in your lunch after a hard workout.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick oats, divided
  • 3 scoops flavored protein powder of choice
  • ½ to 1 cup dairy-free milk of choice
  • Sweetener of choice
  • Optional- add ins of choice

Head to The Big Man’s World for the full recipe. 

2. No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bars

Homemade Twix, caramel chocolate bar cookie

Peanut butter cup protein bars | iStock.com

Want a homemade protein bar that can double as dessert? Check out this formula for peanut butter cup protein bars from The Healthy Maven. There’s no shame in the after-lunch dessert game when these bars are involved, as they’re packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, and most importantly, chocolate. Give these 5-ingredient bars a try and see if you can wait the required 20 minutes for them to set in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Head to The Healthy Maven for the full recipe. 

3. No-Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars

vanilla protein powder

Vanilla protein powder | iStock.com

Back again with another recipe that yields a bar strikingly similar to dessert, we come to this recipe from Running with Spoons for almond fudge protein bars. The no-bake snack will crush your craving for something sweet while also giving you a punch of protein. The recipe makes 12 bars and while it only requires 10 minutes of prep time, the bars will have to set in the fridge for 2 hours. Make this high-protein snack on Sunday night and enjoy them all week.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup no-stir nut/seed butter
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup, or honey if not vegan
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oats, ground into a flour
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, if needed
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

Head to Running with Spoons for the full recipe. 

4. No-Bake Carrot Cake Protein Bars

a shredded carrot

Grated carrot | iStock.com

Many consumers love the seasonal flavors that bar manufacturers make available, but you can also introduce these seasonal flavors at home at half the cost and half the ingredients. Hummusapien has a recipe for no-bake carrot cake protein bars that is perfect for spring, and it will appeal to your sweet tooth and your renewed desire for light and fresh. The bars are vegan and gluten-free, and they are also devoid of oil, flour, and refined sugar. The nutritional profile of seasonal store-bought can’t hold a candle to that of this homemade snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

Head to Hummusapien for the full recipe.

5. No-Bake Gingerbread Protein Bars

almond butter

Almond butter | iStock.com

Here’s another seasonal recipe from Fresh Fit N Healthy that will help you kick certain cravings. The holidays might be over but that doesn’t mean one can’t still crave gingerbread. The warm flavor of gingerbread is one that isn’t enjoyed enough throughout the year and you can change that by making these gingerbread protein bars. Made with molasses, coconut flour, almond butter, almond milk, and brown rice protein, the bars are vegan and packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vital vitamins and minerals. Make these no-bake treats and feel good about what you’re eating.

Ingredients:

  • 4 scoops brown rice protein
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses plus stevia as needed to sweeten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup almond milk plus tablespoons as needed

Head to Fresh Fit N Healthy for the full recipe. 

6. No-Bake Chocolate Cashew Chunk Protein Bars

peanut butter

Creamy peanut butter | iStock.com

Our last recipe from Eat Spin Run Repeat enlists some nuts into the mix. The cashews in these chocolate cashew chunk protein bars featured on Greatist add a nutty flavor to the snack and they also increase its satiation potential. The impressive fiber, healthy fat, and protein composition of these bars make them ones that will fill you up and leave you satisfied until lunch or dinner. If you’re going to snack, snack the healthy way via these easy no-bake bars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats, pulsed into flour in a food processor
  • 1 cup chocolate plant-based protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other dairy-free milk
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Head to Greatist for the full recipe.