Peanut butter protein balls with chocolate chips are an awesome easy and healthy snack option! High in protein, high in fiber, and just darn delicious.
Whether you call them protein balls, energy balls, energy bites, or power balls – this high protein snack is perfect to have in your fridge so you can grab a healthy snack to go, have something filling to pack for work or school, or to have on hand for when you’re feeling snacky. These peanut butter protein balls also work as an easy healthy breakfast to go!
A couple other reasons to love this peanut butter protein balls recipe is that it is easy to put together, requires no special equipment, and is a no bake recipe!
One of my co-workers / friends was my taste tester for these as I perfected the recipe. I asked her to try several batches of these energy bites because, as an Ironman finisher and all-around active and fit person, she eats a lot of healthy, high-protein, energy boosting kinds of snacks. She gave a big thumbs-up to these and is excited to make her own! These are also toddler approved. My little helper likes to grab one or two as I’m rolling them, and absolutely LOVES when I give her one for dessert. And I don’t mind giving these to her since they’re packed with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients!
TELL ME ABOUT PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BALLS
Level of difficulty: Easy. While I have you pre-soak your chia seeds in a separate bowl (notes on why below!), this recipe is basically: place all ingredients into a bowl, stir, roll, and you’re done. No baking, no chopping…easy peasy!
Flavor: The predominant flavors in these peanut butter protein balls is peanut butter and oats. You also get pops of chocolate from time to time, which are a delight.
Texture: Soft and chewy!
Time: Including prep and rolling, plan for 20 minutes to make your protein balls.
Peanut Butter: I prefer using my favorite creamy peanut butter for this energy ball recipe. However, if you’re a crunchy peanut butter kind of person, that would work just as well!
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: Use your favorite old fashioned oats or rolled oats (NOT quick cook oats) to make energy balls recipe. Old fashioned oats are less processed than quick cook oats, leaving them with a sturdier texture which make them ideal for these peanut butter protein balls.
Vanilla Protein Powder: Use your favorite vanilla protein powder in this energy bites recipe! There are a lot of protein powder options out there, and some are better for you than others. I recommend selecting a protein powder with minimal ingredients. I personally like and use this whey protein powder because I know what every ingredient listed is (and their vanilla has less than 5 ingredients total!). You can use also plant-based vanilla proteins for this recipe. I’ve used this plant-based protein in the past and enjoyed it.
Maple Syrup: Please use real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup) for this recipe. Real maple syrup is simply maple tree sap that has been boiled down to create a syrup. It’s a natural sweetener. Pancake syrup on the other hand is full of all kinds of not-so-great-for-you ingredients that you just don’t need in your diet. The goal for these peanut butter protein balls is to be a healthy snack recipe for you and your family, so let’s keep our ingredients clean!
Chia Seeds: I recommend pre-soaking your chia seeds in a small bowl while you mix the rest of your ingredients together for this protein balls recipe. I have made these energy bites with dry chia seeds and with pre-soaked chia seeds and there is a big difference in your final texture and product. For the very best protein balls, do not skip this pre-soak!
Mini Chocolate Chips: While peanut butter is the predominant flavor in these energy balls, having those little pops of chocolate is really enjoyable!
OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN BALLS
- Pre-soak your chia seeds In a small bowl, mix together your chia and water and set aside while you measure and mix your other ingredients. If you remember, give it a little stir part way through the next step.
- Make your dough: In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except your chia). When almost all the way combined, add in your pre-soaked chia and stir until uniform.
- Roll into balls: I like to use a small cookie scoop to get evenly sized protein balls (you could also use a Tablespoon measure or wing it using a regular spoon). Roll each scoop into a ball between your hands. You may need to gently press the dough together to help it form into a ball as you roll.
- Place protein balls on a cookie sheet (or in a storage container) lined with parchment paper
- Store protein balls in the fridge: Store your peanut butter protein balls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
modifications for dietary restrictions: gluten free, vegan, dairy free
This protein ball recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan as written. However, a few notes:
- For those with celiac disease it is important to verify the rolled oats you are using specifically note gluten free on the packaging. This will ensure that you are making gluten free protein balls.
- You will also want to verify that the protein powder you are using meet your dietary needs. My go-to protein powder is this whey protein which is vegetarian friendly. I’ve also used and enjoy this protein powder which is certified to be both vegan and gluten free.
- Ensure the chocolate chips used meet your dietary requirements. I’ve use this brand of chocolate chips which is certified to be dairy free, gluten free, and vegan.
Pre-soak your chia seeds! I know I noted this before, but this makes a HUGE difference in how this high protein snack turns out! Since chia seeds can soak up to 10x their weight in liquid, putting your chia seeds into this peanut butter protein ball recipe dry leaves you with a very dry energy ball. The dry chia seeds zap any moisture you might have had right out. When you pre-soak your chia seeds as noted in this energy ball recipe, you’re left with an really enjoyably moist energy ball that has you reaching for a second (or third) immediately. Don’t skip this step!
How do I get my protein balls to all be the same size? There are a couple of ways to do this. My favorite way to get uniformly sized protein bites is to use a small cookie scoop to portion them out. Alternatively, you could use a Tablespoon measure to accomplish the same goal.
Can I make this high protein snack refined sugar free? You sure can! There are a few ways you can make these protein balls refined sugar free.
- Option 1 – find a chocolate chip brand that contains no refined sugars, like this one.
- Option 2 – skip the chocolate chips! While they are enjoyable in this recipe, you do not need to include them to have awesome protein balls. Do what works best for you and your dietary needs!
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Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1.5 C rolled oats
- 3 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
- ¼ C maple syrup
- 1 C peanut butter
- 3 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, mix together your chia and water and set aside to pre-soak while you measure and mix your other ingredients. Give the chia a stir part way through the next step
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except your chia and water). When almost all of the way combined, add in your pre-soaked chia and any remaining water and stir until uniform
- Roll into 1″ balls by rolling a scoop of dough into a ball between your hands. You may need to gently press the dough together to help it form into a ball as you roll
- Place protein balls on a cookie sheet (or in a storage container) lined with parchment paper
- Store protein balls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week
If I could give this 10 stars I would! So good. The recipe made the perfect amount for my partner and I to enjoy them! We put them in the fridge overnight and they stayed the same texture for lunch the next day (plus a snack). Really like the crunch and it was easy to track for my food log
I’m so glad these PB Energy Bites worked well for you guys Taylor! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try. Hope you can enjoy more soon!
Ok these were exactly what I was looking for! They come together so quickly and are such a perfect little treat. I didn’t have vanilla protein powder so I added 1tsp vanilla. I can see how these could be super versatile too — excited to make more!
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed these Callan! Great option subbing in the vanilla extract. Happy snacking!
Really tasty. Perfect to grab one (or three) before a workout for a boost.
glad you love them too! thanks so much for making my recipe.
Easy. Yummy. Protein and chocolate – a perfect snack……. except I can’t stop with one.
so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I can’t stop at one either!
A favorite in our house! Our fridge is never without these since first making them. A great healthy snack for the Littles and a great boost for those on the go. When I hit my afternoon slump, I grab one (okay maybe two or three, lol) and I’m good to go.
I’m so happy to hear this!!! Glad the whole fam loves them
Aunt Martha says
Planning a road trip to watch some eagles – had to make another batch to take along! They travel well, and are healthier than all the other things I was going to take along to snack on.
I’m so glad they were a hit! Definitely good road food. Have fun!