Healthy Eating 

20 Healthy Protein Bar Recipes So Good It Feels Wrong

If you like to make delicious on-the-go snacks, you’ll love these healthy protein bar recipes.

Generally speaking, store-bought protein bars suck for a few reasons:

  • They’re often full of artificial sweeteners, fillers, and other chemicals
  • They almost always contain blends of low-quality oils and protein powders
  • They usually taste like crap

Homemade protein bars on the other hand…they can be amazing. They’re easy to make, can taste like a dessert while being quite nutritious, and they don’t make much of a caloric dent in your meal planning.

These protein bar recipes work for pre-workout and post-workout nutrition, or just for adding a little taste and variety to your daily routing.

Enjoy! 

Almond Butter Protein Fudge

almond butter protein barsPicture courtesy of Running with Spoons

These protein bars are so rich and moist, they’re an awesome dessert that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

The drizzle of chocolate is just enough to satisfy cravings, and the almond protein fudge itself is so good it’s not like the chocolate is trying to trick you into eating health food. And unlike most protein desserts, these come in small pieces of fudge, encouraging you to slowly savor them instead of wolfing down the whole serving in a couple bites.

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/2 cup creamy almond butter

4 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. chocolate chips, for melting

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 138

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 6 grams

Fat: 11 grams

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Rocky Road Protein Bar

rocky road protein barPicture courtesy of Fitness Treats

If you want to make sweet, chewy protein bars in a variety of Quest-like flavors, there’s just one secret ingredient you need.

VitaFiber syrup is slightly sweet, but it’s actually a soluble fiber that adds very few calories. It helps bind together your favorite protein powder with any mix-ins you enjoy to make a customized protein bar.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/4 cup WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

2 Tbsp. VitaFiber syrup

1 Tbsp. crushed walnuts

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. mini marshmallows

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 246

Protein: 29 grams

Carbs: 38 grams

Fat: 6 grams

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Cookies & Cream Protein Bars

cookies and cream protein barsPicture courtesy of Chef This Up

Forget about manufactured blandness, and make a homemade candy bar with way fewer ingredients, yet more protein.

These have a base of coconut butter and cashew butter, so they’re every bit as rich as most desserts. Real chocolate chunks also add to the indulgent flavor. But there’s minimal sugar – less than 10 grams – and a little protein powder for good measure.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3/4 cup coconut butter, softened

1 1/2 Tbsp. cashew butter

2 Tbsp. pure honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

3 Tbsp. dark chocolate chunks

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 273

Protein: 9 grams

Carbs: 17 grams

Fat: 15 grams

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Strawberry Coconut Protein Bars

strawberry protein barsPicture courtesy of Chocolate Chilli Mango

Whole fruit can really send a protein bar over the top, but the fresh kind isn’t always practical for portable treats.

That’s why this recipe uses dehydrated strawberries instead, mixed with shredded coconut. What you’ll end up with is a cross between a Mounds bar and a chocolate-covered strawberry – but with the macros of a paleo protein bar.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups freeze-dried strawberries

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

2.75 oz. dark chocolate

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 324

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 21 grams

Fat: 19 grams

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Raspberry Chocolate Granola Bars

Raspberry Chocolate protein barPicture courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy

These won’t win any awards for being high in protein, but there’s enough to be a good snack, the kind you wolf down as a second breakfast in transit or at your desk.

At only 200 calories per bar, these granola bars can fit into any other part of your day too. And they have a great balance of macros to refuel you before, during, or after an intense workout.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

1/3 cup pure honey

1 cup instant rolled oats

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1/4 cup flaxseed

1/2 cup raspberries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 199

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 10 grams

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Cherry Vanilla Protein Bars

vanilla protein barsPicture courtesy of Hummusapien

These look a lot like cookies, but they’re actually no-bake protein bars that taste like oatmeal cookies.

You can even replace the cherries with raisins – or any kind of dried fruit – although it’s hard to top the original version of this nutrient-dense, low-calorie snack. But keep in mind that like most raw protein bars, these should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Serves 10

Ingredients

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3 scoops vanilla brown rice protein powder

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. almond milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup dried cherries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 234

Protein: 12 grams

Carbs: 21 grams

Fat: 12 grams

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Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars

peanut butter protein barsPicture courtesy of 12-Minute Athlete

These crispy peanut butter bars are a great alternative to eating a Snickers, Milky Way, or Hundred Grand. It’s just as good with crisped rice and crunchy peanut butter, but there’s also a bit of chocolate protein powder.

To further lighten this up, the bars are only partially dipped in chocolate. And the use of PB2 adds extra peanutty flavor with less fat.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup crisp brown rice cereal

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 Tbsp. pure honey

2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tbsp. PB2

1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

1 oz. dark chocolate

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 240

Protein: 11 grams

Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 14 grams

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PB Protein Brownies

protein-bar-recipesPicture courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds

Brownies are the ultimate bar, by far the most popular but also typically one of the least nutritious.

The secret to making these as healthy as they are chocolaty is chickpeas. You won’t taste them, but they’ll impart a soft, fudgy texture.

Serves 10

Ingredients

Batter:

6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (1 cup chocolate chips)

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. natural reduced-fat peanut butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 scoop unflavored whey protein

Topping:

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. natural reduced-fat peanut butter

1 scoop unflavored whey protein

1 tsp. honey

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 292

Protein: 14 grams

Carbs: 39 grams

Fat: 11 grams

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 Almond Joy Protein Bar

almon joy protein barPicture courtesy of Real Energy Food

Protein bars get a bad rap for being too close to candy bars – as if that’s a bad thing!

When you get a craving for chocolate-covered candy, like a tasty Almond Joy, it’s definitely an upgrade to have a homemade version spiked with your favorite protein powder. And really, this one is a lot like the original candy aside from the protein, so making these is a win-win.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1/5 cup almond butter

2 Tbsp. agave syrup

18 whole almonds

2 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 294

Protei6: 13 grams

Carbs: 10 grams

Fat: 21 grams

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Chocolate Mint Protein Bars

Mint Chocolate Protein BarsPicture courtesy of The Healthy Maven

These protein bars use the same base as Larabars: dates and nuts. But you need something to tone down the stickiness, like protein powder. It just takes a few more ingredients to bring these simple bars together.

Put it all in the food processor, and press it into a square pan. Start to finish, the steps only take a few minutes.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 cup dates

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup almonds

3/4 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

2–3 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 131

Protein: 9 grams

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 5 grams

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars

no bake protein barsPicture courtesy of Darabee

Not all protein bars have to act like baked goods. These have similar ingredients – oatmeal, peanut butter, coconut milk, and protein powder – but there’s no need to turn on the oven. Mix it all together, flatten it into a dish, and leave them in the fridge to set.

These granola protein bars couldn’t be easier to make, and they taste like peanut butter oatmeal. And if you want leaner macros, you can make them with coconut milk instead of cream.

Serves 16

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups quick rolled oats

1 1/3 cups peanut butter

1 cup coconut cream

5 scoops whey vanilla protein powder

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 290

Protein: 16 grams

Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 16 grams

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Tropical Quinoa Protein Bars

quinoa protein barsPicture courtesy of Food Faith Fitness

These appear to be granola bars, but don’t be fooled by looks alone. They’re actually superfood protein bars packed with quinoa, chickpeas, and protein powder. But thankfully that’s not the end to the list of nutritious ingredients.

These are chewy granola bars for grown-ups, packaging the flavor of a tropical dessert with wholesome ingredients.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup reduced-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup dried pineapple, finely chopped

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Zest of 1 large lime

1/3 cup pure honey

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 large egg white

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 114

Protein: 4 grams

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 5 grams

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Matcha Green Tea Fudge Bars

healthy-protein-bar-recipePicture courtesy of Desserts with Benefits

These vegan protein bars are simple to make and taste amazing. Feel free to use whey protein or casein if you’d prefer either.

Serves 10

Ingredients

1/3 cup roasted almond butter

1 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp. stevia extract

Zest of one lemon

8 scoops vanilla brown rice protein powder

1/2 cup oat flour

4 tsp. matcha powder

2 to 4 oz. dark chocolate (optional)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, chocolate not included)

Calories: 130

Protein: 15 grams

Carbs: 9 grams

Fat: 5 grams

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Chewy Superfood Hemp Protein Bars

hemp protein barsPicture courtesy of Nutrition Stripped

When you want to mix up your protein sources, hemp is a great alternative that’s often overlooked. It gets a bad rap because, while the calories in whey isolate are 90% protein (or more!), hemp protein powder contains about 50% protein.

Yet that’s far from a bad thing when you consider what’s in the other half of that scoop. Over a quarter of the nutrients are fiber, and you’re also getting both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chocolate hemp protein powder

1/2 cup hemp hearts, shelled

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup walnuts, ground into coarse flour

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds, ground

1/4 cup dried mulberries

2 Tbsp. cacao nibs (optional)

2 Tbsp. spirulina powder

1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt

1 1/2 cups dates (about 20 pitted)

1/2 cup dried tart cherries

5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. almond butter

1/4–1/2 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 352

Protein: 12 grams

Carbs: 40 grams

Fat: 19 grams

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Warrior’s Peanut Butter Protein Bars

paleo peanut butter protein barsPicture courtesy of Iron Raspberry

When you’re eating to bulk, you should be increasing calories by a moderate amount, say about 10% (the amount depends on where you’re at and what your goals are). So you might get an extra snack, or slightly larger portions, but that doesn’t mean you want to go overboard on fats.

With oats and dates, this is a good protein bar for when you can handle more calories and could use pre-workout fuel.

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 2/3 cups rolled oats

2 1/2 cups Medjool dates

5 1/3 scoops WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

6 Tbsp. pure honey

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 heaping Tbsp. peanut butter

1/4 cup peanuts

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 380

Protein: 21 grams

Carbs: 62 grams

Fat: 7 grams

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Chocolate Banana Bread Protein Bars

banana bread protein barPicture courtesy of Oh She Glows

If you need a protein bar to fuel your workout or to take on a long endurance training session, this quinoa bar is perfect.

You can get as creative as you ant with these, too, by swapping ingredients out or adding your favorites to the mix. Try replacing dates with figs, or tossing in a handful of pumpkin seeds, coconut or chocolate chips.

Serves 10

Ingredients

2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground into flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

3 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt

3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small-medium)

1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup coconut nectar syrup (or brown rice syrup)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 263

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 28 grams

Fat: 15 grams

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Fudge Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars

fudge protein barsPicture courtesy of  Chocolate Covered Katie

Traditionally, fudge is made from chocolate, butter, and everything nice. Well, minus the not-so-nice sugar, calories, and fat. That excludes them from meal plans unless you sub in black beans as a replacement. That will drastically cut down the calories while sneaking in some vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)

3 tbsp dutch or regular cocoa powder (15g)

7 tbsp chocolate protein powder

scant 1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave or honey

pinch pure stevia, or 2 tbsp sugar of choice

3 1/2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 129

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 16 grams

Fat: 4 grams

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Lemon Chia Seed Protein Bars

lemon protein bar recipePicture courtesy of Ask Georgie

These light, zesty bars are a welcome change from all the chocolate and nut butter protein bars out there.

Serves 8

Ingredients

Cooking oil spray

1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)

2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

1 cup Splenda granulated or 2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons baking powder½ teaspoon baking

soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt

¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon canola or macadamia nut oil

2 ½ teaspoons lemon extract

2 eggs

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 125

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 3 grams

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Candied Ginger Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake protein barPicture courtesy of The Healthy Foodie

With 13 grams of fat per serving, these aren’t the most macronutrient-friendly…but what they are is an incredibly delicious way to intake a lot of protein for dessert.

This isn’t a recipe where you can throw everything in one bowl and dump it into a pan, but just one bite will be totally worth the extra effort.

Serves 16

Ingredients

Crust:

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup quinoa flakes

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup date paste

3 egg whites

1 Tbsp. candied ginger, chopped

Cheesecake:

1 1/2 cup 1% fat cottage cheese

1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

4 scoops vanilla whey protein

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

1/4 cup honey

1 vanilla bean

1 sheet gelatin

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 281

Protein: 19 grams

Carbs: 23 grams

Fat: 13 grams

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Iced Pumpkin Protein Bar

pumpkin protein barsPicture courtesy of Healthful Pursuit

When you’d do anything to get your hands on a soft, sweet cookie, reach for one of these bars instead.

Serves 9

Ingredients

4 eggs

1 cup pumpkin purée

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons nondairy milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup coconut flour

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

3 tablespoons Unflavored Natural Calm

¼ cup ground or milled flaxseed

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

2 oz dark chocolate, melted (Optional)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 154

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 19 grams

Fat: 5 grams

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