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20 Healthy Protein Bars You Can Easily Make at Home

The protein bar is the ultimate on-the-go snack, but it’s rarely delicious and nutritious. And that’s why you need to start making them at home.

 

Homemade protein bars offer quite a few advantages over their store-bought counterparts.

  • You have complete control over the ingredients and can include or exclude the foods you like and dislike.
  • You can tailor the calorie and macronutrient profiles to your nutritional needs.
  • You can pack in micronutrients with various fruits, veggies, and nuts.

And the best part?

Most homemade protein bars take little more effort than throwing everything together in a pan and baking or pressing.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Limeade Protein Bars

Serves 16

If granola bars and fudgy protein bars aren’t your thing, all hope isn’t lost. Make these awesome dessert-style protein bars instead.

Similar to a creamy lemon square, they’re made with fresh limes and topped with strawberries. You could also sub in lemon juice if you’d rather have a strawberry lemonade snack.

And these sugar-free protein bars use xylitol, so not only are you avoiding added sugar, but there’s less than 100 calories per bar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

90

Calories

6 g

Protein

5 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

Crust:

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup oat flour

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

 

Filling:

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup xylitol

2 large eggs

1 egg white

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Get the Recipe

Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Balls

Serves 12

It’s probably best not to eat a slice of cheesecake every day, no matter how healthy the ingredients are. But you can indulge in just a bite with these pumpkin protein balls.

They’re a delicious way to use up extra pumpkin puree, or if you have a banana that’s turning brown, you could mash that up as a replacement. These no-bake protein bites can also be made into any size whether you want bigger or smaller servings to fit your meal plan.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

139

Calories

6 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 package (4 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 scoops (about 6 Tbsp.) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup sugar-free soft gingersnaps, crumbled and divided

Get the Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Serves 5

If you love peanut butter cups, you’ll love the flavor fused with all the benefits of a protein bar.

Keep in mind that when it comes to chocolate, the darker it is, the more healthful it is. Research shows that dark chocolate can improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol profile, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

259

Calories

26 g

Protein

14 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1/2 cup oat flour

2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1.75 oz. 85% dark chocolate

Get the Recipe

Low-Carb Chocolate Protein Bars

Serves 12

To make these low-carb protein bars, you’ll need two kinds of protein powder. The whey helps to thicken up the filling. Then, pea protein keeps the texture smooth while contributing iron.

And both types of protein provide a good amount of leucine – that’s the essential amino acid that promotes muscle protein synthesis, or in other words, supports your muscle growth.

These can be made with any kind of nuts like cashews, pistachios, or peanuts. Or if you’d rather make a nut-free protein bar, opt for either tahini or sunflower seed butter, and adjust the amount of yogurt as needed to create a soft texture.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

183

Calories

14 g

Protein

5 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

4 scoops WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1 scoop unflavored pea protein powder

1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (more if needed)

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. ground coffee (or roasted wattleseed)

Get the Recipe

High-Protein Chewy Granola Bars

Serves 16

Rather than relying on packaged granola bars, which sometimes have only one measly gram of protein, make your own at home.

These are made with nutrition in mind, using oats, peanut butter, and two scoops of whey protein powder. And you can tweak the macros even more to your liking with mix-ins like almonds, seeds, and dried fruit like cranberries or shredded coconut.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

152

Calories

6 g

Protein

15 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

2 scoops (about 1/2 cup) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 Tbsp. oat bran

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)

1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)

2 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup almonds (optional)

Get the Recipe

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Fudgy Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars

Serves 10

Chocoholics take note: This is one dessert you can have every day with no guilt.

The brownie base is made with black beans instead of flour, and they’re sweetened with a mix of stevia and honey. To seal the deal, these also have chocolate chips for a little melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey flavor.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

267

Calories

12 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

7 Tbsp. WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

Scant 1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)

Pinch of pure stevia

3 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Get the Recipe

No-Bake Berry Coconut Almond Protein Bars

Serves 12

Homemade protein bars topped with toasted coconut? Yes, please.

They’re also bursting with flavor from other good-for-you ingredients like almond butter, blueberries, and cranberries. Use honey to get even more out of these bars.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

352

Calories

18 g

Protein

32 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup almond butter

1/2 cup pure honey

1 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup oats

1 tsp. glucomannan fiber (optional)

1/4 cup dried blueberries

14 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup almonds, finely chopped or slivered

1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

Get the Recipe

Homemade Dark Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars

Serves 13

If your favorite candy bar is Mounds, stop everything you’re doing and make these for dessert.

Much like some protein bars, they’re glorified candy, but still a step above the stuff at the convenience store. They have the same luscious coconut filling and hard dark chocolate shell, except you’ll also get 6 grams of protein per serving.

Just keep in mind you’re still only supposed to eat one…

 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

180

Calories

6 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 cup pure honey

2 Tbsp. butter (or coconut oil)

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tsp. coconut oil

Pinch of salt (optional)

Get the Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars

Serves 6

Instead of making a bowl of cookie dough just so that you can eat half of it and bake the rest for dessert, your time will be better spent making these protein bars. And the result will satisfy the same craving.

There’s no raw egg or dairy so you don’t have to worry about food safety or storage and it’s really as easy as mixing, forming, and waiting an hour for them to chill in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

215

Calories

21 g

Protein

8 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

4 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

4 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. honey or stevia

3.5 oz. (1 bar) 90% dark chocolate

Get the Recipe

Homemade Strawberry Protein Bars

Serves 4

Although this bar tastes like a chocolate-covered strawberry it’s packed with nearly 10 grams of protein. And at only 150 calories each, you can eat two to replace a small meal.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

150

Calories

9 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

5 big strawberries

3 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/4 cup strawberry whey and/or casein protein powder

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp. coconut milk

40 g dark chocolate

Get the Recipe

Homemade Trail Mix Granola Protein Bars

Serves 8

These no-bake bars have a soft, chewy texture thanks to dates, but they’re also loaded with rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Plus, you can easily swap out the type of nut butter and berries to suit any taste.

They look like cookies but don’t have to go in the oven. And they’re great for breakfast, as a hiking snack, or to chow down post-workout.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

325

Calories

16 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup pure raw honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Get the Recipe

Homemade Nutella Fudge Protein Bar

Serves 10

Whether you make your own version of hazelnut chocolate sauce or go with classic Nutella, these vegan protein bars will satisfy your cravings for the addictive dessert.

They take little more than Nutella and chocolate protein powder to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to firm up in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

130

Calories

16 g

Protein

10 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup healthy homemade Nutella

1 cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla-flavored stevia extract

1/8 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

9 scoops chocolate brown rice protein powder

1/2 – 2/3 cup oat flour

Get the Recipe

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Protein Cookies

Serves 12

When you don’t need to eat a whole protein bar, which can have the macros of a small meal, snack on a protein cookie instead. This basic oatmeal raisin cookie recipe has been upgraded to taste like carrot cake.

But the flavor isn’t the only improvement. Even with icing, these low-fat, high-protein snacks have just 100 calories each with 7 grams of protein – that’s over three times the protein of a packaged oatmeal cookie.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

104

Calories

7 g

Protein

15 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Cookies:

1 cup rolled oats

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

6 Tbsp. coconut flour

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 large egg whites

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 oz. sugar-free maple syrup

3 oz. carrots

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 Tbsp. fat-free cream cheese

2 Tbsp. nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Get the Recipe

Homemade Cookies & Cream Protein Bars

Serves 10

There are a bunch of ways that you can use cookies and cream flavored whey protein powder. Stir it into plain Greek yogurt for a quick parfait, bake it into muffins, or make an unbeatable protein milkshake.

Or, as in this recipe, stir together a quick batter to make oatmeal protein bars. They taste like a cookie, especially if you choose to top them with shredded coconut, yet they offer balanced nutrition that you can enjoy for breakfast.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

157

Calories

9 g

Protein

13 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 scoops WHEY+ cookies and cream protein isolate

1/3 cup raw unsalted almonds

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (or more to taste)

2 packets Sugar in the Raw

2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour

3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

4 egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

3 Tbsp. dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, for topping

Get the Recipe

Single-Serve Chocolate Protein Bar

Serves 1

Ran out of protein bars? You don’t need to run to the store and spend a few bucks, or worry about making an entire batch at home.

This low-calorie chocolate snack doesn’t even have to be baked. Mix together whey protein, cocoa powder, coconut butter, and coconut oil. A little bit of boiling water helps to bring everything together, and stevia sweetens it without sugar.

Instead of going in the oven, this single-serving protein bar firms up in the fridge for a few minutes before it’s ready to nom.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

274

Calories

24 g

Protein

9 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder

1 Tbsp.  coconut butter

1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4 tsp. boiling water

5 drops stevia (or 1/2 tsp. raw honey)

Get the Recipe

Orange & Goji Whey Protein Bars

Serves 5

Tired of packaged bars, even in fun flavors like chocolate pretzel and white chocolate raspberry? When you need something new in your meal plan – unlike anything available in stores – make these orange and goji berry protein bars.

This is the recipe to go for if you love cream-filled truffles and chocolate-dipped fruit. It’s a homemade candy bar loaded with protein that delivers big on taste, including coconut, almonds, and chili powder.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

273

Calories

16 g

Protein

25 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 scoops (about 1/2 cup) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

3/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) goji berries

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. orange zest

1 tsp. chili powder

3 squares 85% dark chocolate, melted

Get the Recipe

No-Bake Whey Protein Bars

Serves 16

These easy protein bars only require four ingredients, yet taste awesome thanks to peanut butter and coconut cream.

In addition to that, you just need to mix in a bunch of uncooked oatmeal and a heap of protein powder. Press into a pan, let them chill for a couple hours, and cut into bars. These can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, and you’ll have a quick breakfast protein bar or a filling snack.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

279

Calories

16 g

Protein

22 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups quick oats

1 1/3 cups peanut butter

1 cup coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk)

5 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

Get the Recipe

Vegan Chickpea Peanut Bars (No Powder)

Serves 10

These raisin-studded treats look like blondies, but they’re actually no-bake vegan protein bars. A can of chickpeas is used to replace the flour as a base, and dates make a delicious all-natural sweetener.

Aside from that, it only takes a handful of ingredients to make them taste amazing. Choose your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for the mix-ins. The bars will firm up nicely in the freezer, which is also where they can be stashed for later.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

107

Calories

4 g

Protein

14 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup dates

1/4 cup toasted peanuts

1/4 cup hemp hearts

2 Tbsp. raisins

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Get the Recipe

Vanilla Hazelnut Protein Bars

Serves 3

Hazelnut is often paired with chocolate, as in Nutella spread. When you want to enjoy it with lighter flavor, try it with vanilla.

These whey protein bars require only five ingredients, and since the whole batch isn’t split into very many servings, each one contains over a scoop of whey protein powder. For such a simple protein bar recipe, these have impressive macros at over 30 grams of protein with under 200 calories.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

188

Calories

32 g

Protein

9 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 scoops (about 1 cup) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 cup filtered water (or as needed)

1/4 cup hazelnut butter, warmed

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Stevia to taste

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

Get the Recipe

Maple-Bacon Protein Bars

Serves 2

Craving pancakes and waffles, but following a low-carb meal plan? This protein bar – no flour or oats required. Yet there’s still plenty to love about this breakfast bar with maple extract and bacon.

That’s practically all that’s in the recipe, aside from whey protein powder. The final ingredient is IMO syrup, a high-fiber alternative to added sugar that has fewer calories and lends a soft texture to protein bars.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

131

Calories

14 g

Protein

15 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 tsp. maple extract

1 Tbsp. water

5 tsp. VitaFiber IMO syrup

2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Get the Recipe

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

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Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

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  • Victoria Dorman

    For past 12yrs, I have not been able to eat anything other than metrx big100 peanut butter cookie dough bars. When I try consuming anything else I get extreme pain and vomiting.
    I am almost out of my current supply and metrx has discontinued them. Have you tried making any of these without using chocolate? That is an extreme trigger for my stomach to react.

    • Kurt MacArthur

      You can remove the chocolate from several of these recipes by just ignoring it. Several only have chocolate because of the added “Chocolate Chips” Like the Homemade Chewy Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.

      • Victoria Dorman

        Thank you for your reply. I haven’t cooked in many many years, so task of experimenting, and the results of a bad experiment has this task overwhelming. Yes, my body’s response to food is concerning. Before I found the bars, I was down to almost 100lbs at 5’09” and that was very painful. I don’t ever want to be there again. Thank you again for your suggestions.

        • Kurt MacArthur

          Not a problem, happy to help. I would definitely try the
          No-Bake Berry Coconut Almond Protein Bars. Those should be pretty easy to make and without any kind of chocolate.

      • Thanks for helping out Kurt!

  • craigo

    so many protein bars are high in fats and blow macros out of the water, so have been making my own bars for a while now, 400g protein powder, 1 cup puffed brown rice, 1 cup processed bran, 1 cup rolled oats, cocoa to taste, stevia to taste, spirulina to ‘taste’ – lololol, 180ml light coconut milk, a dash of water to help form a large dense ball. flatten on tray, freeze till formed, cut and freeze in small lots. meet macros easily without need to even watch them. feel free to refine and share

    • craigo

      resist the temptation to add more water until you truly need it or you end up with a sticky mess, but don’t make them after an arm workout – its a bit like doing a set or two just mixing them. i line a tray with baking paper to press the bars onto so they don’t stick. cut them before they fully freeze or you might wish you had! i keep my bars in the freezer, they only take a minute to soften enough to munch. the cost is so much cheaper then bought bars and the macros are so much better – especially if you are ‘cutting’! i experiment with every batch but this is the basis. you can add whatever you like and change quantities etc, even add supps like l-carnitine, l-glutamine etc but play with the quantity based on end serving size / weight. i cut mine into roughly 25g (1 inch square) pieces and they usually come in under 300kj each with roughly 1g fat, 4-5g carb (2g fibre), 10g protein – bazzzzinga! some bars have 6-10g of fat for this amount of protein. hope it’s useful – i love them

    • craigo

      protein content varies depending on the powder you use. good quality, high wpi % would be higher protein level – if that’s a problem, you can use less.

  • Owen

    Thanks for sharing. Anybody tried the choc chip cookie dough bars? Im finding it hard to make 6 bars with just 4tbs of flour (20g/0.8oz), anyone found the same problem? Thanks.

    • Glad you liked! I haven’t made that one myself so I can’t help. If I do I will let you know though.

  • Stephanie Smith

    Wow, this is awesome! I’ve been looking into different recipes to shake things up, since I’ve been eating protein bars for breakfast every day in an effort to aid in gaining muscle. They’re dense, tasty and easy to eat on the go than most foods. I’ve been using a chocolate protein powder, and I’m wondering if I could use it with a pumpkin mix for oatmeal bars? I just can’t find a recipe, but I’d love to try it.

    http://www.mymusclechef.com

  • YW! Glad you enjoyed them.

  • That looks delish. Thanks!

    • Ella Simonds

      Thank u 🙂

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