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20 Protein Shake Recipes That Beat Protein Bars Any Day

Who says high-protein dieting is hard or boring? These tasty, portable protein shake recipes will be the highlights of your day!

If you’re into weightlifting, you’re probably used to swirling some protein powder in some water or milk and downing it one gulp.

That’s one of way of getting your protein in, but why not treat yourself with some variety and flavor?

Well, that’s why I compiled this list of 20 protein shake recipes and not a single one is dull or bland. Instead, you’ll be enjoying healthy smoothies like the pineapple upside-down cake protein shake or the banana chai protein shake.

So pick your protein–there are plenty of great tastes to go around.

Enjoy!

Peach Cobbler Protein Shake

Serves 1

Turn your favorite summer dessert into a healthy way to cool off with this peaches and cream shake.

This isn’t going to taste like ice cream, but it has half the calories and ten times the protein. That’s a fair trade when you’re still able to enjoy fresh peaches and cream – not heavy cream, of course, but low-fat cottage cheese.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

217

Calories

41 g

Protein

14 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup peaches

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (or butter extract)

2 stevia packets (or more to taste)

1/2–1 cup water

5–10 ice cubes

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional thickener)

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Butterfinger Protein Shake

Serves 1

Instead of having another peanut butter protein shake, take it to the next level with the flavor of toffee.

Altogether, this ends up being a lot like a Butterfinger candy bar – except with nutritional value. Plus, when you turn peanut brittle into a protein shake, you can enjoy it without getting pure sugar stuck in your teeth.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

318

Calories

39 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup low-fat milk

1 cup cold water

1 cup ice cubes

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 Tbsp. sugar-free butterscotch instant pudding mix

Pinch of salt

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Strawberry Cheesecake Shake

Serves 1

No protein powder needed! Instead this low-calorie strawberry smoothie gets its substance from a serving of cottage cheese. That makes it one part strawberry cheesecake, one part strawberries and cream.

And if you do want to add a scoop of whey isolate, there’s no stopping you. By making it a strawberry protein shake, it’ll only become a more filling, more nutritious means of killing your dessert cravings.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

164

Calories

11 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup cottage cheese

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Stevia to taste (or 1 tsp. pure honey)

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Cinnamon Roll Protein Shake

Serves 1

Forget about the overly specific flavored protein powders. With all-natural vanilla and chocolate as a base flavor, you can make any protein shake of your dreams.

Take this cinnamon roll shake for example. It uses egg white, almond milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup to recreate the essence of a Cinnabon. But instead of a whopping 880 calories per pastry, this cinnamony shake adds up to less than 200 calories yet has 33 grams of protein.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

189

Calories

33 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. liquid egg whites

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. pure maple syrup

1 small scoop stevia

Handful of ice

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Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Shake

Serves 1

Chocolate protein shakes are a classic, but they’re also a great base to build into a decadent concoction. This version not only adds half a banana and a handful of hazelnuts for flavor, but there’s a mix of seeds – hemp seeds, flax, and chia – as well as acai powder for  big nutritional boost.

The final result doesn’t taste exactly like Nutella, but if that’s the flavor you’re after, you can always add a tablespoon of the hazelnuts chocolate spread to the recipe. Just keep in mind you’ll be adding about 100 calories.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

525

Calories

39 g

Protein

38 g

Carbs

27 g

Fat

Ingredients

Handful of crushed ice

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (more if needed to thin)

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1/2 banana

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1 tsp. shelled hemp seeds

1 tsp. flax seeds

1 tsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. acai powder

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

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Blueberry Pancake Batter Smoothie

Serves 1

A lot of smoothies that are based on breakfast favorites rely on maple syrup, but not this pancake protein shake. Its aim isn’t to recreate the decadent brunch; instead it captures the cook’s treat when making fresh pancakes.

This blueberry smoothie tastes a lot like licking the bowl of batter while the pancakes are sizzling on the griddle.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

438

Calories

25 g

Protein

38 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut water

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. coconut flour

2 Tbsp. date paste (or pure honey)

1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. baking soda (optional)

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

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Cookies & Cream Protein Milkshake

Serves 2

How can you make Oreos healthy? Aside from cutting them out of your diet completely, you can ensure one serving of cookies goes far.

With this recipe for chocolate cookies and cream milkshakes, it’s possible to enjoy the Oreo flavor you love while having less than two cookies – ok, three if you eat one while you make the shakes. The rest of the creaminess comes from nutritious cottage cheese. That already adds up to 20 grams of protein; double it with a couple scoops of your favorite protein powder.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

217

Calories

20 g

Protein

21 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese

1 cup skim milk

3 Oreo cookies

1 tsp. truvia

1 tsp. vanilla extract

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Cake Batter Protein Shake

Serves 2

This is a vanilla protein shake and then some. Real eggs add just the right element to create the flavor of cake batter.

Of course, you might be hesitant to drink raw eggs, although if you stick to local and cage-free eggs, you’ll be ok. Overall the health risk of consuming raw eggs is minimal – you’d have to test thousands of eggs just to find one that contains potentially harmful bacteria, and even then the chance of it making you sick is very low.

No one’s saying to make raw egg protein shakes a daily habit, but they’re delicious as an occasional creamy treat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

431

Calories

27 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

32 g

Fat

Ingredients

6 oz. full-fat coconut milk

2 pastured duck eggs (or 3 large eggs)

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. rainbow sprinkles, divided

1 Tbsp. melted ghee (or grass-fed butter)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. collagen hydrolysate (optional)

6–8 ice cubes

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Early Morning Protein Jolt

Serves 1

To make a paleo protein shake, you’ll have to pass up the usual protein powders, including plant-based soy and rice protein, as well as dairy-based casein and whey. What’s surprising is what can be used in their place: gelatin not only adds a little protein, but it creates a silky, thick texture.

This coffee protein shake is a well-rounded start to your day with chia seeds, a few slices of avocado, and a spoonful of almond butter. With all that healthy fat, your brain will be powered for hours to keep you productive without the pressure.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

479

Calories

13 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

39 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

1 Tbsp. ground chia seeds

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 avocado

1/2 cup warm brewed coffee

1 Tbsp. almond butter (or sunflower seed butter)

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp. raw honey

Dash of cinnamon (optional)

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Avocado Mint Protein Smoothie

Serves 1

Think you’ve tasted every possible fruit smoothie combination?

This recipe will freshen up your protein shake rotation, using not just frozen banana but avocado too. That makes this perfect for replenishing your body after an intense workout, offering an unbeatable combo of healthy fats and natural sugars. By adding a scoop of protein powder, this smoothie has it all.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

604

Calories

33 g

Protein

71 g

Carbs

26 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup frozen banana (about 1 large banana), sliced

1/2 avocado

3 dates, pitted

4 leaves fresh mint

1 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

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Banana Chai Protein Shake

Serves 1

All it takes to make an amazing banana protein shake is a frozen banana, protein powder, and milk. But bananas can also be the base of a bunch of other amazing shakes, like this one featuring spiced chai tea.

Not only does this healthy smoothie have an immense amount of flavor, but it manages to pack an amazing 21 grams of protein into less than 200 calories.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

179

Calories

21 g

Protein

22 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 chai tea bags

1 cup water

1/2 banana, frozen

1/2 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 tsp. maca powder (optional)

1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup low-fat milk

6 ice cubes

Sprinkle of cinnamon, for garnish

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Chocolate Fudge Protein Shake

Serves 1

If you don’t like bananas, you can still enjoy a rich chocolate protein shake.

Replace it with an equal amount of another fruit, or try a cup of firm tofu for even more protein. You’ll be adding another 20 grams of protein if you choose tofu, resulting in a creamy chocolate shake with about 350 calories. Depending on your tastes, a little sweetener – maybe a touch of zero-calorie stevia – may also be in order.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

274

Calories

24 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup low-fat milk

2 tsp. Dutch cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. (about 1/2 scoop) WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1 overripe banana, frozen

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

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Low-Carb Chocolate Protein Shake

Serves 1

If you love to swing through the drive-thru for a fast food frosty treat, then you’ll love this healthy twist that swaps out the sugar for protein powder. And like the original frosty, it has just a hint of cocoa with a touch of cream.

This low-carb protein milkshake uses liquid stevia, but you can use any sweetener without sacrificing the nutritional value.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

360

Calories

25 g

Protein

4 g

Carbs

23 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups ice

34 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1 tsp. instant espresso powder

2 Tbsp. hot water

1/8 tsp. liquid stevia

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Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

Serves 1

Because of America’s love affair with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it’s a no-brainer to add nuts to a berry smoothie. But every now and then, it’s time for a break from the classics – or add to them.

Instead of coming up with a new berry flavor combination, this recipe combines it with another favorite dessert flavor: pumpkin pie. It’s like topping a slice of cashew-crusted pumpkin pie with fresh blueberry sauce.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

271

Calories

18 g

Protein

27 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 Tbsp. cashew butter

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

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves

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Homemade Protein Powder

Serves 8 / Makes about 2 cups

For whey protein, you know we’re camp Legion over here. But sometimes you’d rather load up on plant-based proteins. If you ever have that need in your family, try this homemade vegan protein powder made with oats, rice, and lentils.

The downside is it has more complex carbs than protein, whereas whey isolate contains just a couple grams of carbs per 22 grams of protein. Yet, we admit there are a few benefits to this vegan protein powder too, including fiber, iron, and vitamins.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

130

Calories

8 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/3 cup steel-cut oats

1/3 cup brown rice

1 cup dried green lentils

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Beet Orange Protein Shake

Serves 2

Although beets are naturally sweet – while adding only 6 grams of sugar per beet – they don’t make the best juice. It’s not that they aren’t tasty, just that as a smoothie beets will be more palatable when mixed with other fruits.

By brightening the flavor with citrus, you can create a superfood smoothie packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

216

Calories

31 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

1 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups beet greens

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 cups water

2 small orange, peeled

2 small beets, peeled and diced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

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Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Serves 2

There are a wide variety of protein shakes that can be made without supplemental protein powder.

This one relies on peanut butter – both all-natural and powdered – and egg whites. We might not be used to drinking egg whites anymore, but it’s actually a traditional way to make a sweet beverage that’s creamy and delicious.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

369

Calories

28 g

Protein

43 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 banana

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

4 Tbsp. PB2 powdered peanut butter

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. liquid egg whites

2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

1 small container (5.3 oz.) nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup ice

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Green Warrior Protein Smoothie

Serves 2 / Makes about 3 cups

Protein shakes with vegetables don’t have to taste boring – especially with a touch of lively fresh mint. When you make a green protein shake, that doesn’t mean you have to leave out the fruit completely.

This one gets its bright green hue from the inclusion of kale, celery, and cucumber. Yet it’s still sweet enough to enjoy sipping thanks to a whole apple, a bit of mango, and a splash of tangy red grapefruit juice. What this vegan protein shake doesn’t need, though, is protein powder. The entire batch gets 17 grams of protein from hemp hearts.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

264

Calories

10 g

Protein

32 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh red grapefruit juice

1 cup destemmed dinosaur kale

1 large sweet apple, cored and roughly chopped

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 medium stalk celery, chopped

4 Tbsp. hemp hearts

1/4 cup frozen mango

1/8 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4 ice cubes

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Protein Shake

Serves 1

This isn’t just a tropical protein shake – it’s also a sippable version of a classic cake. The only thing missing in the pineapple shake is the dark caramel flavor that comes from the sugar melting in the oven.

So if you want to go all out, drizzle some caramel sauce on top. Go with a light touch, though, because a tablespoon is about 100 calories and 10 grams of sugar.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

436

Calories

29 g

Protein

61 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. butter extract (or 1 tsp. melted coconut oil)

1 1/2 cups crushed ice

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1/4 cup whipped topping

1 Tbsp. caramel syrup

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Cookie Dough Protein Shake

Serves 2

Drive by the Dairy Queen, and pull out your blender at home instead. With this recipe, you can make a thick, spoonable milkshake complete with cashew chocolate chip cookie dough. And since it’s vegan (if you choose an appropriate protein powder), there’s no ice cream, milk, or heavy cream required. Frozen bananas are an awesome replacement for ice cream in healthy desserts, and this one is no exception.

The entire shake contains only 16 grams of sugar, compared to an unbelievable 117 grams of sugar per DQ Cookie Dough Blizzard.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

388

Calories

33 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

Cookie Dough:

1/5 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup pitted dates

1 oz. dark chocolate

Vegan Ice Cream:

2 bananas, sliced and frozen

6 ice cubes

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

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

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

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.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

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.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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  • Donsods

    They all look great, but who has that kind of time. Instead, Legion should just make a protein bar!

    • They’re worth the time–trust me. 🙂

      I’m thinking about doing protein bars! We’ll see.

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