Vegan Protein Bars

4.99 from 341 votes

These vegan protein bars are a great post workout snack or great for a healthy energy boost. Made with no refined sugar, they are gluten-free and dairy-fee.

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If you are looking for a post workout snack or a mid-afternoon energy boost, these vegan protein bars are so perfect! Quick to make with just a handful of ingredients, they are gluten-free, dairy free and loaded with plant-based protein.

Close up shot of three vegan protein bars on parchment paper
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Ingredients to make your own protein bars

  • Rolled oats: Oats are naturally gluten-free and a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Use rolled oats for the best texture. Quick oats will also work well, but it’s best to avoid steel cut oats as they will be tougher to eat.
  • Natural peanut butter: I prefer to use natural peanut butter as it doesn’t contain any added salt, sugar or oils. You can use peanut butter with oil and cane sugar though. It’s also easy to make your own peanut butter.
  • Dates: Dates provide natural sweetness, eliminating the need for refined sugar and also help to make the mixture sticky and bind well.
  • Almond milk: To keep these bars vegan, I op to make them with almond milk. If you are not vegan, you can use dairy milk. Alternatively other plant based milks like oat or soy will also work well or even just water!
  • Vanilla extract: For a little extra sweetness and to help bring all of the flavors together. Use pure vanilla rather than imitation if you can.
  • Protein powder: I add vegan protein powder to boost each bar to a whopping 13g of protein. I use a plain flavored powder.
  • Ground Flaxseed: I use flaxseeds wherever I can! They are loaded with healthy essential fats as well as a good amount of protein. When ground, flaxseed can actually help bind the way egg whites would.
  • Salt: A little salt helps to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Dark chocolate chips: Because everything is better with a little chocolate! Dark chocolate is also a great source of antioxidants.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How do you make homemade protein bars

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add the peanut butter, dates, almond milk and vanilla extract. These are the wet ingredients that I like to blend together first.
  2. Blend until the mixture is smooth and consistent. It will look like a super thick nut butter.
  3. Add the oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed and salt.
  4. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined
Process shots for how to make the batter

Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or your hands. I find it easier to just use my hands.

Batter transferred from food processor to bowl and topped with mini chocolate chips

Press the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten out the top with your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the freezer until it sets, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the pan and slice into 10 equal bars.

Vegan protein bars after setting in the freezer and cut into bars

Tips for making homemade protein bars

  1. Wet your hands with water or oil when handling the batter. Because of the sticky nature of using dates to sweeten the recipe, it will be very sticky so this tip will help you manage the dough.
  2. Use your hands for mixing the chocolate chips into the batter. Once you pulse everything in the food processor, it helps to use your hands for folding in the chocolate chips because it’s much easier. It also allows you to mix in anything the food processor missed.
  3. Set the batter in an 8×8 baking pan with straight edges. This size and the straight edges will help you form the best looking protein bars that look like the packaged ones.
  4. Soften dates with warm water if necessary. If you have very fresh dates that feel soft, you won’t need to do this. However, if the dates are older or feel more tough, softening them will help them more easily blend and bind to the other ingredients.
  • Make with Oath Overnight OatsThis is a brand I launched to create convenient packages of my oatmeal recipes. Try substituting equal parts of the Mountain Wild Blueberry mix in this recipe instead of rolled oats.
  • Add shredded coconut. Mix in about a cup of shredded coconut to make these oat bars extra chewy and delicious!
  • Add chopped nuts. You can’t go wrong with a handful of walnuts, almonds, or pecans mixed into these bars. Toast them first for an extra nutty flavor and crunch.

Frequently asked questions

How long do vegan protein bars keep?

These bars will last for up to 7 days. Store the bars in the fridge in an airtight container. Don’t store them at room temperature as the natural peanut butter will soften too much.

Why make your own protein bars?

It’s so easy to make a batch of protein bars that you can enjoy all week. It is considerably cheaper to make your own, and it takes no more than 10 minutes to make a batch. You know exactly what goes in to each bite.

When do you eat protein bars?

I like to have a protein bar either 30 minutes before a workout or directly after it to replenish my energy. They are also far better option than reaching for a chocolate bar when you are experiencing a mid day slump in energy. I’ve also been known to grab one of these when I run out the door early in the morning.

Protein bars stacked on top of each other with parchment paper in between

These vegan protein bars are so great for a quick energy boost, whether it’s post workout or for a mid afternoon pick me up. It’s so quick and easy to make a batch and have on hand throughout the week to keep those cravings at bay.

More vegan treats

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Vegan Protein Bars recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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Vegan Protein Bars

These vegan protein bars are a great post workout snack or great for a healthy energy boost. Made with no refined sugar, they are gluten-free and dairy-fee.
5 from 341 votes
Servings 8 bars
Course Snack
Calories 255
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
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Video

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhanging paper on the sides. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, add the peanut butter, dates, almond milk and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is smooth and consistent, about 1 minute.
  • Stop the food processor to scrape down the sides, then add the oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed and salt. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined. The mixture should have a cookie dough-like texture. If it’s too dry, add a splash of milk. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder and pulse again.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or your hands.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten out the top with your hands or the back of a spoon. It helps to spray your hands with oil when pressing down. Place in the freezer until it sets, about 15 minutes.
  • Use the overhanging parchment paper to lift from the baking pan, and slice into 8 bars. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 10-14 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: After cutting the bars, freeze them on a baking sheet until solid.  Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe container or bag. You then simply need to thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However, feel free to play around with the ingredients and customize to your liking. Here are some common substitutes:
  • Equal amounts chia seeds instead of ground flaxseed
  • Any liquid instead of almond milk
  • ½ maple syrup instead of the dates
  • Quick oats instead of rolled oats
  • Any nut butter or sunflower butter instead of peanut butter

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 162mg, Potassium: 287mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Snack

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Lexi says:

    Where are the measurements? They’re not listed

    1. Yumna says:

      Hi there, if you click “jump to recipe” it will bring you to the full recipe with ingredient list and method.

  2. Fiona says:

    This recipe is so good! I made it twice as is, and the third time I substituted peanut butter for cashew butter, added half a cup of shredded coconut And substituted the chocolate chips for chopped dried cherries. I finished it off by sprinkling some chocolate chips on top. So delicious and versatile!

    1. Yumna says:

      Sounds so good!

  3. Jessica says:

    Delicious! I had everything on hand which made this recipe easy and affordable. I added nuts (one of her suggestions) and love the subtle crunch. Still trying to figure out the moisture ratio (I think I added too much almond milk) but they’re delicious nonetheless.

    1. Yumna says:

      Happy you enjoyed these! Next time if it seems like there is too much moisture, you could try adding more oats or flax!

  4. Lauri says:

    Have made these several times… making them again now!! Thank YOU!!!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      You’re so welcome!! Thank you for making them!

  5. Elle says:

    So good! I followed the recipe pretty much as written, except I used soy milk instead of almond milk since that’s what I keep on hand. I also soaked my dates in warm water as suggested, and ended up adding a little of the warm water to my wet ingredients. These taste almost exactly like the RXBAR A.M. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars that I was trying to find a cheaper replacement for (maybe a little less sweet)! When I compared nutrition facts using My Fitness Pal, these end up having less salt, 2g more fiber, 2g more protein, less sugar, and more healthy fats (they both have 2 g saturated fat) than the RX Bars.

    For nutrition reference, I used Teddie All Natural Peanut Butter, Silk Organic Unsweet Soy Milk, and Hemp Yeah! Unsweetened Max Protein Powder.

    Super easy to make, so glad I found this post-workout alternative! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thanks so much for sharing all the info and your variations!

  6. Brooke says:

    Hi!
    Thanks for the recipe! I need a healthy protein bar for my quick work lunches.
    Unfortunately, mine mostly crumbled apart. I’m thinking I’ll try again with more pb and maybe mixing the flax and “milk” together first? I thought I had the correct texture, but I guess not. Any advice you can offer I would appreciate!
    Thanks again,
    Brooke

    1. Yumna says:

      Hi there! So sorry to hear these didn’t come out as you expected. For the dates you used, did you soften them first? Sometimes if the dates are too firm the mixture won’t come together as it’s meant to. If you have dates that are on the firmer side, you can soften them in warm water for about 10 minutes, then drain them and proceed with the recipe as written. Hope this helps!

      1. Brooke says:

        Thank you! The dates were on the dry side. I didn’t realize. I haven’t used dates before. I will try softening them. Do you cut them up before you put them in? Thanks again!

  7. Lauri says:

    These are excellent!! Easy to make with a big enough food processor!! Love your recipes!!! So good… and so good for you!!!

  8. Michael says:

    Hi! Has anyone tried making these without dates (or any other sweetener like agave/maple etc.). I unfortunately have some intolerances and need to stay clear of any sweetener for the time being but looking for a healthy, protein-rich snack. The other ingredients are right up my alley. Maybe I could increase the amount of peanut butter to achieve a better texture? Appreciate that the bars may not taste sweet enough without the dates or sweetener but I’m willing to try :))

    1. Yumna J. says:

      You can make these without the dates, they just won’t be sweet, but they should still be good! I hope you enjoy!

      1. Michael says:

        Thanks so much – they turned out pretty well and I like the taste. Had to add a lot more almond milk (naturally) to make adjust the texture but super pleased with the outcome. Thank you for the recipe!

  9. P says:

    Hi, I don’t have protein powder. What can replace it with in this recipe?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I don’t think there is anything you can really replace it with, you can leave it out though if you want.

  10. Sara says:

    Easy to make and tasty. Great knowing exactly what I am eating

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Right! So many of the things they hide in protein bars these days are scary. So glad you liked them!

  11. Barbie says:

    I’ve made this twice & ❤️ them!!!
    I made my own almond milk, used Nuttzo
    Power Fuel, 7 Nut & Seed Butter & Evolved Chocolate Dark Chocolate Chips. OMG….Soooo Delicious!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Wow!! That sounds amazing!! So glad you liked them!

  12. Douglas Hopkins says:

    Great protein bars . They are delicious .

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much, Douglas!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I just finished making these. Very delicious!!!! I changed the recipe a bit by using some ground pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and ground hemp seeds for the protein and added some desiccated coconut. I omitted the chocolate as did not have any. As they were very sticky I used half of the mixture and rolled them into balls and coated with desiccated coconut to dry them out. The other half remain bars for now! Very lovely flavour. Thank you so much. Will be making again! Next time might add some carob powder 🙂

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! That sounds like a delicious way to switch it up. You’re so welcome! Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  14. Kiki says:

    These are frickin delicious and so easy to make! I will probably experiment with using a higher proportion of oats and/or baking them next time, as mine were still pretty sticky even after being in the freezer for several hours. If I can get them a little drier, they’ll be perfect for backpacking.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! Let me know how that goes!

  15. Lee says:

    Ahhhhhmazing! Made them as directed. So so good! I enjoy them for dessert. Just the right amount of sweetness. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! That’s perfect. You’re so welcome!

  16. Ash says:

    Really enjoyed these. I used half the amount of protein powder and replaced with extra ground flax because my protein powder is minging! Also added half a banana and dates because my mixture was dry and not sweet enough for my liking. Was really good though! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! That all sounds great. Happy to have shared!

  17. Sharma says:

    Ignore my last comment as I have now found the quantities for the ingredients… But they were not easy to find! I’m looking forward to making them the ingredients look good thank you for the recipe

    Best wishes Sharma

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Can’t wait to hear what you think once you make the recipe!

  18. tanya says:

    hi, yumna—these bars sound so good. is there a substitute for the protein powder? (for consistency, not protein content). thank you.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you so much! You could skip it or just add more oats.

  19. Imelda says:

    These were AMAZING!!. I don’t eat food with processed sugar, so for me these were perfect in sweetness. I used dates to sweeten it, I also used a chocolate vegan protein. Which in my opinion made it more decadent 😍
    They are also the perfect snack after my runs.
    If u like sweeter foods than maybe add more dates and the chocolate chips.
    But I will be making another batch tommorow. Making this recipe will definitely not be a waste. Thanks for the great recipe😉

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! I just love the natural sweetness from dates. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

  20. Dani says:

    These were GREAT! I subbed some ingredients like seed butter instead of pbutter, added pepitas and almonds, and then froze them Ate them right out the freezer each time! Mine became slightly gooey while eating (most likely bc I altered the recipe, but I liked that they were dry! Already making another batch!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay!! This recipe is super versatile in that way, so you can tweak it until it perfectly fits your tastebuds and texture preferences.

  21. Manaal says:

    I loved these so much! This is the first recipe I made of yours because it looked so simple, healthy and yummy. Turned out absolutely delicious and just a little bit made me so full! I love that I know exactly what’s going into these bars. Would definitely make these again instead of buying from the grocery store. The only thing I did differently was skip the protein powder because I didn’t have any. Still turned out great though!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you gave this recipe a try and that it worked out that way!

  22. Yas says:

    I made these today and they were delicious. I only had 2 dates so I subbed with golden raisins, and I also used crunchy peanut butter and almond butter. I baked them for about 15 min because I like a dryer texture but I will definitely be making these again. It was a hit for my family.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      That makes me so happy to hear! I’m glad it still worked out with the substitutions.

  23. Karina says:

    I just made a huge mess and wasted a bunch of expensive ingredients. Save yourself the trouble and don’t make these. They tasted really bad and weren’t sweet enough even though I added maple syrup in addition to the dates (after tasting the mixture). I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of substituting chia seeds for flax. The texture was on-point, which is why I’m rating this 2 stars. But I would definitely not make these again.

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Hi Karina, I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine how they would taste bad when you have 1/2 cup peanut butter, dates, oats, ground flaxseed and chocolate chips! It’s such a classic combination. The ground flaxseed is a better idea than the chia seeds since they have more of a nutty taste and blend better into the batter, but that shouldn’t have affected the taste. I’m wondering if it’s the protein powder you used or is it possible you don’t like the taste of oats and peanut butter?

      1. Karina says:

        Hello, thank you for responding. It did look like a delicious combination of ingredients, which is why I selected this recipe. I do like the combination of oats and peanut butter. It may have been the protein powder I used, though. I felt as though the sweetness ratio was off — the bars weren’t sweet at all — but maybe that’s how they were supposed to turn out.
        I hope you do not take offense to my review. I simply want to help other foodies by sharing my honest experience with each recipe. If a recipe didn’t turn out well for me, I want to help others avoid my mistakes, and if it did turn out well, I want to promote that recipe. And it is never my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings.
        Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.

        1. Yumna Jawad says:

          Hi Karina – I appreciate your review so so much and it really is helpful for others to know that the texture was great but the flavor probably needed some enhancements. I love that you took the time to provide the feedback and it truly is helpful to the other readers of the website. I think for others reading this feedback, I recommend tasting some of the mixture and adjusting as necessary before forming them into bars. They are a great versatile recipe and I appreciate you trying them! Thank you!

  24. JUSTINE MARSHALL says:

    I am loving these tips that are coming through each day. I plan on making the vegan slices, I have all the ingredients, so will tag you in on insta once I’ve made them x

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you! I look forward to seeing how they turn out!

  25. Bronagh says:

    Really enjoyed these and so easy to make. A bit messy but well worth the mess.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I’m glad it was worth it!

  26. Marina Gabra says:

    I like how easy and simple your recipes are! And I like the tips part too!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much!!

  27. David Z. says:

    It looks great. What brand of protein powder do you use? I have heard that some non-whey protein powders ar contaminated with heavy metals. Is that true?

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! And yes, there are some that are not as good. I recommend Vega or Orgain.

  28. Ian says:

    Just the best. My family loves these. Thank you!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay, so glad to hear it! Thanks for leaving feedback 🙂

  29. Ally Schultz says:

    So easy to make and absolutely delicious!!! These bars are so easy to grab and go. They will definitely become a staple in my house. Also perfect for my sweet tooth!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay, so glad to hear it. Thank you!!

  30. Janette Gonzalez says:

    It was so easy to make and my girls love it, in special my 2 year old she is lactose intolerant and this was a great snack for her, because I didn’t have the pitted dates I added raisins and come out great 😊 thank you

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad to hear that your girls loved it!! And raisins is an excellent substitution for the dates.

    2. Ellen says:

      I have recently decided to follow a healthier lifestyle with no gluten or sugar and needed a snack for a 3 o clock slump when I just couldn’t push on through. I thought I’d try these. They are perfect. I substituted hazlenut milk and needed to add more than the recommended amount. I worked with trying to get it to a cookie dough consistency. Im really pleased with the results. I made 16 bars from my batch so I’ve freezed some for later in small containers.

      1. Yumna Jawad says:

        So glad you tried these and enjoyed them! Thanks so much for sharing!

  31. Rita Saade says:

    I didn’t have pitted dates and ended up using 1/3 cup of the baking dates. They tasted so goood but if you want them to have a stronger date taste and make them more firm I think you’d need a little more dates. They turned out great for me and I’d stick to the 1/3 cup!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Oh that’s a great idea of using the baking dates. Thanks for including the measurements for others to try it that way!

    2. Kirsteen Blair says:

      This recipe was super easy to make and once we tasted it for the first time, thought it was delicious! The whole family loved it! Definitely making this again! I love that it’s so healthy for my kids too!

      1. Yumna Jawad says:

        So glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thank you!!

  32. Akshata Desai says:

    This recipe is super healthy and equally delicious. I tried this recipe, but instead of bars, I made them in laddoos( Indian style ) and they turned out so good! Thank you Yumna for this wonderful recipe 😊😊

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Oh I love that idea of how you tweaked it! Thank you!!

  33. Maya says:

    A perfect recipe to try super tasty , easy , and gives you just the right amount of sweets instead of unhealthy junk foods .
    Thanks FeelGoodFoodie

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thank you!!