Homemade Protein Bars

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These Homemade Protein Bars are incredibly simple to make with no baking (or stove-top) required. This recipe calls for normal, everyday ingredients–and that means no special trips to specialty stores!

Making your own protein bars is not only economical (prepared protein bars can be costly!), but you’ll also know exactly what goes in them.

Images of the Homemade Protein Bars stacked on top of each other, ready to be eaten.

Homemade Protein Bars

My husband worked with a personal trainer for a bit last year and a big takeaway was that he needed to get more way more protein in his diet. After a bit of sticker shock purchasing different protein bars (most with very questionable ingredients!), I decided to create some from scratch.

Not only are these homemade bars far cheaper to make (on a bar-to-bar comparison), they also don’t have any crazy, unpronounceable ingredients. And, best of all, they’re completely delicious and totally addictive. While I’m not too concerned about my own protein intake, I’ll admit, I can’t stop eating these!

If you’ve tried commercial protein bars, these are closest to a “Perfect Bar,” texture-wise. They’re soft, thick, and chewy. Taste-wise they’re similar to a “G2G Bar” or “Go-Macro Bar”, and most like the almond butter flavor “Perfect Bar” (with more of a protein powder flavor/after taste).

Is it cheaper to make your own Protein Bars?

Absolutely! Making your own protein bars is much cheaper. Initially, the ingredients will cost more upfront, but with the amount you can make with those ingredients, homemade bars will end up much cheaper.

Most store-bought protein bars go for about $1.50 and up to $3.00–sometimes more if they’re bought as singles instead of in a case or package. Depending on the exact brands you purchase, these bars can be made for a lot less.

Plus, you can use all-natural ingredients and know exactly what is in them and they’re easy to customize to personal preference!

Process shots-- images of the vanilla protein powder and shredded coconut used in Homemade Protein Bars.

How to make Homemade Protein Bars

  • Measure out the ingredients and add them to a large bowl.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Press the mixture into a lined pan and chill the bars until firm.
  • (Optional) Drizzle some melted dark chocolate on the bars and enjoy!

It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Process shots-- images of all the ingredients being added to a bowl; being mixed together; spread into a lined pan.

How to customize Homemade Protein Bars

Homemade Protein Bars are easily customizable. 

  • Swap out the almond butter for peanut butter. I do like the almond butter best in these, but peanut butter works great!
  • Replace the coconut with coarsely chopped nuts. Reduce the quantity to 2 tablespoons. Alternatively, replace the coconut with chopped dates or raisins (for a sweeter protein bar).
  • Leave off the chocolate drizzle. These are still tasty without the extra chocolate and  it saves on calories if you’re concerned about the total caloric value of the bar.
  • Leave out the chocolate chips. No changes necessary — if you don’t want chocolate chips in your protein bars, simply leave them out. You could also change them out for carob chips instead.

Process shots-- images of the chocolate layer ingredients; the ingredients are then melted in the microwave.

Protein powder

Protein powder plays a huge role in the flavor of these bars. Use a good protein powder that you know you enjoy– otherwise, you likely won’t love the flavor (or texture) they add to Homemade Protein Bars.

My personal favorite protein powder is Truvani® (not sponsored). I love it because of the natural plant-based ingredients. That said, it is very spendy! My husband prefers a whey-based powder instead. His personal favorite is this Whey vanilla protein. We also enjoy Premier Protein’s® vanilla protein powder which is tasty and economical.

Image of the almond butter used in these protein bars.

Homemade Protein Bars tips

  • Adjust the sweetness. Depending on the protein powder used, you may want more or less honey in these bars. A lot of protein powders are sweetened, but the amount they are sweetened can vary greatly. I recommend checking out the ingredients in the powder you’re using and adjust the honey if the protein is sweetened. You can always add more honey but can’t take it away.
  • Adjust the saltiness. Again, the protein powder can also be salted, so you may want to use less (or completely omit) the salt in the recipe. As you’re making the bars, you can taste and adjust before pressing the mixture into the pan.
  • Use a good almond butter. The nut butter is the main flavor of these Homemade Protein Bars, and it also adds a significant amount of protein. As far as almond butter goes, I recommend a slow-roasted and lightly salted almond butter you enjoy eating straight from the jar. The flavor you taste when you eat it plain will transfer into the protein bars, as well.

Overhead image of protein bars in the pan. ready to be cut and served.

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Homemade Protein Bars

5 from 1 vote
These Homemade Protein Bars are incredibly simple to make with no baking (or stove-top) required. This recipe calls for normal, everyday ingredients--and that means no special trips to specialty stores!
Print Recipe

Homemade Protein Bars

5 from 1 vote
These Homemade Protein Bars are incredibly simple to make with no baking (or stove-top) required. This recipe calls for normal, everyday ingredients--and that means no special trips to specialty stores!
Course Dessert, Protein Shake, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Homemade Protein Bars, protein bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 protein bars
Calories 242kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $7.73

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (175g) almond butter dry roasted and lightly salted Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) + 1/2 teaspoon melted coconut oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (75g) honey Note 2
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup (70g) vanilla protein powder Note 3
  • 3 tablespoons (16g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons (36g) miniature chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) dark chocolate chips, optional

Instructions

  • PREP: Line an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or foil. Make sure to leave an overhang for easy removal of bars, and set aside.
  • COMBINE: In a large bowl, add the almond butter, 2 tablespoons of the melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, salt (reduce or omit if your almond butter and protein powder has salt), vanilla protein powder, shredded coconut, and miniature chocolate chips.
  • STIR: Stir until everything is well combined and you have a thick dough. Press the dough into the prepared bread pan. Cover the bars and chill for one hour in the fridge.
  • ENJOY: Remove from the fridge and, using the overhang, pull the bars from the pan. Cut into 10 to 12 individual bars. Enjoy or add the chocolate drizzle (next step).
  • OPTIONAL CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE: To add the chocolate drizzle, combine the chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the chocolate is smooth. Transfer the chocolate to a plastic bag, cut off the tip of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate over the bars. Allow to set up at room temperature.
  • STORAGE: Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Best enjoyed within 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: The almond butter is the main flavor, so make sure to use an almond butter with a flavor you love plain. I get a dry-roasted and lightly salted one to load tons of flavor into these bars without additional work.
Note 2: Depending on the protein powder you use (some are more sweetened than others) you may want to adjust the amount of honey. Add slowly and taste the mixture before pressing into the pan and chilling.
Note 3: The protein powder plays a huge role in the flavor and texture of these bars. Use a good protein powder that you know you enjoy; otherwise, you likely won't love the flavor/texture of the bars.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    thank you for this recipe, I eat commercial protein bars all the time, but very few measure up for long, just get sick of them and most are loaded with sugar, so really nice to be able to make my own with your recipe

  2. Hello! I’m very interested in trying your recipe, but hope you can clarify something for me.

    In the nutritional information it says each bar only contains 4 grams of protein. There’s 36 grams in the amount of almond butter used alone, so divided by 10 that would be 3.6, so I’m assuming all the protein was mistakenly tallied from all the ingredients *except* the protein powder? Or is it a typo and supposed to be 14?

    Thanks in advance for your time!

    1. Hey Lauren, good catch! I think you’re right and I’ll work on updating the nutrition label 🙂 Thanks!

    1. I’m so sorry I’m not familiar enough with the KETO diet to give recommendations; I’d work with a nutritionist on that!

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