No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

Chocolate protein granola bars arranged on parchment paper

This is the only granola bar recipe you’ll ever need: It’s quick, easy, delicious, and doesn’t require your oven. It’s completely customizable to your favorite ingredients, as well.

Ingredients for No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

The magic of these bars is that they are entirely customizable. Use whatever nut butter, milk, protein powder, and chocolate chips you have on hand for one-of-a-kind, no-bake protein granola bar that everyone will enjoy. The following ingredients are my husband’s and my favorite flavor combination:

  • Rolled oats
  • Peanut butter
  • Oat milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate-flavored protein powder
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Sprinkle of flaky salt (optional)

Other honorable mentions: mixed nut butter with seeds, whole milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips; or crunchy peanut butter, almond milk, and dark chocolate chips. You can even add in some small pieces of dried fruit! Use whatever you like to make these bars yours.

Bonus: These bars are gluten-free (depending on the oats and protein powder you use, of course) and can be made vegan (depending on the milk, chocolate chips, and protein powder you use).

All eight ingredients used in these no-bake protein granola bars.
Such simple ingredients for an easy breakfast or post-workout snack!

Quick Tips for Prepping No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

I prefer using old-fashioned rolled oats, like these from Bob’s Red Mill, to make these bars. Because of their thick cut, I have found them to have a lot more flavor and texture than instant oats. Plus, I love how beautiful they look when decorated on top of the granola bars.

You are more than welcome to use instant oats in these no-bake protein granola bars if that’s what you have on hand (or your preferred form of oats). Both will work just fine in this recipe!

For a sweeter, richer oat flavor, toast the oats at 350°F for about 10 minutes. The oats will take on a light golden brown color and add another dimension of flavor to these granola bars!

Remove the saucepan from heat before you mix in the protein. Many protein powders (looking at you, whey) tend to curdle or lump together when they get hot. Letting the nut butter mixture cool a bit before adding in the protein powder will ensure more even mixing.

And—because what is a recipe without flaky salt?—add a pinch of flaky salt on top for added flavor.

No-bake chocolate protein granola bars are arranged on parchment paper.
Chocolatey, oaty, nut buttery goodness all rolled into one!

Cleanup Rating: Not Too Bad

I rank my recipe clean-ups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.

These no-bake protein granola bars are a 2. The clean-up is pretty easy, especially if you scatter your chocolate chips over the top of the bars versus melting and drizzling them on.

If you’re intentional, you can get away with only using one spatula, one saucepan, and one baking dish. (If you want to make them extra pretty, use an extra spatula or spoon and microwavable dish to drizzle chocolate on each bar. It’s totally worth it for the beauts in the photographs, but it won’t affect the flavor a bit.)

Make clean-up and getting the bars out of the pan easier: Line your baking dish with parchment paper before spreading the bars into it. You can use the edges of the paper as handles to take the bars out after it cools.

I managed to keep the baking dish and my cutting board clean while chopping up the bars because of the parchment. I highly recommend using it to cut down significantly on cleanup time!

The collection of dishes used to make these bars.
Aftermath of these no-bake bars., thanks to the magic of parchment paper!
Yield: 8 bars

No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

Chocolate granola bars on parchment paper

Quick, easy, and satisfying homemade, gluten-free protein bars made from a handful of ingredients you already have in the pantry.

Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (200g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (510g) nut butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (75g) chocolate-flavored protein powder
  • 1/4 cup (60g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • Sprinkle of flaky salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan on low, stir together nut butter, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until warmed, about 10 minutes. Add oats and stir well until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and stir in the protein powder.
  2. Line a square 8" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some excess on all sides. Press the mixture evenly into the dish with a spatula.
  3. For easier clean-up: Sprinkle on the chocolate chips and flaky sea salt. Cool in the fridge for at least one hour.
    For extra presentation points: Once the bars have cooled in the fridge for at least one hour, melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Spoon the chocolate into a piping bag and drizzle over the bars in a zig-zag pattern. Top with flaky sea salt and a handful of oats.
  4. When ready to serve, use a sharp kitchen knife to cut into 8 pieces. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

Optional first step: Place oats in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes until light golden brown and fragrant.

To increase the protein content, add in an egg white with the nut butter. Stir constantly while cooking, until the temperature reaches 160°F. Then follow the recipe as written.

Protein powder absorbs a lot of liquid in recipes. I've found this ratio to be best for me, but if your bars are not coming together after about a minute of stirring, add in more milk a teaspoon at a time until the bars hold their shape.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 18g

The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.

Thanks for trying out these no-bake protein granola bars! Please consider leaving a starred review so that others can find this recipe as well. Also, I’d love to see how they turn out: Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @floralapronblog to share with me.

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If you enjoyed this recipe, check out some of my desserts. (I’m adding recipes every month!)

Happy no-baking!

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