No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

Chocolate protein granola bars arranged on a grey plate.

It couldn’t be easier to make no-bake protein bars at home! These granola bars are made with oats, nut butter, and protein powder for a well-balanced and wholesome bar that can serve as a breakfast on the go or a post-workout snack, just like yogurt with my vanilla almond granola. No-bake protein granola bars come together in under 15 minutes, and they set in about an hour!

Even better, this homemade protein bar recipe is easily customizable. Use your favorite ingredients or the common substitutions I’ve listed below if you have any food allergies. My husband takes these to work for a quick lunch, and with 20 grams of protein per bar, they hold him over until he comes home for dinner!

There is so much good chocolatey flavor in these bars that you’d never know they were healthier for you! If you want a fully decadent chocolate bar (with no promises of health food anywhere!), I recommend trying my 10-minute ritzy fudge dessert bars.

Two homemade protein granola bars wrapped in parchment and tied together with a string.
These no-bake protein bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are ready to eat in just over an hour!

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Ingredients for No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

Homemade protein bars are easy to make, and they’re entirely customizable. Use your favorite nut butter, milk, protein powder, and chocolate chips for a one-of-a-kind protein bar your entire family will love.

  • Rolled oats. Rolled oats will give you a heartier texture than quick oats, but quick oats can be used in a pinch.
  • Nut butter. The major binder in this recipe, nut butter provides necessary fat to hold everything together. Use creamy, chunky, or seeded nut butter!
  • Milk. I like to use oat milk, but you can use cow’s milk or another plant-based milk, too.
  • Maple syrup. Give the protein bars a touch of sweetness with maple syrup. You can also substitute honey.
  • Vanilla extract. Just a bit adds a nice, light vanilla flavor.
  • Chocolate-flavored protein powder. Any protein powder will work, but vanilla-, chocolate-, or peanut butter-flavored protein powder will work best with the flavors in these bars already.
  • Chocolate chips. Dark or semi-sweet chocolate provides just the right amount of sweetness. For a real treat, substitute mini peanut butter cups!
  • Flaky salt (optional). I like to add a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness. Flaky salt is preferred, but not necessary!

These bars are gluten-free if using gluten-free oats and can easily be made vegan with a vegan protein powder, plant-based milk, and dark chocolate.

Oats, chocolate chips, vanilla, maple syrup, nut butter, milk, and protein powder on a counter.
These simple ingredients all combine into a delicious breakfast or post-workout snack!

Quick Tips for Prepping No-Bake Protein Bars

Rolled oats are much thicker compared to quick or instant oats. I prefer using old-fashioned rolled oats because that thick cut gives them more flavor and texture than instant oats. If you have a hard time digesting raw oats or simply prefer the thinner oats, though, use instant oats.

This recipe mixes together really easily over medium heat in a saucepan. The peanut butter melts in the warmth, which makes it easy for the protein powder and milk to mix right into it. Continue stirring the liquid ingredients together until the mixture is free of lumps. It’s time to add the oats when the liquid mixture forms ribbons when you drizzle it off the spatula.

Pressing the Protein Bar Mixture into the Pan

Once the protein bar mixture is fully combined, I pour it out into a square 8″ (20 cm) baking pan lined with parchment paper.

This recipe isn’t sticky and should spread really nicely into the pan, especially if you’ve used a parchment paper lining.

Then, let the pan sit in the fridge, uncovered, for about an hour until the protein granola bars have set.

Serving and Cutting No-Bake Protein Granola Bars

Once the mixture has set, sprinkle on the chocolate chips and a pinch of flaky salt on top.

Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into eight equal pieces, then store in the fridge for up to a week.

I like to wrap these homemade granola bars in a strip of parchment paper. That gives me a way to hold them without getting my fingers sticky!

How to Customize Homemade Protein Bars

There are countless easy ways to customize no-bake protein granola bars you make at home!

  • Substitute plant-based milk for cow’s milk
  • Substitute honey for maple syrup
  • Use mini peanut butter cups instead of chocolate chips
  • Use a mixed nut butter with seeds for even more flavor
  • Change up the flavor of protein powder
  • Toast the oats in advance

An Extra but Delicious Step: Toast Your Oats

These protein bars are no-bake, but you can get a much richer oat flavor if you bake your oats in advance. The oats take on a light, toasted flavor that’s absolutely delicious!

To toast your oats, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oats on it evenly. Bake at 350°F/180°C for about 10 minutes, until the oats on the edges take on a golden hue.

Two hands spread oats onto a baking sheet.
I like to toast my oats in advance to get that extra nuttiness from the toasted oats.

FAQs about No-Bake Granola Bars

Are these homemade protein granola bars gluten-free?

Yes, they are! Just be sure to verify that your oats and protein powder are gluten-free.

Are these homemade protein bars vegan?

They can be! Simply substitute plant-based milk for the milk and use vegan protein powder and dark chocolate chips.

Do you have to toast the oats?

Absolutely not—that would make this a baked granola bar recipe, wouldn’t it? If it’s not too hot out, or if I have the extra time, I will toast the oats in advance, but I don’t every time I make them.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

If bars are your thing, my ritzy fudge is just as easy as this recipe but far more decadent. Quick, four-ingredient fudge is topped with Ritz crackers and salted caramel sauce.

My husband and I go through giant bags of rolled oats because we love these bars and homemade granola so much! See my recipes for vanilla almond granola and honey pecan granola.

Want to use some rolled oats in a gluten-free crumble? My gluten-free cherry crumble uses rolled oats, almond flour, and cherries to make a delicious and easy cherry crumble dessert perfect for summer.

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 homemade protein bars have a cleanup rating of a 2. If you’re intentional, you can get away with only using one spatula, one saucepan, and one baking dish, though you shouldn’t need to wash the baking dish if you line it completely with parchment paper.

If you go the extra mile to make these pretty by drizzling melted chocolate over the top, you’ll still have an easy time on cleanup.

A handful of dishes used to make homemade protein bars.
These no-bake bars have minimal cleanup thanks to parchment paper lining the pan!

No-Bake Chocolate Protein Bar Recipe

Thanks for trying out my homemade no-bake protein bars! If you’ve made them and loved them, please consider leaving a five-star review.

Yield: 8 bars

No-Bake Protein Bars

A stack of chocolate no-bake protein granola bars on a wooden cutting board.

Homemade, gluten-free protein bars made with rolled oats, nut butter, and the protein powder of your choice. Protein granola bars are made with better-for-you ingredients, but they sure don't taste like it!

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


  • 2 cups rolled oats (200 g)*
  • 1 cup nut butter (260 g)
  • ½ cup milk (120 ml)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • ¾ cup chocolate-flavored protein powder (70 g)
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (40 g)
  • Sprinkle of flaky salt (optional)


  1. Line a square 8" baking dish with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to overhang the sides.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, stir together nut butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and protein powder with a spatula. When fully mixed and warmed (about 5 minutes), the mixture will fall off the spatula in ribbons.
  3. Add in the oats, and stir until fully combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the lined baking dish and press down evenly with a spatula.
  5. For easier clean-up: Sprinkle on the chocolate chips and flaky sea salt. Cool in the fridge uncovered for at least one hour.
    For extra presentation points: Cool in the fridge one hour, then melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars in a zig-zag pattern, either with a spoon or a piping bag. Top with flaky sea salt and a handful of oats.
  6. When ready to serve, remove from the pan, then cut into 8 pieces.


*Optional first step: For a greater, more oat-y flavor, place oats in a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes until light golden brown and fragrant.

Store in the fridge, covered, for up to one week.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4.6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 20g

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

I’d love to see how your recipe turns out: Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @floralapronblog to share with me, or use the hashtag #floralapronbakes.

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