Protein Balls Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. + chilling
This six-ingredient protein balls recipe creates treats that are perfectly poppable and sweet as can be.

Updated: Jun. 18, 2024

Although I have a huge sweet tooth, I like to eat healthily as often as possible. I’m also a rampant snacker—and recipes that are wholesome, sweet and good for snacking are sometimes hard to come by. Protein balls check all three boxes: They make a great high-protein snack that’s also indulgent enough to taste like dessert!

Keep our recipe for protein balls (also known as energy bites) on hand for whenever you need a sweet and satisfying morsel (or three). These no-bake protein balls are super customizable too. But before you start getting creative, we’ll teach you the ropes on how to make protein balls.

Protein Ball Ingredients

Protein Balls ingredients in small bowls on a light surfaceTMB Studio

  • Oats: Oats are a common base ingredient for many no-bake protein balls recipes. The flavor of oats pairs well with anything, and they add a little bulk. (Of course, there are plenty of health benefits of oats to keep in mind too.)
  • Honey or maple syrup: No matter which you choose, honey or maple syrup will add just the right amount of natural sweetness without your needing to turn to artificial options.
  • Nut butter: Peanut butter adds flavor and acts as a sticky binder for all the other ingredients.
  • Chia seeds: In our protein balls recipe, chia seeds aid the chocolate chips in adding some crunch. (In recipes like chia pudding, they absorb liquid and aren’t as crunchy.) Chia seeds also contribute calcium and fiber.
  • Protein powder: While technically you can make protein balls without protein powder, adding it is an easy and quick way to increase the amount of protein in each ball. Be sure to use a protein powder with a flavor you like—many powders out there aren’t as pleasant as they’re marketed to be. Our recipe calls for chocolate or vanilla, but feel free to branch out a bit if it means you get to use a taste you like.
  • Chocolate chips: Stir in mini semisweet chocolate chips to add a bit of indulgence to these no-bake protein balls. The mini chips disperse more easily than the regular-sized chips.


Step 1: Mix together the ingredients and refrigerate

mixing ingredients for Protein BallsTMB Studio

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, chia seeds, sweetener, peanut butter, protein powder and mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to roll into balls, about one hour.

Step 2: Roll the mixture into balls

rolling the ingredients into Protein BallsTMB Studio

Shape into 1-1/2-inch balls and transfer them to an airtight container.

Step 3: Store and enjoy

Store your homemade protein balls in the refrigerator. Sneak some from the container whenever the craving strikes!

Protein Ball Variations

With just a few easy swaps, you can make protein balls with different flavors. Here are some of our favorites.

Almond Coconut Protein Balls

  • 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to roll, about one hour. Shape into 1-1/2-inch balls, rolling in additional coconut if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Coconut Protein BallsTMB Studio

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to roll, about one hour. Shape into 1-1/2-inch balls. Store in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Protein BallsTMB Studio

Other Protein Ball Variations

  • Add your favorite mix-ins: Instead of mini chocolate chips, you could use M&M’s, white chocolate chips or even raisins.
  • Use any kind of nut butter: Swap in any kind of nut butter, like almond or cashew, for the peanut butter. Flavored varieties would be a great way to add more depth without additional ingredients. Sunflower butter is perfect for a nut-free alternative.
  • Play with spices: Add a fun spice like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the mix to amp up the flavor.

How to Store Protein Balls

No-bake protein balls will last for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. We’re sure they’ll disappear more quickly than that, though!

Can you freeze protein balls?

Definitely. If you want to freeze protein balls, keep them in a freezer container for up to three months. Pull them out of the freezer the night before you plan to eat them (otherwise, you’ll have to gnaw at them instead of enjoying them for the chewy, crunchy bites that they are).

Protein Ball Tips

Can you use different types of oats to make protein balls?

We recommend quick-cooking oats, but you could use old-fashioned if that’s what you have on hand. With old-fashioned oats, this recipe for protein balls will be just a little bit chewier since the oats aren’t as thin. Learn more about the different types of oats.

Why are the protein balls falling apart?

If your protein balls are falling apart, they need more moisture. Add a little extra nut butter or liquid sweetener to keep everything together. Some protein balls recipes even recommend adding a splash of your favorite milk.

How do you serve protein balls?

Protein balls are a wonderful snack to have on hand—each ball is low in sugar and clocks in at under 100 calories. However, you can also eat them as a wholesome dessert or as a sweet finish to a high-protein breakfast. You could also eat one alongside your favorite protein bar, or enjoy a couple in place of a protein bar before or after a workout.

Watch how to Make Protein Balls

Protein Balls

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 2-1/2 dozen


  • 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 82 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 23mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein.