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White bowl filled with peanut butter protein balls, surrounded by additional protein balls, oats, mini chocolate chips, and a tan napkin.

Whether you call them protein balls, energy balls, energy bites, or power balls - this high protein snack is perfect to have in your fridge so you can grab a healthy snack to go, have something filling to pack for work or school, or to have on hand for when you’re feeling snacky. These peanut butter protein balls also work as an easy healthy breakfast to go!

A couple other reasons to love this peanut butter protein balls recipe is that it is easy to put together, requires no special equipment, and is a no bake recipe!

One of my co-workers / friends was my taste tester for these as I perfected the recipe. I asked her to try several batches of these energy bites because, as an Ironman finisher and all-around active and fit person, she eats a lot of healthy, high-protein, energy boosting kinds of snacks. She gave a big thumbs-up to these and is excited to make her own! These are also toddler approved. My little helper likes to grab one or two as I’m rolling them, and absolutely LOVES when I give her one for dessert. And I don’t mind giving these to her since they’re packed with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients!


Level of difficulty: Easy. While I have you pre-soak your chia seeds in a separate bowl (notes on why below!), this recipe is basically: place all ingredients into a bowl, stir, roll, and you’re done. No baking, no chopping...easy peasy!

Flavor: The predominant flavors in these peanut butter protein balls is peanut butter and oats. You also get pops of chocolate from time to time, which are a delight.

Texture: Soft and chewy!

Time: Including prep and rolling, plan for 20 minutes to make your protein balls.

White bowl filled with peanut butter protein balls, surrounded by the ingredients that go into this protein balls recipe, including: oats, protein powder, maple syrup, chia seeds, peanut butter, and chocolate chip.


Peanut Butter: I prefer using my favorite creamy peanut butter for this energy ball recipe. However, if you’re a crunchy peanut butter kind of person, that would work just as well!

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: use your favorite old fashioned oats or rolled oats (NOT quick cook oats) to make energy balls recipe. Old fashioned oats are less processed than quick cook oats, leaving them with a sturdier texture which make them ideal for these peanut butter protein balls.

Vanilla Protein Powder: Use your favorite vanilla protein powder in this energy bites recipe! There are a lot of protein powder options out there, and some are better for you than others. I recommend selecting a protein powder with minimal ingredients. I personally like and use Tera's Whey Protein Powders because I know what every ingredient listed is (and their vanilla has less than 5 ingredients total!).

Maple Syrup: please use real maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup) for this recipe. Real maple syrup is simply maple tree sap that has been boiled down to create a syrup. It’s a natural sweetener. Pancake syrup on the other hand is full of all kinds of not-so-great-for-you ingredients that you just don’t need in your diet. The goal for these peanut butter protein balls is to be a healthy snack recipe for you and your family, so let’s keep our ingredients clean!

Chia Seeds: I recommend pre-soaking your chia seeds in a small bowl while you mix the rest of your ingredients together for this protein balls recipe. I have made these energy bites with dry chia seeds and with pre-soaked chia seeds and there is a big difference in your final texture and product. For the very best protein balls, do not skip this pre-soak!

Mini Chocolate Chips: while peanut butter is the predominant flavor in these energy balls, having those little pops of chocolate is really enjoyable!

Top down view of a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and filled with rolled protein balls and a cookie scoop filled with protein ball dough.


  1. Pre-soak your chia seeds In a small bowl, mix together your chia and water and set aside while you measure and mix your other ingredients. If you remember, give it a little stir part way through the next step.

  2. Make your dough: In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except your chia). When almost all the way combined, add in your pre-soaked chia and stir until uniform.

  3. Roll into balls: I like to use a small cookie scoop to get evenly sized protein balls (you could also use a Tablespoon measure or wing it using a regular spoon). Roll each scoop into a ball between your hands. You may need to gently press the dough together to help it form into a ball as you roll.

  4. Place protein balls on a cookie sheet (or in a storage container) lined with parchment paper

  5. Store protein balls in the fridge: store your peanut butter protein balls in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Line of peanut butter protein balls in the foreground, with a blurred out white bowl of energy bites in the background.


Pre-soak your chia seeds! I know I noted this before, but this makes a HUGE difference in how this high protein snack turns out! Since chia seeds can soak up to 10x their weight in liquid, putting your chia seeds into this peanut butter protein ball recipe dry leaves you with a very dry energy ball. The dry chia seeds zap any moisture you might have had right out. When you pre-soak your chia seeds as noted in this energy ball recipe, you’re left with an really enjoyably moist energy ball that has you reaching for a second (or third) immediately. Don’t skip this step!

How do I get my protein balls to all be the same size? There are a couple of ways to do this. My favorite way to get uniformly sized protein bites is to use a small cookie scoop to portion them out. Alternatively, you could use a Tablespoon measure to accomplish the same goal.

Can I make this high protein snack refined sugar free? You sure can! There are a few ways you can make these protein balls refined sugar free. Option 1 - find a chocolate chip brand that contains no refined sugars, like this one. Option 2 - skip the chocolate chips! While they are enjoyable in this recipe, you do not need to include them to have awesome protein balls. Do what works best for you and your dietary needs!

Is this recipe gluten free, vegan, and/or vegetarian friendly? Yes - it can be (easily!). To ensure that you are making gluten free protein balls, verify that your rolled oats specifically note gluten free on the packaging. You will also want to verify that the protein powder and chocolate chips that you are using meet your dietary needs.


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I only provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend!