Chocolate Protein Shake (Protein Powder-Free!)

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Glass of our Chocolate Protein Shake topped with fresh raspberries and hemp seeds

Protein smoothies are great and all, but sometimes it’s nice to just eat real food instead of a powder.

Would you believe us if we said you can make a delicious plant-based protein shake with more than 20 grams of protein, without any protein powder? It’s true!

Is it delicious? So delicious.
Is it easy? Probably the easiest.
Do you likely have all the ingredients you need right now? Yup.

Let’s do this!

Marble and wood cutting board filled with ingredients for making our Protein Powder-Free Chocolate Protein Shake

We don’t have anything against protein powders. They are convenient and sometimes even delicious — see our vanilla, chocolate, and flavored protein powder reviews for proof!

But there are times when it’s nice to put in the extra effort for a whole food, DIY version. Especially when it comes together with just 7 ingredients, 1 blender, and 5 minutes.

Blender filled with ingredients for making our delicious real food Chocolate Protein Shake

Frozen banana provides natural sweetness and a creamy texture while cacao powder adds chocolaty goodness. It basically feels like eating dessert for breakfast. I mean, does it get any better than that?

Hemp seeds, nut butter, and chia seeds are the whole food, protein-packed trio that makes this recipe such a game changer. Paired with some oats for fiber, they give this shake a seriously satiating effect to power you through to your next meal.

Pouring a serving of our Chocolate Protein Shake from a measuring glass

We hope you’ll LOVE this shake. It’s:

Naturally sweetened
& Delicious!

This would make the perfect nutritious breakfast meal (with 23 g protein per shake!), hearty post-workout recovery drink, or seriously tasty treat.

Into smoothies? Be sure to check out our Golden Milk Smoothie, Banana Avocado Green Smoothie, and Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Sprinkling hemp seeds onto a glass of Protein Powder-Free Chocolate Shake

Chocolate Protein Shake (Protein Powder-Free!)

Simple 7-ingredient, plant-based shake made with protein-rich whole food ingredients and NO protein powder. Creamy, chocolaty, naturally sweetened, and just 1 blender and 5 minutes to prepare.
Author Minimalist Baker
Glass of our plant-based Chocolate Protein Shake topped with fresh raspberries and hemp seeds
4.88 from 87 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 (generous)
Course Beverage, Breakfast
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Day


  • 1 ripe banana (peeled and frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds*
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oats*
  • 2 Tbsp natural salted peanut butter (or sub almond butter, cashew butter, or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp cacao powder (to taste)
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 – 2 pitted dates or maple syrup (to sweeten // optional)


  • To a high-speed blender, add banana, hemp seeds, oats, peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter), chia seeds, cacao powder, and almond milk (starting with lesser end of range) and blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more cacao powder for chocolate flavor, nut butter for creaminess or saltiness, almond milk to thin, or dates or maple syrup to sweeten (optional).
  • Enjoy immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator up to 1 day (though best when fresh). See notes for freezing options*.



*Hemp seeds can be hard for some people to digest. If you have trouble tolerating them, substitute an additional 1 Tbsp (12 g) chia seeds and 1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal (amounts as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
*If you can’t tolerate oats, we recommend leaving them out and subbing in another Tbsp each of hemp seeds and chia seeds (amount as recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
*If desired, you can freeze leftovers into popsicle or ice cube molds, which should keep for up to 1 month in the freezer.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 shake calculated with peanut butter, greater end of range for cacao powder, lesser end of range for almond milk, and no additional sweeteners or optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 1 servings)

Serving: 1 smoothie Calories: 646 Carbohydrates: 64.9 g Protein: 23.3 g Fat: 36.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.2 g Sodium: 265 mg Potassium: 1384 mg Fiber: 13.7 g Sugar: 18.4 g

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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Didi says

    Minimalistbaker, It is so delicious thank you so much so what wanted to know is how often do you drink this?……

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Didi, some people enjoy it daily. We like to switch up our shakes and have whichever one we’re craving at the time!

  2. Jenna Smith says

    I love this smoothie! It’s filling, healthy and delicious. Added bonus is that it doesn’t have any protein powder. Definitely has become part of my regular routine :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying it, Jenna! Thank you for letting us know! xoxo

  3. My T Miche says

    I found this smoothie UNDRINKABLE. I use to manage a nutritional smoothie bar – no juices added, only whole foods and nutrient dense ingredients, no ultra-processed foods with the exception of some add-in protein, if requested.
    After a brain injury, I can’t remember how I made them, so I’m searching the web for recipes now. I liked that this recipe was high protein without highly processed protein powder. After making and tasting (YUK!), I added in 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries. Helped a little. I drank it but didn’t enjoy it at all. I don’t understand the how this recipe got good reviews.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so sorry you didn’t enjoy it! Is it possible any of your ingredients were old/rancid? Was the banana overripe? You probably know this with managing a smoothie bar, but overripe bananas can cause a strange aftertaste that not everyone enjoys. Since cherries helped, we wonder if perhaps you were wanting more sweetness? Adding more dates, maple syrup, or banana might help.

  4. D says

    I make this smoothie when I am at home to break my 18 hour fast. I do add ground vanilla beans and a touch of maple sugar.

    I also use most of the ingredients as a base for my “breakfast truffles” to eat when I’m away from home. The truffles also include a healthy fat and raw unfiltered honey. They are frozen individually, and allowed to come to room temperature before eating.

  5. Solène says

    I loved this recipe!! I’m thinking of making it regularly for breakfast, but don’t have much time in the morning to prepare it. Could it be prepared the night before, only to be drank in the morning?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Solène! The texture will not be as thick, unfortunately! But otherwise, it should be okay.

    • Megan Lee says

      I pre-package portions of all the ingredients and freeze them in baggies. That way, in the morning all I have to do is add the frozen contents of the baggie and some almond milk to the blender and I’m good to go.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Megan, Other readers suggested cooked sweet potato (add ice in that case), and / berries and sweetener to taste.

  6. Christin says

    SO GOOD! Hands down, this is one of my favorite smoothies. Instead of oats, I used 1 tbsp of flaxseeds + 1 tbsp extra of hemp seeds. Will be making again & again. Thank you so much for a delicious smoothie. Xoxo.

  7. Wendy says

    Delicious and satisfying, like pudding! I didn’t have any bananas (shocking) in the freezer so I added some frozen dark sweet cherries. I didn’t have natural peanut butter, just JIF, so I used that and skipped the sweetener (maple syrup and dates). I did have to use a little extra almond milk. Even my hubby liked it despite the healthy ingredients :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sounds delish! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Wendy!

  8. B says

    I added 1.5 cups soy milk, 2,5 TBS cacao, 1/4 cup ice, splash of almond and vanilla extract, spinach and hemp seeds for the win! The rest of the recipe as written,,, your recipes are ALWAYS
    WONDERFUL! The oatmeal and hemp seeds are such great ideas!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo, yum! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, B!

  9. Rebecca says

    I love protein shakes, but often hate the grittiness of protein powder (I’ve tried so many brands….). This shake eliminates that! I made just half of the recipe since I had it with a salad for my lunch. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter (I’m allergic) and oat milk instead of almond milk. DELICIOUS!!!! I was actually craving a chocolate milk shake, and this protein alternative is so much better!!! (I also left out the date. I love dark chocolate, so leaving out additional sweetener make the shake more rich.)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Rebecca, so glad you enjoyed this shake!

  10. Glenn says

    This smoothie recipe is AMAZING!!!
    It’s easy to prepare, and it’s very tasty. Most of all, it’s 100% natural, and very healthy. Protein packed with lots of fiber, it leaves you feeling full. I highly recommend this smoothie to anyone who wants to get their protein naturally. Five stars

  11. Mary says

    Great recipe. I’ve been having trouble eating recently and this shake has been a delicious way to get nutrients and calories in.
    To the poster irritated by the ads/pop ups;
    You can switch to ‘Reader view’ if you’re using an iphone or you can enable ‘Reader mode’ on a chrome android 😊

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Mary! So glad you enjoyed the smoothie. And thank you for the tips!

  12. Monique De Martin says

    Hi Dana and hubby,

    I have loved your site over the years. Thank you. It’s been a blessing as I have made innumerable delicious recipes – both at a vegan cafe I owned and at home. Your flavour combinations have been spot on and have appealed to many.

    I just wanted to voice my frustration about the amount of ads on your site now. It makes your site really hard to bare – the flashing, moving, and in-your-face selling are very distracting from your authentic recipes and I find myself avoiding your site now. Or if I have to no other add-free site to visit, I get in and out as fast as possible.

    I know that you have bills to pay, but have you ever thought about a donation page, so we could contribute to some of those expenses? I certainly would. Then your site would keep it’s integrity and not require so many ads per page.

    Thanks for all your recipes and time.

    All the best,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Monique, thank you so much for your support over the years. We’re so glad you have enjoyed so many of our recipes! We hear you and appreciate your honest feedback and suggestion. We always try to optimize for user experience, while also having ads to keep the content free.

  13. Kristen Braia says

    My 7-year old gave it a 7 out of 10. I followed the recipe exactly and it was a bit thinner than I expected, but had a good taste. I froze the leftovers into cubes and the blended the next day to go with his breakfast. We both preferred the fresh, non-frozen shake. Will make again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Kristen! Adding more banana or less almond milk will help make it thicker for next time.

  14. Deja says

    2 cups almond milk. Added 1.5/2 cups packed spinach. Used ground hemp seeds. 1.5 frozen bananas, 3/4 cup frozen strawberries, no dates or oats. My toddler loved it, split it among 3 of us, and got a bit more greens in her diet!

  15. natasha says

    This protein shake tasted great. Instead of 2 dates I added 4. Cocoa powder has a bitter taste so i added less than 1 TBSP and the shake still tasted pretty chocolately. To add a bit more protein I added a scoop of my unflavored protein and I wasn’t able to taste it at all. I will try this recipe again! ;)

  16. Joan says

    This is absolutely wonderful! I use PB powder instead of the nut butter. We have it at least a few times a month for breakfast!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the review and for sharing your modifications, Joan! xo

      • Res says

        Tried this and I loved it! I used cold espresso coffee with coconut milk as my liquid base though and added walnuts. Tasted like a protein shake but I know exactly what’s in it and not those “trust the label ingredients” ones. Don’t think I’ll be buying protein shakes again. Thank you for the recipe.
        Question: can I “pre-mix” the dry ingredients in bulk or will that change the ratios, as in do I need to have a specific amount of chia seeds to hemp seeds etc?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Res! That modification sounds delicious too! Thank you for sharing. And we think mixing up the dry ingredients would work great!

    • Jill C says

      I Love using PB Powder! Mix it in waffle mix, on ice cream, with unsweetened greek yogurt, in applesauce, etc…

  17. Bojana says

    Very sweet and delicious meal. I made it for myself after a workout but it turned in my supper. Since I didn’t have hemp seeds, I used the flax seeds, as suggested.
    Looking forward to making this again.