Easy 5-Ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!)

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Homemade date-sweetened protein bars piled up in a stack

Friends, behold: the easiest, most irresistible DIY protein bars on the block.

They’re salty, naturally sweet, and topped with (optional but not-so-optional) melted dark chocolate. But most importantly, they require just 5 ingredients, 1 food processor (or blender), and 20 minutes to make.

Let’s do this!

Food processor filled with wet ingredients for making our 5-Ingredient Protein Bars recipe

These protein bars are adapted from our beloved 5-Ingredient Protein Ball recipe and feature a few modifications and flavor swaps.

They are also inspired by our Plant-Based Protein Bar Review — after sampling the bars, we felt like the world could use one more DIY option (store-bought just can’t beat homemade).

We went for peanut butter in this recipe because it’s always the flavor we reach for in a pinch. Plus, peanut butter and chocolate are just made for each other.

Food processor filled with ingredients for making grain-free low sugar protein bars

Once your dates and peanut butter are blended together, simply add your chia seeds, hemp seeds, and protein powder of choice and blend.

Our favorite these days has been Tropeaka Lean Vanilla Protein (an Australia-based brand with seriously high-quality products — not sponsored). But if you’re looking for other favorites, check out our Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder and Chocolate Protein Powder Reviews!

Using the back of a spoon to flatten protein bar dough for our homemade peanut butter protein bars recipe

The texture should be firm but moldable like cookie dough (see photos).

Drizzling melted dark chocolate onto a batch of homemade peanut butter protein bars

Once pressed into your loaf pan, simply drizzle with melted dark chocolate (optional) and freeze until semi-firm to the touch, which allows for easier slicing.

For these photos, we sliced ours into 7 bars. However, they’re quite dense and protein rich, so we recommend cutting them into 12 bars (or squares) to achieve proper serving sizes.

Drizzling a second layer of melted chocolate onto date-sweetened peanut butter protein bars

We hope you LOVE these bars! They’re:

Peanut buttery
Quick & easy
Naturally sweet
Low in sugar
Grain-free (depending on your protein powder)
& PACKED with protein!

These little bars clock in at 14 grams of protein per serving! That’s a seriously satisfying snack. We prefer ours after workouts or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Into energy and protein bites? Be sure to check out our 5-Ingredient Protein Balls, Dark Chocolate Hemp Seed Energy Bites, 5-Ingredient Golden Milk Bites, and Matcha Bliss Balls!

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!

Partially eaten peanut butter protein bar resting beside a stack of the rest of the batch

Easy 5-Ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!)

5-Ingredient Protein Bars that are rich in protein and incredibly delicious! Customizable depending on what protein powder you use. Just 20 minutes and 1 food processor required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Dark chocolate and a spoonful of peanut butter resting beside homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars
4.62 from 47 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 (Bars*)
Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Weeks



  • 1 ¼ cups creamy salted peanut butter (or sub almond, cashew, or sunflower)
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted (add more for sweeter bars)*
  • 2/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds (or sub other seeds, such as sesame or flax)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup protein powder (vanilla, flavored, or chocolate — or other flavor of choice)*

FOR TOPPING optional

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped (we like Enjoy Life, Theo, and Lily’s for a sugar-free option)
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp cacao nibs


  • Add peanut butter and pitted dates to a food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate. Then add hemp seeds, chia seeds, and protein powder and pulse until all ingredients are well combined and a cookie dough-like texture forms (see photo). 
  • If too wet, add more dry ingredients of choice, such as protein powder or hemp seeds. It too dry, moisten with a little more nut butter. 
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more protein powder of choice for flavor or more dates for sweetness (if adding more dates, chop first to encourage even blending). Mix again until well combined.
  • Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer mixture into the pan and spread with the back of a spoon, then use a flat-bottomed object (such as a drinking glass) to flatten into an evenly packed, flat layer.
  • Transfer to the freezer to chill for at least 10-15 minutes to help the mixture firm up. The longer it freezes, the firmer it will become. 
  • Optional for topping: Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler on the stovetop, or in 20-second increments in the microwave, stirring occasionally to encourage melting. Then drizzle over the top of bars (see photo). Top with cacao nibs for added texture (also optional).
  • Once chilled, remove from freezer and cut into 12 even bars or squares.
    We recommend storing these in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer up to 1 month (freezer is best!). They are enjoyable straight out of the refrigerator or freezer and tend to soften at room temperature.



*Photos above show mixture cut into 7 large protein bars. However, we recommend cutting into 12 bars or squares for a proper serving size / accurate nutrition information.
*To swap out dates you could try subbing maple syrup to taste (~1 Tbsp (15 ml) per 2 large dates), just adjust dry ingredients of choice to compensate for altered texture.
*The protein powder we used was Tropeaka Lean Vanilla Protein. Note: It does contain brown rice protein, so if you need to keep this recipe grain-free, ensure your protein powder is grain-free, such as Nuzest.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of protein powder and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 bars Calories: 276 Carbohydrates: 16.7 g Protein: 14.1 g Fat: 19.4 g Saturated Fat: 2.3 g Sodium: 104 mg Potassium: 195 mg Fiber: 5.4 g Sugar: 7.9 g

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  1. Nikki says

    I made these and they came out amazing! Huge hit my husband said they taste like recees cups! I added a little maple syrup to help get the consistency up, worked great! Keep in the freeze for sure!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you and your husband enjoy these bars, Nikki. Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. LinZ says

    These are delicious and so easy. I followed the recipe exactly (including a 6th date); love that they are not very sweet but customizable. Goodbye store-bought protein bars!!

  3. Cerri says

    I’ve made so many recipes from this site which have all been great but this one was a huge disappointment for me. I gave it a go for such a simple recipe with such a high rating. The bars were dry and tasteless, there was just no flavour there at all. I doubled the topping and it still wasn’t enough – everything just tasted bland with an unpleasant texture. Confused if all the other reviews made the same recipe as me.. or if people are just rating it without trying.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We hate that you had a negative experience with the recipe, Cerri! Would you mind sharing what protein powder you were using? And what nut butter/whether it was drippy or dry?

  4. Mae says

    My son and I just made these tonight. I’m trying to choose more healthful snacks that provide nutrients and satiate me.
    They are awesome. I used Almond butter 6.5 dates, hemp seed hearts, chia seeds, and 1/2 cup of vegan vanilla protein powder. Next will use 1/3 of cup of protein powder.
    They taste like a desert, no after taste, not too dry, and they are filling.
    They cut easily into bars and freeze well and are also visually pleasing.
    So glad I found this recipe.

  5. Stacey says

    These bars are wonderful! I used an organic maple almond butter and vanilla protein powder by Vega protein (the one with the least ingredients.) Everything else I followed per the recipe except I did add a tiny bit more Almond butter to get the cookie dough consistency. I made these for my son as a way to get in some nutrients before work. I melted a mix of Lily’s dark chocolate chips and Lily’s chocolate salted caramel baking chips (not vegan)to layer on top. They set nicely after about 3 hours and storing them in the freezer. They are a great alternative to store bought, so glad I found this recipe💗

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Stacey!

  6. Waniekay says

    Thank you for the recipe. I used 10 pitted dates, PE Science cake pop protein powder and promix chocolate protein puffs which added extra crunch. I toasted them in my air fryer at 300 x 6 min each side, had a ard time not eating the whole batch.

  7. Ems says

    Second time making these and they are brilliant. I used what I had – a toss between peanut, almond butter and tahini. I used 3 more medjool dates and a teaspoon of water, as my mixture was too thick to process. As I used plenty of hemp protein powder – it was too dry for the recipe. I shall use a different one next time. The chocolate drizzled over the top is a must for me – feels like a luxury treat full of a goodness.

    • Kyle says

      Sigh I wish your website wasn’t such a huge pain in the butt all the intrusive ads and when I’m scrolling through comments on my phone it keeps scrolling me back to the reply…

      I love your content though! You’ve had so many awesome recipes

      One question for this one or in general, what can I substitute for dates? I need to be glucose\sugar free, so I can add different sweeteners but when it comes to protein bars I think dates are used as a binding agent of some kind? Could you please offer suggestions on how to sub those out for these types of recipes?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Kyle, Thank you for the feedback and sorry for any inconvenience. We always try to optimize for user experience, while also having ads to keep the content free and high quality. In this recipe, you could try 1 Tbsp of a liquid sweetener of choice and reduce dry ingredients to compensate for altered texture. Other recipes where it’s playing a stronger role in binding will be difficult to swap!

  8. Natália says

    Love this recipe! I Brazil we don’t have hemp seed, so I used sunflower seeds instead, and it did well, better than store-bought

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them! And love your creative modification too. Thank you for sharing, Natália! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joy! We haven’t tried using date syrup in this recipe so we aren’t sure if it will work. We think 2-3 Tbsp might be worth a try? Let us know how it goes!

  9. Hillery Bliven says

    I made these to replace the store bought protein bars. My two boys and my husband love them. The kids take them to school every day for their lunch! Great find. Thanks Minimalists Baker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad your family enjoys them, Hillery! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  10. Hope says

    Hi, I’m trying to reduce sugar. What would recommend for the texture in lieu of using dates? I’ll probably use powdered monk fruit sweetener.

  11. Christeen says

    I made these for my husband and he loved them. Subbed unsweetened coconut flakes for the chia seeds and date molasses for the dates. Super easy recipe and a better option to packaged bars. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I foresee making these regularly.

  12. Bonnie says

    Oh my GOODNESS, these are good! Where has this recipe been all my life?? Wow!!
    I used 8 dates, whole flax instead of chia seeds (cheaper/what I had), and almond butter, with just a pinch of cardamom (can’t taste it in the finished product, helps with digestion).
    I’m so glad I found this recipe!! It’s really hard to find granola bar type recipes that a) have things I can eat (yay food sensitivities!) and b) don’t call for exotic/expensive ingredients. Thank you!!! :D

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe, Bonnie =) Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  13. Tia says

    I am in love with this recipe!

    Simple ingredients and so easy to make! You also don’t have to use a food processor/blend — I simply cut my dates up super small and make sure to mix and mash them together well with the peanut butter. I’ve also tried subbing in flax seeds for the chia seeds and the bars are equally as delicious!

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  14. Lele says

    This is a great recipe!! I’m so impressed with how good these taste. I soaked the dates in warm water first to make them a bit easier to blend. I didn’t chop them up very well the first time and it definitely put my processor to the test. I add mini chocolate chips to the top and I just love it!!

  15. Steve Backman says

    Can’t remember if I left comment already. I make these every week or so. Perfect for healthy work from home break time: pop one out of refrigerator, make tea/coffee, enjoy, back to work.
    Most of the time, I make as is, with 3:1 or 4:1 peanut butter to almond butter. And typically 1/3 c each hemp, chia, flax; blends very nicely. I usually go for the whole hemp seed and lightly grind them first. I leave it in freezer for at least a few hours. I came here today to scout the comments for variations to try from other MB fans.

    BTW, after trying many protein powders for smoothies, I have been on a subscription to Love Complement for a while; known ingredients, no after taste, blends nicely. I wonder what others think?

    I also usually add a TBL or 2 or cacao in the mix instead of chococate on top etc. Also, lately I have been at times adding either frozen or dried blueberries. (The food processor struggles with the dried ones, but then, it struggles with the dates as well. ) Despite these things, I still call this “as is,” and just the best.

  16. Mart says

    Finally a recipe without oats! These are really good, much better than the Larabars I normally eat. I guess I should add more dry ingredients next time though because they get soft and mushy quite fast when I take them out of the freezer.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them! Thanks for sharing, Mart! These ones are a little more tender, but more dry ingredients should help.

  17. Grace says

    These were great! Used a combo of sunflower seed butter and peanut butter, Orgain vanilla protein powder, and added Lily’s chocolate chips. SO MUCH better and cheaper than the RX Bars I love at the store!

  18. Chaya says

    Excellent!!! Love having these available for whenever you need an extra boost or instead of a sweet. Subbed sesame seeds for chia seeds and it is sooo good!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Chaya. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  19. Sid says

    These unfortunately came out soft and gooey for me, and the few that I ate didn’t taste great. Added more of the seeds and protein powder to try and firm it up but that didn’t help. One of the rare misses on here but just felt like I wasted a bunch of ingredients.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sid, sorry to hear that! Our best guess is that it’s from the type of protein powder used. Is it one you usually enjoy?

  20. Nicol says

    I made these with sun butter, and while the flavor is pretty good, it’s not ascetically pleasing. They also don’t firm up very well..had to keep them in the freezer until ready to eat.

  21. la says

    Hi, could you substitute quick oats for protein powder. My body doesn’t react well with protein powders..

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The protein powder provides a nice flavor, but maybe! We haven’t tried with quick oats, so can’t guarantee results.

  22. Anna says

    Hi there! I’m looking to make these for long bike rides so I need something that is a source of complex carbs. Any ideas of things I could add? Or are the bars already a source of complex carbs?

  23. Stephanie Medlin says

    The BEST! Followed the recipe to a T, used my blender instead if a food processor, and they are amazing!

  24. Tahlia shafar says

    These are delicious and super simple to make!

    Freezer time was more like 2 hours before then being placed into the fridge. Any shorter and they couldn’t be cut easily as it was too mushy.

    Thank you :)

  25. Jenn says

    I’m pre-op for bariatric surgery and these would be perfect to help me get in my protein intake after surgery. My one ask is that the dates add SO many carbs to these bars. Is there a substitute I can make for the dates to lower the carb count?

    I see it says “serving size” is 1 bar, but what size is “1 bar”?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenn, 1 bar is 1/12 of the total recipe. You could reduce the number of dates. Hope that helps!

  26. Roberto says

    They were amaziing!

    My question is: what’s in your food processor? it looks like you put two things, peanut butter (“darker colour”) plus something else (lighter, like cashew butter)? just curious because it is not in the ingredient list :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Roberto, so glad you enjoyed them! Yep, you got it right- peanut butter and cashew butter.

  27. Ben says

    Hey there, would a crunchy peanut butter work also? Maybe the added nuts would take over for the hemp seeds?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think crunchy could work! It may make the mixture thicker so reduce the dry ingredients as needed!

  28. Kirsten says

    These are the best protein bars I’ve made – and I’ve been on a mission for years to find a good recipe.

    Thank you for offering alternatives to the dates. I find dates cloying so prefer not to use them as a sweetener.

  29. Bojana says

    Really great and easy recipe for no bake protein bar. I tried switching the hemp seeds with flax seeds, and works fine as well. Crunchy and peanutbuttery.

  30. Liz says

    So delicious! It tastes like a peanut butter cup but is very satiating and I think the Hemp/chia seeds boosted my energy and focus for the day. I used the Bob’s Red Mill chocolate plant based protein and it mixed in really well

    Is there a natural emulsifier/quantity of emulsifier you would recommend for this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liz, thanks for sharing- so glad to hear it turned out well! We aren’t sure about using emulsifiers as we haven’t experimented with them. But maybe sunflower lecithin?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gina, we haven’t tried that, but we think it might work. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Hannah. We are so glad you both enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  31. Slavik says

    If protein in the bar comes from powder then I do not understand why bother to make a bar? Just dilute protein powder in water and drink it.
    IMHO whole point to make a bar oneself is to use all non processed (organic) ingredients.

    • George Climie says

      Because then you wouldn’t get the benefits of the other ingredients… there’s more than just protein, there’s fats from the peanuts, vitamins from the seeds, and carbs from the oats. Making it an all round protein bar.

  32. Geri Habstritt says

    These are my new go to recipe. They are incredible! Healthy, dates as a sweetener, packed with protein and nutrients and they fulfil my desire for just a little something sweet.

  33. HollygoLightly says

    I made these bars and they were delicious, however, they did not set up and were gooey to the touch. I did put them in the freezer overnight. But once they defrosted, they were back to the gooey consistency Any advise on what else I could add to make them more stiff?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d suggest adding more seeds and protein powder to firm them up! These can be a little tricky as it depends on how drippy your peanut butter is :D – If super drippy, you’ll need more dry ingredients to firm them up!

  34. Yifat says

    Hi Dana
    Any recommendations for substitutions for the protein powder? I can’t find one I like but would to try these bars out. Do you think I can sub almond flour instead?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Yifat, Yes, we think that would work! We’d suggest trying almond flour, coconut flour, or other seeds of choice. Let us know if you give it a try!

  35. Renee says

    Hi there. I don’t like protein powders (kinda make me gag) and I cant have wheat (regular flour) – what would you recommend I substitute for the protein powder? Thanks so much. Just found your website and already love it. Going to try your breakfast bars today!
    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Renee, We’d suggest trying to sub for almond flour, coconut flour, or other seeds of choice. Let us know if you give it a try!

  36. Liane @ Foodie Digital says

    My kids loved these bars. Great texture and a nice change from homemade bars loaded with oats. Super filling too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Liane. We are so glad they enjoyed these bars! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  37. Sarah Brasher says

    I love this recipe, about to make again. I eat a lot of perfect bars but get sick of them because they are just too much. These are so much better!

  38. Stephanie says

    I love these bars but I feel like it needs a crunchy element throughout- any recommendations? Without it these are delicious but they stick to the roof of your mouth.

  39. Carrissa says

    These are such a good alternative to buying store-bought granola bars that have a lot of ingredients in them that you can not pronounce. I have made my own granola, but haven’t found the right recipe for me for bars yet. I would really like to try this and see how well they turn out. Dark chocolate on anything makes me happy and I’d like to try it out. I like the idea of making something that will last and having it for a week or two for healthy snacks that are already made.

  40. Anna says

    Hey! I made them, and they turned out v crumbly, so i spoon it out of a jar. Tastes good though. One question though, how many grams is a serving? Since I can’t cut slices I can’t figure out the nutrition value. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, we did not specifically measure the servings in grams, but based on the metrics for the ingredients, would estimate 1 serving to be ~55 grams. It sounds like maybe you needed additional nut butter to make it less crumbly.

  41. andrea says

    I made these bars and it was a disaster. After 15 minutes in the freezer they appeared too wet.
    More protein powder was added indicated by the recipe, returned the pan to the freezer and it
    still was not firm. Instead it tasted dry.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting. Might I ask what brand of nut butter and protein powder you used? They can have such varying textures / qualities that that might have been the issue.

      • David says

        Mine also didn’t become firm. I used Kraft all natural peanut butter and kaizen unflavoured whey protein. I didn’t have any hemp seeds so I used more chia seeds and flax seeds instead. I think the problem is the whey protein. It has a way of making the recipe more runny when you add more. I guess it has to be plant based protein which contains fiber and would dry out the mixture somewhat.

  42. Christine says

    These turned out pretty good. :) I was too lazy to take out my food processor, so I just stirred all the ingredients together. And it worked fine. I hate cleaning the food processor. I also used naked pea protein powder, a half cup, then added a third cup more. And I used a quarter of a cup of honey….these are by far the best homemade protein bars I have tried; and the garbage has seen many lol. I definitely recommend trying this recipe. Thanks:)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Is your food processor dishwasher friendly? Ours is, which is why it’s our go-to mixing tool :D

      Thanks for sharing!

  43. Todd says

    Hi Dana. I made these bars and they’re wicked! I used organic peanut butter though, and because it’s not as creamy as other kinds of PB it didn’t come out very moist and they kind of crumbled apart. So I added in some water and a couple table spoons of creamier PB. It turned out better, but I’d rather keep it organic PB with no added sugar in it. Any suggestions on how to get the right gooiness for my diet?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We recommend storing these in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer up to 1 month (freezer is best!).

  44. Nicole says

    These sound great! I have been happy with your other recipes. Is there an easy way to do this without a food processor? There are a few more kitchen tools I’d live, but can’t spend the money at the moment. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Do you have a high-speed blender? If so, that should work! Otherwise, perhaps date paste instead of dates and stir in a bowl. We’re not sure if it would work, but if you do some experimenting, we would love to hear how it goes!

  45. Hazel says

    These turned out great! Mine were a strange green due to the hemp seed protein powder I used but oh so yummy :) Sprinkled shredded coconut over the chocolate drizzle. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      If you make them firmer, no! Do so by simply adding more dry ingredients so they’re more firm. They’re not sticky. They can be a little soft and tender if you add less dry ingredients, but again, not chewy or sticky.

  46. Lu says

    I’ve made these and also shared them with friends. They are so delicious and everyone who has tried them loves them too! I am curious as to your thoughts about using Pumpkin Seed Powder as an alternative to protein powder, if there might be any difference.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! If you try the pumpkin seed powder let us know how it goes! Will likely affect the flavor.

  47. Joanne says

    This recipe was delicious! When my family made them, they hardly lasted a day (there i was, trying to save them for school lunches) I don’t think you could take only using 5 ingredients because the choc topping adds such a good touch.

  48. Ally says

    I cut the recipe in half and made it without the chocolate to have as a snack or dessert during the week. They turned out amazing and will not last long in the freezer :)

  49. Kit says

    Oh, I’m so excited to make these! I can’t eat oats, but most homemade protein bar recipes call for them. So glad to see this great alternative!

  50. Michelle Chang says

    Hi Dana
    Enjoy your website so much!!
    I love this recipe but I can’t find hemp seeds, can I substitute it with flaxseeds?
    Thank you so much.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, we haven’t tried that, but we think it would work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  51. Danielle says

    My partner is obsessed with these bars – as soon as we finished the first batch he asked me to make another.

    We like them straight out of the freezer.

    I added a bit of flakey sea salt to the top while the chocolate was hardening.

    Very yum and super easy.

  52. Lori Lehe says

    Hello Dana,

    I love your simple healthy recipes and typically all your recipes turn out as expected. I’m not sure what i did wrong on the protein bar recipe. They did not set up. Even after freezing, they quickly flattened out and “melted”.
    Any thoughts?
    I was able to “recreate” a new way to use the mixture… it makes an smoothy when added to unsweetened almond milk :)
    Thanks for your help and have a great day! Loril

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lori, it sounds like maybe they needed a bit more seeds or protein powder to firm up the texture more! Glad you were able to repurpose it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Juliana. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  53. Luke says

    Hi! I find when left at room temp that the bars become very soft and difficult to eat without causing a mess. Is there something I can do in the prep that would resolve this? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Luke! Yes, the easiest solution is to add more protein powder and hemp or chia seeds on the front end, which dries the mixture out. Otherwise, these do fare best when chilled.

  54. Kristi Lamash says

    Just made these bars. Slightly modified- used almond butter, chocolate protein powder and no chocolate topping. Soooooo delicious! Made them strictly for after my workouts but they are calling my name from the freezer as we speak. Will definitely make again:)

  55. Hannah says

    I used creamy almond butter but my bars came out too mushy and won’t hold together. They taste great though :)
    Any tips on what to add to help with this?

  56. Kate says

    This turned out so great for us! We only had one date so we also added a handful of raisins and about a tablespoon of honey to get the right consistency.

  57. Elizabeth says

    This was great. I was looking for an alternative to perfect bars since they can be kinda pricey and this is it. I did have to add maple syrup and coconut oil not for sweetness but because my peanut butter was not that oily, and it turned out great. Definitely making it a staple and hopefully don’t have to but anymore protein bars.

  58. RiverGirl says

    I was excited about this recipe but it just didn’t work for me. I swapped the peanut butter for almond butter and added more protein powder to make it a little drier. I kept everything else the same. I kept it in the freezer for a few hours, and when I cut into it, it was so moist it couldn’t be cut. It had the consistency of a thick nut butter. The flavor was good, but rather than bars, the only way we could eat it was to spoon some into little bowls. I used natural almond butter so perhaps it was too oily for this type of recipe. My advice I guess would be to go on the much drier side with the protein powder than the recipe calls for.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. It sounds like your almond butter was super fresh and just needed a little more seeds or protein powder to help compensate on texture. Next time, just add more hemp seeds and protein powder to make it more of a cookie dough texture vs. nut butter.

  59. bestringtoness.com says

    Easy, delicious Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bars that taste just like a Reese’s. The perfect, protein-packed snack to keep in your fridge and enjoy all week long.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  60. Sarah says

    Just finished making these and they’re very good! I used natural PB and my mixture came out very dry so I added a splash of almond milk to help it blend. I also found that the chocolate sauce was WAY more than I needed. Didn’t want it to go to waste so I basically covered the top layer of the bars with chocolate. They came out super sweet, so I may tone down the chocolate next time. Because of the richness, I cut them into 12 servings too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Sarah! We’ll take another look at the chocolate topping measurements!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      We only use natural nut butters around here – ones with minimal ingredients: In this case, just peanuts and salt.

  61. DJ Welch says

    Super easy and delicious! I have young kiddos and they love to help make these bars… and eat then of course ?

  62. Vanessa says

    I made these yesterday to have throughout the week – and these are SO good! And so incredibly eaaassssy. Just wow. I used Garden of Life Vanilla protein powder. I haven’t even drizzled chocolate or sprinkled cacao nibs over them yet, and they are already household approved. :o)

    I actually popped these into mini muffin molds w/ parchment liners (because I was simultaneously making your vegan-GF banana bread in my bread pan!). I got 22, but it would have been an even 24 if I didn’t fill some of them up so high! haha Can’t wait to drizzle them over with dark chocolate – I’m thinking of these as a kind of take on protein-rich peanut butter cups.

    Thanks, Dana!

  63. Kelley K says

    Hi Dana,
    These bars look divine! I have made several of your power ball recipes but love the change up with the bars!

    I wanted to follow up about the Social Media Specialist position you were hiring for. I submitted my application several weeks ago, but haven’t heard back yet. I would absolutely love the opportunity to be a part of your team. If possible, please let me know. Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hope you love these bars, Kelley! As for the social media specialist, the position has been filled. Thanks for your application!

  64. Chelsea Bates says

    I made these and subbed about 1/6 cup coconut flour in lieu of protein powder. I probably could have gotten away with even a bit less since it’s so absorbent! I ended up adding 2 extra dates for added sweetness and moisture. I haven’t added the chocolate (yet) but I do think I will prefer it as it seems currently very chia-forward, which is sort of strange for the small quantity it calls for. Next time I think we will try some toasted sesame seeds instead of chia. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Chelsea! So helpful. Next time would you also mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xoxo

  65. cat says

    what is the orange stuff in the food processor on the first picture? I see peanut butter, dates, and…some orange liquid.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah, good question! That’s peanut butter. We opted for mostly peanut butter with a little cashew butter. Feel free to play around with nut and seed butter blends!

  66. Lee says

    Hi Dana! Love your site and recipes…any thoughts on a lower glycemic low no sugar sub for the dates? I get terrible sugar cravings when I eat dates in any quantity :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say you could sub maple syrup for the dates, but you’ll likely need to adjust the amount of dry ingredients to compensate for texture. Alternatively, you could try subbing a lower glycemic dried fruit! Let us know if you give that a try.

  67. Alex says

    Just made almond milk and it’s too hot to turn the oven on to dry out the pulp! Do you think almond pulp would work in these as well?

  68. Nathalie says

    I didn’t have enough vanilla protein powder so substituted with hemp protein powder plus tons of cinnamon for flavour. I also did it in my Vitamix and to my surprise it turned into a “cookie dough-like” texture easily. I think they still turned out great with the slight “PB-cinnamon flavour” in stead of “PB-vanilla”. It’s now in my freezer ready to be packed as my mid-day snack for the busy work week ahead!
    Thanks for a continuous stream of easy and healthy recipes that inspires to action! :-)

  69. Heather Hoffman says

    Would these work if instead of putting them in a loaf pan you put them in one of those granola bar pans from pampered chef?

  70. Emaleigh Downey says

    Been looking for a recipe with a small amount of dates! Keeping sugar low, even natural sugar has helped me have a lot less brain fog and sustainable energy! Will report back with how they turn out!

  71. Lena says

    Hopefully this is not rude but could I put in a request for some savory snack bars? I bring lunch to college and sweet things are abundant but sometimes I want something quick easy and savory. These bars look great btw and will definitely be trying these. Keep up the great work!

  72. Pia says

    Hi, would love to make them. Just not sure about the protein powder. In the UK I can get the protein powder in a fitness or health shop, but it would mainly be a “wheat protein powder” or similar for fitness… Is that what you use?

  73. Holly says

    Hello, would these work with collagen peptides for the protein? I’m not sure if it has enough structure since it kind of dissolves…thanks Dana.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that but it’s worth a shot! You could even sample it with a half batch. Let us know if you give it a try!

  74. Sara says

    Do you know what the weight of the dates would be? I have some dates that aren’t Medjool, and are a little bit smaller, so I’m trying to figure out how many I would end up needing. These look and sound delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Right! I’d say start with 8 and work your way up! 5 medjool dates is ~ 1/3 cup (packed) in our experience.

  75. Anne says

    I don’t often use protein powder, but sometimes I need a pick me up in the afternoon… this might work! Going on the “to make” list!

  76. Chantal says

    Hi Dana
    I would like to try this but I am reluctant to eat protein powder. What could I use instead that would not need baking?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d suggest trying to sub out some almond flour, coconut flour, or other seeds of choice. Let us know if you give it a try!

  77. Paige Cassandra Flamm says

    I’m totally trying these when we get home from vacation! I hate all the weird chemicals that are in many of the options you get from the store.