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These Peanut Butter Protein Balls are a healthy snack that remind me of cookie dough, only more filling. I love that you don’t need any special equipment to make them– just a bowl and a spatula for stirring. No protein powder required, either!

peanut butter protein balls on a pan

How to Make Peanut Butter Protein Balls

This recipe is incredibly easy and takes only 10 minutes to prepare. All you need to do is stir the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a sticky dough, then roll that into balls.

protein balls being mixed in bowl

Since there are no dates in this recipe, you won’t have a food processor to clean up afterwards. If you prefer date-sweetened energy bites, be sure to try one of my fruit-sweetened energy balls:

How to Get Protein Without Using Protein Powder

I haven’t found a protein powder that I love (so many of them are sweetened with a zero-calorie sweetener or have a chalky texture), so these peanut butter balls get their protein from simple whole food sources. Here’s how they stack up:

  • Peanut Butter: 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
  • Ground Flax Seeds: 2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons
  • Hemp Hearts: 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons
  • Rolled Oats: 5 grams of protein per 1/2 cup (dry)

As written, this recipe packs 4 grams of plant-based protein per ball, so you can decide how many of them to eat based on your needs.

peanut butter and honey ingredients in bowl

Do Protein Balls Need to Be Refrigerated?

Storing these peanut butter protein balls in the fridge will extend their shelf life, but it’s not 100% necessary with this recipe. As long as you keep moisture out of the equation (for example, don’t add water or any sort of fresh fruit to help them mix together) these energy balls are made with shelf-stable ingredients that should last for several days on your counter.

finished protein balls on pan

However, I’ve noticed that these protein balls dry out after roughly 3 days on the counter, so if you want them to last longer I’d store them in the fridge, in an airtight container.

How Long do Protein Balls Last in the Fridge?

My family eats all of these balls in about a week, so I haven’t tested the shelf life of these past that, but I image they would last at least 2 weeks in the fridge. Be sure to store them in an airtight container!

Can I Freeze Protein Balls?

Since there’s no added moisture to this recipe, these protein balls freeze well. You can store them in your freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container, and then thaw them in the fridge overnight so that they are easy to bite into.

peanut butter protein balls overhead

This recipe makes only 12 balls, so be sure to double or triple the recipe based on your needs. I always like to make a smaller batch if I’m trying a recipe for the first time, so you may want to try these and see if you like them before committing to a large batch!

How to make Peanut Butter Protein Balls (1-Minute Video):

peanut butter protein balls on a pan

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

4.93 from 13 votes
These Peanut Butter Protein Balls are a healthy snack that takes just minutes to make! No food processor or protein powder required.
prep10 mins total10 mins
Servings:12 balls



  • Combine the oats, peanut butter, flax seeds, hemp hearts, honey, and salt in a large bowl and stir it all together with a spatula. The dough should stick together, without being so sticky that it sticks to your hands.
  • If the dough feels too sticky to roll into balls, add one more tablespoon of ground flax seeds and stir again. The mixture should hold its shape when pinched between your fingers.
  • Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, and then roll them between your hands to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough and place the balls on a pan lined with parchment paper as you go.
  • You can serve these right away, or store them in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Once firm, transfer them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (They can be frozen for up to 3 months, too!)



Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: energy bites, peanut butter
Per ball (1 of 12): Calories: 113, Fat: 7g, Carbohyrdates: 8g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g

Recipe Notes:

  • If you use old-fashioned rolled oats, these balls will have a hearty, slightly chewy texture. If you want something a little softer and more uniform, try using quick-cooking oats instead. (My kids prefer it with the quick cooking oats so there isn’t as much texture.) *Choose organic oats if possible due to their possible glyphosate exposure.
  • This recipe works with any other nut or seed butter you like. Try homemade almond butter or sunflower seed butter!

If you try something different with this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know how it worked out. We can all benefit from YOUR experience!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite healthy snack to keep on hand?

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. Question – what could I use instead of oats? My husband is sensitive to them. Would cooked quinoa work….

  2. Thank you for the recipe and the idea to use hemp hearts and flax for extra protein. I ended up blending everything in my food processor so my 3 year old wouldn’t notice the hemp and they taste fabulous!