These no-cook, no-bake Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Protein Balls are the perfect way to make the school day and the work week better. They’re designed to provide a good source of protein and fit perfectly into a lunchbox or as a grab-and-go snack. These nutritionally balanced monster balls contain just the right amount of protein, always-need-it fiber, and brain-promoting healthy fats.
Peanut Butter Protein Balls Make Snack Time Fun and Functional!
Put the “fun” in functional snacks by rolling up a batch of these easy Peanut Butter Protein Balls that have a cheeky Monster Cookie spin. Not only are they a colorful and delicious snack that kids and adults will readily eat, but they’re full of good-for-you, real-food ingredients. Ingredients such as wholesome high-fiber oats, whey protein powder plus other superstar nutrition powerhouses, including peanut butter, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Ingredients For Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Balls
Our monster cookie peanut butter protein balls are a quick “stir and roll” recipe that comes together easily with these real food ingredients.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – for the right texture we recommend starting with old-fashioned oats, though you can use quick-cooking oats (if that’s what you have on hand) and skip the food processor step
- Vanilla protein powder – Whey protein is our go-to for these protein balls because it’s a high-quality protein from milk that adds nutrition to each energy ball and it also blends in easily and smoothly without leaving a chalky texture. Plant-based protein will also work. These plant-based protein powders get our dietitian stamp of approval
- Natural creamy peanut butter – you can use any seed or nut butter of choice. When making protein balls with peanut butter, we like to use a PB that has a nice drizzly and runny consistency such as Trader Joe’s, Target’s Good & Gather peanut butter, Whole Foods 365 peanut butter, or Old Home Peanut Butter, a refrigerated peanut butter found in the Midwest
- Ground flaxseed – you can purchase ground flaxseed or grind your own using a spice grinder
- Chia seeds – these nutritious seeds add a fun crunch to every bite
- Honey – or you can use maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Candy-coated chocolate pieces – we like the Trader Joe’s Candy Coated Chocolate Drops or UNREAL brands, which contain no artificial colors
- Mini chocolate chips
Ingredient Spotlight: Whey Protein Powder
Whey is one of the main, natural proteins found in dairy milk. Whey is typically turned into a powder after it is separated from the rest of dairy milk during the cheese-making process (remember “curds and whey”?). It contains a high amount of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, including all nine essential amino acids.
Simple Directions for how to Make This Protein Ball Recipe
In less than 25 minutes, you can have a batch of cute and delicious peanut butter protein balls. Keep them at the ready for healthy snacks and on-the-go nutrition. Here’s how to make them quick:
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the dry ingredients (the oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds and salt).
- Transfer the oat mixture to a bowl and stir in the protein powder. Add the wet ingredients (the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla). Next, stir in the candy-coated chocolate pieces and chocolate chips.
- Roll the no-bake dough into 20 balls. Store balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Tips to Make Perfect Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Protein Balls Every Time
This no-bake protein balls recipe is a hard one to mess up. The ingredients come together smoothly and easily, thanks to the easy-stir texture of the whey protein powder. However, there are two don’t-skip steps that help ensure your peanut butter protein balls come out just right.
- Quick-blend the oats: Place the oats, ground flaxseed, chia, and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Give them a quick whirl to help break up some of the oat pieces, while some will remain more intact. You’re not looking for a powder, but rather a crumbly texture. Alternatively, you could use quick-cooking oats and skip this step.
- Wet your hands: Keep a bowl of water nearby and occasionally dampen your hands. This will make it far easier to roll the protein balls. And it will prevent the ingredients from sticking to your hands as you work.
How to Boost the Protein of Energy Bites and Balls
These easy monster cookie peanut butter protein balls use whey protein to help increase the nutritional value. We selected whey protein because it easily blends into the texture of these protein balls without leaving a chalky taste. In fact, whey protein is a flavorless addition you won’t notice, except if you choose one with an added flavor, like vanilla. By stirring in ¼ cup of whey protein, you boost each ball to 5 grams of high-quality protein.
Substitutions For This Recipe
Make it Dairy-Free
To make these Monster Cookie Protein Balls dairy-free, simply use your favorite plant-based protein in place of the whey protein powder called for in the recipe.
Ingredient Spotlight: Plant-Based Protein Powders
The popularity of plant-based diets and people avoiding dairy has many seeking out an alternative to whey protein. But with so many options available, it can be hard to know if your plant protein powder is healthy and provides well-rounded nutrition, truly harnessing the power of plants. We did the work so you don’t have to – see which ones we think are the best.
Make Energy Bites with Staying Power
You can easily level up the protein and staying power of any of our energy bites and bars recipes by adding a few scoops of your favorite whey protein powder or plant-based protein powder to the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! All of our energy bites and balls can be stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. However, for best results, we recommend consuming within 3 months.
Yes! With a base of fiber-rich rolled oats, healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and bit of natural sweetness from honey, energy bites and energy balls are a great source of energy to fuel your workout or busy afternoon.
We recommend storing your energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You can certainly swap the whey protein powder for a plant-based protein powder but we haven’t tested this recipe using maple syrup in place of the honey. So we can’t say for sure if it will work! If you try it, please leave a comment below and let us know how it worked.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
People often ask us how much protein they should be getting. The answer varies, depending on your body size, fitness level, and goals. We suggest checking out this article from Healthline to learn more about protein and how to find a range that supports your goals whether they be weight loss, improving athletic performance, building muscle, pregnancy, or healthy aging.
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (160g)
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (25g)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (10g)
- Pinch of fine salt
- ¼ cup vanilla whey protein powder (or vanilla plant-based protein powder of choice)
- ¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter* (190g)
- ¼ cup honey (80g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1–2 tablespoons water, if needed
- To the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds and salt. Pulse 10-15 times until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces while some may remain relatively intact.
- To a medium bowl add the oats mixture, whey protein powder, peanut butter*, honey and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or mix with clean hands until well combined. If the dough does not stick together, add ½ tablespoon of water at a time and stir until the dough sticks together easily when formed into a ball.
- Stir in the candy-coated chocolate pieces and chocolate chips. Roll the dough into 20 balls using about 2 tablespoons of dough per bite (about 25-28 g in dough weight per ball). If the dough sticks to your hands, simply dampen your hands slightly with water to prevent sticking.
- Store balls in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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*If your peanut butter is more solid at room temperature, heat the peanut butter just slightly until it achieves a runny/drizzly consistency.
- Serving Size: 1 protein ball
- Calories: 142
- Fat: 7 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Carbohydrate: 16 g
- (Fiber: 3 g
- Sugar: 7 g)
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 1 mg
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The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel Cook of Half Acre House.
For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!