These no-cook, no-bake Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Protein Balls are the perfect way to make the school year 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. Plus, they are a super tasty and satisfying way to give your day a healthy boost and keep you full, without needing to reach for other snacks halfway through the afternoon. These nutritionally balanced balls contain just the right amount of protein, always-need-it fiber, and brain-promoting healthy fats. The secret ingredient is whey protein powder, an easy-to-use protein from milk that can help you feel full for longer and fuel your busy days from the inside out.
This post was created in partnership with The Strong Inside.
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 (a protein from milk) that contains the nine essential amino acids your body needs to thrive, plus other superstar nutrition powerhouses, including peanut butter, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Ingredients You Need to Make 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 whey protein powder – this high-quality protein from milk adds nutrition to each energy ball and it also blends in easily and smoothly without leaving a chalky texture
- 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
- 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
How to Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Balls
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). Pulse 10-15 times until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces while some may remain relatively intact.
- Transfer the oat mixture to a bowl and stir in the whey 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 a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Tips to Make Perfect Monster Cookie Peanut Butter Protein Balls Every Time
This no-bake 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.
Why Whey Protein? It’s A Powerful Protein from Milk
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. Curious if you can find whey protein that is low in lactose? You can! Read below for the different types of whey protein ingredients available.
Proteins from milk (such as whey protein) help you feel physically and emotionally strong from the inside out. Whey protein is absorbed quickly and efficiently, making it a great choice to help tackle your busy lifestyle, stay balanced, feel satisfied, AND help your muscles grow and recover post-workout. The whey protein we incorporated into these protein balls helps you feel full for longer, meaning you won’t be reaching mindlessly for snack after snack. The mild flavor and texture of whey protein powder make for a nutritional boost that can be easily added to a variety of recipes. In fact, level up the protein and staying power of any of our energy bites and bars recipes by adding a few scoops of whey protein powder to the recipe.
The Different Types of Whey Protein
There are different types of whey protein that you’ll find in products such as protein powders and protein bars. All of these forms of whey are natural sources of protein from milk. Here are the terms you’ll find on labels and exactly what they mean.
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
This is the type of whey protein that you’ll find most often in whey protein powder supplements. This concentrated type of whey protein is usually 80% protein. The rest of the product consists of lactose (4-8%), fat, minerals, and moisture.
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
This is the most concentrated form of whey protein available as an ingredient, and it contains over 90% protein. Since it is so high in protein, it is also very low in fat. Whey protein isolate is also a good choice for people with lactose intolerance as it contains little or no lactose.
- Hydrolyzed Whey Protein or Hydrolyzates
In this form of whey protein, the long protein chains have been broken down into shorter chains called peptides. This makes the protein more easily absorbed by the body. For this reason, you’ll often find hydrolyzed whey protein in infant formulas and sports and medical nutrition products.
- “Native” Whey (Milk Whey)
This form of whey protein is derived directly from milk through filtration techniques. Milk whey is a more recent ingredient that is found in sports and medical nutrition products. It is typically very low in lactose and contains no fat.
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. That’s why we love the Protein Calculator, a helpful tool created by The Strong Inside. You can discover your appropriate daily protein range based on your target goal weight. You can also get a range based on your goals, whether that is healthy aging, general fitness, weight loss, or muscle building.
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (160g)
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (25g)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (10g)
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 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 2 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
This post was made possible The Strong Inside. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great campaigns we work with, thereby allowing us to continue creating high-quality recipes and content for you.
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