Peanut Butter Protein Balls (gluten-free, vegan options)

These 6-ingredient peanut butter protein balls only take a few minutes to throw together and are full of healthful ingredients! Naturally gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free and with a vegan option.

Just basic ingredients

There’s loads of good stuff in these protein balls. Tons of natural peanut butter plus a bit of raw honey (or brown rice syrup for a vegan option), oats and coconut.

And of course, some mini chocolate chips because… why not? ;) Feel free to omit them if you want to limit your sugar.

Make sure to use the kind of peanut butter that just contains peanuts and salt. If you use a brand that has added fat and sugar, these peanut butter balls likely won’t turn out well. You’d also be adding a ton of fat (and probably not the healthy kind) and sugar!

So easy that kids can make them alone

To make these peanut butter protein balls, all you do is dump the ingredients into a bowl and roll the mixture into balls. It’s not an especially sticky mixture so you’ll have to squeeze them together to get the balls to hold together.

I’ve made these peanut butter protein balls a number of times with the exact same ingredients (as in from the same package) and the very small amount of water I needed to add to hold the mixture together varied each time (hence the range in the measurement given).

also discovered that instead of using additional water to bring together the mixture, vanilla extract’s a tasty alternative!

Prefer something more cookie-like but don’t want to turn on the oven? Try these no-bake oatmeal cookies! They’re also 100% whole grain and naturally gluten-free + vegan. And seriously – they’re one of my favorite recipes.

Peanut butter sub?

Wondering how to make peanut butter? All you need is 1 ingredient and a food processor!

But if you can’t have or don’t have peanut butter or peanuts on hand, you can experiment with other nut butters. I’ve tried today’s recipe with sunflower seed butter and it worked great. But I’m not sure about other nut butters.

They’re not always 100% interchangeable so I can’t say for sure if other types would work in these protein bites. That’s why I called it an experiment. ;) But I’m quite sure they’d be fine wth other types.

I can tell you that almond butter works amazingly well in these bliss balls, as does sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option. They’re like a chocolate version of this recipe and truly so delicious.

For a grain-free chocolate version, try these chocolate peanut butter protein balls. If you use cashew butter, then you’ve got youself some paleo protein balls. :)

Vegan option

Honey is quite a bit stickier and thicker than maple syrup and that’s why I only have brown rice syrup listed as a honey sub for this recipe.

I tried these balls with maple syrup but they fell apart more easily. So that’s why I recommend brown rice syrup.

If you give these peanut butter protein balls a try, I’d love to hear what you think!

And here are some resources if you’re new to the vegan or gluten-free diet:

Peanut Butter Protein Balls (gluten-free, vegan, whole grain, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 36 readers
Peanut Butter Protein Balls (gluten-free, vegan options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 24 1" balls


  • 1 cup (256 grams) natural peanut butter or sunflower seed butter for nut-free (the kind with just peanuts / seeds and salt)
  • 1/4 cup (80 grams) honey or 1/4 cup brown rice syrup for a vegan version
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 grams) rolled oats (use gluten-free oats, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup (42 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup (57 grams) mini chocolate chips (use vegan chocolate chips, if needed)
  • 2-4 teaspoons water or additional vanilla extract


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, brown rice syrup or honey and vanilla extract.
  2. Stir in the oats, coconut and salt until well combined and then add the chocolate chips. If the mixture doesn’t hold together well when pinched together, add the additional water or vanilla, a teaspoon at a time until the mixture holds together well when pinched.
  3. Form 1” balls by pressing about 1 tablespoon of the mixture together.
  4. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for 1 week.

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255 comments on “Peanut Butter Protein Balls (gluten-free, vegan options)” — Add one!

12 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Tia says
    May 11, 2018 @ 1:21 pm

    These are delicious! Mine came out a little sticky, do you know how I could fix this? Best wishes xx

    • Erin replies to Tia
      May 14, 2018 @ 8:45 pm

      I’m happy you liked them. :) Did you make any subs or changes at all to the recipe? You could add more coconut to make them less sticky!

  • morgan says
    April 29, 2018 @ 9:24 pm

    can you do almond butter instead of peanut butter?

  • Chloe McLean says
    April 29, 2018 @ 6:48 pm

    Hi. Can you use maple syrup instead of honey??

  • IB says
    April 18, 2018 @ 4:19 am

    My nut butter has no salt. How much salt should I add for this recipe? Thank you.

    • Erin replies to IB
      April 18, 2018 @ 8:09 pm

      I’d recommend adding it to taste. :) I always use salted so I unfortunately have no idea.

  • Kathy Owens says
    March 24, 2018 @ 5:23 pm

    Can you add the nutritional information for these?

    • Joseph Fiorini
      replies to Kathy Owens
      March 26, 2018 @ 1:48 am

      These are awesome!!! Thank you for this:) I’m happy 😊

      • Erin replies to Joseph Fiorini
        March 27, 2018 @ 9:34 pm

        I’m so happy you liked them! Thanks for your comment. :)

      • Kristi Parker replies to Joseph Fiorini
        June 1, 2018 @ 12:08 am

        Would you mind telling me the nutrition facts for these? Maybe I missed it. Just macros away least

        • Erin replies to Kristi Parker
          June 2, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

          Check out the comment of mine (from March 27) below yours. :)

    • Erin replies to Kathy Owens
      March 27, 2018 @ 9:28 pm

      I can’t but you could use this recipe analyzer if you’d like for that info. :)

  • Ash says
    March 16, 2018 @ 8:27 am

    Two thumbs up! These are seriously delicious and addictive :) I absolutely love how quick and easy they are to make. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Ash
      March 23, 2018 @ 9:52 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m happy you liked them. :) And sorry for just now seeing your comment! I have no idea how I missed it until now.

  • Dawn
    March 12, 2018 @ 10:19 pm

    EXCELLENT recipe!! I like the amounts of ingredients in this one. I added Flaxseed and Hemp Protein powder (found at Walmart!) as well as it was wet enough to add more goodies😀. Will not notice any difference in taste thanks to amounts of vanilla extract and 🍯

    • Erin replies to Dawn
      March 14, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m happy to hear that you like them and that added flax and protein powder works out well. Thanks for the tip and your comment. :)

  • Taz says
    March 6, 2018 @ 1:11 pm


    Can u freeze these?

    • Erin replies to Taz
      March 8, 2018 @ 9:12 am

      Hi! You can. :)

  • Breanne says
    February 12, 2018 @ 5:29 pm

    My family loved these! Sometimes we have to adjust a bit of the ingredient quantities to get them to the right consistency but that’s super easy and obvious. We’ve chopped up dried cherries (without added sugar) and added them the recipe. Yummy. We’ve used almond butter instead of peanut butter which is a fun twist too. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Breanne
      February 13, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

      Oooh, I love dried cherries! Those and almond butter together sound really yummy. Thanks for the tip! I’m happy that you’ve been enjoying them. :)

  • Patty Lawson says
    February 2, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. By chance do you know how many calories each protein ball has?

    • Erin replies to Patty Lawson
      February 3, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

      You’re welcome. :) I don’t but you could use this recipe analyzer if you’d like for that info!

  • Lia says
    January 26, 2018 @ 10:02 pm

    Hi Erin! I made these protein balls last night and I love them! My husband and daughter do, too! I found your blog simply by chance while searching recipes on line and I love it. I plan to try more ASAP! Great blog!

    • Erin replies to Lia
      January 28, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

      Aww, thanks! I’m so happy you found the website and that you enjoyed the balls and are going to try more recipes. I hope you’ll like them just as much as the protein balls! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Tiare says
    January 10, 2018 @ 5:58 pm

    I thought there was to be garbanzo beans added in too , sorry if I mixed up recipes thanks
    They look easy though :)

    • Erin replies to Tiare
      January 11, 2018 @ 8:48 pm

      I do have a recipe with chickpeas and peanut butter! You might be thinking of these chickpea cookies. :)

  • Jessica says
    October 11, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    These look great! Do you soak your oats first to make them easier to digest or does mixing them with the wetter ingredients (pb, honey, vanilla) take care of that process if you don’t eat them right away? I’ve read mixed things online about ingesting oats without soaking them, so I’m just curious if you do and if not, if you have any issues. Thanks!! :)

    • Erin replies to Jessica
      October 11, 2017 @ 8:23 pm

      I’ve never actually soaked my oats although I know I should probably look into that! I don’t think that mixing them with wetter ingredients would replace actually soaking them, though. I’m also not very hopeful that soaked oats would work in a recipe like this. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!

  • Sara
    October 6, 2017 @ 12:55 pm

    I am not one to write a review but I felt I needed to!!

    I went into my local healthy food cafe yesterday and bought a protein ball for £1.50 (was delicious) – then on my way back to work I thought – wow I bet I could make something like this! – found this website and on my way home bought all the ingredients except vanilla extract (couldn’t find anywhere, can you believe lol) anyway got home, made them and omg they are delicious – I made around 10, so easy and so yummy!!!

    Thank you!!!!

    • Erin replies to Sara
      October 8, 2017 @ 12:12 pm

      1.50 for a protein ball?! Wow. That’s crazy! I’m so happy you found this recipe and can make your own now. :) Thanks for your comment!

      • Kelly replies to Erin
        December 30, 2017 @ 9:51 pm

        I paid $2.75 for a protein ball hence my ending up on this site! :)

        • Erin replies to Kelly
          January 4, 2018 @ 3:21 pm

          Yikes! So expensive. Hope you get to try out this much cheaper version. :)

  • Leslie Otto says
    September 18, 2017 @ 9:36 pm

    Do these need refrigerated?

    • Erin replies to Leslie Otto
      September 21, 2017 @ 9:20 pm

      Sorry for my slow reply! Hopefully you found your answer in Step 4 of the recipe. :)

  • Erik
    August 1, 2017 @ 9:50 pm

    assuming you make 24 balls. Each ball or serving would be 97 calories. 3.7g protein.

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 24
    Per Serving % Daily Value*
    Calories 97
    Total Fat 6.1g 8%
    Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 1mg 0%
    Sodium 12mg 1%
    Potassium 17mg 0%
    Total Carb 7.4g 2%
    Dietary Fiber 0.9g 3%
    Sugars 4.8g
    Protein 3.7g

    • Erin replies to Erik
      August 13, 2017 @ 8:42 am

      So sorry I just now saw your comment! Thanks for sharing the nutritional breakdown. I hope you made them and enjoyed them! :)

      • Alyssa Varela
        replies to Erin
        August 23, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

        No worries. You got back to me very quickly! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!! I needed to log them in my Fitbit & wanted the most accurate information possible :) I did make them and they are definitely delicious! My husband & 19 month old like them too. We made them 2 days ago & they’re almost gone. Thank you for posting this recipe!!!

        • Erin replies to Alyssa Varela
          August 26, 2017 @ 8:43 pm

          You’re welcome for the recipe! :) I’m happy that your family enjoyed them. It’s always a good thing when the husband and toddler approve. ;) Thanks for the feedback!

  • Kimw says
    July 21, 2017 @ 8:07 pm

    WOW – these are AMAAAAAZING!! Love them! My daughter and I made them and per our calculations from our home ingredients, for 24 protein balls, each one is 132 calories.

    • Erin replies to Kimw
      July 22, 2017 @ 9:55 am

      So happy you liked them! Thanks for sharing the calorie count and your comment. :)

  • Christie says
    July 5, 2017 @ 5:58 pm

    I make a lot of sweets for tour busses. Most of my clients are peanut butter freaks, but I’d like to make them something healthier for this next round. I normally just use regular peanut butter but have some of that PB2 stuff on hand. Have you tried it with that? Just wondering how to adjust.

    • Erin replies to Christie
      July 6, 2017 @ 6:17 pm

      I’ve never used PB2 so I have no idea how you’d use that here. Sorry about that! I hope your clients will enjoy the balls. :)

  • Dave A. says
    June 11, 2017 @ 5:57 am

    I substituted the chocolate chips for cocoa nibs and half maple syrup half rice malt.
    Turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Dave A.
      June 11, 2017 @ 10:21 pm

      I’m happy your subs worked out well and that you enjoyed the balls! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Jenny says
    June 5, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

    How many balls do you get from this recipe & how many calories per ball please?

    • Erin replies to Jenny
      June 5, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

      It’s up in the yield. :) 24 balls! I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like.

  • Kylie says
    June 5, 2017 @ 12:46 pm

    These look so delish!

    • Erin replies to Kylie
      June 5, 2017 @ 9:04 pm

      Thanks a bunch! :)

  • Sarah says
    May 27, 2017 @ 11:38 pm

    Hi. Do you have to put the coconut in? I don’t like coconut so thought to ask! Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Sarah
      May 28, 2017 @ 10:28 pm

      Hmm. 1/2 cup is a lot to omit of something. I’m afraid you need something similar to coconut to absorb some of the moisture from the peanut butter. I just don’t know what would do the job. Sorry about that!

    • Allie replies to Sarah
      June 4, 2017 @ 5:10 am

      I have made these several times & never use coconut. Just ate one now & they taste just as amazing, without!

      • Erin replies to Allie
        June 5, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

        That’s great to know that they work without the coconut! Thanks for the tip. :)

        • Christine replies to Erin
          December 4, 2017 @ 3:18 am

          I even add other nuts and it works great!

        • Erin replies to Christine
          December 4, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

          Good to know! Thanks for the tip. :)

  • Zenon Dsouza says
    May 11, 2017 @ 9:30 am

    how many protein balls can we make from this quantity.

    • Erin replies to Zenon Dsouza
      May 11, 2017 @ 7:57 pm

      It’s up in the yield. :) 24 balls!

      • Zenon Dsouza replies to Erin
        August 19, 2017 @ 4:26 pm

        Thanks. made peanut butter balls. everybody loved it.

        • Erin replies to Zenon Dsouza
          August 19, 2017 @ 8:20 pm

          Great! I’m happy to hear that. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Makina says
    May 8, 2017 @ 5:12 am

    Can I use steel cut oats in place of rolled oats?

    • Erin replies to Makina
      May 9, 2017 @ 10:11 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t work. I think steel cut oats are too hard to eat raw, aren’t they?

  • Sara says
    May 5, 2017 @ 3:54 am

    I’ve had these but made with sunbutter instead of Peanut Butter. Still very delicious!! And a great option for those with nut allergies

    • Erin replies to Sara
      May 6, 2017 @ 9:02 pm

      Awesome that they came out well with sunbutter! So happy you liked them. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Bobbi
    April 24, 2017 @ 9:31 pm

    Made these today and used trader joes Ancient grains ,which have pumpkin seeds flax chia quinoa oats , they are great thank you !! Like the idea of toasting the coconut !! Yum 🤗🤗

    • Erin replies to Bobbi
      April 25, 2017 @ 1:28 pm

      That sounds like an interesting sub! I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for your comment! I’m happy you enjoyed them. :)

  • Moriah says
    April 17, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

    Does anyone have the nutritional data so that I can put it in my food diary app?

    • Erin replies to Moriah
      April 18, 2017 @ 9:37 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

  • Annmarie says
    April 1, 2017 @ 4:12 am

    These are delicious. I toasted the coconut until it was brown and toasted the oatmeal. It has to cool before mixing the chocolate chips. I also warmed up the peanut butter, honey and vanilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds so it was easier to mix . I added a 1/4 cup of chia seeds. I put the balls in servings of three in snack bags and froze them so we could grab and go. I don’t know the nutritional value but these kept me full for a long time. I am diabetic and it did not affect my sugar. I have passed this recipe on. It’s great.

    • Erin replies to Annmarie
      April 1, 2017 @ 8:21 pm

      I love your idea of toasting the coconut and oats! That must add so much flavor. And I’ll have to try these with chia seeds, too. Thanks a bunch for your feedback! I’m so happy you liked them.

    • Kookie replies to Annmarie
      August 14, 2017 @ 3:23 am

      I’m also diabetic, I’m having trouble getting my diabetes under control , I’d appreciate it if you could give me the recipe you used . Thank you

  • Scott says
    March 29, 2017 @ 9:25 pm

    These are great to make in bulk and use for pre workouts. They were also easy to make. By the way, what kind of camera did you use for these awesome photos?

    • Erin replies to Scott
      April 1, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

      I’m so happy you liked them! I used a Canon 6D. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Margarita says
    March 18, 2017 @ 1:30 am

    Any idea what the nutritional stats are for these? I made them and LOOOOVE THEM! Just want to know how many calories, protein and fiber I’m consuming. Thanks for any help with this.

    • Erin replies to Margarita
      March 18, 2017 @ 9:46 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :) I’m so happy you liked them! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Trisha A. says
    March 10, 2017 @ 12:07 am

    Does anyone know the nutritional value on these such as calories and protein sugars etc.

    • Erin replies to Trisha A.
      March 12, 2017 @ 4:05 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

  • CB Loftin says
    March 3, 2017 @ 7:54 pm

    I just made these using crunchy natural peanut butter. Out of chocolate chips so added a little extra honey (less than tbsp) and organic pumpkin seeds. Along with the organic old fashioned oats and coconut I added 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. I had to add a little more water to get a good mixture but it is delicious! Taking to Zumba to celebrate the instructor’s birthday.

    • Erin replies to CB Loftin
      March 5, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

      Yum! Adding cocoa powder always a good idea. ;) That’s great that it worked out well here. I hope that they were enjoyed at Zumba! Thanks a bunch for your feedback. :)

  • Pam pleitner says
    March 1, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

    Can these be frozen and saved fir a later time?

    • Erin replies to Pam pleitner
      March 1, 2017 @ 6:08 pm

      They can! Hope you’ll enjoy them. :)

      • Denise Downs replies to Erin
        August 9, 2017 @ 11:31 pm

        I’ve made these a few times you can add & substitute a number of ingredients I used almond &/or cashew butter I also used sunflowerseeds you can use dates raises dried apricots etc you can use agave syrup or maple syrup instead of honey I used 1/2 cup of coconut oil & 8 fig cookies or 8 dates or 1/4-1/2 cup of raisens also any chips can be used peanutbutter chips or toffee bits In its hot outside (summer) freezing works great chef Denise

        • Erin replies to Denise Downs
          August 11, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

          Those are some great subs! Thanks for sharing with us. I love the peanut butter chips and toffee bits idea especially. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Kim and Kalee
    February 7, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

    These look so amazing! I love peanut butter balls – especially when you can just dump all of the ingredients into one bowl! It makes it so simple, and they last about a week in our house as a sweet treat after dinner. Thank you for such a simple and tasty recipe!!

    • Erin replies to Kim and Kalee
      February 7, 2017 @ 11:07 pm

      You’re welcome! I hope you’ll get the chance to try these out. I’m also a fan of recipes where you just dump everything into a bowl. ;) Thanks for your comment!

  • Brandy | Nutmeg Nanny says
    January 23, 2017 @ 12:55 pm

    Oh Erin, I’d have a hard time eating eating just one or two! They look delicious… and I love bite sized snacks!

  • Kelly Barcroft
    January 21, 2017 @ 8:55 pm

    I almost didn’t make these because they are so much like some of your other protein ball recipes but we buried my grandmother this week and I needed a pick me up so I made them. I used unsalted pb (because I accidentally picked up unsalted bleh) and added a bunch of salt to it. Used half creamed honey (it was all I had) and half maple brown rice syrup and used a mix of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Love, Love, Love….I was stuffed before I ever got to the funeral home…because I um…ate WAY too many of them before leaving the house. Hey, at least I indulged in a fairly healthy manner.

    • Erin replies to Kelly Barcroft
      January 22, 2017 @ 10:39 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m glad that you gave the recipe a try and that it didn’t let you down. And I agree with you – at least it was a fairly healthy indulging session. Much better than downing three 500-calorie cookies, for example. ;) Thanks for your comment!

  • colleen kennedy says
    January 20, 2017 @ 1:38 am

    I could use a small bowlful of these in my office…I’ll bet I’d be fueled to get the days work done!

  • Maryanne | the little epicurean says
    January 19, 2017 @ 11:39 pm

    These would be great to take on trips! I’ll need to make a batch before heading to the airport :)

  • Michelle | A Latte Food says
    January 19, 2017 @ 7:08 pm

    Energy bites have become my latest obsession! These look incredible!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    January 19, 2017 @ 5:46 am

    Glad we’re back to the sweets again! Especially because I’m on a diet and can actually eat these ones! ;)

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    January 19, 2017 @ 2:50 am

    6-ingredients is my kind of recipe! I love these! i really do need to make some to take to the office.

  • Laura says
    January 18, 2017 @ 3:05 pm

    These are everything I love and MORE! So many delicious ingredients in one healthy treat!

  • katerina @ says
    January 18, 2017 @ 12:03 pm

    I love this combination, its SO delicious!! I can’t wait to try these!!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    January 18, 2017 @ 5:28 am

    I love snacks like these – I’m totally making these with my kids tomorrow, they’ll have a blast!

  • Amanda | The Chunky Chef
    January 18, 2017 @ 2:50 am

    Protein balls are my latest obsession, and I’m definitely going to have to give these a try!!

  • Cookin Canuck says
    January 18, 2017 @ 1:44 am

    Protein balls are so great to have on hand. My kids always grab one or two before running off to their afternoon activities.

  • Lora @savoringitaly says
    January 18, 2017 @ 1:22 am

    I just love peanut butter (and almond butter!)and need a snack like this almost every morning. I have to try them with brown rice syrup, so curious to see how the flavor would be!!

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    January 18, 2017 @ 12:21 am

    Yes! I love sweet treats (a little too much), so I’m happy to have a fun, tasty & healthy option these days. Can’t wait to make a batch!

  • Alyssa | EverydayMaven says
    January 17, 2017 @ 11:11 pm

    These are the kinds of snacks I love to have on hand for my kids! So healthy and so good!

  • Miranda
    January 16, 2017 @ 7:12 pm

    I need to make these protein balls! I love peanut butter and chocolate together!

    • Erin replies to Miranda
      January 18, 2017 @ 1:37 pm

      Same here! And I hope you’ll enjoy them. :)


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