Healthy Protein Balls Recipe with Chocolate Chips and almond butter

Healthy Protein Balls Recipe with Chocolate Chips

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This healthy protein balls recipe is one of my favorite recipes for homemade protein balls. Made with simple healthy ingredients for a delicious snack. 

Are you craving a delicious and healthy snack that’s good for you? Look no further, these are the best protein balls. They are made with wholesome ingredients and packed with flavor. These healthy energy bites are perfect for busy mornings, after-workout refuels, or whenever you need a pick-me-up.

This no-bake protein balls recipe is made with creamy almond butter for healthy fats, chewy gluten-free old-fashioned oats for fiber, ground flax seeds for a few grams of protein, sweetened with maple syrup, and decadent dark chocolate chips. 

easy healthy protein balls recipe, protein bites on plate

These protein balls are the perfect answer to your sweet tooth cravings – simple to make, gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of added refined sugars! Sweet and satisfying – the perfect snack! 

How to Make Healthy Protein Balls

Here’s a basic rundown of the process:

  • Gather your protein balls base: Combine dry ingredients like rolled oats (gluten-free if needed), protein powder, and a touch of healthy fat (think nut butter or seeds).
  • Make it sticky: In a separate bowl, whisk together a binding agent like nut butter, maple syrup, or another natural sweetener. Vanilla extract is optional but adds a nice touch.
  • Mix it all up: Combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a slightly sticky but workable dough. You can use a food processor, but this can typically be done by hand in a large bowl. 
  • Get creative: Fold in your favorite mix-ins like chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or even dark chocolate chips.
  • Form and Chill: Wet your hands to prevent sticking and roll the mixture into bite-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for them to firm up.

Ingredients for This Healthy Protein Balls Recipe

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s make delicious protein bites, with a  few basic ingredients. 

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • optional – 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder
ingredients to make a healthy protein balls recipe with oats and chocoalte chips and almond butter

Ingredients Tips and Substitutions

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For the nut butter, choose one with just nuts as the ingredient to ensure it’s free of added oils and sugars. You can opt for almond butter or a different nut butter of choice. Cashew butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter will all work well. 

I find that the best oats for protein balls are gluten-free oats. You can also use quick oats. There is a slight difference and adjustments may need to be made if using quick oats: 

  • Chewy protein balls: Opt for rolled oats (aka old-fashioned oats). These provide a satisfying bite and texture that holds the balls together well.
  • Softer protein balls: If you prefer a softer texture,  quick oats can be used. They absorb moisture more readily, resulting in a softer ball. You may need to use slightly less quick oats than rolled oats in your recipe to achieve the right consistency.

Here’s a quick comparison:

FeatureRolled OatsQuick Oats
Amount needed in recipeMoreLess
The Best Oats for Protein Balls

Ground flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse, particularly for its high fiber content. It boasts both soluble and insoluble fiber, aiding digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness. Flaxseed is also a source of plant-based protein, adding another element to these protein balls.

How to Make Protein Balls

First, in a large bowl combine the oats with the flaxseed and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

dry ingredients in a bowl, gluten free rolled oats, salt and flax seed

Next, in a separate bowl combine the almond butter, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. 

pour maple syrup into bowl with vanilla extract and almond butter

Then stir the wet ingredients until smooth. Remove any lumps or bumps in the nut butter. 

mix maple syrup and almond butter until smooth

Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  

almond butter and maple syrup mixed with raw oats in a bowl

If you would like this to be a super high protein ball recipe you can opt to add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder to the mixture. In this case, you may need to add 1-2 Tbsp of water or almond milk in case the mixture is too dry or crumbly. 

Then fold in the dark chocolate chips. You can also try mini chocolate chips if you prefer. 

almond butter oats and chocolate chips in a large bowl

​Combine until choc chips are mixed in and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. When the healthy protein balls mixture is warm or at room temperature it is difficult to roll them into balls. Once they chill and firm up a bit they are much easier to form. 

How to Make Healthy Almond Butter Oatmeal Protein Balls

Once chilled grab a mini cookie scoop and a piece of parchment paper. 

best way to make protein balls with a cookie scoop

Use the cookie scoop to scoop equal portions of the mixture. 

homemade energy ball mixture on parchment paper

Then use clean hands and roll into 1-2″ sized balls. 

how to make protein balls, formed balls on parchment paper

Healthy Protein Ball Recipe

This is the best protein ball recipe to make and keep on hand when you want quick and easy high protein snacks.

homemade healthy energy bites in a white dish

These protein balls are a delicious and healthy snack option, perfect for busy lifestyles or whenever you need a pick-me-up. They’re surprisingly simple to make with wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, nut butter, and flaxseed. Plus, they’re customizable with your favorite mix-ins for endless flavor combinations.

almond butter protein balls with oats on a plate

So ditch the processed snacks and whip up a batch of these healthy protein balls for a satisfying and nutritious treat.

close up oatmeal almond butter healthy protein balls recipe

More Easy Healthy Recipes for Protein Balls

Healthy Protein Balls Recipe with Chocolate Chips and almond butter

Healthy Protein Balls Recipe with Chocolate Chips

Yield: 19
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This healthy protein balls recipe is made with almond butter, rolled oats, ground flax seeds, maple syrup, and dark chocolate chips. 


  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • optional - scoop protein powder


  1. In a large bowl combine the oats, salt, and flax seed. Mix and set aside
  2. Then in a separate bowl combine the almond butter, vanilla, and maple syrup
  3. Stir until smoothi
  4. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Then fold in the dark chocolate chips
  6. Mix and then place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to an hour
  7. Once chilled use a small cookie scoop to form into equal sized balls
  8. Store in an airtight container
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 19 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 110Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g

nutritional values are estimates and may vary depending on products/ingredients used.

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