The best protein ball recipe on the internet! These no bake protein balls are easy to make, incredibly delicious, and packed with protein and nourishing ingredients. Use peanut butter or cashew butter, and your protein powder of choice. Perfect as a midday snack or post workout!
If you’re big on snacks, you’re about to get a taste of the best one! I am #teamsnacks all day every day, and my favorite snack by far is protein balls. Sometimes also referred to as energy bites or snack balls, these little no bake protein balls are packed with nourishing ingredients (including protein powder!) to keep you feeling satisfied and energized.
While I love traditional energy bites, I personally don’t feel satiated after eating a mixture of dried fruits, nuts, and oats. Great for a good hit of energy, but it doesn’t last long. This protein ball recipe was specifically crafted to be delicious, and it includes a variety good fats and protein so you aren’t left feeling hungry. As a result, they’re totally gluten-free and low carb!
And I included chocolate chips in these protein balls because it’s the perfect companion to nut butter and coconut. While you can skip this step, it’s just a nice little hint of sweetness. Chocolate is one of those foods that I think feeds the soul. Am I saying this because I love chocolate? Most definitely. But I also believe we should intentionally include the foods we love in our lives regularly. And because these protein balls do that for me—I’m a daily consumer and always add in those chocolate chips.
How to Make No Bake Protein Balls
These protein balls mix up easily in a food processor. I personally recommend this food processor as we’ve had it for over five years and it works like a charm! Just mix, remove the blade, and then form the protein balls directly from the food processor.
To make these protein balls, line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the pistachios and dates to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is completely broken down. Add the shredded coconut, cacao powder, protein powder, and sea salt, and pulse until the mixture is fully combined.
Add the nut butter, coconut butter, and vanilla extract to the processor, and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides to fully incorporate if necessary. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
Roll the dough mixture into about twelve 2-inch balls about the size of a golf ball, then roll each ball in the shredded coconut (optional) for coating. I love the texture the coconut offers, but you can definitely leave it out and it would be just fine!
Place the protein balls on the prepared baking sheet. Chill the balls in the freezer for 1 hour.
Storage and Serving
Once chilled, store the protein balls in and airtight container or sealable bag in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months. I like to make a double batch and store them in these freezer-safe sealable silicone bags for long-term use. Just lay one out in the fridge for a couple hours before you’re ready to eat it.
Can I Make Ingredient Substitutions?
Absolutely! My favorite part about this recipe is that it’s easy to make swaps and substitutions. For the most part, you’ll get fairly consistent results. Here are a few recommendations for swaps:
- Pistachios: You can use another nut, like macadamia nuts or cashews.
- Protein powder: You can use unflavored, chocolate or vanilla protein powders in this recipe. I prefer unflavored or chocolate. You can also use collagen peptides!
- Nut butter: While cashew or peanut butter work best in this recipe, you can use any creamy nut butter, including almond butter.
- Dark chocolate chips: Use your favorite chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips! If using mini chocolate chips, reduce the amount by a tablespoon.
- Shredded coconut (coating): Use crushed pistachios or a dusting of cocoa powder! You can also just omit the coating altogether.
Why I Love This No Bake Protein Ball Recipe
- These no bake protein balls are incredibly satisfying and delicious. You can use any protein powder you like, including collagen peptides!
- This is such an easy recipe! When you’re hungry— it’s a fast grab and go snack!
- These protein balls have a good wack of protein and a variety of nourishing fats.
- This snack is low carb, paleo, and grain-free, which means it fits a variety of needs.
- Need a post-workout snack? These protein balls are perfect!
- These are kid-friendly! The whole family will love this no bake protein ball recipe!
Protein Ball Tips and Tricks
- If you don’t have pistachios on hand, you can try macadamia nuts or cashews.
- Make sure to fully break down the dates and nuts before adding the remaining ingredients.
- You can put the protein balls immediately in freezer for about 20 minutes to set, then store them in the fridge.
- Want a different coating? Try crushed pistachios, macadamia nuts, or a dusting of cocoa powder!
- Nix the coating and dip the protein balls in melted dark chocolate for dessert balls!
- Not interested in chocolate? This protein ball recipes is also great without the chocolate chips!
Stocking the Pantry
I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs because it saves me some cash—especially when it comes to commonly used items like shredded coconut, protein powder, and chocolate chips. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- The Best Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Dessert Balls
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
- Homemade Magic Shell
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- 7 medjool dates, pitted (equivalent to ½ cup packed)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons protein powder or collagen peptides
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup creamy cashew or peanut butter
- ¼ cup coconut butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
For coating (optional):
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the pistachios and dates to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is completely broken down. Add the shredded coconut, cacao powder, protein powder, and sea salt, and pulse until the mixture is fully combined.
- Add the nut butter, coconut butter, and vanilla extract to the processor, and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides to fully incorporate if necessary. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
- Roll the dough mixture into twelve 2-inch balls about the size of a golf ball, then roll each ball in the shredded coconut (optional) for coating.
- Place the protein balls on the prepared baking sheet. Chill the protein balls in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Store the protein balls in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What did YOU think about this no bake protein ball recipe? Come back and let me know in the comments below!