Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bars

Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bars

These healthy homemade peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are soft, chewy, vegan and a perfect high protein snack to take on the go!

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These homemade cookie dough protein bars are my new favorite healthy snack to take on the go!

Meet my newest obsession: homemade peanut butter cookie dough protein bars. 

After posting about these on Instagram a few weeks ago, I’ve been making a batch every week. So I figured it was time to put them on The Healthy Toast.

And I’ve been eating them non-stop. They’re just so soft and cookie dough-like. Trust me, you’re gonna love them! 

Stacked peanut butter cookie dough protein bars

Why you’ll love this vegan protein bar recipe

These homemade cookie dough protein bars were inspired by Kirkland’s Cookie Dough Protein Bars from Costco. I had one for the first time on a ski trip to Utah last month and can’t stop thinking about how good they were. 

So naturally, I took it upon myself to make my own version. These bars have become my new favorite high protein snack as they’re: 

  • Simple to make.
  • Made with a handful of (mostly) whole ingredients.
  • Soft and chewy.
  • Easy to take skiing, hiking, on a road trip, or on your next plane ride.

Ingredients Used to Make Homemade PB Cookie Dough Protein Bars

  • Natural Peanut Butter: I use a crunchy natural peanut butter, as I like the tiny bites of crunch from the peanuts. But feel free to use a smooth peanut butter instead. To make this nut-free, you can use sunflower butter, just note that the flavor will be slightly different. 
  • Pure Maple Syrup: If you don’t want to use maple syrup, honey will also work. 
  • Oats: Regular or quick-cooking oats will both work as you’re pulsing them into a flour anyways. To make these bars gluten-free, make sure that the oats you use are certified gluten-free. My go-to brand is Bob’s Red Mill
  • Vanilla Protein Powder: Which protein powder you use will greatly affect the flavor – so make sure to use one you really do like! I used Aloha Vanilla, but I’ve also heard good things about Owyn Smooth Vanilla — both are plant-based. 
  • Salt: Use just a pinch to help round out the sweetness of these bars. 
  • Pure vanilla extract: This is key for that cookie dough taste! 
  • Oat milk: Any plant-based milk will work, just make sure it’s unsweetened. 
  • Vegan chocolate chips: My go-to brand is Enjoy Life. If you aren’t vegan, feel free to use non-vegan brands as well. 

How to Make Homemade PB Cookie Dough Protein Bars

To make them super easy, I used a granola bar silicon tray from Pampered Chef (similar to this one), but you can just as easily use a baking pan.

PB Cookie Dough Protein Bars in pampered chef's granola bar pan

Other than that, all you need are a handful of stable ingredients, a blender or food processor, and 5-10 minutes of your day.

1. Combine peanut butter and maple syrup. If your peanut butter is a bit hard from being in the fridge, you’ll want to microwave it for 15 seconds before adding the maple syrup. 

Mixing peanut butter and maple syrup in a bowl

2. Pulse oats in a food processor to make a coarse flour, then pour them into a large mixing bowl. 

Pulsed oat flour in food processor

3. Combine everything except the mini chocolate chips.

Combining peanut butter and dry ingredients

The mixture should be soft and doughy, similar to peanut butter cookie dough. Once the consistency is right, you’ll add the chips. 

peanut butter cookie dough protein bar dough

4. Press batter into a bar pan or an 8×8 baking pan. Chill in fridge for 20 minutes before transferring the bars to an air-tight storage container.

Stacked peanut butter cookie dough protein bars

Tips for making this recipe

  • Depending on the type and brand of protein powder used, you’ll need anywhere from 1-3 tablespoons of oat milk. Start with 1 tablespoon, mix, and then add more until there are no more dry spots and the consistency is cookie dough-like.
  • If using a baking pan, make sure to cover the bottom with parchment paper. I like to use enough parchment paper so that the two ends hang over the sides. This will make it super easy to remove the bars after chilling in the fridge.
  • For the oat flour, you can make it as coarse or as fine as you’d like. A coarser flour will have more of an oatmeal cookie batter consistency, whereas a finer flour will result in bars with a smoother texture. 
Stacked peanut butter cookie dough protein bars

More on-the-go high protein snack ideas 

If you tried this healthy homemade protein bar recipe or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

PB Cookie Dough Protein Bar Pin

Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bars

These healthy homemade peanut butter cookie dough protein bars are so easy to make. They’re soft, chewy, vegan-friendly and the perfect high protein snack to take on the go!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Protein Bar, Homemade Energy Bar, Vegan Protein Bar
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 ¾ cup oats pulsed into a flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder see post for brand recs
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tablespoons unsweetened oat milk
  • cup vegan mini chocolate chips see post for brand recs

Instructions

  • Place peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Whisk in maple syrup then set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, protein powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add peanut butter mixture, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon oat milk. Stir until you get a cookie dough consistency. If there are still dry spots, add 1-2 more tablespoons of oat milk.
  • Lastly, stir in mini chocolate chips.
  • Scoop dough into a granola bar pan (see post for linor into an 8” x 8” baking pan that’s been lined with parchment paper (you’ll want two sides of the parchment paper to hang over so that it’s easy to remove the bars later). Use a rubber spatula to press the bars evenly into pan.
  • Set pan in fridge for 20 minutes. If using a bar pan, pop bars out of pan and place in an airtight food container. If making bars in a baking pan, remove bars from pan by lifting up parchment paper. Cut into bars and store in a container. Bars should keep for 2 weeks in the fridge or for up to 4 months in the freezer.

Notes

Note: this recipe can make 12 snack-sized bars or 8 more filling ones. Nutrition stats will vary depending on the type of protein powder used.
 
Nutrition for 1/12 of recipe: 182 calories, 9 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 71 mg sodium, 22 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 7 grams protein.
 
Nutrition for 1/8 of recipe: 272 calories, 13 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 107 mg sodium, 32 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar, 10 grams protein

Recipe adapted from Oh Sweet Basil

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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