These delicious no-bake gluten-free protein bars are made with creamy peanut butter, protein powder, oat flour, dates, and mini chocolate chips then drizzled in dark chocolate and sprinkled with finely chopped pecans.
This gluten-free protein bar recipe is my version of a copycat Perfect Bar, one of my favorite store-bought protein treats. You can't go wrong with gluten-free high protein bars that satisfy a nagging sweet tooth and fuel your body with quality nutrition at the same time. That, my friends, is a WIN.WIN!
I love making desserts with whey protein, like this delicious Tropical Protein Ice Cream, Berry-Stuffed Cottage Cheese Crepes, Protein Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Protein Cookies, and delicious Protein Tiramisu. It's fun to experiment with healthier versions of my favorite indulgent sweets. These homemade gluten-free protein bars are the perfect way to sneak in a little more muscle fuel in your day!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- These gluten-free snack bars are packed with protein yet taste like a decadent dessert.
- Quick and easy to make with no baking required.
- My version of a DIY Perfect Bar with better macros and lower calories per serving.
- Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and dates. (I also used a protein powder sweetened with stevia)
- Medjool dates- for natural sweetness with a nutrition boost. Make sure that they are pitted before adding them to the food processor.
- Cottage cheese- trust me, you'll never know it's in there and adds another source of high-quality protein
- Maple syrup- use the good stuff. A little bit of real maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness along with the dates.
- Vanilla- go with a good quality vanilla extract.
- Cinnamon- for a touch of flavor and spice.
- Salt- for balancing the sweetness.
- Almond milk- Unsweetened almond milk is recommended.
- Peanut butter- for the best bar texture, use creamy peanut butter that has been stirred well.
- Vanilla protein powder- I used a vanilla whey protein powder sweetened with stevia. You can also use a plant-based protein powder, but I haven't tested that variation in the recipe.
- Oat flour- make sure that it's certified gluten-free
- Mini chocolate chips- go with your favorite brand of chocolate chips here.
- Dark chocolate- I use 70% dark chocolate for drizzling on top. Optional, but highly recommended!
- Finely chopped pecans- another optional, but highly recommended, ingredient for sprinkling on top.
How To Make No-Bake Gluten-Free Protein Bars
Combine dates, cottage cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and almond milk in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add peanut butter. Blend until smooth, stir in protein powder and oat flour until thoroughly combined (I used my stand mixer on low speed for this step). Stir in mini chocolate chips. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, overlapping sides, for easy removal when slicing.
Spoon the peanut butter bar mixture into the pan and smooth out evenly, with a spreading knife or spatula, to distribute in the pan.
Freeze for at least 2 hours to set.
Lift the bar mixture out of the pan by lifting up the sides of the parchment and place it onto a cutting board.
Slice into 12 bars, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with pecans. Store in the freezer in an airtight container for the best texture. Enjoy straight from the freezer for a delicious treat!
- Make sure to use certified gluten-free oat flour, or you can make your own out of gluten-free rolled oats.
- For easy slicing, make sure to freeze bars before cutting. Also, run the knife blade under hot water and wipe dry right before slicing the bars.
- I melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each. Cool slightly, then pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag for that perfect drizzle. Immediately sprinkle pecans on top while chocolate is still warm so they stick to the bar.
These gluten-free protein bars need to be stored in the freezer for the best texture. They will get too soft if kept in the refrigerator unless you prefer a more ooey-gooey texture. Place them into a freezer-safe container with a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper in between each row. Enjoy straight from the freezer!
If you love this recipe I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bars with Chocolate Chips
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 5-6 pitted Medjool dates
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 140 g vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Optional But Highly Recommended:
- 3 oz good quality dark chocolate (70%) melted, for drizzling on top
- 2 tbsp pecans finely chopped for sprinkling on top of the chocolate drizzle
- Combine dates, cottage cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon,salt, and almond milk in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add peanut butter.
- Blend until smooth, stir in protein powder and oat flour until thoroughly combined (I used my stand mixer on low speed for this step).
- Stir in mini chocolate chips.
- Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave enough on the side to easily lift the bars out of the pan
- Spoon the peanut butter bar mixture into the pan and smooth out evenly, with a spreading knife or spatula, to distribute in the pan.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours to set.
- Lift the bar mixture out of the pan by lifting up the sides of the parchment and place it onto a cutting board.
- Slice into 12 bars, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with pecans. Store in the freezer in an airtight container for the best texture. Enjoy straight from the freezer!