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The “3 Minute” High Protein Granola Bars

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Oil-free, flourless, no high fructose corn syrup, and you can make them ANY flavor you choose! Recipe here:

These granola bars could be your new favorite recipe. In less time than it takes to read this post, you can have a batch of your own homemade protein bars prepared and ready to consume. Feel free to change up the flavor to match your mood. Chocolate, vanilla, chai, caramel, cookies’n cream…

What flavor to make these bars is YOUR choice!

3 Minute No Bake Protein Bars:

Only a few ingredients are needed, all of which can be found in regular grocery stores.

healthy protein bars

3 Minute Protein Granola Bars

(Makes 10-12 bars)

Inspired by: Peanut Butter Homemade Protein Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats or rolled oats (120g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or cashew butter (Nut-Free Version: use Sunbutter) (120g)
  • 1/2 cup agave or honey (Use agave if serving to vegans, as honey is technically not vegan) (120g)
  • 2/3 cup protein powder of choice – have fun with different flavors! (70g)
  • handful mini chocolate chips, optional

Stir all ingredients together until well-mixed. Transfer the mixture to a 9×14 pan lined with parchment or wax paper. (For thicker bars than the ones shown, you can use an 8×8 pan.) Place another sheet of parchment or wax over the top and continue to smush down and spread until it fills the bottom of the pan. Freeze until hard, then cut into bars. For optimum freshness, store leftover bars in the freezer for up to a month.

View Protein Granola Bars Nutrition Facts

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. ericadhouse says:

    I think I’ll try these with the vegan chocolate shakeology I just got!

    1. Lilli says:

      I love shakeology! I wish you could cook with it, but i think the nutrients are damaged when you heat it:(. Glad this is no bake!

      1. Jennifer says:

        Just made them with Vega protein powder and they were delicious!

        Thanks Katie!

      2. Kerstin Decker says:

        where does one get vega protein or what am I looking for? thanks for the info

      3. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

        You can use any protein. But vega can be found at whole foods or at

  2. I love how quick these are! 3 minute is my kind of recipe!

  3. I love it when fast and easy recipes are super delicious. I have been trying to find alternatives to packaged, processed bars!

  4. Alana says:

    I can’t wait to make these!!!! I’ve been looking for a decent, high protein, nut-free, and clean recipe for bars for ages!! Thx for this post!

  5. These look great for workouts! I know you freeze them before cutting, but after that can they be stored at room temp, or should they stay in the fridge?

    1. Jennifer says:

      It says in the recipe directions.

      1. Not really… I was asking about storage when you intend to eat them within a few days or a week, not a month. For that, it’s not worth storing them in the freezer.

      2. Marni says:

        Leah–I make a similar version to this and I just store in the refrigerator–it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week–but they never seem to last that long :-)

  6. Amy says:

    Ooo ooo ooo I have all the ingredients for these… I’m going to make some tonight!!

  7. Any protein powder at all? Even egg white protein? :)

    1. Liz says:

      You just need the powder for proper texture, I’m guessing, so sure why not?

  8. Denise says:

    I have a question, as I think I may be out of the loop some, what amount of protein is considered high?? As in, how many grams per meal? In my opinion, anything with 15, or even 20 is considered high. 8… not much, really. I’m genuinely curious. I’ve taken a Nutrition course, as well as been a competitive physique athlete, but haven’t really read up on much of what’s going on out there in today’s Nutrition world. Thanks in advance for anyone who can answer this for me! :o)

    1. Μaria G. says:

      The RDA for protein is 10% of calories or 0.8 g. per kilo bodyweight. So whether it is a lot of protein or not depends on how much you need. Read more about it here:

      1. Roxy says:

        Yes, but that is the RDA, which isn’t end all, or be all, as you have stated there. In fact, time and time again, the most trusted recommendation has been at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. At least in the U.S.

      2. Kate B says:

        Do you mean per kg?

      3. Marni says:

        I would say half your body weight in grams of protein every day.

    2. Liz says:

      Eight grams is pretty high for a forty gram bar. More than an egg, and people say eggs are a good source of protein.

      1. Roxy says:

        No, 8 grams is not high for a 40 gram bar. In fact, this bar would be considered unbalanced for a high protein bar, and considered more an energy bar. High protein for most is something like 15 grams (per meal/serving), as Denise has stated before. Perhaps 8 is high for Vegans, or Vegetarians, or maybe even those who follow a more carb/fat to protein ratio, like 70/20/10 ratio (carbs/protein/fat, respectively). Barely muscle building. More energy, than muscle building. Let’s take a Quest bar to lead by example what would be considered “high” protein: 60 gram bar, 160 kCal, Total fat 5g, Total Carb 25g (17g fiber), Protein 20g. That is high protein for a bar that is 20 grams more than this bar recipe here.

        Yes, eggs are a GREAT source of protein… if you eat about as much as you would, say, a 3oz to 4oz piece of fish, meat, or poultry (could be more, depending on protein source, all fish vary). In that instance, you would then consume approximately 3 to 4 large eggs (5 to 6 egg whites (large)) to obtain the same amount of protein.

        Despite what people like Dr Oz, and the like, state, human bodies need more protein than they think, especially if they live a more sedentary lifestyle. Many do not eat accordingly, as we all know (look at the obesity epidemic) and the Food Pyramid was part to blame, over the years, which they’ve since updated. Take your protein how you need to, but it is essential for the body in more ways than you can imagine. One thing that has been stated a great deal is “amino acids are the building blocks of life”. Amino acids are found in protein. Of course, balance is key, as always and everyone is different, but what most people try to consume in protein isn’t always enough. So keep that in mind when figuring out your macros for your well being.

        Denise, I hope I was able to clear something up for you. If you’re looking for a high protein bar recipe, many can be found if you Google. I think this site is primarily more for vegans and vegetarians. I personally like the recipes, as I have a sweet tooth from time to time and prefer a more natural and healthier option in that department. Good luck!

      2. Liz says:

        You state that a Quest bar has “20 grams more than this bar recipe here” but you forget that the quest bar is also 1.5 times the size! So gram for gram, what you said it not actually true.

        Also not actually true is that humans need more protein than they currently get. I urge you to do more research on this subject. Currently many Americans get TOO MUCH protein, and it’s a possible reason we have the highest instance of osteoporosis as a nation even though we are also the nation that eats the most dairy. Too much protein leeches calcium from the bones. Please do more research on the subject.

        Also, not that it matters, but I’m not vegan or vegetarian 😉

      3. anonymous says:

        I’m not a vegan either, but I LOVE this site!

      4. Roxy says:

        I don’t know where you got your information, but I’d be curious to see your site.

        I don’t know how Americans are getting too much protein, when they mostly eat sugars and highly processed junky carbs and processed fats, if this is the case. Perhaps red meat… I don’t equate red meat as all the protein. I heard Americans are consuming too much red meat, but not protein, but I would be curious to see the studies you’re citing this from. Thanks.

      5. Roxy says:

        Also, regarding Quest bars… that’s what I was referring to, when I stated “20 grams more”… not 20 grams more protein (as it only as 20 grams of protein in the bar, so, if math done correctly it would be 12 grams more). I was referring to it being 20 grams larger.

      6. Roxy says:

        Are you referring to the drivel cited in this article??

        Read the comments section, in fact, just read the article. This article is completely contradictory in more ways than one. Although I do agree there is such a thing as too much protein (too much of anything isn’t good and Americans eat just too damn much in general, more so sugar and bad fat than anything else), this study is a complete farce. If you’d like, I can ask a PHD his opinion… one that consumes “too much protein”. Perhaps he has further studies to cite where it debunks this ridiculous debacle. Here’s the thing with the cancer causing bs: GMO, chemicals and highly processed food items. There it is. GMO foods alone cause cancer in the long term. Independent studies have proven this time and time again.

        If you care to continue this circus of a debate, I’d be delighted to.

        I’d like to further recite the bs from the past: fat makes you fat… today, senior citizens do not consume enough fat, thereby causing ill effects like Alzheimer and dementia. In fact, there is a study on low-fat diets for the cardiovascular system on monkeys… turns out, little fat consumption made them nutty after awhile. Now they’re saying fat is great for the cardiovascular system, as well as the nervous system, and rightfully so.

        Next time you tell someone something you believe to be true (and not by the media, but actual study), please cite a study in which you state your claims. Thanks.

      7. Liz says:

        I was not referring to one specific article, as I prefer to do extensive research on a subject before forming an opinion, not blindly believe one article. And I would also prefer to trust reputable sources more than comment sections of articles where anyone can say anything. I would not put much stock into the comment section of that article. I should also point out that you did not initially source an article to back up your claims either, so chiding me for not doing so is uncalled for.

        There is a lot of research to back up what I wrote above, both from vegetarian-centered sources and non, so here is just one article that explains it well, from the huffington post:

        However, I do not wish to continue this debate with you, as I think by now it would be more adult of us to agree to disagree I’m moving on now and won’t reply further.

    3. anonymous says:

      FYI I calculated them with whey protein and they have 12g per bar.

  9. Melanie says:

    Hi Katie! Thank you for the recipe- I’ve been looking for an easy, no-bake bar! Question: isthe honey/agave syrup merely for sweetness, or is it necessary for texture? I’m not very ‘food literate’ and my husband and I eat very simply. We don’t have honey at home right now, so I was wondering if I could make them with just pb and oats (and raisins)… Thanks so much! Love your blog!


    1. Lilli says:

      I’m no expert at all, but they probably wouldn’t hold together the same way and you would need to play with measurements. Maybe a little less oats or a little more peanut butter. Or you could make a date paste!

      1. Melanie says:

        Thanks, Lilli! Maybe I’ll give it a go and see what happens…. :-)

      2. Liz says:

        Yup, maple syrup is thinner than agave.

  10. Jennifer says:

    These look great. Can’t wait to give them a go! x

  11. I like the fact that these don’t require heating the nut butter and syrup/honey. Excellent idea to make them this way!

  12. Alanna says:

    Ooh, these sound perfect! I hate buying protein bars because they’re so expensive and the often don’t taste very good. A lot of times they have palm oil, too. :( Any reason to avoid maple syrup as the sweetener? I can’t see why it wouldn’t work but wasn’t sure if there was a reason only agave or honey were listed.

    1. Alanna says:

      *they often, not the often (oops!)

    2. Anna says:

      I think it’s because maple syrup is not as sticky as honey or agave, so it might not hold together as well? I’m sure you can still use it, but it might fall apart

      1. Alanna says:

        Hmm, maybe… I’ve never used agave so I’m not sure how it compares to the other sweeteners. Thanks!

  13. Allison T says:

    Looks great! I am always looking for high protein snacks. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. I cannot believe how easy it is to make these 😀 They look absolutely amazing 😀 Can’t go wrong with peanutbutter 😀 x

  15. kristin says:

    These look so super tasty!!! I’ve never made any at home before but this seems to be a fairly simple recipe. Thanks so much xo

  16. Yum, these are so easy! Trader Joe’s just started stocking cashew butter (made my day).

  17. Heather says:

    Any reason you have to use the protein powder? I know your point is they are then high protein, but I’m looking for a kid snack, not a power bar. Do you need the powder?

    1. Alanna says:

      If you’d prefer a regular granola bar, try this one (also from CCK):
      She also has a similar recipe for crunchy bars (like the ones from Nature Valley):

  18. Great recipe as always lately! I’ve been noticing you’ve been upping your protein (at least in your recipes) a lot lately! Any reasoning? Just something I have noticed =)

    1. lana says:

      probably just reader demand. i would assume that katie is well aware of the fact that the vast majority of americans get WAY TOO MUCH protein to begin with, and the LAST thing most people need is ADDED protein powder (dear god)!

    2. I bought protein powder–something I don’t normally have on hand–for the cookie dough shake. Then had extra left over for the bars.

  19. carmella says:

    Hi Katie,

    I love your food blog!!! Can you make these bars without protein powder. Thanks.

    1. Μaria G. says:

      I think you could use soy flour (such as Soy Supreme) instead of the protein powder – it still has a lot of protein, but all natural! Just make sure your soy flour is not bleached. And sinche natural soy flour does not have any flavorings, you would need to add your own. :)

    2. Alanna says:

      If you’d prefer a regular granola bar, try this one (also from CCK):

  20. Ashley says:

    Looks delicious!

    Do we need to cook the oats before using it?

  21. Liz says:

    These are AMAZING!!!
    I just made my first batch, using vanilla protein powder because it’s what I had on hand. Boring, I know, but there will be MANY MORE batches in the future! :) :)

    1. EVA says:

      Woah, woah….vanilla is NEVER boring! I once was the misfit of my class when the teacher asked what our favorite ice cream flavor was and I said plain ‘ol vanilla.

      And I can’t think of one granola bar out there that’s vanilla flavored, so you’re still ahead od the game!

  22. Carly says:

    These look so great! I’m thinking of adapting them into High Protein Granola Balls so that I can make them in my teeny tiny dorm room freezer.

    1. Stephany says:

      That’s what I did and it totally worked out! They are so good!

  23. These bars are looking really good! I love home made granola bars, especially when there’s chocolate :).

  24. Jane says:

    Wow, great recipe, almost too easy!

  25. Amy says:

    I can imagine subbing vanilla cake batter protien powder in this recipe :) yummm…I have chocolate protein powder on hand but for some reason I feel like a vanilla/cake batter flavour would work wonders!

  26. Alicia K says:

    Just made these granola bars tonight with almond butter and honey for my sweetener. They are so delicious and I love how they are no bake and so quick.

  27. Ayal says:

    God these look delicious. Your pictures are always so amazing, yum!

  28. JD says:

    These were great! I can’t wait to make more.

  29. Ana says:

    Which protien powder would you recommend Katie?

    1. I am a big fan of Vega vanilla.

      1. Ana says:

        Do you use Vega for these recipes? I’m willing to fork over the money if I can make all these yummy protein bars. (Dying to try ALL of them)
        I’m tired of paying $2 a bar at whole foods :/

      2. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

        I’ve used Vega here with good results.

  30. Kirsty says:

    These look so tasty! I’m always looking for healthier snacks and these sound super simple which is always a bonus!

  31. Kylie L. says:

    This looks TOO easy. but so good.

  32. Tasmanian says:


    it would be soooo great if you had a print version! 😉

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      It’s relatively easy to print Katie’s recipes. Highlight just the recipe itself and right-click “Copy.” Then open a new Word document, and right-click “Paste.” You can name and save this recipe in a CCK Recipe folder, and print easily.

  33. Lila says:

    I made these protein bars for my dad and I to take on a long run. I used chocolate flavored whey protein powder. They were really easy to make and tasted pretty good! I spread them into a 9×9 pan and they still turned out really thin. Next time I’ll use a smaller pan to make them thicker. I couldn’t cut the bars after they’d been in the freezer, but storing them in the fridge worked great. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  34. Victoria says:

    Hi Katie! Do you have a version of this recipe with ingredients by weight rather than volume? It’s hard for us folks in the UK to bake using in US volume measurements… or at least it’s hard for me! Thanks :)

    1. I’m confused :(
      The gram measurements are listed right in the recipe.

      1. Victoria says:

        Sorry!!! For some reason I missed them the first time… Maybe I need to get new glasses…
        Thanks for the quick reply, your blog is awesome!

  35. Emily J. says:

    These are delicious, Katie! Thank you for another great recipe!

  36. Rosemary says:

    hi, this looks delicious, do you have a substitute for the protein powder? I’d like to make this for my kids and I’m not sure that they should have the powder.


    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You can try oat flour maybe. Or go with one of her many other granola bar recipes on the site. These are my favorites:

  37. Claire says:

    I’m a long time reader and have been wondering about this for quite some time, you list honey as an option for the liquid sweetener in many recipes. You used to state that it was not for strict vegans and in the above recipe you say to use agave if serving to vegans, because honey is not technically vegan. Do you use/consume honey yourself? I know you probably list it as an optional substitution because honey is much more commonly known than agave nectar, but you could probably use that argument with some of the other ingredients used in your recipes as well.
    Please know that this question is not meant to be judgmental in any way. It’s just something that I’ve been curious about and questioning about my own diet and finally got the courage to ask. I kept worrying about how I could phrase this so that I wouldn’t offend you or cause any of your loyal readers to jump to your defense. I really do love your blog and don’t want to create any problems! So thank you in advance!

  38. Melanie says:

    I just wanted to say that my family LOVES this recipe! Thanks for all the wonderfully delicious and healthy recipes!

  39. Melissa says:

    Defiantly trying these as a good snack for when I start college in the fall! For placing them on the tray, what do you mean buy placing another wax paper over the top? Is it over the top of the granola bars before placing them in the freezer? Just was wondering. :)

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Place a sheet on top in order to press down so you don’t get your hands all sticky. You can then remove the top sheet.

  40. Can I use natural peanut butter for these? They look delicious! :)

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:


  41. kayla says:

    Just wondering how long these should stay in the freezer to set?

  42. Yasmine Hughes says:

    I’m not sure if this has been asked already, but do these work with flavoured whey Protein powder?

  43. sar says:

    Can I substitute maple syrup for honey?

  44. Megan says:

    I made these with Vanilla Soy protein and I added 1/3cup of cocoa powder, half a handful of chia seeds and flaxseed! I melted the peanut butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds (it was in the cupboard) and I used agave nectar. And they turned out great! Definately will be trying again!

  45. Hannah says:

    yum!i might try this with maple syrup instead to make it a peanut butter maple bar .

    1. Hannah says:

      i did end up making this with maple syrup and it was amazing!

  46. Leigh Ann says:

    these are amazing. I have made them so many times already. I use crunchy peanut butter and sometimes I substitute raisins for the chocolate chips. Great recipe and sooooo easy. Thank you.

  47. Marni says:

    Our family loves these–we do these with our Yoli protein shakes–but I also add unsweetened coconut flakes/cinnamon and ground flax/chia. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  48. Rebecca says:

    What butter alternative can be used for nut allergies?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Sunbutter, Peabutter, or even coconut butter.

  49. Poppy says:

    thanks for the recipe. I just made these with modifications. Rather than mixing with a spoon which had oats flying everywhere, I used a glove with non stick spray and mixed by hand, then I pressed them into my madeleine (?sp) molds to fit in my freezer and not have to worry about cutting.

  50. Amy says:

    thanks! The protein needs are really high during pregnancy, 80-100g daily. This will really help. I am doing protein shakes daily too but I LOVE granola bars and generally hate the protein bars on the market. All but 1 I’ve had are nasty. Oats have a high nutrient content too and I always try to eat more oats but get sick of oatmeal, perfect!

  51. Ellen says:

    Is the protein powder a necessary ingredient for these? Do they do something to help with the texture or are they simply for protein’s sake? I love anything oat based but don’t have (and don’t feel the inclination to buy) any protein powder.

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Try one of her many other granola bar recipes, most of which don’t have protein powder:

  52. Melissa says:

    For a dupe of Clif Bars – Chocolate Brownie:

    Added 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Better than the 1$ bars you find at the store.

  53. Linda Tucker says:

    Great ideAS AND HEATHY TOO.

  54. Hannah says:

    These bars are sooo good! Definatley a keeper. These taste better than cookies, and they’re healthy!