Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

These Chocolate Chip Protein Bars are a fantastic snack you make in batches at home!

I don’t know about you, but paying $4 for a single protein bar puts a bit of a strain on my wallet. Especially when I like eating them on a regular basis. That’s why I love making my own bars. Specifically, this clean eating chocolate chip protein bar recipe. It uses simple ingredients that are easy to find, and I love the flavor.

A tray filled with Chocolate Chip Protein Bar batter sits ready to go into the oven for baking.

I came across an article on, on how to make your own protein bars. It just gave a general outline, so I printed it out and got to work. I tried several different methods and many different ingredients.

The main thing I found is that the oats you use make all the difference. And it really comes down to personal preference.

If you like a harder, chewier bar, use old-fashioned oats (not the quick-cook kind). But if you use these, be prepared to let the bars sit for a few days in an airtight container before you eat them. Otherwise, it’s very similar to chewing hay (not that I chew a lot of hay, mind you; it’s just the image that came to mind when I tried these bars with the rougher oats).

If you like a softer bar (which I do), then use quick-cook oats (the 3-minute kind).

Other than that, the recipe is pretty basic and very easy.

How Many Protein Bars A Day?

The number of protein bars you can eat a day will depend on your macros and calorie limits. Keep in mind that protein bars were never meant to be a sweet and tasty snack, but that’s how most of us use them these days. However, that’s a great way to get more calories than intended because protein bars are really meant to be a quick meal replacement bar. Not a dessert after you’ve had a full meal.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

When Should You Eat A Protein Bar?

The best time to eat a protein bar is when you don’t have time to squeeze in a full meal. This is often in the afternoon when we are in the midst of our work days and just cannot get away for lunch.

How Much Is Too Much Protein?

This will depend on how active you are. Very active people need more protein than those who are more sedentary.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

More than 2 grams per kilogram of body weight each day is excessive.

Mayo Clinic

If this is a concern for you, your best bet is to talk to a registered dietician. While there are plenty of macro calculators online, a dietician will be able to give you the most accurate advice tailored to your own individual needs.

Are Protein Chocolate Bars Good For You?

Store-bought protein bars are rarely healthy. I’m not saying they don’t exist, just that a truly healthy one is hard to find. My best advice to to read the ingredient list.

Can I Use A Different Protein Powder?

Yep! Use any protein powder you are comfortable with. Some folks who are plant-based or vegan will prefer something like pea protein or soy protein. Plant-based protein powder is fine. You can also use brown rice protein powder, but I find that it sometimes has a funny texture that I don’t like. So choose carefully.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

About The Ingredients

Oats – Use plain, quick-cooking oats.

Peanut butter – All natural, no sugar added. You can also use almond butter or cashew butter if you prefer. Any nut butter or seed butter (if you are nut-free) will work. Sunflower seed butter is also a good choice.

Honey – Any type you want. You can use maple syrup, but the bars won’t be as sweet.

Apple sauce – Unsweetened.

Dark chocolate chips – Grain-sweetened is best.

Whey protein powderMore info here. Make sure it’s an unsweetened protein powder.

Ground cinnamon – Not cinnamon sugar. Just plain cinnamon.

Chia seeds

How To Make Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

An oven display set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Roast the oats in the oven on a cookie sheet, without oil, for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.

IMPORTANT: BE SURE your oats have cooled down completely from being roasted, or they will totally melt your chocolate chips.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

Knead all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

Spread out the batter on a cookie sheet or other baking dish (I used a quarter sheet). Press dough down evenly over the pan.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

Bake at 350F. for 15-20 minutes or until the bars are a nice golden brown color.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Cut and allow to cool. Store in a zipper-top plastic bag or food storage container.

Storing Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Freezing Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

These freeze well. Wrap them well and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before eating.

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Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe Card

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

Need a healthy snack on the go? These cinnamon chocolate chip protein bars are great to keep on hand for those “hangry” moments.
4.34 from 3 votes
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 230kcal


  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips (grain sweetened is best)
  • 1 cup whey protein powder (see link above)
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Roast the oats in the oven on a cookie sheet, without oil, for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.
    IMPORTANT: BE SURE your oats have cooled down completely from being roasted, or they will totally melt your chocolate chips.
    An oven display set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Knead all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe
  • Spread out the batter on a cookie sheet or other baking dish (I used a quarter sheet here).
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the bars are a nice golden brown color.
    Cut and allow to cool. Store in a zipper-top plastic bag or food storage container.
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1bar | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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  1. I was wondering if I could use hemp powder instead of protein powder. The hemp powder I have is 15g protein to 4 tbsp should I still use a cup or use the 4 tbsp and then add oat flour to the mixture to replace the lack of dry ingredients.

    1. Lexie – I would have no way of knowing. Every powder will react differently in a recipe depending on its texture, thickness and substance. I haven’t worked much with hemp powder, so I don’t know what it’s like to bake with. I’m really sorry, I wish I could be more help.

  2. Hi!
    I am just starting to eat and cook clean and I was wondering if you could do a post on protein powders? How to find clean products and how to use them in bar and muffin recipes.

  3. I was just wondering if you had any suggestions as to using pb2 instead of peanut butter.

    1. Lexie – I haven’t seen a jar yet that is actually clean. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, I just haven’t seen them. I know lots of people use it though.

  4. I have only ever found one and that was on Amazon it is called Betty Lou’s Just Great Powdered Peanut Butter. It is Certified Gluten Free and USDA Organic.

    1. Lexie – But I wonder about the powdered stuff. What kind of processing it goes through to get to that state.

  5. Hi Tiffany, I love your blog! I’ve heard and read that whey is a by product of cheese and is toxic. I haven’t done extensive research on this however and I try to stay clear of it and use vegan protein powders. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    1. Julie – The truth is, no protein powder is clean. But many clean eaters use it anyway for convenience. It’s totally a personal choice.

  6. Can you omit the protien powder completely and still have them turn out the same?

    1. Linde – Probably, but you may want to add a little extra oat flour for consistency. You’ll have to play it by ear.

  7. Catherine says:

    Delicious! I subbed tahini and cranberries for the peanut butter and choc chips. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. I love this one and would really like to try it. I just wish every bar recipe I see didn’t have peanut butter or nuts in them. I have a son who is allergic to Peanuts and nuts so finding an alternative has been challenging to say the least. Any suggestions?

    1. Khales – The reason for that is that the nut butter binds everything together. You could maybe try a baked recipe that uses eggs, but I haven’t found one like that. I’d have to get into the kitchen and experiment. Brown rice syrup is also an option, but does add a lot more sugar.

  9. Thank you. I’m just getting into this clean eats and haven’t done a lot of experimenting but hope to soon. I can maybe find something else. Haven’t tried the Sunflower butter yet.

  10. Just a question, I thought you were not supposed to cook protein powder because it breaks down the protein?? Is protein powder a clean food?? Just curious but this is what I have been told ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Vickie – No, protein powder is not clean. But you would be hard pressed to get most clean eaters to give it up. That and coffee….
      I’ve seen lots of people bake with it. Admittedly, I don’t know anything about the protein breaking down. But I do know some protein powders are better than others, so maybe it depends on what brand you get? I’m not sure. Sorry, wish I had a better answer for you.

  11. I’m waiting for my oven to preheat so I can roast the oats and make these. I’m using regular old chocolate chips since our grocery store is small and is seriously lacking, but I’m okay with that. Also using chocolate whey protein since that’s all my husband buys. Cannot wait to try these!

  12. Sheri Waddell says:

    Is there anything that can substitute for the applesauce? I have an extreme intolerance for apples in any form or amount. Thanks!

    1. Sheri – I haven’t tried it myself, but you could try yogurt instead. Or even pear sauce or some other fruit sauce.

  13. I would love to try these bars but being a diabetic, honey spikes my sugars terribly. Do you think if i cut the honey in half and used sugar free maple syrup for the other half that they would still turn out ok?
    Or do you have any other suggestions to still get the right texture since i believe it is the caramelizing effect your looking for with this recipe?

    1. Melissa – I wouldn’t be clean, but yes. You could sub with the sugar free stuff. I’ve never baked with it, but if it bakes the same way as regular maple syrup then it should be fine.

  14. Should these be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, or can they just be left in ziplock baggies room temp?

    1. Bianca – I would store them in baggies in the fridge for up to a week. If you need to store longer than that, just pop them in the freezer.

  15. I tried these last night. I made a few substitutions – No protein powder and maple syrup in place of honey, almond butter in place of peanut butter. (allergy in the house) My chocolate chips were organic, but did have an emulsifier in it. I threw in some sunflower & pumpkin seeds for texture. It solved the old fashioned oats/ hay issue as they came out very moist and probably wont get that crunchy bar consistency. The kids didn’t even ask where the ature alley wrappers were! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. I’m trying to find a recipe for a bar that I can mail to someone. I want something that will hold up in a box for a maybe 3 days and not melt and get disgusting if it sits in a hot truck at some point along the way. Would these hold up?

    1. Jamie – If you replace the chocolate chips with raisins or cranberries, these should be fine. But you’ll still need to package them carefully. Styrofoam works wonders!

  17. Hi Tiffany! Tomorrow I will make the Freedom Brownies, which I’m excited about, but I also plan on making these bars. I am very sensitive to things even in the cleanest protein powders. What else can I substitute for the protein power?

    1. Michele – I would just leave it out to be honest. I don’t think there is a substitute for protein powder. Not that I know of anyway.

      1. I have substituted the protein powder with coconut flour, which is high in protein. I use just 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and increase the apple sauce by 1/4 cup, because coconut flour is very absorbent. I can’t have whey, either.

  18. Brandologist says:

    How long will the bars keep for?

  19. Is there an approximate calorie count per bar ?

    1. Carolyn – You would have the enter the recipe into a recipe calculator and divide by the number of bars you end up with.

  20. I’ve been making these for a couple of years now. They are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast and super yummy. I use Pure Protein Vanilla Creme powder because it’s a perfect base for almost any protein shake or recipe and only has 2 grams of sugar (I’m diabetic). Thank you so much for this recipe! For the lady who asked about nutrition info, here is the breakdown according to the recipe I plugged into

    1 tbsp, Spices, cinnamon, ground
    0.50 cup, Honey
    2 tbsp(s), Organic Chia Seeds
    0.50 Cup, Apple Sauce Unsweetened
    16 Tbs, Organic Peanut Butter, Creamy – Unsweetened & No Salt
    2 cup, Rolled Oats
    3 scoop, Whey Protein shake
    2 tbsp (15g), Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings 15.0
    Amount Per Serving
    calories 237
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 11 g 18 %
    Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
    Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 17 mg 6 %
    Sodium 21 mg 1 %
    Potassium 205 mg 6 %
    Total Carbohydrate 25 g 8 %
    Dietary Fiber 4 g 15 %
    Sugars 12 g
    Protein 11 g 22 %
    Vitamin A 0 %
    Vitamin C 0 %
    Calcium 7 %
    Iron 7 %

  21. I was just curious as to the benefit or purpose of roasting the oats beforehand? How does this change the end result…