These healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls taste like a chocolate peanut butter cup! They are nutritious, vegan, gluten free, and guaranteed to come to your rescue when hunger strikes.
Of all the healthy snack recipes I make, energy balls are the ones I come back to most.
Between my go-to Oatmeal Energy Balls and specialty flavors (like Pumpkin Energy Balls, Fig Almond Energy Balls, and Ginger Cookie Healthy Energy Balls), I’ve made a small hipster cafe’s worth of energy bites and protein ball recipes over the years.
- They’re simple to make. Simply pulse in a food processor and roll—it doesn’t get much easier than that! (Although these No Bake Granola Bars are pretty simple too!)
- They’re adaptable to just about every dietary and lifestyle consideration. Need yours to be raw, vegan, gluten free, keto, and/or naturally sweetened? Protein balls have got you covered!
- AND they both fuel your body with good-for-you ingredients and nutrients while satisfying even the most discerning sweet tooth. (Same goes for these Vegan Protein Bars.)
5 Star Review
“Searched for this when trying to treat my peanut butter cup addiction. Feel a lot better knowing I’m getting the chocolate peanut butter deliciousness without filling my body with who knows what’s in the Reese’s!”
— Lauren —
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls
These chocolate peanut butter energy balls (or chocolate peanut butter bliss balls as I call them) taste like morsels of chocolate peanut butter cookie dough (from my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies) but are made entirely of healthy ingredients.
- Medjool Dates. Dates taste like caramel, are high in fiber, and create a raw protein ball “dough” that is easy to shape (or press into these Vegan Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips). Dates are a great alternative to making protein balls without honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners.
- Peanut Butter. Chocolate’s natural partner in crime. Keep in mind your choice of peanut butter will impact the consistency of the dough. Natural peanut butter with a thinner consistency may require extra oats. Conversely, shelf-stable peanut butter may require that you reduce the amount of oats (or add more PB to compensate).
- Cocoa Powder. For a more intense, rich chocolatey taste.
- Chocolate Chips. Because why stop with just cocoa powder when you can add little flecks of chocolate into every indulgent bite too?
- Oats. Help bind the protein balls together by soaking up excess moisture from the peanut butter. Added bonus: I love how their subtle nuttiness complements the peanut butter.
- Chia Seeds. My favorite protein alternative whenever I’m looking to make energy balls without protein powder. (They’re also my secret protein sneak in these Oatmeal Protein Cookies.)
- Soak and rehydrate your dates (if needed). Pulse the dates in a food processor until broken into small bits.
- Add the oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, chia seeds, and salt.
- Pulse until the mixture is broken down into small pieces, then add the cocoa powder.
At this point, the dough will look like crumbs, but when you scoop some into your hand and press to roll it into a ball, it should hold together easily.
- If it seems too dry and isn’t holding together, add a little peanut butter.
- If it’s too sticky, add a few more oats.
The amount you need may vary based upon the brand of peanut butter you use and the moisture of the dates.
- Roll the dough into balls of your desired size. Treat yourself immediately, or chill in the refrigerator until set. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover energy balls can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator or overnight.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Food Processor. I have owned this one for more than 10 years. It’s easy to clean and works just as well as the day I bought it.
- Cookie Scoop. A small one like this is great for making energy bites of uniform size and shape.
- Parchment Paper. Great for lining storage containers to prevent your protein balls from sticking.
The Best Food Processor
This 11-cup food processor has a powerful motor and multiple attachments, which makes it very versatile.
Whether for breakfast, midday snack, or late-night dessert, healthy chocolate peanut butter protein balls are sure to satisfy.
Frequently Asked Questions
While I can’t speak to all energy ball recipes, the chia seeds in this chocolate peanut butter protein balls recipe stay crisp. This recipe has just enough moisture to hold the balls together—not enough to cause the chia seeds to become plump, soft, or gummy.
Sometimes! Unfortunately, there is not a great substitute for dates in this particular energy ball recipe. The dates are critical for this recipe to sweeten the energy balls and give them their shape. Try these Peanut Butter Protein Balls if you prefer an energy ball recipe without dates.
Sure! While I haven’t tried adding protein powder to this recipe before, I think you could play around with adding a few tablespoons. If the dough is too dry, add a little more nut butter until you get a consistency you like. You could also try these Protein Balls!
- 1 1/4 cups Medjool dates pitted (about 10 dates)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter plus 2 tablespoons
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds you can also use ground flaxseeds, hempseed, or an additional tablespoon of oats
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
If your dates are dry, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and pat dry.
Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times until the dates break into small bits and form a ball that sticks to the side of the bowl.
Add the oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, chia seeds, and salt.
Pulse until the mixture is broken down and in small pieces but not completely smooth. Add the cocoa powder and pulse to combine. (At this point, the dough will look like crumbs, but when you scoop some into your hand and press to roll it into a ball, it should hold together easily. If it seems too dry and isn’t holding together, add a little peanut butter; if it’s too sticky, add a few more oats. The amount you need may vary based upon the brand of peanut butter you use and the moisture of the dates.)
Roll the dough into balls of your desired size (I did slightly over 1 inch and ended up with 14 energy balls).
Enjoy immediately (the balls will be soft but delicious) or pop in the refrigerator for 10 or so minutes to allow the balls to set.
- TO STORE: Leftover chocolate peanut butter energy balls can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- TO FREEZE: Frozen protein balls are good for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator or overnight.
Serving: 1(of 14)Calories: 103kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 0.5mgPotassium: 153mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 27IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
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