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This healthy peanut butter buckeye balls recipe takes the classic chocolate peanut butter buckeyes and adds a healthy twist! 

Buckeye balls recipe | Peanut butter buckeyes | Chocolate peanut butter balls healthy

Each year for A Couple Cooks, we try to create a “healthier” version of some holiday favorites. Admittedly “healthy” is sometimes a dirty word when tacked onto dessert, but believe me, this healthy peanut butter buckeye balls recipe can stand up to the original. Keep reading for the buckeye balls recipe!

How to make this buckeye balls recipe

Buckeye balls weren’t part of my childhood growing up in Minnesota, but they’re certainly the rage here in Indiana around the holidays (perhaps because of the proximity to Ohio?). Essentially peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, they’re little bites of heaven. Any other buckeye fans out there?

Instead of the traditional butter and sugar, in this healthy buckeye balls recipe we’ve substituted Medjool dates. Medjool dates are large, chewy and sweet dates that are used to make natural sweets like Larabars and raw brownies (here are 10 great Medjool dates recipes). Add a little peanut butter, and voila — instant buckeye filling. 

Dipped in a little chocolate, these little bites taste very similar to the original, but without the butter and refined sugar. They’re certainly not a health food, but they’re more natural than most of the treats out there this time of year! Also, they’re vegan and gluten free! Let us know if you try them out and what you think.

Related: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Buckeye balls recipe | Peanut butter buckeyes | Chocolate peanut butter balls healthy

One tip for healthy cookies: we always make our cookie servings a little smaller than typical. This helps to control portion size and makes you satisfied with a smaller serving! These healthy buckeye balls are a great gluten-free Christmas cookie option and vegan Christmas cookie option (if you use vegan chocolate). And finally, the concept for this buckeye balls recipe was inspired by this recipe from our friend Ashley at Edible Perspective!

Aside from this healthy peanut butter buckeye balls recipe, here are a few of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes:

This recipe is…

This Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls Recipe

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30 to 40 1x


This healthy peanut butter buckeye balls recipe takes the classic chocolate peanut butter buckeyes and adds a healthy twist!


  • 20 Medjool dates*
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (vegan if desired)


  1. Remove the pits from 20 Medjool dates. Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor and process until crumbled. Add 3 tablespoons peanut butter and turn on the food processor; while running, add 2 tablespoons water. Process until completely smooth (stopping and scraping down the bowl as necessary).
  2. Lightly oil your hands (to prevent sticking) and roll the mixture into small balls, about 30 to 40 total. Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and freeze until ready to dip in chocolate.
  3. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer, then place 1 cup chocolate chips in a metal or glass heat-safe bowl. Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted. (Alternatively, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.)
  4. Dip each buckeye halfway into the chocolate using a toothpick (then smooth over the toothpick hole). Place the buckeyes back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.


*Medjool dates are a type of date that is exceptionally large and sweet, and are essential for this recipe (do not substitute). Medjool dates are available at many mainstream groceries, and also are available for sale online.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Buckeye balls recipe, Peanut butter buckeyes, Chocolate peanut butter balls healthy, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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