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This peanut butter energy balls recipe is the best easy snack! Healthy oatmeal balls pack protein and fiber into tasty bites.

Energy balls
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Here’s a healthy snack that’s so delicious, you might find yourself sneaking one for dessert. Try this peanut butter Energy Balls recipe! Yes, we can’t stop riffing on combinations of peanut butter and oatmeal, though any nut butter works here. Just mix a handful of simple ingredients together and bam! You’ve got an instant homemade snack that’s infinitely more delicious than store-bought granola bars or energy bites. Even better, they’ve got a good amount of protein and fiber for a tiny ball. We think they’re pretty darn perfect.

Ingredients in the best energy balls recipe

These energy balls are quick and easy to make, and full of very simple ingredients you might already have on hand. That’s very intentional, in fact. Years ago, we used to make energy ball recipes with trendy Medjool dates, a large variety of date with a sticky sweet, caramel flavor. We love them, but they can be hard at the grocery and very expensive. Also, I burned Alex out on Medjool date energy bites (oops!).

Now we now want our energy balls recipes super simple. Oatmeal, peanut butter, and honey are things we always have on hand…so why not use them? They’re beyond easy to make: and kids love them too! Here’s what you’ll need for these peanut butter oatmeal balls:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • Creamy peanut butter: no sugar added! Use sunflower butter for nut free
  • Honey: substitute agave syrup for vegan
  • Kosher salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla or chocolate protein powder: see notes below
  • Mini chocolate chips: make sure to get mini-chips! They’re best for keeping the balls tightly packed
Peanut butter energy balls

How to roll peanut butter energy balls

This energy balls recipe could not be easier: all you have to do is mix together the ingredients and roll them up! It’s that simple. Want them to look as beautifully uniform as the energy balls in the photo? Here are a few tips on rolling these energy bites:

  • Freeze the dough 5 minutes before you roll. Just a few minutes in the freezer firms up the texture so it’s easy to roll.
  • Use a cookie scoop (1 1/2-inch or #40). This is the magic behind making them look so uniform! A cookie scoop is perfect for proportioning out the dough. Don’t have one? No problem, just approximate.
  • Use mini chocolate chips. Using mini chocolate chips helps the entire texture to stick together well: large chips can cause fractures.
Peanut butter oatmeal balls

Use any nut butter you like: and some troubleshooting tips

These don’t have to be peanut butter energy balls, of course. You can use any nut butter you like: almond butter, cashew butter, walnut butter pecan butter, pistachio butter, or sunflower butter for nut-free! Here are a few notes if you use a different nut butter:

  • Make sure to use a creamy nut butter. You’ll want a nut butter with a nice creamy texture that will make the energy balls stick together.
  • You can use homemade, but be aware of texture. You can use homemade nut butter, but be aware: some homemade versions can be very dry.
  • If it’s too dry, add a little more honey or a few tablespoons milk. If you can’t get the balls to stick together, it’s ok: all nut butters have a different consistency. Just add a little more honey or your milk of choice (dairy or non dairy) until the dough is able to stick together.

Are these healthy energy balls?

These peanut butter energy balls come out 1,000 times more delicious than a store-bought granola bar. And guess what? They’re fairly healthy too. You can get a decent amount of protein in a few balls (which would equal 1 store-bought energy bar). Here are the particulars:

  • Protein: Each energy bite has 3 grams of protein of 6% of your daily need.
  • Fiber: Each energy ball has 1 gram of fiber or 5% of your daily need.
  • Fat: Each energy bite has 4 grams of fat or 5% of your daily allotment.
  • Calories: Each ball has 100 calories.

Of course when it comes to healthy snacks, carrot sticks or a handful of almonds are the healthiest. But if you’re looking for something irresistibly tasty and

Energy balls recipe

What protein powder to buy (or omit it!)

Here at A Couple Cooks we don’t usually include protein powder in our recipes. But for these peanut butter oatmeal balls we wanted to maximize the overall protein content! If you prefer, you can definitely omit it without sacrificing flavor. Alex did a little research into how to find healthy protein powder; here’s what we found:

Energy ball flavor variations!

There are so many ways to mix up this energy balls recipe! As we’ve mentioned above, no need to make them peanut butter oatmeal balls, though that’s our favorite way. Here are a few ideas on how to vary the flavors:

  • Chocolate peanut butter: Go to No Bake Energy Bites.
  • Almond joy: Use almond butter instead of peanut butter, and add ¼ cup shredded coconut (so delicious!). Remember if your almond butter has a dry texture, add a little more honey or a few tablespoons milk until the dough comes together.
  • Birthday cake: Add ¼ teaspoon almond extract and 3 tablespoons all natural sprinkles.
  • Cherry vanilla: Substitute dried cherries for the chocolate chips (roughly chopped) and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Blueberry lemon: Substitute dried blueberries for the chocolate chips and add ½ teaspoon lemon zest.

There are so many more options…how would you customize these energy bites? Let us know in the comments below.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These peanut butter oatmeal balls are very similar to our oatmeal bars recipes! Because oatmeal, peanut butter and honey are the best classic combination, right? Try these fan favorite oatmeal bars:

This energy balls recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free, use agave syrup.

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Energy balls

Easy Energy Balls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x


This peanut butter energy balls recipe is the best easy snack! Healthy oatmeal balls pack protein and fiber into tasty bites. 


  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added, or any nut butter or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • ⅓ cup honey (or agave syrup for vegan)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup vanilla or chocolate protein powder (optional; we use this one)*
  • 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Freeze the bowl for 5 minutes. 
  2. Roll the dough into 20 small balls, pressing the dough together with your hands. We used a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop (#40) to make uniform balls. You can also make smaller balls if desired. (If the texture of your nut butter makes the dough very dry, add a little more honey or a few tablespoons milk of choice until you can press it together into a ball shape.) Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!


*If you prefer, you can omit the protein powder from this recipe and still have a delicious snack. You can also add natural foods like chia seeds or ground flax seeds (2 tablespoons of each has 4 grams protein).

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Snack
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I loved it! it tasted so gooooood

  2. Liz Bunker says:

    Whey protein contains dairy. Have you tried this with a plant based protein powder?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t

  3. Kourtney says:

    I like these! I rolled them in coconut shavings just for fun and they’re a nice little snack :) Super easy to make as well

  4. Heather says:

    For the Blueberry Lemon variant, do you still use peanut butter?

  5. Barb Lightfoot says:

    Can these be frozen?

  6. Rachel says:

    We love these! Just don’t leave them sitting out too long, or the peanut butter will get runny.

  7. Christina says:

    I have made these a few times since they make a great snack. Highly recommend!

  8. Maria says:

    If you substitute flax for the protein powder, do you use ground flaxseed? How much do you add to the recipe? Thank you!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Ground flaxseed! We’d recommend using 2 tablespoons here.

  9. Lyndsay Baker says: