Check the packaging of many protein bars and you'll find a list of ingredients that looks like it belongs in a science experiment. Save the extra -ols and isolates for the lab and make these recipes at home instead. These delicious bars are packed with protein (instead of sugar!) to give you hours of energy without the sugar-related slump mid-afternoon. Whip up a batch this weekend for a week's worth of snacks that will keep you full and focus—and much leaner than your usual vending machine pick. Many of the recipes below call for protein powder; you can use your favorite, but we highly recommend first checking out our exclusive guide to The Best and Worst Protein Powders.
Healthy Matcha Green Tea Fudge Protein Bars
Nutrition: 130 calories, 5 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 9 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15 g protein
Skip the belly-bloating bars you can get at the store and whip up a batch of these superfood-spiked beauties. They not only get natural color and flavor from matcha but also use vegan plant-based protein that won't cause an unwelcome belly bulge like whey. Drizzle them lightly with dark chocolate to really set off the cookie dough-inspired texture. You won't find a more delicious way to refuel mid-afternoon.
Get the recipe from Desserts with Benefits.
Cranberry-Almond Protein Bars
Nutrition: 312 calories, 22.3 g fat, 4.8 g sat fat, 24.4 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber, 13.4 g sugar, 8.8 g protein
We're big fans of KIND bars (we've even ranked every single KIND bar!), but sometimes you need a grab-and-go breakfast that's a bit more substantial. These bars hit all the same notes—visible nuts, seeds and just a touch of sweetness—with a little more heft to get you through to lunch full and focused. Looking for a little less sweetness? All you need is enough honey and syrup to hold all the natural ingredients together, so feel free to back off on the amount suggested in this recipe.
Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Triple Chocolate Protein Cake Bars
Nutrition: 116 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 11.9 g carbs, 2.0 g fiber, 2.9 g sugar, 8.3 g protein
Whether you enjoy these bars as a snack or healthy dessert alternative, you'll get over eight grams of protein from a combination of whey protein powders, walnuts and plain Greek yogurt. If you're a healthy eater with a soft spot for sweets, you'll love this ingenious take on the classic protein bar.
Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.
Raspberry Chocolate Protein Bars
Nutrition: 234 calories, 10.4 g fat, 2.1 g sat fat, 25.7 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 14.4 g sugar, 11.8 g protein
Sweet, chewy and brimming with energy, these bars are your delicious solution to that pesky 3 pm slump. Choose your favorite protein powder—we're fans of pea protein—and use these bars to swap out your daily sugar-laden granola bar. With just a touch of added honey, these bars get a natural sweet-tart pop of flavor from fresh berries. Speaking of sweeteners, don't miss Every Popular Added Sweetener—Ranked!.
Get the recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy.
No-Bake Mint Chocolate Bars
Nutrition: 157 calories, 5.8 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 16.6 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 10.3 g sugar, 12.5 g protein
Just seven ingredients and 20 minutes are all you need to whip up a batch of Girl Scout Cookie-inspired protein bars that will fuel you through two work weeks—if you can keep other people out of your stash. Don't count on it, though, these healthy bars taste like dessert but are naturally sweetened with dates and packed with over 12 grams of muscle-building protein.
Get the recipe from Healthy Maven.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars
Nutrition: 200 calories, 11.3 g fat, 2.2 g sat fat, 19.4 g carbs, 1.8 g fiber, 10.5 g sugar, 8.2 g protein
If your favorite sweet indulgence is a chewy peanut butter cookie, this is the perfect protein bar for you. They're packed with plenty of creamy peanut butter and boast plenty of complete vegan protein to keep you full from lunch until dinner. They're sweetened with dates and just a touch of maple syrup, so you don't have to worry about weird sweeteners or sugar alcohols when snack time rolls around.
Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.
Healthy Red Velvet Fudge Protein Bars
Nutrition: 180 calories, 8 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 12 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 17 g protein
First of all, that's not artificial coloring you see; these bars get their arresting color from healthy, vitamin-packed beet puree. But, trust us: you won't taste it. Vanilla paste and chocolate protein powder combine for a classic cake-inspired flavor that will make you forget all about the beets. Even better, you'll get a whopping 17 grams of protein and just two grams of sugar for less than 200 calories.
Get the recipe from Desserts with Benefits.
No Bake Apple Pie Protein Bars
Nutrition: 239 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 36 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 10 g protein
This protein bar tastes like your favorite classic American dessert, minus all the unnecessary fat and sugar. With an impressive 10 grams of protein per serving, they're the perfect mid-morning snack to hold you over until lunchtime. Arman, the mastermind behind this waist-friendly recipe, says that they taste best when frozen and then thawed for 10 minutes.
Get the recipe from The Big Man's World.
No Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars
Nutrition: 120 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 11 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 9 g protein
Whipping up a batch of these no-bake bars is as easy and fast as it gets, and totally worth it. Flavor boosting cinnamon will stabilize you blood sugar and ward off insulin spikes, meaning they'll keep you feeling full longer. Pack one or two of these sweet, bars for an afternoon snack and you won't look twice at the break-room vending machine.
Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars
Nutrition: 172 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 20 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 8 g protein (Calculated with ⅔ cup protein powder)
With a bounty of benefits like slowing down digestion and helping your skin look younger, we're always looking for more ways to sneak pumpkin into our diets. These bars make it super easy to do just that in the form of a delicious guilt-free snack that keeps you full for hours after devouring it.
Get the recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch.
German Chocolate Protein Bars
Nutrition: 230 calories, 11 g fat, 29 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 14 g sugars, 8 g protein
This decadent protein bar is a guaranteed winner. Rich dark chocolate, shredded coconut and naturally sweet Medjool dates mend together so wonderfully, you'll have a hard time stopping once you dig in!
Get the recipe from My Darling Vegan.
No Bake Banana Protein Bars
Nutrition: 208 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 31 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 9 g protein
You won't miss the astronomical amount of calories and sugar that are usually associated with banana bread when you bite into this protein-packed alternative. Eat one of these for breakfast—the high fiber content that comes from the naturally sweet, ripe bananas will keep you full and focused through those morning meetings.
Get the recipe from The Big Man's World.
Mocha Protein Bars
Nutrition: 123 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 26 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein
Infused with brain-preserving coffee and blood pressure lowering cocoa, this protein bar is an antioxidant powerhouse that is sure to give you the extra energy kick you need to jumpstart your morning and power through those Monday morning meetings. And don't forget to choose a raw cocoa powder to make sure you're reaping all the health benefits said to be found in chocolate!
Get the recipe from Chocolate Chilli Mango.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars
Nutrition: 276 calories, 13 g fat, 20 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g sugars, 17 g protein (calculated with 2 tbsp chocolate chips)
There's a reason this flavor combo is a classic, it's just so good! Packed with vegan protein powder, cottage cheese, and organic peanut butter, this bar has an impressive amount of protein, making it a great post-workout snack. Munch on it after spinning or lifting weights to make sure your body being properly replenished.
Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kalechips.
Sweet Potato Protein Bar
Nutrition: 184 calories, 7.4 fat, 1.9 sat fat, 17.2 carbs, 1.7 fiber, 9.9 sugars, 13.3 g protein
Sweet potatoes make an unexpected—but delicious—appearance in this protein bar recipe, giving these bars their wonderful orange tint and giving you a generous amount of vitamin A, a nutrient that aids in immune function, vision, reproduction and cellular communication. Wondering what other yummy things you can create with the magical spud? Check out our 20 Sweet Potato Recipes for Weight Loss
Get the recipe from The Lean Green Bean.
Pucker Up Lemon Protein Bars
Nutrition: 225 calories, 13 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 17 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 12 g protein
If you have a thing for lemon cookies and cake, you'll absolutely love these perfectly sweet-tart energizing bars. Enjoy these knowing the lemons that give them their irresistible flavor are the most nutritional fruit on the planet, packing more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of waist whittling vitamin C.
Get the recipe from Om Nom Ally.