Rich & Chocolatey Vegan Protein Balls (~8g/ball, no bake)

Decadent, satisfying, and nutrient-dense, these Rich & Chocolatey Vegan Protein Balls are impressively high in plant protein! Featuring unflavored protein powder, peanut butter, oats, and cocoa powder, these dairy-free energy balls are naturally sweetened with dates and a touch of maple syrup.

Fudgy vegan protein balls lined up on plate.

I have been testing quite a few versions of this recipe, so there are a lot of protein balls to eat around my house! In fact, the new family joke is, “Everyone loves mom’s balls!” And it’s true…kids love them because they taste like chocolate and adults love them because they’re not too sweet and protein-packed! In fact, they actually taste more like dessert than a healthy snack.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients in Chocolatey Vegan Protein Balls

Labeled ingredients for Rich & Chocolatey Vegan Protein Balls recipe on white counter top.
  • protein powder: The primary source of protein in this recipe; I use plain – unflavored, and unsweetened – protein powder, not only because the other ingredients bring so much flavor, but also because I personally am not a fan of stevia, a natural (but very unnatural tasting) sweetener which is found in most protein powders on the market. I rotate using these brands of soy protein or pea protein or a mix of them for this recipe.
  • rolled oats: Adds texture to these balls, plus complex carbs (energy!) and fiber; use gluten free as needed.
  • peanut butter: A perfect complement to chocolate, peanut butter adds to the richness of flavor in these energy balls without overpowering (see substitutions below for more details). I use natural/unsweetened peanut butter.
  • cocoa powder: The chocolate source! Such a simple, pure, and healthy ingredient.
  • dates: The primary sweetener for this snack, dates are an absolutely delicious and they add a gooey, almost candy-like consistency. Plus they’re packed with fiber and antioxidants.
  • unsweetened coconut: Just a couple spoonfuls goes a long way, but that added layer of texture and flavor adds to the decadence!
  • soy milk: While any plant milk (or even water) will work as a binder, soy milk is high in protein, and thus my choice for high protein balls.
  • cinnamon: Just a touch of spice goes a long way.
  • vanilla extract: While many protein powders come in vanilla flavor, I prefer natural vanilla!
  • maple syrup: The secondary sweetener in this recipe, just a couple of teaspoons rounds out the flavor beautifully with just a hint of caramel flavor. Or add more to your desired sweetness.


Substitute your favorite protein powder for this recipe! Just keep in mind that the flavors will change if using a flavored or sweetened protein powder. Consider omitting the maple syrup to start if using a sweetened protein powder, taste, and then adjust.

Any nut butter or seed butter will work instead of peanut butter if you prefer. I tried the recipe with almond butter as well, and while absolutely tasty, it dominated the overall flavor more than peanut butter, which seems to blend in and allow the chocolate to shine.

You can use agave nectar or other sweetener of choice instead of maple syrup, though a liquid sweetener is best for texture.

Use any plant milk instead of soy milk, or even water.

Protein Sources

These vegan balls are significantly higher in protein than most recipes…not only does this recipe call for a bit more protein powder, but also includes a handful of other protein-rich ingredients.

Protein Powder is, of course, high in protein. But protein grams per serving will vary by source (soy, pea, hemp, etc) as well as brand. Pick a protein powder that best aligns to your goals (check out this 2024 vegan protein powder review). For this recipe, I use either soy protein or pea protein or a blend of both. Using either of these brands, the protein per ball is about 8 grams.

Soy Milk is also higher in protein than other plant milks like oat and almond. And dates, cocoa powder, and oats all have a bit of protein too, which add up!

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Protein Bites

Making these protein balls couldn’t be easier with essentially 3 easy steps:

  1. Throw all ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Blend, taste, adjust.
  3. Roll into balls!


Since protein powders vary in texture and flavor, you may need to adjust your mix before forming balls. Once blended, taste mix for sweetness and texture:

  • If mix is not sweet enough, add 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup and blend again. Repeat as needed.
  • If mix is too dry, add 1 tablespoon plant milk and blend again. Repeat as needed.
  • If mix is too wet, add 1 tablespoon oats and blend again. Repeat as needed.
  • Mix consistency should look gooey like this:


Store protein balls in air tight container in refrigerator for up to 10 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Pin this Easy Vegan Protein Balls Recipe for later:

Pinterest pin for rich chocolate vegan protein balls.

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Rich & Chocolatey Vegan Protein Balls

Jennifer Freedman
Decadent, satisfying, and nutrient-dense, these easy Vegan Protein Balls are impressively high in plant protein!
Enjoy them for breakfast, snack, or dessert!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, healthy, Vegan
Servings 12 balls
Calories 153 kcal


  • 1/2 cup unflavored/unsweetened protein powder I use soy or pea protein powder, see note below
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats use gluten free as needed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or nut/seed butter of choice I use natural/unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • 2/3 cup soy milk or plant milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tsp maple syrup


  • Add all ingredients to food processor (starting with 2 tsp maple syrup).
  • Blend until combined.
  • Open food processor and scrape sides. Blend for a few more seconds.
  • Taste mix for sweetness and texture. Since all protein powders vary in texture and flavor, you may need to adjust your mix before forming balls. See photo above recipe card under "Troubleshooting" section for ideal texture.
    If mix is too dry, add 1 tablespoon plant milk and blend again.
    If mix is too wet, add 1 tablespoon oats and blend again.
    If mix is not sweet enough, add 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup and blend again.
  • Use your hands or large spoon to scoop mixture, and then roll into balls with your hands. Makes about 12 balls approx. 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide.
  • Enjoy immediately or place balls in refrigerator for an hour to harden (if you can resist!).


Protein powder: Pending protein source and brand, grams of protein per serving will vary. Nutritional info below is based on Bulk Supplements brand soy protein powder.
Storage: Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 6 months in air tight container.


Serving: 1ballCalories: 153kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 8gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 98mgPotassium: 226mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 40IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chocolate, dates, no bake, peanut butter, unflavored protein powder, vegan protein balls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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