This easy recipe for Protein Cookie Dough Balls is made with simple ingredients like nut butter, protein powder, oats, and maple syrup. These healthy cookie dough balls are perfect for a quick snack, and freeze well too!
After sharing my recipe for monster cookie protein bars, I knew I had to share one of my many variations of the base recipe: these tasty high protein cookie dough balls.
They are perfect for meal prep, and make a for a delicious sweet treat. Customize the flavor with your choice of extracts, or mix-ins like chocolate chips, M&M's, chopped nuts, etc.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- Healthy snack. Each one of these cookie dough protein bites has 6 grams of protein and is made with whole food ingredients like peanut butter, oats, and maple syrup.
- Easy to make. Since this is a no bake recipe, all you need to do is mix, roll, and chill until firm. No special equipment needed!
- Perfect for meal prep. Make a big batch of these early in the week and you'll have them on hand for a quick snack. They also freeze really well!
- Edible cookie dough. Since this recipe has no eggs or flour, it's a no bake recipe that's also safe to eat as an alternative to raw cookie dough.
Source: Say No to Raw Dough - CDC
- Nut butter: Depending on the flavor you're going for, you could use different types of natural nut butters. I like to use peanut butter since it's super versatile, but cashew butter or almond butter are good choices too.
- Protein powder: I recommend using a good quality vanilla whey protein powder that you enjoy the taste of. You'll need 60 grams, which may vary in volume depending on the brand. For me, that was about ½ cup + 2 tablespoons.
- Oat flour: This can be purchased at the store, OR you could make your own in a blender or food processor. Use gluten-free oats if you need the recipe to be gluten-free.
- Maple syrup: It's important to use pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup). If you can't find any you could use agave instead.
- Vanilla extract: This is just a starter suggestion - feel free to add butter extract, caramel extract, almond extract, etc.
- Mix-ins: Choose your mix-ins based on what kind of cookie dough flavor you're going for. Mini chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookie dough, M&M's for monster cookie dough, etc.
- Cookie scoop: I like to use a medium cookie scoop for portioning both these protein cookie dough balls, as well as energy bites, or edible protein cookie dough.
- Baking sheet: You just need something sturdy so they don't flop around in the freezer. A plate would work find, but I find a baking sheet works best.
- Chocolate chip cookie: Use mini chocolate chips, and use peanut butter OR cashew butter as your base.
- Peanut butter cookie: Add chopped peanuts as your mix-ins and use peanut butter as your base.
- Monster cookie: Add mini M&M's and a small amount of mini chocolate chips.
- Birthday Cake: Use cashew butter or almond butter as your base and sprinkles as your mix-in. Add butter extract and almond extract to taste.
- Toffee chip: Use almond butter as your base and add toffee bits (or heath bits) as your mix-in.
- Peanut butter oatmeal: Leave 1-2 tablespoons of the oatmeal whole, and add chopped peanuts or Reese's pieces as your mix-ins.
Step one: Add the oat flour, protein powder, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla extract to a large bowl.
Step two: Mix everything together with a silicone spatula (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) until well combined.
Add Your Mix-ins
Step three: Add the desired mix-ins into the dough, and fold it in until completely combined.
Tip: If you want to make more than one flavor at a time, separate the dough into 2-3 separate bowls. Then add in the mix-ins of your choice.
Step four: Use a cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) to portion the dough into individual balls.
Rolling and Chilling
Step five: Roll the cookie dough portions between your palms to form a smooth, round shape.
Step six: Place the rolled balls on a baking sheet and press additional chocolate chips (or toppings of choice) into the dough (if desired).
Chill for at least 1 hour in the freezer before serving or storing.
Storing and Freezing
- After the protein cookie dough balls have chilled place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Top tip: If taking some protein balls for a quick work snack, toss them into your lunch bag frozen - they will be completely thawed by the afternoon!
Tips for Success
Protein powder. Some brands are more dense than others, so the best way to get an accurate measurement is to use a kitchen scale to weigh out 60 grams. That works out to ½ cup + 2 tablespoons for the brand that I use.
Mix well. If you want a super smooth consistency, first mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients.
Experiment. You don't have to make this recipe as just protein balls - it also works well as protein cookie dough and protein bars! In fact, it was adapted from my recipe for Monster Cookie Protein Bars.
Vegan: Use your favorite vegan protein powder (AKA plant based protein powder) instead of whey protein powder.
Low carb: Instead of the oat flour, try using almond flour, coconut flour, or a combination of the two. Substitute the maple syrup for a liquid low carb sweetener, and use sugar-free mix-ins.
Gluten-free: This recipe is gluten-free as written, but if you are celiac you should purchased certified gluten-free oats (or oat flour).
Yes, you can absolutely make your own oat flour if you don't have any on hand! Add quick oats or old-fashioned oats to a blender or food processor and pulse until it resembles a fine flour.
It's not recommended to store homemade protein balls at room temperature. They often have a high moisture content, which makes them prone to spoilage. Store them in the fridge or freezer for the best results.
If you loved this recipe for Protein Cookie Dough Balls, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Protein Cookie Dough Balls
- 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter or nut butter of choice (*must be natural, the kind with oil separating out)
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup oat flour **see notes
- 60 grams vanilla whey protein powder about ½ cup + 2 tablespoons
- ⅓ cup mix-ins of your choice mini chocolate chips, m&m’s, chopped nuts, etc
- Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, oat flour, and protein powder to a large bowl.
- Mix everything together with an electric mixer – or by hand with a silicone spatula – until well combined.
- Add the desired mix-ins into the dough, and fold it in until completely combined. If you want to make a variety of flavors, divide your dough into 2 or 3 portions and add 2-3 tablespoons per section of dough.
- Use a cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) to portion the dough into balls.
- Roll the portioned dough between your palms to form a smooth, round shape.
- Place each rolled ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and top with additional chocolate chips, M&M’s, peanuts, etc if desired.
- Freeze for 1 hour, or until firm.
- Place the chilled cookie dough protein balls into an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or transfer to the freezer for storage for as long as 2 months.
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