These no-bake Cashew Butter Protein Balls are a filling and convenient snack that are perfect post-workout, during the workday, or whenever you need to crush your cravings!
Let’s face it: sometimes, snacks are better than the actual meal. When I get my hands on pineapple salsa with chips and/or chickpea cookie dough, it’s hard to stop! My appetite is constantly being ruined by delicious snacks.
These Cashew Butter Protein Balls are an extra special healthy snack because they’re so easy to make and eat! Roll ‘em up, keep them in your fridge or freezer, and grab one whenever you’re feeling hungry (or craving creamy and smooth cashew butter). Energy balls rarely last long in my house because they’re just so convenient!
- Energy bites are really easy to transport. Throw some in your gym bag for a quick dose of protein post-workout.
- The short list of ingredients is really flexible and shelf-stable, making them a staple for Sunday meal prep.
- They’ll keep you full throughout the day and are the perfect afternoon snack.
- Cashew butter - Cashew butter is the often neglected cousin in the nut butter family and I’m not sure why! It’s completely addicting, a delicious source of healthy fats and magnesium, and incredibly creamy. I buy my cashew butter from Trader Joe’s but it should be easy to find at most major grocery stores and is even easy to make at home.
- Protein powder - Any flavor will work.
- Rolled oats - Quick oats work too! Make sure they’re certified gluten free if you need the protein bites to be gluten free.
- Honey - The natural sweetness will help balance the salty and savory flavors while giving the dough a sturdy texture.
- Chia seeds/flaxseed - This recipe calls for both because they're full of omega-3's and fiber, but you can always just one or the other if you prefer.
- Almond milk - Or any dairy free milk you like, such as cashew milk or oat milk.
Step 1: Stir everything together. Stir the cashew butter and honey together in a large bowl. Next, add the protein powder, chia seeds, oats, and flaxseed.
Step 2: Thin it out. The mixture will be thick, so thin it out with 1 tablespoon of plant milk at a time. The finished dough should be thick but easy to roll into balls.
Step 3: Form the protein balls. Use your hands to roll the dough into about 24 protein balls. Leave them as-is or sprinkle a little cinnamon or sea salt on top.
Step 4: Enjoy or store for later. Enjoy the balls right away or store them in the fridge or freezer for later.
Expert tips and FAQs
- The number of balls this recipe makes will depend on how large you make them. I ended up with 24 golf ball-sized protein balls.
- You may end up not using any milk -- the texture mostly depends on the kind of cashew butter (or any nut butter) that you use. Only use milk if the final mixture seems too thick to roll.
- Add more into the protein ball mixture, like chocolate chips, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, or vanilla extract.
- Give the balls an extra layer of flavor with a sprinkle of cinnamon, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, or a chocolate drizzle on top. My peanut butter balls always taste extra sweet when chocolate is added!
Can you use a different kind of nut butter?
Yes, however, I only tested this recipe with cashew butter. Keep in mind that other kinds of nut butters wil have different textures and tastes. Adjust the other ingredients accordingly if you try this recipe with peanut butter, almond butter, or nut free seed butters.
Are cashew butter balls vegan?
The honey is necessary for the structure of the protein balls, meaning they aren’t vegan-friendly. You can try using maple syrup instead of honey but take note of my recommendations below first.
Can you substitute honey with maple syrup?
I don’t recommend using maple syrup because the mixture won’t hold together quite as well. If you’re vegan or don’t have honey, you can try using maple syrup instead but you’ll need to adjust the measurements of a few of the other ingredients.
- Refrigerator: Once they’re rolled, place the protein balls in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- Freezer: Place the balls in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
More protein-packed snacks
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Cashew Butter Protein Balls
- 12 oz cashew butter or nut butter of choice
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- almond milk as needed
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- In a large bowl, stir the cashew butter and honey together.
- Then, add the protein powder, oats, chia seeds, and flaxseed to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The mixture will be thick, so add 1 tablespoon of milk to thin it out if needed. NOTE: you want it to be thick, but you should easily be able to roll it into balls.
- Use your hands to roll the mixture into 24 balls. Leave them as-is, or sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and/or sea salt.
- Store balls in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in September 2015. It was updated with new text and photos in January 2022.
Athena @ Fitness & Feta says
I'm back from my honeymoon and catching up on all your posts from the past month! It's making it easier to ease back into real life haha. I am obsessed with cashew butter and can't wait to try these protein bites. Thanks for the recipe!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health says
I haven't seen Island Hunters yet because I was too busy watching every single episode of Fixer Upper. OBSESSED with that show. A new season doesn't start until December though so I'll be working my way through House Hunters in the meantime. 🙂
On a separate note, these balls are GORGE. Pinned!
Monique @ Bupees to Bubby says
YES! These look and sound delicious- big big big fan of snacks 🙂
I know someone who has their own island. But he just takes his boat there and rides his bike. Ya, he's got the life. No barre studio there though haha. And these bites ---> EPIC> YES
Jess @hellotofit says
Hahah I loved reading your little ramble! I used to watch a lot of HGTV at work when I'd have cardio breaks.
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
I love having the TV in the background when I blog/work. The E! Network is my all-time favorite for that. There are a few shows that I definitely can't multitask with though - OITNB for one!
I used to put E! on in the background but I love it so much I can't concentrate. Especially with E News--it's bad!
Selena @ The Nutritious Kitchen says
LOVE love love these! Jeez they are so easy it's hard not to find time to make em! With Fall quarter starting up, work and blogging life these babies are totally gonna save my life. Oh and also on board with you about not wanting your own island. WAY too much to handle there and if there is no Trader Joe's or coffee shops or fun pilates classes then how must one survive?!
Right?!! I love the beach and water and whatnot, but c'mon.
These looks so yummy and delightful♥♥
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Haha - that last question was too funny - but, a really good one, because I have wondered why people say they want their house far away from everyone, too!
As far as HGTV - I adore it - when I had cable, I watched it as much as I could I love Flip or Flop and House Hunters - and the Property Brothers, and Love it or List it and Buying and selling and... well you get it! If I had a bowl of these bites with me, I could work my way through all the episodes that are on Netflix!
Yessss to all the HGTV shows--they're just so good!
Katie @ 24 Carrot Life says
I finally got around to making my own cashew butter not too long ago and now I'm hooked. It's so creamy! Now I need to make another batch so I can have these bites!
Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food says
haha I've have had all those same thoughts while watching island hunters. Like, you really love your spouse so much they're the ONLY person you ever want to see??
also, yes to tjs cashew butter. These look so good!
hahahaha right?! You get it--it's weird.
Katie @ 24 Carrot Life says
I finally made some homemade cashew butter not too long ago and I'm officially hooked. It's soo creamy! I definitely need to whip up another batch and make these!
Yessss I bet it was amazing!
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says
Obsessed with cashew butter!! These sound so good. Always a fan of protein balls/bites!
And your HGTV rant cracked me up 😉
HAHA I love it, I just don't get people sometimes!
Rachel @ athletic avocado says
What a great pre-workout snack! I love cashew butter !
Right?! It's kind of the best.