Save some money and make this homemade perfect bar recipe! Chocolate chip peanut butter protein bars are made with just 4 ingredients, come together in 10 minutes, and require no baking! Packed with 16 grams of protein per bar, along with healthy fats and carbs, they make a delicious and easy on-the-go snack or dessert everyone will love! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free.
It’s my birthday and I’m celebrating the best way I know how…homemade protein bars!! Totally kidding, some kind of delicious dessert will be had tonight that is not protein bars, but I figured this super easy copycat perfect bar recipe would be a fun recipe to share today!
I mean what is not to love about the peanut butter and chocolate chip combo. Add some protein in there and form it into an on-the-go portable snack? Sign me up!
Have you guys had Perfect Bars before? I was introduced to them a few years ago and they are pretty amazing! They are refrigerated protein bars made of real food ingredients like nut butter, honey, protein, and superfoods. They make lots of different flavors, but the dark chocolate chip peanut butter is probably my favorite!
As much as I love them, I figured it really can’t be too hard to make them at home. And clean them up a little. While the ingredients are pretty good, they do contain dairy and I don’t really see it is necessary to have in there.
But the main reason is to save some money!! Buying store-bought protein bars can quickly add up, especially good quality ones. Making homemade protein bars is so much cheaper – check out the price comparison below!
While I’m not huge on eating protein bars all the time, I love to have some on hand when I’m in an emergency and need food fast. Michael eats a lot of them (a handful of times a week) as they make a great way to add some easy, healthy calories to his diet. He has been on the gain weight plan for as long as I’ve known him haha.
It’s still a work in progress… 😆
Homemade Perfect Bar Recipe
Just 4 ingredients (plus salt) and only 10 minutes to make these peanut butter protein bars! Full of protein, carbs, and healthy fats, they make a quick and easy snack everyone will love! And they taste exactly like Perfect Bars!
Here is what you need:
- natural peanut butter – make sure it is runny and drippy (I love Trader Joe’s crunchy)
- egg white protein powder
- maple syrup
- mini chocolate chips – I used dairy-free Enjoy Life
- flaked sea salt for topping
Add the peanut butter, egg white protein powder, and maple syrup to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attached. Mix to combine until ingredients form into a dough, about 30-60 seconds.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix it by hand. It takes a little more elbow grease but works the same (I’ve done both). You can also try a food processor.
Next, add in most of the chocolate chips and mix again to combine. It should only take about 5 seconds or so if you are using a stand mixer. Be careful not to over mix it or the dough will become crumbly.
Line an 8×8 glass baking dish or bread pan with parchment paper (this makes for easy removal) and press mixture into the bottom of the pan until evenly distributed. Finally, press the remaining chocolate chips on top and sprinkle a little bit of sea salt.
You can either eat them as is or place them in the fridge to firm up (about 1 hour). I find both ways are delicious and it just depends on if you want a softer or more firm protein bar.
How to store homemade perfect bars
This copycat perfect bar recipe can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.
Substitutions for perfect bar recipe
This no-bake protein bar recipe is so simple and pretty forgiving – you can change it up to fit your needs. Here are some suggestions:
- nut butter – try subbing almond or cashew butter for peanut butter. If you do swap out the peanut butter, make sure you are using an all-natural drippy/runny nut butter.
- seed butter – if you can’t have nuts, try seed butter! I love sunflower seed butter and tahini. Again, just make sure they are runny.
- honey – I haven’t tried it, but I would think honey would work the same as the maple syrup.
- protein powder – I like egg white protein powder in this perfect bar recipe because it’s bland and doesn’t add any additional flavor. If you don’t have egg white protein, you can substitute your favorite protein (collagen, whey, plant-based), but just be careful of the ratios. Protein powders vary by consistency and how dense they are, so I would add a little less than the recipe calls for and add as you need for the best consistency. You can always add, but you can never take away! Check out the comments for substitutions others have done!
Homemade perfect bar vs store bought
Let’s break down the difference between these homemade perfect bars and the real deal store-bought ones. I love the store-bought ones, but I figured this would be fun!
- ingredients – homemade for the win! While I love the addition of fruits and veggies in Perfect Bars, the bars have around 27 ingredients. This includes dairy (nonfat dry milk) and grains (rice protein powder). Homemade bars have a whopping 4 ingredients and are dairy and grain-free! I am not including the individual ingredients for the chocolate chips in both bars.
- price – homemade for the win again! Breaking down the ingredients, homemade bars come out to .77 cents per bar! Prices vary at the store, but in most places, they retail for $2.99. Sometimes you’ll be lucky to see them on sale for $2 (I think that is the price at Trader Joe’s), but they are more expensive at other stores.
- nutrition – calorie and macro breakdown, the bars are pretty similar. Homemade comes in at 292 calories with 16g of protein, 20g of carbs, 19g of fat, and 12g of sugar. Store-bought have 320 calories with 15g of protein, 25g of carbs, 19g of fat, and 18g of sugar. Homemade has a little fewer calories and carbs, a little more protein, and less sugar.
- convenience – I don’t there is really anything easier than picking these up at the store (although you do have to get to the store), but in terms of making them at home, these aren’t hard at all. They only take about 10 minutes plus some time to sit in the fridge if you want them chilled/firmer.
Due to ingredients, price, and nutrition, homemade wins!
More healthy protein snacks
Perfect Bar Recipe
- Add your peanut butter, protein powder, and maple syrup to a stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix until a dough forms, about 30 seconds to one minute. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a food processor or just mix by hand with a fork in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add in 3 tablespoons of the chocolate chips and mix again until combined, about 5 seconds. Be careful not to overmix as the dough will become crumbly.
- Line an 8x8 glass baking dish or bread pan (an 8x8 will give you 8 thinner bars and a bread pan will give you 6 thicker bars)* with parchment paper (this makes for easy removal) and press mixture into the bottom of the pan until evenly distributed. Top with the remaining chocolate chips and a little bit of sea salt. Cut into 8 equal-size bars. To firm them up a little, you can place them in the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
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