These M&M Pumpkin Protein Oat Bars are out of this world delicious! Soft baked oats with a hint of spice and pumpkin flavor, and sweet chocolatey crunchy M&M’s in each bite. Packed with fiber and protein, they’re healthy enough for breakfast, delicious enough for dessert and make the perfect healthy snack!
It’s no secret that I love baking with oatmeal! Whether in overnight oats form, in a hearty oat bake, or soft baked like these pumpkin oat bars!
And even more so, I love making multiple servings in batch so I can have healthy, easy-to-grab food prepared for the week. These M&M protein oat bars are some of my favorite to make because they are so tasty and fun!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE PUMPKIN PROTEIN OAT BARS
- They will fill you up. Unlike some oat bars without protein, these M&M protein oat bars are packed with enough protein and fiber to keep you satisfied until your next meal time.
- They are delicious. The texture of these are one of my favorite parts about this recipe! Soft-baked, chewy, with a hint of spice GOOD! And when you add mini M&M’s to that… YUM!
- The macros are amazing. They are low-calorie, low-fat, and with moderate carbs and protein. Balanced in macros and easy to fit in your day.
- They are easy to make. JUST MIX INGREDIENTS AND BAKE!
- They are great for breakfast, snack, pre-workout, dessert, any time of the day! Each time I make these I go through them so fast because I will eat them multiple times a day 😂 I’ll snack on one pre or post workout, grab one to curve my sweet tooth after lunch or if I just need something to hold me over until dinner!
- Oat flour – I love oat flavor the best because of the flavor it brings. But if you don’t have any, you can either make your own by blending whole rolled oats (not steel cut or quick oats) in the blender of food processor until a flour is formed, or you can use almond or all-purpose flour
- Protein powder – I used PEScience protein powder as per usual (code LaurenFitFoodie to save). If using another, I would recommend a similar whey + casein blend. A plant based protein powder would also work! Any type of vanilla, cinnamon, snickerdoodle or peanut butter flavor would go best with these.
- Spices – Grab some cinnamon + nutmeg to give this a slight pumpkin spice flavor!
- Vanilla extract
- Sweetener – Any type of sweetener works! Truvia, Swerve, monk fruit sweetener, sugar, whatever your preference!
- Pumpkin – I used canned pumpkin. Not to be confused with canned pumpkin pie filling! You could also yse homemade pumpkin puree.
- Applesauce – I used unsweetened applesauce.
- Egg whites- use a flax egg is vegan.
- Milk – I used almond milk but you could also use coconut milk, oat milk, or any non-dairy or regular milk of choice.
- Mini Baking M&M’s – I used the special baking kind because they hold the color of the M&M’s better. But you can also use chocolate chips here!
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PROTEIN OAT BARS
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except M&M’s) together until completely mixed. If you need to make your own oat powder, do this part in the blender first.
- In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer or blender, blend egg whites for 10 seconds. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Blend until completely combined.
- Add the whole mixture into the baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with M&M’s.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
CAN THESE BE PUMPKIN PROTEIN OAT BARS BE FROZEN?
YES! I love keeping some stored in the freezer for when I am in need of a soft baked oat treat! They hold up amazing when frozen and will stay good for 6 months.
TO FREEZE: Cut oats into bars and wrap the bars individually in wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and freeze up to 6 months.
FAQ: M&M PUMPIN PROTEIN OAT BARS
Then you don’t have to! Just add an extra 1/2 cup of oat flour, or whatever flour of your choice!
Keep stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 5-6 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
That is normal! I like to use mini M&M’s for baking because they preserve the color better than normal mini M&M’s. Also, if you go ahead and freeze them (versus putting them in the fridge), they will hold the color better. But even if they lose the color, they still taste just as good! But if it bothers you, just use mini chocolate chips instead!
I haven’t tried, but I would think using mashed banana or a little more pumpkin would work just fine! Greek yogurt could work too.
The pumpkin makes up a huge part of this recipe, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you can help it because I’m not sure how replacing that much of it would turn out. But if you don’t have pumpkin and want to try these, I would recommend mashed banana first, then maybe a mixture of mashed banana and more applesauce. I haven’t tried, but I would think using all applesauce would make these oat bars taste more like a cake, so I wouldn’t recommend using just applesauce!
WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you try these M&M protein oat bars and love them, please rate this recipe!
You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!
If you love monster cookies, this recipe it for you! Love the crunch of the m and ms on top!
Yes, that crunch is my favorite part! 😀
Made these for the first time the other day and absolutely loved them! I’m a big fan of anything pumpkin and chocolate and these did not disappoint. Love all of your recipes and hope to make more soon 🙂
You and me both!! Pumpkin and chocolate are such an awesome pairing 😛
Made these last week, and I’m obsessed! Definitely my new nightly dessert 😍
Every recipe I’ve tried has been incredible. But these, these are insanely delicious! Thank you for sharing such tasty macro friendly recipes.
If I wanted to omit the pumpkin would they still turn out okay? Should I add something in its place?
They won’t be as voluminous or as moist if you omit. I would replace with unsweetened applesauce, and if you don’t have that I’d try nonfat Greek yogurt!
I’m obsessed with these and the protein skillet cookies during my current prep! They really help curb my cravings when they hit! Thank you!!!!!
Book marked these to try!!
Definitely need to try these!! Do you know how they work with other types of protein powders?? M&M’s are my favorite so this is a must make for me!!
I wonder how quest makes theirs….
I’m going to make these tonight, they look so good!
I made these on Sunday so that I could curb my sweet tooth during the holiday season and they definitely do the trick. The M&Ms are a great addition not only due to their taste, but also the colors! Thank you for sharing this with us.
When I first saw this on ig i was super intrigued by it because i love m&ms 😍 and it’s so aesthetically pleasing too. I have all the ingredients except the oat flour, do you make that yourself or buy it done for you?
Definitely going to make these for my new year’s party next week! They look so good and a lot more macro friendly than other bars 🙂
Will defiantly be trying this!!! Love all of Laurens recipes I’ve already tried. YUM
Can’t wait to make these
I’m obsessed with these! So easy! All of Lauren’s recipes are amazing!
Just got protein powder for Christmas…making these first with it!
Going to act like I didn’t literally eat 7 of these bars yesterday… Christmas had me in a MOOOOOOD these are SO. DANG. GOOD. Making more for New Years.😍😍
Looking forward to trying these!! I’ve been ordering macro friendly brownies from an online company, but would prefer to make my own so I know the macros are exact and save myself some additional money! Since Christmas passed already, will look forward to getting valentine day M and M’s to use for the brownies instead!!
These bars are up next on my baking list! Keep meaning to make them because they look heavenly 😇
Question- can you do all pumpkin or all applesauce or do you recommend using both for the recipe?
Hi there! The Squad brought me here 😉
Question – where I live, canned pumpking isn’t a thing [woooo, southern hemisphere!]. Could I easily substitute with more applesauce, or with mashed banana, or even greek yoghurt, without adversely affecting the texture? I know that’s probably a really obvious question, but my options are limited in this country – even the Greek yoghurt here is kinda weird! And since we’re back down in lockdown again, I don’t want to potentially “waste” ingredients [I have no one to share them with!] if I make a mistake, so trying to get it right-ish first time. Thank you!