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Peanut butter lovers rejoice! Enjoy the classic flavors of a thick, chewy monster cookie without all the extra calories! These Low Calorie Protein Balls are the perfect lightened up version of one of my favorite desserts. Sweet, nutty and mixed with melt-in-your-mouth M&M’s, you can’t go wrong with these delicious, chewy, oatmeal protein balls!
About This Recipe
We all love the classic tastes of a Monster Cookie! The sweet, nutty flavor combined with the perfect thick oaty texture and mixed with rich chocolate is just *chef’s kiss*! But all those delicious flavors can come at a high caloric price if you aren’t careful! Well now you can enjoy this dessert classic without all the extra calories and a little extra protein!
These lightened up, low calorie protein balls are the best quick sweet treat for your sweet tooth! They’re lightened up by using a little less peanut butter than traditional recipes but still have all the same great taste! These Monster Cookie Protein Balls are perfect a great snack before or after your workout, as an after lunch treat or bedtime dessert.
The best part about this protein ball recipe is that it’s made with healthy ingredients! We use the natural sweetness of honey to add just the right about of sweetness without adding any additional sugar. This combined with the healthy fats of the peanut butter and protein from the protein powder make this a great quick breakfast or post-workout snack that won’t spike your blood sugar. Plus, these bite-sized treats are naturally gluten-free and can easily be made vegan!
Why You’ll Love These Healthy Protein Balls
- Enjoy these low-calorie protein balls for a guilt-free indulgence that will “wow” your taste buds!
- Perfect for a quick healthy snack, afternoon sweet or bedtime dessert!
- Only 90 calories per ball and over 3 grams of protein each!
- No baking required! Just mix, chill and enjoy this simple recipe!
- No added sugar and made with healthy, simple ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store.
- Rolled oats – Rolled oats work best for thick oat texture. Quick oats will yield a slightly different texture but you can sub in a pinch.
- Protein powder – I used PEScience vanilla protein powder. Use my code Laurenfitfoodie to save 10% on your purchase. Protein powders can vary in consistency and some will absorb liquid more easier than others. This might cause your cookie dough mixture to seem a little dry or crumbly. Just add a little water or milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until it gets to cookie dough consistency. Add liquid slowly – you also don’t want to over due it!
- Unsweetened applesauce – you can replace the applesauce with canned pumpkin or additional peanut butter or honey. Or you can just omit and add a few splashes of milk or water as needed to get the balls rollable.
- Peanut butter – Peanut butter is classic for monster cookie dough, but you can use almond butter and cashew butter too. If you have a nut allergy, sunflower seed butter works great, too. I used American Dream Nut Butter (use code Laurenfitfoodie for 10% off) for this recipe, but use your favorite nut butter blend. Drippy, natural peanut butter is best!
- Vanilla extract
- Mini M&M’s
- Other optional mix-ins: mini chocolate chips, chia seeds, chopped nuts, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, etc.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free as written! Just make sure you make it with oat that are certified gluten-free!
To make dairy-free: use dairy-free chocolate chips or candies (in place of M&Ms).
To make vegan: use a vegan protein powder and sub honey for pure maple syrup. The only part that is a little more tricky is the M&Ms since they are not vegan. Here are some alternatives: Are M&Ms Vegan? They Are Not! (5 Alternatives for 2022). You could also use dairy-free mini chocolate chips in their place.
How To Make
Keep no bake protein balls stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
Make These Monster Cookie Protein Balls into Bars!
Make these low calorie monster cookie protein balls into bars! Instead of rolling the mixture into balls, you can press the cookie dough in a pan. Refrigerate or freeze for about 30 minutes or so, then cut into bars!
What makes these easy protein balls low calorie?
We’re using about 1/3 less peanut butter in this recipe than in many other protein ball recipes. Peanut butter is great, it’s just pretty calorie dense. These protein balls still have all the delicious peanut butter flavor, just using less! To make these balls even lower calorie, you can sub the the honey for sugar-free pancake syrup.
Why are my protein balls dry and crumbly?
Don’t worry, this can happen! Not all protein powders have the same consistency and some will absorb liquid more easier than others, which might cause your protein ball mixture to seem a little dry or crumbly. Just add a little water or milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until they are easier to roll into balls. Add liquid slowly – you also don’t want to over due it!
Can I omit the protein powder?
Sure! If you wish to omit the protein powder, you can substitute with peanut butter powder or additional flour in equal amounts.
More Protein Ball Recipes You’ll Love
- 2 cups rolled oats (160g)
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (40g)
- 1/4 cup honey (84g)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (60g) see notes for substitutions
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (56g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini M&M's
- Other optional mix-ins: mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, flax seed, shredded coconut, etc.
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- Add all the ingredients (except the mini M&M’S) to a food processor and mix until all ingredients are combined. Add a few splashes of water if needed if the mixture is too dry to roll into balls.
- Fold in the mini M&M’s (save some to stick to the outside if desired).
- Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to scoop out (about a heaping tablespoon in size) and roll into balls with your hands. Rolling tip so it doesn't stick to your hands: I like to wear disposable gloves for easy clean up! Or you can dampen your palms with a little water or nonstick spray to help prevent the sticking.
- Chill balls for 30 minutes before enjoying. Keep balls stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.