How To Make Cheap Protein Bars without Powder

How To Make Cheap Protein Bars Recipe
Written by Derek Howes

PROTEIN BARS…always hit or miss, usually packed with way too many ingredients, and they can definitely put a dent in your wallet! These cheap protein bars we’re gonna make today are packed with great macros, you can make them a million different ways, they only really take a couple minutes to prep, and the recipe where I live costs less than $2.00!

We’re gonna start this one by making a crust. It’s easy, don’t worry. Add into a bowl 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats, 2 teaspoons of a lower calorie brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 ounce of a milk substitute, and 2 tablespoons of either melted butter or coconut oil. Mix those together until all of your oats are nicely coated.

Next, get out a pan. The size or shape pan you use will depend on what kind of bars you wanna make. I like using either a bread pan or 9’’ square pan. Add some parchment paper into it then pour your mix in and do your best to evenly distribute it across the bottom while pressing it in. Throw that in the oven on 350F/176C for around 12 minutes.

While that’s cooking add into another bowl 2 cups of fat free cottage cheese, 2 ounces of Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, a couple tablespoons of some sweetener (I prefer Erythritol), 2 large whole eggs, and then an optional 1-2 scoops of some protein powder. Mix everything together for a couple minutes.

At this stage you could add in anything you want…nuts, fruit, or some chocolate chips like I’m doing. After that and once your crust is done go ahead and pour this mix in. You can top your bars with whatever you want. What do I top mine with? It depends on what I’m craving so I don’t have a favorite but baking M&Ms and a combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips were my choice today. Think outside the box here and have some fun!

Checkout my new brand Better Cravings (bulk ingredients): https://bettercravings.com

Bake your soon to be bars on 325F/162C for 50 minutes to an hour. You’ll know they’re done once the edges start to brown (which you can see in the video). Once the edges look done let them cool for a bit, wrap them up, and throw them in the fridge for a couple hours before cutting them!

How To Make Cheap Protein Bars Side

So there they are and yes, they’re delicious. Keep them in the fridge and they should last an easy 5-7 days if you don’t eat them before then (they last 3 days max in my house). You also don’t have to make this recipe exactly like I made it, use whatever ingredients fit your macros or lifestyle. Don’t like sweetener? Use some regular sugar or don’t use any at all. Hate milk substitute? Use whole milk. Don’t like fat free cottage cheese? Use full fat! Want chocolate bars? Add in some cocoa powder and a scoop of chocolate protein powder. Want something fruity? Use strawberry Greek yogurt and add in some banana slices! See where I’m going with this? Let us know what you try below so we have even more options down the line!

How To Make Cheap Protein Bars Other

Ingredients needed for the crust:

  • 1 1/4 Cups (100g) Rolled Oats
  • 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar Substitute
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Ounce Milk Substitute
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter or Coconut Oil

Ingredients needed for the bars:

  • 2 Cups (452g) Fat Free Cottage Cheese
  • 2 Ounces Greek Yogurt (Your choice flavor)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Sweetener (I prefer Erythritol)
  • 2 Large Whole Eggs
  • 1-2 Scoops Protein Powder (Your choice flavor)
  • *Add in or on top whatever you want (Chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried fruit, etc)

TIPS:

  • Factor in the calories from whatever you add inside or on top of them after (it’s easy)!
  • Keep them in the fridge and they should last 5-7 days!
  • Make them in bulk and freeze them!

How to make:

  1. Melt your Butter or Coconut Oil and mix together all of your crust ingredients
  2. Line a pan of your choice (whatever size or shape you want) with some parchment paper and press your crust mix into the bottom of it
  3. Bake your crust on 350F/176C for around 12 minutes
  4. Mix together all of your bar ingredients
  5. Lightly mix in anything else you want your bars to have in them
  6. Pour your bar mix on top of your crust
  7. Add a topping
  8. Bake on 325F/162C for 50 minutes to 1 hour (your edges should be start to brown)
  9. Let them cool, wrap them up, and put them in the fridge for a couple hours

Calories in the whole recipe w/ 1 scoop of Protein Powder and no topping:

  • Calories: 1197
  • Fat: 41g
  • Saturated Fat: 18g
  • Sodium: 1615mg
  • Carbs: 103g (Net Carbs: 93g)
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Protein: 104g

Calories Per Bar (if you cut 10) w/ 1 scoop Protein Powder and no topping:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 4.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Sodium: 161.5mg
  • Carbs: 10.3g (Net Carbs: 9.3g)
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 10.4g

Calories in the whole recipe w/ no Protein Powder or topping:

  • Calories: 1097
  • Fat: 41g
  • Saturated Fat: 18g
  • Sodium: 1504mg
  • Carbs: 102g (Net Carbs: 92g)
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Protein: 80g

Calories Per Bar (if you cut 10) w/ no Protein Powder or topping:

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 4.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Sodium: 150.4mg
  • Carbs: 10.2g (Net Carbs: 9.2g)
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 8g

About the author

Derek Howes

Derek Howes is a personal trainer and chef with over a decade of experience in the gym and kitchen. Derek, who is also known as The Protein Chef on his blog and YouTube channel shows his viewers every week that food doesn’t need to be boring or repetitive, it’s all about balance, moderation, and having the knowledge to change things up. His recipes which have been featured in the news, magazines, and on TV are cheap, quick, AND delicious! His motto in life is “everything in moderation” and is without question the most important habit he follows.

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