These Pumpkin Protein Bars are gluten-free, dairy-free and can be vegan. They pack whopping 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of healthy fats for a prefect pre or post-workout snack or breakfast on-the-go.

And it can’t be October without full-scale pumpkin cooking. From pumpkin pancakes, easy pumpkin soup and pumpkin chia pudding.

Pumpkin protein bars stacked on a plate.

With fall in full swing, pumpkin recipe is what we need!

These pumpkin protein bars are so scrumptious, guilt-free and perfect for healthy snacks! But they don’t taste that. So moist, rich and full of pumpkin flavor.

I haven’t used a drop of oil because I thought applesauce and canned pumpkin puree should do the trick, and I was right. These pumpkin spice protein bars also have a perfect ratio of protein and carbs, and are naturally sweetened.

These energy bars would make a great breakfast on-the-go or an afternoon snack. They taste like the most decadent pumpkin cake or a muffin. Delicious!

Ingredients Needed

Pumpkin, oats, applesauce, maple syrup, protein powder, egg whites, pumpkin pie spice, pecans, baking powder and soda, vanilla extract, cooking spray.

All you need is simple ingredients and one bowl to make delicious pumpkin pie protein bars.

  • Quick oats or rolled oats: Oats are naturally gluten-free but often are processed on same equipment as wheat. So, if you or someone in your household have Celiac, be sure to buy certified gluten free oatmeal.
  • Plant-based vanilla protein powder: My favorite protein powder is Orgain as I like its taste and price. You can also use unflavored protein, just be sure to add a few more tablespoons of maple syrup. Unfortunately, whey protein powder will not work. If you are not a fan of protein, be sure to check out these almond flour pumpkin bars.
  • Pumpkin puree: Either use canned pumpkin from a store or homemade pumpkin puree. If using store-bought, read the label to make sure you don’t buy pumpkin pie filling. It has added sugar and spices. And if want homemade, here is a step-by-step tutorial how to roast a pumpkin whole and puree it after.
  • Applesauce: I use unsweetened to keep bars low sugar, you can use sweetened. Also can substitute part or all of applesauce for Greek yogurt, more pumpkin puree or mashed banana.
  • Sweetener of choice: It adds subtle sweetness to bars since oats are very plain. I prefer the taste of pure maple syrup in all of my baking. Feel free to use honey, agave or any favorite liquid sweetener, not dry.
  • Egg whites: They help hold the bars. Also 2 large eggs will do. To make vegan pumpkin protein bars, use chia egg or flax egg replacement.
  • Baking staples: Baking powder, baking soda, store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt.

How to Make Pumpkin Protein Bars

Step-by-step collage of how to bake pumpkin protein bars.

Here is a quick overview of how to bake pumpkin protein bars with 4 simple steps. There is no need for separate bowls with dry ingredients and wet ingredients. This is an easy protein bar recipe!

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder.
  2. Stir in oats and walnuts.
  3. Pour mixture in square baking dish lined with parchment paper, level with spatula and bake protein bars for 35 minutes in 375 degrees F preheated oven.
  4. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Once cooled, slice and enjoy!

Tips for Best Results

Here are a few simple tips to ensure to ensure the perfect bars:

  • Line the pan: Don’t be tempted to bake these homemade pumpkin protein bars right in baking dish. Lining it ensures easy removal.
  • Cool before cutting: If you are not being patient, you will have a hard time cutting the bars. Plus they will fall apart.
  • A pinch of salt and splash of vanilla to bring out flavor: Don’t be tempted to skip either. Salt really brings all flavors together. And when you combine vanilla extract with pumpkin, it tastes unbelievable. Trust me!
Looking down on eight pumpkin oatmeal protein bars on parchment paper.

Fun Additions

Here are a few ways to spice up this fall snack:

  • Chocolate chips: Add some dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a pumpkin and chocolate combo.
  • Dried fruit: Dried cranberries or chopped dates would add a bit more of natural sweetness.
  • Nut butter or seed butter: Add up to 1/4 cup of natural peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter for more flavor and healthy fats boost.

Storing Pumpkin Protein Bars

After healthy protein bars have cooled completely, transfer them into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. You could keep them at room temperature up to two days and only if it is not very hot.

You can also freeze them for up to three months.

More Pumpkin Recipes

More High Protein Snacks

I hope you enjoy this protein bar recipe! You may also love these healthy snacks!

A person breaking a protein bar in hands and showing texture inside.
Pumpkin protein bars stacked on white plate.

Pumpkin Protein Bars

These Pumpkin Protein Bars are gluten-free, dairy-free and can be vegan. They pack whopping 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of healthy fats.
5 from 20 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 223
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Add oats, walnuts and stir well.
  • Pour mixture in prepared baking dish, level with spatula and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool for another 30 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife into 8 or 10 bars. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week
  • Freeze: Tightly wrapped for up to 3 months.
  • Eggs: Bars made with eggs will come out more moist and rich, but for a leaner version use egg whites. They still are super moist.
  • Portion size: For smaller portions cut into 10 bars.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 191mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g
Course: Breakfast or Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these twice. The first time I was in a hurry, made a mistake and added a WHOLE can of pumpkin. Came out very heavy, very moist, but delicious. The second time I correctly followed your recipe, and they were absolutely fantastic. I added walnuts and a pinch of nutmeg, and paired the evening dessert with pumpkin spiced coffee while we watched the leaves fall off the trees. What a beautiful compliment to our fall ritual. Devine!! DELICIOUS!!

  2. This looks perfect, but I wonder what a cup or half a cup of plain Greek yogurt added would do to this. Just want the extra protein and a bite of sour flavor? I’m not a professional cook but it seems like it would taste good, just don’t know if it would make it too wet or mushy…

    1. Easy fix. You can replace applesauce with Greek yogurt. Just make sure whatever amount you choose to do replace 1:1. For example, if you want to add 1/2 cup Greek yogurt you will need to use 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup yogurt. With 1 cup yogurt no need for applesauce. Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you Olena for all your delicious recipes that you’ve posted and shared with us. My husband and I have enjoyed every recipe that I have made of yours. You are an amazing cook and thank you for sharing your story with us. I just finished making pumpkin protein bars…..so delicious 😋, they are a perfect little snack to take with me when I’m out doing errands.

    Kim 😊

    1. Substitute protein powder with almond or any nut flour. We have not tested it that way, although a few others readers have said it works.

  4. 5 stars
    Super delicious Olena! This recipe is quite forgiving too because halfway through making it I clued in that it calls for protein powder. I didn’t have any so used barley flour and oat bran in its place and cooked it for 5 minutes longer and it came out firm and moist. I also used raisins and coconut flakes instead of the nuts I didn’t have. I will definitely make this again.

  5. 5 stars
    These are our favorite, have been making them for a few years. I make a double recipe because my kids love them for breakfast during school. I do way more pumpkin spice and add raisins. Delish. Thanks!!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! My entire family loves them. My husband was skeptical as I have tried my fair share of failed healthy recipes but this one proved him wrong. Thank you!

  7. 5 stars
    I have made this repeatedly for the last five years. I prefer it to purchasing protein bars before I go to the gym. It’s healthy pumpkin pie. What’s not to like!

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