With just a few nutritious ingredients, you can mix up these No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls in minutes to share with the kids. They pack in protein and whole grains, and are a not-too-sticky treat or snack that stores well for days. Win, win, win!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
I love keeping healthy treats on hand so we have them when we want something sweet. These No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls are one of our favorites—and I love them extra since they store so well in the fridge!
These peanut butter balls don’t require too many ingredients and all you need to do to make them is to stir the batter together and portion out the balls. Easy and delish.
When I was working on this recipe, I wanted to balance the flavors to make an energy bite that wasn’t super sweet, but was just sweet enough. The balance of the complex carbs from oats, protein and fat from the nut butter, and the dried fruit makes for a balanced dessert (or snack!).
I love grabbing one of these for myself whenever I am starving but don’t have a ton of time to eat! And we love to include them in a Christmas cookie tray as a fun option in the mix.
Ingredients You Need
To make these peanut butter balls, you’ll need a few pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:
- Peanut butter: I prefer unsweetened creamy smooth peanut butter.
- Honey: This helps them to hold together. (Maple syrup won’t work the same.)
- Vanilla extract: Look for “pure” vanilla extract rather than “imitation” for the best flavor.
- Rolled oats or instant oats
- Dried fruit: You can use dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, or apricots.
- Shredded unsweetened coconut
- Chocolate chips: I like to chop up full size chocolate chips to evenly distribute them throughout the bites, but mini chocolate chips would work here too.
TIP: You can make these without coconut if you prefer. See the Notes for that info (and info on making them nut-free).
- Nut-free: Use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter.
- Gluten-free: Use a certified gluten-free rolled oats.
- You can also omit the chocolate if you prefer.
- If you want to skip the coconut, simply use additional oats in their place.
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe for the full information.
- If using rolled oats, grind them in a food processor or blender. (Skip this if using instant oats.) This creates more of a cookie-dough like final texture to the batter.
- Chop the chocolate chips if not using mini chips.
- Mix the batter together with a spoon and/or clean hands if it’s too stiff to mix.
- Portion out into rounds using a measuring spoon, roll in coconut if desired, and serve or store. You can store them in an airtight container with parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of peanut butter is best in this recipe?
I like to use natural creamy peanut butter without added sugar (like this kind from Smuckers) and you can use whichever dried fruit that sounds good—dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, or raisins.
Why are my peanut butter balls so sticky?
You can use the step of rolling them into shredded coconut to help take care of that issue. This recipe shouldn’t make super sticky balls, and putting them into the fridge can help, too.
How long can I store these no-bake cookies?
If you put them in an airtight container, you can store them for two weeks (or longer if they happen to last that long!). We prefer to store them in the fridge so they’re a little chilled when you serve them. They will last for at least a week at room temperature.
Can I make these peanut-free?
If you use Sunbutter or Wow Butter instead of peanut butter, you can make these nut-safe and peanut-free.
How can I get the best texture in these peanut butter balls?
My best tips for making these have an awesome texture are these:
- Grind the oats in a food processor or blender so they’re a finer texture. You can also use instant oats as a shortcut. This reduces the chewiness of the balls and makes them have a more cookie-dough-like texture.
- Use mini chocolate chips or chop regular size chocolate chips a little smaller. I find that the less there are giant chunks of anything, the better the overall result. Plus, chopping the chocolate makes a smaller amount goes a long way.
How to Store
Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. These are best stored and served cold to ensure that they hold together nicely.
You can also freeze peanut butter balls in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
Best Tips for Success
- Grind the oats or use instant oats so the final balls have a cookie-dough like texture.
- Warm the peanut butter and honey so they are easy to stir with a fork or spoon into the rest of the ingredients. (No need for a mixer!)
- Chop the dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate) so it’s more evenly distributed throughout the balls.
- Use a fruit your kids like and cut into smaller pieces if needed.
- Wet your fingers slightly if the batter is sticking to your hands OR chill the dough for 5-10 minutes to help it firm up and be a little less sticky.
- Roll in coconut or skip that step. You can also coat in melted chocolate chips. I’ve melted ¼ cup dark chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl with ½ teaspoon coconut oil. Heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Use a fork to roll each bite in the melted chocolate, add a few sprinkles if desired, and transfer to a parchment-paper-lined tray. Chill in the fridge to set.
- Dice up this peanut butter balls recipe for younger eaters and offer with a drink.