These healthy pumpkin protein balls are the best Fall protein-filled treat! They're made with good-for-you ingredients like real pumpkin puree, chia seeds, nut butter, collagen, and oats. They're easy to make and are a delicious pre or post workout snack.
Pumpkin season is here, so let's ring it in with some no bake pumpkin protein balls! These spiced energy bites are super tasty served with coffee in the morning and make a great on-the-go breakfast or high-protein snack. They taste like little balls of pumpkin pie cookie dough and are healthy too, with 5 grams of protein per serving.
These are perfect for meal-prep and come together in under 30 minutes. This is great since they don't last long in my house! They are gluten free and can easily be made vegan and dairy free with a few substitutions.
Protein balls are one of my all time favorite snacks. They're also known as bliss balls, energy bites, or power balls. If you love these kind of recipes as much as I do, check out my chocolate peppermint bliss balls.
Why This Recipe Works
- Real pumpkin puree- This recipe uses real pumpkin puree instead of pre-made pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin with additives. Pumpkin puree is 100% real, steamed and pureed pumpkin.
- Easy to make- The balls are no-bake and come together in 1 bowl in less than 30 minutes.
- Take on the go- You can meal-prep and take the bites on the go all week. Pop one in your mouth before a workout or have them as an after school or midday snack.
- Wholesome ingredients- Nut butter, whole rolled oats, and chia seeds provide healthy carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. Collagen is what makes this a protein-packed snack! They'll keep you fuller for longer and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here are notes about some of the ingredients used. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card below.
- Whole rolled oats- Quick cooking oats can be used, but don't use steel cut oats. Use gluten-free oats if needed.
- Cashew butter- I like creamy cashew butter for its mild taste. It holds the ingredients together but lets the pumpkin and warm spices stand out.
- Pumpkin puree- Use pumpkin puree that doesn't have added ingredients, sweeteners, or artificial flavors. Do not use pumpkin pie filling or "canned pumpkin"! There's a huge difference. My favorite is the Whole Foods 365 Pumpkin Puree.
- Pumpkin pie spice- This is a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. You can find pumpkin pie spice at most grocery stores or spice shops. If you don't have it, you can make your own spice blend.
- Collagen- For the protein source, I used a scoop of collagen peptides. You can use plain or vanilla protein powder, or even plant-based protein to make the pumpkin balls vegan.
- Chocolate chips- You can use any chocolate you like- milk, dark, or white! I personally prefer mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs. If you don't like chocolate in your protein balls, you can totally leave these out and use pumpkin seeds or pecans instead.
- Cashew butter: Any creamy nut or seed butter can be used, like peanut butter, sunflower butter, or almond butter. Avoid nut butters with added sugar.
- Maple syrup: Any thick liquid sweetener can be used instead, like honey or date syrup.
- Chia seeds: These are optional, and hemp hearts can be substituted.
How to Make Pumpkin Protein Balls
Here are the steps to make the protein balls. You'll need one large mixing bowl, whisk, rubber spatula, and an airtight container to store the bites in.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Mix in the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut.
- Roll into balls and chill.
Step by Step Instructions
STEP 1: Mix the dry ingredients and spices. First, add the oats, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, allspice (optional), and collagen to a large mixing bowl. Mix until the oats are coated with spices.
STEP 2: Add the wet ingredients. Add the cashew butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Then, stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well combined. The batter will be thick, wet, and sticky.
STEP 3: Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut. Gently fold in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips, scraping around the sides of the bowl. This evenly distributes the chocolate chips so you get some in every bite.
STEP 4: Roll into balls. Using your hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of batter between your palms into a bite-sized ball. The dough will be quite sticky!
Use a measuring spoon or 2 ounce cookie dough scoop to be more accurate. I like to drop batter from a cookie scoop into my palm and roll each portion to even out the edges and make it round.
STEP 5: Chill. Set each protein ball on a plate or lined baking sheet after rolling. Once they've all been rolled, let them chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This helps the ingredients solidify and stick together so the balls don't fall apart.
After that, transfer them to a storage container and enjoy your snacks for the week!
- If the mixture seems too dry before rolling the balls, add a little more honey or cashew butter.
- If the mixture seems too wet, add more oats to absorb the liquid.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the mixture if you don't want to use your hands.
- If the dough is a little too sticky and messy, refrigerate it for about 10 minutes before rolling into balls.
Additions and Variations
There are lots of different mix ins you can add to the balls. I recommend only adding a few, but here are some of my favorite ideas.
- Chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts.
- Seeds, like sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- More spices, like turmeric, anise, and cardamom.
- Different baking chips, like peanut butter or butterscotch.
Make Ahead and Storage
You can easily make these ahead of time! Just follow the storage instructions after chilling.
- Refrigerator- Store the bites in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 5 days. Don't store them on the counter.
- Freezer- Freeze the balls in an airtight container for up to three months. Before enjoying, let them thaw in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or eat them frozen!
Frequently Asked Questions
I prefer unflavored collagen peptides. You could also use unflavored or vanilla protein powder, pea protein, whey protein, or even bone broth powder.
You probably didn't add enough nut butter. Add a little more and problem solved. If your dough is too wet, add some more oats.
You can eat them any time! Enjoy them for breakfast, as an afternoon snack, for dessert, or as a nourishing midnight treat. They are also a great boost of protein before or after a workout to help your muscles recover and replenish energy.
More Fall and Winter Recipes to Try
Pumpkin Protein Balls
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 whisk
- First, add the oats, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, and collagen to a large mixing bowl. Mix until the oats are coated with spices.1 ⅔ cup whole rolled oats, ¼ cup chia seeds, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, ¼ teaspoon allspice, 1 scoop collagen peptides
- Add the cashew butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and vanilla to the bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well combined. The batter will be thick, wet, and sticky.1 cup cashew butter, ½ cup maple syrup, ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gently fold in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips, scraping around the sides of the bowl.¼ cup shredded coconut, ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- Using your hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of batter into a bite-sized ball between your palms. The dough will be super sticky! Set each protein ball on a plate or lined baking sheet after rolling.
- Chill the protein balls in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes so they solidify and don't fall apart. Then transfer them to an airtight storage container and enjoy.