Calling all pumpkin lovers! These no-bake pumpkin protein balls are sure to become your new favorite fall treat. Made with wholesome ingredients such as pumpkin puree and protein powder and studded with sweet chocolate chips, they’re a nutritious, filling snack perfect for curbing your hunger and satisfying your sweet tooth.
Made with minimal prep time, no cooking required, and a total time of just a few minutes, these pumpkin energy balls are truly a lifesaver when it comes to on-the-go meals and family-friendly snacks. Plus, they’re a more budget-friendly option than the typical protein snacks you’ll find at your local grocery store!
Sprinkled with chocolate chips in every bite, they taste like dessert for a healthy option that even your kids will be excited to eat. I highly recommend making a big batch, and keeping them on hand to enjoy throughout the week!
Why You’ll Love These Pumpkin Balls
- Gluten free, nut free, and dairy free-friendly
- High protein
- Made with vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats
- Require zero baking
- Great to make ahead of time and keep on hand
What is a Pumpkin Protein Ball
As the name suggests, a pumpkin protein ball is a bite-sized ball made from a handful of ingredients like pumpkin puree and protein powder along with even more nutrient-dense ingredients like rolled oats and sunflower butter. They make a great snack or treat throughout the week! These pumpkin balls are also made nut free, meaning they’re great for packing school lunches, too.
Pumpkin Energy Balls Ingredients & Notes
- SunButter - SunButter's creamy sunflower butter is perfect in this pumpkin protein balls recipe. It acts as a “glue” holding the balls together and provides a creamy texture and hints of “nutty” flavor without the nuts.
- Pumpkin puree - Creates the bold pumpkin flavor. Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugars and spices.
- Maple syrup - Used to sweeten the balls without the need for refined sugar.
- Vanilla extract - Use a high-quality pure vanilla extract to enhance the sweetness and flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
- Rolled oats - Make sure to use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
- Protein powder - I recommend using a vanilla-flavored protein powder to avoid overpowering the rest of the ingredients, but unflavored protein powder or collagen powder also works.
- Chia seeds and flax seeds - Included to add a boost of fiber and healthy fats and to help hold the pumpkin protein balls together.
- Pumpkin spice - I use a store-bought pre-made blend, but you could also make your own with a combination of ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon cloves.
- Chocolate chips - I prefer to use mini chocolate chips so there is a little bit of chocolate in every bite. Enjoy Life brand is my go-to. However, any mini or regular-sized chocolate chips will work in this recipe.
Pumpkin Protein Balls Step-by-Step Instructions
These pumpkin energy balls are so easy, even the kids can help make them! Heads up, they do get a little bit messy, but they’re totally worth it, in my opinion.
Step 1: Combine the wet ingredients. Add the SunButter, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla to a large bowl, and whisk until smooth.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and mix until they’re well combined.
Step 3: Portion the pumpkin balls. Use a small cookie scoop to portion the “batter”, and roll each ball between your hands.
Then, arrange each ball on a baking sheet, and transfer them to the fridge until firm.
- Skip the chocolate chips, and add pumpkin seeds instead.
- Add extra chocolate by coating the balls in melted chocolate.
- Swap the oats with puffed quinoa for extra crunch.
- Make sure to use real pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. They are very different. The only ingredient in pumpkin puree should be pumpkin.
- Use a plain or vanilla-flavored protein powder for best flavor results.
- If the dough is too sticky to roll with your hands, place the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to let the mixture firm up a little. This will make it easier to roll with your hands.
- Stir the oats in really well. You want to make sure the oats are well coated in the pumpkin and sunflower butter mixture so they become soft.
How to Store Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls
Store these bites in an airtight container or bag, and keep them in the fridge for up to 10 days.
You can also freeze these balls in a freezer-friendly bag. Let them thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on your definition of “good for you”, protein balls can be a nutrient-dense snack with protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
These pumpkin energy balls are made with protein, carbs, and healthy fats, the three primary food groups that provide our bodies with energy.
Absolutely! Feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate in these pumpkin protein balls.
for more pumpkin recipes, check out my:
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Pumpkin Protein Balls
- 1 Sheet Pan
- 1 Small Cookie Scoop
- Add the SunButter, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a large bowl and whisk together to combine.1 cup SunButter, 1 cup pumpkin puree, ½ cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the rolled oats, protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin spice, and mini chocolate chips and mix into the pumpkin mixture with a rubber spatula until well combined.2 cups rolled oats, ¼ cup protein powder of choice, 2 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, 2 teaspoon pumpkin spice, ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into a ball and roll it in between your hands (heads up, you will get messy!). Place the rolled pumpkin balls on a baking sheet and store in the fridge to first up for about 10 minutes.
- Enjoy immediately or transfer to an airtight container or bag and snack on them for up to 10 days.