No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls are a gluten-free no-bake treat! Crushed nuts, chocolate chips, rolled oats, creamy nut butter, and dried cranberries come together to taste just like oatmeal cookies, in the form of a snack.
Cookies don’t last long in our house. But neither do energy bars or energy balls. Pretty sure my husband is the snack king!
Thankfully I have a secret weapon to curb snack cravings: oatmeal cookie balls! All the same ingredients and flavors I love in classic oatmeal cookies, but without the high amount of sugar (and gluten).
Want to learn how to make no-bake gluten free oatmeal energy balls? Let’s get the ball rollin!
Why You’ll Love Oatmeal Energy Balls
- It’s like a cookie…but it’s better for you. These energy bites have many of the same ingredients as traditional oatmeal cookies, just without as much sugar. That means just as tasty bites that are more nutrient dense!
- No baking, no blending. Forget baking or blending up ingredients, simply mix the dry ingredients with nut butter and honey or maple syrup and then roll into small biteable balls. Easy peasy!
- Super snackable. Make a big batch and pull one or two out for a quick snack, or take 3-4 with you when you’re headed to your workout (check out my other favorite fueling snacks here). They can even double as a quick breakfast or even a slightly sweet dessert!
- They’re kid-friendly. Whether you have little ones at home or are just a little one at heart, these oatmeal bites are a fun recipe to make. Don’t be afraid to dig in and get your hands dirty!
- Honey roasted nuts: Nuts serve as the base of these bites and provide protein, healthy fats, and a crunchy texture. I used honey roasted mixed nuts, but you can choose any regular or sweetened nuts as a substitute.
- Gluten free rolled oats: Oats are also a foundational ingredient in cookie bites that bulk up the balls and help keep them firm when they’re mixed with the wet ingredients. I used Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats, but quick oats can also be used (you may just need a bit more as they’re usually much smaller pieces of oats).
- Honey or maple syrup: A liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup gives the bites flavor but also serves as a sticky thickener that helps hold the oat and nuts together into small snackable balls. Choose maple syrup if you’re making these vegan.
- Nut butter: Nut butter helps energy bite ingredients to stick together, while also providing protein and healthy fats. I like no stir almond or sunflower butter, but any nuts butters will do (though you may have to adjust the amount depending on the consistency).
- Chocolate chips: Any chocolate chips will do, but we like Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (which are vegan and allergen-friendly).
- Dried cranberries: Dried fruits like cranberries are great in energy bars and bites, as they are nutrient and fiber dense. I use unsweetened cranberries, which are usually very tart but provide a nice complementary flavor with the sweet chocolate and honey.
- Vanilla extract and ground cinnamon: A bit of vanilla extract and a dash of ground cinnamon make these bites taste even more like a delicious oatmeal cookie!
- Optional ingredients: I always keep a little protein powder or my favorite flour (coconut flour would be tasty!) on hand in case the mixture is too sticky and I need to dry out the ingredients. You could also add more rolled oats, if needed.
How To Make (RECIPE VIDEO)
1. Mix together dry ingredients: The first step to making cookie balls is to prep and mix the dry ingredients! To do this, crush the nuts and add them to a big bowl with oats, dairy free or dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and cinnamon and give them a good mix to combine.
2. Add in the sticky ingredients: Next add the nut butter and the vanilla to the mixed dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients are well mixed. The mixture will be pretty thick and a bit dry. Then slowly add the honey (or maple syrup) a bit at a time, mixing with a spoon (or your hands!) between pours. Adjust the amount of honey you use until you have a thick batter that holds together well, but isn’t sticky.
If the batter is too wet and your energy balls are too sticky, add a few tablespoons of rolled oats, coconut flour, or protein powder and mix until you get the right consistency. If your bites are too dry and are not sticking together enough, add a bit more nut butter and liquid sweetener.
3. Chill and roll, then freeze: After the batter is done, place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes so that the balls are easier to roll. When you remove from the fridge, simply roll the batter into 1-1.5” balls and place on a cookie tray or on baking dish lined with parchment paper. Stick them into the freezer for about 20-30 minutes until they harden, then remove and enjoy!
Storage and Freezing
I usually make a big batch of cookie bites once or twice per month and then store them in a large plastic bag and pull them out one at a time (ok, maybe 2 or three at a time).
Energy balls keep really well, here are the general timeframes for the best texture and flavor:
- Room temperature (counter top): 4-5 days in an airtight container
- Refrigerator: 1 week in a airtight container or sealed plastic bag
- Freezer: 6 weeks in a sealed freezer-safe bag
Energy Bite Variations
The cookie bite possibilities are endless! Below are a few ideas to make this energy ball recipe your own.
- Switch up the nuts: Use crushed almonds, pistachos, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for a different crunchy base. Note – this is easy to make nut free! Swap the nuts out for coconut flakes and use sunflower seed butter!
- Do a different dried fruit: While cranberries are my go-to fruit, raisins, dried apricots, dried cherries and even funky fun fruits like goji berries are great in energy bars and bites. Tip – If you’d like to reduce sugar intake, then use no sugar added dried fruit.
- Have fun with add-ins: Try adding in your favorite protein powder, dried unsweetened coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flax, or other flavorful ingredients.
No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 25–28 balls 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls are a healthy lunchbox treat! Crushed nuts, chocolate chips, rolled oats, creamy nut butter, and dried cranberries come together to taste just like oatmeal cookies. Vegan-friendly and kid-friendly!
- ¼ to ⅓ cup crushed honey roasted nuts. Regular crushed nuts may be substituted.
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (we use Bob’s Red Mill)- If using quick cooking oats, you will need ¼ to ⅓ cup more.
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips)
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup natural no-stir nut butter or sunflower seed butter (adjust depending on the brand of nut butter you use)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup to ½ cup honey or maple syrup (see notes)
- optional 2 tablespoons gluten free flour or protein powder if batter is too sticky.
- Crush the glazed nuts by hand or in a blender, set aside. May also use packaged chopped nuts.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the rolled oats, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, nuts, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
- Next, add the creamy nut butter and vanilla. Stir again.
- Gradually add the honey (or maple syrup), mixing with a spoon between pours. Adjust the amount of honey used depending batter’s thickness.
- If batter is too sticky, add a few tablespoons of gluten free flour or protein powder. Mix with spoon.
- Before rolling, chill batter in fridge for 20 minutes. That way, it’s easier to roll later.
- Roll into 1-1 ½-inch balls and place on a cookie tray with parchment paper underneath.
- Place in freezer for 20-30 minutes then transfer into a Ziploc bag. Keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks.
- We use Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, which stir well and are vegan.
- If you want a thinner batter, blend the oats with the nuts in a food processor so it’s a chopped texture. Will probably need less honey/nut butter.
- Pro Tip Add in your nut butter and honey a little bit at a time until you find the right consistency to roll into balls. Each batch will be different depending on how fine you blend the nuts and the type of nut butter you use. Pretty easy to adjust though.
- Nutrition shown below is for 1 bite. 3-4 bites are equivalent to a nutrient-dense energy bar.
- Prep Time: 10 -15 min
- Category: snacks
- Method: no-bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 energy bite
- Calories: 79
- Sugar: 5.2 g
- Sodium: 23.6 mg
- Fat: 3.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
- Fiber: 1.2 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
Keywords: no bake oatmeal cookies, energy bites, no bake snacks
Did you try these energy bite snacks? If so, let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment and star rating. And as always, feel free to comment and ask questions if you need substitutes!
I made these without adding any sweetener or nuts at all. Used crunchy peanut butter (it’s already sweetened and adds some crunch), put dates in the food processor with a bit of water to make a rough puree. Also chopped some dried cranberries with a bit of water in the processor. Mixed it all together and added some flax seed meal and chia seeds for more fibre. Added water 1/2 tsp at a time to make it hold together. I can see using other dried fruit like apricots or adding unsweetened shredded coconut or a few chocolate chips. A real treat to keep in the fridge.
Sorry, forgot to rate!! Def 5*
Sammi (Cotter Crunch Test Kitchen)
Wow! Love how you made this recipe your own. Great idea to substitute crunchy peanut butter and dates! So glad you enjoyed these bites. They are definitely a favorite in our kitchens too!
I just made these and they are good. I’ve wanted to make energy balls but they always call for random ingredients I don’t have. I had all these ingredients and it’s the perfect combination. I could add a few different things to this recipe if I did have them on hand like the powders and seeds. thanks!
I’m so glad! They are a great pantry staple recipe! Thanks for feedback Nicole.
These make the perfect afternoon snack. My kids love them!
These are so good! I love that they don’t require baking! Such an easy treat!
These were perfect and just the right amount of sweetness!
Thanks for feedback Ashley!
nothing but crumbles. extremely frustrating – would NOT stick together. Will never make again
SORRY to hear that. What type of nut butter did you use? Was it no stir?
Sounds so good. But what could I use instead of the chocolate chips. Person I want to make them for doesn’t like chocolate chips in things and doesn’t eat that much chocolate at all.
You can leave them out or maybe try coconut flakes!
Thanks Lindsay for this amazing recipe. Will make it for my daughter. Hope it turns out delicious 🙂
You’re welcome! Let me know how it goes.
Wowwwwww….. So delicious Lindsay… Thanks For this guide…
I made these today with my 5 year old and very few changes just so I could use up stuff in my pantry. I used steel-cut oats, plain walnuts, and a mix of white and dark chocolate chips, but other than that I followed the recipe. I also sprinkled a small amount of hemp hearts and chia seeds on top when they were done.
They were super easy to make. I doubled it and didn’t feel like rolling everything out, so I pressed the whole mix into a sheet pan so I could cut them into little squares.
These are slightly too sweet for my tastes, but that’s just personal preference and no fault of the recipe itself. My daughter loves them as is though! Next go round I will blend up some of the oats and nuts (not all – I really like the texture of whole oats) as recommended in the recipe and use less honey.
Glad the steel cut oats worked out! I bet you could grind them up next time into a flour. Thanks for feedback Ashley!
Hey Lindsay! I am so excited to try this recipe! They sound delicious. I do have one quick question – if I were to use the gluten free quick cooking oats, do you by chance know how much extra I’d need?
I think that would work! The quick oats would absorb the honey/nut butter quicker, so you might not need as much of it. I would add a little a time (honey and nut butter) to get the batter consistency you want. Does that make sense?
Great recipes. Thanks a lot for sharing. I’ll try them tomorrow.
You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy!
Does it matter if it’s old fashioned or quick cooking oats
I used gluten free old fashioned rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill.
Thanks for sharing! It would be good with raisins too!
You’re welcome! Yes, raisins would totally work!
This looks so good! Does the protein powder taste come through much?
Thanks Suzanne! No, it doesn’t.
DO NOT USE NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER OR MAPLE SYRUP. They just aren’t sticky enough and you have to use a lot more.
No stir natural PB is what I use. What did you use? sorry it was too sticky. The nut butters can be tricky. If all else fails, just refrigerate it before rolling. 🙂
Cassie Thuvan Tran
These bites look ADDICTIVE! Telling you, I’d just gobble so many of them in one go, especially because they’re sweet, a little grainy, and crisp from the chocolate chips! Oh yes, and did I mention I’d totally use crunchy almond butter if I were to recreate this recipe?! That would definitely be the best idea–LOL!
so trying crunchy almond butter! Genius Cassie!
It’s a great dish.
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Thanks for sharing! What a perfect after school snack or on the go!
This looks so good! I love the dried fruit addition too! They would be tasty with raisins too!
right? nature’s candy!
These are a perfect snack! My kids devoured a whole batch!
oh yay! That’s what I like to hear. 😉
These are the perfect snacks for the kids after school!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes
I was just looking for an energy bites recipe and found this! Delicious!
WOOHOO! Glad you found it Ash!
Britt B @ The Banana Diaries
Okay cannot wait to try these!! Definitely going with the maple glazed nuts because I love all things maple ha! Absolutely beautiful!
Yay! Keep me posted Britt!
Keep rocking your floaty! 🙂 And oh my goodness, these treats totally make me miss the treats you used to sell.
Pretty tasty but I only used half the amount of maple syrup and didn’t even need that much! They were sticky enough using just peanut butter.
Good to know! Did you use rolled oats or regular GF quick oats?
Little Ball’s Of Delight..!! 🙂 🙂 I just love them.
Aren’t they? 🙂
Love the recipe. Great for hot summers..!!
I agree! Thanks Neetu 🙂
I followed this recipe to a T. And couldn’t roll into balls, it was so flaky nothing would hold together. Really frustrating. Wonder what step I could of missed
Oh no! What oats did you use? Rolled oat? sometimes it just depends on the type of honey or nut butter. Some are thicker than others. in that case, I usually just slowly adjust nut butter and honey until I can roll into a batter. If too sticky, powder your hands or chill batter for a bit. Does that make sense? Keep me posted! Happy to help remedy this.
Lindsay, this is really great! I love Oatmeal recipes. Thanks for sharing!
Can’t go wrong with a ball recipe!!
Love your bite recipes! Thank you for the recipe. Will try at home soon.
Thank you so much Trishanya
Love your bite recipes! Thank you for the recipe.
I love this recipe! I have made it already a few times and always have many of these on hand for a quick snack. I looked around at a few other recipes of snack bites but none compare to these that have only 68 calories each! I’m still trying to master the hiney ratio because I always tend to have different types of honey when I make them.
Am trying to find energy bites for our Mtn Bike team. One of the families have 2 children that can’t have tree nuts. Is there anything else I can use to make these without peanuts or almonds/almond butter/peanut butter? Now following you on FB, Pinterest and IG.
sure! YOu can use roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds instead of nuts. Then use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Check out sunbutter at the store. Let me know if that works!
Thank you. I’ll give that a try.
keep me posted!
I read your recipe on http://blog.healthalliance.org/ and loved it there. I followed your blog from there and I am enjoying every bit of it. I am sure there are tons of folks appreciating the recipes, but I do not want to discount on your web design selection and the photographs used.
Nice Work. Way to go..
Love these oatmeal bites, so simple to make and so delicious! A perfect snack! 🙂
i so agree! thanks so much
Going to college in a couple of weeks, and I need to STOCK up on FOOD. Seriously. Bring on the oats, the beans, the TVP, the cereals, and of course the nut butters, haha!
I enjoy making homemade larabars as after school fuel. The trouble is that I often dig into the dates before I get a chance to make them!
I usually go low, low prep – like nuts, veggies, cheese etc. But these bites look great. Def going to try. Thanks.
traci | VanillaAndBean
Looove all the bites and balls and you make the best!! Delicious Linds! And what a fantastic giveaway! xo
You are too kind. I adore you and appreciate your encouragement!
My favorite snacks are nuts, pumpkin seeds, and dried apricots.
I like the bites for their no-bake ease. Thanks for offering this giveaway.
Thanks for entering
The kids love peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
Cranberry + chocolate = one of the best combos ever. Need this in my life!
Also, I too am counting down the days till school starts so I’ll no longer be woken up my kids playing in the park right under my window. Is that bad? LOL
LOL!! I so relate
My kids love monster cookies, go figure…Oats, chocolate chip and M & M’s!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
I love making energy bites. There are so many different combos to try and they’re the perfect way to satisfy my ever-present sweet tooth! These sound lovely!
Hope your recovery is going well – yay for eating solid food again 🙂
Those look so good! They sound like a great school snack. We love healthy bites and cookies.
These energy bites look so good!!
Can’t beat this flavor combo! And I hope that you enjoy that quiet swimming pool! 🙂
care to join me? WHen are the kids back in school?
I love homemade bites and granola bars!
Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog
I loooooove making Blueberry Cobbler Cookie Dough Bites!
Quick crunchy veggies! Yaaaay
Jody - Fit at 58
Well, I won’t make since I don’t have the kitchen tools or ingredients. I will hope to win! I have no blender or Vitamix type anything!
Treat – cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wish we lived closer!
Cookies for the win!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
You need to change your name from Corney Cotter to Top Baller. 😉
haha i like that!
dixya @food, pleasure, and health
i love energy bites..and this sounds like a perfect one as a snack!!
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
Great no bake bites! I add different things all the time. Love dark chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds. The Vitamix is seriously awesome.
great ideas! YUM!
My go-to snack is usually always some fresh cut up veggies with hummus! Thanks for the amazing giveaway : )
You’ve done it again with these energy bites Lindsay! They are loaded with everything I love!
OMG…This is quite the giveaway! My favorite snack is obviously YOUR BITES…DUH! XOXO
Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
Thanks so much for the giveaway!! My favorite back to school recipe is definitely homemade protein bars. Such a great treat to have on-the-go!
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Oh my gosh, these look so delicious! Yay!! And I would say my favorite snack is almonds and apples or Greek yogurt. But that’s only because I don’t always make tasty no-bake balls like these. Thanks for the giveaway!
These really would be great for the kiddos and obviously I also really want a Vitamix! 🙂
Lately I have been loving homemade hummus and veggies!
Ellie | Hungry by Nature
Lindsay. You are the QUEEN of energy bites. I’m always trying to channel your flavor combos when I’m in the kitchen making me own. These look gorgeous and I am all about tricking my sweet tooth into thinking I’m eating dessert with healthy snacks!
Love your bite recipes!
Emily @ My Healthyish Life
I think I eat more snacks now than when I was younger so I make bites/balls all the time! Love that you can just stuff pretty much anything into them. So much flavor and nutrition.
Snacks I always try to have stockpiled: almonds, dried fruit, snap peas, and healthy bites 🙂
mmmm snap peas!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Of course the ultimate back-to-school snack is bites for young and old! Haha! An essential!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Yum! Ands would never have pictures you as a water jogger. Now I have funny pictures of you in my head! I’ve been dying for a Vitamix. You really have no idea! Hope you’re recovering well!
Susie @ Suzlyfe
a) how are you feeling b) I had a dream last night in which I fed Alex a part of an oatmeal cookie. Thus I was meant to win this 😀
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
These really do look perfect for the kids 🙂 I’m lucky that we don’t start school just yet because I’m not ready! We still have to go on our summer trip, although I did get the backpacks and lunch boxes already. And whoa that vitamix looks amazing!
The texture of these are right up my alley…yum! As a school psychologist, (I go back in one week EEEK!), I am in need of snacks that I can easily eat on the go since I am constantly being pulled in a million different directions. I typically tend to eat fruit or shakes, but these bites would be perfect! I bet they’d even be more perfect if someone else made them for me 😉
Glad you’ll have the pool to yourself soon 🙂 xoxo have a great day!
haha yes! thank you. Care to join?
My favorite back to school snack recipe is White Chocolate Chip Blondies. Sweet but still fun for back to school or anytime.