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No-Bake Quinoa Protein Bars {vegan, gluten-free}

No-bake quinoa protein bars are a perfect alternative to store-bought bars. They are vegan, gluten-free, date-sweetened, and easy to make, too.

a quinoa protein bar on a pale wood cutting board


Based on the response to my Date-Sweetened Zee Bars post on Monday, it’s clear that I am but one of many interested in wholesome, naturally sweetened treats that simultaneously deliver a power boost.

So here’s another.

The original idea for these bars stemmed from leftover, cooked quinoa. You may be imagining a cup or two in a zip-top baggie, or perhaps a modest piece of tupperware. If only that were the case.

When I was at the height of recipe development for my quinoa book–500 Best Quinoa Recipes–I had heaps of quinoa, cooked, soaked, sprouted, toasted, and ground in a hodge podge of containers that soon overwhelmed our refrigerator. And freezer. It could have been a special edition of Hoarding: Buried Alive. In quinoa.

It was when I turned to our wine refrigerator for storing the excess that Kevin put his foot down.

It’s a good thing, too, because it forced me to devise some additional quick & easy quinoa recipes, pronto. Kevin is as big a fan of homemade energy and power bars as I am, so these quinoa power bars were a natural outcome.

protein bar, tied with a red raffia ribbon, an a cutting board

Quinoa for Vegan Protein Bars

The texture of these bars is in the neighborhood of Larabars and Clifbars and they are gently sweet. Because quinoa is a complete protein, they offer a good boost of protein as well as fiber; you can supplement the protein in the bars further by adding a scoop of your favorite all-natural plant-based (vegan) protein powder.

Half of a bar before I teach my evening spinning class makes me feel like I have superwoman powers, even if I’ve been dragging through the afternoon. I haven’t asked Kevin if they make him feel like superwoman, too, but he does like them a lot.

I’m feeling inspired by date-sweetened treats, so look for more to come!

Related Posts:

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  2. 4-Ingredient Chocolate Quinoa Muffins {Vegan, Oil-Fee, GF}
  3. Chocolate Chip Banana Quinoa Muffins {vegan, GF, flourless}
  4. 3-Ingredient Grain-Free Granola Bars {Vegan, Keto Option}
  5. Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars {5 ingredients, Vegan}
  6. 3-Ingredient Keto Protein Bars {vegan, easy}
a quinoa protein bar on a pale wood cutting board

No-Bake Quinoa Protein Bars {vegan, gluten-free}

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

No-bake quinoa protein bars are a perfect alternative to store-bought bars. They are vegan, gluten-free, date-sweetened, and easy to make, too.


  • 2/3 cup packed, pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened natural nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, sunflower, almond)
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats (GF, if needed)
  • 1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (see note below)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (GF, if needed)


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
  2. In food processor, pulse the dates until finely chopped. Add nut butter, salt and vanilla; process until blended. Add the oats, cooled quinoa, and walnuts; pulse until mixture forms a dough. Add chocolate chips; pulse 1 or 2 times to just combine.
  3. Press mixture into prepared pan (use a large piece of wax paper or plastic wrap to smooth and spread mixture flat).
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Using foil liner, lift mixture from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and cut into 12 bars.


To prepare the quinoa: In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup quinoa (rinsed) and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, fluff with a fork, and cool completely.
Storage: Individually wrap the bars and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator OR the freezer for up to 1 month (thaw at room temperature).

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1 bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 211Total Fat 7.5gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 138mgCarbohydrates 35.5gFiber 4.5gSugar 17.3gProtein 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 11th of February 2014

I made these this morning, and they were absolutely delicious!!!! I have already emailed the recipe to family, encouraging them to try it.


Saturday 22nd of March 2014

Wow, thanks Helen! Glad these were a hit!

Celene Harrelson | The Happypreneur

Monday 18th of March 2013

Camilla, where's your social media buttons? I really wanted to share this.


Monday 18th of March 2013

Hi Celene! Ooh, I would love it if you would share this--the sharing buttons are at the bottom of the post on the same line as where you click for comments (right hand side--one each for facebook, pinterest and twitter) :)

Power Hungry via Facebook

Thursday 28th of February 2013

So lovely to hear from you, Raechel!


Thursday 28th of February 2013

These sound as amazing as the Zee bars you posted. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes :


Thursday 28th of February 2013

You are too kind, Allison! The pleasure is all mine (I am selfish that way :)

Raechel Taylor via Facebook

Thursday 28th of February 2013

Camilla! It's always so fun to see a familiar face from so long ago! I'll be making these date bars this weekend as, oddly enough, I have everything I need to make'em!

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