Chocolate Chunk Protein Bars

Chocolate chunk protein bars. These easy and nutritious no-bake granola bars are packed with protein from sunflower seeds and hemp hearts. They’re also gluten-free, vegan and sweetened with dates!

Chocolate Chunk Protein Bars stacked

Celebrating the first day of spring with these chocolate chunk protein bars.

I know these don’t necessarily scream spring, but I would honestly eat them every day of the year. That, and the salad I wanted to share with you guys today needed a bit more work, so I’m sharing these instead.

The thing is, granola bars are my favorite thing to create. For some reason, when I feel uninspired in the kitchen and when every other recipe I make seem to fail, granola bars are always a success. They’re so easy and versatile, I can’t help but create a new recipe every season.

These chocolate chunk protein bars in particular are inspired by my all-time favorite seriously addictive granola bars. If you haven’t made those, you’re missing out! I brought them to work for a meeting, I made them for a girls night potluck and I gave some as gifts for Christmas… They’re a real success every time! And yes, when others bring cookies and casseroles to potlucks, I bring healthy granola bars. Trust me, they go faster than cookies.

granola bar mixture in a dish
hands pressing granola bar mixture in a dish
hands pressing granola bar mixture in a dish

So yes, these chocolate chunk protein bars are inspired by my seriously addictive granola bars. I wanted a new granola bar recipe to make regularly and as I love my other recipe so much (and can’t seem to stop making it almost weekly), I knew it had to be similar. Of course I changed quite a few things, but I did keep some of my favorite elements from the other recipe. First, they’re packed with seeds, which gives them a protein boost without using any protein powder. One small serving packs 6.2g of protein and tons of healthy polyunsaturated fats. They’re also sweetened with dates – My favorite sweetener and also the perfect sticky ingredient to make homemade granola bars. Not to mention that these bars only have 9g of sugar and 4g of fiber. As if that weren’t good enough, they’re made with a food processor and are done in under 15 minutes. That’s why I love homemade granola bars so much. They’re easy, nutritious and they’re good enough for dessert.

Honestly, homemade granola bars are my all-time favorite treat. I shared this thought on Instagram the other day and it seems I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I’m happy you guys are as excited for granola bars as I am!

If this is not a good way to start the new season, then I don’t know what is!

stacked protein bars
Stacked chocolate chunk protein bars

Chocolate Chunk Protein Bars

Chocolate chunk protein bars. These easy and nutritious no-bake granola bars are packed with protein from sunflower seeds and hemp hearts. They're also gluten-free, vegan and sweetened with dates!
Course Snack
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened or dark chocolate, chopped


  • Add oats, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds to a food processor. Process until they turn to fine crumbs. 
  • Add the dates, vanilla and water and process until the mixture sticks together when pressed.
  • Chop your chocolate into small-medium chunks and add to the food processor. Pulse a few times to incorporate into the mixture.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small dish and press. Keep covered in the fridge or freezer. They’re great when eaten straight out of the freezer!


If using unsweetened chocolate, make your chunks a little smaller. You’ll find that large chunks of unsweetened chocolate can lead to a bitter taste. If using dark chocolate, you won’t have this issue. Make the chocolate chunks bigger, making sure it’s not too big as to make the bars crumble.
Feel free to substitute the seeds in this recipe. I also made them using 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup ground flax seeds and 1/4 cup hemp seeds and they were just as good. Chia seeds would work as well. If you’re not concerned about nuts, you can use cashews, almonds or other nuts of choice. I do recommend using hemp seeds though for more protein. Just make sure the whole seeds/nut amount adds up to 3/4 cup.

If you make these chocolate chunk protein bars, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!


  • Allison

    Hi Caroline! Really enjoying your blog 🙂
    I am wondering about dark chocolate versus unsweetened chocolate – doesn’t dark chocolate contain sugar? Or is there a higher percentage of cacao in unsweetened vs dark? I was also wondering about cacao nibs – would those be a suitable replacement? Thanks for your input!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Allison! I’m happy you like the blog. 🙂
      Yes, dark chocolate does contain sugar, I simply add it as an option for those who are okay having a bit of sugar (Not everyone likes unsweetened chocolate). I would recommend a dark chocolate vs milk chocolate though, which has more sugar and a lower cacao percentage. I think cocoa nibs would be a great option for this recipe. I’ll have to try it myself next time. Thank you and hope this helps!

  • Theresa

    5 stars
    Made these and they were so good!! The dates made this just the perfect sweetness and the chocolate added a delicious flavor as well!! Will definitely be making these again!!

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