Beef Jerky Protein Balls

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5 from 7 votes
These Beef Jerky Protein Balls are a great high-protein snack for busy days.  They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet with a touch of smokiness from the beef jerky. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Beef jerky protein balls on a white plate with blue napkin

These Beef Jerky Protein Balls are a great high-protein snack for busy days.  They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet with a touch of smokiness from the beef jerky. 

Beef jerky protein balls on a white plate with blue napkin.

This post is sponsored by the New York Beef Council.  As always, all opinions are my own.

This easy and good-for-you Beef Jerky Protein Balls recipe is the perfect snack when you’re on-the-go. Chocked full of oats, peanut butter, protein powder, a touch of honey and real beef jerky, this easy no bake snack will keep you satisfied for hours.

What are protein balls?

Protein balls are a sweet, protein filled snack filled with good-for-you ingredients.  The base of the recipe usually starts with  oats and peanut butter and various mix-ins are added to give the desired flavor.  This is my classic protein ball recipe.

The mix-ins can be anything, such as this Carrot Cake version. In this case, I also added beef jerky and chocolate chips.  I love the salty, sweet, smoky combination.

How to Make Beef Jerky Protein Balls – Step by Step

  • Add peanut butter: I like to use creamy peanut butter, but you can use crunchy if you prefer, or any other nut butter.  (Photo 1 below)
  • Add honey: For a little sweetness add honey.  I’ve also used agave in a pinch.   (Photo 2 below) 
  • Stir in rolled oats: I prefer old fashioned rolled oats in this recipe.  I think they work better than quick oats.   (Photo 3 below)
  • Add vanilla: This adds such great flavor.  I prefer Mexican vanilla – I’m hooked on the stuff.   (Photo 4 below)

step by step instructions for making beef jerky protein balls recipe.

  • Add protein powder: You can use any flavor you prefer, but I like vanilla best.  I found the chocolate protein powder changes the texture of the protein balls too much.   (Photo 1 below)
  • Add beef jerky: This is the best part of the recipe!  Chop up real beef jerky into small pieces and stir it in.  You can also add mini chocolate chips for a bit of decadence. (Photo 2 below)
  • Form protein balls: Use a medium cookie scoop to form mixture into balls.  I like to place them on a silicone baking mat so they don’t stick.   (Photo 3 below)
  • Allow to chill: These protein balls are best when you allow them to chill for at least 30 minutes.  It helps maintain the shape.  Of course you can feel free to sneak one if you want.  I won’t tell.   (Photo 4 below)

step by step instructions for making beef jerky protein balls


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What kind of beef jerky is best for this protein ball recipe?

I like to use plain beef jerky in this protein ball recipe.  Personally, I’m not a fan of using flavored beef jerky, like teriyaki, mesquite or cajun in these protein bites.

However, if you like a particular flavor, I would give it a try to see if you like it.  This protein bites recipe is very adaptable to suit individual tastes.

Best Beef jerky coming out of red package on white board

Did you know that a single 3-oz serving of beef provides almost half of your Daily Value of protein?  People who eat a higher-protein diet (about 30% of daily calories from protein) feel more satisfied.  These Beef Jerky Protein Balls are a great high-protein snack that will keep you satisfied.

The high-quality protein and the other essential nutrients in beef, like iron, zinc and B vitamins, provide us the strength to do all of the activities we love to do.  You can learn more about how beef’s nutrients promote a healthy lifestyle here.

Can you freeze these no bake protein balls?

Yes! One of the best things about these no bake protein balls is that you can make them ahead of time.  My husband and son are BMX racers so we are always traveling to races and need high-energy, portable snacks.  I’ve become known for brining the protein balls.

However, with our busy schedule, I can’t always make a fresh batch so I make several batches at once and freeze them.  If you’re planning to eat them throughout the week, you can store them in a sealed container in the fridge.  They will last about one week.

If you want to store them longer, simply place the protein bites on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the freezer for an hour.  Remove the protein balls from the tray and place in a ziptop freezer bag, remove excess air from the bag and seal.  Store in the freezer for up to two months.  When you’re ready to eat them, simply thaw them in the refrigerator.

peanut butter protein balls on a baking sheet


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close up of beef jerky protein ball recipe.

Expert Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Protein Balls

These no bake beef jerky protein balls are very easy to make when you use these tips:

  • Use a cookie scoop: Get perfect uniform sized protein balls by using a cookie scoop to form the balls.
  • Make them better for you:  Feel free to add flax (I love this one), chia seeds (for hydration) or wheat germ.
  • This recipe can be doubled: This is a great recipe to make ahead.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and freeze any extras.
  • Try different flavors: This recipe is adaptable.  Try using different mix-ins, different nut butters or beef jerky flavors.

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Beef jerky protein balls on a white plate with blue napkin

Beef Jerky Protein Balls

5 from 7 votes
These Beef Jerky Protein Balls are a great high-protein snack for busy days.  They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet with a touch of smokiness from the beef jerky. 
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 15 protein balls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup beef jerky finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • All all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to form the mixture into balls.
  • Place balls on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
  • Chill for 30 minutes before storing or eating.

Expert Tips

  • Use a cookie scoop: Get perfect uniform sized protein balls by using a cookie scoop to form the balls.
  • Make them better for you:  Feel free to add flax (I love this one), chia seeds (for hydration) or wheat germ.  
  • This recipe can be doubled: This is a great recipe to make ahead.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and freeze any extras.  See notes about regarding freezing. 
  • Try different flavors: This recipe is adaptable.  Try using different mix-ins, different nut butters or beef jerky flavors. 

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/

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7 thoughts on “Beef Jerky Protein Balls”

  1. 5 stars
    WOW! Yum! I just wanna sink my teeth into these protein balls. These are a fantastic high-protein snack for busy days. The combination of salty and sweet is perfect. Can’t wait to give the recipe a try (probably in a couple of days).
    Christina, thank you so much for all of your expert tips and such detailed instructions. They’ll surely help me and your readers avoid mistakes. Look forward to your new recipes. Your blog is amazing! Keep it up!

    Reply

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