These healthy pumpkin peanut butter balls are the perfect no bake treat! They’re made with just a handful of ingredients, including oatmeal, and sweetened with honey (not dates). Make these energy bites for an afternoon snack when you need a pick-me-up!
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.
Happy Halloweek! I can’t possibly call myself a food blogger, let alone a veggie blogger, if I don’t post at least one recipe with pumpkin during the month of October. Right?!
I’m coming through with a pumpkin-based treat in the eleventh hour, and believe me, it’s a good one! I had a vision for these pumpkin peanut butter balls a few months ago. I was thinking about how good my Peanut Butter Cups with Pumpkin are, and I wanted to replicate the flavors.
So, I got to work developing a similar treat. These balls take way less time to prepare than the PB cups, and their nutritional profile makes them suitable as both dessert AND a healthy snack. I really focused on letting the pumpkin and peanut butter shine and used ground oats instead of whole oats to do just that.
The final result is a decadent yet healthy, bite-sized treat that’s heavy on its two namesake ingredients. And with Halloween still four days away, you totally still have time to whip up a batch (or two…or three…). Make them for an after-school snack for the kiddos or for you and your partner while you watch scary movies. You can’t go wrong!
How to Make Pumpkin Peanut Butter Balls
Here’s a preview of this super easy recipe! Be sure to read my expert tips in the next section before heading to the full recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Gather the ingredients: pumpkin puree, creamy peanut butter, old fashioned oats (gluten free if needed), honey (maple syrup to make these vegan), cinnamon, vanilla extract, and mini chocolate chips.
- Add the oats to a food processor, and pulse until they are ground into smaller pieces. I didn’t go so far as to make them a fine oat flour, but they were finer than whole oats with a few bigger pieces still in there (see below photo).
- Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips, and pulse until a sticky batter forms and everything is well-incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to a bowl, and fold in the chocolate chips.
- Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the batter. Roll it into about 20 balls, place them on a plate, and refrigerate for about a half hour before enjoying.
Expert Tips and FAQ
- Use a creamy peanut butter made with one ingredient: peanuts (and maybe salt too)! A super creamy texture is key to making pumpkin peanut butter balls that are similar to peanut butter truffles or buckeyes. A natural separation between the peanuts and oil in the jar is a good sign. Just remember to give it a really good stir before using the PB in the recipe.
- You can sub maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey in this recipe.
- If for some reason the batter is not sticky enough, add ½ tablespoon of water at a time until it has a sticky consistency.
- Unlike energy bites that use intact old fashioned oats, I like to grind the oats up for this recipe. This gives the balls a smoother texture. Here is the food processor I use if you are interested.
- A cookie scoop is helpful in scooping out the perfect amount of batter for each ball. If you don’t have one, use a tablespoon.
- Store the pumpkin peanut butter balls in an airtight container in the fridge. They will last for 5 to 7 days.
- If you open a can of pumpkin for this recipe, you’ll need some ways to use the extra pumpkin. Check out my post on Leftover Pumpkin Recipes for ideas.
Can you make energy balls without a food processor?
If you don’t have a food processor, you can definitely still make pumpkin peanut butter balls. Just keep the oats whole and mix everything together in a bowl.
Can you freeze energy balls?
Yes, you can store energy balls in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. Place them on a baking sheet and transfer them to the freezer for about 1 to 2 hours until frozen solid. Once frozen, put them in a labeled bag or container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
For a shortcut, skip the freezing on a baking sheet step. Instead, put the balls in a plastic or Stasher bag side by side. Lay the bag flat in the freezer. This method will also prevent the balls from sticking to each other.
More Healthy Pumpkin Treats
Love these pumpkin peanut butter balls? Try these other pumpkin treats!
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cups with Pumpkin
- Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
- Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- Healthy Banana Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Balls
- Food processor (optional)
- Add the oats to a food processor. Pulse to grind the oats into smaller pieces. I didn't grind them into a very fine flour and instead stopped while they were mostly ground but there were still some chunks left.
- Add the peanut butter, pumpkin puree, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to the food processor. Pulse the mixture until it's blended into a sticky batter and everything is well-incorporated.
- Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. If for some reason it's not sticky, add ½ tablespoon of water at a time until it has a sticky consistency. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, and stir to incorporate.
- Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out some batter. Roll it into a ball and place the ball on a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have about 20 balls.
- Refrigerate the balls for about a half hour until firm and chilled. You can also just eat them right away, but I like them cold. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days.
- You can also freeze the balls. Place them in a plastic or Stasher bag side by side, and lay the bag flat in the freezer to prevent the balls from sticking to each other. If you can’t lay a bag flat, you can freeze the balls on a baking sheet for 1 to 2 hours until frozen solid before transferring them to a container.
- If you don’t have a food processor, skip the step of grinding the oats and just mix everything together in a bowl.
Enjoy this fall-inspired treat! – Lizzie