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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Protein Hot Chocolate

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Warm and cozy, this protein hot chocolate is ready in less than 10 minutes! Protein powder, cocoa, and maple syrup make a creamy, vegan-friendly, protein-packed hot cocoa you can feel good about.

high protein hot chocolate in a mug

Once you try homemade hot chocolate, it’s nearly impossible to drink the store-bought packets of hot cocoa mix. They taste weak and flavorless in comparison, plus it only takes 10 minutes and a few pantry staples to make your own.

For this high protein hot chocolate recipe, I added chocolate protein powder for a boost of feel-good protein! This rich and luscious drink is low calorie, naturally sweetened, and vegan too! Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Healthy yet decadent? Yes, please!

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Make this protein powder hot chocolate even more indulgent with vegan marshmallows, whipped cream, or mini chocolate chips!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • 10 grams of protein
  • Easy hot chocolate recipe
  • Way better and healthier than hot chocolate mix
  • Perfect consistency
  • Low calorie hot chocolate
  • Natural ingredients
  • Protein promotes muscle growth
  • Best protein hot chocolate ever!

🥘 Ingredients

Protein hot cocoa requires six simple ingredients that can be easily found at your local grocery store!

ingredients for easy high protein hot chocolate recipe
  • Chocolate Protein Powder: All protein powders taste different, so use your favorite brand! If you’re vegan, buy vegan protein like pea protein or hemp protein. Casein protein and whey protein powder are derived from milk. If you’re gluten free, purchase a gluten-free brand like Quest protein powder.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: For that rich chocolate flavor!
  • Almond Milk: Unsweetened almond milk is low calorie and creamy with a mild flavor. It’s a great non-dairy choice for healthy hot chocolate.
  • Water: Feel free to swap with more almond milk if you like.
  • Maple Syrup: Typically, chocolate protein powder has some form of sugar in it, so just a small amount of maple syrup is perfect. If you use unsweetened protein powder, add more maple syrup to taste.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla enhances the flavor of the cocoa.
  • Vegan Marshmallows: It’s not a hot cocoa recipe without marshmallows!

📖 Variations

There are so many different ways to customize this dairy free hot chocolate protein drink! Try one of these delicious variations.

  • Milk: Feel free to use your milk of choice. Oat and almond milk are two of my favorite non-dairy milks for hot cocoa, but any of them work great. For a traditional hot chocolate, use whole milk instead of almond milk. Keep in mind, it won’t be vegan friendly if you use dairy milk for this recipe!
  • Sweetener: Sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup are great options! Start with less because you can always add more, but you can’t take it out.
  • Protein Powder: Protein powders come in so many unique flavors! Try swapping chocolate protein powder with chocolate mint, caramel, or peanut butter. There are plenty of low carb, gluten-free, and vegan options too! I like ghost protein hot cocoa and they have plenty of vegan options!
  • Toppings: Mini chocolate chips, crushed peppermint candies, sea salt, coconut whipped cream, crushed cookies, and cacao nibs are all delicious!
  • Collagen Hot Chocolate: Swap the protein powder with chocolate collagen powder. Keep in mind, it won’t be vegan or vegetarian friendly with this variation!

🔪 Instructions

Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the protein powder and the cocoa powder.

cocoa and milk mixed in a pot

Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the almond milk, water, maple syrup, and vanilla to the bowl. Whisk until well combined.

cocoa and milk mixed in a pot

Simmer Hot Cocoa: Pour the chocolate mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to prevent this low sugar hot chocolate from burning.

cocoa and milk mixed in a pot

Pour & Enjoy: Carefully pour into two mugs or one large glass and top with plenty of vegan marshmallows. Enjoy!

healthy protein hot chocolate in a mug

❓ Recipe FAQs

Can I use protein powder in hot chocolate?

Yes! Protein powder tastes delicious in a hot drink like coffee or hot chocolate. All protein powders taste different, so be sure to buy a brand you like the taste and texture of.

Is hot chocolate a good source of protein?

It depends on the hot cocoa recipe. Most recipes call for whole milk which provides a modest amount of protein. This creamy hot chocolate uses protein powder for a substantial amount of protein — 10 grams per cup!

How should I serve vegan protein hot chocolate?

Replace your post-workout hot chocolate protein shake with this hot beverage instead! Or enjoy it as a decadent treat packed with healthy protein. You can serve it alongside a larger breakfast spread with oatmeal, pancakes, etc, or enjoy it all on its own. It’s great for a healthier dessert, topped with with vegan marshmallows or coconut whipped cream too!

Can I store protein hot cocoa?

Store any leftover hot cocoa in a jar with a lid or an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Technically you can use hot water instead of milk, but the cocoa won’t be as creamy! The creamier the milk, the creamier the cocoa!
  • For a low carbohydrate count, choose a low carb protein powder and swap the maple syrup with a 1:1 sugar substitute.
  • I don’t recommend using cacao powder instead of cocoa powder – as you’ll end up with a more bitter chocolate flavor and may need to use more sugar to balance it out.
  • This recipe is only as healthy as the type of protein powder you choose! For the healthiest option, choose a high quality plant based protein with minimal sugar.
  • Don’t leave the stove when simmering the chocolate mixture. If you don’t stir it, the bottom can burn.
vegan protein hot chocolate in a mug

☕ More Healthy Drink Recipes!

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🎥 Watch How to Make It
high protein hot chocolate in a mug
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5 from 7 votes

Protein Hot Chocolate

Warm and cozy, this protein hot chocolate is ready in less than 10 minutes! Protein powder, cocoa, and maple syrup make a creamy, protein-packed hot cocoa you can feel good about.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 123kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


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  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the protein powder and cocoa powder.
  • Whisk all remaining ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour into a small pot and bring to a simmer, stirring while heating to ensure the hot chocolate doesn’t burn.
  • Pour into 2 serving cups and top with vegan marshmallows, if using.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Adjust the sweetness by adding maple syrup to taste.
  • Any milk can be used instead of almond milk.
  • You could try adding 1 tsp orange zest, 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 tsp instant coffee granules to add a different flavor.
  • Dust with cocoa powder or ground cinnamon.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g

10 responses to “Protein Hot Chocolate”

  1. Made this lovely hot chocolate last night instead of dessert using oat milk, and it was perfectly delicious! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂5 stars

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