Chocolate Protein Shake
Cold, creamy, and sweet, this chocolate protein shake is made with frozen berries (or cherries), banana, your favorite chocolate protein powder and a handful of spinach (if you’d like). So simple, yet so insanely delicious and one of my all-time favorites! It fills you up and keeps you energized all day long. Enjoy this protein-packed shake for a refreshing breakfast or snack!
my new favorite protein shake
As the weather begins to warm up, I start craving a breakfast that’s cool and refreshing. And mixing up a delicious protein shake in the morning has started to become part of my daily routine. Smoothies and protein shakes are so quick to whip up and convenient to take on the go, when I don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast. Plus, if you’re using the right ingredients, they can provide your body with a variety of nutrients.
I have experimented with many different ingredients and smoothie variations. Some have definitely turned out better than others! So, today, I’m sharing my tips, tricks and favorite ingredients to use for creating the perfect protein shake that is low in calories, high in protein, and most importantly, tasty too!
chocolate protein shake ingredients
Filled with a healthy dose of antioxidants, packed with protein and so delicious, this chocolate protein smoothie is seriously the best. And the recipe is really quite versatile – feel free to add or swap in your favorite ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Milk. I use unsweetened almond or cashew milk in my protein shakes, but feel free to use any milk (dairy free or not) that you like.
- Chocolate protein powder. Use any favorite brand. I really like the flavor and consistency of Tone It Up organic, vegan-friendly protein powder. I always order it on the Tone It Up website because they frequently offer discounts. This brand can also be found at many grocery stores and Target.
- Frozen banana. You’ll need one ripe frozen banana for this shake recipe. I love using bananas in my shakes and smoothies because they are a natural sweetener and they will make your shake super creamy and thick.
- Frozen berries or cherries. Use any combination of berries or cherries or really any frozen fruit that you have in your freezer. When I use chocolate protein powder for my shake, my fruit of choice is usually strawberries for a chocolate covered strawberry flavor. Hello dream smoothie!
- Optional. Try adding even more nutrients with a handful of fresh spinach! The color of your smoothie will be a little funky, but you won’t be able to taste it at all. You can also add other ingredients you like – ground flaxseed, dates, avocado, peanut butter – the options are endless!
how to make the best chocolate protein shake
This recipe couldn’t be easier! Simply add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Smoothies tend to blend the best if you add the liquid and protein powder first, then the spinach (if using), and last the frozen fruit and other mix-ins.
Once the shake is blended and in your glass, feel free to add some fun toppings, like chia seeds, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or even a few mini chocolate chips.
tips for the perfect protein shake
Protein shakes are really simple and straightforward to make, but here are several top tips for a perfect shake every single time!
- Use a high-powered blender. The easiest way to make a super creamy, well blended smoothie or protein shake is by using a high-powered blender! I use a Blendtec, but any brand will do. It’s also key to load add your ingredients in the order listed in the recipe card.
- Frozen fruit is a must! If you use fresh fruit, it will make your shake thin and watery. Using frozen fruit, will result in a super cold, thick and creamy protein shake. Pro tip: be sure to peel your banana BEFORE freezing it.
- Protein powder. Be sure to use a high-quality protein powder that tastes delicious. Not all protein powders are created equal and this one ingredient can make or break the flavor and consistency of your shake.
- Blend. You want your shake to be nice and smooth, just like a milkshake! Start the blender on low speed and gradually raise the speed to blend well. Also, feel free to add a bit more milk to get the ingredients moving, if needed. Last, before transferring the smoothie to a glass, give it a quick stir to make sure it’s fully blended. If there are still a few chunks remaining, blend again.
add extra nutrients to your chocolate protein shake
Want to make your shake super satisfying and load it up with vitamins and minerals? Here are some nutrient-rich protein shake add-ins to try:
- Seeds. Ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and/or hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and minerals. I suggest up to 1 tablespoon of any of these or a combination.
- Greens. Spinach is my favorite leafy green to add to smoothies and shakes. Add 1 to 2 cups and, I promise, you won’t even be able to taste it. You can also try baby kale, Swiss chard, arugula, or beet greens. However, in my opinion, spinach is the best. It blends well and is more undetectable than other greens.
- Other veggies. Try adding different veggies to your smoothie. My favorite is frozen cauliflower, which will make your shake extra creamy. One sliced carrot pairs really well with frozen pineapple and vanilla protein powder. And cucumber slices can make for a super refreshing smoothie! It pairs really well with mango, peach, or pineapple.
- Extra protein. In addition to or instead of protein powder, you can add protein to your smoothie with Greek yogurt. I love using fun flavors to go with whatever fruit I’m using. Peanut flour is another option, which not only will up the protein a bit, but also add wonderful flavor.
customize your chocolate protein shake
Experiment with ingredients to make your favorite protein shake! Here are some suggestions:
- Milk. Any milk variety works – coconut, oat, almond, cashew or regular.
- Fruit. Use whatever frozen fruit you happen to have in your freezer. We enjoy pineapple, peaches, mango or even an all-banana smoothie.
- Protein powder. Try different flavors of protein powder from vanilla to snickerdoodle. There are so many fun flavors available!
- Cocoa or cacao powder. For extra chocolate deliciousness and added antioxidants, blend in about 1 tablespoon of cocoa or cacao powder.
I hope you love this chocolate protein shake as much as I do. I’ve been enjoying it on the regular as my first meal of the day. I get my workout in, and then I whip up my shake just before I head out the door to tackle the day. I’m completely in my happy place sipping this deliciousness. It’s almost like dessert for breakfast!
more protein-packed recipes
If you try this chocolate protein shake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
This protein-packed, delicious chocolate protein shake will fill you up and keep you going all day long! Cold, creamy and satisfying, you'll never know there's a big handful of vitamin-rich spinach hidden inside!
- 3/4-1 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk (or other preferred milk)
- 1 serving chocolate protein powder
- 1-2 handful(s) fresh baby spinach or kale (optional)
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1/2-1 cup frozen berries or cherries (or a mix!)
- 1/2-1 cup ice, depending on how slushie you like your shakes
- optional add-ins: oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cocoa powder, nut or seed butter, yogurt, avocado, frozen cauliflower
Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Your shake will blend best if you add the ingredients in the order listed above. Add milk, then protein powder, then spinach and then all of the other ingredients.
I always add about 1/2 cup of ice and then blend. Then, I add more as needed to get the right consistency. I also like to start with about 3/4 cup milk and then add more, if needed to get the consistency perfect. Drink up!
Nutritional info calculated with Tone It Up Chocolate Protein Powder. Keep in mind different brands of protein have different nutritional profiles. Tone It Up has 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein for 1 scoop (24g) protein powder.
Photos by Molly at Yes to Yolks.
This recipe was originally published May 2016. It was updated with new content and republished March 2021.