Who’s in the mood for a chocolate milkshake? This easy chocolate banana smoothie recipe has all the flavor of a classic shake, but packs a punch of protein, healthy fats, and fiber too!
Note: This recipe used to be called “chocolate banana milkshake” but we’ve since updated it to include more tips & new photos so it’s even easier to make. If you liked the old version, simply add a splash of coffee and ½ an avocado before blending!
🍌 Reasons to love this recipe
Today we’re bringing the dessert vibes to your usual breakfast routine!
This healthy chocolate banana smoothie is here to satisfy all your chocolate-cravings (but with a good-for-you ingredient list).
A handful of simple ingredients is all you need to make this easy smoothie recipe - including frozen bananas, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, almond milk, and a touch of maple syrup.
And throwing in 1-2 scoops of chocolate protein powder not only takes the Reese's peanut butter cup flavor to the next level, but also makes this smoothie an awesome high protein snack for whenever you need a boost - afternoon, pre or post workout.
As-written, this easy smoothie recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, or paleo friendly. You can also make it nut-free by using any milk other than almond milk.
🍫 Ingredients you need to make it
Frozen bananas: This recipe is pretty flexible - you can use fresh or frozen banana and it'll taste great (the riper, the sweeter).
Almond milk: I like to use almond milk in this recipe, but you can use any milk you like (including regular dairy milk or a variety of non-dairy options like oat milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, hazelnut milk, or hemp milk. It's totally up to you!
Cocoa powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder works best for this recipe but you could also use cacao powder if you’re looking for an extra antioxidant & nutrient boost.
Vanilla extract: A little splash of vanilla extract helps turn up the dessert vibes but if you’re in a rush, feel free to skip it.
Chocolate protein powder: Protein powder adds sweetness, creaminess and staying power to this smoothie (especially helpful if you're having it for breakfast). I used a plant-based blend, but a whey protein powder or any blend you like works great too.
Maple syrup: I designed the recipe with maple syrup to keep it vegan and paleo friendly, but you could use any sweetener you like (honey, agave, liquid stevia drops).
Peanut butter: I used creamy unsweetened peanut butter but any other nut or seed butter works. You can also use powdered peanut butter (like PB2), or even nutella.
💭 Top tips
Skip the ice and use frozen bananas: In my experience, using frozen fruit instead of ice results in a much better taste (as ice can dilute the flavors). For the best flavor, I recommend using frozen bananas or freezing fresh bananas overnight.
But if you are using fresh bananas, you can definitely add ice to make it thicker & colder.
Thick smoothies vs. super sippable: I like a thicker smoothie but if you prefer a thinner consistency that’s even easier to sip, simply add more milk (increasing to 1 - 1 ¼ cups total) and use only 1 scoop of protein powder.
Milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate flavor: I love a deep, dark chocolatey taste. But for a lighter milk chocolate experience, use less cocoa powder (½ tablespoon - 1 tablespoon total).
You can also substitute a pre-mixed chocolate protein shake, like Fairlife, in place of the plain almond milk. A great option if you’re looking to save time or don’t have access to protein powder.
🍓 Add-ins and variations
With berries: Add ½ cup of strawberries, cherries or blueberries for a fun fruity twist (think chocolate covered berries!).
With no banana: For a less sweet and lower sugar smoothie, you can swap out the banana with riced frozen cauliflower or zucchini - which adds a creamy texture without affecting the taste.
With spinach: Add 1-2 handfuls of spinach (or kale) before blending for a boost of greens.
With avocado: Blend in ¼-½ of an avocado (pit & skin removed). It makes it even creamier & bumps up the healthy fats.
With yogurt: For a little extra protein, add ½ cup of Greek yogurt and it’ll lean towards a chocolate cheesecake flavor profile.
With coffee: If you have some leftover brewed coffee you can add a splash to turn up the volume on the chocolate flavors. Or substitute some in for half the almond milk for an extra caffeinated version.
🍨 How to make this into a smoothie bowl
You can easily transform any smoothie recipe into a thick and delectable smoothie bowl by cutting back on the amount of liquid used.
For a chocolate banana smoothie bowl, decrease the almond milk to ½ cup and use a frozen banana.
The sky’s the limit on topping ideas, but here are some that complement the flavors nicely - chocolate chips/ cacao nibs, hemp & chia seeds, granola, chopped peanuts, almond butter, banana slices or any fresh berries.
🧊 Storage & freezer tips
Preparing this smoothie ahead of time is simple. Just combine all ingredients (excluding the milk) to create grab-and-go freezer smoothie packs that can be quickly blended each morning.
While smoothies taste best when freshly blended, leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I personally keep them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge and re-blend the next day if necessary, adding more frozen fruit or ice for a thicker and colder consistency.
Alternatively, pour the smoothie into ice cube trays and freeze the smoothie cubes in a ziptop bag for up to a month. This makes it convenient to toss a few cubes in the blender with some milk and enjoy a refreshing smoothie anytime.
💬 Answering your FAQs
Is chocolate and banana a good combination?
Chocolate and banana are a classic flavor pairing, and for good reason! The natural sweetness of the bananas enhances the richness of chocolate (and offsets any of its bitterness), resulting in a gratifying and decadent treat.
Are banana smoothies good for you?
Although bananas have natural sugars and carbohydrates, they are also rich in fiber, which can promote a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. Making your smoothies or shakes with protein powder, fruit for fiber, greens, and peanut butter for healthy fats can be a delicious and nutritious option.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie (with Protein!)
- 1 cup frozen bananas or one medium banana
- ¾ cup almond milk or any other milk of choice
- 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder
- ½ - 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter creamy unsweetened
- Add all of your ingredients to a blender.
- Cover and blend until smooth, sweeten to taste with more maple syrup as needed.
Robin perlman says
Do you have to have coffee in the smoothie. I just have a luring so I don't have brewed coffee.
Lauren Kenson says
Hi Robin, yes it's totally fine to skip the coffee - will still taste great without it!
The recipe was great, thank you
Lauren Kenson says
So glad you enjoyed it!!