These no bake Quinoa Cookies with peanut butter and chocolate have me wondering what, exactly, makes something worthy of being deemed a “classic.”

No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies on a white counter

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What’s makes something “a classic”? I think we can all agree that Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies will always be a classic, but why?

When I stop to think about it, I think all classics share a few common traits:

  • Timelessness. Like a good book (think The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird), a true classic remains as engaging and relatable today as it was the year of its creation.
  • Beauty. Although I might not know enough about art to thoroughly explain what makes Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus special, hundreds of years after its creation, I can look and confidently describe it as beautiful.
  • Style. You don’t have to look further than the little black dress in your closet to find a classic that will look chic no matter what decade you wear it in.

If timelessness, beauty, and style are what make something a classic, I think it’s safe to say we can add these no bake quinoa cookies, featuring a classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, to our list (along with this Healthy Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie).

No-Bake Quinoa Cookies made with peanut butter and chocolate chips on parchment paper

5 Star Review

“So good! Eating straight from the bowl.”

— Haley —

How to Make Quinoa Cookies

These chocolate peanut butter quinoa cookies have all the makings of a classic and are the ideal treat to tuck into your lunch box or enjoy as an after-school (or work) snack. The best part? They require zero baking (like these other no bake dessert recipes).


The Ingredients

  • Quinoa. Containing  8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cup of cooked quinoa, this wholesome little grain is a nutrition powerhouse (these Quinoa Breakfast Bars are another quinoa favorite).
  • Peanut Butter. Provides big and bold peanutty flavor while also functioning as a binding ingredient to hold these no bake cookies together.
  • Honey. Naturally sweetens the cookies. If you’d like to make these cookies vegan, opt for a bit of pure maple syrup instead.
  • Coconut Oil. Adds moisture and richness in the form of healthy fat.
  • Vanilla. Enhances the chocolate and peanut butter flavor of these cookies.
  • Almond Meal. A gluten free flour alternative that compliments the flavor of the peanut butter while keeping these cookies light and airy (like this Almond Flour Bread).
  • Coconut. I love the flavor and bulk a bit of unsweetened adds to this recipe. If you prefer to omit the coconut, swap for extra quinoa or a scoop of uncooked quick oats.
  • Chocolate Chips. Decadent little jewels of chocolate goodness stud these cookies. I prefer dark chocolate, but you may use semi-sweet or milk chocolate if you prefer.

Dietary Note

To make these cookies vegan, paleo, or dairy-free, choose a dairy-free chocolate chip brand, like Enjoy. You can find this brand on Amazon and at most grocery stores in the baking aisle.

Peanut butter, coconut, quinoa and honey for no-bake quinoa cookies on a white counter with chocolate chips

The Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a second saucepan, stir together the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt, over low heat, until smooth. Remove from the heat, and add the almond meal, coconut, and quinoa. Stir to combine.
  3. Let the mixture cool, then fold the chocolate chips. Scoop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, flatten slightly, then place into the refrigerator until firm. ENJOY!

TIP!

These no bake quinoa cookies do soften at room temperature, something to keep in mind if you are packing them for lunch. I love them best straight out of the refrigerator, though their softer room temperature texture reminds me of the center of a peanut butter truffle, a sensation I don’t mind in the slightest.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover cookies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like to enjoy my cookies right out of the refrigerator. They will soften at room temperature but still taste delicious.
  • To Freeze. Place cookies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

More Tasty No Bake Treats

No Bake Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies stacked on parchment paper

The next time I’m craving a classic experience, I plan to eat a chocolate peanut butter no bake quinoa cookie (and maybe some Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies too) while listening to Mozart, wearing a black dress, and reading Mark Twain. Anyone care to join?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Uncooked Quinoa Make You Sick?

For some people, eating uncooked quinoa can cause stomachaches, rash, or other allergy-like reactions due to a sensitivity to saponin. A compound found in the outer shell of quinoa. Luckily, once cooked, the concentration of this compound is reduced so it is less likely to cause a reaction.

Can I Use Almond Butter Instead of Peanut Butter?

Yes. Just keep in mind that almond butter usually needs to be refrigerated, so the texture of the cookies will come out softer if left at room temperature. Luckily, I think these cookies taste best straight from the fridge.

Can These No Bake Quinoa Cookies Be Made Into Lactation Cookies?

While I have no adapted this recipe personally into a lactation cookie recipe, other readers have tried adding a few tablespoons of brewer’s yeast (for lactation support) to the recipe with success.

Paleo Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Quinoa Cookies. #paleo #glutenfree

Quinoa Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These healthy no bake quinoa cookies are loaded with chocolate and peanut butter and naturally sweetened with honey. Gluten free!

Prep: 35 mins
Total: 1 hr 15 mins

Servings: 18 -24 cookies, depending upon size

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa plus 1/3 cup (or 2 1/2 cups leftover cooked)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (do not use the kind that must be refrigerated or the cookies won’t set properly)
  • 1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup to make vegan
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup almond meal see notes below for directions on making your own
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips use a dairy-free brand (such as Enjoy) to make these cookies vegan/paleo

Instructions
 

  • Bring 1 2/3 cups water and the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Leaving the pot covered, removed the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
  • In another saucepan over low heat, stir together the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until smooth and the coconut oil melts. Remove from the heat, then stir in the almond meal, coconut, and reserved quinoa until combined. Let the mixture sit off the heat while you line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once the batter has cooled to near room temperature, stir the chocolate chips into the cookie batter until evenly combined. Scoop the cookies onto the baking sheet by rounded tablespoons, flatten slightly into a cookie shape, then place in the refrigerator or freezer until firm, about 40 minutes.

Notes

  • To make your own almond meal, place a scant 1/3 cup of blanched raw almonds in your food processor and pulse until finely ground. Do not over blend or the almonds will eventually turn to almond butter.
  • If you prefer to substitute additional cooked quinoa for the almond meal, add 1/4 cup additional water and 2 tablespoons additional quinoa to the saucepan in Step 1.
  • TO STORE: Store leftover cookies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like to enjoy my cookies right out of the refrigerator. They will soften at room temperature but still taste delicious.
  • TO FREEZE: Place cookies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 18)Calories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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29 Comments

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  1. What a wonderful spin on a classic, Erin! LOVING these, especially the fact that they are no-bake. We’re in the middle of a heat wave in DC right now, and I am soooo thankful for any treat I can make without having to turn on my oven :)

  2. Let us pray that chocolate and peanut never goes out of style…And I’ll take a batch of these ASAP. 

    1. Hi Isabelle, It shouldn’t alter the taste at all! Yours will just be a different color. Both red and white quinoa have about the same texture, nutritional benefits, and lovely nutty flavor. Hope you love these!

  3. Can I bake these afterwards? I prefer crispy cookies to chewy cookies. Can I substitute coconut flour for the quinoa and almond meal? Thanks!

    1. Hi Gina! I’m afraid that these cookies weren’t designed to be baked, so I’m not sure how they would do if put in the oven (honestly, they might melt and fall apart). Same with coconut flour—it behaves very differently than almond meal or quinoa, so I would be hesitant to make the swap. You can definitely feel free to experiment, I just can’t personally vouch for the results, since that’s not how I tested the recipe. If you want to do a crispy cookie with coconut flour, I would suggest trying a web search for some great options.

  4. I use natural peanut butter and it has to be refrigerated.  Is there a natural peanut butter that doesn’t have to be refrigerated?

    1. Hi Jeannie! The word “natural” is sometimes a bit of a misnomer with these products, b/c you will find some additives (like sugar), but they are free from hydrogenated oils, which is an improvement. You’ll find them on the shelf with all of the other peanut butters and they are labeled “natural.” I use Jif for my baking and cookie recipes like this, then use the refrigerated, purer kind for savory recipes and toast, since the separation isn’t an issue for those.

  5. These look fantastic- a healthy way to indulge a bit. My boyfriend is allergic to coconut . Is there something I can use as a substitute?

    1. Hi Julie! Great question. You can sub the same amount of additional cooked quinoa or even quick cooking oats (don’t use the rolled kind though—they’ll be a bit tough to chew). I hope you both love them!

    1. Great question! I’d suggest subbing it for additional quinoa or even quick cooking oats to make sure the cookies hold together.

  6. Hi Erin! These look amazing. I was wondering if I can substitute almond butter in for the peanut butter. Will it alter the taste/texture too much? 
    Thanks! 

    1. Great question Sim! Since almond butter usually needs to be refrigerated at all times, the texture of the cookies will come out softer. They will still taste great; you’ll just need to always make sure that you keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy them cold as well. Actually, I think that that is how they taste best anyway :-) Hope you enjoy!

  7. I just barely made these and they’re delicious!! I was pretty skeptical at first, because I’m new to trying to cook really healthy. I’ve recently tried a few other recipes from your site and have been impressed with them so I decided to give these a try because the idea of quinoa in a cookie really intrigued me!! I must say, these are pretty darn tasty! I loved the flavor of the batter even before I added in the chocolate chips in at the end, but then of course, the choc chips made it even better :) I made the recipe as written except that I doubled the choc chips because, well, I couldn’t resist! Thanks for all the tasty healthy recipes. I’ve got my eye on a couple more of yours that I’m going to try very soon!

    1. Sharice, this comment absolutely made my day! I can’t say enough how much it means to me that this recipe helped you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Thank you so much for letting me know, and I hope that you love the other recipes you try!

  8. I have so far resisted jumping on the quinoa bandwagon but I think these may just change my mind. I’m a little unsure about how you’ve written the recipe – do you mean cook the 1/2 cup of quinoa in 1+2/3 cups of water and add the extra 1/3 cup uncooked? 

    1. Elisa, this is the ultimate quinoa gateway recipe :) It’s 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup UNCOOKED, dry quinoa (I know that is a weird amount—it was just what ended up giving the best texture to the cookies). You cook it in 1 2/3 cups water. When you do this, you will end up with approximately 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa in the end. Does that make sense?

  9. Made these with my boyfriend tonight and the batter was delicious! Super excited to have this healthy alternative to help my chocolate cravings! Thank you!! 

  10. Hi Erin, I am considering tweaking this recipe for gluten free lactation cookies, but I’m new to baking in general.  Do you think I could substitute flaxseed meal for the almond meal and add 2-4 tablespoons of brewer’s yeast?  Thanks!

    1. Hi Erica! I’ve never cooked with brewer’s yeast, but no bake cookies are pretty flexible (and I’ve seen other no bakes with brewer’s yeast), so I think you’ll be fine adding a few tablespoons with the quinoa. As far as the flaxseed, that wouldn’t be as clear of a substitution, since the two have different consistencies and properties. That said, it might still work (again, no bakes are flexible), I just can’t say for certain as I’ve never made them that way. Feel free to experiment though, and if you try them, I’d love to know how they come out!

    1. Hi Jess! You can swap the coconut for another ingredient you prefer. I imagine quick (not rolled oats) or additional quinoa would work well. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  11. Hi! We do not have almond meal … Can we substitute quick cooking oats? If not, what are some things we can substitute?

    1. Hi Kate! I’ve never tried the recipe this way, but I think quick cooking (not rolled) oats would be a fine substitute. Also, if you are ever interested, you can make your own almond meal by pulsing raw almonds in the food processor until they are finely ground (but not totally blended into almond butter :) ). I hope you enjoy the recipe!