IT’S HERE! The first pumpkin recipe of the season. Healthy Pumpkin Cookies that are thick, pillowy soft, and filled with pumpkin spice and everything nice.

The best healthy pumpkin cookies

Packed with whole-grain goodness in the form of oatmeal and happy-life goodness in the form of warm fall spices and dark chocolate chips, these healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies belong in your cache of repeat-worthy fall desserts.

Every fall, I feel a moment of hesitation around the inaugural can of pumpkin.

The weather is usually still fairly warm, and I worry that I’m rushing sweater weather.

And then the scent of cinnamon fills my kitchen with warm nostalgia.

Initial feelings of hesitation are replaced by the excitement of change…or is it the excitement of a warm batch of cookies about to emerge from the oven?

I’ll evaluate the first plausible cause (change) while eating my first cookie, and the latter (freshly baked cookies) while munching my second.

If I’m still not sure, well, that’s what the third cookie is for!

Healthy pumpkin cookies with chocolate

These healthy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies are tender and buttery.

The flavor of the pumpkin is front and center, thanks to a rich array of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and a generous quantity of pumpkin.

No being disappointed by the lack of pumpkin or the lack of pumpkin spice here!

Healthy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies

As with my iced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, the addition of rolled oats lends these healthy pumpkin cookies a pleasing texture, touch of hominess, and an excuse to go in for more (hello, healthy whole grains!).

Dark chocolate chips give the cookies true dessert flare. As this Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and this Paleo Pumpkin Bread can attest, I’m all-in for the pumpkin and chocolate combo.

If you are more of a purist with your pumpkin baked goods, or if you are looking to lighten these up a bit and serve them as healthy pumpkin breakfast cookies, you can swap the chocolate chips for another of your favorite pumpkin mix-ins. The cookies do already include walnuts (more texture!), which you can increase or complement with other yummy additions like chopped toasted pecans or dried cranberries.

Or you can take your pumpkin cookie cravings the opposite direction and go all-out indulgent with these chewy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

Just promise me you won’t wait long to bake these healthy pumpkin cookies. They are truly scrumptious and sure to be one of your favorite healthy fall desserts.

Easy and healthy pumpkin cookies

How to Make the Best Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

You’ll love how fast these easy pumpkin cookies come together. You don’t even need to chill the dough prior to baking.

While many healthy pumpkin cookies include applesauce, I found that applesauce made the cookies *too* cakey. (If you are looking for cookie recipes with applesauce, check out these Healthy Oatmeal Cookies instead.)

The moderate amount of butter here yields a more traditional chewy cookie texture. Pumpkin cookies generally do have a touch of cakiness (a product of baking with pumpkin in general), which I don’t typically love in my healthy cookie recipes, but it’s not overwhelming and 100% works here.

The Ingredients

  • Pumpkin. On its own, pumpkin can be ho-hum, but the ingredients in these cookies help it reach its full cozy flavor potential. Make sure to use pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) for this recipe.
  • Flour. A mixture of white whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour makes these cookies wholesome while keeping their texture light.
  • Oats. A nutritious and filling addition. Oats bring in fiber and create a satisfying textural element.
  • Butter. Hello, perfect chewy texture and real-deal cookie flavor!
  • Spices. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg put the “spice” into our pumpkin spice dreams.
  • Sugar. A mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar is ideal in these cookies.
  • Vanilla. Vanilla complements the pumpkin and warm spices perfectly.
  • Mix-ins. Dark chocolate chips and walnuts were my mix-ins of choice, but you could easily swap in pecans, dried fruit, or more chocolate chips instead.

The Directions

Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together.
    Cookie dough being mixed
  2. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to the butter mixture, beating until blended.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until the flour disappears.
    Cookie dough in a mixing bowl
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
    Cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet
  5. Scoop the dough into balls, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 11 to 12 minutes. Let cool, then ENJOY!

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips for Cookies & Cookie Dough

  • To Freeze Unbaked Cookies. Scoop cookie dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen as directed, adding extra baking time as needed (usually about 3 to 5 minutes).
  • To Freeze Cookies. Transfer fully cooled cookies to an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy whenever a craving strikes!
  • To Store. Store cookies in an airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Healthy pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips

More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Recommended Tools to Make these Cookies

  • Mixing Bowls. Durable, easy-to-store, and one of my most-used kitchen essentials.
  • Baking Sheet. Your pumpkin cookie BFF!
  • Cookie Scoop. The easiest way to create perfectly-sized cookies.

What’s the first thing you plan to bake with pumpkin this year? If you haven’t decided yet, I have a tasty contender for you right here.

As always, if you do make these healthy pumpkin cookies, I’d love to know what you think! Please leave a review in the comments below. I adore hearing from you, and your feedback is very helpful to others too.

The best healthy pumpkin cookies

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

5 from 4 votes
Soft and chewy healthy pumpkin cookies made with oatmeal, dark chocolate chips, and warm fall spices. Easy cookie recipe with no chilling!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins

Servings: 26 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or swap all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or swap pecans, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, or additional chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Position rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (If you’ll be baking multiple batches, line an additional sheet.)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • In a separate, large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until smoothly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat once more, just until reincorporated.
  • To the bowl with the butter mixture, add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat again, just until evenly blended.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating on low speed. Stop as soon as the flour disappears.
  • By hand with a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • With a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons so that you have balls that are about 1 1/2-inches each. Leave about 1 inch of space around each cookie (they will not spread much during baking). Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator while the first batch of cookies bakes.
  • Bake the cookies on the center rack for 11 to 12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and the tops feel dry to the touch but the center is still soft underneath. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies, ensuring that you always scoop them onto a cooled cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Notes

  • TO FREEZE UNBAKED COOKIES: Place cookie dough balls in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen as directed, adding extra baking time as needed.  
  • TO FREEZE COOKIES: Transfer fully cooled cookies to an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy whenever a craving strikes! 
  • TO STORE: Store cookies in an airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 26)Calories: 112kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1556IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 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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48 Comments

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  1. Haha, I love the way you think about priorities, friend! I probably would be the exact same ;) especially if these cookies are the ones going in the jar! Although, they might not even make it IN the jar – they look too good to be put away :)

  2. Obsessed. I’ve got a PSL recipe coming at the end of the week and this is getting me all sorts of excited to drink more and more!

  3. These look like soft pillows of yumm .. that I just want to get lost in!! They sound outrageously delicious — and I can’t get enough pumpkin spice latte in my life!!

  4. I’ve yet to cave and buy the pumpkin spice latter, BUT I almost did yesterday, and I definitely caved at the bagel shop and ordered by bagel with pumpkin smear. No regrets. I might as well go all in now, because these little goodies sounds fabulous!

  5. Not sure I would hide the cookie jar if I had cookies like this in it. Unless I was hiding it from everyone else. These look amazing. In my opinion you can NEVER have too many pumpkin recipes. YUM.

  6. So I’ve never been a huge PSL girl (salted caramel hot chocolate all the way), but I can totally get on board with the combo in cookie form! These look amazing!

  7. You are a freakin’ genius – turning pumpkin spice latte into cookies!! Having that warm drink in one hand and one of your cookies in the other is going to be my new guilty pleasure ;)

  8. True story: I have already had two pumpkin lattes in the last two weeks AND I just bought a pumpkin spice chai mix from the grocery store. I can’t stop myself. Just as I can’t stop myself from drooling all over the photos of these cookies.

  9. Wait, some people have self control? Who are those people? Clearly they’ve never been around cookies such as these!

  10. I don’t think I would have any self control whatsoever around these cookies! I can almost taste them just looking at your pictures and now my mouth is watering! That is awesome that you guys finally found a home! Congratulations!!

  11. Oh my gosh, I am obsessed with PSL and would not be able to resist these cookies! They look amazing and I love that you made my favorite coffee drink into cookie form – such a brilliant idea lady :)

  12. I just made these fabulous cookies. It made 18 beautiful, moist, rich cookies. I used organic pumpkin. Will definitely make again!! Thank you for this recipe!!5 stars

  13. Rang in the first day of Fall with this recipe. It was so quick and easy. I had basically all the ingredients in my pantry which is a huge win. The cookies had a crisp exterior with an ooey googy pumpkiny center. The chocolate chips added just enough sweetness. The best part, they are guilt free! I love this recipe and will definitely be making them again soon given this batch is not going to last!5 stars

  14. I made these and they look exactly like the picture and taste good, but feel kind of “wet” or clammy?  They taste fine and are a nice soft texture but wondered if I did something wrong.  It states a can of pumpkin purée but didn’t say what size so I went with the 15 oz can. 
    I named as directed, maybe a minute longer and then cooled as directed in the pan. 

    1. Hi Karen! This recipe calls for 1 cup pumpkin puree, which is about half of a 15-ounce can. If you used the entire can, that could’ve been what went wrong. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy them!

  15. These were SUPER easy to make, and they came out AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!!!! I made half the batch without walnuts because my son doesn’t like nuts in cookies, and half with. Made for yummy cookies that everyone in my house declared a winner!!!!! So good!5 stars

  16. Every time I hit the link for the pumpkin spice latte cookie it takes me to this healthy pumpkin cookie recipe. Do you have a PSL cookie recipe?

    1. Joyce, I’m sorry for the confusion! This recipe is an updated version of the original PSL cookies; if you’d like them to have a coffee flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder to this recipe.

  17. Hi Colleen! It’s available at many grocery stores (or online here). Otherwise, I think it would work just fine to use the same amount of regular sugar in the same ratio as the rest of the cookies: half brown and half white. I haven’t tried it this way, but I see no reason why they wouldn’t turn out deliciously!

  18. I am such a sucker for cream cheese frosting too, and that definitely happened with the little bit that I had left over!

  19. Hi Barbara! If you no do not have whole wheat flour on hand, you can substitute the same amount of all-purpose flour. For the monk fruit, swap regular brown and granulated sugar (1/4 cup of each). I hope you love these cookies, and thank you so much for your kind words about my blog too! :)