Increasing the amount of protein in my breakfasts has been one of the most positive, lasting healthy diet changes I’ve made over the past few years and I have today’s Oatmeal Protein Cookies to thank for it.

Easy oatmeal protein cookies with banana and no protein powder

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As odd as it sounds, I find that as long as I have a good serving of protein first thing in the morning, I make better dietary choices all day long.

This Sugar Cookie Overnight Protein Oatmeal and these Peanut Butter Protein Bars are two of my favorite easy ways to add extra protein to my breakfasts, and these lightly sweet, nutty oatmeal protein cookies have quickly become another.

With 6 grams of protein per cookie, these cookies energize my body and keep me full all morning long (so do these Peanut Butter Protein Cookies).

Instead of using protein powder, I focused on including a variety of accessible and affordable naturally high-protein ingredients, including oats, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and nut butter.

Banana protein cookies with oatmeal and chia seeds

5 Star Review

“I made those cookies this weekend as part of my weekly meal prep and they are DELICIOUS!”

— Lisa —

How to Make Oatmeal Protein Cookies

Cookies for breakfast? Yes! These oatmeal protein cookies are not “cookies” in the traditional sense but are more like a delightful cross between a traditional cookie and muffin top. Think of them as a healthy breakfast cookie that’s higher in protein than most (like these Quinoa Breakfast Bars). They’re simple to make, freezer-friendly, and infinitely adaptable.


The Ingredients

  • Banana. Help bind the cookies together, adds moisture, and a healthy serving of fiber and potassium. (Banana is also used in these Healthy No Bake Cookies.)
  • Peanut Butter. Sneaks in additional protein to the cookies and infuse them with wonderful peanut buttery goodness (like in these No Bake Granola Bars).
  • Eggs. For richness, tenderness, and softness. The eggs also help the eggs puff and rise in the oven.
  • Maple Syrup. For subtle sweetness. If you would like a sweeter cookie you can increase the amount to suit your taste. Honey or agave may also be used.
  • Chia Seeds. For texture, crunch, AND 6 grams of protein per tablespoon. They’re my secret to loading these cookies (and these Vegan Protein Bars) with plant-based protein without resorting to using protein powder.

Ingredient Note

Although I am a fan of whey protein and use it regularly (this is the brand I usually buy), I know protein power is not something that everyone purchases regularly.

My goal was to create a naturally sweetened, reasonably high-protein breakfast cookie that would taste great and be satisfying without it, and I’m so happy with the way these oatmeal protein cookies turned out.

If you have protein powder on hand, see my notes below for how to add a scoop (or two) to this recipe.

  • Vanilla + Cinnamon. Adds depth of flavor and a heavenly aroma.
  • Baking Soda. For lightness, lift, and softness.
  • Oat Flour. Is loaded with more protein than wheat flour and is also considered gluten-free. Make sure to check your labels to ensure your oats come from a gluten free facility if this is a concern for you.
  • Mix-Ins. These easy oatmeal protein cookies are endlessly versatile. My favorite mix-in combination is a blend of pepitas, dried cranberries, and raisins. Feel free to get creative and see my suggested variations below. (This Energy Balls | The Ultimate Recipe Guide is also a great resource for flavor inspiration.)
healthy oatmeal protein cookies with banana and raisins

The Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients until combined.
  2. Stir in the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in any mix-ins.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cup portions onto a baking sheet. 
  6. Bake in a 375 degree F oven until the cookies feel dry and set on the top.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool. ENJOY!

Recipe Adaptations

This oatmeal protein cookie recipe is an ideal way to enjoy more of the ingredients you love or to make good use of the odd bits of leftover dried fruits, nuts, and chips lurking in your pantry (same goes for these Healthy Granola Bars). Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Oatmeal Protein Cookies with Dried Fruit. I love the combo of dried cranberries and raisins because they are pleasantly chewy and not too sweet.
  • Oatmeal Protein Cookies with Chocolate Chips. For more sweetness, you could easily transform this recipe into chocolate chip protein cookies. Just note that, depending upon what mix-ins you swap, you may alter the cookies’ protein content. (Chocolate lovers would also enjoy these Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.)
  • Oatmeal Protein Cookies with Protein Powder. I have not tried adding protein powder to these cookies. I think you could experiment with a tablespoon or two, but since I haven’t tested the recipe this way, I can’t be certain. If you do decide to play around with adding protein powder, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Easy oatmeal Protein Cookies without protein powder

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • To Freeze. Freeze the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

  • Cookie Scoop. My favorite tool for making uniformly-sized cookies of all kinds.
  • Cookie Sheets. These have been my loyal cookie-making companion for years. They’re truly the best.

Cookies! Now part of a balanced breakfast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Oatmeal Protein Cookies with Other Gluten Free Flour?

I have not personally made these cookies without oat flour before. However many readers have reported making a gluten free protein cookie using a combination of 1/2 almond flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour. Another suggested using buckwheat flour which is not only gluten free but higher in protein too (BONUS).

How Can I Make These Oatmeal Protein Cookies Without Peanut Butter?

If you have a peanut allergy and need to avoid peanut butter, readers have reported making these successfully with almond but and pumpkin seed butter. I’m sure another allergy-friendly nut butter would also work. Make sure to make sure any ingredient you swap for was processed in a peanut-free facility if allergies are a concern.

How Can I Make Oatmeal Protein Cookies Vegan?

Readers have reported being able to make these protein cookies without eggs by swapping them for the equivalent of two flax eggs.

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies - 6g. protein, NO protein powder required! Flourless, naturally sweetened with banana, and loaded with oatmeal and all of your favorite mix-ins. Easy, gluten free recipe that’s perfect for a healthy breakfast or post-workout snack. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Oatmeal Protein Cookies

5 from 15 votes
These easy oatmeal protein cookies with banana and raisins deliver 6 grams of protein per cookie without a single scoop of protein powder!

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

Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup mashed banana about 2 large
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter other nut butter of choice, or sunflower seed butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup* or honey or light agave
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup oat flour**
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the eggs until evenly combined. Next, stir in the maple syrup, chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle the baking soda, then the oat flour, over the top. Fold to combine. Last, fold in the pepitas, cranberries, and raisins. The batter will look very liquidy.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least 4 hours, or cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.***
  • When ready to bake, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. With a large cookie scoop or spoon, portion the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. If needed, shape them lightly with your fingers so that they are round and slightly flat on top.  
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies feel dry and set on the top and edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • PROTEIN BOOST: I have not tried adding protein powder to these cookies. I think you could experiment with a tablespoon or two, but since I haven’t tested the recipe this way, I can’t be certain. If you do decide to play around with adding protein powder, I’d love to hear how it goes.
  • *FOR SWEETER COOKIES: As written, these cookies are not super sweet. If you desire a sweeter cookie, add 1 tablespoon of additional maple syrup.
  • **HOMEMADE OAT FLOUR: To make your own oat flour, pulse 3/4 cup oats in a food processor until they are well ground.
  • ***TIP: I found that 4 hours of refrigeration time was sufficient for the cookies to set and be thick and puffed like in the photos. Ben’s mom found that she needed to chill them overnight or the cookies came out flat. The thickness may vary with your oven, but if you want to be 100% sure of having thick, puffy cookies, I’d suggest overnight refrigeration.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgPotassium: 232mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 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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40 Comments

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  1. Hi Erin, I am a big fan of your recipes, but I am not a big fan of bananas – do you have any idea of what I could try substituting the bananas in the recipe with? Thanks!

    1. Tara, this is a tough one, because bananas both bind the cookies and add sweetness. You could experiment with mashed avocado, applesauce, or pumpkin, but all of those would probably need more sugar since they are not sweet. If you are looking for a protein-packed snack, I love these cookie dough protein balls. They are delicious and don’t have any banana: https://www.wellplated.com/no-bake-protein-balls/.

  2. Great recipe! I like that they don’t call for protein powder and that they’re low in added sugar, yet taste sweet with the banana! I used a random mix of coconut and sorghum flours instead of oat flour since that’s what I had on hand and they turned out great. Safe to say your recipe is versatile! Looking forward to having these before my morning workouts!5 stars

    1. Melissa, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies! Thanks so much for giving them a try and sharing your swaps!

  3. just made these this morning! were fantastic, definitely more of a bran muffin top than cookie. i loved them- they are fantastic given the healthy ingredients. my family thought they were too healthy and weren’t fans of them heh. Thank you again!! :)5 stars

    1. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed them! Thank you so much for taking the time to give them a try and report back!

  4. I made these eggless with flax eggs. And on the second batch I left out the sweetener altogether.  They were perfect.  Thank you for the inspiration.5 stars

    1. Pam, thanks for sharing how they went with flax eggs! I’m glad you enjoyed them—thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  5. I really do not care for dried fruit of any kind. Can I replace both with 1/4 cup of chocolate chips do you think?

    1. Hi Grace, yes, you could experiment with other add ins, like chocolate chips, instead of the dried fruit! I hope you enjoy the cookies.

  6. I subbed pumpkin for the banana. I meant to add more honey but forgot and it still turned out great. Maybe because honey is sweeter than maple syrup? Anyhow, thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  7. I made this recipe and added the all naturally flavored Whey Leaner Protein Chocolate Protein Powder to them and they were delicious and held together well.

    Whey Leaner Protein
    https://ebanutrition.com/product/chocolate-flavored-whey-protein-2lbs/

  8. Hi, Erin:

    This recipe is nothing short of amazing! Not only delish, but as a daily breakfast, its kept me satisfied for hours. That is a huge accomplishment for any food, breakfast or otherwise! I must confess that I didn’t quite make your exact recipe. I needed to make a few tweaks simply because I didn’t have everything on hand. So, here is what I used:
    Only one banana in the house, so I used mashed blueberries to make up the difference. (This made them an odd, dark shade of purply/brown, but the taste was great!)
    No chia seeds, so I used ground flax seeds.
    No raisins, so I used only dried cranberries. Also, I’d misread the directions, so I added a cup of them, not just a half cup. Oops/Yum!

    No breakfast bar has ever kept me fired up all morning, like this amazing cookie/muffin. Thank you, thank you for this recipe, Erin!!5 stars

    1. Laura, I am SO happy to hear this! Thanks for trying it and taking time to leave this fabulous review! Your tweaks sound super duper yummy (especially the blueberries!)

  9. Was looking for a healthier alternative to the protein cookies at the gym, these are perfect! I add almonds and walnuts to make it extra nutty and jam instead of maple syrup. Perfect recipe, thank you for introducing me to oat flour!!5 stars

  10. Loved it! Thank you so much!

    I left out the pepitas, raisins and cranberries as I wanted to bring the sugar content down and didn’t have pepitas. Replaced with a small tablet of 70% chocolate (35gr) broken into small pieces. Used 1.5 tsp of honey instead of the maple syrup as it suits my tastes better. This came out not very sweet but that’s exactly what I like  :). 

    Since it had less chunky ingredients, I let it set overnight in the fridge and it came out great! End result is chewy, thick cookies, perfect for breakfast! 

    Thanks again! 5 stars

  11. I think you can add a good amount of protein powder to these. I added 2 full scoops of Orgain vegan vanilla – probably about 6 tablespoons – and they’re still soft and fluffy and yummy. 5 stars

  12. We have been making these cookies for awhile and wanted to share some substitutions. Since we have a peanut allergy we use almond butter. Also to be grain free we have found 1/4 cup coconut and 1/2 cup almond flour does a lovely job and a brief restnis all that is needed since the coconut absorbs so much liquid and the batter can be baked without 4 hours in the fridge. (Like resting about 5 min while i preheat the oven.) Thank you for a great breakfast alternative!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed them, Michelle! Thank you for sharing this kind review and your swaps!

  13. So good. Perfect texture and taste. I’ve put 3 tbsp of maple syrop and I used dates instead of cranberries. I left the batter in the fridge overnight and there were perfect. I will be making them on repeat for sure!5 stars

  14. Proving once again that this recipe is so versatile, I tried it with pumpkin seed butter!

    Bought it as it is nut-free and higher in protein than peanut butter but was a bit anxious about baking with it and then I thought about this recipe!

    It turned out great, quite tasty and moist. Didn’t use any add-ins because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out and what would go well with pumpkin seed butter. If you know of any winning pairings would appreciate it if you could share.

    Thank you!5 stars

  15. I just made these and subbed Buckwheat flour for Oat flour (higher protein and still gluten free). First, they’re fantastic. Second, if you use Buckwheat flour there’s no need to wait before baking. I baked them immediately and they puffed up perfectly and made a nutty, slightly chewy cookie.5 stars

  16. I made them this evening with 2/3 almond flour and 1/3 coconut flour. I used currents, raisins and walnuts. These were all ingredients I had on hand. Mine were not too liquidy and I am busy in the morning so I baked them right away. They look and taste good, like a thick cookie!5 stars

  17. I made those cookies this weekend as part of my weekly meal prep and they are DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe exactly how it is written but I added 1 tablespoon of vanilla protein powder. I also refrigerated the batter over night. The consistency is perfect.
    My husband took one to work today and text me to tell me to keep this recipe! 😊5 stars

    1. Hi! Since I’ve only tested the recipe as directed, I can’t say for certain. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes! You may also enjoy checking out my Healthy Granola Bars.