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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients until combined.
- Stir in the dry ingredients.
- Fold in any mix-ins.
- Chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
- Spoon 1/4 cup portions onto a baking sheet.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven until the cookies feel dry and set on the top.
- Remove from oven and let cool. ENJOY!
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.
- 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
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).
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.
Readers have reported being able to make these protein cookies without eggs by swapping them for the equivalent of two flax eggs.
Oatmeal Protein Cookies
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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