No one has ever accused me of being a fast mover. I’ve been trying to be more productive in the morning, but no matter how early I set my alarm, I still don’t settle in until almost an hour after I wake up. Considering my work wardrobe (leggings) and my commute (one floor), that pace is pretty embarrassing. In an effort to make the most of the wee hours—if I’m hauling myself out of bed before the sun, I want to make them worth it—I’ve been turning toward timesaving, ready-made breakfast recipes like today’s Protein Cookies.

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

What am I doing for the first hour of my day, when it’s just myself and the pooch awake in our house? NO IDEA. Scrolling through my phone while contemplatively brushing my teeth no doubt slows things down. I also catch myself staring out the window at…I’m not sure what, but I’d like to assume that I’m thinking deep thoughts while doing so. Never mind that I can’t usually remember them.

As much as I love the ritual and routine of preparing and sitting down to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, sometimes (i.e., Monday through Friday), a girl just needs to bust through her to-do list. That’s where having a healthy breakfast on hand, such as these Protein Cookies, can be your BFF. No matter how big of a rush you are in, or how much time you’ve already piddled, your breakfast is ready the moment you are.

High Protein Breakfast Cookies – peanut butter, banana, oatmeal. Add chocolate chips or any of your favorite mix-ins! Easy, healthy, gluten free. Recipe at | @wellplated

About This Peanut Butter Protein Cookies Recipe

Cookies for breakfast? Yes! These 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. They’re simple to make, freezer friendly, and infinitely adaptable.

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. 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.

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies with banana, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal. Add chocolate chips or any of your favorite mix-ins! Easy and gluten free. Recipe at | @wellplated

These Protein Cookies pack 6 grams of protein per cookie, which is quite remarkable considering that they are made without the addition of protein powder. 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 Protein Cookies turned out.

Instead of using protein powder, I focused on including a variety of naturally high-protein ingredients, including oats, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and nut butter. I opted for a peanut butter protein cookie recipe, but you could easily replace it with another nut butter you prefer or have on hand.

Recipe Adaptations

This peanut butter 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. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Protein Cookies with Dried Fruit. I love the combo of dried cranberries and raisins because they are pleasantly chewy and not too sweet.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Banana Peanut Butter Protein Cookies – NO protein powder required! Easy, healthy, gluten free, and perfect for quick breakfasts and workout snacks. Recipe at | @wellplated

One final plug for these Protein Cookies: they are EASY! I shared a test batch with Ben’s mom, and she loved them so much that she’s made them every week since. One evening when she didn’t have time to prepare them, Ben’s dad baked them on her behalf. Since the kitchen appliance Ben’s dad uses most is his barbecue grill, I am solidly convinced that this protein cookie recipe is suitable for bakers of all levels.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

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

Protein Cookies

4.93 from 13 votes
Easy Peanut Butter Protein Cookies. 6g protein, NO protein powder required! Flourless, naturally sweetened, and perfect for healthy breakfasts and snacks.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins

Servings: 12 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.


  • *As written, these cookies are not super sweet. If you desire a sweeter cookie, add 1 tablespoon additional maple syrup.
  • **To make your own oat flour, pulse 3/4 cup oats in a food processor until they are well ground.
  • ***I found that 4 hours 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.
  • 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.
  • Store leftover cookies at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.


Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 165mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8g

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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 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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  1. These look amazing! I wanted to also say once more how phenomenal your almond flour cake with lemon is. The whole family loved it, even the pickier eaters. Despite it being gluten free, which they sometimes are skeptical of, we all agreed it was perfect and did not taste gluten free. It will now be my staple dessert!

    1. Thanks, Kori! I’m so glad to hear you and the family enjoyed the almond cake! Thanks for reporting back. :)

  2. 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:

  3. Yummy! These look so delicious. I love cookies with mashed bananas in them! It gives them such a good texture. :-)

      1. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!4 stars

  9. 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

  10. 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!)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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