The absolute best protein cookies you’ll ever taste! Made with peanut butter, oats, & chocolate. Stay healthy while still indulging!

Protein cookies on a wire cooling rack.

It’s a brand new year, yay!

I hope you had an amazing holiday season. And if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you probably indulged (maybe overly so?) in some delicious treats. At my house we were all about comfort food recipes like cinnamon rolls, chocolate mug cakes, and cream of mushroom soup with homemade ciabatta bread for dipping.

It was heaven. But after a little while you start feeling the effects, kwim?

Maybe you need a reset? Maybe you’ve got some health or fitness goals for the new year?

I’ve got your back, fam!

Now if you are a regular reader here, then you know I’m not exactly known for sharing healthy recipes. But I have to tell you: this past spring my 15-year-old son decided to take his health really seriously. He was able to lose 35 pounds and then bulk back up with pure muscle. He was a machine! So dedicated to working out and eating right. #proudmama

High-protein foods were a huge factor in his success. He almost didn’t eat anything that wasn’t high in protein!

So I came up with this protein cookie recipe for him.

And you know what? It tasted so stinkin’ good that I’d put it up against any other cookie recipe out there, healthy or otherwise!

I’m a giver. So here it is! Read on, and enjoy!

Healthy protein cookie recipe, baked and stacked on a wire cooling rack.

WHAT ARE PROTEIN COOKIES?

Protein cookies are basically just a healthier cookie recipe that’s made with additional protein added.

Protein is really good for building muscle, and for added bulk in your diet, without a lot of carbs or fat.

My son keeps this brand of protein powder in our cupboard: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey. And I chose the Double Rich Chocolate flavor, but any flavor will work just fine!

Because of all the protein in this recipe, these cookies will really fill you up! And they keep you feeling full for a long time.

DO PROTEIN COOKIES TASTE GOOD?

Let me be absolutely clear: I do not eat things that don’t taste really, really good. Especially if we are talking about cookies.

Honestly, I’d rather completely deprive myself of treats altogether, than eat something that’s just meh. It’s just not worth the calories for me.

These protein cookies taste good. Really good!

I enjoy these just as much as any other cookie recipe I’ve shared on this site. And I’ve shared a lot of cookie recipes!

Now, these do include real sugar (although it’s a decreased amount) and chocolate chips (which are optional), so there may be healthier versions out there. But these protein cookies are so dang tasty I would eat them even if I wasn’t trying to be healthy. So there.

Protein cookie with peanut butter, oats, and chocolate.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

You are going to love how easy it is to make this protein cookie recipe! It really is just a dump-and-stir situation. Couldn’t be simpler!

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. Peanut Butter (<--Click the link to see the kind I use)
  2. Protein Powder (I used this brand in this flavor)
  3. Brown Sugar (I used light brown sugar but dark would work equally well)
  4. Eggs
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Salt, and
  7. Chocolate Chips (which are an optional add-in)

Ingredients for making protein cookies, measured into small bowls.

Place all these ingredients into a large bowl.

Ingredients for making protein cookies, measured and placed in a large mixing bowl.

Then mix them up until combined! I like to use a silicone spatula for this step.

Protein cookie dough with chocolate chips added.

Fold in the chocolate chips, if you choose to use them.

You could also add in dried fruit and/or nuts to give these cookies some added texture!

Scooping out protein cookie dough with a 1.5-tablespoon scoop.

Portion out your dough into balls. I like to use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, but you can use any size you like! Just keep in mind that bigger or smaller cookies could need longer or shorter bake times, and it will also impact the number of cookies you get in a batch.

Unbaked protein cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them slightly. These cookies will not spread much in the oven, so keep that in mind.

Bake the cookies until they feel set around the edges but still very soft towards the middle. Remember that they will continue to cook for a few minutes, even after they’re removed from the oven. This is called “carry-over cooking,” and if you don’t account for it then your cookies could end up dry.

The cookies will be extremely tender while still warm. If you don’t allow them to cool on the baking sheet first, they may fall apart when you try to transfer them.

Once fully cooled, the cookies will be soft, tender, a little bit crumbly, and moist. YUM!

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Are protein cookies healthy? That can mean a lot of different things to different people. So I’ll leave it to you to be the ultimate judge. There are plenty of specifics in the nutritional label below. You’ll find it in the recipe card.

I will say that these are definitely higher in muscle-building protein and lower in sugar and carbs than your traditional peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. And the oatmeal provides fiber, bulk and added nutrients. Which I consider a pretty good thing, especially for a treat that tastes so indulgent!

All that said, if you have an allergy or intolerance you may need to make some subs. Here’s a little more info on that:

  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free. Just be sure to use gluten-free oatmeal.
  • Diabetic-Friendly or Keto: If you have a favorite brown sugar substitute that can swap 1:1 for regular brown sugar, that would be a great way to make these sugar-free.
  • Egg-Free: I have not tested this personally so I can’t vouch for how well it would work, but if you need an egg-free version, try using a flax or chia seed egg. For this recipe, that would be 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds, mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and allowed to sit until gelled (approx. 5 minutes).
  • Dairy-Free and/or Vegan: These cookies do not have any added dairy, but if you need them to be dairy-free you’ll want to steer clear of whey-based protein powder. Look specifically for dairy-free protein powder. And make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • Nut-Free: The most incredible tasting substitute for nut butter is sunflower seed butter! I recommend it highly!

HOW TO STORE

Once they are completely cool, transfer these cookies to an airtight container. They should last around a week or so.

You can also freeze them! Baked protein cookies will last several months in the freezer if wrapped tightly.

The unbaked dough can be scooped and transferred from a tray to a zip-top bag once fully frozen. It will keep in the freezer for about 8 weeks.

Frozen cookie dough can go straight from the freezer to the oven, so these are great for when that unexpected craving strikes!

Easy protien cookies cooling on a wire rack.

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5 from 2 votes
Protein cookies on a wire cooling rack.
Scrumptious Protein Cookies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

The absolute best protein cookies you'll ever taste! Made with peanut butter, oats, & chocolate. Stay healthy while still indulging!

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: protein cookie, protein cookie recipe, protein cookies, protien cookies
Servings: 15 3-inch cookies
Calories: 189 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.

  2. Place the peanut butter, protein powder, brown sugar, oatmeal, egg, egg yolk, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir together until combined.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.

  4. Scoop the dough into balls, place on the prepared baking sheets, and flatten slightly.

  5. Bake until set around the edges but still quite soft in the centers (approx. 8 to 10 minutes).

  6. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional info includes chocolate chips.

Nutrition Facts
Scrumptious Protein Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 168mg7%
Potassium 128mg4%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 56IU1%
Vitamin C 0.04mg0%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.