Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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Remember the chocolate oatmeal cookies you used to eat as a kid? Sometime back, I decided to play around in the kitchen a bit. I came up with these vegan chocolate oatmeal cookies as a much healthier version.

white plate on a wooden table filled with chocolate oatmeal vegan cookies and a white scoop of raw oats in the background.

Made with peanut butter, bananas, applesauce, and oats, these delicious cookies are loaded with fiber and other healthy nutrients. Believe it or not, they are much lower in fat too.

I love the challenge of taking a traditional cookie recipe and tweaking the ingredients for it to become a healthier vegan version just like I did with these dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies and my healthy pumpkin cookies.

chocolate oatmeal cookies on plate with cup of coffee

They go perfectly with a glass of almond milk or some herbal tea or coffee. I vote for curling up with a great book and enjoying them.

You’ll love these vegan cookies because they’re…

  • Healthy
  • Chocolatey
  • Easy to make
  • Oil-free
  • Perfectly sweet

Of course, the main ingredient is oats, and that’s about all the traditional recipe had going for it, but that’s not the case with these cookies.

Those older cookies were laden with butter, white sugar, and milk. But, these are dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free!

How to make chocolate oatmeal cookies

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

These healthy cookies are so easy to make, even the kids can help with them.

Begin by heating the oven to 350°F, and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and to make clean up a breeze.

banana being mashed with potato masher in mixing bowl

Next, mash 2 ripe bananas in a large bowl mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork.

Once the bananas are mashed well, add the applesauce, peanut butter (or PB2 for lower fat), brown sugar (or another sweetener), cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract, and mix well. We have a great unsweetened applesauce recipe if you would like to make your own.

banana, applesauce, cocoa in mixing bowl with whisk

Making your own applesauce

Often I get messages from people who live in countries other than the United States saying that they don’t have apple sauce where they live and asking if they can make their own. The answer is YES!

Making your own applesauce is actually the best way to ensure you are familiar with all the ingredients. To make two cups of applesauce, simply:

  • Core, peel, and slice four apples
  • Steam the slices in a covered pot with enough water to nearly cover the apples for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  • Turn the apples into a sauce by pureeing with an immersion blender or a high-speed blender.

You will only need 1/4 cup of the applesauce for this recipe, so you can save the rest to snack on or add to other recipes like my Banana Oatmeal Pancakes.

oats in chocolate batter for cookies in large bowl

Next, in the recipe, add the old-fashioned oats to the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.

Then, drop rounded spoonfuls of the batter onto a prepared baking sheet and gently press with a fork to flatten a bit. I use the fork to help round up the edges a bit as well.

oatmeal cookies on baking sheet

Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve and enjoy!

These cookies are loaded with chocolatey flavor and will bring back childhood memories!

*Originally published November 2017.

  • Q: Are these cookies gluten-free? Yes, oats and all other ingredients are naturally gluten-free. Just make sure when purchasing the oats that they are guaranteed not to have gluten from contamination of other products in the producer’s facility.
  • Q: Can I use date paste or another sweetener? Yes, date paste at a ratio of 1:1 or other sweeteners should work just fine in this recipe.
  • Q: Are the cookies hard or gooey? These chocolate oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy and absolutely delicious.
  • Q: Can I make them without peanut butter? Absolutely. The peanut butter can be left out. If the batter needs a little more moisture, just add an additional tablespoon of applesauce.
  • Q: What if I can’t find applesauce? No problem. I’ve included instructions for how to make your own applesauce in the recipe above.
vegan oatmeal cookies on white plate with almond milk

More plant-based desserts

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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white plate with chocolate oatmeal cookies,scoop with oats in background
4.43 from 63 votes

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Remember the chocolate oatmeal cookies you used to eat as a kid? Sometime back, I decided to play around in the kitchen a bit. These chocolate oatmeal cookies are what I came up with as a much healthier version.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 2 whole bananas very ripe
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter or prepared PB2
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or date paste or other sweetener, more if you like very sweet
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Begin by heating the oven to 350°F, and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking and to make cleanup a breeze.
  • Next, mash 2 ripe bananas in a large bowl mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork.
  • Once the bananas are mashed well, add the applesauce, peanut butter (or PB2 for lower fat), brown sugar (or another sweetener), cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract, and mix well.
  • I've included instructions for how to make your own applesauce above for those that might not have access to it in their area.
  • Next, in the recipe, add the old-fashioned oats to the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Then, drop rounded spoonfuls of the batter onto a prepared baking sheet then gently press with a fork to flatten a bit. I use the fork to help round up the edges a bit as well.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
Your questions answered:
  • Q: Are these cookies gluten-free? Yes, oats and all other ingredients are naturally gluten-free. Just make sure when purchasing the oats that they are guaranteed not to have gluten from contamination of other products in the producer’s facility.
  • Q: Can I use date paste or another sweetener? Yes, date paste at a ratio of 1:1 or other sweeteners should work just fine in this recipe.
  • Q: Are the cookies hard or gooey? These chocolate oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy and absolutely delicious.
  • Q: Can I make them without peanut butter? Absolutely. The peanut butter can be left out. If the batter needs a little more moisture, just add an additional tablespoon of applesauce.
  • Q: What if I can’t find applesauce? No problem. I’ve included instructions for how to make your own applesauce in the recipe above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 46mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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22 Comments

  1. Just tried making these and I LOVE THEM!!! I did not have date paste so I took the pitted dates I had and put them in a food processor and it worked great. I also added walnuts and pecans because I love cookies with nuts. The only thing I was wondering is the batch is more than I will eat in a couple of weeks or even a month so can these be frozen and if so for how long. Has anyone tried this and is it safe?

  2. These cookies were soo delicious. I did use quick oats in the recipe. They remind me of the no bake cookies which are delicious but full of unhealthy ingredients. Ty Terri for this recipe! 👍

  3. Im allergic to bananas. What else could I use as a substitute that wouldnt alter the taste to much? Thanks in advance.

  4. I would like to use dates instead of the sugar and agave. I’d puree then with the fruit. How many medjul dates would you use?

  5. Terri, if I were to leave the peanut butter out, would I need to replace it with anything or do you think the recipe would be fine without it? We’re Esselstyn diet/lifestyle here so no nuts. I love your recipes!

    1. Bunny, to replace the peanut butter, I would try some date paste. They should still turn out very good. Hope you enjoy them!

  6. Hi there, I am excited about this recipe. I wanted to let you know that you have applesauce listed for ingredients and bananas listed in the directions. Thank you for sharing your recipes!!!!

    1. Thanks for letting me know. Somehow that was deleted before publishing, but I’ve corrected it now. The recipe takes 2 bananas. Enjoy!

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