by Olena

Protein Cookies

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
4.9 from 45 votes

These Protein Cookies contain just 5 ingredients, are naturally sweetened and super simple to prepare! Best of all, this protein cookie recipe is easy to customize to your dietary and flavor requirements!

Other guilt-free treats we love are these chocolate protein cookies and no bake protein cookies. Kids prefer these gluten free chocolate chip cookies though.

stack of protein cookies

Bananas are one of those weekly buys that are so easy to forget about. Sometimes they’re gone within days, and other times it seems like everyone in the house has forgotten they exist, and you have a fruit bowl filled with spotty overripe bananas to deal with.

As much as I love healthy banana bread and banana bread muffins, for all those who want a new way to enjoy their overripe bananas, these protein cookies are the way to go! This is a recipe I’ve been using since 2012! – it’s so versatile and such a crowd-pleaser that it’s in constant rotation at my house along with whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and sugar free cookies.

If you’re interested in following a high protein diet, then you’ve probably noticed the high protein bars and cookies in grocery stores. While they advertise tons of delicious sounding options, they’re usually filled with odd ingredients, lingering aftertastes, and a whopping price tag per cookie!

In comparison, these banana oatmeal cookies are naturally sweetened, use almost entirely normal pantry ingredients, and are more cost-effective due to the cheap ingredients like oats and peanut butter.

Plus, they’re perfect for meal prepping too and enjoying as part of breakfast (no child will complain about that!), a healthy snack, dessert, or addition to lunchboxes. Best of all, each peanut butter protein cookie contains just 92 cal and 6g protein!

bite out of protein cookies

How Do Protein Cookies Taste?

These oatmeal protein cookies are a combination of some of my favorite flavors, combined with protein powder, and wrapped up in a super nutritional cookie-shaped package. They are packed with healthy carbs, fiber, and protein.

They are also naturally gluten free, flour free, egg free, butter and oil free, and even sugar free! Instead, the banana oat cookies rely on the natural sweetness of the super overripe bananas.

Taking a bite into these protein cookies is like eating a comforting bowl of oatmeal in healthy cookie form. Though, if you’re expecting the usual cookie texture, then prepare to be surprised.

The combination of peanut butter, banana, whey protein, and oats yield protein cookies that are dense and chewy. Meanwhile, the lack of sugar means these banana oatmeal cookies don’t have the ‘crisp’ top of traditional cookies made with sugar and butter.

Ingredients for Protein Cookies

  • Bananas: Use overripe bananas for this recipe, as they’re sweeter. Choose bananas with lots of brown spots or almost entirely brown for the best results.
  • Peanut Butter: I prefer to use organic natural peanut butter with no additives; just pesticide free peanuts and salt. However, technically any peanut butter will work.
  • Oats: You can use rolled oats or quick oats. Please do not use steel cut oats. Rolled oats are my preferred option.
  • Protein Powder: I use whey protein powder (non-vegan) – unflavored or vanilla. I recommend using a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably organic and grass-fed. (Check FAQs about plant-based protein powders).
  • Chocolate Chips (OPTIONAL): I like to use either semi-sweet, dark, or even sugar-free chocolate chips. Cacao nibs would also work but won’t add sweetness at all.

If you need these 4-ingredient banana cookies with oatmeal to be gluten free, make sure to use certified gluten free oats and protein powder!

protein cookies ingredients; oats, peanut butter, whey powder, bananas and chocolate chips

Variations

I love how easy it is to adapt these oatmeal protein cookies. The amount needed will vary based on personal preference, but I usually add about ¼ cup of add-ins altogether.

  • Flavored Protein Powder: The easiest way to adapt the flavor of these protein cookies is with flavored protein powder—cookie dough, chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, etc.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin spice, vanilla, ginger, etc.
  • Nuts/Seeds: Add in crushed nuts like pecans, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc. Seeds also work, chia, flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
  • Dried Fruit: Dates, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, sultanas, etc. You could also use fresh citrus zest like lemon, lime, or orange.
  • Fresh fruit or veggies: These can affect the cookies’ texture based on how ‘wet’ they are, so will require experimenting. Mango, apple/pear, raspberries, strawberries, shredded carrot, or zucchini, etc.
  • Sweetener: These protein cookies are naturally very subtle with sweetness. Add a little low GI coconut sugar, maple syrup, date syrup (or honey) for added sweetness.
  • Coconut: A little shredded coconut or flaked coconut will add flavor and texture to the protein powder cookies.
protein oatmeal cookies ingredients in bowl; unmixed

How to Make Protein Cookies

  • Preheat the oven: To 350F/175C, then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or use a silicone baking mat sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Mash the bananas: In a large bowl with a fork. You could also do this in a food processor/blender, but it’s not necessary.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: Add the protein powder, oats, and peanut butter to the bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined. If you’re using them, add chocolate chips (or any add-in) now too.

The oatmeal protein cookie dough consistency should be fairly runny. Depending on the type of oats, peanut butter, ripeness of the bananas, and the protein powder used, this may vary. If you find the batter a little dry, then just add a little milk, one spoonful at a time, until the batter is the correct consistency.

protein powder cookie batter
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking tray: Using a measuring spoon/small scoop for even-sized cookies. The cookies don’t spread, so you can ‘shape’ them now. Use damp fingers to press down the top/shape them, as preferred.
  • Bake the protein cookies: For smaller cookies, they’ll need about 12 minutes. For larger cookies, try 14 minutes.
  • Allow the protein oatmeal cookies to cool: On a cooling rack for a few minutes before enjoying!

You can enjoy these oatmeal protein cookies cold or warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds, first.

Protein Cookies on non stick baking tray

How to Make Ahead and Store

Make Ahead: Prepare the protein cookie dough and freeze it for up to 3 months, then thaw before shaping and baking; you can also pre-scoop and shape the cookies before freezing.

Storing: The baked peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Can I freeze protein cookies? Absolutely. You can freeze these oatmeal protein cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

FAQs

Do I Have to Use Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is an integral part of these healthy banana oatmeal cookies. However, if you’re unable to consume peanut butter, you could try this recipe with almond butter or hazelnut butter. For a nut-free version, sunflower seed butter may work well.
Just note that changing the nut butter will affect the protein levels and flavor.

Can I Use Plant Based Protein Powder?

I’ve tried this protein cookies recipe with several protein powder types, and I’ve never been happy with the plant-powered protein version.
Whey protein is made from cow’s milk, and the way it interacts with the other ingredients creates a runny cookie dough. In comparison, plant-based protein powders can contain very absorbent ingredients like peas, rice, etc., which yields dry cookies. For that reason, I don’t recommend the substitution.
However, if you want to experiment with vegan protein powder, I recommend using ½ the amount, to begin with. You can then naturally boost the protein with additions like chia seeds and other high-protein nuts/seeds.

Why Are My Cookies Gummy?

This could be due to using instant oats/oat flour in the recipe rather than whole oats. If you haven’t thoroughly mashed the banana, that can yield gummy areas within the protein cookies too.

How Many Grams of Protein Is in a Cookie?

This recipe makes 12 small cookies or 10 large cookies. Each peanut butter banana oatmeal cookie contains 6 grams of protein. As well as 11g carbs and 4g sugar.

Can I Use Previously Frozen Bananas?

Just make sure to thaw it before using.

Can I Use Quick Oats?

You can technically – however, there is a caveat. Due to them being more finely milled, they tend to dry out the banana oatmeal cookies, so I avoid them, if possible.

More Tips

  • For those wanting exact nutrient calculations: I suggest plugging this protein cookies recipe into a nutrient calculator yourself as the peanut butter, protein powder, and any add-ins can affect the values.
  • For more protein: You can sub some of the oats for quinoa flakes. I suggest using 2 parts oats to 1 part quinoa flakes (I haven’t tried this).
  • Use protein powder you like: This is critical- it will affect the flavor of the protein cookies a lot, so don’t use protein powder you’ve bought, hated, and are trying to use up (Been there. Done that)
  • If you add dried fruit: It’s a good idea to soak them in boiling water for 1 minute first. This will stop them from burning when baked in the oven.

You might also be interested in this list of 10 banana snacks!

Protein Cookies

Protein Cookies {5 Simple Ingredients}

These Protein Cookies contain just 5 ingredients, are naturally sweetened and super simple to prepare! Best of all, this protein cookie recipe is easy to customize to your dietary and flavor requirements!
4.89 from 45 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 92kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 scoops 60g unflavoured whey protein powder*
  • 1 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter unsalted
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips mini
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or silicone baking mat, and spray with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add whey protein powder, oats and peanut butter; stir well to combine (batter’s consistency will be runny). Add chocolate chips and give a few more stirs.
  • Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheet (cookies don’t spread, so shape them now) and bake for 12-14 minutes (depending on size). Cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    Freeze: For up to 1 month. The best way to defrost protein cookies is in a microwave. That way the moisture and softness is restored.

      Video

      Notes

      • *You can use vanilla whey, just make sure you buy unsweetened one.
      • Can I use plant-based protein powder? It contains very absorbent ingredients like peas, rice, etc., which yields dry cookies. For that reason, I don’t recommend the substitution.However, if you want to experiment with vegan protein powder, I recommend using ½ the amount, to begin with.
      • Can I use previously frozen bananas? Just make sure to thaw it before using.
      • Can I use quick oats? You can technically – however, there is a caveat. Due to them being more finely milled, they tend to dry out the banana oatmeal cookies, so I avoid them, if possible.
      Variations
      • Flavored Protein Powder: The easiest way to adapt the flavor of these protein cookies is with flavored protein powder—cookie dough, chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, etc.
      • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin spice, vanilla, ginger, etc.
      • Nuts/Seeds: Add in crushed nuts like pecans, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc. Seeds also work, chia, flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
      • Dried Fruit: Dates, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, sultanas, etc. You could also use fresh citrus zest like lemon, lime, or orange.
      • Fresh fruit or veggies: These can affect the cookies’ texture based on how ‘wet’ they are, so will require experimenting. Mango, apple/pear, raspberries, strawberries, shredded carrot, or zucchini, etc.
      • Sweetener: These protein cookies are naturally very subtle with sweetness. Add a little low GI coconut sugar, maple syrup, date syrup (or honey) for added sweetness.
      • Coconut: A little shredded coconut or flaked coconut will add flavor and texture to the protein powder cookies.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      145 comments on “Protein Cookies

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      1. 5 stars
        My family loves these. I swapped the chocolate chips for raisins and added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Delicious.

      2. I cannot eat chocolate, I hate peanut butter, and bananas have too much sugar in them. But using oats and whey powder is ideal for my attempt to lose weight. Wondering if courgettes would be a suitable alternative to bananas? And what role does peanut butter play – how to substitute for it?

        1. Hi Kate! You can use any flavor of protein powder. The end taste will vary slightly, but it should be great with vanilla. But make sure you are using WHEY protein powder.

      3. 5 stars
        I used this recipe as a template tonight and added a dash of emulsifiers because there are so few ingredients. I also had to increase all of the ingredients accordingly because I had too many over ripe bananas to use! They did come out like little biscuits (that was what I originally wanted) but definitely softer on the inside not flakey (of course not when you use oats! Lol). I was a little heavy handed on the pb which I think gave it’s richness. If there are a lot of comments about a dry result maybe adjust that measurement. It was great!

      4. 4 stars
        I tried this recipe yesterday and I don’t know what I did wrong, but the cookies turned out like biscuits. They were also very dry and dense. Also I didn’t have the exact ingredients you used in the recipe, so that might of effected it. Anyway it was still delicious!

        1. 5 stars
          These protein cookies were delish! I goofed and left them out overnight. Do I need to throw them away now? I see they were supposed to be refrigerated. Thanks!

        1. These cookies are on a softer side. I’m not sure flour would taste good since it’s not a regular cookie with butter and sugar.

      5. 5 stars
        They taste pretty good, i ended up using chocolate protein powder and no chocolate chips, they came out very well!
        Thanks so much Olena!
        Tip for other people making these; if the mixture is dry add more mashed banana.

      6. 5 stars
        Super yummy! I added a bit of vanilla extract and cinnamon which made it even better. Next time I may add in other spices as well, such as cloves or nutmeg! Thank you for the recipe!

      7. Hi,

        Just like to ask (new in baking and living in Asia).
        when you say “Preheat oven to 350 degrees” is this in farenheit or celcius?

      8. 5 stars
        Simple ingredients, easy to prepare and SO TASTY!! WOW – thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

      9. 5 stars
        These are amazing! I have never commented on a recipe before but just had to for these!

        I used my flavoured Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (only on in the house) and no Choc Chips and these were just so yummy!

        Amazing to find a recipe that works that is sugar free and sweetener free. Just fantastic. My cookies don’t look that appetising but they are just divine! Nice to find a healthy alternative to store bought cookies, as these are just so quick to make in the blender.

      10. 5 stars
        I made these with Bowmar Vegan Banana Nut Bread powder, walnut butter, and chopped walnuts. These cookies are easy, delicious, and good for you. Thank you so much!

      11. 5 stars
        Hi.. already make twice from ur recipe. So simple and yet healthy.. thanks a lot for ur recipe..
        Quick question = 1cup of oatmeal is how many in gram?
        Cause twice making this, but the final result still wet, i’m kindda hard to put it in tray, and doesnt look nice like yours..

      12. 5 stars
        Awesome cookies! I made it with the chocolate protein and doubled up the recipe for 24 cookies!
        My whole family loves it

          1. 4 stars
            I didn’t have all the right ingredients so I had to totally wing it, I just couldn’t wait to try. I used these instructions as a foundation, which was very helpful, so thanks! I used Vanilla Whey protein powder, which has sweeteners in, I believe, porridge oats and Cocoa dark chocolate. I managed 12 cookies at 99 calories! 🙂 Delicious although a little chewy?

      13. 5 stars
        Really good. Added lots, haha. Flax, almond flour, coconut oil, butter (just bits of each) instead of nut butter. Thanks

      14. 5 stars
        Just made this Olena and I can’t thank you enough. Your recipe had it all and the cookies turn out so yummy. I followed the recipe down to the letter (Very easy and practical) and will be sharing these cookies with my neigbors here in Sinaloa, Mexico. I thought I had high nutrtional standards until I read your page. Thanks again and look forward to using more of your recipes.

      15. 5 stars
        These were so good! I added two tbsp of cocoa powder to make it even more chocolaty. Next time I’m going to add walnuts. The texture is more like a brownie cookie. Guilt-free, sweet-tooth fix. ? Thanks!

      16. 4 stars
        I just made these and they turned out better than I expected! I used Isopure unflavoured whey protein powder (just for reference); a nut butter I make myself with pecans, peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds; and added in cinnamon and spice clove to give it more of a “banana bread” kind-of feel. As per another comment Olena left, I used raisins instead of chocolate chips. They came out really nicely. The texture is almost bready, which is interesting, but definitely soft. I find the flavour was definitely from the spices and banana, but I was surprised the whey protein didn’t come through – which I am happy about. I should have added nuts, but I completely forgot when making the mixture. I think the crunch would have made them better. Final note – I love that this doesn’t require a food processor, but rather just a fork, a spoon, a bowl, and some force. Thank you!

      17. Do you think the “2 tbsp peanut butter” could be replaced with cocoa powder as flavoring?
        Would I need to add water?

      18. Hey I can’t eat whey but I made these with beef gelatin protein and it’s a great gluten free dairy free protein alternative (not vegan sadly) which also helps to get the cookie together! Worked really well for me. Love the recipe XXX thanks again

      19. 4 stars
        was a little flavorless but i added more bananas and it tasted amazing! super fast prep time and everyone loved them!

      20. Hi. Some questions
        1. Can I pack these cookies in sealed bags?
        2. How long can they be stored?
        3. Is there another ingredient that I can use as a banana substitute? (I don’t like bananas hahah)
        4. Does it work if I use oatmeal?

        Thank you!!

      21. How did you come up with 6g of protein per cookie?

        If you put 2 scoops or 48g of whey protein in one batch of cookies, and each batch makes 12 cookies, wouldn’t it be 2 grams of protein per cookie?

        Let me know if I’m wrong, or if I miscalculated.

            1. So Misto is just a spray bottle and you can put any of your oil in it. I use avocado or olive. Just not coconut because it is solid. Isn’t it amazing?!

      22. 5 stars
        I use this recipe when I’m craving something sweet. They always come out great and I experiment with lots of different mix-ins and so far every batch has been successful!

        1. You can thin it out with anything until picture like consistency. It should be runny though. What protein powder did you use? Whey or plant-based by mistake? Only reason it wouldn’t be runny. Or not ripe bananas…

      23. Has anyone tried it with an egg instead of peanut butter? Or applesauce instead of peanut butter?

      24. 5 stars
        I’ve made this twice with plant based chocolate protein powder. Tastes great & super easy. I got 15 cookies with large bananas. Might add walnuts next time

      25. 5 stars
        Delicious cookies, that easy to make. Thanks Olena for the recipe, im from Ukraine too(Odessa), next time i try to add some chocolate and raisins, have a nice day!

        1. You are welcome, Sasha!:) Yup, when I’m out of chocolate chips I add pecans and raisins. Which works only for one of my kids but it’s not my problem.:)

      26. 5 stars
        This has become one of my favourites. I add a bit of unsweetened coconut, and a couple pinches of sea salt to counter the bitterness from the stevia in the protein powder I use. Next, I will try using tahini and chocolate protein powder for a chocolate halvah taste

      27. 5 stars
        These cookies are so quick to make and are really good. I like that you don’t add sugar, the bananas add the sweetness and the chocolate chips. I substituted tahini for peanut butter and they were awesome. Kept them in frig for quick high protein snack. Thanks!

          1. I just made them (without the baking powder) and they are amazing! I substituted with PB2 powder and no chocolate for less calories. AMAZING!

      28. How would you recommend changing the recipe around for more protein? Like if I double the protein would I just lessen the oats?

      29. 5 stars
        I made these cookies today and they tasted so good! However, I was wondering if you could recommend a way to make the cookies slightly less dense and softer in the middle. We made 9 cookies and they were relatively thick so this could be why they were so dense. Thank you!

        1. I don’t think it’s possible just because of oats and no white flour with rising agents etc. I mean these are cookies but definitely without many qualities of real cookies. Make them smaller and maybe try adding some baking soda. 🙂

      30. I just came across your recipe. I’m looking forward to trying it. My thought is to use Coach’s Oats, a Costco favorite of ours. Thanks for the recipe! Ttyl 🙂 Walter

      31. Hey there! When you scooped the batter onto the baking sheet, did you press/flatten them or leave them as is? Or should the batter be loose enough that they spread on their own when spooned? Just want to make sure I get the consistency correct before i bake! 🙂

      32. 5 stars
        Awesome recipe! I loved it mostly because how quick it is. I used vanilla isopure protein and PB2 and they turned out great. I will likely do a little less protein powder next time and a slightly shorter cooking time because they were just a touch dry. I also want to add some shredded coconut or maybe some nuts next time 🙂

      33. Hi Olena, what a wonderful website you have 🙂 I dont know how you got it to be low calorie??? when i put the ingredients into my fitness pal the calories tell me its about 140 calories per biscuit 🙁

        1. Hi Stefanie. Thank you! You know, sometimes people enter wrong nutritional info for some ingredients so that could be why. I always check labels of my ingredients and other people’s already entered.

        2. Hey Stefanie, PB2 is a great way to cut calories from the cookies since peanut butter is a large contributor. I followed the recipe exactly with Isopure Vanilla protein powder and two tablespoons of PB2 (mixed with water per instructions) and mine were less than 80 calories per cookie.

      34. 5 stars
        Just made these i used pumpkin spice protein powder added a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice 2 tablespoons of coconuts and I grounded some walnuts and sprinkle them on top it was delicious i would share the photo but it wont let me

      35. 5 stars
        Great recipe, I added a few other ingredients, almond flakes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, I also added some mini marshmallows my clients love them. thank you .

      36. 5 stars
        I made these for my boyfriend who’s into working out and having his daily dose of protein, and he absolutely loved these cookies! He was super shocked when i told him there was 6g of protein in EACH cookie. thanks so much for the recipe 🙂

      37. 5 stars
        These cookies are amazing!!!! I used PC Soy Isolate Protein Powder (unflavoured) as my Whey Protein is chocolate flavoured and these taste absolutely fantastic. Thanks so much for this and all of your amazing recipes.

        1. Really, they worked with soy protein? I tried to follow the recipe with plant-based protein powder and it didn’t work. I ended up adding way more liquid. But I know with whey they are amazing. Glad you liked them!

      38. Hi just looking for a good protein cookie for my teenage son who wants to get in shape.He has a severe peanut butter/nut allergie and all the reciepies call for peanut butter any ideas.Thanks

      39. 5 stars
        We just made them and I absolutely loved these cookies! Great recipe. Just a question, as I might not always have protein powder on me, is there anything that could substitute for it?

        1. Glad you liked the cookies. To answer your question, you probably could replace protein powder with almond flour (ground almonds) or hemp hearts but cookies won’t come out the same. Still good but different texture.

      40. Hi I have read somewhere that whey protein gets destroyed on heating and I just wanted to check if the protein value is accurate and also if 6gm is per cookie or for the entire batch of cookies

      41. Hi. I plan to use sweetend and flavored protein powder with salted peanut butter. That is what I have. Your thoughts?

      42. These sound delicious but unfortunately I HATE bananas! Could I substitute them for anything? Also I was thinking adding flaxseeds to the mix?

      43. 5 stars
        I love this recipe, I changed the peanut butter to PB2 and added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds to give some crunch. Thanks for the recipe

      44. Hi Olena ! I have so much weight to lose & am so happy to have found your blog.
        I love your recipes and your right, dieting & no carbs is not the answer. I also have two kids, I want to lose the weight to be around for them, I also want to teach them how to eat healthy. Thank you, Ellen

        1. Hi Ellen. I’m so glad to hear that. Yes, you should do it for yourself and your family. And to be healthy is actually pretty easy and the best feeling in the world. So, go for it!

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