This Protein Cookies Recipe is easy to make in one bowl with only 5 ingredients. They are soft, chewy, packed with 6 grams of protein and have no added sugar.

Other high protein treats we love include these cottage cheese cookies and no bake protein cookies.

Stack of protein cookies on a cooling rack.

These protein cookies are such a versatile crowd pleaser, I have been making them since 2012.

You’ve probably noticed the abundance of protein cookies flooding grocery stores aisles. While they advertise tons of delicious sounding options, they’re filled with weird ingredients, aftertaste, and a hefty price tag!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • High in protein: Each protein cookie recipe contains just 92 calories and 6 grams of protein.
  • Easy to make: All you need is a one bowl and 5 simple ingredients.
  • Saves money: This protein cookies recipe uses everyday pantry ingredients that are affordable.
  • Tastes delicious: Of course they won’t taste like regular cookies but they taste delicious!
  • Perfect for meal prep: It’s a perfect grab-and-go meal for healthy breakfast, post-workout snack, healthy dessert, or as an addition to lunchboxes.

Ingredients for Protein Cookies

Here is the breakdown of 5 simple ingredients you will need to make these protein cookies.

Oats, peanut butter, whey protein powder, bananas and chocolate chips.
  • Bananas: Use overripe bananas as they’re sweeter. Choose bananas with lots of brown spots or almost entirely brown for the best results. Here is a quick tutorial how to ripen bananas faster.
  • Peanut butter: I prefer to use organic smooth peanut butter with no salt or other additives added. However, any peanut butter, including crunchy peanut butter, will work.
  • Oats: I recommend to use only rolled oats or old-fashioned oats. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you or some you cook for has celiac disease.
  • Protein powder: I use unflavored whey protein powder (this one is pretty close to the one I have pictured) or vanilla whey protein powder. I recommend using a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably organic and grass-fed.
  • Chocolate chips: While optional, I love their addition to cookies. You can use semi-sweet, dark, or even sugar free chocolate chips like Lily’s. I like to use mini ones for more even distribution.

How to Make Protein Cookies

Here is a quick overview how to make protein cookies. They are so simple to whip up in less than 20 minutes! You can also find full recipe card below.

Step by step process how to make protein cookies.
  • Mash bananas: In a large bowl, add peeled bananas and mash with a fork.
  • Make the dough: Add the protein powder, oats, peanut butter and mix well until thoroughly combined. The dough consistency should be fairly runny and will depend on the type of oats, peanut butter and ripeness of bananas used.
  • Add chocolate chips: If you’re using them, add now and stir.
  • Shape and bake the cookies: Use a measuring cup or small scoop for even-sized cookies. Protein cookies don’t spread, so you can shape them now. For smaller cookies, bake for 12 minutes. For larger cookies, try 14 minutes.

Recipe Tip

Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes before enjoying.

What Is the Best Protein Powder to Use?

While some recipes, like these protein bars, work better with plant based protein powder, you have to use whey protein powder in this protein cookie recipe. Vegan protein powders contain very absorbent ingredients like peas, rice, which leads to dry cookie results.

I recommend using a whey protein powder like this one from Organic 17 or Levels. I prefer plain protein powder not to overpower the flavor of cookies, but flavored protein powder also works. Just know your cookies will be sweeter and sugar count may change.

  • Don’t use quick oats: Technically quick oats will work in this protein oatmeal cookies recipe but because they are more finely milled, they tend to dry out the cookies. I avoid them, if possible.
  • Frozen bananas: This cookie recipe is a great way to use up old bananas. Just be sure to thaw them first.
  • Use whey protein powder you like: This is critical as it will affect the flavor of the cookies a lot, so don’t use protein powder you’ve bought, didn’t like, and are trying to use up. Been there, done that.
  • Don’t over bake the cookies: They continue to cook and will firm up while cooling down. Baking cookies for too long results in dry cookies.
A stack of protein cookies with the top one missing a bite.

Variations

  • Flavored protein powder: The easiest way to adapt the flavor of these protein cookies is with flavored protein powder like chocolate protein powder. Substitute 1:1 with unflavored protein.
  • Cacao nibs: For true no added sugar cookies, add 3-4 tablespoons of cacao nibs. They will add crunch but not sweetness.
  • Spices: Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, or ground ginger.
  • Nuts or seeds: Add in 2-3 tablespoons of crushed nuts like pecans, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Dried fruit: Add 2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped dried dates, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, or apricot.
  • Citrus: You can use fresh citrus zest like lemon, lime, or orange zest.
  • Coconut: 1-2 tablespoons of shredded coconut flakes will add flavor and texture. You can also toast them for extra layer of flavor.

How to Store and Freeze

Store: You can keep baked protein powder cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can enjoy them cold or warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds.

Freeze: Bake and cool cookies completely to avoid them becoming soggy from trapped extra moisture inside the container. Then transfer cookies to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

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.

FAQs

Are protein cookies good for you?

While many popular brands like Quest or Lenny and Larry’s might claim to be healthy, on closer inspection you may see that they are also filled with sugar, processed oil and less than desirable ingredients.

By making your own cookies with protein powder at home, you have complete control over the ingredients. These cookies are packed with whole foods, clean ingredients and contain only 11 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat and 4 grams of sugar.

What can I substitute for the peanut butter?

Peanut butter is an integral part of these protein cookies. However, if you’re unable to consume peanut butter, you could try this recipe with other nut butter like almond butter or cashew butter. Also tahini or sunflower seed butter is an option too. A few readers have successfully used PB2 powder instead but I haven’t tried.

What can I use instead of bananas?

Unfortunately nothing I am aware of. Bananas are an integral part of this recipe. Any extract like orange or lemon extract will help mask their flavor though.

How can I use a plant based protein powder in this recipe?

First, I don’t recommend this substitution due to these powders being too absorbent. However, if you want to experiment with vegan protein powder, I recommend using 1/2 the amount, to begin with. You can then naturally boost the protein with additions like chia seeds and other high-protein nuts or seeds.

More Protein Recipes to Try

A stack of seven protein cookies with chocolate chips. Top one has a bite taken out showing texture.
A stack of healthy high protein oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.

Protein Cookies

This Protein Cookies Recipe is easy to make in one bowl with only 5 ingredients. They are soft, chewy, packed with 6 grams of protein and have no added sugar.
4.94 from 128 votes
Servings 12 cookies
Calories 92
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients  

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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.
  • Flavored protein powders: You can use vanilla whey, just make sure you buy unsweetened one.
  • Can I use plant-based protein powder? No. It contains very absorbent ingredients like peas, rice, which yields dry cookies. For that reason, I don’t recommend the substitution.
  • Can I use previously frozen bananas? Yes. Just make sure to thaw them before using.
  • Can I use quick oats? You can technically, however due to them being more finely milled, they tend to dry out the cookies, so I avoid them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We were so addicted to making these that we went a little further.
    We mixed the bananas & peanut butter with a hand mixer then used chocolate protein powder and doubled the chocolate chips.
    Devine. Thanks so much for the original recipe 💚

  2. 4 stars
    My mom loves these and the flavor is great but like is see in other comments, I can’t enjoy them because of how dry they are. What can I add to make it less dry?

    1. Try to bake them for less time, all ovens vary and your oven may run hotter. I can’t recommend to add anything without retesting. I think baking for less time will help!

4.94 from 128 votes (37 ratings without comment)

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