Vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies recipe

A funny thing happens when people start cooking healthful food for family and friends.  They feel the need to announce that fact to everyone before serving it.  “Ok, guys.  Wait until you try this muffin!  It’s made with flaxseeds and almond meal and it has no sugar!  It’s unbelievable!”  Of course everyone else is thinking it’s probably unbelievably bad and unbelievably tasteless.   Or students will come to my class and go home very motivated (a good thing) to overhaul the pantry, the refrigerator and the family diet.  And even though I urge them not to, they feel compelled to sit the family down and tell them how “things are going to change around here!  There will be no more sugar!  Or processed snacks!  Suzy, spit out that gum.  Don’t you know aspartame is the number one food-related complaint to the FDA?”  Unfortunately, despite our well-meaning intentions, this strategy rarely elicits a positive response.

On the other hand, I love being able to share recipes that are delicious, easy, and just so happen to be good for you.  Take these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, for example.  Using a base of walnuts, maple syrup and a touch of coconut oil in place of butter and eggs, these are just darn tasty and not-so-shabby, nutritionally-speaking.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if your school or office allows treats to be brought in, why not make a batch of these?  Like many cookie recipes, you can make the dough several days in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator.  Take it out when you’re ready to bake and scoop it onto your cookie sheets.  You can even freeze the cookies unbaked.  Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet and place the pan in the freezer.  Once the cookies are frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight container and keep them frozen until you’re ready to bake.  Then just place them on a prepared baking sheet directly from the freezer and add another minute or two to the baking time.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Yes, I know it is so very exciting that they are full of fiber and contain no refined sugar.  No animal products either, if that’s important to you.  You can even make them gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.  But no need to go around saying, “OMG!  Try these cookies!  They’re gluten-free and they’re VEEE-GAN!”  Unless your motivation is to discourage any takers and to keep them all for yourself. Hmmmmm……

4.8 from 16 reviews
Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Serves: makes 30 2½-inch cookies
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 12 ounces or 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. *If you need to make oat flour, place 1 ¾ cups rolled oats in a food processor and process until powdery.
  3. Place oat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  4. Place walnuts in a food processor and blend into a fine meal. Add oil, maple syrup and vanilla and process until mixture has the consistency of natural nut butter.
  5. Stir walnut mixture into flour mixture. Fold in 2 cups rolled oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Use a 1 ¾ -inch ice cream scooper to form dough into balls, and place on baking sheets. You can fit 12 on a sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with a damp hand. Bake 13-15 minutes or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry.
  7. Cool a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

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  1. Can I substitute coconut oil with another oil?

    • Yes! You can use an equal amount of olive oil or avocado oil. I’ve been using more olive oil in baking recipes with great success.

  2. Just before you baked them, were you adding salt to the top of each one?

    • Sometimes I add a small pinch of flaky sea salt to the top of chocolate chip cookies before I bake them. Completely optional, but adds an extra flavor boost.

  3. If I want to replace the walnuts what do you suggest? Would peanut butter work?

    • In my new book, Quicker Than Quick, I created a version of this recipe with peanut butter, but’s it’s not a 1-to-1 swap. If you have cashews or pecans at home, you can try either of those or a combo.

  4. These and your peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from QTQ sound amazing! I’ll be making both but want to add brewers yeast because I’m nursing and want to boost my milk supply. Do you recommend adding additional wet ingredients to balance it out?

    • I think it depends on how much you want to add. You might even be able to replace some of the flour with BY, but I have no idea how that would turn out. When you bake the cookies, check on them earlier than the recipe indicates since they may be drier.

  5. Just made these and they are AMAZING!!!! Substituted chocolate for sultanas and they are sooo tasty. Thank you for bringing us this joy!!!

    • Oatmeal-raisin (sultana) is a winner in my book!

  6. These were fantastic! The texture, taste, convenience of freezing a roll and slicing/baking… absolutely loved it and is my new go-to recipe 🙂 I split the batch in 2, making half as chocolate chip and half as oatmeal raisin (for my husband – die-hard fan). He’s pretty quick to question anything remotely healthy but said these were incredible and couldn’t get enough! A super easy and convenient option for both of us to enjoy!

    • So glad they are hubby-approved!

  7. Love these cookies! Can you refrigerate dough overnight before baking? And if so, is it best to refrigerate in a log or in balls? Thanks!

    • Yes, you can! Either way, but when you refrigerate as a log, then you slice and bake and the appearance is a little different.

  8. Hello,
    Just curious if the dough freezes okay? And if so, if there any specific way to freeze it that works the best? I was thinking to mold it into a sausage shape, like they do at the store, but I’m not too sure what to wrap it in? Or maybe form balls of the dough and store in a Tupperware?

    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Oh and my cookies have 5 mins left in the oven so I will rate once they cool and we have our first bite(dough was yummy though!).

    • You got it! The dough freezes great and you can freeze it two ways – in a log wrapped in parchment or plastic wrap OR freeze individual cookie dough balls.

  9. I am looking forward to trying these cookies. I don’t have maple syrup or honey, could I add a little brown sugar or something? I also don’t have a food processor, maybe I will try the blender. Thank you!

    • I fear they will be dry with a dry sweetener, but if you try it, check them in the oven early just in case.

  10. Def delicious! Like many, I’ve been on a baking spree as of late and these were the top of my list. I’m not vegan but I’m so glad these dreamboats came into my life. I only made half a batch, in an effort to curb my climbing carb intake, it didn’t yield a tonne but that’s because I could not. stop. eating. the. dough I used Enjoy Life chocolate mega chunks but next time I think I’ll use the dark chocolate morsels or a mix of those and the semi sweet. I think these cookies would also make for an awesome ice cream sandwich.

    • Would be AWESOME for an ice cream sandwich!!

  11. just made these and they are delish!!!

    • Long-time favorite cookie! Glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

  12. Can I use almonds instead of walnuts? My son is allergic.

    • I haven’t tried the recipe with almonds but I have with raw cashews and pecans and they worked well. Almonds may be a bit gritty although I bet almond flour would work. I just don’t know exactly how much.

  13. I made these after watching you make them on Instagram live. These are amazing!! I only baked 6 cookies and am going to get the rest of the batter in the freezer before I am tempted to bake more. 🙂 The only change I made to the recipe was using 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead of 1 cup. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!

    • Great!!! I like that you made the adjustment with the maple syrup. 🙂

  14. The cookies taste good but mine came out too hard, is there any way to make them a little softer?

    • Just cook them a little less. Your oven likely runs a little hotter than mine. You didn’t happen to bake on the convection setting, did you?

  15. Any way to use less sugar? 1 cup is a heck of a lot to me. I really would like to make these as oatmeal raisin cookies but cant justify eating that much sugar (and ouch on the calorie count!)

    • Sure! Just reduce to whatever amount makes sense to you and you may need to adjust cook time to be a bit less. You’ll have to wing it on the cook time though. Take a peek 5 minutes early.

  16. I made this recipe the exact same as you did, and omg- they are the best vegan cookie I’ve baked, as well as the healthiest. I am very appreciative that you shared this recipe. Lol

    • Yay! I just made these twice this week for my vegan husband, but everyone loves them vegan or not!

      • Could you use spelt flour instead of oat & add oats?

        • Probably!

  17. Hi:) I have steel cut oats in the pantry. Will that work if I blend them in the food processor? Or do they need be rolled? Thank you!

    • Hi Maggie — I suppose you can try to make oat flour from steel cut oats, if that’s what you’re asking. But you can’t turn steel cut oats into flat rolled oats unless you steam and flatten them, which you can’t do! The rolled oats give a nice texture to the cookie, whereas steel cut would just be hard and too crunchy.

  18. I just tried these with a few substitutions – butter for coconut oil, honey for maple syrup (since that is all I had on hand). I made 1:1 substitution for both. But my batter was too wet. It looked nothing like in the pictures above. Even the final cookies were too gooey, sort of like half baked dough. I baked them for around 16 min and didn’t want to go any longer since the top on some of them was starting to burn a little. Any idea what went wrong?

    They did taste very good though.

    • Well, since you didn’t follow the recipe exactly, I have to assume those substitutions do not work here. I have not always been able to substitute butter for coconut oil, so I think that’s to blame. I can guarantee if you follow the recipe as written, you will not have any trouble. The good news is that the batter is vegan so you can eat the cookies even if they are underdone (or raw for that matter.)

  19. Loved these! I didn’t have walnuts so I used 1 cup of pecans and 1 cup of mixed almonds and cashews. Worked perfectly! For those who were asking for an oil-free version I also tried making them a second time and instead of coconut oil I used 1/4 cup of apple sauce. They worked well but I prefer the coconut oil version.

    • Love hearing adaptations of recipes, so thank you, Rebecca! Your comment is helpful for people with a walnut allergy or if folks don’t have walnuts in the pantry. And yes, fat usually works much better in cookie recipes than applesauce for the crispy exterior factor. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Hi! I’ve heard great things about these cookies and can’t wait to make them. Do you have any suggestions for replacing the coconut oil? I try to stay away from oil when cooking but I’m not sure of a good substitute when baking.
    Thank you!

    • I think these would be so dry without the oil. Are you opposed to all fat? I think melted butter would work. Otherwise, maybe substituting almond butter….but I have no idea if that would work.

  21. Wow! Just wow! These cookies are CRAZY good! Like another commentor mentioned, I had come to the conclusion I was never going to have a good cookie again fter going vegan and trying what seems like a million recipes.. Not anymore! You are a cookie genius! Plus, the dough tastes amazing on it’s own.

    • I’m not even vegan and these are my favorite! So happy this cookie recipe can make you happy 🙂

  22. I am a sucker for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and will most definitely be trying this recipe!
    Thanks Pamela

    • They’re a favorite around here!

      • Just made them and they turned out great! I think I’ll also break them up and use as granola in my greek yogurt! Thanks again:)

        • Sounds decadent!

  23. Just made these tonight! So delicious! Thank you for helping me get my sweet fix with a little less guilt. Hubby likes them, too!

    • Yay, success!

  24. This is hands down the best batter I have ever tasted. All four of my family members are in love with the batter – and cookies – we all fight for the batter right out of the bowl and I have to keep them away in order to make any actual cookies. And I feel good about letting them have the cookies at any time of the day – even for breakfast – as they are so healthy and chock full of protein. Yum 🙂

    • I have actually refrigerated raw balls of these — raw cookie dough bites!

  25. These are my go-to allergy-friendly cookies. I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips and the cookies are so good. I keep a stash in my freezer at all times and they go with me to every potluck meal! Thank you!!

    • And I love that I can eat the dough without worrying about getting sick!

      • Haha! I make this dough to keep in the freezer for my teenage daughters and their friends to eat. They think they’re eating “cookie dough” and they have no idea it’s healthy!

    • Love to hear this, thank you! I often use Enjoy Life, as well. 🙂

  26. These are the best cookies I have ever had!! I am not even vegan- I love them my husband and all his friends can’t believe they don’t have refined sugar, eggs or butter!!

    • Thank you for that, Chelsea. I’m not vegan either, but I agree — they’re so good regardless!

  27. These are stone hard, I have to dip them in the tea to soften….. I still have more dough in the fridge, can I “doctor’ it in some way to make them softer?
    (I did follow the recipe exactly…)

    • Hmmm, sounds like they were baked too long. Perhaps your oven runs hotter than mine. Try timing them for less time in the oven and transfer them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack after they have sat for a minute or two. Hope that helps!

      • Yes, I agree. I baked them again today only 10 min, they are delicious! Thank you!

        • Perfect, so glad they turned out well!

  28. Hello – Can you make these without the walnuts or are they in there for a specific reason? Thanks!

    • No, you can’t make this recipe without the walnuts since they provide binding and fat. You can substitute raw cashews and pecans if you want, though.

      • Hi Pamela,
        My daughter is anaphylactic allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. Could I substitute sunflower seeds or pepitas instead?

        • I have not tried this recipe with either, so you’ll be in uncharted territory. Sunflower seeds do contain a compound that reacts with baking soda and will tint the batter green. It’s not toxic, just a weird color. Since pepitas are already green, the cookies will likely be green if you grind those up, too.

  29. Holy Sh-t! These are amazing! Finally a vegan, gluten-free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie that actually tastes GREAT! You’ve made me so happy Pamela. I’d begun to give up hope of ever eating another delicious cookie in my life. I’ve tried so many recipes, so many GF flour combos to no avail. Excuse the above vulgar language but those were truly the first words out of my mouth upon biting into this delicious treat. God bless!

  30. Just making sure that these cookies are not supposed to have baking podwer in them since you mention ‘aluminum free’ baking soda. Thanks!!

    • Thanks for catching that, Sally! No such thing as aluminum-free baking soda. But no baking powder in here. Thanks!

  31. Hello! I am just wondering if you think this could work with cashews in place of the walnuts?

    • Hello! In the comments, I noticed someone used pecans and cashews instead of walnuts, so I think using all cashews should work. I tried the pumpkin version of this cookies with all pecans and it turned out great!

  32. Soooooo delicious!!! Thank you thank you. Have to give them away quick before I devour them all. Just wondering how these are vegan if they have the chocolate chips?

    • You have to buy vegan chocolate chips!

  33. This look delicious… wondering what brand, kind of chocolate chips do you prefer.Sometimes I buy a chocolate Bar of 80% and crush it and add to cookies, but not sure the chocolate chips.

    • I buy whatever is organic, usually Whole Foods brand.

  34. I made these and am in heaven!! So good! Do you happen to know the calorie or fat intake?

    • I’m so glad you like them! Unfortunately, I don’t know the fat or calorie count, but there are so many sites with calorie counters where you can plug in the ingredients and get the info you need.

    • It’s 192 calories per cookie (based on 30 cookies).

  35. Hi Pamela,
    This looks like a great recipe! I don’t really enjoy the flavor of maple, though. Is it a prominent flavor in the cookies once baked? Or is there a healthy alternative you’d suggest trying?

    • Hi Cate, I don’t detect a maple flavor at all here, but your best bet is to use Grade A maple syrup (instead of Grade B) since that has a more subtle maple flavor. I have never tried another sweetener, but if you go for it, maybe go half honey and half Grade A maple syrup. These cookies are fantastic, you have to make them!

      • SO GOOD!!! I went with the grade A maple syrup, light amber. It worked great, delicious without even a hint maple. I think I may need to get the walnuts and oats to a finer powder, but the cookies are amazing. Thanks for your response!

        • Hooray! You can also buy oat flour. My Whole Foods sells small bags of Bob’s Red Mill oat flour and you might even be able to find it in the bulk bins (since it sounds like you’ll want to make these again!)

  36. Best. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies. Ever! I would never have thought of making a base with walnut butter. I try to sneak in walnuts whenever I can since they have omega-3’s in them so this is great. I think I will throw away all my other chocolate chip recipes and just stick with this one from now on. Thank you for creating these delicious treats!

    • You’re so welcome! Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback — it’s very much appreciated! These are hands-down my kids’ favorite cookies 🙂

  37. My son is allergic to nuts, can the walnuts be skipped?

    • Hmmmm, unfortunately, the nuts are pretty critical to this recipe. They actually get pureed with the coconut oil and syrup and take the place of butter and eggs. Sorry!

  38. I made these with spelt flour instead of oat and 1 3/4 cups almond meal instead of walnuts with 1/2 cup dried cherries and 3/4 cups chocolate chips (half bittersweet, half semi sweet). They were delicious! Even my husband, who turned up his nose at them at first, ate three enthusiastically!

    • I’m so grateful for your comment, Alex. I love knowing different ways to go with these recipes. Your version sounds amazing!

  39. Hi Pamela,

    This recipe sounds fantastic. I was wondering if you use oat flour with other recipes in place of all-purpose or whole wheat flour? I have never used/made oat flour, so I am curious.


    • I have successfully used oat flour to make pancakes, waffles, brownies and these cookies (which are scrumptious!). I wouldn’t recommend subbing oat flour for wheat flour in just any recipe, however. Oat flour lacks the gluten that wheat does. If you want to come up with a gluten-free flour blend using oat flour, you would add in some potato starch, tapioca starch and some xanthan gum. Let me know if you would like exact proportions. 🙂

  40. BEST COOKIES EVER! It’s almost like you knew I didn’t have oat flour. Thanks for the quick tip on how to make my own!

  41. Have you considered adding some videos to the article? I think it will really enhance everyones understanding.

  42. These are ridiculously delicious! I have had some very “non-healthy” friends make requests for batches of them and my family just flips over them! Terrific cookie recipe! Yummmm!

    • They’re delicious, I agree! I have also halved the amount of chocolate chips and added dried cherries too — insane.

  43. can u make these without nuts Im out right now and this recipe sounds so good

    • ok never mind I just re read the recipe I have almond flour on the way so will wait till it comes in a few days that should work right?

      • It looks like the comment from Andrea below shows she made them successfully with whole almonds instead of walnuts, but I’m not sure what the quantity would be with almond meal since I haven’t done it myself. Let me know if you give it a try!

  44. BEST COOKIES EVER. PERIOD. And I don’t just mean compared to other “healthy” recipes – these cookies can take on any cookie recipe on the planet and win. My kids are crazy for them and I’ve baked them for all sorts of people around town who are equally smitten. Thanks Pamela!!

    • Awesome, Amanda!! Love your comment 🙂

  45. These might just be the best cookies I have ever made! I made them to bring to a friend as a hostess gift for a brunch tomorrow. I hope we have some left to give!

    • Thanks, Rebecca — we all adore them here, too. Such a nice idea to bring them as a hostess gift!

  46. This is the go to recipe for cookies in our house. We have been making them with 3/4 cups of maple syrup instead of 1 cup. They are still delicious and sweet and I am happy because my kids are getting slightly less sugar!

    • So good to hear that your kids find them sweet enough with less maple syrup. You’re obviously doing something right!

  47. These are SUPER delicious! Everyone who has tried them adores them. And for a dessert, not too shabby.
    I substituted almonds for walnuts, as I didn’t have walnuts. I used raw almonds with the skins on (no time for soaking), and they turned out delicious!

    • People have asked me if almonds would work instead of walnuts and I have always assumed they would, but I have never tried it. Thanks so much for posting!

  48. Wow! I just made these, and I have to admit I was skeptical at first. But…they’re absolutely positively delicious! Just like the store in flavor and texture, but cheaper and better for you. I didn’t have maple syrup (it’s pricey on my grad student budget) so I cheated and used 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a cup of water, I also put in half the chocolate chips and used the mini sized and I added a handful of dried cranberries. It still turned out fabulously!

    I’m gluten free, and this is definitely being added to my list of favorite recipes. I’ll be trying the black bean recipe tomorrow! Thanks so much Pam!

    • Hi Joy, Thanks for sharing how you adapted the recipe to suit you. I’m glad they turned out well! In fact, I think I might try mini-chips and dried cranberries next time — yum!

  49. these look delicious! can’t wait to surprise the kids with these!

  50. FYI we have made 4 batches of these in 2 days up here in mammoth. My son told me tonight this was the best cookie he has ever had.

    • Please tell me your son didn’t eat all 4 batches himself!

  51. I LOVE these cookies!!! I’d been looking for a healthy.. and tasty… oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe without wheat and refined sugar. These are sooo delicious! Thanks Pamela for this fantastic recipe and for listing the option to make oat flour by processing rolled oats in a food processor… they turned out GREAT and are now my favorite cookies 🙂

  52. I’m only 17 and I made these. they are VERY good!!!! I made them for my family and everyones face turned into a smile once they bit into these. outstanding!!!!! a must try

    • Alison-You are only 17 and you are a rock star! I love that you’re already in the kitchen sharing healthful food with your family. Keep cooking! 🙂

  53. The. Best. Cookies. Made them for vegan friends and we all couldn’t believe how good they were! I said “were” because they’re all gone!

  54. Those cookies look so delicious. My family loves oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We are going to make them together for a special Valentine’s Day treat!

  55. These are fantastic! I think you can eat them for breakfast with some cottage cheese. I make batches and then freeze them on a cookie sheet before baking. I put the frozen cookies in a container in the freezer and when we want a fresh cookie, we bake a few and eat them warm. Thank you for this and all the other amazing recipes.

  56. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my very favorite. I can’t wait to try them and report

  57. This truly is one of our favorite recipes in the world! Since Pamela has given us this, we make it all the time and everyone who eats them, loves them! They don’t last long in the Gilderman house. And my kids LOVE coming home to the smell of them baking after school. Thanks Pamela for creating a new family favorite!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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