Homemade vegan protein cookies are a healthier, more affordable alternative to store-bought protein cookies and bars. With pea protein powder, cocoa, and unrefined sweeteners, you'll love how naturally wholesome these are! Each 125 calorie cookie contains almost 9 grams of plant-based protein.
Why You'll Love Homemade Protein Cookies!
My husband is (or was) a fan of those Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookies. So I set out to create a healthier, more affordable option, and I have to say, mission accomplished!
Since my vegan protein cookies don't contain enriched wheat flour, palm oil, gums, or lots of refined sugar, they don't taste exactly like any of the Lenny & Larry's cookie flavors, but honestly I think they taste better!
These protein cookies taste like real food. They're moist from mashed banana, lightly chocolatey, not overly sweet, and thanks to peanut butter and pure pea protein powder, they're very satisfying.
And these contain almost twice as much protein as Lenny & Larry's!
Flavor-wise these remind us of my Oil-Free Banana Brownies, which are one of my most popular healthy dessert recipes. The combination of cocoa and banana is just too scrumptious.
So how do these stack up nutrition-wise? Let's take a look...
Protein Cookie Nutrition Facts
Half of a Lenny & Larry's Complete Cookie is considered 1 serving, and per serving they contain:
- 210 calories
- 6 grams fat (3 grams saturated)
- 8 grams protein
- 30 grams carbohydrate
- 12 grams sugar
For comparison's sake, let's call two of my Vegan Protein Cookies a serving because that's similar to the number of calories in half of a Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookie.
Per 2 cookies, these contain:
- 257 calories
- 10 grams fat (2 grams saturated)
- 17 grams protein!
- 30 grams carbohydrate
- 17 grams sugar
Of course, we all know that macros don't tell us whether a food is healthy or not. It's about so much more than that.
But I wanted to highlight exactly how much protein these cookies contain since there are a lot of athletes, bodybuilders, etc, who make an effort to take in more protein than us average folks.
I would certainly rather eat these 9-ingredient wholesome cookies that DON'T contain all of the unwanted stuff but have TWICE as much protein. Feels like a win, right?
To create a delicious cookie that didn't need a lot of added sugar, I decided to use ripe bananas as the base of the recipe. So in case you're curious about substitutions, I haven't tested these any other way than with banana.
I did make a completely different version one day with almond flour and applesauce, and they had potential! But we really enjoy the flavor bananas bring to the recipe, so they won out in the end.
If you experiment with a different combination, let us know in the comments below!
- 2 very ripe bananas - the sweeter and more fragrant the bananas are the tastier the cookies will be.
- peanut butter - substitute another nut or seed butter, if needed
- coconut sugar - or other granulated sweetener such as cane sugar, date sugar, or brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- pea protein powder - I use Anthony's brand unsweetened pea protein. If you choose a sweetened, flavored protein powder you can reduce the amount of sugar slightly, and add a few more oats or other dry ingredient to compensate.
- oats - regular, old fashioned rolled oats add fiber and complex carbs and make these cookies even more satisfying.
- cocoa powder
- baking powder
- mini or regular chocolate chips - these are optional but do taste great; Enjoy Life brand makes vegan, allergy-friendly mini chocolate chips
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Protein Cookies
- First, peel and mash the bananas. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the pea protein powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, and oats. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Scoop up approximately 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. If you have a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop that makes it easy. Just put two scoops of dough in your palm, squeeze them together, and roll it into a smooth ball.
- Gently flatten each cookie into shape, then use a fork to flatten them even more and create a criss-cross pattern on top.
- Bake the cookies in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes.
And that's it! You just made delicious, healthy protein cookies that you can snack on all week long.
- other protein powders - instead of plain pea protein, use your favorite sweetened protein powder (we love vanilla), and reduce the sugar. With less sugar if the dough is too wet, mix in more oats, cocoa, or a spoonful of any flour.
- other nut/seed butters - Instead of peanut butter try almond butter or tahini, or use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- peanut butter protein cookie - replace the cocoa with powdered peanut butter (like PB2).
- additions - instead of chocolate chips try dried cranberries, currants, raisins, or chopped nuts.
How to Store and Freeze
Store protein cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Since these are a somewhat moist cookie, I like to keep them refrigerated just to be on the safe side. Of course they're fine at room temperature for the day if you're taking them with you to work, school, a hike, or out while running errands.
You can also freeze protein cookies. They will harden in the freezer, so be sure to allow time for them to thaw.
Ways to Use Pea Protein
Now that you have pea protein powder on hand, you might be curious about other ways to use it.
Unflavored and unsweetened pea protein is actually very versatile and neutral in flavor. It can be incorporated into many different recipes like smoothies, overnight oats, and baked treats like these cookies.
I hope you enjoy these vegan protein cookies as much as we do! If you try the recipe please leave a comment and a star rating below to let us know how they turned out!
Vegan Protein Cookies
- 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 medium-large bananas) - They should have a lot of spots and smell very sweet.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter, salted - If using unsalted peanut butter, add ¼ tsp fine sea salt.
- ¾ cup pea protein powder, plain/unsweetened
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup mini vegan chocolate chips (see Notes) - Check for allergens, as needed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place bananas in a mixing bowl, and mash with a fork. Whisk in the vanilla, coconut sugar, and peanut butter.
- In a medium-size bowl whisk together the pea protein, cocoa, baking powder, and oats. If using unsalted peanut butter be sure to also add about ¼ tsp fine sea salt.
- Pour dry ingredients into wet, and stir to combine. The dough will be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Scoop up a scant 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Using a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop works well. Just put two scoops of dough in your palm, squeeze them together, and roll into a smooth ball. Use your palms to gently flatten each cookie into a thick patty shape. Place on the baking sheet. Use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the cookies, further flattening them into a cookie shape.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the bottoms are golden. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before storing.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.