Healthy-ish Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Healthyish Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, a simple allergen-friendly plant-based oatmeal cookie with vegan dark chocolate chips, ground flax, and chia seeds — with no oil and very little added sugar. The perfect easy vegan oatmeal chocolate cookie!
Does vegan baking scare you? Before adopting a plant-based diet, we had a lot of perceived obstacles that would make transitioning to a vegan diet hard, with one of the biggest being if we would ever eat baked goods again (hint: we can…and do. Often). That's why we're super excited to share this Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, which has quickly become one of our favorite simple treats to whip up when our sweet tooth hits.
👉 Here are three reasons why you need to bake up a batch of these vegan-friendly chocolate chip cookies:
- They're healthy(ish). The dietitian in us had to make these a bit healthier by keeping the added sugar content low and adding fiber-filled ingredients like rolled oats, chia seeds, and flax.
- They're super tasty. Using dark chocolate chips makes cookies extra rich and delicious! With the added nutty flavor from the oats, these are sure to be your new favorite dessert or sweet snack.
- They're plant-based. Who knew that vegan baking is actually quite simple? Animal based-ingredients like eggs and dairy can easily be replaced with vegan binders like flax and chia seeds. Which is exactly what we did with these chocolate chip cookies!
Ready for this super simple, oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free oatmeal cookie recipe with dark chocolate chips? Let's do it!
Our plant-based oatmeal chocolate chip cookies feature classic cookie ingredients, with a few egg and dairy substitutes. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Flax egg: to make this recipe vegan, we replaced the egg with a flax egg, which is a simple mixture of ground flaxseeds and room temperature water.
- Vegan butter: gives the cookies a moist, tender texture.
- Dark chocolate chips: the key ingredient! We love how rich that dark chocolate is, not to mention the antioxidants and health benefits that it provides.
- Chia seeds: brings some extra crunch to the cookies, as well as healthy fat, protein, and fiber.
- Vanilla extract: adds flavor.
- Brown sugar: light brown sugar adds some extra sweetness to this tasty dessert.
- Flour: you'll need 1 cup of all-purpose flour to help hold the cookies together.
- Baking soda and salt: these ingredients help make the cookies extra soft and also enhance the flavors.
- Recommended tools: glass mixing bowls, mixing spoon, cookie sheet, spatula
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with recycled parchment paper to prepare it for baking the oatmeal cookies.
2️⃣ Step Two: Make the flax egg + mix wet ingredients
Next, you will make the egg replacement and get the wet ingredients ready for the batter.
👉 How to make a flax egg: In a medium bowl, mix together ground flaxseed meal and room temperature water. Add chia seeds and let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. This is your egg-free binder!
Then, add the melted vegan butter (or coconut oil, if using), vanilla extract, and brown sugar. Whisk together until well combined.
3️⃣ Step Three: Mix dry ingredients
In a separate large mixing bowl, add rolled oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the ingredients together until well combined.
Now for the best part! Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. The cookie batter should be thick, wet, and hold together well, not runny. If needed, add a bit more rolled oats or water until you reach your desired consistency.
Finally, fold in chocolate chips and mix until well dispersed throughout the batter.
Once the batter is ready, place it in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to cool. This will help produce a thick and chewier cookie, and allows the ingredients to stay sticky when baked. You can skip this step and simply bake the cookies, but it will result in a thinner and crispy cookie.
Once the batter is cooled, use a spoon or scoop to place the batter on the cookie sheet.
👉 Baking tip! Vegan cookies don't spread, so shape them before baking. Form cookies into the shape you'd like because this recipe uses a very thick batter. We personally like a thick and chewy cookie so we leave our batter heaps thick, but if you like a thinner and crispier cookie, flatten them a bit so they're thinner to start.
Finally, it's time to bake the cookies! Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. If the cookies are still very soft on the sides when touched with a fork, bake for another 1-2 minutes.
Note that slightly under-baking is suggested as the cookies will continue to harden once removed from the oven.
Once you take the baking sheet out of the oven, let the cookies cool directly on the cookie sheet to allow them to cool and hold together.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
To make these vegan chocolate chip cookies gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flours like oat flour, almond flour, etc. You may need to adjust the amount of either your gluten-free flours or rolled oats to get the thick batter, as not all flours mix at the same consistency.
Yes! Because we suggest chilling the vegan cookie dough batter, this is a great make-ahead cookie recipe. However, because the batter might dry out if kept too long, we would suggest prepping the batter only one day before baking.
🍪 How to serve
These cookies are delicious on their own, but you can switch them up according to your preferences. Here are a few different ways to serve them:
- As dessert: Unsurprisingly, the best way to serve these cookies is as dessert! You can keep a batch on hand to enjoy as a treat all week long, or make some to share at an upcoming gathering.
- Enjoy as a sweet breakfast treat: There is no shame in enjoying a sweet treat for breakfast sometimes! Try pairing an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with a cup of coffee—you won't regret it.
- Crumble over ice cream: Take your dessert up a notch by crumbling a cookie over a scoop of ice cream.
- Get creative with cookie variations: Try adding 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter, or sun butter for a chewy and nutty flavor. You could also add pumpkin for a perfectly autumn cookie, banana for a banana chocolate chip cookie, or peppermint for a nice mint and chocolate holiday treat.
🧊 How to store
If you think you'll eat the cookies within a few days, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for about two days (or in the refrigerator for four days).
You can also try freezing the cookies and then reheating. Note that we did not test this method—we ate them too fast! Leave a comment below and let us know how they turn out if you do end up freezing.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
Here at Fork in the Road, we like to make sure to prioritize sustainability in every recipe. Use these tips to make these cookies better for the environment:
- Use fair-trade chocolate. We recommend using Fair Trade ingredients when possible to support ethically sourced chocolate growers.
- Compost parchment paper. Did you know you can toss parchment paper in your compost bin? Just make sure to remove any remnants of the brownies off the paper before composting it. Better yet, purchase unbleached parchment paper, which is better for the environment. Note that you can also reuse parchment paper if it's not too messy!
🍨 More seasonal sweets recipes
Can't get enough of these vegan chocolate cookies? Here are some of our other favorite dessert recipes:
Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 tablespoons water, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup vegan butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- Prep oven + baking sheet: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with recycled parchment paper.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, mix together ground flaxseed meal and room temperature water to make a flax egg, and add chia seeds. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to thicken (it will become your egg-free binder), then add melted vegan butter (or coconut oil, if using), vanilla extract, and brown sugar and whisk together until well combined.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add rolled oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until well combined.
- Combine wet + dry ingredients: Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. The cookie batter should be thick, wet, and hold together well, not runny. If needed, at a bit more rolled oats or water until desired consistency. Finally, fold in chocolate chips and mix until well dispersed throughout batter.
- Chill batter: Refrigerate cookie batter for about 15-20 minutes to cool the batter and produce a thick and chewier cookie, which allows the ingredients to stay sticky when baked. You can skip this step and simply bake, but you'll have a thinner and crispier cookie.
- Scoop cookies: Next use a medium spoon or cookie scoop and form cookie dough into 2 tablespoon heaps on prepared baking sheet, placing cookies about 2 inches apart. For thinner cookies, gently flatten dough so cookies bake outward.
- Bake cookies: Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. If cookies are still very soft on the sides when touched with a fork, bake another 1-2 minutes. However, slightly under-baking is suggested as the cookies will continue to harden once removed from the oven.
- Cool cookies: Once baking sheet is removed from the oven, let cookies cool directly on the cookie sheet to allow them to cool and hold together. Once cooled completed, store in an airtight container for up to four days.
- Recipe notes: coconut oil can be used in place of vegan butter and all-purpose flour can be substituted for oat flour, almond flour, or other gluten-free flours, if desired. You can also replace brown sugar with other sugars like coconut sugar, agave, or even maple syrup (if using a liquid syrup like agave or maple, use about 1/3 cup and you may have to add more rolled oats so the cookie batter is not too runny). You do not have to refrigerate cookies before baking, but it will help them to stay sticky and produce a softer cookie. Make sure to cool cookies on baking sheet, do not remove from rack right after baking or the cookies may separate.
- Tools needed: glass mixing bowls, mixing spoon, cookie sheet, spatula
- Prep ahead: this vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough batter can be made up to two days ahead of time and then baked; we have not tried freezing the batter yet, so please let us know if you do and how it turns out.
- Leftovers + storage: store room temperature cookies in an airtight glass storage container for up to four days
- Nutrition notes: this “healthier” plant-based version of traditional chocolate chip cookies uses flaxseeds and chia seeds instead of an egg for a binder, reduces the amount of added sugar, and ups the amount of rolled oats for a cookie that is higher in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in sugar than other cookie recipes.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in September 2019 and updated for clarity in November 2021.