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 I had a lot of perceived obstacles that would make transitioning to a vegan diet hard, with one of the biggest being if I would ever eat baked goods again (hint: I can…and do. Often.).
However, I quickly learned that plant-based baking is actually quite simple and that animal-based ingredients like eggs and dairy can easily be replaced with vegan binders like flax and chia seeds. And adopting a few simple vegan baking tweaks can make vegan baking easy — and dare I say, a fun challenge?
That’s why I’m super excited to share this Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, which I’ve been working on for months and has quickly become one of my favorite simple treats recipes to whip up when my sweet tooth hits. And because I’m a dietitian, of course I had to make these plant-based oatmeal chocolate cookies a bit healthier by keeping the added sugar content low and adding fiber-filled ingredients like rolled oats, chia seeds, and flax.
Ready for this super simple, oil-free, egg-free, dairy-free oatmeal cookie recipe with dark chocolate chips? Let’s do it!
How to make Plant-Based Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first step to making these plant-based oatmeal chocolate chip cookies is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet (are you using environmentally-friendly cookware?) with recycled parchment paper.
Next, it’s time to prepare the wet ingredients. The first step is to make a “flax egg”, or a mixture of ground flaxseed meal and room temperature water that thickens and acts as a binder for the cookie ingredients. I like to also add chia seeds to my flax egg my vegan cookies, as they add not only more nutrients but also act as an additional binder to keep the cookies thick and chewy.
After the flax egg with chia seeds sets for about five minutes in a medium bowl, add melted vegan butter, vanilla extract, and brown sugar and whisk until the sugar is well combined. If you do not have vegan butter, coconut oil can also be used (we omitted as we wanted to keep these vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies allergen-friendly).
Next, mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl by combining the rolled oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mixing well with a whisk or wooden spoon. When the dry ingredients are well combined, add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry until all dry ingredients are interspersed. The cookie batter should be wet, but thick and hold together well (but not too thick that it’s still dry). If needed, add a bit of water or rolled oats until the batter is desired consistency. Finally, fold in the vegan dark chocolate chips until they are dispersed well in the batter.
The next step is to chill the batter in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to ensure the batter is very sticky and that the cookies stick together when baking. This step is optional, but when the batter is chilled the cookies will be thicker and chewier — unchilled batter will produce a bit thinner cookie. You can skip this step, it’s optional and completely your call, but we preferred the chilled batter as the ingredients had time to settle together and the cookies were softer (and we love soft and chewy cookies!).
Finally, it’s time to bake the cookies. Using a medium cookie scoop (or just a spoon if you’re aiming for a minimalist kitchen) form cookie dough into 2 tablespoon heaps on the prepared baking sheet, placing them about 2 inches apart from one another. For thicker cookies, keep the batter as-is, but for a bit thinner cookie, gently smash the batter in the middle to spread out the dough a bit.
Bake cookies for about 10 minutes in the oven, or until the edges begin to brown. Test the cookies with the end of a fork after still bakind and if they are still very soft on the edges, bake another 1-2 minutes. However, we suggest slightly under-cooking because the cookies will continue to harden once removed from the oven; because the cookies are vegan and don’t contain egg, you don’t have to worry about under-baking.
Finally, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool directly on the cookie sheet, which will help them to hold together. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to four days in either the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: Tips, tricks, and tools
While this plant-based oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe as easy as it gets, there are a few tips and tricks and things-to-know to streamline preparation.
- Vegan baking needs binders: when omitting eggs, you must use a binder to keep the cookie ingredients together. This recipe has a combination of plant-based baking techniques by using a homemade “flax egg” (water thickened with flaxseed meal), chia seeds (which get sticky when wet), and chilling the dough before baking (helps hold together the cookie batter).
- Vegan cookies don’t spread, so shape before baking: as instructed in the recipe, form your cookies into the shape you’d like before baking 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 then flatten them a bit so they’re thinner to start.
- Cookie storage tips: 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, but we did not test this method (we ate them too fast!) so leave a comment below and let us know how they turn out if you do end up freezing.
- Prep ahead tips: because we suggest chilling this cookie dough batter, this is a great make-ahead cookie recipe. However, because the batter might dry out if kept too long, I would suggest prepping the batter only one day ahead before baking.
- Go gluten-free: this recipe uses all-purpose flour, however you can substitute with gluten-free flours (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.
- Get creative with cookie variations: this plant-based chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe is a great foundation for additional flavors and variations. Try adding 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter, or sun butter for a chewy and nutty flavor, pumpkin for a perfectly autumn cookie, banana for a perfect banana chocolate chip cookie, or peppermint for a nice mint and chocolate holiday treat.
Love this simple plant-based oatmeal cookie recipe? Check out our other simple plant-based chocolate dessert recipes, like this Salted Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries or these Leftover Espresso Grounds Brownies.
Did you make this Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this simple oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe for later by pinning to your favorite cookie Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your chocolate cookie creations!
- 3 tablespoons room temperature water
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted*
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- *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 and 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.
Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g