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If you are looking to sneak some extra protein into your life, you have to try these delicious protein cookies. They are made with protein powder instead of flour, but you’d never know just by tasting them!

protein cookies split in half and stacked on plate.

Why You’ll Love Them

They taste amazing. My son tasted a batch of these cookies after school last week, and told me they are the “best cookies” I’ve ever made. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

They may help to stabilize blood sugar. Research suggests that increasing your protein intake may help to improve your blood glucose response. Adding protein powder to the recipe doesn’t negatively impact the flavor, so these treats might help keep you feeling full, too!

They are allergy friendly. Inspired by my flourless peanut butter cookies, this recipe doesn’t require any butter, oil, or flour. The protein powder adds structure, along with the egg and peanut butter, so you don’t need any added gluten or dairy. (If you are serving someone with a nut allergy, try using sunflower seed butter, instead.)

They are easy to customize. Adding chocolate chips to these cookies makes them taste like the real thing, but you can skip the refined sugar by adding in crunchy walnuts, or a dried fruit like raisins, instead. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

protein cookie ingredients labeled on a white surface.

When shopping for a protein powder, be sure to look for one that is unsweetened for the best results. Vanilla and chocolate protein powders may negatively affect the flavor. (I tested a batch with vanilla protein powder, and my kids wouldn’t eat them!)

For the exact same results as you see here, try using Garden of Life Unflavored Plant-Based Protein Powder (affiliate link), which is what I originally tested this recipe with. It does not taste delicious on its own, since it has no added sweetener, but it is perfect in these cookies! 

I imagine you could also use an unflavored whey protein powder, pea protein powder, or even collagen, if you keep one of those options on hand. 

How to Make Protein Cookies

1. Mix the dough. 

In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut sugar, peanut butter, egg, and baking soda. Mix well, until a thick cookie dough is formed. 

Add in the chocolate chips (or any other add-ins you love) and mix again to distribute them. 

protein cookie dough mixed in a glass bowl.

2. Bake. 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the protein cookie dough onto the pan. This cookie dough won’t spread much on its own, so use your hands or a fork to flatten the dough, just like you would a traditional peanut butter cookie. 

Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes, until they puff up and look lightly golden around the edges. 

protein cookie dough flatted on baking sheet before baking.

3. Enjoy!

The cookies will be fragile when they first come out of the oven, so let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes. They will firm up as they cool, and then they are read to eat! (Pro Tip: Press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops while the cookies are warm from the oven, if you want them to look more appealing.)

You can serve them at room temperature for a more tender texture, or chilled directly from the fridge, if you prefer a slightly crispier cookie. These cookies will be slightly crumbly, since they are gluten-free, but the texture will melt-in-your-mouth. (Almost like a shortbread cookie!)

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Remove the cookies from the freezer the night before you plan on serving them, if you’d like them to soften up again.

chocolate chip protein cookies baked on a parchment lined pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the peanut butter?

Yes, you can use any other nut butter you like, such as almond butter or cashew butter. If you need a nut-free option, try tahini or sunflower seed butter as an alternative. (Be sure to check the labels, to make sure there is no allergy cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.)

Can I add in other ingredients?

Yes, consider this recipe a general “blueprint” to follow, but you can always get creative with the add-ins. Add a splash of vanilla extract, if you like, or stir in some rolled oats, cinnamon, and even raisins instead of chocolate chips, for a batch of oatmeal protein cookies.

Can I use a different sweetener?

This recipe relies on a granulated sugar for texture, so you might not get the same results with a liquid sweetener, like maple syrup, agave, or honey. If you’d like to experiment with one of those, start off with just half the amount of sugar this recipe calls for. You may also be able to swap the sugar with a mashed banana, or a granulated sugar substitute (like monk fruit), if you prefer a lower-sugar option, but this will be an experiment since I haven’t tested those alternatives yet.

How much protein is in each cookie?  

You’ll enjoy 5 grams of protein in each tablespoon-size cookie, assuming you get 18 cookies from the batch. If you are looking to sneak 10 grams of protein into your day, that means you can eat 2 cookies! Win win.

Need a vegan protein cookie recipe?

You can replace the egg in this recipe with a flax egg. The results will be slightly more fragile, but still totally delicious! Just mix together 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, and use that mixture to replace the egg.

Looking for more healthy dessert ideas? Try Protein Balls for another high-protein treat, Almond Flour Cookies, date brownies, or the healthiest cookies ever for a fruit-sweetened option.

protein cookies arranged on a white plate with a glass of milk.

Protein Cookies

5 from 4 votes
Protein Cookies are made with protein powder instead of flour, but you'd never know just by tasting them! They are the perfect sweet treat that will leave you feeling satisfied.
prep10 mins cook10 mins total20 mins



  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut sugar, egg, peanut butter, and baking soda. Mix well, until the cookie dough looks thick and uniform. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using, or any other mix-ins you like.
  • Use a tablespoon or 1-ounce cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking pan, about 2 inches apart. (You'll need to use 2 pans, or bake these in 2 separate batches to cook all 18 cookies.) Flatten the cookie dough mounds with your hands or a fork, making a criss-cross pattern for a classic peanut butter cookie look.
  • Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes. The baked cookies should puff up and look lightly golden around the edges. Let them cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes, so they can firm up. Then they are ready to enjoy!
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Or freeze them for up to 3 months. They have a crispy texture when chilled, and are more tender when served at room temperature. (They will be slightly crumbly, almost like a shortbread cookie with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.)


Nutrition information is for 1 of 18 cookies, without the optional chocolate chips. This assumes you use a vegan protein powder (each brand will be slightly different). Nutrition information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
I tested this recipe with Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Powder. Using the same brand will give you the most consistent results, but any unsweetened protein powder should work. (I don’t recommend using a sweetened protein powder; the flavor will be off in that case. My kids would NOT eat the version I tested with vanilla protein powder.)
Note: If you see other protein cookie recipes with a higher protein content, be sure to look at the actual size of each cookie! This recipe calls for just 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, while other recipes may use a 1/4 cup measure to make a “single” cookie.
Since these cookies are gluten-free (assuming your protein powder has no added gluten) they will have a slightly crumbly texture, almost like a shortbread cookie. Don’t be alarmed if they feel fragile while they are still warm; they should firm up as they cool completely.
See the notes in the full post for more substitution ideas & tips!


Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: gluten-free
Keyword: protein cookies

If you try these high protein cookies, please leave a comment and star rating below! I always appreciate hearing your feedback, and any substitutions you try will help other readers.

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. My kids went absolutely nuts for these! There were several exclamations of, “These are heavenly!” and, “You’re the best, Mom!” Wow, what a hit!

  2. These are sooooooo good! I used vital proteins collagen and peanut butter, they may be one of my favorite cookies!!!

    1. Hi Eli! If you scroll down in this post, you’ll find the printable recipe card which lists the amounts for each ingredient. You can also press the print button to save it for later, or press the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post to be taken directly to the full recipe. Hope that helps!

  3. These cookies taste absolutely fantastic! These are my favorite peanut butter cookies ever and I am so thrilled that they are high in protein. I made a double batch and kept them in an airtight container in the fridge for whenever we need a (healthy!!) treat. I love that my kids and I can enjoy a delicious treat without having a blood sugar spike. Thank you so much, Megan!! Please keep making protein treats!

  4. These are great! My kids love them for their soccer games. I do omit the coconut sugar though since my protein powder is already sweetened.