No Bake Oatmeal Cookies


5 from 860 votes
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These are the best no bake oatmeal cookies made with just three ingredients! No butter, no milk, and no sugar needed, this healthy dessert take less than FIVE minutes to make. 

no bake oatmeal cookies

As someone with a raging sweet tooth, no bake desserts are something I make often.

They require minimal preparation and usually few ingredients. While I have a handful of favorites on rotation, nothing beats my famous 3 ingredient no bake oatmeal cookies.

Table of Contents
  1. How to make no bake oatmeal cookies
  2. Tips for success
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. More no bake dessert recipes to try
  5. No Bake Oatmeal Cookies (3 Ingredients!)

The best no bake oatmeal cookies recipe

These cookies come together in less than five minutes and the texture is on point- thick, chewy, and stable at room temperature. They are naturally sweetened and satisfy the sweet tooth!

  • They are made without butter, sugar, and milk. Traditional no bake cookies typically contain butter, sugar, and milk, but not these… they taste just as good!
  • 3 Ingredients only. All you need are oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
  • Easy to customize. These cookies act like a blank canvas, so you can fold through your favorite mix-ins, like chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raisins, and more.
  • Healthy enough for breakfast! We all love some dessert for breakfast and these tick the boxes- They are full of whole grains, protein, and fiber to satisfy you until lunch!

How to make no bake oatmeal cookies

What I love about this recipe is that it is a healthier alternative to the traditional version, but it does NOT sacrifice taste. They come together quickly and you have a delicious treat!

The ingredients

  • Rolled oats– Also called old-fashioned oats, they provide the chewy texture we love in a good oatmeal cookie! You can use quick oats if you like, but it will have a softer texture.
  • Peanut butter– Smooth and drippy peanut butter works best, as it is the easiest to mix into the dough. Try and avoid peanut butter that has added sugar or ones that have a crunchy texture.
  • Maple syrup– A refined sugar free sweetener that not only adds sweetness but helps bind the cookies together.

The directions

Start by adding your oats into a large mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and syrup and mix well until combined. Fold through your mix-ins of choice using a rubber spatula.

Next, lightly wet your hands. Form small balls of the cookie mixture and place them on a lined plate. Press down to form a cookie shape and refrigerate them for 20 minutes to firm up.

3 ingredient no bake cookies

Tips for success

  • Use quick cooking oats. Most no bake oatmeal cookie recipes call for these oats as they are softer and smoother in texture. 
  • Boil the mixture. Sometimes peanut butter can be a little firm, so combine that and the maple syrup in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the oats, mix, and shape into drop cookies.
  • Add mix-ins. Like any good no bake cookie, be creative by adding in nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, coconut flakes, or even candy buttons. 

Dietary swaps and substitutions

This no bake cookie recipe is very forgiving and easy to adapt to fit most diets out there. Here are some suggestions: 

  • Keep it vegan. While the original recipe is naturally vegan, if you opt to use honey as the sweetener, some consider that not to be vegan-friendly.
  • Keep it gluten free. I used certified gluten free oats. If you use other brands or makes of it, this is often not the case.
  • Swap out the peanut butter. If you have a peanut allergy or don’t like the taste of peanut butter, you can use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini.
  • Add protein. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to make these cookies even more satisfying (just like in classic protein cookies).

Storing and freezing instructions

  • To store: Leftover no bake cookies should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks.
  • To freeze: Either wrap cookies individually in parchment paper and place them in a ziplock bag, or place them all together in one ziplock bag (no parchment paper needed). They will keep well frozen for up to 6 months.
no bake cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my no bake cookies turn out gooey?

If your no bake cookies are gooey, it means your oats are too fine in texture and/or you added too much maple syrup. To rectify this, simply add more oats to the mixture.

Why do my no bake oatmeal cookies not harden up? 

You need to refrigerate your cookies for at least 30 minutes to allow them to firm up properly. Enjoying them straight from the bowl will yield softer cookies.

Can I bake these cookies?

You can bake these cookies in the oven at 180C/350F for 10-12 minutes or until firm around the edges.

Can I substitute margarine or butter for the nut butter?

No, these cookies need a nut or seed butter to bind everything together. Using butter or margarine will yield a greasy cookie that will fall apart. It also isn’t the healthiest option.

More no bake dessert recipes to try

no bake oatmeal cookies recipe

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies (3 Ingredients!)

5 from 860 votes
These are the best no bake oatmeal cookies made with just 3 ingredients! No butter, no milk, and no sugar needed, this healthy dessert take less than FIVE minutes to make. 
Servings: 12 cookies
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 6 minutes



  • Line a large plate with parpchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all your ingredients and mix well, until combined. Fold through your mix-ins of choice.
  • Using your hands, form into 12 small balls and place on the lined plate. Press each ball into a cookie shape.
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, before enjoying.


* Can substitute this for smooth almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter or tahini.
TO STORE: Leftover no bake cookies should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. They will keep well for up to two weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Either wrap cookies individually in parchment paper and place in a ziplock bag, or place them all together in one ziplock bag (no parchment paper needed). They will keep well frozen for up to 6 months. 


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 7gFat: 8gSodium: 100mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 3gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 14g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. I’d say I am team bar just because from the perspective of the one who always makes the snacks it’s quicker. And you can slice the bars always according to your hunger.

    One thing that instantly jumped to my mind was pasta. There are some shapes that taste so much better than others. Spaghetti for example.

    1. YES. Giant slices = for me. Or ugly side ones haha!

      Actually, that’s true. Niki is the worst with that- Rigatoni. I’m team Farfelle.

  2. LOL pepperoni candy. Sounds yummy. I’m not partial to one shape or another, but I do find that the size of a food impacts its taste. Meaning, miniature things are naturally tastier because they are also cute and the cute factor adds flavor.

  3. As long as chocolate is involved, I can go either way 😛 And I’m not sure shape is as big of a thing for me as texture and temperature — that’s where I get super picky.

  4. Cookies fo shizz! Healthy and no bake at the same time? I could imagine these being a great curling snack. Can I keep one in my pocket in case I need a bite in the middle of a game??

  5. I am definitely on team cookie. Things that are fun to eat taste better. That’s why anything with sprinkles on it is automatically better than the original version. Thanks for the easy recipe Arman!

  6. Baked or unbaked, as long as chocolate is involved [bonus for nut butter!] I’m eating it. I like to keep my stock of no bake cookies up in the summer time for sure, when its too freaking hot to turn on my oven without passing out.

  7. I just had pancakes, and I was thinking that I wouldn’t like square pancakes as much as I would circular ones, so maybe Niki is onto something. 😉
    p.s. my mom is literally hiding these in the back of the fridge.

  8. Cookies rules the world! I am not a fun of super-duper healthy cookies (in love with real sugar), but these looks really good 😉

  9. Wooo so easy and delicious looking! I’m actually also partial to circular foods. Anything that reminds me of a cookie ups in flavor like 200% ;).

    Also! I’m sending you an email right now! Check yo’ inbox <3

  10. You know who Niki reminds me of? This little girl in a short children’s story that wouldn’t eat her food unless if it were shaped in an “O” and that she was tricked into eating something shaped like a square! LOL!
    These oatmeal cookies would also be really good with cinnamon and raisins! If you swap with PB it will have that really creamy and delicious peanut buttery flavor too–but I LOVE almond butter!

      1. Yep! It’s called Maggie Eats Only O’s! 😀 I think it would be pretty cool to play that trick on your sister (before she finds out)!

  11. Definitely cookies! Especially if they are healthy and only involve 3 ingredients 🙂 These look so chewy in the best way possible. I love a good soft and chewy cookie!