Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

I have to be honest, I usually politely smile and then walk away from ultra healthified cookie recipes. If I’m going to eat a cookie, I’m going to eat a cookie. If you know what I mean.

So when Brynn, a lovely MKC reader, sent me this recipe she created to take chocolate chip oatmeal cookies to a healthier level, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The impetus that finally had me trying them was simply her sweet email description that told me she came up with this recipe so her mom could have a quick, healthy snack to take (right out of the freezer) and stuff in her saddlebags when she went horseback riding. Call me old-fashioned but the whole horseback riding, daughter-making-cookies-for-mom thing screamed Little House on the Praire awesomeness all the way to the kitchen.

I figured if a cookie loaded with quinoa, oatmeal, flax, and other hearty ingredients could win me over, it would prove to be quite revolutionary. Not that I’m against any of those ingredients or healthy food in any way, I’ve just never really dreamed of all of them mooched up in a cookie.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

Well, consider this a revolutionary post. These babies are good. Goooooood. Really, really good.

The texture of the baked cookies is super soft and fluffy (especially if you stir with a light hand toward the end of mixing) and I absolutely loved the heartiness of the oats and flax and toasted almonds. Surprisingly I felt like the quinoa, instead of being an in your face ingredient, added to the soft texture, melting into the cookie batter like it was meant to be there (this feature probably depends on how tender one cooks their quinoa so keep that in mind if you make these). Just sweet enough to be a cookie (honey, nothing else) but not so sweet that it discounts all the other healthy ingredients, these cookies are fabulous. We’ve been digging them out of the freezer for lunches and snacks and everything in between (including dragging them out to all-day soccer and wrestling events). Every time I snitch one, I’m even more in love.

I’m not claiming them to be bona fide health food or calorie free or something you should detox with and eat for 30-days straight at every meal…but I am saying that they are a delightful addition to the much-loved cookies of the world. They kind of remind me of a granola bar in cookie form, heavy on the softness and light on the crunch.

Basically, they’re terribly yummy.

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

One Year Ago: Baked Shrimp and Orzo with Feta Cheese
Two Years Ago: Sugar Cookie Bars
Three Years Ago: Simple Rice Pilaf

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

Yield: Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

When measuring the cooked and cooled quinoa, don't mash and compress it into the measuring cup. Spoon it into the cup and lightly press so it stays fluffy.

Also, keep in mind these cookies freeze amazingly well after being baked and cooled.


  • 1 cup solid coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (cooked only in water, not broth) - see note above
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil and honey with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda until just combined and a few streaks of dry flour remain. Add the oats, quinoa, flax, chia seeds, almonds, cherries or cranberries and chocolate chips and mix by hand gently (so the dough stays nice and fluffy) until the ingredients are pretty evenly mixed.
  3. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 2-3 tablespoon-sized portions. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are browned but the insides are still nice and soft. If you want a thinner cookie (instead of puffy), flatten slightly before baking.

Recipe Source: sent to me by a reader, Brynn A. (she created the recipe to healthify normal chocolate chip cookies and also so her mother has something nutritious and snacky to take while horseback riding)

87 Responses to Quinoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Granola Cookies

  1. Ellen McGarigal says:

    How to add peanut butter to/in the reciepe ?

  2. Melanie Fritz says:

    Has anyone made these with sugar? We have bees and collect our own honey so I don’t want to use so much in a recipe I’ve never tried before.

  3. Diane says:

    Would whole wheat pastry flour work in this recipe?

  4. Eunice says:

    I don’t get the fluffiness.. It’s not crunchy nor fluffy but densed. What did I do wrong?

  5. Shocked says:

    Holy sh!t are these ever calorie dense. Between the 2000+ kcal in coconut oil and 700+ kcal in honey these cookies would be horrible for you. Plus then all the calories for the flour, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. Has anyone tried to make a somewhat healthy version of this. I’m intrigued in using cooked quinoa in a cookie but not with the high calorie ingredients listed.

    • Tammy Arneson says:

      Actually, the calorie count is not too bad if you consider the amounts of all the ingredients to the end result of roughly 40-48 cookies. As for the recipe not being healthy because of its calorie count, I don’t think so. The cookies are loaded with healthy ingredients, and should do a very good job at filling the need for a sweet yet filling snack with just one serving.

      Then again, this is just my opinion. I have yet to try the cookies.

  6. Stacy Caroline says:

    Hi there- I would LOVE to make these cookies, but I cannot even stomach the taste of anything oatmeal related – any suggestions on what I could sub in there? I realize I may lose some health benefits, but I really like the thought of adding quinoa to cookies!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Stacy – I haven’t adapted these cookies to be oatmeal free, your best bet may be to google another quinoa cookie and see if it is a better fit.

  7. Elizabeth Omeara says:

    Is there any nutritional information available for these cookies? I need the info for smart points – WW.

    • Mel says:

      I don’t provide the nutritional information for my recipes, but there are lot of online calculators that you can use.

    • Dorota | HappyForks.com says:

      Hi Elizabeth. If you make about 40 cookies from this recipe, one cookie will provides you 133 kcal and 17,25 g carbs. This cookies are rich with fibre, one cookie have 1,7g of fibre !

  8. Itta says:

    Mine came out nasty!

  9. Sophie says:

    These are soooooo good
    Our new go to recipe for a healthy snack
    Thanks !

  10. Thanks, they cookies are great! With healthy cookies it can go either way but these are delicious. The quinoa really does add to the softness. I’m pregnant and have a 2 year old and these are all the ingredients we are supposed to be eating, healthy-hardy-good fats, we love them!


  11. Anna says:

    I made these and thought something was missing, so I doubled the vanilla, added 1 tsp. cinnamon and upped the honey to a full cup. Now even hubby likes them. I also added in 1 TBLS. of hemp hearts, because hey why not.
    I like that my daughter wants to take them to school, she doesn’t know they are good for her, I like the protein boost she is getting!

  12. Tkinberg says:

    Hi Mel, Have you ever baked these in a pan and made them as a bar instead of making cookies? What pan size? How long should I bake them?

  13. Maria says:

    It’s nice to finally find a cookie that’s good for you but also tastes great! I’ve tried so many different healthy cookie recipes and the end result tastes gross. I’m in love with these ones though!! I’ve already shared it to a couple of my friends!

  14. TerriF says:

    I’ve made these cookies a few times already – thanks so much, Mel for sharing.I LOVE them. The flavor combo works very well, with almonds + honey + chocolate + cherries. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s important to let the quinoa cool completely. Using warm quinoa results in flatter, less fluffy cookie.

  15. Mona says:

    I know this is a dumb question, but can I substitute all-purpose flour for the whole wheat white flour? I have whole wheat flour and all purpose flour on hand and I’m dying to make these like yesterday…

  16. stephanie says:

    Very delicious… a little too much (3 cookies later – too much of a good thing is still too much:). I make a lot of healthy(ish/er) muffins for my kids, but it’s nice to have something that isn’t a muffin for some variety.

    I don’t have coconut oil so I did 1/4 c. each of butter and canola oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce.

  17. Michelle says:

    These sound great but I just used the last of the quiona 🙁 Must make it a priority to get some asap! I was also thinking that with all the flax and chia that the eggs could be left out. (flax+water egg replacement) Can’t wait to try them, thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      You can! I started making these before I realized I was out of eggs. I followed the directions on the ground flax bag for substituting flax for eggs (1T flax plus 3 T water for each egg) and then just added 1T flax instead of the 2T the recipe called for. And they came out great! (You kind of have to smush them together on the tray with your fingers so it all sticks together and forms a cookie). I’ll do it this way again and save my eggs! Thanks, Mel, for another super recipe.

  18. Adrienne says:

    Oh, hi again.
    I just re-read the ingredients and it clearly says 1 cup solid coconut oil melted.


  19. Adrienne says:

    Hi Mel!
    Can’t wait to make these! I’m not sure how big of a difference it makes, but do you measure 1 cup coconut oil and then melt, or do you measure 1 cup of already melted coconut oil?

  20. Jessica says:

    I made these a few nights ago and they are fantastic. Making batch #2 tonight.

  21. Whitney says:

    I just calculated! It’s about 130 per cookie 🙂

  22. Whitney says:

    How many calories per cookie?

  23. Marie says:

    Thank you for this amazing recipe!! Wow, these are so good! They are dangerously delicious because it’s hard to stop at just two or three or four……

  24. Tara says:

    Thanks for this recipe Mel. I really love it, however I enjoyed the raw dough more than the cooked! This is because my cookies came out very crumbly. Are yours crumbly? I couldn’t bake mine right away so I threw the dough in the fridge and because it was cold it was very crumbly to shape into cookies and upon baking it did not improve. Maybe that is why they are crumbly. If I do that again I will bring the dough to room temperature. If you tell me they are crumbly regardless, I may try incorporating a little natural peanut butter or apple sauce next time for added moisture. Also I was thinking of halving the honey, replacing it with apple sauce, and adding stevia.

    This is a great base recipe to play with. Thank you, Mel, and thanks to the young woman who created this!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tara – thanks for chiming in on the recipe. In answer to your question, no, my dough isn’t crumbly. It’s pretty soft – reminiscent of a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough but slightly thicker and heartier thanks to all the add-ins. It could definitely be the refrigerating that made them crumbly. Another thing that always contributes (as I know you know since you aren’t a novice in the kitchen) is over measuring the flour so you might keep an eye on that, too, but I think you are right that the refrigerating is probably the culprit.

  25. Mia says:

    My husband makes a very humble hourly wage and I have all these things on hand because good quality food is a priority to me. I’ve seen it pay me back many times over in (non) doctor visits since we changed. Cut out the processed garbage and you’ll have room for the good stuff!

  26. Darlene says:

    Mel, I don’t have coconut oil. What’s an acceptable substitute?

  27. James says:

    Wow, I cannot imagine the budget one needs to make these cookies… A cup of coconut oil, 3/4 cups of honey, are you kidding!? What the hell kind of money do you think I make? I’m all for eating healthy and using coconut oil and honey, but I can make a cup of coconut oil last for a long, long time for all sorts of uses. Quinoa, flax seed, chia seed, and almonds are all super expensive as well and not really something practical for someone with an average income to purchase, especially not for use in one recipe. Sorry, these look and sound really good but I just can’t afford your taste…

    • Nicole Hunn says:

      James, I buy every ingredient you mentioned at my local Trader Joe’s and they have very, very good prices. Making these sort of treats from scratch is generally much more economical. I don’t consider Mel’s tastes to be extravagant at all.

    • Tara says:

      I agree that these cookies are costly to make, particularly if you don’t keep these things on hand, however they are far cheaper than buying a health food snack!

  28. Michelle says:

    I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical at first– quinoa in cookies? But both my boys and I loved them! I didn’t have any almonds on hand this time, but I’ll get some for next time. I put a bunch in the freezer for quick, easy breakfasts after my baby is born.

  29. bjahlstrom says:

    Mel, thank you so much for having an open mind when I sent you the recipe and for making these cookies! It was so exciting to read about your and others’ experience with this recipe. Just yesterday, my mom handed me her empty freezer containers, and in her best “Oliver” voice said, “Please, sir, I want some more!” She’s going horseback riding this weekend, so it’s time to bake!

  30. Ellen says:

    made these today with raisins since that’s what I had in hand. First two kids are and enjoyed. Next kid ate…didn’t think too much of it and then 5 minutes later asked for another. Repeat an hour later. 4th kid ate 3 rapid fire. 5th kid said “mom you put quinoa in a cookie and it tastes great!!!” Winner recipe!!!

  31. Jocy says:

    Made them yesterday, love them! Since i’m lazy and didn’t want to melt the coconut oil, i used half applesauce and half olive oil. Thank you for the recipe!

  32. Amy P says:

    I followed the recipe except I used extra ground flax in lieu of chia seeds. They turned out really nicely, although they are definitely a ‘healthy’ cookie. That’s certainly not a criticism, just expect them to be a granola/breakfast sort of thing. I’d probably add more dried fruit next time.

  33. Lisa says:

    I can’t believe I had everything on hand (including cooked quinoa) to make these delicious cookies! They are soft and tender but with a very slight crunch from the nuts and chia. Not overly sweet either. I am going to freeze half of them to use for our weekday lunches. I followed the recipe exactly wouldn’t change a thing.

  34. Erin says:

    These cookies were so good!! I made them this morning as a “breakfast” cookie!!

  35. Charlotte Moore says:

    These look and sound like we would love them. Only thing I would not care for is the choc. chips. I would just add more cranberries and almonds. A little orange zest would be great with the cranberries too. YUM!!!

  36. Sarah says:

    I’m always on a mission to find healthy cookies that don’t taste healthy! That way I don’t have to have the guilt associated with munching down several! 😉 I will definitely be trying these this week, thanks for sharing!

  37. Rita Groneberg says:

    Hi Mel, Do you know the calorie count for these cookies? I’m trying to keep track of my calories in a food journal.
    Thanks much!

    • Mel says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t Rita but there are several online nutritional calculators that can help you figure out the calorie count if you google them.

    • Jen says:

      Hey there, I too am keeping a calorie journal so I calculated this recipe. Unfortunately, these super delicious cookies are packed with 14 g of fat and calculated to be 281 calories for 2 cookies. Although with 35 g of fiber maybe these won’t stay around for too long:) I made them tonight and they were a hit! Thankfully I stuck to only 2 and put the leftovers in the freezer for the kids.

      • Megan says:

        35 grams of fiber is amazing! Our adult daily nutritional goal is 30 grams and with most whole wheat breads only offering 2-3 grams of fiber per slice, it’s not an easy thing to get all that fiber. 14 grams of fat is a lot – but considering it’s from healthy sources like coconut oil, almonds, and flax I’m all for it especially since fat is good for brain development in young children.
        Thanks to Mel and Brynn for this fantastic recipe! I’ll be taking these cookies along on lots of family bike rides and hikes this summer, I’m sure.

  38. Amy from TN/GA line says:

    Which type of coconut oil did you use? Scented or unscented? Ha!
    I am looking forward to making these this week. Thanks.

  39. Amy says:

    I’d love to make these today but am out of chia seeds. Are they necessary for the gelling texture or can I sub in flax seed?

  40. Debora Cadene says:

    Going shopping!! I’m going to make these as you have listed, then make a second batch, replacing the flour with a GF flour blend and see how much difference there is. I’ll post the results. Thanks once again Mel for rockin out some great stuff. Your pictures are delicious!!

    • Kari says:

      A year later but I just found this recipe – did you make them with GF flour successfully? I’d like to try them, but am celiac so everything is GF for me

  41. Mia says:

    Oh my gosh! Coconut oil….. HONEY…. flax….. quinoa…. oats, wheat, Chia, I am in love!!! To you and the lady who came up with this recipe : you are my heroes!! Thanks so much.

  42. Ruby says:

    Great recipe! I know you must get a lot of requests, but please, please, can you please post a recipe for a plain vanilla cake (like the opposite v. of your unbelievable choc cake recipe — which i loved). Pretty please Mel!

  43. Kimber says:

    I AM SOLD! Making these puppies tonight!!!

  44. Helen says:

    This looks like something I’m going to need to try .. Sounds healthy and yummy a winning combination

  45. Ok, here is what my mind saw when reading this post….
    blah, blah,blah…..eat for 30-days straight at every meal….blah, blah, blah.
    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  46. Carolyn says:

    I’m breastfeeding right now, and I think with a few tbsp of brewers yeast, these would qualify as an excellent lactation cookie!!! Yum!

  47. Olga says:

    These look so good! Do you think I can successfully cut the recipe in half and still come out with the same result? I’m afraid that 3-4 dozens may be just a bit much for just me and my boyfriend (who is a picky eater and there’s a chance he may not like and then I’ll stuck eating everything! haha). Let me know! Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Yes, Olga, I think these could be halved with great results.

      • Emily says:

        I halved the recipe when I first tried it out for the same reason you mentioned. No telling what the kids or husband will love/not love. EVERYONE adored these! I did omit the cherries/cranberries and used walnuts instead of almonds (because they were on hand), but they were hit and came out perfect!

  48. I feel like quinoa can work in a lot of things I’d never think of on my own. A friend recently made a great quiche with quinoa, but this takes it to a whole new level!

  49. These sound like a good way for me to incorporate quinoa in my diet, since I’m not a huge fan of its taste. Here’s my inquiring-minds-want-to-know question, which I’ll try to phrase delicately: With all that fiber in these cookies, are they something that has the same effect as Activia or a Fiber One bar?

    • Carolyn says:

      Ha! I hope they don’t have the same effect as a Fiber One bar. Those things are THE WORST!!!

      • Mel says:

        Good question, Andrea! I’ve actually never eaten an Activia or Fiber One bar but you are right, these cookies are loaded with fiber. In the interest of staying on delicate lines, we didn’t experience any dastardly effects from the cookies but we eat a lot of whole grains and fiber already, does that make sense? I can see these cookies wreaking a little havoc on one’s digestive system if they aren’t used to eating foods like this – but for us, they were strictly yummy and I suppose kept things moving along just how they were before we ate them. 🙂

  50. Kim in MD says:

    I agree with you about healthy cookies-if I’m going to eat a cookie it better be delicious! I’m intrigued by this, because I love quinoa and always have some leftover in the fridge. These cookies have so many delicious ingredients in them, so I will give them a try!

  51. Wow! This is a cookie packed with all the nutritious foods you need, but all the yumminess we want!

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