4-ingredient banana oatmeal cookies combine the nutty sweetness of peanut butter with the decadent richness of melted chocolate. With no added sugar, they’re a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try them for breakfast or dessert!
There is nothing I love more than a one-bowl cookie recipe! Simplicity meets sweetness, which meets the reality of dishwashing. I’ve definitely reconsidered a recipe when I took a look at all the steps and all the clean up work in front of me. Well, good news! This recipe has three steps, and all you’ve got to wash when you’re done is your spoon, baking sheet, and one bowl. That’s perfect for all of you who want to eat well without spending all your time on it!
Back to the cookies. These are the marriage of four delicious ingredients, and can be customized to your heart’s desire. I’ll talk more about options in the substitutions section, but these cookies can be made to fit many dietary needs with a minimum of difficulty. These super simple banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are also perfect as a healthy snack — they’re not too sweet, but they sure do scratch that itch when you’re craving a little dessert!
What’s in chocolate chip banana cookies?
This easy recipe uses three pantry staple items and one fruit (bet you can guess which one!). This makes it perfect for whipping up at a moment’s notice!
- Banana: The riper the better! Overripe bananas are fantastic. The sweetness of the bananas is what gives these cookies that dessert touch.
- Peanut Butter: This ingredient is here to help bind the other ingredients to each other. It also adds sweetness and a gorgeously nutty flavor. I recommend creamy peanut butter for this recipe.
- Chocolate Chips: Nothing beats morsels of melted chocolate, which is why we’ve included these in the recipe. This is an optional ingredient, though, and you can leave these out to make 3-ingredient oatmeal cookies.
- Oatmeal: Quick oats become tender when combined with the banana and oatmeal, and create the body of the cookie. This is what makes them fun to bite into!
Quick oats vs Old-Fashioned Oats
For this recipe, I recommend using quick oats, although the world won’t end if you sub old-fashioned or even steel-cut oats in. To understand what difference these subsitutions will make in your finished cookie, let’s talk briefly about the differences between these oatmeal cuts.
Oatmeal is processed in two ways: its cut, and its flattened. Different version of oatmeal use different combinations of processes:
- Quick Oats: Flattened, then cut into small pieces. These will soak up liquids more quickly and become more tender in your cookie.
- Old-Fashioned Oats: Flattened but not cut. These are also sometimes called rolled oats. This version is less absorbent, leading to a cookie with a stronger bite.
- Steel Cut Oats: Cut into roughly 3rds, but not flattened. Steel-cut oats are a favorite for oatmeal, because when they’ve been soaked for a while, the fact that they’re not flattened makes them fluffy. However, in a cookie, there’s no soaking period, so these will be the driest option.
While each of the oatmeal options can produce a decent cookie, quick oats create the texture I most associate with a cookie. Feel free to use what you have in your house, now in the full knowledge of what your choice will do to your finished product!
Making Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Step 1 | Mash the banana
Start by mashing your banana into a medium bowl. I use a fork to mash my banana, but you could also use a hand or stand mixer.
(Am I showing my age if I tell you that every time I do this step, I sing that song “Mash banana, mash mash banana”?)
Step 2 | Mix the ingredients
Add the peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate chips to the mashed banana and mix them together well.
Step 3 | Place on cookie sheet
Line or grease a baking sheet, then drop by rounded spoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) onto the prepared cookie sheet. You can also roll these into little cookie dough balls, if you belong to the club that likes perfectly spherical cookies.
Once you’ve got your cookies on the sheet, flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon.
Step 4 | Bake
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. They will NOT look done, but they are. Don’t let them fool you. You read this step-by-step tutorial. You know better.
Once you’ve taken the cookies out of oven, you can let them develop on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. This is a fancy way of saying that they will continue to cook because of the heat of the baking sheet. Doing it this way instead of leaving them in the oven longer keeps them from overcooking or burning.
- When measuring peanut butter, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray first. The peanut butter will slide out with no mess!
- Try cookie scooting to make a more circular cookie. Use a round cookie cutter or a mason jar lid to scoot the cookies around while they’re still warm. Check out this video to see it in action!
So you want to go off the beaten path? I like you, you rebel! Here are some suggestions for substitutions and variations:
- Peanut Butter: You can sub any nut butter here. Almond butter or cashew butter have their own flavors and make delicious cookies! You can even sub sunflower seed butter to make your cookies nut-free.
- Chocolate Chips: Pick a mix-in, any mix-in! Dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, or sprinkles all work. You can lean into the peanut butter banana flavors by adding peanut butter chips. And if you want to make these completely added-sugar free, you can use sugar-free chocolate chips.
- Oatmeal: In the section on the differences in oat types, you can find an in-depth discussion on old-fashioned, quick, and steel cut oats. In short, you can sub in any type of oatmeal for quick oats, but it will change the texture of your cookies.
Yes, provided you use certified gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but some brands have cross contamination, so be sure to check your oats before baking.
Depends on which chocolate chips you use. Oats, bananas, and peanut butter are all vegan. Regular chocolate chips contain dairy, but you can use a vegan version to make this recipe work for you!
Absolutely! There’s no eggs or flour, so you can eat the dough straight from the bowl.
How to Serve Easy Oatmeal Cookies
Unlike traditional cookie recipes, these cookies make a fantastic breakfast. After all, they’re basically baked oatmeal in cookie form! I don’t know about you, but breakfast cookies sounds like something I’d actually enjoy waking up for!
My kids love these as an after-school snack. They’re the perfect treat after a long day of learning or work, and you don’t have to feel guilty about feeding them to your littles or to yourself!
What to do with leftovers
You can keep leftover cookies for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
If you’d like to freeze your baked cookies, you can place them in a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
To thaw, place the bag on the counter for several hours.
4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 bananas fully ripe or overripe
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium bowl, mash banana.
- Add oats, peanut butter, and chocolate chips and combine.
- Line or grease a baking sheet. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten the tops of the cookies.
- Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.