One of the first jobs I had in high school was working at a daycare. I was one of the leads in the afternoon preschool room, but eventually started working with toddlers and babies. It was an AMAZING learning experience for the future and I loved every minute of it. After high school I took up a few nanny jobs, which allowed me to essentially become a part of a new family.
Anytime I babysat on the weekends, I’d have baking parties with the kids. Everything from chocolate chip cookies to brownies and cake. Oh and this banana bread was always a favorite. One afternoon I decided to make the kids these healthy monster cookies without all the excess butter and sugar. I wanted them to have a treat that still felt like a real deal kind of cookie, but had more protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
The verdict? The kids LOVED them! In fact, they started calling them ‘dinosaur’ cookies instead of monster cookies (cute, huh?). When I would babysat every other Saturday, they’d beg me to make this monster cookie recipe. In all honesty, I kinda forgot these cookies for a few years so that’s probably why I never gave you the recipe.
But finally, here we are! I’m sharing this chewy, healthier monster cookie recipe with you today in hopes that you’ll make it soon. Perfect for Halloween, too!
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Ingredients in healthy monster cookies
These delicious flourless monster cookies use super simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. Of course, I still kept the chocolate chips and candy pieces because it’s not a monster cookie without them. I also added nuts for some additional flavor and healthy fats and shredded coconut for amazing texture. Feel free to get creative with the mix-ins, too! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Peanut butter: use an all natural, drippy peanut butter that’s made just with peanuts + salt. You can also use an all natural crunchy peanut butter or any nut or seed butter you’d like.
- Butter: for a little extra moisture. You can use regular butter, vegan butter, ghee or coconut oil.
- Brown sugar: the delicious molasses flavor of brown sugar makes these cookies irresistible. You can also use coconut sugar.
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs for this recipe. I also think that flax eggs will work fine, just note that they’ll be a bit more fragile.
- Vanilla: for a little boost of flavor.
- Oats: be sure to use rolled oats (not steel cut) and feel free to use a gluten free kind.
- Cinnamon: I like to add a pinch of cinnamon for a cozy flavor but this is optional.
- Baking soda: so that these cookies bake properly.
- Mix-ins: I packed these babies with chocolate chips, M&M’s, shredded coconut and chopped pecans. But you can really add any mix-ins you like!
If you don’t want to use M&M’s try using the Little Secrets candy instead. They’re really, really good and don’t use any corn syrup, dyes or artificial flavors.
What makes these monster cookies healthy?
- They’re packed with protein & healthy fats: peanut butter makes up most of this recipe so you get in protein & healthy fats for a little nourishment without using tons of extra oil. Each cookie has almost 5g of protein — whoo hoo!
- They’re flourless: that’s right, these healthy monster cookies are made without any flour. The peanut butter and oats hold together very, very well even without any traditional flour. They’re also gluten free as long as you use certified gluten free rolled oats!
- They have a boost of fiber: the rolled oats in these cookies adds a wonderful boost of fiber for a super satisfying treat.
Customize your healthy monster cookies
- Make them vegan: try using a flax egg to make these vegan! They just might be a little more fragile so let them rest on the baking sheet a bit longer before removing them. You’ll also need to use dairy free/vegan chocolate chips and vegan chocolate candies instead of M&M’s.
- Reduce the sugar: if you’re watching your sugar intake, I have instructions for easily reducing the brown sugar. You can also used an unrefined sweetener like coconut sugar, and can always leave out the candy pieces.
- Choose your fav add-ins: traditional monster cookies have both M&M’s and chocolate chips in them, but you can feel free to add your favorite nuts, dried fruit, or even do a chocolate drizzle. YUM.
How to store and freeze monster cookies
- To store: feel free to keep these healthy monster cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, then transfer to the fridge or freezer.
- To freeze: make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then transfer them to an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper or freezer-safe bag before storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy!
More healthy cookie recipes to try:
The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies You’ll Ever Eat
Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soft Almond Flour Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream
Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I hope you love these healthy flourless monster cookies! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Healthy Flourless Monster Cookies
Incredible healthy monster cookies packed with peanut butter flavor, chocolate chips, coconut, chocolate candy pieces and nuts. These flourless monster cookies are a wholesome take on a childhood classic you know and love! Easy to make and great for customizing.
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 cup natural creamy or chunky peanut butter (only peanuts + salt)
- 2 tablespoon melted butter or ghee (melted coconut oil will also work)
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar (can also reduce to 1/2 cup with good results!)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 cup gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Optional: ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- For the mix ins:
- ¼ cup M&M’s, plus ¼ cup more for topping cookies
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (not the big flakes)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients until smooth: peanut butter, melted butter/ghee, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
Next stir in the oats, baking soda and cinnamon. Finally add in all of your mix-ins: M&Ms, dark chocolate chips, nuts and shredded coconut.
Use a large cookie scoop to scoop rounded balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between them to spread. Add a few M&Ms on top of each dough ball. If you like fat cookies, do not flatten the dough. If you like thinner cookies, use your hands to gently flatten the tops of the dough before baking.
Bake for 10-13 minutes until edges are barely golden brown. Allow cookies to sit on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. This is an important step. Enjoy!
To make vegan: I suggest using a flax egg; they just might be a little more fragile so let them rest on the baking sheet a bit longer before removing them. You'll also need to use dairy free/vegan chocolate chips and vegan chocolate candies instead of M&M's.
To make nut free: Try subbing in sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter. Sometimes sunflower seed butter causes baked goods to turn green FYI; they'll still be good to eat though.
To store: feel free to keep these healthy monster cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the fridge or freezer.
To freeze: make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then transfer them to an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper or freezer-safe bag before storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy!
These look yummy and I love that they’re a bit healthier!!
Yes! So delicious 🙂 Hope you get a chance to make them!
Unfortunately not diabetic friendly 😕
These are so good! I made these for my husband to take to work — he works with a bunch of guys. He said everyone loved them and quite a few of them asked for the recipe! I’ll be making these again, for sure. Thank you.
Amazing! I’m so glad they were a hit with everyone! It’s a great go-to for a quick treat 🙂
Can you substitute maple syrup for sugar?
I haven’t tried that so I’m not certain it will work. The texture and consistency would be different. If you experiment, I would suggest using 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup. Please let us know how it turns out!
These definitely look kid friendly! I like the addition of oat flour to make them gluten free. My husband would love these!
Yes! I bet they’ll be kiddo (and husband) approved 🙂 So delicious!
The comment above was on the addition of oat flour. I do not see oat flour in the recipe. Should there be oat flour in the recipe instructions?
I read too quickly! Nope – just gluten-free rolled oats.
I would love to make these for my kids school lunches but it’s a nut-free school. Any other recommendations?
Try using sunflower seed butter or even tahini! 🙂 And of course, leave the nuts out of the recipe. Other than that I think you should be good. I’m going to add this to the notes!
Thanks! I’ve never tried sunflower seed butter, but would love a nut free alternative!
LOTS of peanut butter, oats, adn crunchy chocolate? Can’t think of better cookie ingredients! I’ll have to find some vegan substitutions for the M&Ms to try this out. I just might eat the entire batch of dough before I bake them! LOL!
Right?! Packed with all of the goods! Enjoy 🙂
A good vegan alternative to M&Ms are Unreal brand chcolate gems. Check them out!
I just made these with a few changes and they were delicious! I used Trader Joe’s mixed nut butter, left out the vanilla (allergy) and snuck in 2 tablespoons of cacao powder. They look a little different than your but the flavor is amazing! Thanks for the recipe!
Perfect! Love that mixed nut butter. So happy you enjoyed these, Jess!
These look delicious! Planning to make them tonight 🙂 In making them with flax egg, would it be 1 or 2 flax eggs? Thanks!
I hope you loved these! And I would try using 2 flax eggs. Let me know how they are!
Just made these – well used the recipe as a base … mixed in the nuts i had so cashew nuts, almond flakes, pistachio, chia seeds and shredded coconut, used coconut sugar and a splash of maple syrup ! delicious ! My husband is happy as a cyclist this is a good energy food.
Yum! These are perfect for adding in your favorite mix-ins 🙂 So glad you two enjoy them!
I just got back from university for my Spring Break and thought I’d start off my holiday by baking up some cookies for my fam. I chose these, as I have a little brother… what’s more appealing to a little boy than M&M’s, peanut butter and chocolate in a cookie!? Needless to say, my brother AND my dad have devoured these. Great recipe!
Amazing!! Glad they loved these 🙂
These look delicious, we don’t do m&m’s becausemofnthe ingredients what’s a healthier alternative but like m&m’s?
You could add some extra dark chocolate chips! Otherwise I’ve found a couple of “M&M” type candies at Whole Foods that have some better ingredients – check out the candy aisle the next time you’re there 🙂
Well well MnMs n choco chips will serve the purpose. I think i can make my daughter like it with these. Kids are very tough to feed oats and walnuts…so loved it to make her have these. Will try today . Thanks for the detailed video n recipe.
Best healthy treat for the kiddos! Hope she loves them 🙂
Just made them and they are amazing!!!
Yes!! Happy to hear that 🙂
Great recipe! Used up some old trail mix, it made the perfect amount of nut butter too!
Perfect! Great way to use some leftover pantry items.
Where’s the Pinterest button to pin your recipes? I click the one at the top but it doesn’t give the specific recipe I will be looking at, it just takes me to your Pinterest page? I love your recipes so much and always want to pin them. Help….
Hi Kami! If you click the little pink “p” on the left side of the page (it’s the first one of the pink social icons that follow you as you scroll) it will take you to the photos + pin collage and you can pin from there!
Would using the quick oats work ok?
Hmmmm looks super similar to Cookie & Kate’s recipe 🧐
Most monster cookie recipes will have a similar base of ingredients (peanut butter, oats, eggs, etc.) but they are very different recipes with the ratios and add-ins 🙂
I’ve made these cookies twice now and both times they came out *perfect.* Love the flavor combo of all the “mix ins” together. Careful when making these because it will be hard not to eat the whole batch in a day!
Amazing!! So happy to hear that 🙂
Love these! If you are allergic to coconut, do you just leave it out or does it call for some sort of substitute?
Glad you love them! You can just leave it out and the cookies will be fine as is.
I’m love with this essay, fun and healthier recipe! My friend and family also live them
So happy to hear that, Daniela!
This are AMAZING! Probably one of my favorite cookies! I’m impressed that a healthy treat can be this satisfying! These delightful cookies are sooo good baked but they are also really good as a healthy uncooked snack! I opted for chia eggs instead of eggs, coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut peanut butter. For the add in’s, I choose roasted cinnamon pecans, shredded coconut, and homemade vegan chocolate chips (equal parts cacao powder, maple syrup and coconut oil, cook to blend and then freeze in candy molds) my hubby LOVED them too! THANK YOU!
Delicious! Glad those swaps worked out well!
I made this with a little less sugar (the recommended amount if you wanted less sugar) and they turned out delicious! Shared them with a few people and everyone enjoyed.
Perfect! I’m glad everyone liked them 🙂
I am obsessed with monster cookies and am so glad to have found these! They’re much healthier than my usual without sacrificing taste or texture. I also appreciate that it makes ~20 cookies, instead of like 6 dozen, because I do not share and I also do not need 72 cookies.
Thanks for the great recipe!
So happy you found these! One of my fav treats, too 🙂
I used sunbutter in place of PB for a nut allergy at a fundraiser. They cane out great! Weird color because when you bake sunbutter in gets kind of green, but they tasted amazing! Next time will use regular old PB for when I make them for my family!
Perfect! Yes, sunbutter reacts with baking soda to turn it a little green color – but it’s equally as delicious!
I added mini chocolate chips and some ground flaxseed into the batter then M&Ms on top. They were great and a huge hit with the athletes I work with. A tad crumbly but probably due to the added flax and I may have over cooked them a bit.
Delicious! Yes, the additional flax likely made them a bit drier and more crumbly. Glad everyone enjoyed!
This now are my absolute favorite! I have been baking this delicious cookies since I discovered them back in November. Can’t stop now!
Amazing! I’m so glad 🙂
This is the first time I’ve not felt like I had to compromise on taste and texture while also being gluten free.. It’s baffling how perfect the texture is!! These are incredible, going to make them all the time.
Also, my husband who is extremely critical of GF cookies loved them and wants me to make more ASAP.
Amazing! I’m so glad you both loved them. Never compromising on taste here 🙂
These are delicious and so easy to whip up! I enjoyed mine fresh from the oven with a glass of oat milk 😊
Absolutely! Such a great combo 🙂
Love this recipe! I have Celiac but actually hadn’t had monster cookies until years after being diagnosed. I don’t like coconut and my boyfriend doesn’t like walnuts so we leave those out and they are still amazing! We also don’t always have natural peanut butter so I’ve used regular and it’s just as good. After making these like 10 times I tried making a “non-healthy” version and still preferred these! They are my go-to GF monster cookies now.
So happy you found these ones! They’re perfect for customizing 🙂
Delicious easy cookies filled peanut butter and M&M goodness! Will be making again for sure.
One of my favs, too! Glad you loved them 🙂
These were SO STINKING GOOD!!!! A huge hit with my fam! The only nuts I had were peanuts so I used cashew butter in the base instead and they were amazing! Also added raisins instead of coconut and it was still great! Love how diverse you can make these cookies while still being delicious!
Perfect! This one’s great for adding any mix-ins you have 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
I’d like to add Protein powder to this recipe.. Any recommendations on how to modify?
I’d be a little concerned with them getting dry if you add protein powder. I would start with a scoop and maybe an extra tablespoon of coconut oil.
Super simple recipe to make and delicious! I love the different tastes and textures with the oats, coconut, walnuts, and chocolate. Not super sweet which is good for those who want a less sweet treat. Would make again 🙂
Absolutely! Glad you loved them!
I made these today and they came out fluffy/cakey instead of dense/chewy – is this what the texture is supposed to be like??
The only changes I made were using a mix of nut butters (including peanut butter), and to place nuts/m&ms on top instead of within the batter. Would love to try them again what with all the amazing reviews, but can’t figure out what went wrong, maybe over mixing??
Hmmm I’m not sure, perhaps it was a different blend of nut butters? I’ve never had this issue. Did you also use baking soda?
So easy and good. Have made them both with and without eggs (sub flax egg) and they are so yummy! I use a small scoop and flatten slightly – I get about 45 bite size cookies -which is good and bad, I can easily eat more than one!
This recipe came up on my Insta today and I I knew it would be a winner – they are as delicious as they look! For those of you who like a cookie with substance, these will hit the spot. I left out the M&Ms and added pecans instead for a guilt free snack. This recipe is a keeper and will be on high rotation in this house.
Amazing. I made a half batch because I was unsure if I would like them and I wish I had done a whole one! Substituted dired cranberries for the m&ms and slightly less walnuts and they were incredible. I might try dried cranberries next time!
Love the idea of dried cranberries! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
These are so delicious! I had to modify as I did not have m&m’s or nuts so I doubled the amounts of chocolate chips. I also did 1/2 sugar coconut sugar instead of 2/3 and they were plenty sweet! But I used skippy natural peanut butter verses a true natural peanut butter so I’m sure that made a difference. Will definitely make again! This time I used all butter but may try coconut oil next time.
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed!
Hi there! I was very excited to have a healthier version of these cookies, as they are my favourite, and I’ve been using a recipe from about 25 or 30 years ago. Plus, all of the recipes I’ve tried from your site have been tasty and I’m a big fan. However, although these were definitely tasty, I found the batter to be much too wet, and the cookies spread too much. So instead of a thick and chewy mouthful of m&ms and oats and peanut butter, they were thinner and had less structure. So, I’m wondering what happened. I even did not totally melt the butter, but used it softened, plus I used totally organic chunky peanut butter – only peanuts, no salt – and had poured the oil off, so it was thick. After the test batch, I added more oats because comparing the ratios to the previous recipe I had used for decades (also GF – only oats, no wheat flour, more sugar and butter), it seemed perhaps there was not enough oats (I used old-fashioned GF oats – big ones)? That definitely helped, so perhaps next time I’d maybe reverse the peanut butter and oats quantity? Not sure. I’d appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
strange, I’ve never encountered this issue nor has anyone else that I know of. They usually come out thick and chewy assuming you followed the recipe as written. It sounds like maybe your peanut butter had too much oil or that there weren’t enough oats. Feel free to use more!
These are so so yummy & packed with so much goodness. I think these are going to be my new go-to cookie bake!
So happy you love them!
I made these cookies a few weeks ago and they were delicious! It was great not having to chill the dough before baking. My family is not huge on coconut so I left it out and they turned out fantastic!
Perfect! So glad you loved them!
So yummy!! They ended up being my absolute favorite texture: crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle. I’ve had to eat gluten free for three years now, and every one of your GF cookie recipes never taste like they are. Even for my husband who eats gluten on the regular. 🙂
Perfect! So glad you found these 🙂
I tried this recipe as a part of AK 2020 cookie week. These cookies are bomb – fat stacks yo.
We don’t keep m&m’s in the house – too dangerous, so I used double chocolate chips, pecan, walnuts and unfortunately didn’t have coconut. 100% making these again
Love that! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
These came together really easily and are delicious! Thank you!
Absolutely! Happy you loved them!
Love the idea of these! Would cutting all ingredients in half work to get 10 instead of 20 cookies?
That should work!
I can’t get over how delicious these were! They came together in just about 7 minutes, too. Couldn’t ask for an easier treat to batch-make in advance.
The best easy dessert! Glad you loved them!
Easy delicious & healthy!! Great recipe. Thank you!
Absolutely! Glad you loved them 🙂
Delicious cookies that taste super sweet but are a healthier version to the traditional cookies.
Absolutely! Best treat 🙂
These are delicious. I didn’t have M&Ms so left them out, and still great – hearty and not too sweet (I only used 1/2 cup coconut sugar).
These are delicious! I didn’t have any nuts so I added extra oats. Highly recommend.
These cookies are so easy to make and loved by the whole family. They’re amazing right out of the oven but taste just as good the next day (if they last that long!)
These are a perfect, healthy treat to have in our house! Kids and I both love them! Fun and versatile recipe!
LOVE this cookies. They are the perfect mid day snack/pick me up without feeling guilty about it. Definitely making them again
Absolutely! Glad you love them!
Always a fun cookie to make and a crowd pleaser.
These are delicious and I didn’t feel super guilty afterwards. I used coconut sugar and I think brown sugar or some extra m&ms would have made this recipe even better. It was missing just a little sweetness for my taste, but like I said- I didn’t feel crappy after eating so maybe it was for the best.
Feel free to try these with brown sugar, too! Glad you enjoyed regardless.
Such an easy & tasty recipe! I love the addition of cinnamon – creates the perfect flavor!
Agreed! Glad you loved them!
It is now my favorite PB cookies recipe. My spouse didn’t believe when I said they were healthier and flourless!
I’m so glad! Easy and delicious 🙂
These are delicious and so easy!!! Love them!
So happy to hear that, Riley! 🙂
These are the favorite cookie in my house. Simple recipe and it’s easy to make adjustments/changes based on your taste. Sometimes I add a tad more PB and oats. Almost always I add more m&ms bc why not!
I’m so happy you love them!! And yes, I love that this recipe’s flexible, too 🙂
Maybe the best cookies ever!!!!
These are on repeat in my household on a monthly basis. Love making these for peoples birthdays or to bring to a weekend away with friends!! I love having a healthy treat around that I feel good about having multiple of in one sitting.
Love these, and the monster cookie energy bites!
Monster cookie everything!! Haha! So glad you love them 🙂
Every AK recipe I’ve made has been a hit. These are so delicious my husband and I struggle to not eat the entire batch in one night. Love love love these.
I’m so happy you love these, Melissa! Aren’t they addicting?!
These are fantastic!!! I did use the 1/2 cup brown sugar and chopped up chocolate almonds… so good!
Nice!! So happy you loved them, Michelle 🙂
Yum! Just made these with a little fall twist and added candy corn! I added a little salt for a salty/sweet bite. Thanks for the recipe:)
Ooooh love that so much!! And YES to the salt 🙌
These are so delicious and so easy! I did a mix of coconut oil and butter and it was perfect!
Yay!! Happy you loved these, Grace!
I was searching for the perfect cookie recipe to make and I found this one. It’s so delicious. And easy. I did use the coconut sugar option and they’re fabulous! Make sure to set your timer on the lowest – 10 minutes and watch them after that. I got a few too brown. But they’re delicious. A keeper for sure!
Yaaaay happy you tried and loved them, Kathy!
These are incredible and so easy to make. I have brought them to several gatherings and everyone always loves them.
Yay!! So happy everyone loves them. Appreciate the review!
Quick and easy recipe. I used Smarties instead of M&M’s and I’m worried I may have just ruined them. I’ll let you know (I’m wondering if there is a reason Monique doesn’t suggest Smarties as an add in). Doing a cookie week with a colleague to spread cheer for our last week of teaching before the holidays!
I haven’t tried Smarties in here–hope you enjoy them!
My absolute favourite cookie recipe! I’ve been pleased with every recipe of yours that I’ve tried. It’s hard to find a blog with consistent good results and your blog is my fav 😄
Can you make these into bars?
Probably, although I haven’t tested it so not totally sure about the bake temp/time! Let me know if you try it 🙂
Yummy! Used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and they were delicious. Substituted 1/2 of the peanut butter with cashew butter because I ran out of peanut butter. Thanks for the recipe!
I made these tonight for a sweet treat after dinner & they were super yummy!! 10/10 for us! I used coconut, m&m’s and enjoy life chocolate chunks. Thanks for a fun, yummy treat.
Absolutely! SO glad to hear they came out great 😊
These are the only cookies I’m making again for my cookie boxes this year! They were a hit last year! I increased the M&Ms and chocolate chips instead of adding nuts and/or coconut just as a personal preference and am doing the same this year! They are so festive with red and green M&Ms and the perfect addition to any cookie box/platter!
Love this! So glad you are enjoying this recipe and they have become a favorite ❤️🙂
Can you use regular peanut butter instead of all natural? I know it’s less healthy but the only peanut butter I have at the house!
Unfortunately it’ll change the consistency of the cookie, I recommend using the natural pb.
My family really likes these cookies!! I tried them because I am gluten free, and was also wanting a healthier cookie for my Cookie Monster grandson!!
I added some extra protein powder, and cut back the sugar to half cup packed , and put the dough in the frig for a bit, and they turned out great!! Check your oven temp. as mine runs low, and I had to bake them a little longer.. Will definitely make again!
YUM! So glad everyone loved these cookies ❤️
Quick, easy, very customizable and so yummy! Picky kid approved.
the best monster cookie ever
Yay!! I am so glad you are loving this recipe 🙂