You Only Need 3 Ingredients for These Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

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3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

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Freshly baked oatmeal cookies on baking rack.

Credit: Kelli Foster

These 3-ingredient cookies are the most perfect mash-up of chewy oatmeal cookies and tender peanut butter cookies — but even better. They come together in a single bowl, don’t require a mixer, and there’s a good chance you have everything you need for these in your pantry at this very moment.

Bonus: These 3-ingredient oatmeal cookies are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and use a natural sweetener (it’s maple syrup). It truly doesn’t get any better than this. 

Key Ingredients in 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

  • Quick-cooking oats. I developed these with quick-cooking oats because they make for a more soft and tender cookie. That said, if old-fashioned oats are all you have in the pantry, give them a quick blitz in a food processor, mini chopper, or blender before stirring together the cookie dough.
  • Peanut butter. Both natural peanut butter and peanut butter spread (like Skippy and Jif) work well here, so use what you prefer or already have handy. Creamy peanut butter is best, although crunchy will also work, as will other nut butter.
  • Maple syrup. Using this natural sweetener leaves these cookies tasting just sweet enough.

If You’re Making 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies, a Few Tips

  • Make sure the peanut butter is stirred well. This only applies if you’re using natural peanut butter, which has a tendency to separate. Be sure to give it a good stir first, so the oil is well-blended with the peanut butter. It’ll make the cookie dough much easier to mix together.
  • Dampen your hands before pressing the cookies. Because these cookies don’t spread, it’s helpful to flatten them with your fingers before baking. Lightly wetting your fingers with water will prevent the sticky dough from clinging to your skin. 
  • Give the cookies a twist. The basic cookie recipe has just three ingredients, but mix-ins are totally fair game here! I personally love mini chocolate chips. You can also add raisins, other chopped dried fruit, or a pinch of ground cinnamon. Or you can partially dip the baked (and cooled) cookies in melted chocolate.

They’re soft, chewy, and ready in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup

    smooth peanut butter (well-stirred if using natural peanut butter)

  • 1/2 cup

    maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups

    quick-cooking oats

Optional mix-ins:

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup

    mini or regular chocolate chips

  • 1/4 cup

    raisins

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

  2. Place 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter and 1/2 cup maple syrup in a medium bowl. Mix with a flexible spatula until well-combined. Add 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats and any optional mix-ins, if using. Mix until combined and no dry spots on the oats remain.

  3. Scoop the dough out into 2-tablespoon portions (14 to 15). Place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. The cookies will not spread as they bake, so dampen your hands and flatten each dough ball with your fingertips until about 2 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick.

  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back. Bake until the edges are set and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes more. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: An equal amount of almond butter or sunflower seed butter can be substituted for the peanut butter. An equal amount of honey can be substituted for the maple syrup.

Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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