No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

Well, we’re back from Moab! And all four of us survived the half marathon. I’ll have a race recap for you in the next few days, but for now, let’s just say it went better than last year! And that at the moment, I’d rather talk about cookies.

I don’t know about you all, but I absolutely love classic no-bake cookies. I ate them for the first time in our college dining hall, and I didn’t stop for four years straight. Those things are so good; they were seriously my downfall. They had them for dessert maybe once a week or every two weeks, and I had to get several every time. I would enter the dining hall planning to eat no dessert that night, but as soon as I saw those no-bake cookies, my sugar-free intentions fell by the wayside. That was the problem with dining hall desserts. There were some I had no interest in, and some I loved. God forbid they put out two of my favorites on the same night… because I had to have one of each. Never mind the fact that you knew it would be there again in a few weeks. At that moment it always seemed like you would be missing your last chance on earth for a no-bake cookie if you didn’t get one right that instant. That, my friends, is what we call the freshman 15.

My freshman 15 was made up almost exclusively of no-bake cookies, Twisted Smirnoffs, and discovering I loved cream in my coffee instead of milk. But let’s stick to the no-bakes for now.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

I really wanted to recreate those delicious, nostalgic no-bake cookies for you. But because my only no-bake cookie experience involved someone else not-baking them for me, I wasn’t sure of the ingredients. Upon finding what seemed to be the standard recipe floating out there on the internet, I was kind of bummed: apparently no-bake does not mean no-butter or no-sugar. Duh. But somehow I hoped they would magically be healthy due to their lack of oven time? Not true. Now I understand that whole freshman 15 thing.

Anyway, in my search, I happened upon a great healthier no-bake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Subbing coconut oil for butter and maple syrup for sugar is exactly what I had in mind to lighten these up. Sally just thought of it first – no surprise there! She is a baking goddess. I added my own twist on the recipe by using quinoa instead of oats. Yep, a quinoa cookie – we’re doing it!

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

Does a quinoa cookie sound weird to you? Yep, I kind of agree. But I gave it a whirl anyway, and I would encourage you to do the same, because the texture is awesome! Insider tip: Eat a few spoonfuls of the hot cookie dough before dropping it onto a baking sheet. Melted chocolate gets me every time – no surprise – and for some reason the combination with the quinoa is WONDERFUL. Don’t ask questions; just do it.

These are chocolaty, peanut buttery, chewy little balls of bliss, and definitely healthier than classic no-bakes. You would never know they’re vegan, gluten-free, and have no refined sugar! You might have to eat a few extra just to be sure it’s true.

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

4.8 from 4 reviews
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
A healthier version of the classic no-bake cookies, using quinoa instead of oats. Vegan, gluten-free, and no refined sugar.
Yields: 20-25 small cookies
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (from about 1 cup uncooked quinoa)
  • mini chocolate chips for decorating (optional)
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and clear a space in your fridge or freezer for it. Set aside.
  2. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to combine. Let boil for about one minute, then remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Mix in quinoa. Make sure to taste test!
  3. Drop batter in small scoops onto the parchment paper. If desired, top with a few mini chocolate chips.
  4. Place trays in fridge or freezer to set, which will take at least an hour. The cookies are ready once they are completely firm. For best results, store in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy!


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  1. says

    Welcome home! I was loving all those pictures on instagram! It’s been years since I’ve been to Moab and I need to make it back to do some mountain biking! Your no-bake cookies are straight up killing me! Must action these soon!

  2. says

    I’m glad to hear your half went better this year! Can’t wait to read the recap.

    I am a wee bit obsessed with quinoa flour but I have yet to try baking with actual quinoa. I like the idea though. These look amazing! I love that they’re healthified too. Can you send me a few? Overnight shipping please. ;)

    • Erica says

      I have yet to try quinoa flour! It is on my experimentation list for sure. Wish I could overnight you some, but these are GONE. I made sure of that after the race yesterday! :)

  3. says

    welcome home! Can’t wait to hear about the race. I’m a horrible baker so these no bake cookies are calling my name. The the idea of the quinoa in these guys! Your oatmeal muffins were a hit at our house so this is next up!

  4. Laura says

    Hello! I made these last night, and they are super tastey! I possibly didn’t put enough quinoa as mine were quite dark and dense. As a result, I had white bottoms. I sprinkled some coconut on the top, and they looked lovely. So much fun! Thanks for sharing, and I will definitely make them again!

  5. says

    These were nothing short of AMAZING! They turned out PERFECTLY! Thank you so much! I’m a huge fan of quinoa, it’s true, but I don’t usually like recipes that “mess” with the classics. This is a very NOTABLE exception! I think I like these even better than the original oatmeal variety!

  6. Joy says

    I made these with one alteration. I used almond butter instead of the traditional peanut butter–think almond joy! Yum! These are a great fix when you get a sweet tooth, and have soooo many health benefits that it would almost be a shorter list to state what the ingredients DON’T help. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • says

      Glad someone tried this with almond butter and gave it a thumbs up. :) My son has the peanut and egg allergy (and we eat pretty healthy) so I’m always looking for new things we can try… :D I might try it with sunflower seed butter, too.

  7. Sarah says

    I made these last week, and the ones in the fridge never set up. The ones in the freezer did, and then remained “sort of” set up once transferred to the fridge. I think my quinoa was a bit soggy, so I accept full responsibility for that problem! However, I even thought the taste was just “pretty good”.

    This week, I’ve been crazy coconut macaroons. Not the white coconut cookies, but the little coconut-impregnated chocolates that come in a box. Do you know the ones I mean? Anyway, I thought I’d try adapting this recipe and seeing what I could create.

    I halved the recipe above, mixed in a cup of coconut, and VOILA! AMAZING! I dropped them into TINY candy pieces on a cookie sheet and got about 4 dozen. (I mixed in the coconut before the PB, thinking PB might be weird, and made one of the macaroons like that. Then I mixed in the PB and it was WAY better. After they were set I compared the two and the ones with the PB are 100x better. So leave it in.) :)

    Then I set them out on the back step for 10 mins (I’m in Canada, so the world is my freezer at the moment… and colder than my actual freezer!), and they were perfect. Transferred them to a container which I’m keeping my fridge, and the only problem I’m having is with my self-control.

    So just to clarify: in the recipe above, you would omit the quinoa and add 2 cups of coconut (I used 1 because I halved the recipe).

    Seriously. Try it. It’s re-dunk-ulous (do kids say that anymore?)

  8. says

    These cookies look very healthy and delicious. I am a huge fan of no bake cookies and am interested in trying these, but I am brand new at cooking with Quinoa. What does it mean in the Ingredients, where it says:
    3 cups cooked Quinoa ( from about 1 cup uncooked quinoa )? Do I cook 2 cups of Quinoa and add in 1 cup of uncooked quinoa?

    • Erica says

      Hi Steph, I haven’t calculated the calories. You could certainly enter the ingredients into an app like My Fitness Pal or Lose It to find out, though!

  9. Julia Mason says

    I saw this and immediately wondered if you were a Bates alum! I’m currently a freshman at Bates and these are my favorite! I worked in the bakery last semester and loved making these :) Small world!

    • Erica says

      Hi Carolyn, no, you need to use a fat that is solid at room temperature, like butter or canola oil. Otherwise these will not firm up.

  10. Sarah says

    Do you melt the coconut oil? Mine is in a jar in the cupboard and pretty hard; like a shortening consistency

    • Erica says

      Hi Sarah, yes, if your coconut oil is too hard to measure, you can melt it. I often stick the whole jar in the microwave for 30 seconds.

  11. says

    This received rave reviews (even from my little four year old that does not like quinoa). These “cookies” are soft, delicious, very chocolate-peanut buttery. While you are melting together the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt and peanut butter you will get an audience- it has a mouth watering scent of chocolate-peanut butter. Thank you so much for helping me feed my family a healthy and delicious snack.

  12. wildgeraniums says

    Just want to say these are amazing! I also experimented with the concept and made a non chocolate variation. Substituted almond butter, left out the cocoa, added more vanilla, added dried unsweetened coconut, and dried cranberries. Different but tasty!

  13. Julie Jules says

    Would the NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER QUINOA COOKIES work with Quinoa flakes instead of the grains?

  14. says

    I substituted raw honey for maple syrup – and made a mix of oats and quinoa. I also upped the vanilla to a tablespoon. I love the addition of coconut oil!! They are a little gooey, but oh so delicious.

  15. Ashley says

    I have everything EXCEPT maple syrup. I also ran out of honey when making quinoa brownies last week… But I have pancake syrup lol. I know it’s very unhealthy, but could I substitute the maple syrup for pancake syrup?


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