These healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies use a lot less sugar than my regular pumpkin oatmeal cookies and there’s no butter or oil in the dough. They have wonderful spiced pumpkin flavor and you can add chocolate chips and/or dried cranberries for even more flavor. The best part? There’s no cookie dough chilling so a batch is ready in only 25 minutes!
You are going to love these! Today’s cookies have absolutely no butter or oil in them. They are left soft from the pumpkin puree and egg. I kept them even more wholesome by loading them with oats and whole wheat flour.
What I loved the most about them is that I really didn’t use much sugar at all in the dough. Feel free to add more or reduce the amount as you please, but I found 1/2 cup of sugar was perfect for these. Update: try them with coconut sugar!
Flavorful & Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
The chocolate chips and dried cranberries work double duty: sweetening the cookies and creating mass appeal. Something about the juicy pop of sweetness from a dried (or fresh!) berry and the rich decadence of chocolate—there’s really nothing quite like this duo.
With no mixer required, the dough comes together pretty quickly. Start to finish, the cookies were ready in about 25 minutes.
The cookies pack a huge pumpkin flavor punch. Pleasantly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, they’re the epitome of fall. You could even use homemade pumpkin pie spice here! See recipe Note.
Perfecting The Recipe
Baking cookies with pumpkin is tough because more often than not, you’re going to end up with a cakey cookie. Not necessarily a bad thing—see my soft pumpkin cookies.
For these healthy cookies, however, I wanted something with a bit more texture but still overloaded with pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin adds a ton of moisture to a cookie dough. There’s so much liquid in pumpkin that it’s a real challenge to find the best dry to wet/sturdy to soft ratios; sometimes too much of a good thing spells disaster. (That’s why I leave out the egg when making pumpkin snickerdoodles and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.)
I went with 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and added in a bunch of oats to help soak it all up. The cookies turned out light, but quite dense. They have lots of “staying” power and are quite satisfying.
Success Tip: Flatten Before Baking
The cookies should be shaped exactly how you want them to bake up. In other words, flatten them out so they aren’t balls of uncooked pumpkin cookie dough inside. The absence of butter and increased amounts of oats and leavening agents don’t really allow the cookies to spread like your typical chocolate chip cookies—so make sure you flatten them out a bit before baking.
And be sure to try my other favorite healthier fall dessert of choice… lightened up pumpkin spice bars!Print
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 16 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies without all the sugar and fat. Instead of chocolate chips and dried cranberries, feel free to use whatever add-ins you like best!
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour* (spoon & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar*
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. Fold together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined and do not overmix. The cookie dough will be very thick.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets and slightly flatten to the shape you want your cookie. Bake for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature for 3 days in an airtight container.
- Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, you can freeze these baked cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Gluten Free: You can use almond flour or oat flour instead of the whole wheat or all-purpose flour.
- Sugar: Try these with 1/2 cup of coconut sugar instead of the listed brown sugar and granulated sugar. They’re so tasty!
- Spices: Instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in the cookie dough, you can use 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. You could also just replace the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves with pumpkin pie spice and keep the cinnamon in the recipe.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
- Adapted from my friend Christi @ Love From The Oven.
Keywords: healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
I can’t believe how quickly these cookies came together! And hardly any clean-up, always a plus! I used a 1.5 T. cookie scoop and got 20 cookies. I tried one right out of the oven and right away shared the recipe with my sister. These cookies are chewy, not too sweet, they include chocolate (rah!) … but I think my favorite part of the flavor profile is the ground cloves. Will definitely be making these again.
Right up my alley with low sugar, pumpkin & oats!! Once again another great recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction! They turned out great. Not crunchy, but a great chew!! I used palm sugar with light brown sugar. I went a little crazy with spices: 3/4 tsp each of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp each of cardamom, ginger & fresh nutmeg. Also, used currants & toasted pecans as well as high protein oats.
Very rubbery and no flavor. Very upset about this recipe
Really delicious! A great way to use up leftover pumpkin puree and I added mini chocolate chips. Tasty and easy! Thanks Sally!
No weight measurements?
Hi Laura, this is an older recipe that hasn’t been updated to include weight measurements. Almost all of our other cookie recipes do, though, if you would like to browse there!
A little dry but good! I put white chocolate chips in mine, no cranberries. Definitely needs the sweet punch of the chips. I also left mine in the oven for 17 minutes. They seemed too raw a 13. Overall a good cookie.
wow! Made a batch following directions completely–so good! Just as advertised–total crowed pleaser 🙂
I made a second batch, with maple syrup instead of sugars, shredded coconut to replace the flour, plus flax meal and hempseeds. I think I just created my new favorite fall granola bar. They got nice and crunchy. I flattened them down after a few minutes of baking first.
Thanks so much!!!
Can you freeze this dough?
Hi Heather, You can! Here is How to Freeze Cookie Dough.
Love these! I turned them into lactation cookies by adding 2 tbsp brewers yeast and 1.5 tbsp ground flax. Had to add about 2 tbsp more of pumpkin to get the moisture balance right. I wish I made a double batch they turned out so good and aren’t too sweet!
I made these cookies and they are very tasty. I definitely want to make them again My only issue is that they were so dry they were crumbling and falling apart. Can someone suggest what I can do to make them hold together better? Maybe adding some liquid or more pumpkin purée?
Hi Barb, Any chance that you used quick oats instead of whole oats? Quick oats will soak up more liquid leaving you with a dry cookie. Also be sure that you are measuring the flour and oats correctly (spoon and level – don’t scoop) so that you aren’t ending up with too much of each.
We never have quick oats in the house, always just the old fashioned whole oats and I weigh the flour. I always chill my cookie dough because it makes better cookies, so maybe that made a different. I definitely will make again because we really like them. I’ll add a little more pumpkin puree to see if that helps.
Love this recipe! They are the perfect amount of sweet, and I love the oats in them!
I had a can of pumpkin left from last Fall and during COVID-19 “stay at home” I’m looking for ways to use what I have in the pantry. I made a double batch of your pumpkin cookies today (didn’t double the chocolate chips & craisins). They were plenty sweet. I also added some chopped pecans ’cause my husband is a fan of nuts in his cookies. I have enough pumpkin for four more batches. I really liked that they were not cakey, like so many other pumpkin cookie recipes I’ve tried. This is a keeper.
The flavor is good, but they are very rubbery. I’m really bummed about this texture. I’m not sure if that’s how they are supposed to come out or I missed something somehow.
Did this recipe with stevia chocolate chips, and almond flour! Substituted no sugar for a few drops of liquid stevia and a couple tablespoons of maple syrup, and added another heaping TBS of almond flour to make more dry. Baked beautifully, but a little moist due to liquid sweetener. I still gobbled up every one of them!
Thanks for the guidelines for the recipe!
My husband has really ridiculous cravings for sweets after EVERY meal. His whole life. Well, he recently had a very disappointing dentist visit and it’s time to start cutting sweets bad. Can’t wait to try all your other good recipes with NO SUGAR but this is a wonderful start. And FYI for anyone who might want to know – I subbed carrot puree for the pumpkin and it worked WONDERFULLY. Thank you, Sally. I’ve been using your recipes for well over 6 years or so. Thanks for all you do!
Could you sub agave for the sugar?
Hi Melissa! I haven’t tried them with a liquid sweetener. If you’re looking for an unrefined sugar alternative, I love using coconut sugar. Let me know what you try!
help Sally! I can’t find ground cloves, can I substitute it with all spice?
There are so many ‘healthy’ recipes for cookies like this on the internet… and THIS is the GOOD one! I’ve put in all kinds of fillings (different nuts, dried fruit, chocolate,) and they’re filling enough to make a decent snack in place of a granola bar.
Made these this evening and they were delightful. Thank you for sharing!
Do these cookies freeze well? I like to make my desserts in advance of the holiday and freeze them.
Yep, they freeze well. Up to 2-3 months.
Love these! Made them last week and my whole family loved them and could not believe they didn’t have any butter or oil in them! Can’t wait to make them again and try some different ad-ins.
Made the Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip cookies. Everything you said is true. They are the BEST COOKIE EVER! Soft, moist,and so yummy. I will be making these cookies for a bakesale this week-end. Other then being delish they look beautiful. THANK YOU!