No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are old-fashioned favorites made with a short list of ingredients. These gooey, chewy cookies are a long-time favorite!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
These classic No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies commonly make appearances on lists of all-time favorite cookies. We’ve all likely made some variation of this recipe at some point. I’m sure many of you are being hit with a wave of nostalgia right now. They are so simple and just so good that they’ve been around in some form for many years.
You may have also enjoyed these with the addition of chocolate to the batter. While I love that version, too, my inner peanut butter lover is always beyond thrilled to enjoy a couple of these little guys.
In many ways, these sweet, gooey cookies are more candy than cookie. These cookies aren’t baked, but are rather made on the stovetop. If you can melt things and stir, you’ve got this. Seriously, these are amazingly easy to make! And that peanut butter flavor is amazing!
What You’ll Need
There are only 7 ingredients for this recipe and you probably already have everything! Here’s what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Brown sugar – You can use light or dark brown.
- Unsalted butter
- Milk – Any kind of milk will work.
- Creamy peanut butter – I prefer regular peanut butter (like Jif, Skippy, etc.) vs natural peanut butters.
- Vanilla extract
- Salt – I use enough to make these cookies fall into the “salty and sweet” category, so you may want to reduce the amount of salt if you want more sweetness and less saltiness.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats – Not instant oats. Quick-cooking oats are smaller and won’t create the same chewy texture. Learn more: Rolled Oats vs Quick Oats
How to Make No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies are about as easy as it gets when it comes to dessert. No oven time, just a few minutes on the stovetop! Here’s how to make them:
- Prep your tools. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside.
- Place the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. If you have a candy thermometer, use that to cook the mixture to 230°F.
- Add peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth.
- Stir in the oats.
- Shape the cookies. Drop the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between cookies.
- Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.
Tips for Success
- Measure all ingredients before starting. You’ll need to move fairly quickly making these cookies, so it’s a great help to have everything measured and ready to go. That includes having the lined pans ready, too.
- Use a large saucepan. You’ll need plenty of room for the bubbly mixture and for stirring the ingredients. I use a 3.5 quart heavy saucepan like the one linked below the recipe.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter. It will speed up the process and also make the size of the cookies consistent.
- Don’t skip the chilling time. These gooey cookies need that stint in the refrigerator to set. You may want to store them in the refrigerator as well, especially during the warmer months.
- Cookies not setting? They likely weren’t boiled long enough. Be sure to start timing that minute of boiling only after the mixture is at a full boil. Their ability to set can also be affected by environmental factors like humidity.
- Cookies too dry? That’s from over-cooking them. Don’t forget to set a timer or use a candy thermometer!
- Use natural peanut butters with caution. There’s quite a bit of variation among natural peanut butters, so it’s tough to say how well they would work in these cookies. Use regular peanut butter for the best and most consistent results.
- Add more oats if you like. If you want these to be a bit more chewy and a little less gooey, then add up to another cup of oats.
- Want to add some chocolate? Try melting some dark chocolate and drizzling on top of the cookies.
How to Store
As you might expect, these no bake cookies are a little sticky. Be sure to let them set well before serving, but you still may want to store them in the refrigerator to help them stay sturdy. They will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
I have to admit that these No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are one of my weaknesses. I just love everything about them, from their ease of preparation to their sweet and salty goodness. They’re such a quick and fun kitchen project, too. This no bake cookie recipe definitely deserves a spot on my favorite cookies list!
23 Comments on “No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies”
Can you substitute Nondairy butter and milk to make these?
Hi, Josie. I’ve not tried that, so I can’t say for sure how well it would work. These cookies are sensitive to temperature and boiling time, so my guess is that if it can work, you’d need to do some experimenting with the cooking and/or the other ingredients.
Sounds great. I’m interested in how many carbs and sugar. I’m a diabetic! Thanks
Hi, Denise! I don’t currently provide nutrition information, but there are several online that will calculate that for you.
Thank you for uour amazing recipes. As im a diabetic i would like to know if there any diabetic friendly recipes that people with my condiyion can enjoy. Thank you once again!
Hi, Angeline! I’m a traditional baker, so I don’t specifically make recipes for special diets.
Can you substitute corn flakes in this recipe? I grew up with this no bake delight with cornflakes instead of oatmeal. Thanks!
Hi, Sarah. I’ve not tried that with this specific recipe, but it might work. Take a look at these Peanut Butter Corn Flake Bars, which can be made as either bars or cookies.
Thank you SO much for this recipe. Im type 2 diabetic on 2 insulins and these ingredients are everything i put in my favorite post workout breakfast (minus the salt). I substituted a diabetic sweeter for the brown sugar. Delicious!
I’m glad you enjoyed them!
Can I use crunchy peanut butter?
Hi, Todd. I think that would work, but I’ve not tried it.
I tried making these they were really good but they did not set up could you tell me what I did wrong possibly.
Hi, Brooklyn. When they don’t set, it’s usually because they didn’t boil long enough.
Going to make these later, not with mostly crunchy pb as. That’s what I got. I read other recipes online that use crunchy and my grandma used to as well so I’m comfortable with outcome. I like your recipe because it uses brown sugar and less sugar other recipes. I’m wondering if I could get away wit h adding some of my chocolate protein powder or even coco powder, hmm I may have to research the recipes that utilize that ingredient and make sure I don’t need to offset it with more milk or something. Will update when I’ve completed my trial.
Iv made them for a client and yes for diabetic receipts you can use Stevia which is a better sugar substitute when baking than most others. They even have a brown sugar substitute that works great so I always use 1/2 of each to make the amount called for in a
receipe . ALICIA
I apologize for my ignorance but 1/2 of which sugar did you use to make with Stevia? Again, I do apologize if this is completely a stupid question. Thanks. Martha
If brought to a full rolling boil for one minute and fifteen seconds, the cookies will be firm and not so sticky and “gooey”. The second time I made them I used one minute oats, and they were easier to chew. I love them.
How would you know that the no bake Peanut butter cookies last for a week in the refrigerator?
Hi, Toni! Some sources say they’ll last in the refrigerator two or three times that long, but I prefer not to keep them past a week.
I just made these cookies for my great grandson and family that came over unexpected and I didn’t have any goodies for them to snack on .
I didn’t add any salt, and I did add more oatmeal for a thicker consistency and I used almond milk.
I also added a little cinnamon and collagen protein to the batch and they turned out wonderful!
Easy to make and I didn’t have to turn the oven to bake them!
Glad you liked them, Maria!