Homemade Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies – without turning on the oven!

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies are an easy and quick treat with simple ingredients you likely have on hand. Made with oats and cocoa, they are chewy, chocolaty, and bites of homemade goodness!

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies piled on a plate.

Ingredients

The ingredients in these cookies is not long and you likely even have them on hand!

  • Butter While I prefer unsalted, you can use salted butter. It’ll give a more sweet and salty combo!
  • Sugar – This recipe calls for white sugar but brown sugar can be used for a deeper flavor. If using brown sugar, it adds moisture, so you may need an extra sprinkle of oats to balance it out!
  • Milk – Dairy-free or regular milk can be used.
  • Oats – I prefer quick-cooking oats as they will get chewier than other types of oats. Avoid steel-cut oats of course.

Left image - dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Right image - all ingredients being combined in a sauce pan.

How to Make Oatmeal Cookies:

These are so fast to pull together, it reminds me of making rice crispy treats, it’s that easy. Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Melt butter and mix in sugar and milk until bubbly. Stir in vanilla and salt.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and drop by the tablespoon onto a plate.

Let chill and that’s all there is to it! You can feel free to mix this recipe up with your favorite add-ins.

Left image - No Bake Oatmeal Cookie batter mixed in a sauce pan. Right image - No bake oatmeal cookies being scooped onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Troubleshooting

After you mix all the ingredients, you should be able to easily shape the batter and press it into cookies or leave it into balls. After you refrigerate the cookies, they need to hold their shape when you pick one up, so you can easily bite into it.

  • Brown Sugar – remember, if you use brown sugar, it adds moisture, so you may have to add extra oats.
  • Oats – If you use old fashioned oats, you may have to add extra oats.
  • Too Crumbly – If the cookies are too dry and they crumble, impossible to shape, you can add a bit of melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Too Wet – If you added all the oats you have on hand and the cookies still don’t hold their shape well, you can mix in shredded coconut flakes or graham cracker crumbs.

Storing

Counter/Fridge: These should last in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days, and for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Freezer: No bake oatmeal cookies can be frozen for a rainy day. Freeze them individually, between layers of wax paper in an airtight container. They should last for up to 6 months in the deep freeze if handled correctly and wrapped well.

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies are very easy to make, without even turning on the oven!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  1. In a big pot, combine sugar, milk, and butter on medium heat. Stir and let boil for 5 mins.

  2. Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla.

  3. In a bowl, mix oatmeal, cocoa, and coconut together. Then stir in sugar, milk and butter mixture. Mix well.

  4. Drop by the tablespoon onto a plate, chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

More No Bake Desserts

Top photo - No bake oatmeal cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bottom photo - No bake oatmeal cookies being scooped onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
No bake oatmeal cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Top photo No Bake Oatmeal Cookies piled on a plate. Bottom photo - all ingredients assembled in a sauce pan.

Easy Cheesy Ham Casserole

Ham Casserole is one of those yummy cheesy dishes that just scream home-cooked comfort. This casserole is made with ham and pasta tossed in a creamy cheesy sauce (much like a mac and cheese)!

This is a great dish to make that leftover ham stretch to satisfy a crowd.

Close up of the baked ham casserole with a spoon taking a scoop out of the corner.

What Goes in Ham Casserole

Cheesy ham casserole combines diced ham, with tender pasta in a creamy homemade cheese sauce. With 3 types of cheese (cheddar, gruyere and parmesan cheeses) this is a tasty dish!

A little thyme and Dijon add a savory lift to this leftover ham casserole .

Finally, a topping of buttered Panko bread crumbs with cheese provides some welcome crunch-appeal.

Close up of the cheese sauce being poured over the ham and pasta in a white casserole dish.

Substitute to your heart’s content with the cheeses and pasta! Any kind of pasta will work for ham noodle casserole. Shells are my favorite, they cup and hold the cheese sauce, and are melt-in-your-mouth tender! I also find cheddar cheese is always great for melting into a sauce, but you can use any pasta or cheese you have on hand for this dish!

  • Pasta: rotini, penne, macaroni or even spaghetti.
  • Cheese: colby, asiago, swiss or muenster would be delicious!

How to Cook Ham Casserole

Homemade Cheese Sauce is easy to make and creates great flavor for this casserole. The sauce for this recipe starts with a roux.

Pre-shredded cheese can have starches added to keep it from clumping so it may not melt as well. For this sauce, it’s best to shred your own cheese.

Overview of the ham,pasta and cheese sauce mixture in a white casserole dish with the remaining toppings on the side.

Prep & Bake

  1. Melt butter in a large pot. Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute (per recipe below). Slowly whisking in the milk and to thicken. Add cheese until creamy.
  2. Combine cheese sauce, ham and pasta in a casserole dish.
  3. Top with crumb topping.

Bake until bubbly and the top is browned and crisp.

Creamy cheesy ham and noodle casserole with a bread crumb topping

What to Serve With Ham Casserole

Ham and cheese casserole is creamy stick-to-your-ribs rich with salt from the ham and cheese. Look for a side dish that is light, fresh and sweet or tangy. A fresh fruit salad, fresh tomato salad or cucumber dill salad would be welcome companions for ham casserole.

More Cheesy Pasta

Ham Casserole

This easy cheesy ham casserole is the perfect way to use up your leftover ham and stretch it to feed a crowd!

  • 1 lb medium shells
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup light cream (10-12% M.F.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar (divided)
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups diced ham

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix together topping ingredients, set aside.
  2. Cook shells al dente according to package directions. Drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter, flour and seasonings in a saucepan. Allow to cook 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add in cream and milk while whisking after each addition. The mixture will seem thick at first but will smooth out with each addition.
  5. Once all of the cream/milk is added, whisk while bringing to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 2 1/2 cups cheddar, gruyere cheese and parmesan until smooth.
  7. Mix cheese sauce with cooked pasta and ham and place in a 9×13 pan. Add topping and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  8. Bake 22-26 minutes or until heated through and topping is browned. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

 

This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham
This ham casserole is made with pasta, 3 types of cheese, and a crunchy bread crumb topping! It's a great dish when looking for a way to stretch your leftover ham to feed a crowd. #spendwithpennies #hamcasserole #maindish #pasta #kidfriendly #budgetfriendly #leftoverham

Banana Breakfast Cookies – just grab and go!

Banana Breakfast Cookies are loaded with everything you need to get your day off to a good start. Oats, nuts and of course bananas!

This easy breakfast cookie recipe is reminiscent of our favorite banana bread recipe and is perfect to grab and go on a busy morning!

banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack

Cookies for Breakfast?

Breakfast cookies are soft cookies packed with nuts, dried fruits, and whole grains (and a few chocolate chips for good measure). The texture of these cookies is not like regular Chocolate Chip Cookies or Oatmeal Cookies because they don’t have much added fat and they do have a lot of moisture from the bananas.

The texture is more similar to a banana bread.

To Make Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies require very little prep.

Bananas, egg and oats in a bowl for making breakfast cookies

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and stir to combine.
  4. Drop spoonfuls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, press with a fork to flatten. Bake, cool and serve.

Dough for banana breakfast cookies in a bowl

Add Ins

You can substitute other nuts, seeds or dried fruit for the raisins and walnuts according to your preference. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried currants or dates are all suitable options that will work equally well.

Banana breakfast cookies on a baking tray.

How to Store

Banana breakfast cookies will last in the refrigerator for four days, or in the freezer for up to four months. This makes them a convenient make-ahead cookie.

Remove as many as you need in the morning and return the rest to the freezer. They defrost quickly but can be microwaved for a  few seconds to warm slightly if needed.

More Grab ‘n Go Breakfasts

We love these banana cookies because they make mornings simple and delicious. Just grab one of these on your way out the door and munch them on your way to work or school for a quick and filling breakfast on the go!

Banana Breakfast Cookies

Easy breakfast cookies are perfect for any time of day!! Bananas, oats and nuts make these delicious.

  • 3 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Place heaping tablespoons on a parchment lined pan and gently press with a fork.
  4. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
  5. Store in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.

banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack

Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.
Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.
Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.

Banana Breakfast Cookies – just grab and go!

Banana Breakfast Cookies are loaded with everything you need to get your day off to a good start. Oats, nuts and of course bananas!

This easy breakfast cookie recipe is reminiscent of our favorite banana bread recipe and is perfect to grab and go on a busy morning!

banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack

Cookies for Breakfast?

Breakfast cookies are soft cookies packed with nuts, dried fruits, and whole grains (and a few chocolate chips for good measure). The texture of these cookies is not like regular Chocolate Chip Cookies or Oatmeal Cookies because they don’t have much added fat and they do have a lot of moisture from the bananas.

The texture is more similar to a banana bread.

To Make Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies require very little prep.

Bananas, egg and oats in a bowl for making breakfast cookies

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and stir to combine.
  4. Drop spoonfuls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, press with a fork to flatten. Bake, cool and serve.

Dough for banana breakfast cookies in a bowl

Add Ins

You can substitute other nuts, seeds or dried fruit for the raisins and walnuts according to your preference. Almonds, peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried currants or dates are all suitable options that will work equally well.

Banana breakfast cookies on a baking tray.

How to Store

Banana breakfast cookies will last in the refrigerator for four days, or in the freezer for up to four months. This makes them a convenient make-ahead cookie.

Remove as many as you need in the morning and return the rest to the freezer. They defrost quickly but can be microwaved for a  few seconds to warm slightly if needed.

More Grab ‘n Go Breakfasts

We love these banana cookies because they make mornings simple and delicious. Just grab one of these on your way out the door and munch them on your way to work or school for a quick and filling breakfast on the go!

Banana Breakfast Cookies

Easy breakfast cookies are perfect for any time of day!! Bananas, oats and nuts make these delicious.

  • 3 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Place heaping tablespoons on a parchment lined pan and gently press with a fork.
  4. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
  5. Store in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Nutritional information does not include optional ingredients.

banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack

Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.
Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.
Banana breakfast cookies stacked on a cooling rack.

Best Ever Monster Cookies (Peanut Butter/Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip)

Monster Cookies are packed with all kinds of tasty morsels! With a peanut butter and rolled oat cookie base, you can add in your favorite mix-ins to create a totally unique cookie combination. 

These monster cookies are a combination of our favorite Peanut Butter Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. So tasty and delicious!

Monster cookies stacked together with a bite missing out of one.

What Makes it a Monster Cookie?

It’s the assortment of all the great, gooey goodness of the mix-ins!

For the best monster cookies, pick your own mix-ins like dried fruit, or nuts, baking chips or even your favorite M&M flavors! What about toffee bits or even nuts? Every monster cookie can be just as unique as the little (or big) monsters making them!

This is definitely the world’s best monster cookie recipe because it’s made with oatmeal, which gives it a super chewy texture and helps hold all the goodies together!

four images showing the steps to prepare monster cookies.

To Bake Monster Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking pan (or a pizza pan) with parchment paper.

  1. Cream together peanut butter (creamy OR crunchy), molasses, and butter until fully mixed.
  2. Add in dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Now is the time for the fun! Drop in the mix-ins and stir until all the ingredients are mixed together well.
  4. Using a cookie or an ice cream scoop, drop scoops on the parchment paper, spacing them equally 3 inches apart.

Make Ahead Cookies

At this point, they cookies can be placed on a pan and frozen before baking. Once frozen, place them in a freezer bag and let them defrost overnight in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before baking.

Bake until the edges of the cookie are golden brown and the center is cooked. Remove from the oven, and let cool.

Monster cookies scooped onto a baking pan.

Optional Add-Ins

  • Nuts: any kind! Toast them in a saute pan about 5 minutes first to make them crunchier.
  • M&M’s: plain, peanut, peanut butter, all sizes, shapes, and flavors!
  • Dried Fruit: cranberries, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, flaked coconut, and even sliced & dried bananas!
  • Extra Crunch: crushed potato chips, pretzels, whoppers
  • Flavored Morsels: butterscotch, chocolate, caramel, or Heath

Overview of a monster cookie with M&M's and chocolate chips.

To Store Cookies

Monster cookies will last at least a week at room temperature if kept sealed in a zippered bag or sealed container. Keep your monster cookies cool so they stay firm.

Chances are though, the best monster cookies don’t stay around too long!

Crazy for Cookies?

Best Ever Monster Cookies

These Monster cookies can be easily altered to include practically anything you might have kicking around your pantry. M&Ms, peanut butter or white chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, nuts!

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter ((either smooth or chunky will work))
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Optional Mix-Ins:

  • 2 cups total of any of the following:
  • Dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, cherries, raisins
  • Chocolate or peanut butter M&Ms, any kind of baking chip such as peanut butter or white chocolate, toffee bits
  • Chopped nuts of any sort- cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds are all great
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cream together peanut butter, butter, molasses, and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add sugar and mix until incorporated.

  3. Place oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk until combined.

  4. Add dry ingredients a bit at a time to wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

  5. Drop in your mix-ins, stir gently to combine.

  6. Using a cookie scoop, drop cookie dough in golf-ball sized portions on prepared pans. Leave about 3 inches between cookies.

  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or just until golden on the edges.

  8. Allow cookies to cool about 3 minutes on the pan. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Nutrition information does not include add-ins.

 

This easy monster cookie recipe is made with oatmeal, peanut butter, and your choice of mix-ins. My family loves making them with nuts, chocolate chips, and even dried fruit! They are soft, chewy, and simply the best! #spendwithpennies #monstercookies #dessert #cookierecipe #kidfriendly
This easy monster cookie recipe is made with oatmeal, peanut butter, and your choice of mix-ins. My family loves making them with nuts, chocolate chips, and even dried fruit! They are soft, chewy, and simply the best! #spendwithpennies #monstercookies #dessert #cookierecipe #kidfriendly
This easy monster cookie recipe is made with oatmeal, peanut butter, and your choice of mix-ins. My family loves making them with nuts, chocolate chips, and even dried fruit! They are soft, chewy, and simply the best! #spendwithpennies #monstercookies #dessert #cookierecipe #kidfriendly

Creamy Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad (Easy!)

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is packed with flavor, texture and color! While our favorite Italian pasta salad recipe is often served as a side, this hearty dish eats like a meal!

Loaded with chicken, pasta, bacon and veggies this dish is tossed in a rich ranch mayo dressing for the perfect meal to satisfy a crowd.

Chicken pasta salad mixed and garnished with green onions and dill.

This chicken pasta salad is an easy way to stretch any leftover baked chicken breast or you can use rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken! You can serve it as a main dish, or as a side at a potluck (and it makes great lunches throughout the week).

What Goes in Pasta Salad

When making a cold pasta salad you can add in as many or as little ingredients are you want. A classic version will always start with a pasta base, meat, veggies and cheese.

  • Pasta: tri-color penne or rotini pasta but of course any medium pasta will work
  • Meat: diced cooked chicken, crumbled bacon… use leftover turkey or ham instead
  • Veggies: opt for a variety of colors and textures to make a pretty and flavorful pasta salad
  • Flavors: get a flavor boost from cheese, onions, fresh herbs or even add sliced olives (black or green)

You can use regular pasta, substitute cheeses according to your preference, and add in what you have on hand. Try some chopped red, yellow and orange bell pepper for a fresh flavor and crunch.

Overview of chicken pasta salad ingredients in a glass bowl.

Chicken Pasta Salad Dressing

For the tastiest pasta salad dressing, I create a delicious and easy ranch style dressing. Making chicken pasta salad with mayo makes it rich and creamy. The addition of fresh herbs adds extra flavor!

Overview of chicken pasta salad ingredients and dressing on top, in a glass bowl before being mixed.

How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken ranch pasta salad comes together quickly, once you’ve prepped your veggies and shredded the cheeses. Just follow these steps:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente, drain and rinse.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl, and mix in the dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.

Before serving, sprinkle with fresh chopped green onion and extra bacon.

Close up of chicken ranch pasta salad garnished with green onions and dill.

Can You Freeze It?

Unfortunately, chicken bacon ranch pasta salad is not a good candidate for the freezer. Too many of the ingredients just don’t hold up well. Mayonnaise separates, sour cream turns grainy and watery and fresh tomatoes turn to icky mush. But don’t worry. Everyone loves chicken pasta salad, and you probably won’t have to worry about leftovers!

Like most cold pasta salad recipes, this hold in the refrigerator for about three days, so if you need to make it in advance, plan accordingly.

Popular Pasta Salads

Ranch Chicken Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is packed with flavor and color! Rotini pasta, diced chicken, and a homemade ranch dressing make this tasty side dish!

  • 12 oz tri-color rotini pasta (cooked and cooled)
  • 2 cups chicken (cooked and diced )
  • 6 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (diced)
  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • fresh parsley and dill for garnish (optional)

Dressing

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Serve this ranch chicken pasta salad as a main dish when feeding a crowd! Leftover rotisserie chicken, rotini, and a creamy homemade ranch dressing made with mayo and sour cream make the perfect dish. #spendwithpennies #ranchchickenpastasalad #pastasaladrecipe #sidedish #leftoverchicken
Serve this ranch chicken pasta salad as a main dish when feeding a crowd! Leftover rotisserie chicken, rotini, and a creamy homemade ranch dressing made with mayo and sour cream make the perfect dish. #spendwithpennies #ranchchickenpastasalad #pastasaladrecipe #sidedish #leftoverchicken

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {4 Ingredients}

A peanut butter chocolate chip cookie on a baking sheet

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are decadent peanut butter cookies studded with dark chocolate chips. A combination of yummy peanut butter cookies and our favorite chocolate chip cookies.

You’ll need only 4 ingredients and 30 minutes for this delicious, simple, and an easy treat fix.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies in a stack with a glass of milk behind them.

Peanut butter and chocolate rank amongst my favorite flavor combinations, and I could eat it all day long.

Whether it is a chocolate cake topped with peanut butter frostingpeanut butter lasagna, or peanut butter fudge brownies, I am in!

These homemade cookies are like chocolate chip cookies met peanut butter cookies and had a really tasty baby.

A peanut butter chocolate chip cookie on a baking sheet.

How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this recipe, I took my Classic and Easy 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies, and doctored them up to get a richer cookie base, and added chocolate chips. The result is a moist, chewy, flavorful cookie with just 4 ingredients, so they are still very easy.

  • Chunky peanut butter gives some chunks of peanuts that go really well texturally with the softer, melted chocolate from the chocolate chips. YUM! (Natural or Homemade Peanut butter doesn’t work as well).
  • Use 1/2 dark brown sugar instead of all light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar is essentially light brown sugar with extra molasses in it. The extra molasses gives it a deeper, richer, flavor that is closer to toffee or caramel than just sugar. It pairs beautifully with the bitterness of a dark chocolate chip.
  • Add chocolate chips. Dark chocolate chips are the perfect balance to the sweetness of the peanut butter and the brown sugar.

A bowl of peanut butter, a bowl of brown sugar, and an egg. With chocolate chips sprinkled around

Tips for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have to be honest, I played around with this recipe a lot. At first, I went a classic direction with baking powder, flour, etc. but what I found that the flourless version with regular peanut butter was a consistent winner.

These peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies are a doctored up version of the easiest recipe for peanut butter cookies. The results are a soft and chewy cookie which is tender, but not crumbly. It holds its shape but will melt in your mouth.

In order to achieve the best results:

  • Peanut Butter Choice – This is super important. The best brands for moist and chewy without crumbly cookies are Jif or Skippy. But a store brand would work too. The cookies will not hold together well if made with natural peanut butter.
    These easy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies use chunky peanut butter. Smooth or creamy works too, but the variety in texture within the cookie with the chunks of peanuts is fantastic. If using smooth peanut butter, use 1 Tablespoon less peanut butter.
  • Pack the Brown Sugar – For best results, pack the sugar into your measuring cup.
    Make sure to mix well, otherwise, you may end up with gritty cookies. Mix until sugar is well incorporated into the dough.
  • Refrigerate – The only liquid in this cookie dough comes from an egg. The dough can be fairly crumbly, so the best thing to do is refrigerate it. This makes it easier to work with, and the cookies hold their shape better too!
  • Thickness matters – Press your cookies with a fork to make a cross hatch, keep them uniform in width so they bake evenly. Make them about 1 centimeter thick (just under half an inch): thicker will result in under-done cookies, and thinner will over bake.
  • Bake and rest – For the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, bake them until golden and the edges are starting to brown. Then, let them sit on the still hot tray for another few minutes to let them set up. If you try to move them and they come apart, let them sit on the baking tray a bit longer.

To cool completely, put the cookies on a cooling rack for a few minutes, or pop them in the fridge to chill to eat them sooner. Store in the fridge to keep moist longer and they are so good cold!

Try These Delicious Cookies Recipes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A delicious peanut butter cookie studded with chocolate chips, make this a fantastic treat with minimal ingredients.

  • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky, but NOT all-natural)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (1/2 light brown, 1/2 dark brown)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate, some reserved)
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg, and mix well to combine.

  2. Stir in most of the chocolate chips, reserving about 36 to use later.

  3. Place bowl of dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm it up.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

  5. Scoop a heaping 1 Tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart.

  6. Once the balls of cookie dough are on the tray, take a fork, and gently press down on the dough making a cross hatch, pushing down until the cookie is approximately 1 cm thick.

  7. Gently press 3 of reserved chocolate chips into each cookie on the top.

  8. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden on the surface and darker golden on the edges.
  9. Leave to cool on the tray for five minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
  10. Let cool to set completely or they will crumble in your hands.

This recipe makes 12 good sized cookies, or 14 if you make them a little smaller. Only bake 12 at a time.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 – 5 days.

This recipe will not work if using all-natural peanut butter, it needs the added oils and sugars in the non-all-natural kinds of peanut butter to make this work.

Dark brown sugar can be substituted for regular brown sugar, however, the darker brown has more molasses and does make for a richer tasting cookie.

REPIN this Delicious Cookie Recipe

A stack of peanut butter cookies laced with chocolate chips.

Nothing compares to a homemade chocolate chip cookie, except peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! This recipe takes the best of both cookies and combines them for this soft and flourless treat! #spendwithpennies #peanutbutterchocolatechipcookies #chocolatechipcookierecipe #cookies #glutenfree
Nothing compares to a homemade chocolate chip cookie, except peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! This recipe takes the best of both cookies and combines them for this soft and flourless treat! #spendwithpennies #peanutbutterchocolatechipcookies #chocolatechipcookierecipe #cookies #glutenfree

Taco Lasagna – a fun twist on a classic dish!

Taco Lasagna brings a south-of-the-border kinda’ twist to a classic lasagna recipe! All the best parts of a ground beef taco are layered with lasagna noodles to create one colorfully layered entrée!

Serve with your favorite toppings like sour cream, pico de gallo, or a dollop of the best guacamole.

A slice of taco lasagna on a plate, garnished with sliced jalapeños and tomatoes.

Surprise your friends and family with a Mexican twist on an Italian classic! Take this easy taco lasagna to a potluck or an office luncheon! Make it even easier by assembling and baking it earlier! Just reheat it when you reach your destination!

How to Layer Lasagna

For this taco lasagna (made with noodles), start with the tomato sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. This keeps the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan and makes the portions come out easier!

The standard layering technique is sauce, noodles, sauce, noodles, cheese, noodles, sauce. Just remember to put a layer of noodles between each cheese and sauce layer to keep everything in place!

A four square image of the steps to prepare a taco lasagna.

How to Make Taco Lasagna

Once you have all the mixtures prepped, layering this taco lasagna dish is a breeze!

  1. Beef Mixture: Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet.
    • Drain the fat and stir in the taco seasoning (or use homemade taco seasoning) and water. Cook until is evaporated and sauce is thickened.
    • Add the beans and veggies and cook the sauce mixture until heated thoroughly set it aside.
  2. Cheese Mixture: In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream and egg. Set aside.
  3. Layering: In a 9×13 inch pan, layer the ingredients ending with sauce!
  4. Bake: Cover the taco lasagna, bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Allow the casserole to rest about 10 to 15 minutes so it has a chance to set. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced green onions or jalapeños!

Taco Lasagna baked in a white casserole dish. Garnished with sliced jalapeños and tomatoes.

What to Serve with Lasagna

Just like a traditional Italian lasagna, this cheesy taco lasagna lends itself to simple sides like a crunchy tossed salad, a tray of fresh cut veggies with Buttermilk Ranch Dip, or even some tortilla chips for scooping!

More Mexican Inspired Dishes You’ll Love

Taco Lasagna

Seasoned beef, beans, and veggies layered between lasagna noodles and baked until bubbly.

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 9 lasagna noodles (cooked and cooled)

Sauce

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 packages taco seasoning (low sodium or homemade)
  • 1 green bell pepper (finely diced)
  • 28 oz low sodium diced canned tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 15 oz black beans (drained and rinsed)

Cheese Layer

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large pan, brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain any fat. Stir in taco seasoning and 1 cup water. Cook until water is evaporated.

  3. Add green pepper, undrained tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Let simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

  4. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, sour cream, cumin and egg. Set aside.

  5. In a 9×13 pan, layer in the following order: 1 cup of sauce, 3 lasagna noodles, 1/2 of remaining sauce, 3 lasagna noodles, cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup of each cheddar and mozzarella, 3 lasagna noodles, remaining sauce.

  6. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil, add remaining cheeses and bake an additional 15 minutes or until cheese browned and bubbly.

  7. Let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting. Serve with desired toppings such as sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions and cilantro.

Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.

REPIN this Easy Recipe

A slice of taco inspired lasagna served on a white plate and garnished with sliced cherry tomatoes

Taco lasagna bake is a tasty oven-baked casserole dish. Using lasagna noodles, black beans, corn and taco seasoning you can prep and bake this dish ahead of time. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or to take to a potluck! #spendwithpennies #tacolasagna #maindish #Mexican #casserole
Taco lasagna bake is a tasty oven-baked casserole dish. Using lasagna noodles, black beans, corn and taco seasoning you can prep and bake this dish ahead of time. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal or to take to a potluck! #spendwithpennies #tacolasagna #maindish #Mexican #casserole

Bacon Grilled Cheese

Bacon Grilled Cheese! What kind of magic is this?! Combining bacon with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses takes a classic grilled cheese sandwich to the next level!

Perfect for lunch served alongside tomato soup or great for game day or movie night. Grilled cheese with bacon is a fancy, filling and flavorful take on a family favorite!

Two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches stacked and topped with extra bacon slices.

How to Make Bacon Grilled Cheese

Start with a bread thick enough to hold the melted cheese and heavy enough so it won’t fall apart. Grilled cheese with bacon (and tomato should you choose) needs a hearty bread. Sourdough is a great choice!

  1. Cook bacon slices until they are crisp. Remove the bacon and drain off all but about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of two slices of sourdough bread (or bread of your choice).
  3. Layer the cheese and bacon (and optional tomato) over two slices of bread and top with remaining bread.
  4. Grill those slices of heaven up!

Overview of bacon grilled cheese sandwich ingredients on a cutting board.

To Make Bacon Grilled Cheese: Reheat the pan you cooked the bacon in on low heat and let the bacon grease become fully melted.

Gently place the bacon grilled cheese sandwich mayonnaise side out in the center of the pan and cook until golden. Flip and continue cooking until you see the cheese oozing from the sides.

a cross section of a bacon grilled cheese with melted cheese oozing out.

What to Serve with Grilled Cheese

Everything goes with a bacon grilled cheese sandwich!

Traditionally, it’s great with tomato soup (or any soup recipe you love)! On a warm day, we love to add in a tossed salad with a tangy vinaigrette. And nothing tastes better than washing it all down with an icy glass of Watermelon Lemonade!

More Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Bacon Grilled Cheese

A classic grilled cheese is taken to the next level by adding in our favorite, bacon!

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz pepper jack cheese
  1. Cook bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove from pan and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in the pan.

  2. Spread mayonnaise over the outside of each slice of bread.
  3. Divide the cheese and bacon over 2 slices of bread and top with remaining bread.
  4. Preheat a small skillet over low heat.
  5. Grill sandwich until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until golden.

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You can see the bacon and cheese oozing out from the middle of this grilled cheese sandwich

A bacon grilled cheese sandwich! This sandwich combines all my favorites! Cheese and bacon are melted between two pieces of sourdough bread to create this tasty treat! #spendwithpennies #bacongrilledcheese #cheesegrilledsandwich #lunch #kidfriendly
A bacon grilled cheese sandwich! This sandwich combines all my favorites! Cheese and bacon are melted between two pieces of sourdough bread to create this tasty treat! #spendwithpennies #bacongrilledcheese #cheesegrilledsandwich #lunch #kidfriendly

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

close up peanut butter cookies

These easy Peanut Butter Cookies are soft and chewy and so easy to make! Peanut butter is one of our biggest obsessions these days, and these peanut butter cookies are one treat that no one can refuse!

This is the best peanut butter cookie recipe because like Chocolate Chip Cookies (and most other drop cookie recipes) they freeze perfectly and you can always have a stash on hand.

close up peanut butter cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Can You Use Natural Peanut Butter in Cookies? While you can use natural peanut butter in cookies, you may need to add more salt if using natural peanut butter. The key reason to use regular peanut butter is that natural peanut butter tends to cause the cookies to spread more than we like and be more crisp than chewy.

To Make Soft Peanut Butter Cookies: Some peanut butter cookies end up hard and crunchy, but we love ours soft and chewy with just the perfect amount of crispy edges and these are all that and more.

These peanut butter cookies are full of peanut butter flavor with no chocolate or anything to distract from the main event (but if you wanted to add a chocolate drizzle over top, no one here would judge!).

If your family is like ours, cookies are one of our favorite things to have on hand for easy snacks! These Easy Triple Chocolate CookiesEasy Sugar Cookies, and these Cake Mix Cookies are some of our other favorites.

Peanut butter cookies stacked on a cooling rack with a bite out of one cookie

How To Make Peanut Butter Cookies:

To make homemade peanut butter cookies from scratch, simply:

  1. Cream butter and peanut butter until smooth. Whip sugar in until it’s light and fluffy!
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla, just until smooth.
  3. Add dry ingredients, be sure to fluff and level flour to avoid dry, crumbly cookies! Mix until the dough forms.

Bake Until Soft

Bake, but don’t overbake! Overbaked cookies are dry and hard and not soft and chewy as they should be. Bake until they appear just set, even a little glossiness in the center is okay. They will continue setting up on the hot pan out of the oven.

peanut butter cookies on marble

How to Store Peanut Butter Cookies:

There are two ways to store these peanut butter cookies if you happen to have leftovers that last beyond the first couple hours on the counter ;)

  • Room Temperature: You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-6 days (they will last past that point, they just won’t be as good). The only problem with storing them at room temperature is you know they’re not going to last long! The freezer is a much safer option ;)
  • In the Freezer: These cookies can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag up to 3 months. This means you always have something delicious on hand if surprise guests drop in or you need an after school snack!

More Awesome Cookie Recipes!

Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy and so easy to make! This peanut butter cookie recipe freezes perfectly so you can always have a stash on hand. 

  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (a paddle attachment on a stand mixer works best for this recipe), beat peanut butter and butter until smooth.
  2. Add sugars and beat on high speed until light and fluffy – 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined.
  4. Add flour (fluffed and leveled!), baking soda and salt and beat on low speed just until cookie dough comes together.

  5. Preheat oven to 350F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  6. Roll into 1" balls and place 2" apart on baking sheets. Press down slightly with fork.

  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until set (a slight glossy sheen in the very center is okay). Remove and let cool on baking sheets before moving to an air tight container to store.

REPIN this Easy Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Peanut butter cookies stacked on a cooling rack with a bite out of one cookie

 

These peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy and so easy to make! They freeze perfectly so you can always have a stash on hand. #spendwithpennies #peanutbuttercookies #peanutbutter #cookies #easyrecipe #snack #cookielove
These peanut butter cookies are soft and chewy and so easy to make! They freeze perfectly so you can always have a stash on hand. #spendwithpennies #peanutbuttercookies #peanutbutter #cookies #easyrecipe #snack #cookielove