Better Cowboy Cookies (Gluten-free & Vegan)

Gluten-free Vegan Cowboy Cookies are a more hearty version of the classic oatmeal chocolate chip cookie

Does having dietary restrictions or allergies mean you have to miss out on the delicious parts of life? I certainly don’t think so! That’s one of the reasons I work so hard to revamp our favorite recipes and make them enjoyable for everyone. Today, I’ve made the famous Cowboy Cookies gluten-free and vegan!

What are Cowboy Cookies?

Way back in the year 2000, during the Bush -vs- Gore presidential campaign, Family Circle magazine ran a feature on cookie recipes from the candidates’ wives. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies won the reader’s votes for the best of the bunch.

And it’s easy to see why!

Laura Bush's recipe for Cowboy Cookies is adapted to be gluten-free and vegan!

The best way I can describe it is that the Cowboy Cookie is a more hearty version of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with so many additions that make it extra delicious!

Cowboy cookies are truly quite substantial. Thick, chewy, and loaded with chocolate, pecans, oats, and coconut–the flavor is truly amazing!

This cookie is a favorite in our house. However, since we’re vegan, and I have Celiac Disease, I had to embark upon the project of creating an allergen-friendly adaptation.

{ Related: Lemon Pound Cake (Gluten-Free & Vegan) }

Thick, chewy, and loaded with chocolate these gluten-free vegan Cowboy Cookies are a favorite in our house!

Making the Cowboy Cookies Both Gluten-Free and Vegan

If you’ve tried any of my revamped gluten-free + vegan recipes in the past, you already know that I have one very important requirement above all else: The modified result must be every bit as tasty as the original.

I’ve been gluten-free since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease well over a decade ago. Back then, “gluten-free” was not the trend that it is today. There were barely any specialty products on the market, and the ones that did exist pretty much tasted like cardboard.

Crumbly cardboard, at that.

Certainly not something anyone would actually want to eat!

That’s when I started testing and revamping our favorite recipes. Honestly, it was more of a necessity than a passion project. I just wasn’t willing to allow my life to get smaller and less enjoyable simply because I had dietary restrictions.

{ Related: Home-Style Summer Berry Shortcake }

There is nothing quite like the aroma of a warm plate of Cowboy Cookies!

This recipe for gluten-free, vegan Cowboy Cookies is no exception!

No one is going to know that they’re allergen-friendly just by taking a bite. You aren’t going to miss any of the warm, chewy deliciousness. Everything you love about the yummy Cowboy Cookie is in this recipe!

{ Related: Brownie Batter Hummus }

My Cowboy Cookies might be gluten-free and vegan, but they are every bit as gooey and chewy as the originals!

A Note About Substitutions and Other Allergies

There’s a big range of food allergies and dietary requirements in the world, and it would be impossible to try to address them all. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free so long as you use the ingredients that I’ve linked in the recipe below.

Gluten-free + vegan baking is a delicate effort, and even a small change can completely throw off your results. I cannot speak to what might happen if you sub an ingredient, leave something out, or use a different brand of a particular ingredient due to other dietary needs.

You’ll get my delicious results by following the recipe as written, with the same products that I use. And trust me, you’ll be glad you did when you taste how good these cookies are!

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy every last bite!

Cowboy Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

You'll never miss what's missing in these gluten-free + vegan Cowboy Cookies. Allergen friendly so the whole family can enjoy every delicious bite!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:11 mins
Total Time:21 mins



  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add all ingredients through vanilla to bowl and mix. This creates the base of the cookie dough.
  • Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans (or almonds) to the dough, and combine.
  • Use a cookie dough scoop to place rounded dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With gluten-free + vegan baking, parchment paper makes all the difference! Be sure not to skip this step.
  • Using the back of a spoon, slightly flatten out each ball of dough. These cookies won't really spread while baking, so if you choose not to flatten the dough, the cookie will come out more rounded.
  • I have demonstrated the difference in results in this photo. The dozen cookies at the back were not flattened, compared to the dozen at the front that were. Equally tasty, but for the sake of appearance, it's worth smooshing them just a bit!
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending upon your oven's temperament. Watch cookies closely so they don't overcook and become crunchy instead of chewy,
  • Cool cookies on a rack, or…you know…burn your mouth by eating them straight from the oven because they're just too good to wait! Totally your call!
Course: Dessert
Servings: 30 cookies

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