Inside: Get an easy protein pancake recipe without protein powder or banana. They’re a great way to help you and your kids get protein first thing in the morning.
Getting protein at meals is important.
But sometimes getting protein at breakfast is a struggle.
It’s not always practical to whip up a high-protein breakfast like eggs on a hectic morning.
And typical quick breakfasts like toast and cereal just don’t contain much protein.
I was inspired to make this protein pancake recipe after trying these Protein Waffles from Damn Delicious. I liked the idea of pancakes so I could adjust the size.
These protein pancakes are made with very simple ingredients, without protein powder (because it can be pricey) or banana (because some folks just don’t like the flavor). They have 11 grams of protein per serving, about as much as two eggs.
Make a batch ahead of time for a quick, healthy breakfast, whether eaten in stack with maple syrup or gobbled up plain on the way to the bus stop.
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Ingredients You Need For This Protein Pancake Recipe
- Eggs: Use large eggs for this recipe and use whole eggs (not just the egg whites). There’s protein in the yolk too, plus other important nutrients.
- Oats: Feel free to use old fashioned or quick oats.
- Cottage cheese: The curd size doesn’t matter since you’ll be blending them up.
- Baking powder: This helps give the pancakes some lift.
- Cinnamon: This is optional but adds a nice flavor.
- Salt: Table salt is fine, you’ll only use a pinch of salt.
- Maple syrup: Gives a slight sweetness.
Kitchen equipment you need
- Blender: This is key to blending the cottage cheese and oats into a smooth batter.
- Griddle or Nonstick Skillet
Optional mix-ins for Protein Pancakes
Feel free to stir your favorite mix-ins into this protein pancake recipe. Great options include mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, blueberries, or other fruit like sliced, ripe banana.
How to Make Protein Pancakes
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until it forms a smooth batter. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes.
While the batter is resting, heat your griddle or large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add a slick of butter, oil (such as coconut oil), or cooking spray.
Drop your protein pancake batter onto the hot pan or griddle in whatever size you’d like. I make small pancakes by using a quarter-cup measuring cup for every two pancakes.
I’ve found that the tops of these don’t bubble in the same way as regular pancakes, so check the bottoms after about 30-60 seconds. When they’re golden brown, flip to the other side and cook until browned on both sides.
If you’re making a big batch and keeping them warm, transfer to a baking sheet and put in an oven set to the lowest temperature (usually around 150-200 degrees F).
What to eat with Protein Pancakes
You can obviously serve them with butter and maple syrup, like regular pancakes. You can also top them with Greek yogurt for extra protein, fresh fruit, or any of your favorite toppings. I actually like to eat them plain.
A great addition: Serve alongside a glass of milk (or non-dairy milk such as soy) for even more protein. A serving of these protein pancakes plus a glass of dairy or soy milk provides 19 grams of protein!
How do you store Protein Pancakes?
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Leftover pancakes are best eaten within a week.
How much protein do they contain?
If you make 3-inch pancakes, you’ll get about 20 pancakes using this recipe. A serving of four 3-inch pancakes contains 11 grams of protein.
The entire recipe contains 54 grams of protein, so feel free to make the pancakes the size you like and eat a portion that feels right to you.
Do they taste like cottage cheese?
You may be thinking that your kids would never eat cottage cheese pancakes–but my teen reports that they “just taste like regular pancakes”.
What makes these “protein” pancakes?
These protein pancakes have 11 grams of protein per serving (about 4 small pancakes). The key to making protein pancakes without protein powder? Using multiple ingredients that are naturally rich in protein:
- Eggs: A large egg contains 6 grams protein
- Oats: A one-half cup portion of dry oats has 5 grams of protein
- Cottage cheese: Each one-half cup portion has 13 grams of protein
Can you add protein powder to these pancakes?
Yes, you can try swapping some of the oats for a scoop of protein powder. I’m not a huge fan of protein powders because they’re so pricey and most of them are artificially sweetened and contain a long list of ingredients. But if you’d like to add even more protein, feel free to add your favorite protein powder. If your protein powder is sweet, I would recommend skipping the maple syrup called for in the recipe.
Why is protein important?
We all need protein for jobs like building muscle tissue, making hormones, and keeping our immune systems strong.
For kids, protein helps fuel the enormous growth and change happening in their bodies. (Got a teen obsessed with protein? Here’s What You Need To Know About Teens and Protein).
Protein also makes our meals more satisfying, so we’re less likely to be rooting around for something else 30 minutes later. For kids, a high-protein breakfast means they’re less likely to get a rumbling tummy and uncomfortable empty feeling mid-morning at school.
How much protein do kids need?
Most kids get more than enough protein. These are the minimum recommended amount of protein for different ages. Remember, these are just minimums for health. Most kids get higher levels than this, and that’s fine! See Here’s How Much Protein Your Child Needs for age-by-age illustrations.
- Ages 1-2: 13 grams
- Ages 4-8: 19 grams
- Ages 9-13: 34 grams
- Ages 14-18 (girls): 46 grams
- Ages 14-28 (boys): 52 grams
What other foods have protein?
Here are some categories of foods that contain protein:
Meat, poultry, fish, and soy
- 3 ounces ground beef: 15 grams
- 3 ounces salmon: 15 grams
- 1 cup milk: 8 grams
- 1 slice cheese: 5 grams
Nuts and seeds
- 1 ounce almonds: 6 grams
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter: 8 grams
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds: 2 grams
Grains: Whole grains have more protein than enriched (but enriched grains still contain protein).
- 1 slice whole wheat bread: 4 grams (versus about 2 grams for white)
- 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta: 8 grams
Vegetables: The amounts are lower than foods like meat and dairy, but they still contain some protein. Peas, edamame, beans/lentils, and potatoes are veggies with higher amounts of protein.
- Medium baked potato: 5 grams
- 1/2 cup beans: 7 grams
Recipe card for Protein Pancakes
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup oats*
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until it makes a smooth batter. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet or griddle on medium heat and add a light coat of butter, oil, or cooking spray.
- Pour the batter onto the pan or griddle (I use a quarter-cup measuring cup to portion out two pancakes). Let the pancakes cook until browned, then flip until both sides are brown.
- Serve with syrup or other favorite toppings.
*Feel free to use either old-fashioned or quick oats
*Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Use within a week.
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 163Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g