The Best Protein Pancakes You'll Ever Make
Protein pancake recipes are NOT created equal. We did the leg work for you and tried a bunch to find the best protein pancake recipes that taste delicious.
While I'm all for indulging in an occasional Pancake Sunday ritual to feed the soul, when it comes to day to day healthy eating, I generally steer my nutrition clients away from sweet carb-centric breakfasts like pancakes. The reason? We tend to burn through those simple carbs in white flour super-quick and wind up sleepy and magically still-hungry, not long after eating despite having just devoured a mountain of flour, syrup, and butter. (But do remember that carbs are clutch for you to crush your next workout.) The extra calories in said butter and syrup also have a sneaky way of adding up without actually helping you feel satisfied.
If you're really jonesing for some flapjacks that will satisfy your taste buds while also fueling your body and supporting your goals, whip up some healthy protein pancakes. The protein will help buffer the breakdown of those carbs so you experience more stable blood sugar and sustained energy. (P.S. Here's what eating the *right* amount of protein actually looks like.)
If you've been disappointed by healthy protein pancakes before—hard, chewy, makes you miss the classic—we're here to help. To save you the trial and error, we tried out a whole bunch of recipes and are sharing 10 that were clear winners (it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it). For an added protein boost, upgrade from the typical syrup routine and try a topping like nuts or nut butter, ricotta, or yogurt. Or if you're into savory healthy protein pancakes, an egg is also delicious—and adds 6 grams more protein. (Related: The Ultimate List of High-Protein Foods You Should Eat Every Week)
Best Healthy Protein Pancakes—Period: Whole-Wheat Yogurt Pancakes
Yield: 16 pancakes
Serves: 4 (4 pancakes each)
Just the right balance of fluff and substance with a mild flavor that will go with any topping your heart desires. This healthy protein pancake recipe makes four servings, so if you don't want to share, feel free to freeze the leftovers—these are great for reheating. (Related: 11 Frozen Meal Prep Hacks You Need to Try)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup 2% milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Dash of salt
- Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- Whisk dry ingredients into wet until well combined.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
- Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the heated skillet, using the back of the spoon to smooth out the top. Cook until the pancakes surfaces start to bubble and then flip. Allow to cook another minute or two and then transfer to a plate. Cover with another plate to keep warm.
- Use more oil between batches as needed.
- Serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving (4 pancakes, before toppings): 184 calories, 11g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 7g total sugar (3g added sugar), 3g fat
Best Healthy Protein Pancakes for After a Workout: Egg and Oat Protein Pancakes
Chewy and filling, these little healthy protein pancakes are perfect for a post-workout meal when your priority is protein, stat. These also are a good source of complex carbs thanks to the oats. If you're not doing grains, try something like almond meal or coconut flour, but keep in mind that cooking time may vary and you may need to add some liquid (like milk) to make it work.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 eggs or 1/3 cup egg whites
- 1 scoop protein powder (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind oats in a small food processor until they resemble flour.
- Add eggs, protein powder, and vanilla. Pulse until well mixed.
- Grease a skillet with oil, butter, or cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Drop batter in, using 2 to 3 tablespoons for each cake.
- Heat until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate.
- Serve warm.
Variations: If desired, add blueberries to batter. Or you can top the pancakes with your favorite jam or some warmed-up berries.
Nutrition information per serving (recipe analyzed using 2 whole eggs and whey protein): 418 calories, 38g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 3g total sugar (0g added sugar), 14g fat
Best 3-Ingredient Healthy Protein Pancakes: Sweet Potato Pancake
Looking for a grain-free, gluten-free option that comes together in a flash? These three-ingredient sweet potato pancakes are for you. (All for you!) It's also a great way to sneak some vitamins into your morning first thing. (In case you're curious, yes, there IS a difference between a sweet potato and a yam.)
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 egg or 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prick the potato with a fork a few times and steam it in the microwave for 5 or 6 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool until you can safely handle it. Scoop the potato flesh into a food processor.
- Pulse the potato with the egg and cinnamon until it forms a batter.
- Grease a skillet with oil, butter, or spray and turn the heat on medium. When the skillet is hot, pour the batter into the skillet. (You can make a couple bigger pancakes or several tiny ones.) Smooth out with the back of a spoon to make a pancake shape.
- Cook until set, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, flipping halfway. Cooking time will depend on pancake size-smaller cakes will take less time.
- Transfer to a plate.
- Top with desired toppings and enjoy.
Variations: For a savory twist, omit the cinnamon and top with avocado, goat cheese, or an egg.
Nutrition information (for healthy protein pancakes using 1 large egg, before toppings): 175 calories, 8g protein, 26g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 6g total sugar (0g added sugar), 4g fat
7 More Healthy Protein Pancake Recipes
Seeking other flavor variations or protein sources for your 'cakes? Keep reading for cooking-inspired, chocolate-packed, and cottage cheese-boosted healthy protein pancakes.
Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Pancakes
Cheesecake for breakfast? Yes, please. This stack of happiness features protein powder (try these if you're seeking plant-based protein options) and a Greek yogurt-based cream cheese filling. It's all topped off with a vibrant lemony strawberry sauce to complete the dessert-inspired creation.
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Pancakes
Black Forest Chocolate Protein Pancakes
They may look like one of those crazy diner eating challenges that could earn you a free meal and a bellyache, but this stack is surprisingly good for you—they're made with protein powder, unsweetened cocoa, Greek yogurt, and frozen cherries. You'll wonder why you weren't always a morning person.
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Black Forest Protein Pancakes
Gluten-Free Vegan Blueberry Protein Pancakes
These fluffy vegan gluten-free healthy protein pancakes are made with banana, oats, protein powder, and flax milk, plus they're studded with juicy blueberries for a fruity sweet surprise.
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Protein Blueberry Pancakes
Awesome Raspberry Protein Pancakes
Bulked up with protein-rich cottage cheese and dairy milk, and sweetened with frozen raspberries, these cornmeal-based healthy protein pancakes are a guilt-free treat.
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Protein-Packed Raspberry Pancakes
Gingerbread Spiced Protein Pancakes
Who needs cookies when you can enjoy a platter of spicy gingerbread pancakes without the guilt? These super-speedy healthy protein pancakes come together in the blender (here are six blender models we love), and they freeze exceptionally well for a make-ahead brunch!
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Protein Gingerbread Spiced Pancakes
Peanut Butter and Jelly Protein Pancakes
These babies are totally gluten-free, but they pack a serious dose of protein and fiber thanks to the combination of protein powder, egg whites, coconut flour, and a lower-fat peanut butter filling. You know what they say: The higher the pancake stack, the closer to God! Amen to that. (Related: What is the F-Factor Diet—and Is It Healthy?)
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Protein Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes
Whole-Wheat Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pancakes
Made with whole-wheat flour, almond milk, and an egg, these healthy protein pancakes get their muscle power from powdered peanut butter, which adds big nutty flavor for less fat and more protein.
Get the healthy protein pancake recipe: Whole-Wheat Peanut Butter Pancakes