These apple quinoa pancakes are hearty, satisfying, and super healthy, with protein-packed quinoa and whole wheat flour. They’re free of refined sugar, but full of cozy fall flavor thanks to tender apples, warm spices, and maple syrup!

Apple quinoa pancakes cut to show texture.

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy breakfast that can be made ahead and enjoyed on even the busiest of mornings, these apple quinoa pancakes fit the bill. They’re the kind of filling breakfast we all crave when the weather starts getting chilly.

This recipe makes a big batch, which is good news if you’re looking for healthy meal prep pancakes—you can pop them in the fridge to enjoy all week long, or store them in the freezer for a few months.

(For more healthy pancake ideas, try our pumpkin pancakes, banana pancakes, and whole wheat pancake mix!)

About this quinoa pancake recipe

With the fruit, protein, and whole grains, these quinoa pancakes are a well-rounded breakfast without adding anything else, but they’re also perfect for piling high with your favorite toppings. (We have lots of ideas below!) A apple cider mimosa is never a bad idea, either.

You can also adapt these quinoa pancakes to the seasons. Diced apples and pears are delicious in the fall, but you can swap these for local strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and peaches when they’re in season. Just keep the batter recipe the same and add 2 cups of whatever fruit you’re using.

Pancakes on a platter with apple compote.

What you need

  • Cooked quinoa – You can make quinoa for dinner the night before (maybe quinoa chili?) and cook extra to make pancakes the next morning!
  • Whole wheat flour – White whole wheat flour works too, or you can use all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Freshly ground nutmeg – Freshly ground nutmeg is always best, but the ground nutmeg that comes in a jar is fine in a pinch.
  • Eggs
  • Canola oil or melted butter
  • Milk – You can use any kind of dairy or plant-based milk you like or have on hand.
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Apples – I used a combination of Honeycrisp and Gala, but any firm apple like Jonagold, Jonathan, Braeburn, Granny Smith, or Cortland will work here.
Ingredients needed including quinoa.

How to make them

Mix the wet ingredients. Combine the eggs, oil, milk, and syrup in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the eggs are beaten and incorporated into the rest of the liquid.

Wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Add the dry ingredients. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg on top of the wet ingredients and gently mix them before stirring them into the wet ingredients. (This saves you from having to wash a second mixing bowl!)

Dry ingredients on top of wet ingredients.

Finish the batter. Stir the quinoa into the pancake batter.

Quinoa on top of pancake batter.

Next, fold in the chopped apples.

Apples on top of pancake batter.

Cook the quinoa pancakes. Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake; cook for 4 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 3 or 4 more minutes, or until both sides are golden and cooked through.

Pancake in a skillet.

Serve. Plate the pancakes and serve with cinnamon apple compote, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, or homemade pancake syrup.

Pancakes topped with apple compote.

FAQs

Is quinoa a protein or a carb?

A little of both. Quinoa is a seed, which means it’s protein-rich—in fact, it has all nine essential amino acids. But it’s also classified as a whole-grain carbohydrate by the Whole Grains Council. 

Can I eat quinoa every day?

Not only is it okay to eat quinoa every day, it’s actually a good idea to incorporate it into your daily diet! A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating a bowl of quinoa everyday (or perhaps these fabulous quinoa pancakes?) may reduce the risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases by 17 percent.

Do you need to soak quinoa before cooking?

You don’t need to soak quinoa before cooking, but you should give it a rinse. Quinoa has a bitter coating on the outside, so it tastes better once this is removed. Many brands of packaged quinoa are pre-rinsed so you can skip this step if the package indicates that the quinoa is rinsed, but if you buy your quinoa from the bulk section at the store, rinse it before cooking!

How to make these quinoa pancakes your own

These quinoa pancakes are delicious as-is, but here are some ideas for switching things up:

  • Add some healthy toppings. Vanilla Greek yogurt, chopped walnuts or pecans, or hemp seeds will all add a protein boost to your breakfast.
  • Or add some decadent toppings. Try candied pecans, fried apples, or cinnamon whipped cream.
  • Sweeten with honey. You can swap the maple syrup for a runny honey (one that pours, not the creamy kind from a jar).
Pancakes on a fork.

Make Ahead Ideas

Apple quinoa pancakes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Storage Suggestions

Freeze these apple quinoa pancakes in an airtight storage container or a freezer bag with parchment paper between the layers to keep the pancakes from sticking to each other.

Reheating Tips

Microwave apple quinoa pancakes until they’re warmed through, or place them on a sheet pan, cover it with foil, and heat them in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes.

If you’re reheating these quinoa pancakes from frozen, simply add a few more minutes to the cooking time.

More cozy apple recipes

Apple quinoa pancakes on a platter.

Get the Recipe: Apple Quinoa Pancakes

These apple quinoa pancakes are hearty, satisfying, and super healthy thanks to the addition of protein-packed quinoa and whole wheat flour. 
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 apples, diced small (roughly 2 cups)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (eggs, oil, milk, syrup).
  • On top of wet ingredients, add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently mix dry ingredients together before stirring into wet ingredients.
  • Stir in cooked quinoa.
  • Fold in chopped apples.
  • Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour batter by approximately 1/4 cup portions onto hot skillet. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, and cook for 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve with cinnamon apple compote, cinnamon sugar, or maple syrup.

Notes

  • I used a combination of apples: Honeycrisp and Gala. Other varieties that would work well are firm apples such as Jonagold, Jonathan, Braeburn, Granny Smith, or Cortland.
  • To Store: Apple quinoa pancakes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Freeze: Freeze pancakes in an airtight storage container or a freezer bag with parchment paper between the layers to keep the pancakes from sticking to each other.
  • To Reheat: Microwave apple quinoa pancakes until they’re warmed through, or place them on a sheet pan, cover it with foil, and heat them in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes. If you’re reheating these quinoa pancakes from frozen, simply add a few more minutes to the cooking time.
Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 217mg, Potassium: 121mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 68IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 1mg