Protein pancakes are delicious, fluffy, and they have the added benefit of containing high protein ingredients that pack in flavor and nutrition!
Protein pancakes are chock-full of more than enough protein to get your day started. Having a high-protein breakfast means staying full longer which means you won’t feel the need to snack. Protein helps keep those blood sugar levels on an even keel.
About this recipe
These pancakes contain so much good healthy stuff but are still fluffy and moist as ever! As with most protein pancakes, these pancakes use protein powder to make them a super filling breakfast.
However, we add another source of protein – cottage cheese! It might sound strange at first; however, cottage cheese works really well because it not only adds protein, it also adds moisture to the pancakes. A blender makes sure you won’t even know it’s in there (in other words, there are no chunks!).
This recipe uses brown sugar as a sweetener but feel free to use a sugar-free alternative. There are actually a few ways you can customize this recipe to suit your needs (keep reading!). The pancakes also include a banana, so you could possibly get away with no sugar at all in this recipe, especially if your protein powder is sweetened.
A stack of these pancakes goes a long way. Enjoy them for breakfast any day of the week or for an afternoon snack with a drizzle of chocolate syrup when you’re feeling empty. Make a double batch and freeze them so you always have some on hand.
They also make a great lunch box item for school lunches with a side of fresh fruit and homemade pancake syrup!
What you need
- Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese works similarly to ricotta cheese in that it’s soft and mild in flavor. If you’ve ever had ricotta pancakes you know that ricotta is magic in a pancake. Cottage cheese has a ton of protein in the way that Greek yogurt does. The fat content helps to create moisture. You can switch it up and use any of these options (cottage cheese, ricotta, or Greek yogurt).
- Banana – When it comes to bananas, the riper the better! The more ripe they are, the more natural sweetness they add. Bananas also add potassium and delicious banana flavor to the batter.
- Milk – Any milk will do in this recipe. Milk is used as the liquid component that ties all the ingredients together into a batter.
- Eggs – Adding eggs to a pancake mix helps bind the ingredients so that the pancakes don’t crumble and fall apart. Egg also adds additional protein.
- Unflavored Protein Powder – We used whey protein isolate and collagen but you can use whatever you have on hand. If you are out looking, aim to find the one with the least amount of ingredients (especially things you can’t pronounce).
- Vanilla Extract – A delicious flavor element that pairs well with almost anything. It’s found in all kinds of baking recipes. If you use a flavored protein powder, you can leave out the vanilla as it will likely be overpowered by the flavor of the protein.
- Pancake Basics – You’ll need all-purpose flour, brown sugar (you can also choose calorie and sugar-free alternatives like erythritol or monk fruit extract), and baking powder.
How to make them
Preheat an electric griddle to 375ºF, or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.
Place the cottage cheese, banana, milk, eggs, protein powder, and vanilla in a blender. Start on low then slowly turn the speed up to high.
Blend until smooth.
In a medium to large size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
Pour in the contents of the blender.
Whisk until smooth. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes before cooking.
Place about ⅓ cup batter on the preheated griddle or frying pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on the first side, then 1-2 minutes on the second side.
Protein pancakes are very healthy and a good source of protein (find more info about protein rich foods on Healthline). Since the definition of “health” can vary based on your individual needs, the other great thing about these pancakes is that they can be adapted depending on what ingredients you use. Whether you believe breakfast to be the most important meal of the day or not, starting your day with protein is a good choice. What better way than to enjoy it in some fluffy pancakes?
These can also be made gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and are flexible enough to be made to suit everyone’s needs. Win-win-win!
Ensure that you’re using plenty of moisture-adding ingredients. Things like bananas, eggs, cottage cheese, whole milk or buttermilk, and even brown sugar (rather than white sugar) will help keep it moist.
One last thing to remember is not to leave it on the griddle or in the oven to keep warm for too long. This is a basic rule of thumb for any pancake recipe!
How to make these pancakes your own
- The banana adds great flavor and sweetness, but you can make these pancakes without banana if you’d prefer. Use applesauce in its place, or completely omit it. You may need slightly more milk if you omit the banana.
- For a heartier pancake, make the batter with oats. Oats add texture, fiber, and if you grind them up you can use them as oat flour (check out oat flour pancakes if that’s something you want more of) instead of all-purpose for a gluten-free version.
- There are some extra add-ins you can toss in your batter like hemp hearts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. They all contain a certain amount of protein but also a lot of other things like omega 3s, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Keep in mind that additions may change the consistency of the batter.
- Spread with nut butter like almond butter, peanut butter, or seed butter like sunflower or pumpkin seed butter for good fat and protein. You could also add some into the batter itself.
- A dash of cinnamon for added flavor is always a great idea.
Make Ahead Ideas
Pancake batter is best used within the first 5-10 minutes of making it, but there is a way to make the pancakes in advance and store them for later. Once they’re completely cooled, stack them with the layers separated by parchment paper. Transfer them to a freezer-friendly bag and keep them frozen for up to 1 month.
Keep any leftover pancakes stored in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
Use the microwave to reheat pancakes if you like yours nice and soft. If not, the toaster works great for a crispier version.
You can heat directly from frozen, or thaw on the counter for a bit first.
Other high protein recipes
- Almond Flour Pancakes
- Scrambled Eggs
- Avocado Toast with Egg
- Cheesy Italian Quiche with Bacon
- 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Get the Recipe: Protein Pancakes
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 medium sized banana
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 scoops (26g or about ½ cup) unflavored protein powder (recipe was tested with whey protein isolate & collagen)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or calorie-free alternative)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat an electric griddle to 375ºF or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.
- Place the cottage cheese, banana, milk, eggs, protein powder, and vanilla in a blender. Start on low then slowly turn the speed up to high. Blend until smooth.
- In a medium to large size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
- Pour in the contents of the blender and whisk until smooth.
- Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes before cooking.
- Place about ⅓ cup batter on the preheated griddle or frying pan.
- Cook 2-3 minutes on the first side then 1-2 minutes on the second side.
- Keep leftover pancakes stored in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
- Use the microwave to reheat pancakes if you like yours nice and soft. If not, the toaster works great for a crispier version.