Healthy Protein Pancakes Recipe
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These healthy protein pancakes are a delicious way to get your oats and lean protein first thing in the morning!
The first time I heard about protein pancakes was from a Facebook friend. When she told me what was in them, I all but gagged. I just could not fathom the idea that these might actually be edible.
A few weeks later, I was watching some videos on BodyBuilding.com of Ava Cowan (fitness model). I’m a big fan of hers and was curious to see how she eats and works out. Imagine my surprise when she demonstrated how to make protein pancakes!
So I figured if my friend on Facebook and Ave Cowan can eat these, then there must be something to them other than just a high-protein breakfast. So I gave it a shot.
I can tell you that not only was my son impressed (kids are the toughest critics!), but I was just over the moon. I’ve been eating these puppies for breakfast every morning since and I haven’t gagged even once! I swear! They are almost like eating a savory oatmeal muffin. A bit on the fluffy side, and just downright delicious! Plus, the simple ingredients couldn’t be easier!
What Are Protein Pancakes?
That all depends on who you ask and what recipe they use. Most protein pancakes are simply regular pancakes with protein powder added. But if you’ve read my article on clean protein powders, you know that a clean protein powder doesn’t actually exist. There are some that are better than others, but none of them are clean. (You can’t pick it off a tree or pull it out of the ground. It has to be processed into powder). So this recipe gets its protein from a clean protein source. Eggs!
How Much Protein Do Protein Pancakes Have?
This particular recipe has about 8 grams of protein per pancake. While that may not sound like a lot, the average American pancake has just 1.8 grams of protein. So that’s a considerable jump. And keep in mind, you will most likely be eating more than one pancake for breakfast! So it will add up fast.
Can These Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes! All you have to do is buy oats that are labeled gluten-free. There is no naturally occurring gluten in this recipe (Toppings not included). In fact, there is no flour in these at all!
Can These Be Made Vegan?
I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried to make these in a vegan version. I suppose you could use a vegan egg replacer, but I would use the stuff you buy at the store. Things like chia or flax eggs won’t work here. Using a plant-based protein could be problematic, but I won’t go so far as to say it’s impossible. You’ll have to experiment.
While the below suggestions are not an exhaustive list, they are the toppings or additions I have tried and enjoyed.
- 1 tbsp. clean peanut butter or other nut butter such as almond butter.
- 1 tbsp. Greek yogurt per pancakes
Extra Fiber Toppings:
- 1 tbsp. clean hummus
- Sliced banana
- Fresh berries
- Dark chocolate chips
Savory Mix-In Seasonings:
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
Sweet Mix-In Seasonings:
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Top with maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Top with honey
Ingredients To Avoid
I know this seems like an uber-simple recipe, but that’s a good thing! What you DON’T want to add here is:
- Protein powder (particularly whey protein powder)
- Cooking spray
- Milk (even plant-based milk)
- Flour of any kind
While these ingredients are common for most pancakes, they will totally defeat the purpose here. The pancakes will not turn out the same. So don’t be tempted.
And lastly, do not use a blender to blend this. It just makes a big mess.
About The Ingredients
Egg whites – While this is a lot of eggs, I highly recommend cracking and separating your own eggs, rather than purchasing egg whites in a container.
Quick oats – This is one of two recipes on my blog that use quick-cooking oats. While they are a bit more processed than traditional oats, they are really the only type of oat that will work here.
Oil – From an oil sprayer is easiest. Coconut oil works great. So does safflower or olive oil. But only use the olive oil over low heat. It has a low smoke point.
How To Make Healthy Protein Pancakes
Separate the eggs and store the yolks in the fridge for other things.
Whisk the oats and egg whites together in a mixing bowl.
Spray a non-stick skillet or griddle (yes, it has to be non-stick) with about ¼ tsp. olive oil. It’s not much at all. Just a very light mist. Heat the pan over medium heat.
Pour or ladle the pancake batter onto your pan and cook like a regular pancake.
Flip when the egg whites around the edges are white and it feels like the pancake will hold up enough to be flipped. It will feel firm.
You can serve this with any clean toppings you like, or just eat them plain.
How To Store Healthy Protein Pancakes
If you have leftover pancakes, store them in an airtight container (or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) and keep them in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days.
Freezing Protein Pancakes
While you can stick anything in a freezer, freezing these is not recommended because the egg whites will become very rubbery in the freezer.
Reheating Leftover Healthy Protein Pancakes
Simply pop these in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to reheat. You can also reheat them over low heat in a skillet. But watch them closely so they don’t burn.
Recipe Supplies For Healthy Protein Pancakes
More Healthy Pancake Recipes
Healthy Protein Pancakes Recipe Card + Video
Recipe adapted from BodyBuilding.com.
Healthy Protein Pancakes
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 1 Skillet
- 1 Spatula
- 12 large egg whites
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ tsp. oil (from an oil sprayer is easiest)
- Separate the eggs and store the yolks in the fridge for other things.
- Whisk the oats and egg whites together in a mixing bowl.
- Spray a non-stick pan (yes, it has to be non-stick) with about ¼ tsp. olive oil. It's not much at all. Just a very light mist. Heat the pan over medium heat.
- Ladle pancakes onto your pan and cook like a regular pancake.
- Flip when the egg whites around the edges are white and it feels like the pancake will hold up enough to be flipped. It will feel firm.
- You can serve this with any clean toppings you like, or just eat them plain.
From the Gracious Pantry archives. Originally posted: 2/18/2011
Hi. Thanks for posting this. I LOVE oats and was just wondering if they could be eaten as a savoury dish and I came across your webiste. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. I do have one question though: do you only use egg whites for health reasons, or because if wouldn’t work with the yolks? I would rather use whole eggs and not throw away the yolk, so if this recipe does work with whole eggs, how many do you think I would need to use. Thank you 🙂
Sabah – Yes, you can use whole eggs. For all recipes on my site, 1 whole egg = 2 egg whites, and visa versa. Enjoy!
Julie – That’s wonderful! I’m glad you’re enjoying them!
Adrienne – I wouldn’t, no.
have you tried making these and freezing left overs? I would love to have this on the regular but don’t have time to make it in the morning.
Jennie – I haven’t tried it, but I’m not sure these would freeze all that well. I’ll have to try it.
Ugh. Please help!! Mine look nothing like the pic! They look like egg white omelets with oats sprinkled in. They taste terrible. I used Old Fashioned Oats and I broke the eggs myself to get the whites. I even added a little PB2 to help with taste. They are terrible. = ( Any suggestions?
old fashion oats would be too hard to cook. You NEED the quick cook variety. Also, if you mixed the PB2 (which is not clean, just to be clear) into the batter, that could have done it, but more likely it was the oats.
I really like the protein pancakes.My question is… How is PB2 NOT clean?
Angel – The labels that I have read for PB2 include regular, white sugar. If there is a type that is JUST peanuts, then you’re good to go.
12 egg whites are approximately equal to 1 1/2 cups.
Interesting. I’ve never had that happen. Glad it all worked out! Nice additions!
These are so good! Thank you! I’m loving your blog and your recipes!
Thanks so much!
Yes, that would probably help. It could be a difference in the oats from what I used. That’s the only thing I can think of. But soaking may help.
One other recipe I’ve tried also puts sugar free preserves (i use raspberry, sometimes strawberry and even apricot). yummy too. Just a tsp or tbsp to your liking. Sometimes stevia or a little sweetener too
Kim – Sounds yummy!
this is the best recipe ive ever seen> i do not EVER use whey or soy protein powders i only use raw vegan but this one is fab> i added a dash of organic vanilla and some orange zest clean eating.. is clean not packaged to me this web site is a dream come true!
Jen – Thanks so much! Welcome! 🙂
I made them with with store bought egg whites and then tried them with fresh large organic brown eggs. The store-bought egg whites seem too watery and they had trouble setting up in the pan.
The fresh eggs yielded one cup for 6 eggs so I went with a cup dry to cup wet and they came out great very nutty tasting and moist. They did not taste like a pancake though unless you added something. It’s a great base to add flavors to. My husband had his with sliced strawberries and maple syrup and I had mine topped with hummus. Both were very good. I tried adding more eggs at 1 1/2 cups liquid to 1 cup dry but they tasted to much like eggs. Thank you for the quick and easy recipe.
Loreen – My pleasure! And thanks for sharing your experience!
But what do you do with all the left over egg YOLKS? Any suggestions?
Audrey – I used to bake with them. Now I make mayo or just add an extra yolk or two to my morning eggs.
Can you use chia seeds instead of eggs?
Ade – You could try it, but I don’t think it would work very well for this.
my protein pancake batter was very liquidy….is it because I used old fashion oats instead of quick oats???? thanks
Kim – Yep. The quick oats soak up the liquid immediately. Traditional oats… not so much…
I need to use gluten free oats. Could I use gluten free oatmeal. Should I cook the oatmeal first for awhile. How long or I could use gluten free rolled oats?
Also could I use almond or grape seed oil. Thank you. Susan
Susan – This recipe is not dependent on any gluten. So you can use gluten free oats for sure. But you want the quick-cook oats. Rolled oats won’t work here. You can use whichever oil you prefer. Enjoy! 🙂
I know this post is very old – but i was wondering if I am able to use 1 minute oats from Quaker to make these pancakes?
Alicia – Sure! I have never used them, but that sounds like quick oats. So they should work. 🙂
I made these this morning. I liked the taste but I had a little trouble when I poured them into the pan. The oats clumped it the middle and the whites ran all over the pan. I spread the oats around and gathered the whites and they turned out fine. I spread peach preserves and vanilla greek yogurt on them! They were good!
Antoinette – What kind of oats did you use?
what are the calories in the pancakes.
Debbie – I no longer provide that information. You would have to plug the recipe into a recipe calculator. MyFitnessPal.com has a very easy one to use.
I think this sounds VERY expensive , to use 12 EGG WHITES for only 7 pancakes—- and then do WHAT with the left-over YOLKS!? CERTAINLY I couldn’t see doing this very often, no matter how great they are.
Karen – Most people purchase egg whites in cartons at the store. They are quite affordable.
AS a type 1 diabetic, I would like to know the nutritional information for this pancake recipe, especially the carbohydrate content of 1 serving. Is it available?
Darryl – You would have to enter the recipe into an online calculator. MyFitnessPal.com has an easy one. I do have a low carb waffle recipe on my other blog that you could probably make as pancakes if that helps. https://www.thatslowcarb.com/low-carb-waffles/
Did you get remarried?? How did I miss that?!?!?
Nan – Whoops! Nope, still single. I occasionally share old posts and failed to update that small part of my post. It’s now been updated! LOL!
I too got the liquidy whites with clumps of oatmeal. i used quick oats, cook in a minute. they are organic, would that make a difference? I let them sit a while and they did not soak up the oats. i added more oats too… Was your batter pretty thick?
Thanks, i enjoy your postings!
Lori – No, organic wouldn’t make a difference. Were your eggs cold? Sometimes that can affect things.
Yes, thank you for responding, will try that!
Lori – Let me know how it goes!
Instead of oats, can I use non-wheat flour? I’m doing a clean eating challenge so no gluten and gf oats are hard to find!
Suzanne – Not with this recipe. Sorry. I mean, you could certainly try it, but I have a feeling you’d end up with a mess. I do have other pancake recipes though!