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Nutrisense Nutritionists Recommend: High-Protein Pancakes

Brooke McKelvey

5 min read

April 15, 2022
stack of pancakes
stack of pancakes

Pancakes sound like they should be a once-in-a-blue-moon indulgence, don't they? After all, they're so delicious; how could they possibly be healthy? Well, if you make them correctly, they can be! And if you make sure they're high-protein pancakes, you can kickstart your day on the right note without sacrificing any flavor. 

From fluffy pancakes to thin crepes, with toppings and without, savory to sweet... there's an option for everyone looking for a delicious, nutritious breakfast or a protein-filled snack. 

Read on for dietitian-recommended toppings, pancake mixes, and recipe ideas to make high-protein pancakes.  

Why Protein Is so Important

a scoop of protein powders

Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the other two are carbohydrates and fats) that your body needs in large amounts. It’s a significant component of all the cells in your body and essential for the structure, function, and regulation of your tissues and organs.

Proteins are also involved in many biochemical processes, including metabolism, digestion, and immune function. In short, proteins play a vital role in keeping the body functioning correctly. It's safe to say your body needs a constant supply of protein to maintain these functions. 

When your protein levels are low, your body breaks down muscle tissue for energy. It can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and other health problems. So it's vital to ensure that you're getting enough protein in your diet

One way to do this is to pick from these delicious protein-pancake options.

Perfectly Fluffy Protein Pancakes

protein pancakes

"This banana-free, fluffy, protein pancake recipe is delicious. I often swap the coconut oil for olive oil and top with a pat of butter and blueberries." 

Victoria Eaton, RDN, IFNCP 

To make these delicious protein-filled pancakes, you'll need:

  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup 

Three Ingredient Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes 

Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

"I like to top these with a few slices of banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a dollop of natural peanut butter."

—Bahar Brocken, RD

To make this simple, protein-pancake recipe, you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Maple syrup, jam, or sliced berries (optional, to serve) 

Kodiak Cakes with Milk

kodiak cakes with berries

"If you’re looking for a quick packaged pancake option, Kodiak Cakes are a great option. I recommend adding an egg and swapping the water for milk to bump up the protein content even more."

—Jordyn Wallerius, MS, RDN, CD 

Here's a great recipe incorporating Jordyn's tweaks to this pancake mix. You'll need: 

  • 2 cups Kodiak Kodiak Flapjack Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Purely Elizabeth Pancakes with a Twist

Purely Elizabeth Pancakes

"To make a quick pancake recipe, I like to pick up a box of Protein Pancake Mix. My go-to toppings are nuts, cinnamon, nut butter, or some low-sugar, grain-free granola."

—Randi Yow, RDN, LDN

To make Randi's favorite pancakes, you'll need

  • 1 box Protein-Pancake Mix
  • Nuts, cinnamon, and nut butter as topping
  • Grain-free granola as topping

Paleo Pancake Mix with Peanut Butter

stack of pancakes with peanut butter

"I love Birchbender’s paleo pancake mix. It contains ingredients you can pronounce, is sweetened with monk fruit, and does not contain any fillers or artificial sweeteners. It also has seven grams of protein per serving. I like to make ahead and freeze, then heat up and add some natural peanut butter and some banana slices for a pre or post-workout snack."

—Liz McKinney CNS, LDN

To add a little boost to this already protein-friendly pancake mix, you'll need:

  • 1 Box Birchbender’s Paleo Pancake Mix
  • 1-2 scoops natural peanut butter
  • 1 banana, sliced

Protein-Powder Fueled Pancakes 

pancakes with berries

"I love making my own protein pancakes with a quality protein powder like Legion or Naked Whey. Use a blender to mix oats, protein powder, eggs, milk or water, yogurt (or pumpkin purée), baking powder, and some flavoring. Let the batter sit after blending for at least 10 minutes. I love topping them with warmed-up berries and a drizzle of natural honey or maple syrup."

—Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN

To make these pancakes from scratch, you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water or milk of your choice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, vanilla, or flavorings of your choice
  • Berries, honey, or maple syrup to serve

Make-Ahead Pancakes with Nut Butter

a stack of pancakes with banana

"FlapJacked is a brand with minimal ingredients and 20 grams of protein per serving. These are great to make ahead of time, so when I get back from a run, I can top them with some nut butter and bananas for a filling post-workout meal."

Kasey Brixius, MS, RDN, CSSD, IFNCPˆ

To make these pancakes, you'll need:

  • 1 Box FlapJacked Protein Pancake mix
  • Water or milk
  • Nut butter
  • 1 banana, sliced

Red-Velvet Pancakes

red velvet pancakes

"One of my absolute favorite pancake flavors is red velvet cake, so I just had to find a better alternative for my glucose (with nutritional benefits too, using beets instead of red food dye). I like to follow this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill protein pancake mix and top them with a lower sugar cream cheese frosting and a few dark chocolate chips."

Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD

To make these indulgent but still healthy pancakes with Amanda's tweaks, you'll need:

  • 1 box Bob's Red Mill Protein Pancake Mix
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 8 packets natural sweetener 
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup roasted beet purée
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon natural butter flavor
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Kodiak Cakes with a Hemp Twist

kodiak cakes with peanut butter

"As a busy mom of two, Kodiak Cakes pancake mix is where it’s at for me. I love to make a double batch and freeze the rest. Pop them in the toaster for breakfast in minutes. Top with natural peanut butter, hemp hearts, and cinnamon to boost the nutrition profile and improve your glycemic response."

Stephanie Etherington, RD, CD, CDCES

To make these hemp heart and peanut butter topped pancakes, you'll need: 

  • 1 Box Kodiak Cakes pancake mix of your choice
  • 1-2 scoops of natural peanut butter 
  • A handful of hemp hearts
  • A dash of cinnamon
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Katie Kissane, MS, RD

Reviewed by: Katie Kissane, MS, RD

Katie is a dietitian at Nutrisense. With over 11 years of experience as a dietitian in many areas of nutrition, Katie has worked as a clinical dietitian within a hospital, as well as in the fields of diabetes, sports and performance nutrition, recovery from addiction, and general wellness. She’s also an athlete and has run 8 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

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