Eggs and overnight oats may be our stalwart breakfast staples, but no one can resist the siren song of syrupy pancakes every weekend. The solution is as elegant as it is delicious: protein pancakes. With all the fat frying, waist-whittling powers of protein-packed eggs and the sweet, comforting flavor you crave, they’re the breakfast option that will work for your sweet tooth and your flat stomach. Here are some of our favorite protein pancake recipes.
1. Green Smoothie Protein Pancakes
Nutrition: 151 calories, 1.8 g fat, 0.7 g sat fat, 135 mg sodium, 15.2 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 3.8 g sugar, 18.5 g protein (calculated without toppings)
Don’t let the color fool you; mild-tasting spinach is easily masked by ripe bananas and a sweet drizzle of maple syrup. You’ll get in your greens without thinking twice — or fighting with kids to get them to clean their plates. In addition to being a noted muscle-building food, this leafy green is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Pancakes have never been healthier.
2. Chocolate-PB Protein Pancakes
Nutrition: 178 calories, 6.9 g fat, 1.4 g sat fat, 72 mg sodium, 19.9 g carbs, 4.3 g fiber, 5.4 g sugar, 11.6 g protein (calculated before toppings)
Protein powder, peanut butter and Greek yogurt team up in this recipe to give you a powerful hit of protein, making this one of the best energy boosting foods to have first thing in the morning. And your taste buds will thank you, too. A healthy dose of cocoa powder deepens the chocolate flavor in these pancakes — the perfect pairing for PB. Just make sure you grab some non-alkalized cocoa powder if you want to reap the full rewards of this sweet spice; Dutch alkalized versions are common and less bitter, but also pack fewer health benefits.
3. Healthy Vegan Tiramisu Pancakes
Nutrition: 365 calories, 6 g fat, 50 g net carbs, 6 g sugar, 26 g protein
No, this is not a trick. You can have these pancake-tiramisu hybrids for breakfast and still lose weight. Hear us out. Protein-packed yogurt is spiked with a little sweetener to mimic mascarpone cream, and a little rum flavoring and mocha protein powder make the cakes hit that boozy coffee note you look for in the classic Italian indulgence. A conservative drizzle of chocolate sauce is your reward for packing 26 grams of slow-burning protein into your day before noon.
4. Banana Protein Pancakes
Nutrition: 260 calories, 3.8 g fat, 0.9 g sat fat, 215 mg sodium, 40.3 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 6.2 g sugar, 14.7 g protein (calculated before toppings)
Crank the Jack Johnson and whip up a batch of these banana pancakes this weekend. Unlike the hotcakes Johnson crooned about, these come together in seconds thanks to the blender and slash calories, fat and sugar you would find in a typical stack. Make sure you generously dust your plate with cinnamon before digging in; this spice is not only a perfect complement to banana, but also one of our favorite healthy spices thanks to its ability to balance blood sugar levels, help keep you full for hours after your meal and ward off energy dips.
5. Apple-Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
Serves: 5 (2 pancakes each)
Nutrition: 207 calories, 5.4 g fat, 2.6 g sat fat, 127 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 6.3 g fiber, 4.6 g sugar, 8.8 g protein (calculated with unsweetened almond milk and before toppings)
Even in the blazing heat of summer, we’re ready for these fall-inspired pancakes. The smell of these golden stacks may conjure apple pie, but they’ll do nothing of the sort to your figure. In addition to using plenty of sweet cinnamon (the health benefits of which we outlined above), this recipe boasts coconut oil, a fat less likely to be stored on your frame than other options like butter. That’s due to its lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fat that converts into energy more easily than alternatives.
6. Chocolate-Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Nutrition: (per 2 pancakes) 175 calories, 5.8 g fat, 1.9 g sat fat, 83 mg sodium, 23.2 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 10.5 g protein (calculated without toppings)
When it comes to banishing hunger and ending snacking, protein and fiber are a dynamic duo. These pancakes pack plenty of the former, calling for both protein powder and eggs to fuel your busy morning, but they also add in something unexpected that we love: rolled oats. Uncooked oats in pancakes may sound unseemly, but they hold an overlooked nutrient called resistant starch that aids weight loss, boosts post-meal calorie burn and even lowers your risk of cancer. What are you waiting for? Dig in!
7. Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Serves: 1 (4 pancakes)
Nutrition: 276 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 333.7 mg sodium, 33.6 g carbs, 7.7 g fiber, 3.9 g sugar, 30.5 g protein
Frosty November mornings with a steaming cup of coffee and a pile of pancakes can now be yours — year round and free of guilt. While syrupy sweets get a pass around the holidays, this recipe lets you recreate the classic pie you love any morning without worrying about your waistline. The genius blogger behind this recipe, Ana, uses a sweet spice blend and vitamin-rich pumpkin puree (one of our favorite additions to overnight oatmeal) to strike the perfect balance between healthy and indulgent.
8. Vanilla-Coconut Protein Pancakes
Nutrition: 368.7 calories, 17.8 g fat, 2.1 g sat fat, 118 mg sodium, 24.6 g carbs, 11.8 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 29.6 g protein (calculated before toppings)
For fans of tropical twists on classic dishes, this pancake recipe is a real winner. These coconut-studded beauties can even be topped with a healthy “icing” created by blogger Karla. And, for the record, we wholeheartedly support that. The pancakes alone pack almost 30 grams of protein and plenty of satiating fiber thanks to the addition of chia seeds, but the “icing,” made from Greek yogurt and a dollop of maple syrup, only ups your morning intake of the vital muscle-builder.
9. Perfect Protein Pancakes
Nutrition: 212 calories, 6 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 214 mg sodium, 20.2 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.3 g sugar, 17.4 g protein
If you’re picky about your pancakes, choose this tried and true recipe as the canvas on which you can create your own perfect combination of toppings. Both fluffy and filling, they call for a combination of egg whites, cottage cheese and whey protein for their hefty 17 grams of protein per serving. We prefer plant-based protein powder to whey, which has been known to cause bloating in some people, but if it’s your favorite, feel free to stick with the recipe as written. Pile these high with strawberries and slivered almonds, blueberries and a drizzle of honey, apple and cinnamon — all combinations that will help whittle your middle.
10. Lemon-Chia Seed Protein Pancakes
Serves: 1 (4 pancakes)
Nutrition: 289 calories, 6 g fat, 0.7 g sat fat, 170 mg sodium, 29.6 g carbs, 5.5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 33.2 g protein
Pancakes can weigh you down and resign you to a day on the couch if you’re not careful — Netflix binge, we’re talking about you. This recipe gets you out into the sunshine with plenty of energizing protein and a bright addition of lemon zest. Even if you like to sit down to a hefty morning meal, this stack will see you through until lunch thanks to the addition of fiber-filled chia seeds. Plus, chia seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they soak up water, so they’ll help you stay hydrated even when you’re out running around on humid summer days.
11. Banana-Oat Protein Pancakes
Serves: 1 (6-7 pancakes)
Nutrition: 298 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1.3 g sat fat, 113 mg sodium, 45.6 g carbs, 5.8 g fiber, 10.6 g sugar, 19.1 g protein (calculated with 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk and before toppings)
Greek yogurt fans, look no further. This recipe uses your favorite creamy treat and egg whites to skyrocket the protein count while keeping calories low — and you won’t have to worry about choosing a protein powder. This sky-high stack may look no-frills, but bananas, cinnamon and a generous pour of maple syrup make this version a classic. Dust the top with another round of cinnamon to kick the sweet flavor up a notch without any additional calories.
12. Lemon-Poppy Seed Pancakes
Nutrition: 279 calories, 10.1 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 220 mg sodium, 28.1 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 14.3 g sugar, 20 g protein (calculated with coconut flour and before toppings)
When it comes to the sweeter side of breakfast foods, the muffin is notorious for contributing to your muffin top, but the pancake’s not far behind. Instead of giving them both up for good in the hopes of realizing your better-body goals, whip up a batch of these. This seemingly indulgent recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen manages to combine the two a.m. heavyweights into a meal that will help trim your middle.