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A great addition to your pancake routine, my Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes are a nutritional powerhouse! Loaded with whole grain oats, banana, and protein powder, they’re sure to keep you going strong from breakfast time and beyond. And they’re ready in less than 20 minutes!
Table of Contents
- Easy Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
- Why You’ll Love This Protein Pancakes Recipe
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Protein Pancakes
- Tips & Variation Ideas
- What Adds the Protein?
- Are Protein Pancakes Healthy?
- Topping Ideas
- How to Store and Reheat Protein Pancakes
- Can I Freeze These?
- Make it a Meal
- Get the Recipe
- More Gluten Free Pancake Recipes
Easy Gluten Free Protein Pancakes
Pancakes, but make them protein-packed! This recipe is so simple to make and takes hardly any time to put together, making it a super choice for a healthy, naturally gluten-free breakfast. My kids gobble these up, never suspecting that they’re getting whole grains and extra protein in each bite. They just think they taste good!
I’ll save leftover pancakes to pack in lunchboxes or stash them in the fridge for when I need a quick snack. I like eating a gluten-free pancake straight from the fridge with a little peanut butter during that afternoon period when it’s too late for lunch but too early for dinner, yet I still need something to carry me through. Of course, they are perfectly acceptable as a late morning snack, warmed up and piled with fresh fruit. (They could also work as a healthy bedtime snack.) In short, I’ll eat these anytime!
Why You’ll Love This Protein Pancakes Recipe
Pancakes are a breakfast staple, and I love a recipe that is good for me as well as tastes good! Here are a few reasons I’m a fan of this one:
- Healthy. Whole grain oats are one of my favorite naturally gluten-free flours to use in gluten-free recipes! Oats are high in protein, fiber, and magnesium, which make them a nutritional favorite. The mashed banana in the batter adds potassium and fiber, as well as a subtle sweetness so you don’t have to add any sugar.
- Easy. This recipe takes 10 minutes or less to whisk together with about 5 minutes needed to actually cook the pancakes. Using simple pantry ingredients, you’ll have a stack of warm pancakes ready quickly.
- Filling and hearty. Even if you don’t serve anything else with these protein pancakes you’ll find them to be a satisfying and filling breakfast thanks to the protein powder in the batter. I love to save leftover pancakes to nibble on for a convenient snack to help me power through the day.
Here’s an overview of everything you’ll need to make these high protein pancakes. Don’t forget to check out the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Gluten-Free Quick Oats: You can substitute rolled oats; make sure to follow the recipe card for how many rolled oats to use. If you need to knowe more about buying gluten free oats, read Are Oats Gluten Free?
- Baking Powder
- Salt: Use fine sea salt or table salt rather than Kosher salt.
- Ground Cinnamon: If you don’t have cinnamon or prefer ginger, you can substitute ground ginger for the cinnamon.
- Plant-Based Protein Powder: You can use whatever plant-based protein powder you prefer in this recipe. If you prefer a whey protein powder, see the note in the reicpe card.
- Banana: Choose a ripe banana with a lot of brown spots so it will mash easily.
- Eggs: Use large eggs in this recipe.
- Milk: I use whole or 2% milk in these pancakes. You can make them dairy-free by subbing your favorite non-dairy milk of choice.
How to Make Protein Pancakes
The method for these gluten-free protein pancakes is very similar to making other gluten-free pancakes. Follow along with the photos and details below for the best results.
- Process the oats. Place the oats in a high-speed blender and process until they resemble flour, about 20 seconds.
- Make the dry mix. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients. In a second bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, and milk until smooth.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix and fold together until the flour mix is incorporated. It’s OK if there are some lumps.
- Rest the batter. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes before cooking. If it thickens too much while resting, add another 1-2 Tablespoons of milk and stir.
- Prepare the griddle. Heat the griddle to medium heat and coat with a thin layer of oil or butter.
- Cook the pancakes. Scoop 1⁄4 cup of batter and pour onto the hot griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until there are bubbles visible at the center of the pancakes and the edges, begin to look dry. Flip the pancakes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the second side until golden brown.
- Place pancakes on a plate. Remove the pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate while preparing the remaining pancakes.
Tips & Variation Ideas
These are great standalone protein pancakes but sometimes I want a little more. Here are some of the go-to add-ins that I like to toss into these pancakes, plus a tip to help them turn out well:
- Fresh fruit: Make these pancakes into classic blueberry pancakes, or add raspberries or sliced strawberries.
- Add chocolate chips: Chocolate chip pancakes are the ultimate! Stir semisweet chocolate chips into the batter or sprinkle them on top of the pancakes in the pan as the first side cooks.
- Layer in some nuts: Add some chopped walnuts or almonds to the pancake batter for textural interest and even more protein.
- Let the batter rest for 5 minutes before cooking. Oat flour and gluten-free flour in general benefits from a slight rest to let them absorb the liquid in the batter. While you may find the batter to be very thick after resting, this is normal. As noted in the instructions, you can add a tablespoon or two of milk if it’s too thick to pour, but don’t add too much so that the batter becomes runny.
What Adds the Protein?
In this high protein pancakes recipe, plant-based protein powder adds extra protein (you’ll also receive some protein from the oats, milk, and eggs). You can use your preferred protein powder, and I always prefer one that’s plant-based. Just remember that if you use a flavored protein powder it will add that flavor to your pancakes. I usually use a neutral-flavored or vanilla-flavored plant-based protein powder in this recipe.
Are Protein Pancakes Healthy?
Yes! My recipe for gluten-free protein pancakes is definitely on the healthier side and here is why:
- No added or refined sugar. Traditional pancake recipes often call for sugar. My recipe includes no added sugar, relying on the natural sweetness of mashed banana instead.
- Oat flour is used rather than white flour. In my recipe, oats whizzed into oat flour contribute whole grain, complex carbs. Rather than white flour, which has less nutritional value and can spike blood sugar, oat flour is a naturally gluten-free healthier choice. As noted above, it contains fiber and protein as well as other nutrients.
- High in protein. Adding protein powder to gluten-free pancakes is a great option because it obviously immediately ups the amount of protein in the pancakes! Traditional pancakes don’t contain a lot of protein, so adding protein to your gluten-free pancakes gives you additional health benefits without compromising on taste.
Pancakes are a perfect vehicle for all kinds of toppings. I’ve included some options below to get you started:
- With maple syrup and butter. Who doesn’t love the traditional pancake topping of melted butter and maple syrup? To make this topping extra good, warm up your maple syrup before drizzling it over a stack of fluffy pancakes.
- Add lots of fresh fruit. Whatever fruit is in season would be perfect on top of these gluten-free pancakes. Try sliced strawberries, a handful of fresh blueberries or raspberries or a combination, sliced bananas, or sliced peaches or nectarines during the height of summer.
- Spread with peanut or almond butter. Take a pancake and spread it with a generous swipe of nut butter for an extra protein punch and flavor addition. I will sometimes make “pancake rolls”, in which I take a pancake, add peanut butter and a little honey, and roll it up for a late morning snack that’s great tucked in the kids’ lunchbox or just for myself! You can use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version.
- Top with yogurt and honey. Top pancakes with Greek yogurt or plain regular yogurt and a dollop of honey.
- Make it a dessert pancake. To make these gluten-free pancakes more of a dessert, top them with frozen yogurt or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Or turn them into “eclair pancakes” with vanilla pastry cream and chocolate glaze.
How to Store and Reheat Protein Pancakes
Protein pancakes store well, making them a helpful and quick breakfast or snack option for another time. Here’s how to store any extras:
- Fridge – Cooled pancakes may be kept in an airtight container or an air-tight plastic bag with a piece of waxed paper in between each pancake. Store the protein pancakes in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat – You can reheat the pancakes in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate for 30-45 seconds until they are warmed through.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes! Pancakes freeze very well. Store cooled gluten-free pancakes in a freezer-safe bag with a piece of waxed paper in between each pancake. Place in the freezer and store for up to 3 months. You can defrost pancakes in the fridge before reheating, or you can defrost individual pancakes in the microwave using your microwave’s defrost option.
Make it a Meal
When you serve protein pancakes as part of a brunch spread or larger breakfast, it’s nice to serve them with other breakfast options, like crispy bacon, sausages, or fried or scrambled eggs. Here are some of my favorite breakfast recipes that you can serve along with these gluten-free pancakes:
- With baked eggs. My Gluten-Free Ham and Cheese Strata is a wonderful make-ahead choice full of tangy cheddar cheese and salty ham. Or try my simple Baked Eggs recipe.
- Add a fruit salad. Try my colorful Watmerlon Berry Fruit Salad or Sunrise Tropical Fruit Salad recipes.
- Breakfast potatoes. My Cheesy Hash Brown Potato Casserole is always a welcome addition to the breakfast table.
Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes
- 1 ½ cups/135 grams gluten-free quick oats or 1 ⅓ cups for rolled (old-fashioned) oats
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup/24 grams plant-based protein powder
- 1 banana mashed, about 136 grams
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup/160 ml milk or non-dairy milk
- Add the oats to a high-speed blender and process until they resemble flour, about 20 seconds.
- Combine the oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and protein powder in a large mixing bowl. Whisk it well.
- In a second bowl, combine the mashed banana, eggs, and milk. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until the dry is incorporated. It’s ok if there are some lumps.
- Heat the griddle to medium heat and coat with a thin layer of oil or butter
- Let the batter rest for 5 minutes before cooking. If it thickens too much while resting, add another 1-2 Tablespoons of milk and stir.
- Scoop 1⁄4 cup of batter and pour onto the hot griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until there are bubbles visible at the center of the pancakes and the edges, begin to look dry.
- Flip the pancakes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the second side until golden brown.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate while preparing the remaining pancakes.
- Serve warm, topped with peanut butter, fresh fruit, or maple syrup.