Easy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes made in the blender! These gluten free pumpkin pancakes are an easy, healthy start to the day.
Why You'll Love these Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
These pumpkin pancakes are made entirely with oats processed in a blender (that’s right, NO flour), making them 100% whole grain and naturally gluten free. Plus, they only call for 7 ingredients and come together in 15 minutes. They're perfect for easy weekday breakfasts or lazy Sunday brunch. Both kids and adults will love their pumpkin-y flavor and soft, fluffy texture.
And contrary to other protein pancake recipes, there's no need for protein powders in this recipe. Their quality protein comes from eggs and cottage cheese, which together create the creamiest, fluffiest texture. Trust me, if you haven't tried cottage cheese in pancakes, you're in for a treat!
Make a batch ahead and store them in the fridge for healthy breakfasts or snacks on the fly.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pumpkin Puree: It's important to use pure pumpkin puree (such as Libby's brand), as opposed to pumpkin pie filling. The latter is already heavily sweetened and flavored. Alternatively, you can use ⅔ cup of mashed ripe banana.
- Old Fashioned Oats: Packed with fiber and whole grain goodness, oats create the bulk of the base for these fluffy pancakes. This recipe calls for old fashioned rolled oats, however quick oats can also do the job. Just don't use steel cut oats, which are too hard and tough to create the soft texture we're going for.
- Cottage Cheese: That's right, our MVP, protein-packed ingredient here is good ol' cottage cheese. If you're typically not a fan of cottage cheese, you won't taste it at ALL once the pancakes are cooked. I do suggest using full-fat over reduced-fat here, which helps create a tender crumb. My favorite brand of cottage cheese is Good Culture, which also offers probiotic benefits.
- Eggs: A must to help bind the pancakes and create a fluffy texture.
- Maple Syrup: A touch of maple syrup adds sweetness and warmth to each stack. You can also use date syrup, rice syrup, or honey here.
- Spices: I love using either pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice to get quintessential fall flavor. If you don't have either on hand, use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. (Ginger, too, if you're feeling spicy!)
How to Make Protein Pancakes:
The blender makes these pancakes a breeze to make. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a high power blender, and blend until smooth. Leave the mixture in the blender while you preheat a large skillet or griddle.
Lightly coat the pan or griddle with oil or butter, and place over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add ⅓ cup of batter for every pancake, and gently smooth out with the back of a spoon. Cook for about 2 to 4 minutes, until golden and dry at the edges and bubbles form on top. Flip the pancakes, and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat these steps with the remaining batter.
Lastly, garnish your pancakes with your toppings of choice and drizzle maple syrup overtop!
The Trick to Fluffy Pancakes:
The secret to making fluffy pancakes is a thick pancake batter. In this recipe, the blended oats slightly expand to create extra thickness. You may even assume the batter is TOO thick compared to the norm, though trust in that it will perform!
The other key to fluff is using eggs, which also help bind the batter. Please note: this recipe has NOT been tested with egg alternatives, such as flax or chia "eggs".
- To Store: Place leftover pancakes in an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat: Gently rewarm pancakes in the microwave until hot. Alternatively, you can also reheat them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350ºF until warmed through, or in a toaster oven.
- To Freeze: First, allow your pancakes to fully cool. Once cooled, place a piece of parchment or wax paper in between each pancake and stack them on top of one another. Transfer to a freezer-safe gallon ziptop bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, reheat pancakes directly from frozen as instructed.
Other Healthy Pancake Recipes to Try:
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- Large skillet or griddle
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (sub mashed ripe banana)
- ½ cup full-fat cottage cheese (I use Good Culture brand)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (sub apple pie spice)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Suggested toppings: Chopped pecans or walnuts, chocolate chips, maple butter, nut butter, maple syrup.
- Combine all ingredients in a high power blender; blend until mostly smooth (do not overblend). Let batter sit in the blender while you preheat a skillet (or griddle) over medium heat. Grease with oil or butter.
- Once the pan is hot, add ⅓ batter to the pan for each pancake. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter to create a rounded pancake. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until pancakes slightly puff up and bubbles form around the edges. Gently flip, and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown on the underside. (Note: if the pancakes start browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low to prevent burning.)Serve warm with toppings of choice.