New Ways to Eat Pancakes for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

For folks who don’t like sweet eats in the morning, most dishes made with flour or grains have traditionally been out of the question, since they’re often loaded with brown sugar or maple syrup. Things are changing, though. Savory waffles are still having a moment and oatmeal has followed suit. It’s time for pancakes to join in on the fun. Flapjacks are simple to make and don’t require any special equipment, so you can easily throw together any of these five dishes in a flash. And they aren’t just good for your morning meal. Make them for lunch. Make them for dinner. Or, make them for a midnight snack. Pancakes just became so much more interesting.

1. Fresh Corn Griddle Cakes with Spicy Salsa

Cooking corn pancakes

Corn griddle cakes | iStock.com

Corn and tomatoes are basically made for each other. Combined, you taste flavors that range from sweet to acidic and get great contrast of textures. Give the duo a new home in The New York Time’s recipe for corn flapjacks with a spicy tomato topping. Feel free to try other salsas for some fun variations. A little bit of grated cheese in the batter is also a nice choice.

Ingredients:

 Batter

  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, plus more
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced chives or scallions

Salsa

  • 1½ cups red onion, finely diced
  • 1½ cups bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1½ cups firm but ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus more

Assembly

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco

Directions: Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 6 tablespoons butter to combine. Set aside.

When ready to cook, add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture, and stir just to combine. Add corn, chile, and chives, and stir to combine.

In a serving bowl, toss onions, peppers, tomatoes, salt, and chile. Add lime juice, and toss to combine.

Preheat cast-iron pan or a griddle over medium heat. Preheat oven to lowest setting. Once hot, grease griddle with butter. Spoon ¼-cup mounds of batter onto hot griddle. Adjust heat, as needed. Cook about 1½ minutes, then flip. Cook another 1½ minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to oven to keep warm.

Serve pancakes with salsa, cilantro, and queso fresco.

2. Pesto Pancakes

stuffed pancakes, spinach, cheese, crepes

Pesto pancakes | iStock.com

These crepe-style pancakes from Larder Love take inspiration from the classic basil purée with the addition of some creamy ricotta. Don’t be put off by the thought of making something that seems so delicate, because this recipe is a lot easier than it sounds. As long as you let the first side of the pancake cook long enough, it should release and flip easily. This dish is perfect for days when you aren’t particularly starving, but you can also top the filled pancakes with a few fried eggs for a little more staying power.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ounces milk
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Butter
  • 20 ounces combined pine nuts and almonds
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3½ ounces ricotta
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 20 basil leaves

Directions: Sift flour into a bowl, and crack egg into center. Whisk egg into flour, and gradually whisk in milk. Batter should be smooth, similar to cream. Season with salt and white pepper.

Toast nuts in a dry pan until golden and fragrant. Transfer three-quarters of nuts to food processor with garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Reserve remaining nuts for garnish. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped, but not yet turning into a paste. Add basil, reserving a few leaves for garnish. Pulse just to combine. Stir mixture into ricotta.

Heat a dab of butter in a small nonstick pan, and add half of batter. Swirl pan to coat evenly. Cook about 1 minute, or until bottom is fully set. Flip pancake, and spread with half of ricotta mixture. Once second side has cooked, fold pancake, and transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter and filling. Garnish with basil and reserved nuts, and serve.

3. Chicken-and-Potato Pancakes

potato pancakes, mushroom sauce, gravy

Chicken and potato pancakes | iStock.com

Like Thanksgiving in flapjack form, these chicken-and-potato pancakes from Southern Living will have you making breakfast for dinner a lot more frequently. This recipe uses leftover cooked chicken, pre-shredded hash browns, and pancake mix to get the finished meal on your table in 15 minutes. Don’t skip the gravy, because it makes these pancakes even better. We like to add a pinch of cayenne to the sauce for a little bit of spice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1½ cups shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 1 cup refrigerated, shredded hash browns
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Quick cream gravy

Directions: Whisk pancake mix and milk in a large bowl just to combine. Mix in chicken and next six ingredients, stirring just to combine.

Pour ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or nonstick skillet. Cook pancakes 3 minutes on first side, or until top bubbles and edges look dry. Flip, and cook 5 to 6 minutes longer, or until done. Serve with gravy.

4. Dill Pancakes with Country Ham and Cheese

potato pancakes, cheese, dill

Dill pancakes | iStock.com

When you just can’t take the thought of another sandwich, give ham and cheese a new home by making Real Simple’s savory pancakes. This dish dresses up some purchased pancake mix for a dish you can easily serve to guests. Give the cakes nod to France by using Gruyere cheese, or keep them more American with cheddar.

Looking for a topping? Play off the dill by tossing together an easy relish. Combine some diced pickles, thinly sliced onions, a handful of chopped dill, a splash of the pickle juice, and a drizzle of oil. Mix everything together, let it sit for a few minutes to help the flavors blend, then it’s pancake time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped smoked ham
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grated Gruyere, Swiss, or cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus additional sprigs

Directions: Combine pancake mix, ham, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk milk, cheese, egg, oil, and chopped dill. Stir wet ingredients into dry, and whisk just until combined. Let batter rest about 5 minutes. Preheat a nonstick griddle or skillet coated with oil or butter over medium-high heat. Spoon about ⅓ cup of batter for each pancake. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear on surface and edges appear dry. Let finish cooking, then remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining pancakes. Garnish with dill, and serve.

5. Chorizo and Halloumi Pancakes with Fried Eggs

chorizo

Chorizo | iStock.com

Eggs and pancakes are a standard diner order, yet they rarely appear on the same plate. Not that anybody really wants maple syrup on their eggs. Runny yolks are just as capable of saucing a short stack, though. Try it for yourself with Serious Eat’s satisfying cheese and chorizo pancakes topped with a perfectly fried egg.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Spanish chroizo, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 4 (1- to 2-ounce) slices halloumi cheese

Directions: Combine chorizo and olive oil in a large nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet, and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until chorizo is crisp, and transfer to a bowl, using a rubber spatula to get all of the oil. Add oregano to chorizo, and stir to combine. Wipe out skillet.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, 1 egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and half of chorizo mixture in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Mixture will have some lumps.

Return skillet to medium-low heat, and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add one slice of cheese, and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Flip, and scatter a teaspoon of chorizo over cheese. Ladle a few ounces of batter on top of halloumi and chorizo to cover completely. Cook pancake, without moving, until browned and crisp on first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, and cook until done, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack set in a warm oven. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Break remaining 4 eggs into skillet, and cook until bottoms are crisp, whites are cooked, and yolks are still runny, about 1½ minutes.

Serve pancakes topped with egg and a drizzle of remaining chorizo.