These protein pumpkin pancakes are made with Greek yogurt and eggs to add plenty of protein, without the use of protein powder. Each serving has 9 grams of protein, and are moist and light. These pumpkin protein pancakes are easy to make, and have the perfect balance of warm, earthy pumpkin flavor.
Just your basic lady who thinks there’s nothing better than pumpkin spice season and a high protein breakfast! Bring on the Fall season and all things pumpkin!
I made these pancakes to be lower in carbohydrates and fat, and a decent amount of protein (for pancakes). I also wanted an easy and non-fussy recipe, and one that was “healthy” enough, but not bland and boring! These pancakes fit the bill, and are also great for meal prep.
Why you’ll love these healthy pumpkin pancakes
- Quick and easy to make, utilizing simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.
- Very moist, light and fluffy with a delicious pumpkin pie spice flavor!
- Great macro breakdown of 25 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, egg white bites or your favorite turkey bacon, and you have a protein packed healthy breakfast to start your day!
- Filling and nutritious. Fresh pumpkin puree is a good source of carotene, pectin, minerals, vitamins and other substances that are beneficial to health . It is believed that bioactive compounds of pumpkin have a protective role against many diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and cancer [6, 7, 8, 9] and coronary heart diseases. Wow, that’s pretty incredible!
Ingredients for this protein pancake recipe
- Greek yogurt – feel free to use full fat or low fat. Fage even makes lactose free Greek yogurt, which is just as good as their standard yogurt, and is what I use in these pancakes.
- Pumpkin puree – of course fresh pumpkin puree, easily made in the Instant Pot, is most delicious, you can certainly use canned as well! Just make sure you use puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- 2 Eggs – this recipe calls for the whole egg, but you could also use egg whites as a substitution. Use 6 tablespoons of egg whites.
- Sugar to sweeten the pancakes just a bit. Feel free to eliminate if you wish to make these even lower carb. You can use granulated sugar or maple syrup.
- Pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract to add that fall flavor warmth and spice.
- Flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup gluten free flour, but feel free to use all purpose flour if you don’t follow a gluten free diet. I do not recommend subbing in almond flour or coconut flour.
- Baking powder to help them rise into fluffy pancakes
- A splash of milk and a pinch of salt to help moisten the batter and add more flavor.
How to make these easy pumpkin protein pancakes
Begin by adding the yogurt, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar to a mixing bowl, and stir till well incorporated.
Gently whisk in the flour, salt and baking powder, and then when well incorporated, add in a splash of milk and mix.
Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle on medium heat, and add your preferred cooking oil or butter to the pan. I love using coconut oil when making pancakes because it heats up so well and makes the edges golden brown and just slightly crispy.
Spoon in large dollops of pancake batter into the heated pan, making 3″-4″ in diameter pancakes. Cook on one side about 3 minutes, till golden brown and batter is starting to set, then flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until pancaked is cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
Remove from the pan and place on a platter. Cover with a kitchen dishcloth to keep warm, and proceed to make the remaining pancakes.
This recipe will yield 8 pancakes 4″ in diameter, with a serving size being 2 pancakes.
An important note about pumpkin puree
Depending on the brand you purchase, canned pumpkin puree will vary in water content. Some brands have higher water content than others (Ralph’s Simple Truth Organic is much more watery than Whole Foods brand for instance). This water content will effect the consistency of your batter.
If the brand you use is drier, you will need to add more milk than if it has a higher water content. This will require a bit of intuitive skills on your part, but even if the batter is a little thicker or runnier, it should not matter too much.
I would not recommend it but if it’s all you have on hand, go for it. As detailed in this Food 52 article, double acting baking powder is what will yield the lightest and fluffiest pancakes.
This recipe was created and tested using gluten free flour and all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour would definitely work, you will likely just need to add more liquid (perhaps ¼ cup of milk), as whole wheat flour tends to be drier and suck up more moisture. I would also advise you let the batter sit for a bit before making the pancakes.
“Since whole wheat flour contains both the bran and germ of wheat, which is coarser in texture, resting the batter before baking gives the liquid a chance to hydrate the bran and the germ and soften it first.”
It’s quite common to add a scoop or two of your favorite protein powder to pancakes, as it’s an easy and good source of protein. While I certainly do it quite often myself, I specifically made these healthy pumpkin protein pancakes without protein powder to keep the ingredients as simple and easily replicable as possible. The quality, texture and flavor of protein powders varies widely, I prefer developing a recipe that can be replicated as consistently as possible.
Other expert tips and suggestions
- Feel free to sub out the Greek yogurt for cottage cheese, although I do recommend blending the cottage cheese first. This will result in smoother batter.
- Top with Greek yogurt to add even more protein for the perfect breakfast powerhouse! Or add a dollop of almond butter or your favorite nut butter to increase the healthy fats and add an enormous amount of flavor. Speaking of flavor, stirring in a small handful of chocolate chips to the batter sounds like a great idea too!
- These pumpkin pancakes pair perfectly with sliced bananas, pecans and real maple syrup! But really, you can add any of your favorite toppings to these yummy pancakes.
- Store leftovers and double batches in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, either warm in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or pop in the toaster. The best part is how easy these are to make and reheat, making it an amazing option for busy mornings!
- I recipe tested these with only ¼ cup of flour, to see how they would taste and they were delicious! But definitely had a very airy texture, so I opted to add more flour to help them more resemble traditional pancakes. Feel free to lower the flour quantity though, if you want an even lower carb count.
I know you will love these protein pumpkin spice pancakes and bet you’ll be making them as often on busy weekday mornings as you do on Saturday morning! Please let me know if you give these a try and what you think, and please leave a comment and rating if you love them!
Greek Yogurt Protein Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1 Large nonstick skillet or griddle
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup flour gluten free or all purpose
- 2 tablespoon milk
- pinch of salt
- Begin by adding the yogurt, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar to a mixing bowl, and stir till well incorporated.
- Gently whisk in the flour, salt and baking powder, and then when well incorporated, add in a splash of milk and mix.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle on medium heat, and add your preferred cooking oil or butter to the pan.
- Spoon in large dollops of pancake batter into the heated pan, making 3″-4″ in diameter pancakes. Cook on one side about 3 minutes, till golden brown and batter is starting to set, then flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until pancake is cooked through and golden brown on both sides.