These cottage cheese pancakes are thick and puffy with a great flavor. Rich in protein and blended until perfectly smooth, this easy recipe comes together in the food processor and is a great use for leftover cottage cheese.
We’re not big cottage cheese eaters (that’s an understatement) so leftover containers of cottage cheese tend to languish in the fridge after making healthy alfredo sauce (or lightened up buffalo chicken alfredo).
Since my issues with it are texture-related, whizzing it up in the food processor is a game-changer when it comes to enjoying the nutritional perks of cottage cheese in recipes we truly crave.
This recipe for fluffy cottage cheese pancakes is the ultimate recipe to make with leftover cottage cheese, but to be honest, it’s worthy of cracking into a brand new container, too.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- The pancake batter all comes together in the food processor, eliminating the curd texture for those averse AND minimizing the number of dishes to wash.
- A lower cooking temperature takes the stress out of cooking pancakes in butter and helps them cook evenly — no burnt outsides with raw insides.
- A few extra pantry/fridge staples, such as two leavening agents for fluffiness and maple syrup in the batter for flavor, elevates a healthier pancake recipe and puts it right up there with traditional versions.
- Cottage cheese: Extra fat like oil or butter aren’t added to the batter for these cottage cheese pancakes so I recommend using 4% milkfat over something like fat-free to give it some oomph. Either small or large curd varieties work as they’ll just be blended in the end.
- Flour: All-purpose or white whole wheat flour work great here. I have not tested this recipe with alternative flours, but I suspect a 1-for-1 flour substitute would be fine.
- Maple syrup: Added into the batter (and drizzled on top!), maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness and delicious pancake flavor. You can substitute in the same amount of honey if you prefer.
- Butter (for cooking): Cooking pancakes in butter provides a great taste, but you need to be mindful of cooking temperature so it doesn’t burn. While some like to use oil, I’m not a fan of the flavor/smell it imparts.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of a food processor: cottage cheese, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Process (or pulse) until the mixture is entirely smooth.
- Next add the dry ingredients to the food processor: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.
- Pulse until the batter is mixed together and cohesive. It will be pretty thick, so be sure to scrape down the sides, as needed, so all of the ingredients mix in.
- Add butter to a large skillet or griddle pan set on the stove over medium-low heat. Let the butter melt fully and get nice and heated before scooping pancakes of about three tablespoons of batter (maximum) onto the surface. The batter will expand so be sure to keep sufficient room between pancakes in the pan.
- Cook pancakes for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles begin forming throughout each pancake and the bottom side is golden brown. Flip over and cook until the other side is golden brown as well and cooked throughout. Serve warm.
- Cooking pancakes can be finicky! My first batch always turns out less evenly golden-brown than the second and third batches. Be sure to allow your pan to come up to temperature before adding the batter, and be ready to adjust the temperature if needed for even cooking.
- Do not use too small of a food processor for the batter as it would run the risk of overflowing. The one pictured in this post has a seven-cup capacity and fit everything just fine. If you don’t have a food processor large enough, you can use a blender instead. Just be sure to scrape the sides well and often to make sure everything is evenly combined.
- Variations: Sub in almond extract for the vanilla, use pumpkin pie spice in place of just cinnamon, honey for the maple syrup, add nuts, berries, or mini chocolate chips, etc.
- Serving suggestions: As pictured these pancakes have a dusting of powdered sugar and pure maple syrup. I love to keep things simple and serve alongside fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries. A drizzle of peanut butter and banana slices or even whipped cream and jam make great toppings, too.
When cooking multiple batches of pancakes, store early batches of cooked pancakes on a wire rack. This prevents the heat from getting trapped underneath them on a plate and causing them to get soggy. Store cooked pancakes in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or freeze them right away if you know you won’t get to them.
Yes. Freeze pancakes flat in an air-tight container or bag (with excess air pressed out). If stacking, place a layer of wax or parchment paper between pancakes to prevent them from sticking and freezing together. Frozen pancakes will stay for a couple of months (They’ve been fine but I’ve found them to get a little freezer burnt after then).
To reheat frozen pancakes in the microwave, place pancakes in a single layer on a plate and microwave for 45-60 seconds or until fully heated (though the timing will differ depending on your microwave). Using a pan in the toaster oven also works, though I recommend covering the pancakes with foil and using a lower/moderate temperature so they heat throughout without burning or drying out. I have not tried a traditional toaster.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
- 1 cup (224g) cottage cheese 4%, small or large curd
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (78g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter divided, for cooking
- Add cottage cheese, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ground cinnamon to the food processor and pulse in until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to work all of the ingredients in evenly.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium-low heat. Add around 1 teaspoons of unsalted butter to the pan and swirl it around as it melts to coat the bottom surface.
- Once the pan is well heated, scoop batter onto the pan, using no more than three tablespoons of batter per pancake. A 12-inch diameter skillet can fit three pancakes at a time.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles are forming throughout the pancake and the bottoms have turned golden brown. Flip each one over and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes longer.
- Repeat the remaining batter, adding another teaspoon of butter to the pan (as needed) per batch. Serve warm with maple syrup, jam, fresh fruit, etc.
- If cooking in batches, place early cooked pancakes on a wire rack while you’re making the rest. This prevents the heat from being trapped underneath them on a plate which could make them soggy.
- As all stovetops cook differently, adjust the temperature as needed to prevent the butter (and pancakes) from burning.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.