Quinoa Pancakes: Protein-packed and delicious

I’ll admit it – I tend to jump on the bandwagon when new healthy food trends pop up. Like quinoa. This ancient grain is all the rage lately, bringing protein and fiber to mouths all over the world. I like to cook up double (and triple!) batches for my weekly meal prep. Boy, does it make a lot!

Quinoa is terrific added to salads, tossed with veggie-packed stir-fry, topped with a light garlic cream sauce and steamed broccoli, and as a side dish with salt and pepper. Come Friday, though, I usually still have about a cupful left, and am never quite sure how to use it up.

I do like quinoa– but everyone has their limit. Also, I start craving other things. Like potatoes. I love potatoes.

So what to do with the remainder?

Saturdays are often pancake days in our home: a great chance to enjoy a mellow morning before starting the weekend activities. It’s our splurge day. My husband and I have been running and boot camping our buns off all week and it’s the day to treat ourselves to a little comfort food.

I thought about just throwing my leftover quinoa in the batter, but was really worried about the texture.

Would quinoa pancakes be chewy? Would it blend in thoroughly? Would it taste too “healthy” for our weekend butter/maple syrup craving mouths? I decided to just go for it.

Guys, they’re delicious.

The quinoa adds no extra flavor, but the texture is lovely. Quinoa pancakes are fluffy, but have a little extra chewy “pop” from the cooked grain.

Before we get started on breakfast, we just wanted to let you know something exciting – these pancakes can swap from gluten-free to gluten-full SO EASILY. Replace the all-purpose with the same amount of Gluten-Free Flour and omit the malted milk powder. Simple as that.

How to make Quinoa Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Flour
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1 tablespoon malted milk powder (omit if using gluten-free flour)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk the dry ingredients together until well combined. It’s going to look a little lumpy as a result of the quinoa – you just want to make sure your baking powder and salt are well dispersed.

The malted milk powder adds a tiny hint of malt, which reminded us of diner pancakes. If you don’t have any on hand, no worries. Your breakfast will be just as delicious without.

How to make Quinoa Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon flavor or 1 teaspoon extract of your choice*

*Quinoa pancakes work well with any flavor or extract. We’ve enjoyed testing out a few of the flavors in our test kitchen pantry. Maple flavor, coconut flavor, almond extract, and lemon extract were some of our favorites. Use whatever you have on hand – or none at all. Just add an extra teaspoon of vanilla in its place.  

How to make Quinoa Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until fully combined. The batter will definitely have texture because of the quinoa, but shouldn’t have any dry lumps. 

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease the frying pan or griddle; it’ll be ready when a drop of water skitters across the surface, evaporating immediately.

How to make Quinoa Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Bake on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes; then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn over only once. Serve immediately.

How to make Quinoa Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Just for fun (and because I had so much quinoa lying around!) I made the recipe twice: once with gluten-free flour and again with all-purpose. It’s fun to see the side-by-side comparison – they look pretty darn identical. The batter and quinoa pancakes on the left are gluten-free; everything on the right is made with all-purpose.

Our testers couldn’t distinguish any difference in taste between the two. We actually didn’t tell them until much later about the flour change! Pretty good endorsement for a pretty delicious breakfast meal.

So the next time you decide to make a huge pot of quinoa, don’t fret. Know that it can be easily transformed into these yummy quinoa pancakes!

Please, bake, rate, and review our recipe for Quinoa Pancakes.

Print just the recipe.

Gwen Adams

Gwen Adams grew up in northern New Hampshire, on top of a mountain, surrounded by nature and not much else. After graduating from Lyndon State College in 2010, Gwen sought a career that combined her passion for writing with her love of baking. She found ...


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That distinctive malt flavor may be found in Ovaltine or other instant malt beverage drink. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  1. Maxine Booth

    I have and use quinoa quite often, and would love to try this recipe. Can you post the nutrition info for it using the listed ingredients please?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You may use flax meal in place of the eggs, Maria. For each large egg, blend 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) finely ground flax meal with 3 tablespoons cold water. Let rest for 10 minutes to thicken. And for the fresh milk you may use soy, rice or almond milk. Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF

  2. Rosemarie DeKruyff

    I love the nutty flavor of quinoa in these pancakes. My favorite breakfast is scones, which I bake more often than pancakes. What would you think of mixing cooked quinoa into the scone batter- maybe with KAF white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour? I just don’t know what proportions to use, and what ingredient to cut back on. Would you have any suggestions?

    saved for Alyssa, Queen of Quinoa!

    1. Alyssa Rimmer

      Hi Rosemarie! As someone who bakes with quinoa all the time, I can tell you that adding quinoa to your scones is definitely doable (and delicious!). I usually use it as an add-in, so for example if the recipe is for chocolate chip scones and I’m adding 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, I’d probably reduce that to 1/4 and add a few tablespoons of cooked quinoa in. Depending on your recipe, I think you could try adding 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa and seeing how it works. You might have to add just a tablespoon or two more of liquid (or reduce your flour slightly), but otherwise it should be perfect!

  3. Trisha

    These sound great. My family loves the self-rising fluffy pancakes and rebels when I try other recipes. I wonder if I could slip some quinoa into those.

  4. sharon

    Could you please tell me how to cook the quinoa in the first place? i have read it always needs to be rinsed before using because of a bitter coating. however, the recipei l was going to make said to toast it (nothing about rinsing). How do I toast something that is wet? I have some quinoa that I bought and it just sits because I don’t know how to cook it. Please give the info for how to get to having cooked quinoa to put into the pancakes.

    btw; I think you are the Gwen that was in Susan Reid’s post about wedding cakes. I just wanted to say that your wedding gown was so nice. It was just lovely.

    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      Hi Sharon– That WAS my wedding. Thank you for your kind words. It was a wonderful night with delicious cake!

      Quinoa manufacturing has come a long way. A few years ago, all brands called for rinsing before cooking to remove the natural coating of saponins. They tended to make the grain taste soapy. Now, most packages state on them that they have been pre-rinsed. They’ve gone ahead and done that step in the factory– saving the consumers the arduous step.

      You can toast your dry quinoa before adding in the water or stock, it will give it more of a nutty flavor. Often times, I skip that step and go right to adding the stock and cooking it down. Either way, it’s delicious. It truly is easier than it seems. Give it a try!

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