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Pre-Workout Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Protein Pancakes – No Protein Powder!

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I have eaten these protein pancakes every single morning for over a month with the exception of one single morning.

Of all the things that could worry me about my upcoming trip, trying to find the ingredients and equipment to make these pancakes is one of my top concerns. I know that sounds a little crazy, but my pancakes really help start my morning! Plus they’re really moist and delicious, unlike some ‘healthy’ pancakes that turn out dense and dry. Or taste like bananas…yeah, no bananas here.

I hope you enjoy these oatmeal cottage cheese protein pancakes without protein powder!

Cottage Cheese & Oatmeal Protein PancakesOne of my CrossFit coaches makes protein pancakes every morning and I got the idea from her. She uses protein powder, though, and all egg whites without a whole egg. I don’t personally care for the added flavorings and ingredients found in a lot of protein powders and I was almost out of my pure whey protein powder when I started making the pancakes, so I substituted cottage cheese and never looked back. I love how moist the cottage cheese makes these! I also use two servings of egg white plus a whole egg because I consistently fall short of meeting my fat macro goal (said no one else ever!). It is perfectly okay to use three egg whites and no whole egg if you’re not looking for that extra 5 grams of fat.

In addition to being delicious and inexpensive, these protein pancakes have a great combination of carbs and protein. When made with the ingredients I use, they have 49 grams of carbs and 37 grams of protein, so that’s a pretty good mix! (I know these numbers because I’m a nerd who logs my food!) {{Edit: I now make these with Greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese and the current version has 37 grams of protein and slightly less fat.}}

oatmeal, eggs, and cinnamon for protein pancakes

I do not use any sweeteners in my pancakes, but you can add some if you absolutely have to. Because I am so weird, boring, or on the right track (depending on who you ask!) and eat so few sweets, even the unsweetened almond milk I use tastes like a delicious treat to me. I think these taste great without any sweetener, but you could add a dash of honey or maple syrup.

I mix my pancake batter in the single serving attachment of our blender. I usually pulse for about a second, pulse again, then process for about 3 seconds, or until everything is fairly combined. You could stir really enthusiastically by hand, but a blender breaks up the oatmeal and cottage cheese much more easily!

combine pancake ingredients in the blender

I’m not particularly good at cooking pretty pancakes! It took me a little while to find the exact heat I need, as well as the amount of oil I should use for each batch. The heat and oil you need will depend on your stove and pan, but if you make “normal” pancakes, start with the same settings. These really do cook pretty similarly. Alternatively, you can use an electric griddle and no oil, which is what we do these days.

Pre-Workout Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Protein Pancakes - No Protein Powder!

Pre-Workout Cottage Cheese Oatmeal Protein Pancakes - No Protein Powder!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 3/4 cup of raw, uncooked oatmeal (traditional or quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (You can substitute Greek yogurt for less fat and lower sodium!)
  • 1/3 cup of egg whites (or the equivalent of 2 egg whites)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional but recommended!)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (also optional but delicious)
  • cooking oil, as needed (I use coconut oil)


  • Heat a large skillet on medium/medium high heat. Use whatever you'd normally use for pancakes - the exact setting needed will depend on you burner and pan.You can also use a nonstick griddle and omit the cooking oil!
  • While the pan preheats, combine all the ingredients, except the cooking oil, in your blender. I use 1 tablespoon of milk when I have moist cottage cheese with some visible liquid, but drier cottage cheese may need 2 tablespoons. It's better to start with 2 and then add a little extra after everything is combined, as needed.
  • Blend to combine. I usually pulse twice, then blend for a couple seconds until things are combined but not totally pureed.
  • Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your entire pan. Allow it to heat for about a minute, until it is hot and shimmering but not smoking. If it's smoking, your heat is too high!
  • My pan perfectly fits three pancakes, so I cook two batches to make six total pancakes. For six pancakes, use about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake.
  • Pour the batter into the hot pan and allow each pancake to cook until most of the bubbles have popped and the outer edge is visibly more solid/darker in color. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes, depending on your pan.
  • Flip, just like you would "normal" pancakes.
  • Continue cooking until the second side is golden brown and the pancake is no longer liquid-y in the center, about 1-2 additional minutes.
  • Add extra oil, as needed, and keep cooking pancakes until you're out of batter!
  • Enjoy your delicious pancakes.
  • Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

    I consider this a single serving recipe, even though it makes 6 pancakes. To make a batch for you and your swolemate, simply double the ingredients and consider breaking out a griddle instead of a simple skillet. If you need significantly fewer or more calories than I do, you may want to either share the pancakes with someone or having them as part of your breakfast. If you’re not sure what you need, I have an entire post about how to get started tracking what you eat.

    For a really special morning, consider adding a few dark chocolate chips. My current favorite brand is Enjoy Life because they’re soy and dairy free and they’re sweetened with real cane sugar. Cool!

    No Powder Protein Pancakes

    It’s very traditional to take photos of pancakes heaped with toppings and dripping with syrup. They are such an amazing time to capture a great “pour shot!” I didn’t want to do that for these protein pancakes, though, because that simply isn’t how I eat them. Additionally, they’re supposed to be a healthy breakfast option, and that pretty much goes out the window once you slather on the toppings! They’d still be better for you than “normal” pancakes with the same topping buffet, but still.

    So, I’m very curious to know: how many people can eat the same meal on a very regular basis and still enjoy it? Do you eat the same breakfast every day like I do? Or do you have to mix things up on a regular basis?


    { 14 comments… add one }
    • Camille January 23, 2016, 16:47

      My pancakes seem a bit wet, is that wrong??? Thank you 🙂

      • Natashalh January 23, 2016, 21:52

        You’ll need to modify the amount of milk you use based on how wet the cottage cheese is. Sometimes cottage cheese is very moist, but other times it’s fairly “dry.” If my cottage cheese is moist (has visible runny liquid in/around it), I only add a scant tablespoon of milk. If the cottage cheese is “drier” I add more than a tablespoon. Also, if the batter sits for a few minutes the oatmeal seems to soak up some of the egg and become stiffer/less moist, so simply allowing the mixture to rest for a couple minutes could help stiffen up your batter! Overall, though, this pancake batter tends to be a bit more wet than ‘normal’ pancakes. I’ve had very dry batches and very wet batches – just keep an eye on them and cook them appropriately and they should turn out well! Thiner batter = thinner pancakes = less cooking time. Thicker batter = thicker pancakes = a little more cooking time. I hope all of that is helpful!

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