There’s a story behind his lemon ricotta protein pancake recipe. 

The other day, I posted a picture of a Dutch baby pancake on my Instagram. It wasn’t my recipe – it was Food and Wine’s, and the picture was beautiful. The recipe was good, but it was far too greasy – there were 6 tablespoons of butter in it, and after a while, my frying pan looked as though I had fried bacon in it.

Yeah, that much fat.

I wondered aloud to my Instagram followers if I could improve the Dutch baby recipe, maybe making it with less grease and more protein. People encouraged me to try, so I did.

Like a souffle, a Dutch baby pancake’s allure is in its ability to rise high in the oven, and ultimately collapse, leaving a crater for all of the toppings. Steam makes the pancake inflate, but anything heavy mixed into the batter can impede the rising process. 

Which is why after four failed attempts at making a lemon ricotta Dutch baby – which tasted delicious, but were flat as a board – I gave up. There are recipes out there for Dutch babies with ricotta in them, but mine just wasn’t meant to be.

So for all of you reading this who were on my Instagram feed, encouraging me to make a better recipe?

I guess I can’t. Sorry! It’s not often I have such a fail in the development of a recipe, but when it happens, it’s spectacular.

That’s when I came up with this lemon ricotta protein pancake recipe. I mean, who wants to mess around with a Dutch baby that may or may not rise on a weekday, anyhow? Not me.

These lemon ricotta protein pancakes are made with zero added sugar, lots of lemon zest, and 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese, which bumps up the protein over and above regular pancakes.

Again, the ricotta flattened them somewhat, but whatever – they’re delicious. You can make a batch of them on a Sunday, then pop them into the toaster all week long! You can even freeze them for later.

A few people told me to make this recipe a sheet pan pancake recipe, but I didn’t. Why? Because I just don’t see the allure of sheet pan pancakes.

  1. They’re not cute to photograph. Those cut edges aren’t pretty.
  2. They’re completely devoid of my favorite part of the pancake: the lacy, browned edges. Why even bother making pancakes if you don’t get the edges?
  3. Sheet pan pancakes sound really heavy. 

Sorry, but for what, 5 seconds of convenience you’ll get by baking the pancakes instead of frying them, I’ll pass. 

Some things weren’t meant to be changed. Call me old-school, but I like my pancakes a certain way. If you really want, you can make this protein pancake recipe into a sheet pan protein pancake recipe….by pouring the batter into a sheet pan and baking it. Your choice.

lemon ricotta protein pancake recipe

You can use smooth or regular ricotta in this recipe – both are high in protein, and even with the regular ricotta, you won’t be able to feel a difference in texture. As far as the flour goes, I’d stick with plain AP white. Whole wheat flour will make these pancakes dense AF. 

Not worth it.

lemon ricotta protein pancakes


lemon ricotta protein pancake


I don’t usually put nutritionals for my recipes, because I’m not a huge believer in counting calories. But because these are protein pancakes, I’ll let you know that each pancake in the batch of 12, has 4.5 grams of protein. WHATTTTTTT. That’s a lot. And they taste amazing, too.

No mushed up banana with protein powder pancake recipes on this site. No way. 

For even more protein, slather these beauties with some nut butter. YESSSS.

Here’s the recipe.

Scrumptious Lemon Ricotta Protein Pancake Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

These lemon ricotta protein pancakes are delicious! Make a stack on the weekend, pop them in the toaster all week long for breakfast.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, high protein recipes, pancakes, protein pancake
Servings: 12 pancakes
  • 1 1/4 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (smooth or regular)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest
  • butter or other fat for frying
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl

  2. Heat butter in a frying pan until melted and bubbly

  3. Fry pancakes on medium-high heat, until browned on each side

  4. Serve with berries, syrup, or any topping you'd like