The world of waffles and pancakes isn’t just sweet. It has a savory side too — one that extends far beyond chicken and waffles.
From different flours to flourless options, savory pancakes and waffles can grace your plate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Read on for some alternative waffle and pancake ingredients to try, plus eight delicious savory recipes to pour on the griddle or waffle iron.
Savory Waffle and Pancake Bases
Booting gluten from your gut? Don’t let the name fool you: Heart-healthy, naturally gluten-free buckwheat is a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols, minerals, and protein. Work it up solo, or combine it with other flours to tweak the texture, flavor, and color (buckwheat has a slightly blue hue) of your pancakes and waffles.
Not just for cornbread or stuffing, cornmeal adds texture and a hint of sweetness that pairs well with savory ingredients like smoked salmon and capers or scallions and salted butter. Cornmeal is also a great source of minerals such as niacin, thiamin, iron, and riboflavin. Looking to max out the nutrients? Try stone-ground, whole-grain cornmeal, which also includes the bran and germ.
What better way to add nutty flavor and aroma to your waffles and pancakes than to incorporate nuts? Almond flour, made of ground almonds, is a low-carb flour alternative with healthy monounsaturated fats. You can buy it in stores or grind your own at home. Pro tip: Take a few extra minutes to toast your almond flour for extra flavor.
Using riced cauliflower as your waffle or pancake base can easily bump up your vegetable intake while cutting carbs (compared to traditional flour). Pulse your cauliflower a few times in the food processor and then it’s ready for the griddle or iron.
Another way to add more veggies to your meal? Head to the produce bin and grab your food processor, grater, or julienne peeler. Make your savory pancakes and waffles pop with bright colors and earthy, vegetal flavors from shreddable vegetables such as:
- Sweet potato
- Winter squash, such as butternut or delicata
- Green or purple cabbage
- Celery root
8 Savory Waffle and Pancake Recipes for Any Time of Day
While you can experiment with the veggies and alternative flours mentioned above to concoct your own tasty batter, we’ve rounded up eight tasty recipes to help you hop on board the savory pancake and waffle train. Once you whip up any of these batters, you can cook these versatile dishes in the waffle iron or on the griddle in the form of pancakes (though you may need to tweak your ratio of wet to dry ingredients to get the consistency just right).
Sweet potatoes bring a subtle sweetness that beautifully complements savory or spicy flavors. These five-ingredient waffles sneak in the greens too, by way of spinach and herbs.
Quinoa flour joins hearty spinach for a healthy dose of protein, calcium, and minerals. These gluten-free pancakes serve as a fabulous foundation for other veggies and proteins for a complete and colorful meal.
The “okonomi” in okonomiyaki means “to one’s liking.” At its most basic, okonomiyaki combines shredded green cabbage, dashi (a Japanese stock powder), and small bits of tempura. Griddle-charred and topped with whatever you like such as seaweed flakes and sesame seeds, it’s no wonder people enjoy this Japanese sensation worldwide.
High in protein and loaded with umami-rich Parmesan, these cheesy waffles bring a touch of Mediterranean sunshine to your plate with a ratatouille-like topping of eggplant, zucchini, and roasted peppers and tomatoes.
Corn two ways! The subtle crunch of cornmeal blends with soft pops or fresh or frozen corn kernels. The corn’s sweetness suffuses every bite, combining beautifully with the silky smoothness of freshly poached eggs.
Combining quinoa, flax, and shredded zucchini, these gluten-free waffles cook up light with a crunchy exterior. Top with arugula, a poached egg, sliced avocado, and a dash of hot sauce to round out this savory meal.
Crispy, savory potatoes join oats, sour cream, and cream cheese for a rich texture and deep flavor. A smoked salmon topping gets a little extra kick from sprinkled minced chives.
New Mexican-inspired flavors suffuse throughout these masa harina corn cakes. A spicy snap from green chiles accompanies tart, smooth lime crema for bright flavor in every bite.
Not just for the breakfast table
You can make soul-soothing, versatile pancakes and waffles anytime, not just for breakfast. With an understanding of different bases and a few recipes to try, you’ll find your sweet spot for savory pancakes and waffles before you know it.