& Chive Pancakes
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This recipe is part of a mini-series of savory pancake recipes. For more variations and tips/tricks related to the basic batter (and scratch-made pancakes in general) CLICK HERE!
We love our bacon pancakes in the Diversivore household. We’ve even got a theme song – and yes, we honestly do play it while we make bacon pancakes (I adore Adventure Time and electronic music, so it’s not much of a surprise). I’d been making standard bacon pancakes for years, but when I started working on this master post all about savory pancake variations I decided to extend the palate a little bit. I turned to bacon, cheddar, chives, and sour cream – a delicious and ridiculously popular combination of ingredients. So popular in fact that I have been a bit reluctant to include them here on the site thanks to their use (or abuse) in some very unhealthy, very heavily processed ‘recipes’ out there in the food blog world. Perhaps you’ve encountered one or two of these recipes – they’re usually based around using a processed brand-name ingredient or three, mixed together to create some kind of dip, sauce, or filling. They’re also generally provided without nutritional information – I suspect because most of them probably clock in at around 300% of your daily recommended intake of saturated fat. But these wonderful cheesy, bacon-y, made-from-scratch pancakes are, I’m happy to say, definitely not that kind of recipe. They’re delicious yet light, great for stretching a bit of meat a long way, and packed with flavour without being an unhealthy mess.
I was a bit worried that the Diversivore kids might not be on board with these, but my fears were misplaced. Despite eldest son’s aversion to many cheeses, and middle son’s aversion to green onions, these were inhaled with gusto. (Youngest son is too little for pancakes at the moment – we’ll include him in the bacon pancake ritual as soon as possible). The key to their likability is balance – the ingredients punch above their weight-class when it comes to flavour, so they do a lot with relatively small quantities. This is important, as it lets the the pancakes still feel very much like pancakes.
Best of all, these savory pancakes are perfect any time of the day. They’re great for breakfast sure, but they’re equally at home at dinner. They even freeze fairly well, so you can make a big batch to bail yourself out during a hectic future meal time. There are some tips and variations below, and I encourage you to check those out if you’re looking to try something new. And if you’re looking for another savory pancake recipe (because honestly, the more the merrier), check out this master post with three additional variations.
The basic batter for this recipe is quite easy to make, but if you’re looking for any tips, or if you need to troubleshoot a little bit, check out this main post in my savory pancake series.
Mixing in vs. Sprinkling
A lot of pancake variations, and especially sweet ones, will tell you to sprinkle the extra ingredients onto the uncooked side of the pancakes once they’re on the griddle. That works very nicely with blueberries because it keeps them from bleeding colour into the batter, but I think you get a better overall pancake here by mixing the ingredients into the batter ahead of time. The ingredients are distributed better, and as an added bonus, you don’t need to be ready with handfuls of ingredients every time you pour another pancake.
That being said, if you’re a big fan of crispy, browned cheese (and really, who isn’t?) consider sprinkling a little extra cheese onto the batter side of the pancakes right after you flip them over. This cheese will be in direct contact with the hot surface of the griddle, making for a nice, crispy, cheesy treat.
Variations (including Vegetarian)
You can take this basic recipe in a lot of different directions. One of the nice things about cheese is that there are so many wildly different varieties out there, meaning that you can explore all kinds of different flavour options. I go into some tips for coming up with your own savory pancake ideas in the master post related to this one, so I’d encourage you to check that out if you’re looking to experiment. I’ll also take a moment here to cover some specific variations you might want to try related to this particular recipe.
First of all, let’s talk about the vegetarian version. Of course you can just omit the bacon – but we can do better than that now can’t we? That’s the kind of vegetarian option that drives vegetarians crazy. To balance out the omission I’d start by adding a bit of extra cheese and chives. A little added red onion would make a great touch too, especially if you’re using a stronger cheddar. But one of my biggest complaints about leaving out bacon is that you lose the smokiness, so to make up for that you could consider using a smoked cheddar (or gouda), or even adding 1-2 tsps of smoked paprika or chipotle pepper to the batter. The latter spice options will obviously do more than add smoke, but they’re wonderful and their complimentary flavours are worth trying out.
Now let’s talk cheese. Avoid mild cheddar in your pancakes. I mean, if I’m being honest, I’d say avoid mild cheddar everywhere; cheese should have a flavour other than ‘melty.’ I used a simple and easily found basic old cheddar cheese here, but don’t be afraid to go to a very sharp aged cheddar if it floats your boat. If you’re looking to try something else I would stick with the firm (not hard) aged or semi-aged cheeses like gouda, gruyère, or edam. Soft cheeses are great, but hard to incorporate into the batter nicely, and are often a bit too mild to stand out in the finished pancake. Strong, very sharp cheeses like Parmigiano could work, though you’d want to use less of them overall, and possible explore different meat options like pancetta.
Finally, a note on chives vs. scallions (green onions) – as long as your scallion greens are fresh and fairly tender, you can consider these more-or-less interchangeable.
Note: Nutritional Information is given for a single serving (1/6th portion of the total recipe), including cheese, sour cream, and chives/scallions as garnish.
No ingredient pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
Wonderfully easy to make from scratch and easily adapted to a whole host of personalized ingredients, these pancakes are sure to be a dinner hit with kids and adults alike.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1/3 cup melted butter (about 75 grams)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese grated (about 85 g), plus some to serve
- 1/4 cup chives chopped (or scallion greens), plus some to serve
- 6 strips bacon finely chopped
- sour cream to serve
Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain the fat and set the bacon aside.
Preheat a griddle (if using) or skillet over medium heat.
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and melted butter and mix thoroughly until well combined.
Stir in baking powder, taking care to get it thoroughly mixed into the batter. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes.
Add the cheese, cooked bacon, and chives into the batter, stirring until just combined.
Pour the batter onto the preheated griddle/pan (see note below about adding butter); I like to use about 1/2 cup of batter per pancake, but you can go bigger or smaller depending on your personal preferences. Cook until the bottom is browned, the edges are looking solid, and bubbles are coming up through the center of the pancake. Flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes or so, then set aside to cool.
Garnish with sour cream, and additional cheese and chives.
Extra butter - I use a well-seasoned griddle to make my pancakes and I've never needed any extra butter to keep the pancakes from sticking. That being said, if you're using a skillet or frying pan, you may want to have a little extra butter handy to add to the pan in order to keep the batter from sticking as it cooks.