Pancakes don't have to be sweet, and if you are wanting to go down the savoury pancake route then these Caramelised Onion and Cheddar Savoury Pancakes are the ones to put on your table. The creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness from the balsamic onions pair together perfectly. They even have some green veggies in them! Really quick and simple to make and cooked in just 10 minutes.
Whenever people think about pancakes, they usually think of the sweet kind. But pancakes can be so much more than that. We would happily eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so savoury makes a nice change.
The French call these crepes and they are a basic mix of flour, egg and milk. What could be more simple than that?! Unlike American pancakes, which are thick and fluffy, these crepe pancakes have fillings and are folded. Everything is better with fillings!
We have sweet pancake recipes for you to try as well. Take a look at our Apple Pancakes, Easy Mini Pancakes or our Banana Pancakes.
Why you will love it
- Cooked in just 10 minutes
- A nice alternative to sweet pancakes
- Lots of options for filling
- A fun way to eat more vegetables
- Plain flour
- Skimmed milk - You could use whole milk or even a plant based alternative if you wanted to make these savoury pancakes dairy free (you would need to use a cheese alternative).
- Red onion - These are so sweet and sticky once they have been caramelised. You could use a regular brown onion or even shallots instead though.
- Mushrooms - These are a great way to bulk out the savoury pancakes and make the whole meal a little bit more filling. Try to use a variety of different mushrooms for extra texture.
- Balsamic vinegar - This is where the sweetness comes from and helps to caramelise the onions. Try to use the best quality balsamic vinegar that you can find, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Cheddar - We used an extra mature cheddar. This has such a strong flavour, meaning you don't have to use so much of it and it keeps the calories down. You could swap cheddar for a Swiss cheese.
- Spinach - A great way to give these savoury pancakes a green veggie boost. You could swap it for kale if you like, but you should sauté the kale as it will be a little tougher.
- Parsley - This freshens up the whole dish. You could swap parsley for chives.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make savoury pancakes - Step by step
One: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and crack in the egg and pour in the milk and 1 tablespoon of oil.
Two: Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
Three: Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the onions. Fry until soft.
Four: Add the mushrooms and balsamic vinegar and cook until it has reduced.
Five: Add the spinach and wilt and set aside.
Six: Wipe a frying pan with oiled kitchen paper and heat over a moderate heat. Ladle the batter into the centre of the pan and tilt the pan so the batter spreads thinly around the pan. Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds.
Seven: Flip the pancake and heat the other side for 30 seconds. Once cooked, put the pancake on a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm. Repeat with all the batter.
Eight: Assemble the pancakes by adding a line of the onion mixture and then the grated cheese. Fold and serve.
The great thing about pancakes is that the filling options are almost endless, so why limit yourself to sweet fillings. There are so many savoury fillings that go well in pancakes and cheese and caramelised onion are just a couple of them. We also added some mushrooms and spinach for a veggie boost.
We used mature cheddar, as you get lots of flavour without having to use too much of it, but you could use any cheese or a mixture. We like mozzarella and goats cheese too. Spinach and ricotta is a delicious combination.
If you want to add some meat, then ham or leftover shredded chicken would work. Or bacon. Everything is better with bacon. We have also done a fish version with tinned tuna and grilled salmon.
Other filling ideas:
- Cooked potato
- Swiss chard
- Bell peppers
- Courgette (zucchini)
- Leftovers (get really creative with the savoury pancakes and add leftovers from bolognese or chilli).
These pancakes can be a really nutritious meal, as it's easy to bulk them out with lots of vegetables. Try to keep the cheese to a minimum and adds lots of leafy greens and you will be on the right track.
Yes, you can make the batter in advance and then keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make the pancakes.
You can also make the whole pancakes ahead of time and then stack them on a plate with greaseproof paper between them. Just heat them through in a pan before you are ready to add your toppings.
These are a great vegetarian meal option, however if you want to add some meat to it then you could add chopped ham or cooked shredded chicken. Cooked chopped bacon is always a good option too.
We would happily just eat 4 of these, especially when it is Shrove Tuesday. However, if you want to serve it with some sides, then we have some suggestions for you.
Keep it cheesy with our Easy Cauliflower Cheese. If you want to continue down the vegetable route, then our Grilled Corn with Herb Butter or Broccoli Slaw are a good addition. Thinking that chips would go well with this? Why not try our Air Fryer Chips, or Baked Polenta Fries and then dip it in Cucumber Raita.
• Make sure you pour only a very thin layer of batter in to the pan. These are meant to be thin, light and delicate crepe type pancakes. Too much batter would make them stodgy.
• You can freeze these pancakes for up to 3 months. Make sure to put a layer of baking paper between each pancake though, to stop them from sticking.
• Make sure your pan is heated, but not so hot that it is smoking otherwise the pancakes will burn. It's best to brush the pan with oil, so it gets a light coating of oil.
More vegetarian recipes
If you’ve tried this savoury pancake recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Savoury Pancakes with Caramelised Onion
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Plain flour - (all purpose)
- 1 Egg
- 150 ml (0.66 cups) Skimmed milk
- 1 tablespoon Sunflower Oil - (plus extra for frying)
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 Red onion - sliced
- 8 Mushrooms - sliced
- 60 g (0.5 cups) Mature cheddar - grated
- 60 g (2 cups) Spinach
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- Fresh parsley - to garnish
- Combine 50 g Plain flour and 1 pinch Sea salt in a large bowl. Make a well and crack in 1 Egg and pour in 150 ml Skimmed milk and 1 tablespoon Sunflower Oil.
- Whisk until you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon Butter in a frying pan and add 1 Red onion. Fry until soft.
- Add 8 Mushrooms and 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and cook until it has reduced.
- Add 60 g Spinach and wilt and set aside.
- Wipe a frying pan with oiled kitchen paper and heat over a moderate heat. Ladle the batter into the centre of the pan and tilt the pan so the batter spreads thinly around the pan. Cook undisturbed for 30 seconds.
- Flip the pancake and heat the other side for 30 seconds. Once cooked, put the pancake on a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm. Repeat with all the remaining batter.
- Assemble the pancakes by adding a line of the onion mixture and then 60 g Mature cheddar and some Fresh parsley. Fold and serve.60 g Mature cheddar, Fresh parsley
- Make sure you pour only a very thin layer of batter in to the pan. These are meant to be thin, light and delicate crepe type pancakes. Too much batter would make them stodgy.
- You can freeze these pancakes for up to 3 months. Make sure to put a layer of baking paper between each pancake though, to stop them from sticking.
- Make sure your pan is heated, but not so hot that it is smoking otherwise the pancakes will burn. It's best to brush the pan with oil, so it gets a light coating of oil.
What size egg did you use please?
A medium egg.
Thanks so much
This looks so delicious. A completely new version of pancakes. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe. Can't wait to try the combination of caramelised onion and cheddar.