Dinners That Start With Pancake Mix Are Flippin’ Easy
These easy recipes all rely on one dreamy shortcut: store-bought pancake mix! The pantry staple gets dinner on the table in a flash.
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Some heroes are the silent type. They don’t brag, they don’t wear a tight flashy suit, but when you’re in a pinch and feeling desperate they’re the ones you actually reach for. You may not know it, but there’s one waiting in your cupboard the next time you’re short on time but full of a gnawing hunger: Pancake mix! The hidden dinner hero of your pantry.
But what can be made with pancake mix, beyond breakfast? You’d be surprised: cozy casseroles, taco pies, impossibly light batter for fish and shrimp, crab cakes worthy of Maryland’s finest, a no-rise pizza crust, and even some surprisingly delicate, savory pancakes. And this shortcut ingredient is so simple there’s even a recipe below for how to DIY your very own pancake mix; put it together and leave it in the fridge until hunger strikes.
Whether your mix is store-bought or homemade, making the next meal just got a little easier — and a bit more delicious. Who knows? Maybe you’re the dinner hero tonight.
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DIY pancake mix
You could use store-bought pancake mix, but with a few minutes and a handful of pantry staples, you can also make your own. And if you opt for whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour in your blend, you’ve got yourself a healthier homemade version.
It’s surprisingly easy and fast to make your own, from-scratch pancake mix, and it can last for up to three months in an airtight container in the fridge — though it’ll likely be used up quicker! Four ingredients and a food processor get it ready in a flash, but a pastry blender or fork will also get the job done. Gather all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and butter, and you’re minutes away from homemade pancake mix.
Cozy casseroles and savory pies with pancake mix
These dinner recipes that use pancake mix are easy to put together and a pleasure to dig into
Put that dusty spiralizer to good use in this delicious savory recipe with pancake mix, corn, bell pepper, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Long ribbons of zucchini are easy to swirl into the shape of a green-tinged rose to make a vegetarian main course that’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
This cozy, rustic casserole uses mostly pantry staples, has only six ingredients, and could be a fun dish to have kids help make. A quick dough made from pancake mix is flecked with Italian herbs and spices, then dropped by spoonfuls in a baking dish before being drizzled with purchased pizza sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella and pepperoni. Perfection not required for delicious results!
Feed the whole family with this golden casserole that comes together quickly. The filling can be made a few days in advance, and to further speed things along, can make swift use of any rotisserie chicken that’s already in the fridge. Feel free to add a little turmeric in the topping, as well, to help create a golden-colored crust.
Combine a little pancake mix, some ground beef and onions, some taco seasoning, green chiles and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and what do you get? A soul-satisfying taco pie, comforting for all, and a dinner that’s fun to top like a taco: Grab whatever’s in the fridge and let everyone customize their slice. Salsa, extra cheese, avocado, scallions, and sour cream all make fun toppings.
Quiche requires pre-baking a crust, but this breakfast pie (try it for dinner too!) comes together in about 10 minutes and can be on the table about 20 minutes later. Bacon, cheese, and hash brown potatoes are the suggested additions, but any vegetables or other cooked meats you have on hand would make delicious options, too. This dish freezes well for a speedy weeknight dinner.
We could all use a little dinner magic sometimes. This hearty casserole stands tall in the comfort category. Each ingredient is added to the baking dish in a particular order — very little prep is actually required, and the baking mix saves even more time — and like so much of life, it looks quite messy at the start, but turns out to be quite lovely at the end.
This elegant, crustless quiche take a little over an hour, but most of its prep time is spent in the oven. It gets most of its lift from the eggs, but a bit from the pancake mix as well. The light and fluffy texture will be sure to please. Two kinds of cheese give it complexity, and if you slice the zucchini thinly enough some will rise and organically decorate the top.
Surprising dinner recipes made with pancake mix
What are some dinner recipes that use pancake mix? Prepare to be happy.
Six ingredients and you’re on your way to a super cute dinner everyone will enjoy. Plus, mini meatloaves cook in about half the time of a whole loaf, turning this into a 30-minute meal. Pancake mix helps the beef stay tender, and a layer of ketchup on top makes it a retro meal (swap in barbecue sauce if you prefer).
This family recipe calls for a pound of lump crabmeat and just enough mayo, pancake mix, and an egg to hold it all together. There’s very little spicing, so the sweetness of the crab can shine on through. And if you purchase cooked crabmeat, this dinner can be ready in a pinch.
These chicken tenders can be ready, from mixing the coating to crispy and golden in about 30 minutes, and will ultimately taste way better, and be more wholesome and cost-effective than a take-out joint or bag of frozen tenders. A bit of cheese in the crispy coating adds to the tastiness. Serve with your favorite sauce.
This six-ingredient fish dish is incredibly simple to prepare: Whisk pancake mix with club soda (it makes the batter improbably light and crisp) until it resembles buttermilk, then coat each filet first in flour, then in the buttermilk-like batter, and carefully lay in the oil. Pro tip: Use the tip of a knife to pick up each filet, as tongs will break up the coating.
A fresh and lovely margherita-inspired pizza can be yours in about 30 minutes without hanging out and waiting for dough to rise, thanks to the rise from the pancake mix. The addition of cornmeal to the dough helps it taste closer to a yeasted dough, while sliced roma tomatoes add a fresh note (and free you from making pizza sauce).
When you’re yearning for fried chicken, but you’ve committed yourself to your oven, this juicy roasted chicken will do the trick. A little pancake mix gets tossed with paprika, salt, and pepper before coating the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks to create a homestyle crispy chicken dinner that’s ready to be gobbled up in under 45 minutes.
This Southern delicacy is easy to put together if you’ve got pancake mix in the pantry, carbonated water (unflavored!) in the fridge and some seasoning salt on the spice shelf. Then all you need is a few catfish filets, some purchased coleslaw, and a wedge of lemon to complete the meal.
This dish of delicate chicken with light and fluffy dumplings that taste like they might’ve been made at Grandma’s house can be ready in under an hour, to the delight of everyone at the dinner table. Chicken is gently simmered with mirepoix (the classic French combination of carrot, celery, and onion) for maximum home-cooked flavor before the dumplings are dropped in. Feel free to add a dash of the sage to the dumpling mixture, too.
You’ve never had pancakes like these
These surprisingly savory dinner pancake recipes made with pancake mix are destined to become family favorites. Sometimes the best pancakes aren’t actually for breakfast.
If you’ve never had a pizza pancake before, you might be missing out. Shredded mozzarella gets melty and stretchy inside these savory treats that are cooked on a non-stick griddle. You can customize them to include everyone’s favorite pizza toppings mixed into the pancake batter. Instead of maple syrup, marinara or pizza sauce becomes these pancakes’ choice for dipping. Mangia! Breakfast for dinner never had it so good.
These creative, satisfying pancakes are a great way to use up leftover ham. Cook up some baking mix into pancakes, then layer ham and Swiss cheese between two pancakes. Reminiscent of a Monte Cristo sandwich, this dish goes well with a dollop of jam! Dare to eat the sandwich with your hands, or cut into quarters and fork it up. This unusual marriage of a ham and cheese sammie and pancakes could make for a fun surprise to serve for company, too.
These lovely corn fritters come together in a snap and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Parmesan and black pepper give them a sophisticated spin, while eggs add protein and help bind them together. Fresh corn kernels are ideal, but frozen can be substituted, no thawing necessary. Plus they freeze beautifully and reheat quickly.
Shredded hash browns, cooked chicken (feel free to use a purchased rotisserie chicken), a mild shredded cheese blend, sliced scallions, and melted butter join pancake mix and milk. For the fluffiest pancakes, don’t overmix when combining the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. A cast-iron skillet will give you beautifully golden brown pancakes. This is a comforting dinner that only needs a simple mixed greens salad on the side.
Go crazy with a breakfast for dinner theme and get the best of two worlds with this super fun variation on a cinnamon roll theme. A buttery cinnamon and vanilla swirl is drizzled on top for the flavor and visual effect of the yummy bakery treat. Faces at the table will light up when they see these on their plates. Serve with bananas and fresh blueberries for some dinner-time potassium and anti-oxidants. Got leftovers? Serve the extra pancakes for a tasty brunch the next morning.
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