St. Patty’s Day Green Pancakes Recipe

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My favorite green holiday is coming up which is funny since I’m not one iota Irish, I don’t drink booze nor do I eat beef.  But I look forward to St. Patrick’s Day so I can take all the liberties in the world to play up the GREEN in what we eat.  Sure, you can make Irish soda bread, cabbage and corned beef which are all very expected, but I think any green food shows your spirit!  Last year I posted a spinach and avocado smoothie (sweet, not savory, Silly!) and spinach risotto (that’s what this Italian girl eats on March 17th!) in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Last weekend I was making a green smoothie for Mr. Picky and as I added the spinach I thought about blending spinach into the liquid mixture for pancakes.  Light bulb!  I know it’s weird to think of spinach in a non-savory way, but I promise it totally works!  If you can’t taste the spinach in a smoothie, you shouldn’t be able to taste it in pancakes, right?  Right.

Soooo, I very enthusiastically started making some green pancakes for breakfast.  And very predictably, my daughters were like “Really Mom?  What are those?”  And before I could answer my darlings, Mr. Picky chimed in “Hey, are those for St. Patrick’s Day?”  Yes, you fantastic child.  That’s EXACTLY what they’re for!”  Thanks for playing.  St. Patrick’s Day pancakes for all!!  Everyone, including my mother who was visiting, enjoyed these pancakes as much as my traditional buttermilk pancakes, because they taste exactly the same!

You know I don’t do the sneaky food thing.  That’s too much work and too stressful for me and it really doesn’t upset me if my kids don’t like everything.  I just do what my parents did which was to make one meal and if you ate it, you ate it and if you didn’t, you didn’t.  No one got mad or anxious or worried.  Eventually, we all ate like my parents.  Eventually.  My point is this isn’t about being sneaky.  Sure spinach pancakes are an easy, tasty way to eat some greens without realizing you’re eating greens.  I’m making these just for fun and they happen to be a bit more nutritious!  But if you have alterior motives, go for it.  There’s no better time to serve green pancakes than St. Patrick’s Day.  Of course, there’s also Christmas, Earth Day, first day of Spring, Halloween, game day if you’re an Eagles or Packers fan……

St. Patty's Day Green Pancakes
Serves: 5-6
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour* (I tested the recipe with sprouted spelt flour.)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk**
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Melted, unrefined coconut oil for brushing the griddle (or butter)
  1. Preheat a griddle to 400 degrees or medium heat. (I’ve noticed that many griddles cook differently even at the same temperature!)
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a blender combine the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, spinach and melted butter until completely smooth.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Brush the griddle with coconut oil and spoon about ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle. When bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake and the edges become slightly dry, flip it over and cook until down. Maintain the heat on medium-low or 400 degrees.
*Gluten-free:  substitute 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup brown rice flour for the wheat flour.  Or you can use GF oat flour, too, such as ⅔ cup oat flour, ⅔ cup buckwheat flour and ⅔ cup brown rice flour.

**No buttermilk?  Sub half unsweetened yogurt and half whole milk.


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  1. Esteban says

    Made these today – yum! We didn’t have spinach so I substituted kale (steamed first) and added a little extra maple syrup. Tasty and fun!

    • Pamela says

      I’m so excited by your comment! I am pretty obsessed with kale, but I didn’t have the courage to try it in this recipe. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Pamela says

      I use a recipe based on one from 3 eggs, 1 Tbs. water, 1 Tbs. vanilla, 2 Tbs. maple syrup or honey, 1 1/2 c. almond flour (not meal), 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda. You could blend a handful of spinach in a blender with the other liquids and add that to the dry ingredients. I like to brush the griddle with coconut oil, but you could use butter too. The best almond flour by far and the best price is Let me know if you give these a try!

      • Stefania says

        I use Honeyville Almond Flour ( you suggested it another time to me for GF Carrot Cake)! I love it! It is wonderful for baking! I also use coconut oil most of the time for cooking- I am very excited to try this recipe! Thanks Pam!

  2. Rebecca Foster says

    “Practicing” for St. Patty’s Day today and have a platter of these waiting for the kids! YUM!

  3. Danielle says

    I am definitely making this recipe this weekend! St. Patrick’s day is big in our house, considering Matt is Irish! I will let you know how it turned out!

  4. Paula says

    Hi Pam, it’s your cousin Paula. I’m pretty sure that Lizz & your mom told you that Cristiana is allergic to dairy & soy protein. We’ve lived with it for 20 years, and truthfully we are all healthier for it! I was wondering what non-dairy, non soy substitute I can use. She drinks enriched, organic rice milk. Thanks!!

    • Pamela says

      Hi Paula! Nice to have you here on the site! Dairy-free isn’t the challenge that it used to be. There are so many great alternatives to milk. I use homemade almond milk for mostly everything and I like hemp milk a lot too. You can use either in place of the buttermilk in this recipe, but also add 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the wet mix. TBTW, there’s no rule that kids need to drink a white beverage with their meals. She can get calcium and protein from many sources!

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