Use your sourdough discard to make these easy 1-ingredient sourdough pancakes. All you need is some saved sourdough discard from an active sourdough starter. Opt for savory, sweet or plain versions depending on your preference. Recipe for all 3 below but the options are endless!

Use your sourdough discard to make these easy 1-ingredient sourdough pancakes. All you need is some saved sourdough discard from an active sourdough starter. Opt for savory, sweet or plain versions depending on your preference.
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Did you get into the sourdough bread baking craze these last few months like the rest of the world?

Admittedly, I did.

It was April and still horribly cold, miserable weather here in NY so I bit the bullet and jumped on the sourdough bandwagon while I was stuck inside.

I won’t bore you with the whole story but, I attempted creating my own sourdough starter.

It failed.

I ended up with a much better starter from the daughter of my parents’ neighbor (random, I know) and I’ve been happily baking sourdough things since May.

It’s been fun, satisfying, super rewarding and delicious. 

That said, the one thing about the whole process that drives me nuts from time to time (even with keeping a very small amount of starter day to day) is the sourdough discard waste.

I use good flour. I buy organic, locally milled stuff and it literally pains me to discard any of it, even if it’s just 10g each feeding.

So, this go-to sourdough pancake recipe was born. 

Easy sourdough pancakes made with saved sourdough discard.

It’s nothing ground breaking.

I have A LOT of pancake recipes on this site. They’re one of my favorite foods. But, nothing compares to the ease of this one.

I mean seriously, there’s literally one ingredient to these sourdough pancakes.

But, and this is a big BUT…I feel like SO many people have no idea you can do this with your sourdough discard.

You can make pancakes straight from your discard – no other ingredients needed!

Yes, you read that right. No other ingredients required.

There are countless recipes out there for ways to use leftover sourdough starter (like these sourdough discard banana muffins that I love!) but all of them require additional ingredients and most usually, additional flour.

That’s not what I’m looking for when I want to use up my sourdough discard. I don’t want to have to get out half my pantry and make something complex.

I just want a simple, no fuss idea in order not to waste the stuff and these pancakes made directly from the sourdough starter are precisely that.

Three versions of sourdough discard pancakes - plain, savory and sweet.

HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH PANCAKES

For this easy sourdough pancake recipe all you need is an active sourdough starter.

All that means is one that you are feeding regularly.

Instead of throwing away the amount you would normally discard, you’ll save it in a container and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to make these discard pancakes.

To make this pancake recipe, you’ll need:

  • leftover sourdough starter (discard)
  • a skillet
  • oil of your choice (olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc.)
  • any optional add-ins you like

METHOD

Like any pancake recipe, heat the skillet over a medium-low to medium heat. Add the oil to the pan to lightly grease and pour your batter into the pan.

Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on top (they’ll likely be a bit more bubbly than normal pancakes from the active yeast in the sourdough) and the edges are cooked.

Flip and cook an additional minute or so on the other side.

An easy sourdough pancakes recipe that uses just leftover sourdough discard.

OPTIONAL ADD-INS 

Often, I just enjoy these quick and easy sourdough pancakes plain with a smear of nut butter and Manuka honey and sometimes, a sprinkling of hemp hearts on top.

But if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll throw some add-ins in the mix.

Some favorites are:

  • banana slices + cinnamon (shown)
  • minced chives (shown)
  • chopped scallions
  • fresh berries

As stated in the video above, I like to change the oil I’m using in the skillet based on what kind of sourdough pancake I’m making.

I typically use coconut oil for plain and sweeter versions, sesame oil for scallions or, olive oil for any other herbs.

If you like pancakes with add-ins, definitely try Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Meyer Lemon Quinoa Pancakes as well as the others suggested above!

Make sweet sourdough pancakes with leftover discard, banana slices and cinnamon.

WHAT DO SOURDOUGH PANCAKES TASTE LIKE?

The pancakes are thick, which I love. The active yeast in the sourdough starter helps puff them up really well.

Don’t dismiss your discard as being old or inactive. It’s just sort of “stunted” from living in the fridge but when it hits the hot pan, it sort of comes back to life and the yeast activates to help fluff up the pancakes.

The pancakes taste, well….a bit sour! 

Honestly, they have the same underlying sourness of sourdough bread. That’s the point, right? 

Texture wise, they’re a little bit gummy in texture but not in a bad way (like some gluten-free baked goods can be) at all. It’s actually a fun texture I really enjoy.

If you add things to the pancakes, they’ll obviously taste like the add-ins but as a plain pancake, it’s a very neutral, slightly sour taste.

If you’re making sourdough bread, you obviously enjoy that flavor profile so I think you’ll enjoy these sourdough pancakes just the same.

Leftover sourdough starter, also known as "discard" is the sole ingredient in these banana cinnamon sourdough pancakes.

HOW MUCH SOURDOUGH STARTER DO I NEED?

This recipe makes 6 good sized pancakes, about 2 servings.

For that, I use about 1 1/2 cups of sourdough discard, 1/4 cup for each pancake.

Accumulating that much discard will depend on how much starter you keep. If you keep a large starter, you’ll likely have enough in just a couple of days.

I keep a very small starter (30g total) to avoid excessive waste so it took me about 1 week to accumulate this much discard to make the sourdough pancakes.

These sourdough muffins are another great way to use up about 1 cup of starter for a delicious breakfast.

Or for a smaller amount, try this sourdough coffee cake. It utilizes just 1/2 cup of discard.

You can choose to make the sourdough pancakes in two ways:

  • make just 1 or 2 small pancakes each day with the sourdough discard from that day – this works especially well if you feed your starter in the morning and want a morning pancake!
  • save/accumulate your discard over a period of time and keep it in the fridge – use it for a bigger batch of pancakes when the mood strikes.
Don't throw out your sourdough discard, use it to make these simple 1-ingredient pancakes in a plain, sweet or savory variety.

By no means am I an expert at sourdough baking.

Anything I know has been painstakingly learned through lots of trial and error from Laura and her helpful sourdough bread baking tutorial, Maurizio’s amazing website, Baker Bettie’s great sourdough resources and Amanda’s bread recipe (she also has a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe I’m dying to try). 

You’ll likely never see an actual sourdough bread recipe on here because that’s something that will likely stay in the “fun/hobby” category of kitchen experiments for me.

But, simple sourdough pancakes…those I can do. 

And, I will continue to do because it just doesn’t get better than one-ingredient recipes that taste amazing and tackle food waste!

Make sourdough pancakes with 1-ingredient with these easy steps

MORE WAYS TO USE SOURDOUGH DISCARD:

Sourdough discard cinnamon crumb cake
Sourdough discard orange quick bread
Zucchini walnut sourdough discard muffins

And if you have leftovers, check out our guide on the best ways to reheat pancakes.

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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
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4.88 from 62 votes

Sourdough Pancakes

Servings: 6 pancakes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
easy 1 ingredient sourdough discard pancakes
Use your sourdough discard to make these easy 1-ingredient sourdough pancakes. All you need is an active sourdough starter and some saved sourdough discard.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough discard
  • 1 teaspoon oil for greasing the pan, *see note

Instructions 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add oil of choice once hot and swirl around to coat the pan.
  • Place about 1/4 cup of the sourdough discard in the pan and gently spread into a circle.
  • If making sweet or savory pancakes, add toppings now. (**see note)
  • Once bubbles form and edges of the pancakes are cooked, about 2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for an additional minute. Repeat with remaining batter/discard.

Video

Notes

*Choose an oil that goes with the pancakes you’re making:
For sweet pancakes – virgin cold pressed coconut oil.
For plain pancakes – extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or, avocado oil
For savory herb pancakes – I often choose sesame oil.
**Toppings:
Sweet pancakes: sliced bananas + dash of cinnamon
Savory pancakes: minced fresh herbs (chives, rosemary, scallions, thyme, basil, etc.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 36kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 64mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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17 Comments

  1. Just what I was looking for – didn’t want to add extra ingredients – I used 1/2 tsp of coconut oil while cooking, then 1/2 tsp of ghee on top with a little pure maple syrup after cooking. Perfect quick and easy breakfast and great way to use up that discard!

  2. This sourdough pancake recipe was a lifesaver! I made a batch of this yesterday and tried adding fresh berries. My kids loved them. It was truly delicious! This recipe is a must-try!

  3. What a great way to enjoy the flavor of sourdough while not wasting food. We made savory pancakes and then topped them with over-easy eggs. Yum!

  4. Such a great way to use sourdough discard waste! I always feel so bad throwing it out. Delicious pancakes!

  5. This sourdough pancakes recipe is definitely a game-changer! This recipe allows me to be more creative with my discard sourdough. And they turned out incredibly delicious and tasty. I’m saving this recipe!

  6. I had been experimenting with my discard and really wanted to make pancakes without adding more flour. This recipe validated my desire and effort. I add one egg to the discard and one heaping tablespoon of sugar. I thin the discard with just a little water to my liking and I think they are yummy. I have made them just like the recipe here on this page……..I like them this way too, so simple and so sour. If I have time, though, I will add the egg water and sugar. I’m so glad I found this recipe because more than anything it validated my discovering the discard only pancakes on my own.