My family loves breakfast food. It’s just so comforting and delicious. Something about all the family gathered around the table for a big family breakfast is just one of our favorite times. My kids especially love pancakes. I’ve cooked pancakes so many times that years ago I started experimenting. I’ve made themed pancakes in different shapes, I’ve added chocolate chips and banana, I’ve made healthy pancakes with white whole wheat flour and flax meal. I’ve even added Greek yogurt and almond milk like in my Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes.
But one of my favorite additions is ricotta cheese. A couple years ago I had ricotta cheese in my refrigerator and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I often buy ricotta cheese because it’s great with pasta and I love Italian food but I only had a small amount left. I knew ricotta cheese tasted great in desserts, I’m thinking of cannoli or cheese cake, but what else could I use it for? So of course, I Googled it. That’s when I came across a recipe on the Food Network for pancakes with ricotta cheese. After some experimentation (who doesn’t enjoy food experiments?) I developed these Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Pancakes.
So you may be thinking, why the zucchini? I say, why not the zucchini. Zucchini was in season when I first made these pancakes. My kids love zucchini bread and muffins but they wouldn’t eat it by itself so I figured, why not add this nutritious veggie to pancakes. And guess what? They’re delicious! The ricotta cheese makes for a super fluffy pancake and the lemon zest just brightens up the flavor a bit. The zucchini doesn’t alter the flavor but does add pretty little specs of green. And as another plus, these pancakes have an additional boost of nutrition, and that’s a winner in my family.
I make these pancakes with just a touch of lemon flavor because my son doesn’t like an overwhelming lemony dish. But the first time I made them I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in addition to the zest. The family consensus was that they were too lemony, so I chose the zest for the brightness and flavor it brings to the dish. But if you love lemon I’d go ahead and add the juice too, they’re delicious both ways.
My kids like to top Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Pancakes with a little Irish butter and a dusting of powder sugar. They say maple syrup is too sticky, but I prefer it. But that’s what’s great about pancakes, everyone has their preferred way to eat them. It reminds me of those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials years ago where they showed how different people eat a Reese’s. It definitely fits for pancakes too!
But whether it be butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, fruit, all of the above or plain, I hope you’ll enjoy these Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Pancakes.