Stuff Your Pancakes With Bacon For A Savory Twist On A Sweet Classic

Nothing against blueberries or chocolate, but sometimes it's nice to bring a savory ingredient into the mix. Perfect pancakes are an ideal vessel for bold flavors, as they're mild and toe the line between sweet and salty themselves. Next time you whip up a batch of buttermilk beauties, crisp up bacon to serve nestled — not beside — but inside the cakes.

The process is simple. Chop slices into bite-sized bits and pour them directly into a buttermilk or ricotta batter. Or, for more control, sprinkle a few pinches of the ingredient evenly across the surface of individual pancakes after you've dolloped the mixture into the skillet. Just be sure you let the pancake slightly set, or all your meat will sink right to the bottom. You want a bit of bacon throughout the entire cake, after all!

You'll find yourself with a deliciously caramelized exterior and dots of texture and rich flavor within the griddled treat. How much you stuff the batter or the slightly set, bacon-studded cakes is up to you.

Next-level stuffed bacon pancake combinations

There are plenty of alternative flours and other tasty ingredients that will boost pancake batter, and they're sure to complement the salty, smoky addition of bacon. However, if you're exploring the savory side of the breakfast food, it's worth considering other ideas that can boost sodium and bring umami. Pair bacon batter with chunks of cheddar cheese, crumbled sausage, chives, or caramelized onions to keep with the salty-sweet balance. Double the impact by making a pancake taco of sorts, wrapped around a runny fried egg, home fries, green chilis, or avocado.

If you're hooked on the stuffed pancakes but still have a hankering for sugar, you can enrich the bacon batter with peanut butter and then mix in banana slices for an Elvis sandwich-inspired bite. Or make the singer's signature meal with the loaded cakes instead of bread.

To round things out, you can top the finished breakfast sandwich with a squirt of syrup or hot honey. To embrace the lunch side of brunch, you could also pair the meal with a savory sauce like chipotle ketchup, BBQ sauce, sriracha mayo, some Southern egg gravy, or ranch for added buttermilk power. Round things out with an herb compound butter for a decadent creation. Pro tip: Cooks can also use bacon to doctor up fluffy waffles and push them into new territory.

Sweet-savory pancake inspiration

Another tactic for creating a savory griddled meal, with or without the addition of bacon, is to look to other dishes or cultures for inspiration. Thin and crispy kimchi pancakes are a hit — why not riff on tradition with a buttermilk batter to complement the spice and tang of the fermented cabbage? Or turn to takoyaki, a Japanese street food made with flour, dashi, and octopus. Each bite is topped with a sweet brown takoyaki sauce, kewpie mayonnaise, and fishy bonito flakes that you can mimic at home. Though you may not replicate the traditional sphere shape, dashi could also make a substitute for some of the liquid in your pancake mix.

A classic dim sum dish, though not strictly a pancake, turnip cakes (or lo bak go) offer a complex bite with flavors cooks can tap into. Sauteed Chinese sausage, plus rehydrated dried shrimp and dried mushroom, can add richness and depth to a flour pancake batter — though you won't achieve the same custardy interior without using a steamer.

Or look to your other favorite diner brunch items, like smoked fish or Denver omelets, for inspiration. We've found cold smoked salmon or lox changes textures as it cooks, so consider opting for the flaked, hot smoked version or a mild white fish. To avoid a bite of crunchy pepper, we suggest sauteing ingredients before adding them, as well as sprinkling in paprika for an extra kiss of smoke.