If you’ve got a fry-pan and mixing bowl you’re only a few minutes (and a few $$) away from a feels-naughty-but-isn’t, café-worthy breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Better still, you’ll have enough for leftovers – and you can change up the veggies to suit what might be rattling around the bottom of your fridge or freezer. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading.


(To make ~15 small hotcakes)

  • 1 cup diced/grated veggies (e.g. canned corn, frozen peas/corn/capsicum mix, grated carrot or zucchini)
  • ½ of one brown or white onion, chopped finely (this is optional too, but does add a certain caramelised savoury goodness that is hard to beat!)
  • A splash of vegetable or olive oil (30-40 mL total)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of self-raising flour (or heaped dessert spoons)
  • 2 tablespoons of milk (40 mL, or 3 level dessert spoons)
  • Herbs of your choice, dried or fresh (e.g. ½ dessert spoon dried parsley)
  • Salt and pepper


1. Prepare your veggies:

  • If you’re using frozen veg, remove the amount needed from the freezer and leave to defrost and drain.
  • If you’re using tinned veg, drain them and you’re done.
  • If you’re using carrot or zucchini, grate them (and drain the liquid from the zucchini).
  • Place your frypan on low-medium heat. Add half the oil and chopped onion. Cook until onion is translucent and soft, stirring occasionally.

2. Make your batter:

  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl (just make sure you’re using one that’s large enough to take all of your ingredients). Keep at it until they’re a little bit fluffy. Don’t have a whisk? No biggie; just use a fork and some elbow grease instead.
  • Stir in the flour, herbs and some pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Add milk and continue stirring until you have a smooth-ish batter (note, it shouldn’t be necessary to go crazy on the stirring here. A few lumps won’t matter).
  • Add veggies and onion, stirring until they’re distributed evenly. Again, not much stirring is required here.

3. Cook your hotcakes:

  • Add the remainder of the oil to the frypan and turn up the heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add heaped dessert spoon sized dollops of batter to the pan, ensuring there is space for them to spread. A large frypan should take about 5-6 hotcakes at once.
  • Leave your dollops to cook for 2-3 minutes; use a spatula to check if they have browned on the bottom. When they have, flip them over to brown on the other side. By now the onion-y, savoury smell will be making you hungry if you weren’t already (!).
  • When your hot cakes are cooked (browned on both sides) transfer them to your plate. If you can hold off eating them right away, you might like to drain them on paper towels first (if they seem oily), but this isn’t strictly necessary. Repeat until all the batter is finished.

Enjoy with sides of your choice raided from the fridge, like Greek/natural yoghurt, salsa, chutney or even tomato sauce.

A final suggestion

If you’re wondering what to do with leftover self-raising flour, why not make fluffy, American-style pancakes for an occasional treat? There are tons of recipes on the internet – I can vouch for this one, for instance. Just remember to wash your onion-y frypan if you fancy them after your savoury hotcakes.

Hotcakes (and pancakes) really are cheap and easy – and quite the crowd-pleaser in my experience. I make these hotcakes all the time, as they’re a great way to get some veg in your diet without it feeling like a chore. I’d really love to hear what you end up using in yours, as, after years of making them, I could use some inspo (I tend to use only corn and onion, served with Greek yoghurt as pictured).

Send your ideas to healthpromotion@swinburne.edu.au.

Further support

  • Aim4Me offers simple, easy advice that can help us students feel better about what we eat (and how it makes our bodies feel).

Written by Liz Black, Master of Dietetics student, in collaboration with Robyn Delbridge, Dietitian (AdvAPD) and Lecturer, Master of Dietetics, Swinburne.

Did you know?

Swinburne offers on-site health services and fully confidential counselling to students at all campuses. To book a session with our Hawthorn on-campus dietitian, simply call +61 3 9214 8483 or register and make an appointment