Leftover-Porridge Pancakes


I never seem to get the porridge quantities quite right in the mornings, and have recently embarked on a series of experiments with teacups and measuring cups, trying to work out the exact amount of oats and water and milk needed to make two small bowls of porridge for two small children – but no matter how carefully calculated, there’s always, always some leftover. I’ve now given up, and instead incorporate the leftover porridge into the next day’s panful – but this morning, something more exciting happened… (And credit where it’s due, these were my wonderful Mrs’ idea, an out-loud musing of ‘I wonder if we could make pancakes out of the leftover porridge…’ and subsequent breakfast glee at realising that yes, we can…)

You will need:

Leftover porridge (I make mine with oats and water – don’t tell the children – with a splash of milk at the end – for the vegans among you a little almond milk or soy would be delicious…)
A little flour for dusting
A little oil to cook them

Allow your leftover porridge to cool, and pop into a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and store in the fridge overnight. It will set, thick and gelatinous, and ready to be turned into delicious pancake patties the next morning…

Remove from the fridge, lightly flour your worktop and hands, and break a chunk off the porridge-lump. Flatten with your fingertips to press it together – don’t try to roll it out as it will just cling to your rolling pin! I cut mine into rounds with a cookie cutter, but that’s because I like the pictures to look nice – it’s not essential!

Lightly flour each side to stop them sticking to your pan. Heat a little oil in a frying pan until hot hot, then add the patties. Cook for a few minutes on each side, turning the heat down to medium so they don’t burn. Cook until golden and crispy around the edges, and serve.

Delicious with bacon, or honey, or brown sauce and sausages, or dipped in ketchup, or with an egg on top, or any other way you can think of.

And – hoorah – I now have a solution to the leftover porridge problem, and a very very exciting one at that.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack


  1. This sounds lovely. I’ve been making small amounts of porridge by putting the oats in 2/3 of the boiling water I’d normally use when I make my nighttime cuppa of chamomile tea. This oftens it up. In the morning I add the remaining amount of biking water along with any fruit, honey etc.

  2. …I love pancakes at breakfast, but I’m trying to cut down on flour. Using oats instead is a fab idea!! I bet they’ve got a lovely, substantial texture!

  3. What a fantastically useful idea, thank you. I often end up with too little porridge for my hungry middle sized kids, but sometimes there is too much instead and I’m never sure what to do (or, I don’t finish mine as I’m doing 17 other things and then once I’ve dropped the kids at school I don’t fancy it cold).

    I’ve often remember an Ivor Cutler story where they used the leftover cold porridge to coat some fish (herring?) before cooking but never been brave enough to try it.

  4. Hooray! I was staring at leftover oatmeal last week trying to figure out if it was possible to fry it. I wouldn’t have thought of dusting it with flour and probably would have made it far more difficult than it needed to be.

  5. Are the oats you use rolled, or cut? And do you think it matters? I’m thinking of making some porridge (It’s strange typing that, we Yanks just call it “oatmeal”, though really that’s silly, it’s oatmeal one uses to make porridge, eh… anyway) specifically to try this as a better way to make breakfast ahead of time for me to take to work and reheat at the office.

  6. I like to do oatmeal in batches. I put in one-serve sized containers in the fridge which I microwave when needed.. Since I add chopped apples, raisins/sultanas and cinnamon into the original mix, this would be an interesting use. Just pop the mix into a frying pan!

  7. What a great idea! I got the same problem most mornings – my kids are two and a bit and nearly five and the amount of porridge is never right. I can’t wait to see what they’ll make of leftover-porridge pancakes! Thank you!

  8. Ooh, what a fab idea. My little one loves porridge in the morning and there is (nearly!) always some left over. A nice variation to the usual porridge/cereal/toast in the mornings too – thanks!

  9. Ooh, love this idea. My little one loves porridge in the mornings, but there are (nearly!) always left overs. This will make a great change from the usual porridge/cereal/toast in the mornings too – thanks!

  10. For my 4 year old I make 1/4 cup oats with 1/2 cup of milk. The 7 month old gets 1 tbspn oats with 2 tbspn milk. I get 1/3 cup oats with 2/3 cup milk. 1:2 oats:milk seems to work for us!

  11. I make porridge to last three/four days using one mug of oats to three mugs of boiling water, cover with the lid and just let it simmer for an hour or so – it can be made the previous evening. A tsp of cinnamon and handful of dried fruit is enough to sweeten it. It keeps well in the fridge, just microwave what I want in a bowl. I’ll definitely be putting some aside to make these pancakes for my weekend brunch.

  12. Good idea. I’d always do 50/50 milk in porridge for kids though, to contribute towards their half pint of milk a day as recommended by NHS for growing bones and teeth. Of course, some kids will eat yoghurt or cheese, or even drink milk, but mine weren’t keen so I had to smuggle it in.. 😉

  13. Lovely idea, I think a drizzle of pure maple syrup on top would be heaven!

    When my kids were small, I’d measure two thirds of a cup of oats to one and a third cups of water, plus a splash extra so it’s not too stodgy. This seemed to be a perfect quantity with no waste 🙂


  14. As a Canadian, just have to mention that maple syrup is another lovely topping for porridge or porridge pancakes. Expensive I know, but you only need a little. I’ll be bringing some over at Christmas for my friends and relatives in the UK

  15. “I never seem to get the budget quantities quite right in the mornings, and have recently embarked on a series of experiments with the restless creative consumers, trying to work out the exact amount of debt and heartbreak and regret needed to make two small bowls of porridge for my children – but no matter how carefully calculated, there’s always, always some surplus. I’ve now given up, and instead incorporated the excess proffit into the next generations pain – but this morning, something more exciting happened… (And credit where it’s due, these were my wonderful Mrs’ idea, an out-loud musing of ‘I wonder if we could make fortunes out of the leftover ambition…’ and subsequent market glee at realising that yes, we can…) …”

    First sorrx if offended, not the intention. On a brighter note, keep up the pancakes. Oh, and by the way, if you would like to stop paying that rent and have magma deep place of abode despite wandering, if you would like to see those shackles of fake need dropped, aka the rent to nothing, for you and those you dont know, let us know…

  16. Jack, I pop back to read your blog every so often, and loved your porridge pancakes idea.

    As I read, it popped in to my head, this leftover porridge might make a great base for hot breakfast muffins (think once they cooled not so great..but bet they would be good hot.)

    Mix leftover porridge with general leftover potatoe/bacon/sausage…maybe a fresh egg. Grease tiny muffin tins, and divide up. Bake in oven. Bet the kids would love them.

  17. I make these up the day before early morning flights so I have something nutritious /filling and cheap to eat on my travels for breakfast.
    I usually add a little Apple sauce, left over banana or raisins and a dash of cinnamon.
    They pack nicely in a scrap of tin foil and no problem getting them through security! Yum.

  18. I make the ratio one cup oats, one cup milk, two cups boiling water in LARGE plastic bowl (so its does’t boil over)

    Microwave for ages, approx 8 mins for one cup of oats (more for bigger amounts) Then the key: WHISK until really creamy, a silicon covered whisk also scrapes the bowl really clean too.

    Easy-peesy, no overnight soaking and no burnt bits in pans. Obviously use a microwave-safe BPA-free bowl etc etc

    I usually do 2 cups of oats, enough for the kids for a few days and refrigerate the leftovers, reheating a few large spoonfuls each day. You’ll need to whisk through a dribble more boiling water as it dries out on reheating, then its easy to get the right consistency (kids don’t like porridge that’s set like concrete)

    You can also stir in some frozen fruit puree cubes or frozen berries to cool it down quickly for ravenous kids who can’t wait

  19. This is more or less what impoverished Scots and irish families did with their leftover porridge – after breakfast it was poured into a drawer and left there to set while everyone was at work. When they got home, it was sliced up, and incorporated into the evening meal. Slices would also be taken to school or work as a kind of packed lunch.

  20. Great idea! I had the plain version a few times then tried adding desiccated coconut and cinnamon etc and played about with different things ,considering trying a savoury style too! I am from scotland and now I can say porridge pancakes are a favourite in my house

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