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Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes

Vegan Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes with healthy chia seeds and zesty lemon are thick, fluffy, and tender. They’re a deliciously quick and easy way to start your day!

head on view of maple syrup being poured on lemon chia seed pancakes stacked on a small plate.

I’ve been making a lot of breakfast foods lately. My daughter is getting back to school, and I try to do different things in the mornings.

We love pancakes and mix it up with these Vegan Oatmeal PancakesVegan Pumpkin Spice PancakesVegan Buckwheat PancakesClassic Vegan Pancakes, or Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes. All are filling and equally delicious!

Honestly, I’ve never had lemon poppy seed pancakes before, but I’m sure this chia seed version is just as good, if not better. This vegan version is healthy, dairy – and egg-free, and comes together fast so you can get on with your day!

Chia seeds are a healthy replacement for poppy seeds in this pancake recipe. They provide extra nutrition and a little added crunch. Chia seeds contain omega 3 (a great source for vegans) and are a complete protein.

Adding zesty lemon makes for a bright flavor any time of the day. Depending on the size and/or if you simply love that lemon flavor, use as many as 2 lemons for the zest.

Healthy and delicious vegan food isn’t so hard at all!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan lemon chia seed pancakes recipe.

Ingredient Notes

In this recipe, flour, chia seeds, sugar, and lemon are mixed into a batter, poured onto a warm griddle, and cooked until fluffy and golden, making a hearty vegan breakfast that’s quick and easy.

Here is everything you will need, plus ingredient variations (measurements are in the recipe card below):

  • Flour – We love using spelt, whole wheat, all-purpose (pref unbleached), or GF flour blend (or combo of these).
  • Chia seeds – You can find chia seeds at most grocery stores or purchase them online from Amazon (affiliate link).
  • Sugar – My top picks are organic pure cane, coconut, date, or monk fruit sugar
  • Baking powder – Preferably aluminum-free.
  • Salt – My all-time favorite is Himalayan pink salt, but regular or sea salt works too.
  • Non-dairy milk – Use your favorite plant-based milk (almond, cashew, oat, soy, etc.).
  • Lemon – Use 1 or 2 small lemons.
  • Vanilla – If using vanilla-flavored milk, you can skip this or add it for extra flavor.
side by side photos showing zested lemon and making vegan buttermilk.

How To Make Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes

Following is a step-by-step guide with photos. The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.

  • Zest the lemon using a zester or fine grater.
  • To make vegan buttermilk, simply add the juice of 1 small lemon or apple cider vinegar to the milk and let it rest for 10 minutes to curdle.
side by side photos showing the process of making vegan lemon chia seed pancake batter.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, chia seeds, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the vanilla to the milk.
  • Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and mix well.
side by side photos showing the process of making lemon chia seed pancakes on a griddle.
  • Using a 1/4 or 1/3 measuring cup, scoop and pour pancake batter onto a lightly greased, preheated griddle or skillet.
  • Let cook for 3 minutes. Pancakes will be ready to flip when they start to bubble and the edges look leathery, as shown above right.
  • Flip and cook another 3 minutes.
  • Let cool on a rack, as shown below, or eat right away.

Top Tips

  • Add lemon extract. Add a teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter if you want a lemony flavor.
  • Keep pancakes warm. If using a method that cooks a few pancakes at a time, you can keep them warm on a baking sheet in a preheated oven set to 200 degrees.
  • Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, use a trusted 1 to 1 gluten flour blend, such as this Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour or 1 to 1 GF Flour Blend (affiliate links).
  • Can I make this recipe oil-free? Yes! To make oil-free pancakes, use a non-stick ceramic electric griddle (affiliate link). They may not be as golden, but they will be nice and healthy!
  • Can I make waffles with this recipe? Yes, no changes are needed, just cook the batter using your favorite method of making waffles. You can also check out this Easy Vegan Waffles recipe!

top down view of lemon chia seed pancakes cooling on a wire rack.

How To Store + Reheat

Lemon chia seed pancakes can be stored in the fridge or freezer with these easy instructions. You can even make extra pancakes to store for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for up to  7 days, in a covered container.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, pancakes will last for up to 2 – 3 months in the freezer. To freeze, let cool completely and store in sealed freezer-safe containers or ziploc bags, removing as much as possible before sealing. You may want to separate each pancake with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Reheat: To reheat lemon chia seed pancakes, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and cover with foil. Place in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, cover and microwave using 30 to 60-second intervals until warmed through (covering will help to retain moisture).
head on view of stack of lemon chia seed pancakes with sliced removed on a fork.

More Vegan Breakfast Recipes!

Let me know if you try this lemon chia pancake recipe or have a question! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes feature lemony flavor, protein rich chia seeds and cook up perfectly light and fluffy for a quick and easy vegan breakfast! Serve with fresh berries and pure maple syrup for a delicious start to your day!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 pancakes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Entree
  • Method: griddle, stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 cup flour (spelt, whole wheat or flour of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons organic pure cane sugar
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 cup buttermilk (one cup non-dairy milk + juice from 1 lemon or 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
  • zest of 12 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • coconut oil, for greasing


Vegan buttermilk: Start by making your buttermilk, combine milk and lemon, set aside for 10 minutes or so. This allows them time to mingle.

Preheat: Preheat griddle to manufacturer’s instructions. Or warm a skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease before using.

Make batter: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and chia seeds in medium mixing bowl, give a good stir to combine and distribute the seeds. Pour in the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest, mix well.

Scoop and pour: Using a 1/4 or 1/3 measuring cup, scoop and pour batter on to griddle. Cook until bubbles form on top or edges, and flip, usually about 3 minutes per side, depending on your griddle/skillet. Repeat until batter is gone.

Serve with strawberries (or other berries of choice) and pure maple syrup.

Makes about 6 pancakes

Serves 3

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in a covered container. For longer storage, keep in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. Pop in toaster oven or microwave to reheat.


If using a heavier flour, such as oat, whole-wheat or whole-spelt flour, you may need to add a tad more milk to the batter before cooking.

For even more lemon flavor, try adding 1 teaspoon lemon extract to the batter.

For thinner pancakes add more milk.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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  1. Hi, Julie!

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. It’s now a staple in my diet, as a snack or my go-to when i’m already very hungry and dinner is not yet ready! :)

    I haven’t tried your other recipes yet, but, i surely will. Due to a completely unexpected onset of a rare medical condition, i have had to do a major diet and lifestyle overhaul. It has been quite tough at the beginning, especially that i love my pork fats and creamy pasta sauces. But, with help from people like you who are just so wonderfully generous with sharing your knowledge- and really, your heart- it gives us hope that life (and our health) can really get better despite the odds.

    Please keep sharing, and may God bless you more!

    big hugs from the Philippines,


  2. These are my teen daughter’s new favorite and she now requests them often. We got some Meyers lemons from a friend and these were the first things we thought of making. Thanks again for the great recipe Julie. Just noticed today that you have sugar on the ingredient list but not in the instructions to add in. I hadn’t noticed it before today, but I thought I would mention it. I would prefer to leave it out myself but my kids like the added sweetness of coarse:)

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you all enjoy these! Thanks for the fyi, I’ll make the changes asap. Cheers :)

  3. These were a hit with the family. I made a gluten free batch for me using buckwheat and rice flour that worked too. Loved the lemon!

  4. How many pancakes does this make typically? I see it says its for 2 servings.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It will make about 6 medium pancakes. I’ve also added it to the recipe. :)

  5. Shanti Ellis says:

    I finally got around to making these this morning. The leftovers were gone by the time I got home. My guy loved them, even though he tends to shy away from things with chia seeds. We were out of fresh lemons, but I had some zest stored in my freezer, and it worked just great (although the measurements were questionable… not sure how many lemons were zested into that bag). I have some grapefruit zest that I just my try tomorrow. ;)

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Awesome! I love it when you can sneak in things that others may not normally eat. Your replacement sounds like it worked just fine too!

  6. I made these today- I added dried lavender. They came out really great- thanks!!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      The lavender sounds so good, what a great idea! Thank you for stopping by with some more inspiration. :)

  7. So glad you liked them! Your replacements sound great…I will add the alternative to the recipe for the buttermilk too. Enjoy the pancakes…cheers :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I made these yesterday and am making them again today. Wonderful, and very filling! I don't have any fresh lemons in the house, but I had lemon extract. Used about a tsp of that and they were lovely. I used 1 Tb of white vinegar in unsweetened almond milk to make the buttermilk.

  9. ooo this would definitely satisfy my pancake craving that I've been having lately!! I love adding chia and other nutrient dense foods to any of my recipes as well :)

    1. Hi Bridget, hope you had a chance to try these out. I think I'm in the mood for some of these again in the near future myself. :) Love your blog btw ! ♥

  10. This is perfect! Just found your site through finding vegan and I was looking for a recipe that uses chia! Yay! Doddering off to the kitchen now!

    1. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. I doddered through your blog and it's adorable…lots of yummy recipes and great pictures. I didn't stop to say hi but I will go through again, your cupcakes that you had your son test out look super! :)

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