Food & Drink

Garlic Parmesan Pancakes with Tomato Jam

A sweet application of ripe summer tomatoes tops this savory breakfast

Photo: Mark Weinberg

While I’m more often stuffing my buttermilk babes with blueberries or chocolate chunks, I was inspired by my family to try this savory take. Years ago, when I was searching for tried-and-true family recipes, my Grandma Jeanne shared a recipe for tomato jam with me. I probably wrinkled my nose at first, but she explained that sweet, ripe summer tomatoes make a delicious jam. Her mother always made it with sugar and some warm spices, and she often used it to top their pancakes. I love the sweetness of the jam myself, but I especially love it paired with saltier elements. This pancake includes salty Parmesan and one of tomatoes’ best accent flavors—garlic, in this case, roasted garlic—and it’s the perfect vessel for my inherited jam. The recipe makes more than you’ll need for one batch of pancakes, but it keeps in the fridge for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to six months. To make a lovely meal, serve these pancakes with fried or poached eggs. —Erin Jeanne McDowell, from her new cookbook, Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between.

For more from McDowell, see her recipe for Hominy and Greens Pie.

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  • For the Tomato Jam

    • 2½ cups chopped ripe tomatoes

    • 1¼ cups granulated sugar

    • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

    • ¾ tsp. ground cloves

    • ¾ tsp. ground ginger

    • ½ tsp. fine sea salt

  • For the Pancakes

    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

    • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for finishing

    • 1 tsp. baking powder

    • 1 tsp. garlic powder

    • ½ tsp. fine sea salt

    • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    • ½ cup crème fraîche, sour cream, or plain yogurt

    • 1 head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out and coarsely mashed with a fork

    • 1¾ cups whole milk

    • 2 large eggs

    • 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

    • Unsalted butter for cooking


  1. Make the tomato jam: In a medium pot, stir the tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and simmer until the mixture cooks down and thickens to a jam-like consistency, 45 minutes to 1 hour (keep in mind that it will thicken more as it cools).

  2. Transfer the jam to a heatproof storage container, let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until well chilled (if desired, transfer some of the chilled jam to a freezer container for longer-term storage).

  3. Make the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, Parmesan, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to combine.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the crème fraîche (or sour cream or yogurt), mashed garlic, milk, and eggs until well combined. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine (it’s okay if the mixture is a bit lumpy). Fold in the parsley.

  5. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-heat heat for several minutes. When it is hot, grease it with 1 to 2 tablespoons butter. Working in batches, use a ladle to drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot skillet (or griddle), aiming for pancakes about 4 inches in diameter. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the pancakes are evenly golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip the pancakes over and cook for 1 to 3 minutes longer, until fully cooked through and evenly golden brown on the second side. Turn the heat up again as needed before adding each new batch of pancakes.

  6. Transfer the pancakes to serving plates, and serve topped with tomato jam, or with the jam alongside. Garnish with chopped parsley and sprinkle with more freshly grated Parmesan.

Excerpted from Savory Baking: Recipes for Breakfast, Dinner, and Everything in Between © 2022 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2022 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.