People freely throw around the advice that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what you eat for breakfast matters just as much as remembering to eat the meal in the first place.
If you’re starting your day with toaster pastries, sugary breakfast cereal, or a packaged muffin, you’re not going to feel well, nor will you be doing your health any favors.
People often focus on protein intake at lunch and dinner, but having a high protein breakfast is just as important.
Studies suggest that high protein breakfast foods will help keep you satiated and energized while getting your metabolism going.
However, other than eggs, many people aren’t sure what high protein breakfast ideas will hit the mark in terms of being delicious and nutritious.
In this guide, we will share some healthy high protein breakfast ideas so that you can kickstart your day on the right foot.
13 Excellent High Protein Breakfasts To Fuel Your Day
#1: Greek Yogurt With Fruit
Greek yogurt is packed with protein, so it’s a great way to eat protein for breakfast.
One cup (8 ounces or 227 ounces) of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has about 23 grams of protein.
Opt for plain Greek yogurt without added sugar.
You can add berries or sliced fruit, such as apples, peaches, and bananas, to add more flavor, as long as you are not following a super low-carb diet.
If you would prefer to minimize your carbohydrate intake, you can add nuts, seeds, and coconut to enhance the yogurt.
Sliced almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds make great additions to Greek yogurt, or you can add low-sugar muesli.
#2: Cottage Cheese With Applesauce
If you want a high protein breakfast that’s lower in carbs than yogurt but has similar applications, cottage cheese makes a great substitute.
One cup (8 ounces or 227 ounces) of cottage cheese has about 24 grams of protein.
You can top it with berries or sliced fruit or enjoy applesauce or pineapple with cottage cheese. You could even just add a sprinkle of cinnamon if you like to keep things simple.
#3: Breakfast Burrito
Breakfast burritos are popular high protein breakfasts for those with a savory palate in the morning.
You can doctor them up in any type of way, depending on what flavors you like and what other ingredients you have on hand.
In terms of the burrito shell itself, you can use a whole grain tortilla. If you are following a particularly low-carb diet, there are alternatives to standard corn or flour tortillas made from egg whites or other low-carb substitutes.
Good options for high protein breakfast burrito fillings include eggs, beans, turkey, ham, tofu, and cheese.
Add veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach, as well as cheese and corn for flavor.
Egg breakfasts have been shown to be more satiating than oatmeal while not exacerbating cholesterol levels.
If you are sick of standard egg preparations like scrambled eggs and fried eggs, you can still enjoy a high-protein egg breakfast with an omelet.
Omelets are also a good canvas to add vegetables, which can be otherwise hard to sneak into breakfast in an appealing way.
#5: Protein-Packed Breakfast Smoothie
The sky’s the limit with protein-packed smoothies. You can use any type of fruit and veggies, and add protein powder and Greek yogurt to boost the protein content.
For example, you can make a chocolate peanut butter smoothie.
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1/2 cup of plain or chocolate almond or oat milk
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 scoop of your favorite chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
If you prefer something more fruity, try this high protein breakfast smoothie recipe:
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 cup unsweetened milk (almond, soy, dairy)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
#6: Protein Power Muffins
If you are a fan of sweet breakfasts and want something convenient, protein muffins can make a great on-the-go high protein breakfast.
The following protein often recipe makes 12 servings:
- 1 cup quick oats ground in a food processor or oat flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 medium banana peeled and mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
- 3 scoops of vanilla protein powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Berries and nuts as desired
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line and spray a muffin tin.
- Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another but leave out the optional nuts and berries.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until smooth, but do not over-mix.
- Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way up. If you’re adding nuts and berries, carefully place them on the top of each muffin but don’t submerge them in the batter.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
#7: Tofu Scramble
A tofu scramble is a great vegan high protein breakfast that somewhat resembles scrambled eggs and has a similar savory profile.
To make a tofu scramble, take one block of firm tofu and break it up using a fork or spatula into small pieces.
Add it to a frying pan with onions, grated carrot, cauliflower rice, and any other vegetables that you enjoy, such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers.
Sauté the scramble with a little bit of butter or oil until the veggies and tofu have browned. You can add miso paste to add more flavor or spices and seasonings you enjoy.
#8: Chia Seed Protein Pudding
Chia seeds swell into a gooey consistency that resembles pudding. These super seeds are packed with protein and fiber.
You can add protein powder to make this an excellent high protein breakfast. Make it the night before and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- ½ avocado or banana mashed
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- ⅔ cup almond milk or other milk
- Mix all of the ingredients together, ideally in a blender but with a whisk is ok.
- Pour into a mason jar.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Top with berries or nut butter as desired.
#9: Protein Overnight Oats
Overnight oats have enjoyed their time in the spotlight as a healthy breakfast idea, but unless you deliberately make high protein overnight oats, most standard recipes are higher in carbohydrates and protein.
Adding protein powder is a fantastic way to boost the protein content of overnight oats and make the breakfast satiating for hours.
#10: Protein Pancakes
You don’t have to give up your favorite stack of pancakes when you’re looking to eat a high protein breakfast.
Protein-packed pancakes are an awesome alternative. They are a bit chewier than the fluffy box-mix pancakes you might have had growing up, but they are similar enough that they still scratch that pancake-loving itch.
To make protein pancakes, combine 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon with 1/2 medium-size ripe banana, 2 large egg whites, 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
You can play around with the spices and flavors as well. For example, you can use canned pumpkin instead of banana and ginger instead of cinnamon.
Top with Greek yogurt or nut butter.
#11: Egg Mushroom Cups
You can make portobello egg cups by adding one egg to the inside of a washed portobello mushroom. Sprinkle with cheese or nutritional yeast, and then bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.
#12: Quinoa and Lentil Power Bowl
Another good vegan high protein breakfast if you can get behind a savory flavor profile is a lentil and quinoa power bowl.
Quinoa is technically a seed but is often lumped in with whole grains. It is a complete source of protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Lentils are packed with protein and fiber, along with complex carbohydrates.
Add sweet potato, kale, and onions to add micronutrients and tons of flavor.
#13: High Protein Breakfast Platter
Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with a high protein for breakfast platter with foods like eggs and turkey sausage. Add cauliflower rice or half an avocado to round things out and add satiety to the meal.
What is your favorite high protein breakfast? Let us know!
We also have a pre-race breakfast guide for you if you are looking for breakfasts to eat before a long run or a race.