Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders! Try these 18 Easy High Protein Breakfast Ideas to kickstart your morning with an extra boost of healthy protein.
The Best Healthy, High Protein Breakfast Ideas
You’ve probably heard before that protein is an essential part of one’s daily diet. And it’s true: Whether you’re looking to shed a couple of holiday pounds, get in top form for that sports tournament, or simply eat healthier, adding more protein to your diet is one of the best ways to do it.
So, why not start with breakfast? Eating a healthy, high-protein breakfast has more than just physical benefits. Starting your day with a protein boost can enhance focus and help ward off overeating.
Below you’ll find helpful information about protein: why you need it, how much of it you need, plus 18 high-protein breakfast ideas to kickstart your day!
What Is Protein and Why Is Protein Important?
So, let’s start with the basics. What is protein, anyway? Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is a primary macronutrient, providing the human body with energy. Both plants and animals provide good sources of protein, some more complete than others. Complete proteins, like meat, fish, dairy, eggs, quinoa, and soybeans, offer all 9 “essential” amino acids that we can only get from our diets. This is where your daily dose of protein comes in!
A high-protein diet can have some serious benefits in terms of weight loss and metabolic health. But it’s so much more than that. Protein plays a vital role in how our bodies function, right down to the cellular level. Here are three top benefits of protein in your daily diet:
- Tissue Maintenance. Protein helps the body repair and build tissue like bones and muscle, making it necessary for growth and maintenance.
- Immune and Energy Boosting. Eating enough protein means more antibodies, and a stronger immune system to protect against diseases. Protein also encourages good metabolic function while storing and transporting nutrients for energy.
- System Regulation. Changes to your body’s pH can be harmful, and proteins act as a buffer, helping to regulate bodily fluids by maintaining a healthy pH.
- Weight management. Upping your protein intake helps curb your appetite, making a high-protein breakfast an effective and healthy way to lose weight, and maintain it over the longer term.
How Much Protein Do I Need per Day?
Chances are, you don’t need to pound protein shakes every morning to meet your daily protein requirement. The average person can get enough protein simply by following a healthy, balanced diet.
What’s the ideal amount of protein to have at breakfast? The consensus seems to be that 15-30 grams of protein at breakfast is enough to keep someone satisfied throughout the day. But exactly how much protein a person needs per day in total can vary depending on things like age, lifestyle, body weight, physical activity, etc. For example, an athlete may require more daily protein than the average person due to the intensity of their sport.
This makes it difficult to nail down a general amount. The USDA offers a helpful Dietary Reference Intakes calculator that you can use to calculate how much protein you should be consuming in a day.
18 Protein-Packed Breakfast Ideas to Try
If you’re going to eat breakfast, make sure it’s rich in protein! Here are 18 easy breakfast ideas that you’ll love having in your daily rotation.
Scrambled eggs are a versatile and easy way to pack loads of protein into your morning meal. Just one egg contains between 6 to 7 grams of protein. Try classic and creamy scrambled eggs with spinach and whole grain toast (spinach is another great source of plant protein, with nearly 3 grams per serving). Or, bulk up your eggs with add-ins! Add shredded cheddar cheese for Cheesy Scrambled Eggs, or try Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs or Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs for even more complete protein.
Plain Greek yogurt is a high-protein breakfast option with all kinds of potential! A 200-gram serving offers about 20 grams of protein. Enjoy Greek Yogurt with Berries, Nuts, and Honey for an easy breakfast loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats, or layer your ingredients into Greek Yogurt Berry Parfaits.
Prepare breakfast the night before with easy recipes for overnight oats, beefed up with protein-loaded ingredients like chia seeds and protein powder. Overnight oats are an inexpensive source of protein, making it easy to experiment with seasonal flavors like Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats, Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats, Vanilla Almond Overnight Oats, and more.
There’s no better way to get in your daily dose of protein than to have it wrapped up inside a hearty, healthy breakfast burrito. Fill your Basic Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, beans, and avocado. Breakfast wraps are also a freezer-friendly meal prep idea, like these Freezer Bacon & Egg Breakfast Burritos.
Homemade Protein Smoothies are a creative and convenient way to get in healthy vitamins and nutrients (not only protein!) all in one go. Fill your blenders with protein-rich ingredients like peanut butter in a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie. Make a Banana Vanilla Orange Smoothie for a burst of sunshiney fruit flavor fueled by vanilla protein powder. Or, combine your favorite superfoods and spices in a Blueberry Cinnamon Smoothie or Quinoa Smoothie.
Try turkey bacon or turkey sausage for a leaner alternative to pork that’s packed with just as much protein. It’s so easy to make Air Fryer Turkey Bacon, perfect for adding to an egg white omelet with vegetables. Or, bake up a batch of Overnight Breakfast Enchiladas made with juicy turkey sausage.
Waffles don’t need to be loaded with carbs! Make healthy Whole Grain Waffles topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas for a high-protein breakfast that still feels like a treat. You don’t need a ton of time or ingredients to make waffles, either! For a quick and easy option, try 2-Minute Protein Waffles, or mix in healthful superfoods to make gluten-free Quinoa Waffles.
If there’s one breakfast idea that can fill your morning routine with a hefty boost of protein, it’s a homemade quiche. Aside from eggs, you can fill a quiche with just about any protein-rich ingredient you can think of: Classic Bacon Quiche Lorraine, Spinach Quiche, or try dairy-free Vegetable Quiche with a Quinoa Crust. For a low-carb alternative, try Cauliflower Crust Breakfast Quiche, or ditch the crust altogether with a healthy Crustless Quiche.
Tofu? For breakfast? You bet! This plant-based protein option has up to 22 grams of protein per serving, which makes it a great alternative to eggs in vegetarian or vegan breakfasts. Master a Basic Tofu Scramble and then fill it with all your favorite ingredients, like this 5-Minute Kimchi Tofu Scramble or a zesty Easy Southwestern Tofu Scramble with bell peppers and onions.
Load up a slice of whole-grain or gluten-free toast with vitamin-rich avocado, then get busy piling on protein-packed toppings. Make Smashed Avocado Toast with a Soft Boiled Egg and sprouts, greens, or veggies for a balanced and satisfying breakfast. Check out more easy and Healthy Avocado Toast Ideas and customize your recipes any way you’d like!
Breakfast doesn’t get more versatile than an omelet loaded with healthy, protein-packed ingredients. Fill a homemade omelet with onions, peppers, ham, and cheese like this Baked Denver Omelette, or make a Veggie Omelette in the Slow Cooker. Feel like something a little different? Try an easy omelet wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, and cheese, or Herbed Quinoa Breakfast Wraps for a vegetarian version.
Hearty and filling Protein Breakfast Bowls can be made sweet or savory! Make spicy Southwest Breakfast Bowls with scrambled eggs, black beans, and salsa. Or, bring fresh berries into the mix with a High Protein Breakfast Power Bowl or Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. For even more protein-packed goodness, get inspired with 6 easy ways to make Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls!
It doesn’t take much to make Breakfast Egg Muffins filled with extra protein and tasty, nourishing ingredients. Fun, creative recipes like Cheesy BLT Egg Bites and Easy Make Ahead Prosciutto Baked Egg Cups are perfect for healthy meal prep and easy to grab on the go! For a plant-powered option, try Broccoli Potato Cheese Egg Muffin Cups, or go the classic route with “American Breakfast” Egg Muffin Cups filled with bacon, hashbrowns, and cheese.
Turn your favorite baked goods into little protein powerhouses! Easy recipes like fluffy whole wheat Spiced Chai Banana Muffins get an extra boost from protein powder. Eat clean with Healthy Banana Protein Muffins, or try grain-free chocolate chip Protein Muffins or Flourless Protein Muffins for a gluten-free option.
Chia Seed Pudding
Endlessly customizable, chia pudding recipes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of protein. A single serving of chia seeds packs about 5 grams of high-quality protein, perfect for topping with mixed nuts and fruit. Adapt your recipes with different flavors and ingredients to make Chocolate Chia Pudding, Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding, or Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Berries and Granola.
Ideal as a light breakfast or meal on the go, Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls and No Bake Energy Bites are easy to make, portable, and packed with protein. Homemade Protein Balls are often no-bake recipes featuring simple, wholesome ingredients. For a sweet and healthy bite, try these 5-Minute Protein Peanut Butter Energy Bites!
Enjoy a tall stack of Protein Pancakes that fill your daily protein quota and then some! Protein pancakes can be made gluten-free and dairy-free, or stuffed with fruit and nuts like these Banana Walnut Protein Pancakes. Whichever way you flip it, there’s a recipe for everyone’s taste.
For a breakfast that’s choc full of healthy fats, halve an avocado and fill it with high-protein breakfast foods. Fuel your mornings with easy breakfast recipes like Baked Eggs in Avocado with crispy bacon, this Creamy Avocado Egg Bake, or Egg Stuffed Avocado.
Looking for more well-balanced breakfast ideas? Check out the recipe finder!