Bored Of Your Oatmeal? 10 Creative Plant-Based Breakfasts That Pack A Protein Punch

Founder & CEO of The Tasteful Pantry By Jennifer Wang
Founder & CEO of The Tasteful Pantry
Jennifer Wang is the founder and CEO of The Tasteful Pantry, a healthy lifestyle company and blog.. She holds a BS in finance from the University of Pennsylvania.
Expert review by Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Texas Christian University and a master’s in nutrition interventions, communication, and behavior change from Tufts University. She lives in the Greater Boston Area, and enjoys connecting people to the food they eat and how it influences health and wellbeing.
Peanut Butter Banana Toast

Image by Trent Lanz / Stocksy

Usually what first comes to mind when we think about plant-based breakfasts are things like smoothies and overnight oats. Sound familiar? While both of these are great, there are many other options out there if you're trying to fit more plants into your diet.

As a general rule, it's good to include protein and fiber in your breakfasts to give you the sustained energy you need and to avoid the hunger and energy roller coaster that comes with sugary foods. Here are some easy, delicious plant-based breakfast ideas that also give you the nutrients you need. Feel free to use these creative recipes as inspiration, especially if you feel yourself becoming bored with a traditional oatmeal.

1. Three-ingredient banana pancakes

Oat bran is such a great breakfast food. Yes, it may sound like something your grandma eats, but did you know that one cup of cooked oat bran contains around six grams of fiber and seven grams of protein? That's more than regular rolled oats and slightly more protein than an egg (which has around 6 grams)!

These pancakes take about ten minutes to make, and they contain no sugar, gluten, or dairy.

Just blend together ¾ cup oat bran, ½ of a ripe or overripe banana, and ½ cup of your favorite nondairy milk. Then top with maple syrup, jam, or whatever toppings you like! Bonus tip: This is a great opportunity to use up those speckled or brown bananas you might have forgotten to eat earlier in the week. 

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2. Sweet potato hash

A little cumin goes a long way! This dish is super tasty—just grate up a sweet potato, mix it with sautéed onion, a green pepper, some garlic, cumin, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and sauté until soft.

Add in some scrambled tofu for more protein, and you've got yourself a complete breakfast. Root veggies like sweet potatoes and squash are high in fiber and other nutrients, so they're a great way to start your day.

3. Savory quinoa porridge

You might typically imagine porridge with oats and honey. But there are many other versions of this breakfast classic, some of them quite savory.

Swap out your oats for quinoa, and your honey for some savory toppings like kale, tofu, and avocado, and you've got yourself a high-protein meal that will keep you satisfied. Just follow the general instructions on the package for how to cook the quinoa, but replace half of the water with veggie broth for some extra flavor.

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4. Sweet quinoa porridge

If you're looking for a sweeter start to your day but still want that complete protein that comes with quinoa, substitute half of the water for your favorite nondairy milk, then top with sweet toppings like berries (raspberries are great for this dish), toasted nuts, and perhaps a drizzle of maple syrup.

Bonus tip: Opt to use frozen berries if fresh berries aren’t in season. They’re cheaper and when defrosted, the juice seeps into the porridge, spreading the flavor and turning it a fun pink, blue, or purple color! 

5. Hummus toast

Hummus is made from chickpeas, and chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans) are full of protein and fiber. Shake up your morning whole grain or sprouted toast by topping it with some hummus and sprinkle with hemp seeds for some extra protein and healthy fat.

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6. Nut butter toast

Nut butter toast is a great way to start your day off with a little sweetness (but not too much) while still getting in your protein. Top your toast with your favorite all-natural nut butter, a few thin slices of fruit instead of jam, and sprinkle with some seeds, such as toasted pumpkin seeds—it’s basically an adult pb&j. 

7. Banana muffins

The chickpeas and nut butter in these muffins hold it all together without any flour or eggs, plus they provide tons of protein and fiber. Bananas are also a natural thickener and sweetener! Feel free to try this super-easy recipe.

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8. Tempeh quesadillas

Don't be fooled—this impressive dish is actually super easy. Fill a tortilla or your choice with some caramelized onions, sautéed spinach, and tempeh, and you've got yourself a decadent yet healthy breakfast quesadilla!

9. Baked squash topped with beans

This is a little variation on the British classic baked beans on toast. For an easy meal prep option, feel free to prepare the squash and beans the night before, so that you can just put it all together quickly in the morning.

Here's a great recipe for the beans. For the squash (acorn and kabocha are great), bake for about 45 minutes, let cool, and scoop out the seeds. Then you can cut it up and put it in the fridge for the next day. The next day, heat up the squash again and top with a scoop of your beans!

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10. Chia seed pudding

This is another easy recipe that is slightly sweet, but not too much. The night before, combine 1½ tablespoons of chia seeds with one cup of your favorite nondairy milk. Add in some nut butter, vanilla, and a dash of maple syrup and mix really well. Then put in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, your chia seeds will be nice and hydrated (they'll get that gelatinous consistency), and you can then add your favorite fruit and toppings. You can also prepare a little bit of oatmeal (perhaps about half a pack of instant oatmeal) and add the chia seed pudding—it gives a nice combination of oatmeal, chia, and fruit!

There you have it. If you're looking to switch up your healthy breakfast game, these creative recipes will surely become your weekly go-to's. If you really don't want to do any cooking, healthy plant-based cereals are there for you, too.

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