17 Plant-Based Breakfast Ideas 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 Newport Beach, California, and enjoys connecting people to the food they eat and how it influences health and wellbeing.
Overnight Oats with Hazelnuts and Chia Seeds

For many, smoothies and overnight oats are the only meals that come to mind when thinking of plant-based breakfasts. While both options can be healthy and delicious, they can get old pretty fast. Thankfully, there are plenty of other protein-packed, plant-based options for your morning meal.

Incorporating protein and fiber into your breakfast can keep you satiated and energized for longer, which may prevent overeating later in the day. These 17 easy and delicious plant-based breakfasts go beyond boring oatmeal. Plus, they'll give you the nutrients you need to get through the day.

1. Post-workout green smoothie

Green keto smoothie with matcha and mint

Image by mbg Creative

If you like to hit the gym first thing, this post-workout green smoothie is a great option. It's packed with protein and healthy fat from the avocado, making it perfect for recovery after getting your sweat on.

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2. Golden milk oatmeal

This golden milk oatmeal offers all the benefits of the popular Ayurvedic drink: turmeric, rolled oats, and pepper—which helps your body absorb the turmeric better. This dish is comforting, anti-inflammatory, and comes together in minutes. Golden milk works well with any plant-based milk (almondoat, coconut, or macadamia), so choose your favorite.

3. Superfood cereal

For a simple, no-frills breakfast packed with healthy ingredients, enter this superfood cereal. It's got tons of nuts, seeds, and other superfoods for a homemade cereal that outshines anything you could buy in the store. And it even doubles as a granola come snack time!

4. Apple cinnamon overnight oats

These apple cinnamon overnight oats are perfect for a convenient morning meal. Make it ahead of time so it's ready to go in the morning. When you want to eat it, simply warm the oats for one minute, add an extra splash of almond milk, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a spoonful of your favorite nut butter.

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5. Ginger peach smoothie

17 Easy Plant-Based Breakfasts That Pack A Protein Punch

Image by Eliesa Johnson / Contributor

For a quick and refreshing breakfast, give this ginger peach smoothie a try. The ginger is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The flaxseeds are high in omega-3s and fiber, which helps to keep you fuller longer than a normal fruit smoothie might.

6. Raw berry pomegranate bowl

This pomegranate bowl is both vegan and raw, making it another good option for a light, but filling breakfast. Pomegranates are a nutritional powerhouse packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and more. Since this recipe doesn't involve any cooking, you can have it in just a few minutes.

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7. Chia pudding

This chia pudding recipe is another great make-ahead option. The chia seeds are full of omega-3s, which can aid the body in balancing hormones and keep you regular. Make a few batches to last you throughout the week, and switch up your toppings to keep things interesting.

8. Sprouted spelt bagels

For the ambitious folks, we have this sprouted spelt bagel recipe. It's not as quick as the other recipes, so maybe save this one for the weekend. It does, however, make eight better-for-you bagels. This gives you the option to freeze the leftovers or share with friends and neighbors.

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9. Three-ingredient banana pancakes

Two Plates Of Vegan Pancakes With Peanut And Banana

Image by Kirsty Begg / Stocksy

These three-ingredient pancakes only take about 10 minutes to make and are packed with nutritious oat bran. Though the ingredient is often overlooked, just one cup of cooked oat bran contains around six grams of fiber and seven grams of protein. To make these, mix together 3/4 cup of oat bran, half of a ripe banana, and 1/2 cup of your favorite plant-based milk.

You could also make these three-ingredient pancakes if you swap the eggs for a vegan alternative.

10. Sweet potato hash

A sweet potato hash is a great way to sneak veggies into your breakfast. This dish is super tasty, too. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients, making them a great food to start your day. 

This recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce, so look for a vegan version or leave it out altogether. Add in some scrambled tofu for more protein, and you've got yourself a complete breakfast.

11. Savory quinoa porridge

You may typically enjoy porridge with oats, honey, and fruit. If you're bored of that version, though, consider swapping your oats for a savory quinoa breakfast bowl.

The quinoa, kale, and pesto recipe (sans poached egg) is one of our favorites, but any plant-based toppings would work. When cooking the quinoa, replace half of the water with veggie broth for added flavor.

12. Sweet quinoa porridge

If you're still craving sweet porridge, but want the complete protein that comes with quinoa, this superfood breakfast bowl may be a better fit. The carbohydrates, fiber, and protein will keep you full until lunch time, plus the berries are loaded with healthy antioxidants.

If fresh berries aren't in season, opt for frozen. They’re cheaper and oftentimes contain more nutrients and flavor, since they're frozen at peak season.

13. Hummus toast

Hummus is super easy to make and the main ingredient is either chickpeas or white beans (like in this white bean mediterranean hummus)—both of which are full of fiber and protein. Shake up your morning toast by topping it with some hummus and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for extra protein and healthy fats.

14. Nut butter toast

Peanut Butter Banana Toast

Image by Trent Lanz / Stocksy

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 or homemade nut butter. That can be a meal on it’s own, but if you want even more flavor, add bananas, berries, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

15. Banana muffins

These flourless chocolate chip muffins are full of protein from the chickpeas and nut butter. Those two ingredients also serve as binding agents, eliminating the need for flour or eggs. The bananas, which act as a natural thickening agent and a sweetener, are loaded with magnesium and potassium.

16. Tempeh quesadillas

This dish may sound impressive, but it's actually super easy. Simply fill a tortilla of your choice with caramelized onions, sautéed spinach, and tempeh. That's all it takes to make a decadent, but healthy and protein-packed breakfast quesadilla.

17. Baked squash topped with beans

Baked beans on toast is British classic. Using squash instead of bread can deliver a similar flavor, while enhancing the nutrition content. There’s no official recipe for this one—it all comes down to preference and what’s in season. 

If you need more of a guide, here’s the best way to cook different types of squash, and a simple recipe to cook dried beans. Once both elements are made, pour the beans atop the squash for a filling and delicious breakfast.

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