We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal. Not only does it fuel us up to face the day ahead, but it promotes longevity, overall better health, and weight management.
To really elevate your breakfast game – particularly if you want to shed a few pounds – consider making your first meal a high-protein one. Several studies show it has some impressive benefits.
For example, in 2014 researchers from the University of Missouri found that eating a high-protein breakfast helped participants feel fuller throughout the day. They also tended to eat a smaller dinner and graze on fewer unhealthy snacks.
This builds on earlier research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, which studied ‘breakfast skipping’ adolescents. Researchers found that eating a breakfast rich in dietary protein is an effective strategy to improve appetite control and weight management in young people.
With this in mind, here are 28 delicious and healthy high protein breakfast recipes to kickstart your day. Each one contains at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
High Protein Breakfast Recipes with 20+ Grams Per Serving
1. Chia Yogurt Power Bowl – the perfect post-workout meal, or breakfast for those with a hectic schedule, this healthy bowl packs in non-fat Greek yogurt, probiotic-rich milk kefir, honey, chia seeds, and fresh fruit. The recipe listed serves two, and packs in 28 grams of protein per serving.
2. Overnight Cake Batter Oatmeal – cake lovers will relish the thought of waking to this delicious meal which should be made the night before. Containing oats, vanilla protein powder, stevia, almond milk, almond and vanilla extracts, and plain Greek yogurt or applesauce, it boasts an impressive 20 grams of protein.
3. Vanilla Chia Pudding – another make-ahead meal with protein power, this chia pudding features hemp seeds, quinoa, vanilla, cinnamon, and cashew milk. It contains 18 grams of protein, but a cup of fresh blackberries on the side will bring things up to an even 20.
4. Cinnamon Cottage Cheese with Sliced Apple – for a quick and easy meal you can throw together in a jiffy, simply sprinkle 3/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese with cinnamon and serve with a sliced apple. This combo serves up a surprising 25 grams of protein.
5. Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter and a Yogurt – this is yet another simple breakfast for hectic mornings. Top two slices of whole wheat bread with two tablespoons of peanut butter, and enjoy a plain yogurt on the side – a meal which clocks up around 24 grams of protein.
6. Green Warrior Protein Smoothie – this complete meal in a glass contains red grapefruit juice, kale, apple, cucumber, celery, mango, mint, hemp, and coconut oil, so it should keep you buzzing with energy all morning long. It packs in 17 grams of protein without the use of protein powder. A handful of almonds (approximately 10 nuts) to crunch on will bring this meal up to 20 grams.
7. Customizable Protein-Packed Oatmeal Cups – perfect for breakfast on-the-go, these cups can be made ahead and kept in the freezer. Containing rolled oats, protein powder, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, applesauce, yogurt, coconut oil, honey, almond milk, and hemp seeds, they’re packed with goodness and can be customized with your favorite toppings like chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts. Two cups provide 22 grams of protein.
8. Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs – great for weekends, as it takes a little longer to make than most, this breakfast sees cheesy quinoa cakes with green onions and watercress topped with a perfectly poached egg. The protein content is around 20.6 grams per portion.
9. Green Vanilla Almond Shake – this bright green smoothie tastes just like a vanilla milkshake thanks to a whole host of healthy ingredients including spinach, banana, vanilla, protein powder, almond butter, and coconut milk. Depending on the protein powder you use, expect to clock up 28 grams or more of protein.
10. Pot of Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts/Seeds – Greek yogurt is a protein-dense food, with one pot containing around 17 grams. With a chopped banana, or fruit of choice, and an ounce of your favorite nuts and seeds, you’ll easily bring your morning meal to 20 grams of protein.
11. Breakfast Burrito – the ultimate Sunday brunch, which can be frozen and enjoyed later in the week, these breakfast burritos contain just eight ingredients and can be made in 15 minutes! Each one packs in 25 grams of protein.
12. Brownie Batter Oatmeal – free of gluten, sugar and animal products, this oatmeal is surprisingly delicious. With oat bran, almond milk, flaxseeds, protein powder, cocoa, coconut flour, and topped with chocolate chips. Best of all, there’s over 27 grams of protein per bowl.
13. Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats – you’ll love waking up to these peanut butter and jelly overnight oats with protein-rich peanut flour and easy homemade chia seed jam. Per serving, you’ll get 27 grams of protein.
14. Mocha Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl – if you like the idea of a smoothie for breakfast, but aren’t a fan of drinking your meals, then this recipe is for you! By adding the mixture to a bowl, and covering it with a variety of toppings which need to be chewed – like nuts, nut butters, seeds, granola, and fruit – you’ll increase satiety. One bowl provides 20 grams of protein.
15. Apricot Oat Energy Bars – for a grab-and-go start to the day, whip up a batch of these bars at the beginning of the week. With oats, dried apricots, strawberries, peanut butter, pea protein, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, they contain an impressive 23 grams of protein per serving.
16. Make-ahead Greek Yogurt Parfait – layer creamy Greek yogurt, old fashioned oats, chia seeds, frozen fruit, and berries in a jar for a make-ahead breakfast that keeps for several days in the refrigerator. Add a handful of almonds to the recipe and you’ll consume 20 grams of protein before the day even begins.
17. Protein Banana Muffins with Nut Butter – these little vegan muffins are filled with healthy ingredients like spelt flour, brown rice protein powder, bananas, applesauce, granola, and cinnamon. Two muffins, each topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter, provide 21 grams of protein.
18. 2-Ingredient Pancakes – probably the easiest pancakes in the world to whip up, these protein-packed delights are made with just bananas and eggs. Two pancakes contain around 21 grams of protein.
19. Quinoa Bowl – quinoa is an ancient seed-like grain which is rich in protein, and naturally gluten-free. Enjoy it as an alternative to oatmeal in this great recipe which includes almond milk, dried cranberries, maple syrup, nuts, seeds, fruit, and plenty of warming spices. Each bowl boasts 29 grams of protein.
20. Savory Tempeh Breakfast Sandwich – pan-fry tempeh (a healthy fermented soy product) in a smoky savory sauce, and pile it onto an English muffin along with creamy avocado and nutrient-rich baby spinach. The recipe listed makes enough for two people, and clocks up 27.6 grams of protein per serving.
21. Peanut Butter Protein Balls – these little bites are simple to make, call for just three ingredients, and keep in the fridge for several days, making them the perfect breakfast for commuters. Three balls should provide 24 grams of protein.
22. Simple Vegan Omelet – a hearty, savory, fluffy and delicious omelet, this recipe requires just seven ingredients, loads of veggies, and very little culinary skill! With a side of sautéed kale, this delicious meal easily comes in at 20 grams of protein.
23. Chocolate Chia Pudding – containing just five ingredients, including chia seeds and hemp protein, this pudding is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast. Each serving contains 20 grams of protein, plus more if you top it with fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds.
24. Cinnamon Roll Protein Smoothie – a simple smoothie that tastes just like a cinnamon roll, yet contains just five healthy ingredients. This creamy shake provides almost 25 grams of protein per serving.
25. Smoked Salmon and Herb Cream Cheese Bagel – although more indulgent than other meals listed here, at 629 calories this breakfast is ideal for special occasions. Made with a whole wheat bagel, sliced smoked salmon, cream cheese, and herbs, it packs in over 23 grams of protein.
26. Braised Kale Frittata and a Side of Turkey Bacon – this easy baked braised kale frittata makes a welcome change to the usual breakfast omelet. With eggs, egg white, cheese, tomatoes, kale, and herbs, it’s a tasty dish that clocks up 16 grams of protein. Add an ounce of turkey bacon to your plate and you’ll soon have reached 20 grams.
27. Chickpea Pancake – this gluten-free and vegan meal is based on an Indian classic. Blend besan (chickpea) flour with spices and cook it until golden. Topped with sautéed mushrooms and kale, and a couple of tablespoons of hummus, this filling breakfast hits 20 grams of protein.
28. Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats – this five ingredient recipe for healthy, protein-packed chocolate oats tastes like a cross between hot chocolate and fudgy brownies! It also boasts almost 22 grams of protein, without the use of protein powders.