39 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas To Start Your Day in 2024

Published on July 1, 2024 | 0 Comments
high protein breakfast

It’s well-known that breakfast is the day’s most important meal, so you should prioritize having a high-protein breakfast every morning. The food you start your morning with can have an impact on the rest of the day as well as your overall health. Most people think of protein as a way to build and maintain muscles. This can lead some people away from having a lot of protein in their meals. However, protein is an essential part of a healthy diet.  Even if you aren’t looking to lose weight or gain muscle, a high-protein breakfast is great for your health.

A protein-rich breakfast can help improve your brain function throughout the day, enhancing focus and concentration. There are so many ways to infuse protein into your morning meal. You won’t have to eat the same foods over and over again since there are a variety of ingredients that are rich in protein. We’ve rounded up the 39 best high-protein breakfast foods for you to try.

 

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What Is a High-Protein Breakfast?

There are a few ingredients that you’ll often see in a high-protein breakfast. Healthy sources of protein include eggs, nuts, legumes and some grains. You can also find protein in lean meats, fish and dairy. You’ll see many high-protein breakfast recipes that use almonds, peanuts and other nuts or nut butter. Quinoa, lentils and pumpkin seeds are often commonly included. For meats, lean beef, turkey, chicken and fish like salmon and cod are often used. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are popular dairy foods for protein-rich breakfasts. These ingredients can be used in both savory and sweet protein-packed breakfasts and also allow you to get creative with the dishes you whip up. So, if you have been researching how to start eating healthy, don’t be afraid when sources suggest adding protein to your diet, especially with morning meals. 

Packing your diet with protein is essential for weight-lifters and those looking to gain muscle, however, they’re not the only people who should consume protein. It’s also good for losing weight because it helps you feel fuller for longer and prevents snacking and cravings. A balance of protein in your diet can also help regulate blood sugar and prevent you from crashes. And since it slows sugar release, it can also be good for keeping blood pressure lower. So, if you’re looking to have a healthier diet, adding some high-protein breakfast ideas to your morning routine is a great place to start.

A high-protein breakfast spread.
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The 39 Best High-Protein Breakfast Foods

1. Peanut Butter on Toast

One of the most simple high-protein breakfast options is peanut butter on toast. It’s a simple meal that most people can make since it's a kitchen staple. Peanut butter on toast is also a good option if you’re looking for a quick option to have on the go. Peanut butter has about eight grams of protein per two tablespoons. You may also want to use peanut butter with no added sugar to ensure it’s a healthy meal all around. Using wholewheat, wholegrain or multigrain bread for the toast can also boost this meal's protein.

Peanut butter on toast.
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2. Greek Yogurt With Nuts and Seeds

Greek yogurt is a perfect choice for a high-protein breakfast. With about 17 grams per one container as well as some healthy fats, it’s a good way to start your day off right. What’s also great about Greek yogurt is that it can be a blank slate, allowing you to add ingredients to customize it into a high-protein breakfast that fits your tastes. Add walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. With all the toppings, Greek yogurt can also be one of the most delicious high-protein snacks during the day.

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3. Breakfast Burrito

If you prefer a savory high-protein breakfast, whip yourself up a breakfast burrito. Use a high-protein tortilla for the base and consider adding eggs or egg whites, turkey or chorizo sausage and cottage cheese or shredded cheese. These high-protein ingredients can help you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less likely to snack or eat larger portions throughout the day. You can also make a vegan breakfast burrito with ingredients like potatoes, tofu and chickpeas.

If you prefer a savory high-protein breakfast, whip yourself up a breakfast burrito.
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4. Avocado on Toast

Avocado toast is a classic option for a high-protein breakfast. A whole avocado has about three grams of protein. While this doesn’t have a ton of protein on its own, the ingredients you add can make avocado on toast one of the best high-protein breakfast foods. Use wholegrain bread as the base to give a boost of protein. Top it with tomatoes, spinach, onions and other vegetables for fiber and flavor. You can also add smoked salmon or eggs for a hearty, high-protein touch.

5. Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

If you’re looking for a high-protein breakfast you can make quickly, a peanut butter and banana smoothie is a good option. It’s as simple as it sounds: two bananas and a half cup of peanut butter. You’ll also want to use milk to smooth it out or swap it with almond, cashew or coconut milk to make it vegan. Chia seeds and flax seeds can add texture and adding a scoop of protein powder can really maximize this high-protein breakfast.

Banana smoothie
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6. Cottage Cheese on an English Muffin

Toast an English muffin and top it with cottage cheese for a quick weekday high-protein breakfast. A wholewheat English muffin can give a few extra grams of protein over a white one. This is a blank-slate breakfast that you can season in the way you want. Consider everything bagel seasoning, red chile flakes or cinnamon for a unique twist on the classic. Alternatively, add nuts, dried fruit or seeds to this high-protein breakfast for a welcome dose of texture and crunch.

7. Chicken, Spinach and Mozzarella Breakfast Skillet

A great high-protein breakfast for the weekend is a breakfast skillet. Shredded potatoes and eggs make a great base of a skillet cooked over the stove. Add in some diced or shredded chicken, spinach and shredded mozzarella for a meal packed with protein. You can also use pork or turkey sausage in place of chicken or tofu for a vegetarian or vegan option. Peppers and onion add great texture and you can add flavor with spices like chile powder or paprika.

Homemade Hearty Breakfast Skillet with Potatoes and Bacon
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8. Pesto Eggs

Eggs are one of the best foods for a high-protein breakfast. However, it can get tiring eating them over and over again. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways to make eggs, ensuring they taste like new every time you have them. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy eggs, consider pesto eggs. The recipe involves cooking eggs in pesto and serving it with avocado and toast. It’s a delicious option and with a sprinkle of red chile flakes, it can have a little kick to it as well.

9. Shakshuka

If you’re looking for healthy options in your pursuit of high-protein breakfast inspiration, turn to the Mediterranean. These dishes are often simple, delicious and healthy. Shakshuka is a Maghrebi dish that’s becoming incredibly popular. Poached eggs are one of the main ingredients, which makes it a high-protein breakfast option. The eggs are poached in a tomato sauce with peppers, onion and garlic, seasoned with paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.

Poached eggs are one of the main ingredients in shakshuka, which makes it a high-protein breakfast option.
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10. Homemade Granola With Greek Yogurt

An easy, high-protein breakfast ingredient is homemade granola. Use rolled oats and protein-packed nuts to create your homemade granola, flavored with coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. With homemade granola, you can also add your own ingredients like dried fruits, chocolate chips and coconut flakes. There are also recipes for gluten-free granola that have just as much protein packed in them. You can eat the granola on its own or add it on top of Greek yogurt which has a higher protein content than regular yogurt due to the straining process that removes more liquid.

11. Chia Pudding

Chia pudding uses a yogurt base, with added ingredients that make it feel like a brand-new kind of high-protein breakfast. What’s even better about it is that you can prepare it at night and it’ll be ready for you to eat in the morning. All you have to do is whisk it all together and leave it overnight. The recipe includes chia seeds, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, canned coconut milk, maple syrup and your choice of toppings like fruit, coconut chips and nuts. 

Chia pudding with yogurt base.
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12. Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Smoked salmon has 25 grams of protein per cup, so it’s a great ingredient to use in a high-protein breakfast. Use a wholewheat bagel or wholegrain bread as the base. Add in other high-protein ingredients like spinach and eggs to give it an extra protein boost. You can easily assemble this sandwich in the morning and eat it on the go. This breakfast idea doesn’t require a lot of cooking, either, as all you have to prepare are the eggs. 

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13. Breakfast Salad

Salads aren’t often considered a breakfast food. However, making a salad is a great way to have a high-protein breakfast. Salads are packed with greens, which provide tons of protein as well as other nutrients. Top yours with eggs, quinoa, wholewheat croutons and other vegetables for flavor and even more protein. Salads are more of a sit-down meal, so it’s ideal if you have a little more time in the morning to enjoy your first meal of the day. 

Making a salad is a great way to have a high-protein breakfast.
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14. Black Bean Omelette

Black beans have about eight grams of protein per half cup, so they’re a great ingredient for a savory high-protein breakfast. Add them to an omelette with feta cheese and avocado, ingredients that are also high-protein breakfast foods. With a little cumin and pico de gallo for taste, you’ll have a delicious Tex-Mex-flavored omelette. Plus, this flavor-packed vegetarian breakfast is sure to please guests for a weekend brunch or a weekday breakfast if you have a little more time.

15. Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal

If you’re looking for a sweeter and more classic high-protein breakfast, oatmeal with peanut butter and banana is a great option. Oatmeal has about six grams per cup and peanut butter has about four grams per tablespoon. If you want to ensure this is a healthy option, be sure to use peanut butter and oatmeal that doesn’t have any added sugar. Top the oatmeal with slices of banana and nuts or seeds for crunch.

A classic high-protein breakfast, oatmeal with peanut butter and banana is a great option.
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16. Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

If you’re looking for a sweet and savory high-protein breakfast, try a turkey and sweet potato hash with pan-fried diced sweet potatoes, turkey sausage and peppers, topped with over-easy eggs. This is an easy meal to prepare at the beginning of the week and reheat for future mornings as long as you leave off the egg before storing.

17. Ham, Cheese and Mushroom Omelette

Another omelette option that provides a high-protein breakfast is an omelette with diced ham, Gruyere cheese and mushrooms. This is a classic breakfast option that will always be a delight. It’s a great high-protein, low-calorie dish that will fill you up for the morning. This omelette is easy to whip up quickly before starting your day and you can customize it by adding different vegetables such as spinach, arugula and peppers.

A high-protein breakfast is a healthy omelette.
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18. Frittatas

Frittatas are another egg-based, high-protein breakfast option. They’re similar to a quiche without the crust and are easy to make in the morning. For meat options, Andouille chicken sausage, shredded turkey and diced ham are good ways to add flavor and protein. Add spinach, artichoke and chickpeas, all of which are high in protein. You can experiment with the flavors and make something new every time you cook this dish.

19. Poached Egg and Vegetable Flatbread

Flatbreads are usually seen as more of a lunch food but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy one as a high-protein breakfast. Use wholemeal flatbread or find one that has a higher protein count. Poach an egg and then top the flatbread with broccoli, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and a variety of seeds. Bake the flatbread to warm it up and then top it with the poached egg. 

Poached Egg and Vegetable Flatbread
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20. Blueberry Compôte Porridge

Porridge has a variety of whole grains, which makes it a great ingredient for a high-protein breakfast. You can easily make your own porridge by mixing oats with milk or water or purchase a store-bought version to save time. To prepare the blueberry compôte, heat blueberries in a pan with water and honey, then spoon it over the porridge for a high-protein and high-fiber breakfast.

21. Vegan Spinach Omelette

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite dishes or that you can’t have a high-protein breakfast. Use chickpea flour and nutritional yeast to make your own egg substitute. You can also purchase a store-bought egg substitute if you want to save time. Like other omelettes, these can be customized into a variety of high-protein breakfast ideas. Spinach and mushroom is a classic combination that will keep you full all morning and you can add in tofu for even more protein. 

A spinach omelette can be customized into a variety of high-protein breakfast ideas.
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22. Egg, Spinach and Cheddar on an English Muffin

English muffins are a great base for breakfast. This blank slate will allow you to customize a high-protein breakfast sandwich. Make eggs your way, top with cheddar cheese and spinach, then layer onto the English muffin. You can also experiment with different sauces to bring new flavors to the sandwich. Hot sauce can add spice or opt for a creamy dressing.

23. Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Granola

Classic, easy and always delicious, Greek yogurt is the perfect high-protein breakfast for practically any occasion. It can be great to eat on the go, at your desk or just hanging out at home. Dress up plain yogurt with granola, oats or nuts and add a little sweetness with fruit. Use either fresh or dried fruit, whichever is your preference. Go traditional with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries or tropical with papaya, pineapple and guava. You can get creative with your fruit combinations, so don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Granola
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24. Overnight Oats

Overnight oats continue to be popular and for good reason. They’re a great high-protein breakfast because you can prepare them the night before and enjoy the results in the morning. Overnight oats are a blank slate recipe that you can make your own. Add in fresh or dried fruit, nuts or nut butter for flavor and more protein. Stick your combination in the fridge and enjoy the next day.

25. Steak and Eggs

If you’re looking for a savory and traditional high-protein breakfast, steak and eggs is up there with the best. Use a cut of lean beef and grill it until tender and juicy, then prepare some eggs and season with salt and pepper. Serve the steak and eggs with grilled tomatoes and a chimichurri sauce. High in protein and definitely delicious, this meal is sure to become a go-to for your weekend breakfasts.

If you’re looking for a savory and traditional high-protein breakfast, steak and eggs is the best option.
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26. Congee With Soy Eggs

Get inspired by world cuisine and make congee for a high-protein breakfast. This is a porridge made by boiling rice until it has softened. It's a great savory option for breakfast, especially topped with shredded chicken, green onions and eggs. The eggs are cooked with soy sauce and the meal is served with a drizzle of sriracha, making it one of the most flavorful options for a protein-packed breakfast.

27. Asparagus, Leek and Ricotta Frittata

Another frittata for a high-protein breakfast. You can chop up asparagus and leeks and mix them in with ricotta for a creamy frittata that has a little bit of crunch from the vegetables. Frittatas are easy to make and reheat in the oven for later in the week. So, if you’re looking to meal-prep your breakfast, consider making a frittata. Pair it with spinach and sourdough bread for a super-satisfying breakfast.

Ceramic bowl with vegetable frittata, simple vegetarian food. Frittata with egg, pepper, green onions and cheese.
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28. Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta adds richness to pancakes, making it a delicious option for a high-protein breakfast. To make a protein-packed pancake, use yogurt and ricotta. Add in fresh blueberries or a blueberry compôte and a little lemon zest and you’ll have a breakfast that feels decadent but is actually relatively healthy. Blueberry-ricotta pancakes are sure to be a hit for weekend meals to keep you full and fueled all day.

29. Egg and Spinach Quesadilla

Quesadillas are another lunch food you can give the high-protein breakfast treatment. Use a high-protein tortilla as the base of this recipe. Cheddar and Colby cheese make a good filling, especially when combined with eggs and spinach for flavor and added protein. Black beans and avocado are also excellent additions. Cumin, chile powder and paprika will season it well and you can serve it with some hot sauce for a bit of spice.

A high-protein breakfast is a quesadilla.
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30. Brownie Batter Overnight Oats

A high-protein breakfast that feels like dessert? Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? Overnight oats that taste just like brownie batter are the perfect way to start your day on a sweet note. This breakfast uses Greek yogurt, almond butter, almond milk and chia seeds as the base which provides the protein. Then cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract help make it taste just like a brownie.

31. Melon, Mango and Avocado Smoothie

Quick and easy smoothies are the perfect high-protein breakfast for busy mornings. You just have to blend up a few ingredients, pour it into a cup and enjoy it on-the-go. Smoothies are also a good, sneaky way to get a lot of protein at the start of your day. Use cantaloupe or honeydew melon, add mango and avocado along with Greek yogurt, low-fat or nut milk to loosen it. You could even add in some pineapple, and who knows? This medley of flavors might just become your new favorite.

Melon, Mango and Avocado Smoothie
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32. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast

Sometimes a high-protein breakfast can be simple. If you need a quick meal for a busy morning or a day you sleep past your alarm, peanut butter and banana toast can be a reliable option. Use wholewheat or sourdough bread, which often have more protein compared to other options. Spread it with a low-sugar or no added-sugar peanut butter and top it with banana slices. A drizzle of honey can add a little more sweetness and whole peanuts can add some crunch.

33. Huevos Rancheros

Start the day with a savory, Mexican high-protein breakfast. This dish has corn tortillas topped with beans and fried eggs, which add in a lot of the protein. Fresh salsa, queso fresco, diced potatoes and ham are also often served with this dish and also bring in some extra protein. Plus, these ingredients offer numerous health benefits, including improving cholesterol levels, making this breakfast option a great way to start the day.

Huevos Rancheros
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34. Cauliflower Eggs Benedict

Add cauliflower to a classic eggs Benedict to create a high-protein breakfast. Adding chard and a yogurt-based sauce also helps boost the protein content of this meal. This breakfast is a little more involved, so it’s a great recipe for weekend brunches when you have a little more time to cook. However, after cooking it, cauliflower eggs Benedict will become one of your favorite meals. 

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35. Breakfast Naan Pizza

Pizza can be a high-protein breakfast option if you know how to prepare it right. Use wholewheat naan as the crust and top with ricotta cheese and marinara sauce. A sprinkle of grated Parmesan and an egg baked until bubbling make this a delicious, protein-packed first meal. It’s relatively easy to assemble and quick to cook, so you can easily start your day with something nutritious.

Naan pizza can be a high-protein breakfast option if you know how to prepare it right.
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36. Egg and Cheese in Bell Pepper Cups

Cut peppers in half to create cups and fill with egg, a sprinkle of grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Once you bake this high-protein breakfast, you’ll have a simple and delicious meal to enjoy. The peppers are also portable, so it’s a great high-protein breakfast to eat on the go. Filled pepper cups can be prepped early in the week and reheated for a quick meal.

37. Spinach, Egg and Bacon Breakfast Tacos

Your favorite lunch and dinner food transformed into a high-protein breakfast, breakfast tacos will fill you up and satisfy your tastebuds. Fill tortillas with scrambled eggs, crumbled pork or turkey bacon, fresh spinach and feta for a flavorful twist. This breakfast dish can be portable, so take it on the go and start your day off healthily.

Breakfast Tacos with Hashbrowns, Eggs and Bacon
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38. Oatmeal with Tomato and Sausage

Oatmeal doesn’t always have to be sweet. In fact, it's a great high-protein breakfast for those who prefer something savory. Make traditional, unsweetened plain oatmeal to serve as the base, then mix in herbs and spices to add tons of flavor. Top the oatmeal with diced tomatoes, greens and turkey sausage for protein and discover a unique way to enjoy this classic dish.

39. Sweet Potato, Sausage and Apple Casserole

You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy the flavors of the holiday. This high-protein breakfast features all the best of the season with sweet potato, crisp apples and turkey sausage. Top it with toasted sourdough or wholewheat bread and bake for a little crunch. You can make an entire dish of this casserole and reheat it for breakfast each morning. You may even want it for lunch and dinner.

This high-protein breakfast features all the best of the season with sweet potato, crisp apples and turkey sausage.
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Learn To Make High-Protein Breakfast Dishes

If you’re inspired by these high-protein breakfast ideas, you can learn how to make more with cooking classes near you. Taught by expert chefs, you’ll learn recipes for your favorite dishes and new world cuisines. You'll also pick up master chef-approved techniques that will help elevate all your future dishes. Alternatively, if you can't make one in person, online cooking classes also allow you to make delicious meals in the comfort of your own home. The skills you learn in these classes can benefit everything you cook.

Enjoying a high-protein breakfast in the morning can be both delicious and nutritious. Foods that are high in protein are a great way to start the day since they’ll help you focus, keep you from crashing and help you maintain low blood sugar and low blood pressure. High-protein meals are also ideal for a healthy body. Whether you’re trying to gain muscle, lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, protein is an essential part of a diet. Get inspired by these high-protein breakfast ideas and try a few of your own!

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