If you've ever left home in the morning with nothing but a piece of buttered toast in your stomach, you know just how important eating protein at breakfast is. If the first meal of the day isn't rich in the nutrient, you're sure to feel ravenous before you even get to the office. Not only does protein keep you feeling good and full until lunch because it takes longer to digest than carbs (looking at you, buttered toast), but it also helps kickstart your body, contributing some of the energy it needs after a night of rest.
There are plenty of ways to easily get your dose of protein in the morning without having to try too hard — and while eggs are always a good idea, they aren't your only option. Here are 20 recipes to get you going.
First, What Is Protein, and What Does It Do for You?
We're hitting the beginner basics of protein this month in our Protein 101 series. When we talk about high-protein and complete sources of protein, these things have specific meanings outlined below.
- Master the basics of protein with our primer: Protein 101: What Is Protein and What Does It Do for Our Bodies?
- And if you want to look at a well-balanced day (not just breakfast), check this out: 10 Ways to Eat Your Daily Protein
20 Ways to Eat More Protein for Breakfast
Reach for the Eggs
It's a well-known fact that eggs are a great source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains all nine essential amino acids — aka compounds that help our bodies build muscle, tissue, and more — while an incomplete protein only has some of the nine, which means you aren't getting as rich of a protein punch when you eat them.
Just one large egg has six grams of protein, which is 12 percent of your recommended intake based on a 2,000-calorie diet. They also happen to be a breakfast favorite, whether they're simply scrambled, stuffed into a sandwich, or fried and added to your bowl of oatmeal.
- Savory Miso Breakfast Oatmeal
- Avocado and Egg Breakfast Pizza
- Breakfast Baked Potato
- Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Quesadilla
- Kale, Bacon & Egg Whole-Wheat Breakfast Sandwich
- Freeze-Ahead Breakfast Burritos with Chorizo & Cheese
- Savory Breakfast Toaster Tarts
- Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Greek Yogurt & Greens
Spoon Up Some Yogurt
Yogurt is another breakfast staple that's high in complete protein — especially the Greek variety, which can have up to double the amount of protein that regular yogurt does. A cup of full-fat Greek yogurt contains a whopping 20 grams of protein — 40 percent of your daily recommended intake!
- Baklava Breakfast Parfaits
- Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles
- Smoothie Breakfast Bowl with Berries & Granola
- Key Lime Smoothie Bowls
- Breakfast Banana Split with Yogurt and Jam
- Honey-Yogurt Avocado Toast
- Yogurt Swirled with Peanut Butter, Honey, and Graham Crackers
Pick Something Vegan-Friendly
Whether you're vegan or just looking for additional ways to get a protein boost beyond meat and dairy, there are lots of ways to do so. Ingredients like quinoa, tofu, and chia seeds are easy to bring to the breakfast table and are great picks, as they are complete protein sources for vegans.