Are you working towards a weight loss goal and seeing no results? What about starting an exercise routine and seeing no gains? Well, you’ll probably see the most success by starting off your day with a high-protein breakfast. Adding more protein to your diet will not only improve the quality of your calorie intake, but it can also train your body to burn calories faster. In fact, one study found that participants who ate a high-protein breakfast with just 12 grams of protein lost more weight than the group that consumed a low-protein breakfast.
To reap the same weight loss benefits, we discuss the benefits of a high-protein breakfast, the best protein breakfast foods, and high-protein breakfast recipes that all have more than 12 grams of protein per meal.
The benefits of eating a high-protein breakfast
What kind of benefits are you looking at when you start your day with a protein-packed meal? For starters, protein is filling. As your body breaks down protein into amino acids, one of these amino acids (phenylalanine) triggers an increase in levels of the gut hormone peptide YY. This hormone then sends a signal to the brain that you’ve eaten your fill, enhancing satiety as well as promoting weight loss.
That’s not all. Protein also slows down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, which helps keep blood sugar levels even-keeled. Not only does this reduce hunger, but it also wards off fat storage to help you get toned.
The best foods for a high-protein breakfast
The best high-protein breakfasts start with protein-rich foods. Our recipes below feature high-protein breakfast foods such as:
- lean pork or chicken sausage
- turkey bacon
- black beans
- Greek yogurt
- cottage cheese
- nut butters
- protein powder
Read on to discover nearly three weeks worth of mouthwatering high-protein breakfasts that deliver exactly what your body needs for breakfast. Combine that with these best-ever ways to boost your metabolism and you’ll reach your body goals in no time!
1. Greek Yogurt Parfait
Protein Punch: 24 grams
You’ll Need: 2% Plain Greek Yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries, sugar, mint leaves, granola
Not only is this recipe great for breakfast, but it’s so decadent, you could even enjoy it for dessert! The protein in this recipe comes from two sources: the homemade granola contains 4 grams of protein per serving while 7 ounces of Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein.
2. Black Bean Omelet
Protein Payout: 24 grams
You’ll Need: Black beans, eggs, feta cheese, salsa, avocado, cumin, lime, hot sauce, salt, pepper
Use up that can of black beans and benefit from their high-protein content with this easy-to-make southwest omelet. This recipe makes about four servings, so if you’re just cooking for one, simply prep the ingredients and cook an omelet in the morning to start your day on the right food. To reap the most flab-incinerating benefits, be sure to consume the entire egg—not just the whites. The yellow is filled with choline, a nutrient that has been proven to reduce body fat and BMI.
3. Plant-Based Cashew Butter & Raspberry Smoothie
Protein Punch: 15 grams
You’ll Need: Frozen raspberries, cottage cheese, cashew butter, Pacific Foods Cashew Original Plant-Based Beverage, a scoop of protein powder for weight loss
Yep, you can have your favorite childhood sandwich without the bread! This satiating smoothie is a great on-the-go breakfast option that’s reminiscent of a PB&J sandwich. It packs a powerful punch of protein, fiber, essential fats, and vital nutrients that support good health. Not to mention, berries are one of the best sources of polyphenols—a group of fat-blocking compounds.
4. Breakfast Pizza
Protein Punch: 30 grams
You’ll Need: Eggs, ham, whole wheat English muffins, salsa, butter, low-fat jack or cheddar cheese
Start with the ultimate breakfast bread—the fiber-dense whole-wheat English muffin—as your base and salsa as your sauce, then add eggs, ham, and cheese for flavor, substance, and plenty of protein. It beats an 800-calorie breakfast sandwich any day, and you get to tell everyone you know that you had pizza for breakfast.
5. Breakfast Bento Box
Protein Punch: 22 grams
You’ll Need: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 ounce almonds, berries, cucumbers
If you don’t like to eat first thing in the morning, a bento box is a great option. It allows you to graze through the early hours and offers up a solid dose of energy. Simply pack up a hard-boiled egg, a half a cup of cottage cheese (with some cucumbers for dipping), a half an ounce of almonds, and a side of berries to hit the nutritional mark.
6. Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Protein Punch: 18 grams
You’ll Need: Frozen banana, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, flax seeds, almond milk, plant-based protein powder
Skip the pumpkin spice latte and whip up this filling smoothie. Protein powder does most of the heavy lifting in this high-protein breakfast.
7. Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Protein Punch: 24 grams
You’ll Need: Greek yogurt, Ezekiel bread, capers, red onion, baby greens, tomato, smoked salmon, salt and pepper
Instead of scarfing down a 400-calorie bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, switch to a slice of protein-filled Ezekiel Bread (it has 4 grams of protein per slice) that’s smothered with Greek yogurt and topped with your favorite bagel toppings—including smoked salmon! This simple yet tasty combo will give you 24 grams of protein for a fraction of the calories! It doesn’t get much better than that.
8. Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Protein Punch: 21 grams
You’ll Need: Frozen blueberries, sugar, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, white whole wheat flour, lemon, baking soda, salt
Using yogurt and cottage cheese to make these pancakes does two things: It brings extra protein to the breakfast table, and it helps produce the lightest, moistest pancakes you’ve ever tasted. Plus, once you try this simple and healthy blueberry compote, you’ll never go back to lackluster syrup again. Can you think of any maple syrup that’s grocery or farmer’s market bought that’s also a superfood? Exactly—case closed.
9. Spinach and Ham Quiche
Protein Punch: 10 grams
You’ll Need: Frozen pie shell, olive oil, garlic, spinach, cooked ham, shredded swiss or Gruyère cheese, eggs, milk, half-and-half, salt, nutmeg
The quiche is the ultimate culinary chameleon. Not only can you make it with dozens of different flavor combinations, but it’s also as good for breakfast with a cup of coffee as it is for dinner with a glass of red wine. Plus, between the eggs, the cooked ham, and the shredded cheese, this quiche is protein-packed for your morning.
10. Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal
Protein Punch: 14 grams
You’ll Need: Oats, salt, bananas, peanut butter, almonds, agave syrup
We love this oatmeal with peanut butter and banana recipe for its good-for-you ingredients. It makes a healthy morning meal you can have ready in minutes. Adding two tablespoons of peanut butter to this recipe gives this oatmeal bowl the protein boost you’re looking for in the morning.
11. Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
Protein Punch: 41 grams
You’ll Need: Eggs, milk, chorizo, black beans, shredded taco cheese, avocado, salsa, burrito shells, hot sauce
Breakfast burritos (or breakfast tacos) tend to have the same types of ingredients in it. Scrambled eggs, maybe some small bits of potato, and typically a few slices of bacon. But you know what takes that burrito to the next level? Swapping out the bacon with chorizo. For an even more protein-packed breakfast, choose a high fiber whole grain wrap, like those from Angelic Bakehouse. Their 7-Grain Sprouted Grain wraps are only 100 calories and boast 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
12. Maple-Cashew-Apple Toast
Protein Punch: 5 grams
You’ll Need: Cashew butter, maple syrup, whole wheat bread, red apple, ground cinnamon
Need a quick high-protein breakfast you can throw together before heading out the door? Let nut butter—like cashew butter—do the work for you. Simply spread it on a piece of whole-wheat toast and top with an apple for a sweet and savory breakfast that still gives you that protein boost you’re looking for.
13. Overnight Chia Pudding
Protein Punch: 10 grams
You’ll Need: Chia seeds, coconut milk, nonfat Greek yogurt, maple syrup, salt, fresh mango, coconut chips, macademia nuts
When you’re sick of plain yogurt, try chia pudding. The dish provides an easy, spoonable way to get tons of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. And did we mention there are a ton of different ways to flavor this basic recipe? It practically guarantees you’ll never tire your taste buds.
14. Egg Sandwich With Pastrami and Swiss
Protein Punch: 27 grams
You’ll Need: Butter, pastrami, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, low-fat Swiss cheese, whole-wheat English muffins
While most breakfast sandwiches are filled with protein-packed meat, that doesn’t always mean those ingredient choices are the best in terms of calories or even your daily energy. In this recipe, we choose our ingredients with more care. The combination of pastrami and Swiss has long been confined to the realm of the lunchtime deli counter, but we think it works beautifully with soft scrambled eggs—especially because pastrami trounces both sausage and bacon in the calorie department. Give it a try.
15. Smoked Salmon and Boursin Cheese Frittata
Protein Punch: 16 grams
You’ll Need: Eggs, 2% milk, light sour cream, kosher salt, pepper, diced red onion, light Boursin cheese, smoked salmon, extra-virgin olive oil, chives
It’s no secret that eggs are the classic protein-packing breakfast many people turn to each day to kickstart their morning. While mastering the art of creating the perfect scramble is always commendable, there are plenty of other ways to cook up eggs for an even more filling meal. That’s where our smoked salmon frittata with Boursin cheese comes into play. This recipe is easy to make and ready in just a few minutes.
16. Artichoke Feta Quiche
Protein Punch: 10 grams
You’ll Need: Eggs, 2% milk, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, turkey or chicken sausage, salt, pepper, frozen pie crust
Most quiches suffer the burden of excessive amounts of heavy cream and cheese. This quiche dispenses with the heavy dose of dairy fat and instead gets its flavor and substance from antioxidant-dense sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and lean protein-packed chicken sausage.
17. Savory Chickpea Pancakes
Protein Punch: 20 grams
You’ll Need: Canned chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, yellow onion, rosemary, salt, mushrooms and asparagus
This Italian recipe eschews any sugar in place of a savory take on breakfast. You might call them pancakes, but the Italians call this recipe Farinata. Set your oven to 450 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet with a tablespoon EVOO and half a diced onion to heat up. In a blender, blend a can of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) with a pinch of salt. Once the pan is hot, pour chickpea batter directly into the pan on top of the onions (similar to what you’d do with a Dutch baby pancake). Sprinkle with rosemary and cook for about 10 minutes, turn the broiler on and toast the top for another 3 minutes. When it’s ready, serve with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. One bite and you’ll be whipping up this high-protein breakfast every weekend.
18. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Protein Punch: 12 grams
You’ll Need: Rolled-cut oats, milk, peanut butter, maple syrup, chia seeds
Need an easy protein-packed breakfast for those busy mornings when you’re on-the-go? Overnight oats are perfect for that! This easy peanut butter overnight oats recipe is versatile. Top it with whatever toppings you want—fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and whatever else your heart desires. We have even more options with our list of overnight oat recipes!
19. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast with Chia Seeds
Protein Punch: 22 grams
You’ll Need: Ezekiel toast, peanut butter, chia seeds, honey, banana
Elvis would be proud. Not only does peanut butter’s high protein content help you gain muscle mass, but eating the legume may also help boost your metabolism. To make our favorite sandwich, divide 3 tablespoons of peanut butter between two slices of toast. Top with sliced banana, a teaspoon of chia seeds, and lightly coat with honey. Eat it at home or take it on the go!