17 Tasty Vegan Breakfast Recipes High in Protein

Get vegan nutrition right by packing your breakfast with protein and other vital nutrients.
Image Credit: SharafMaksumov/iStock/GettyImages

A vegan diet is not only good for our bodies but animal welfare and Mother Earth can benefit from your plant-forward endeavors, too. Still, many believe that going vegan means coming up short on certain nutrients — especially protein.

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When done right, a plant-only diet can meet all of your dietary needs (yes, even protein). And while we once thought vegans had to "combine" or eat "complementing proteins" at each and every meal to get all of their essential amino acids, we've since learned that this just isn't true, as explained by the American Society for Nutrition.

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It turns out all plant foods contain at least some of each essential amino acid — they just might be limited in certain ones. With plant-based diets, lysine is the most limited amino acid, but you can find it in legumes. On the other hand, legumes are lower in the amino acid methionine, which is found in grains, nuts and seeds.

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So, the takeaway: If you eat a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day, rather than at every meal, you should be able to meet all of your amino acid needs.

Eating a well-balanced vegan diet takes some planning at first, but not having to focus on combining proteins at each and every meal definitely makes it easier. Go for these vegan breakfast recipes that provide an array of plant proteins, along with other specific nutrients vegans should eat, as a great way to start your day.

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1. Vegan Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese

On the weekends, turn this into a make-it-yourself breakfast bar with all of the fixings: red onions (you can try them pickled, too), capers, cucumbers and fresh dill or chives.
  • 16 grams of protein

There's nothing like a chewy bagel with creamy schmear. To make it vegan, swap in a cashew- and bean-based spread for cream cheese to slash the saturated fat and bump up the fiber and protein. Omit the big New York-style bagel (which is equivalent to eating 4 1/2 slices of white bread!) and go for a whole-grain English muffin instead.

By combining the grains from the English muffin and the cannellini beans in the spread, you'll have a nice balance of essential amino acids to start your day. Cannellini beans are also a good source of iron, a nutrient vegans usually don't get enough of.

Instead of real lox, this recipe calls for tomato-based lox that still carries that sharp, smoky flavor thanks to smoked paprika and liquid smoke.

Get the Vegan Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Cherry-Kamut Porridge

Using pea or soy milk adds a dose of lysine, offering a balance of plant proteins to this grain-based breakfast.
  • 18 grams of protein

Kamut is an ancient grain that hails from Egypt and provides 10 grams of protein per cup cooked — that's more than quinoa! It also offers a thicker, chewier texture than most porridges, which pairs well with sweet cherries and crunchy, omega-3-rich walnuts. Vegans especially miss out on omega-3s given they do not eat seafood, so this is a great way to get more of those healthy fats in.

Grains like Kamut are higher in the essential amino acid methionine but are lower in lysine. So, using pea or soy milk lends your recipe a creamy texture, but also adds about 8 grams of protein with a dose of lysine. Just be sure to look for unsweetened pea or soy milk to keep the added sugar content low.

Get the Cherry-Kamut Porridge recipe and nutrition info here.

3. Spicy Breakfast Burrito

Beans, sprouted grains and tofu all add a mix of plant-proteins to this breakfast.
  • 23 grams of protein

Thanks to its handheld nature, this breakfast is for anyone who doesn't have time in the morning to sit down and fuel up (sound familiar?). These burritos can be made in advance and frozen, so you can simply grab one and dash out the door any day of the week.

Using a sprouted-grain tortilla in place of a regular flour tortilla increases the protein content by 50 percent. And sneaking in pinto beans and tofu in place of the eggs keeps the protein content high.

Top the burrito with a bit of sliced avocado for a breakfast that's balanced in carbohydrates, protein and fat, which will help keep you satiated all morning long.

Get the Spicy Breakfast Burrito recipe and nutrition info here.

4. Savory Protein Breakfast Bowl

This bowl has a large mix of plant-based proteins and amino acids from the wild rice, edamame, hemp seeds, and tahini.
  • 26 grams of protein

Thanks to their easy-to-throw-together nature, bowls are still trending in the food world. And that's because you really can't go wrong if you follow this template: Grain, high-quality protein, greens, veggies, fun toppings and a zippy dressing.

This breakfast bowl combines a variety of plant proteins from the wild rice, edamame, hemp seeds and sesame seeds in the tahini. One tablespoon of tahini provides some iron and zinc — two nutrients vegans should be aware of in their diets.

Get the Savory Protein Breakfast Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.

5. Overnight Chia Oats

Pea protein has lysine which helps add a mix of amino acids to this oat-based breakfast.
  • 16 grams of protein

Overnight oats get a protein and fiber upgrade with chia seeds, which also lend this morning meal a thicker, pudding-like texture.

But when it comes to seeds, why stop there? Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega-3s for plant-based eaters, but they're also a secret weapon for adding more protein to your diet without altering the taste of your recipe too much.

Using non-dairy pea milk adds lysine to help provide a balance of essential amino acids. Add fresh (or frozen) apricots for some much-needed tartness to the otherwise mellow base. And while you can use any fruit, apricots are especially loaded with vitamins A and C, per the USDA.

Get the Overnight Chia Oats recipe and nutrition info here.

6. Tex-Mex Vegan Breakfast Hash

This Tex-Mex spin proves tofu doesn't have to be boring.
  • 13 grams of protein

Breakfast hash is a classic and customizable option for your morning fuel. Traditional breakfast hash is made with potatoes, but this Tex-Mex take on the dish replaces potatoes with firm tofu.

To add even more protein, try adding an additional plant-based meat substitute and your favorite veggies for a heartier version.

Get the​ ​Tex-Mex Vegan Breakfast Hash recipe and nutrition info here.

7. Chia Almond Date Smoothie

This chia almond date smoothie is full of healthy fats.
  • 12 grams of protein

Chia seeds deserve all of the hype for a reason — they're full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Try swapping out flax seeds for chia seeds in your morning smoothie. This chia almond date smoothie is a little sweet and nutty thanks to the dates and a nut butter of your choosing. It's sure to help you satisfy a sweet tooth and keep you full.

Get the Chia Almond Date Smoothie​ ​recipe and nutrition info here.

8. Vegan Curry Sunrise Scramble

This isn't your usual breakfast scramble, thanks to the spicy curry.
  • 16 grams of protein

Breakfast scrambles are a wonderful option when you need to use up leftover ingredients that are just hanging out in your fridge.

This vegan version uses firm tofu and fresh spinach and is rich in flavor and spice, thanks to curry paste. While this recipe uses medium-hot curry you can make it as hot or as mild as you like and throw in extra vegetables to make it even more nutritious.

Get the​ ​Vegan Curry Sunrise Scramble recipe and nutrition info here.

9. Sweet Potato Protein Hash

Sweet potatoes are more than just a side dish — they're also a nutritious breakfast option.
  • 13 grams of protein

You can prep this sweet potato hash in a big batch ahead of time. Just combine the sweet potatoes with spices and olive oil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need them.

Once you warm them up, add your favorite plant-based protein (this version uses extra-firm tofu).

Get the​ ​Sweet Potato Protein Hash recipe and nutrition info here.

10. Vegan Chocolate Nut Shake With Sea Salt

Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please.
  • 11 grams of protein

Chocolate and peanut butter are a delicious duo. This vegan chocolate nut shake with sea salt will remind you of your favorite candy, except it's full of the nutrients you need. Hemp seeds and peanut butter provide heart-healthy fats and a punch of protein.

Get the​ ​Vegan Chocolate Nut Shake With Sea Salt recipe and nutrition info here.

11. Charred Vegan Portobello 'Steak' Breakfast Sandwich

This creamy and savory breakfast sandwich will become your go-to morning meal.
  • 14 grams of protein

You can still enjoy a great breakfast sandwich if you're on a vegan diet (or just taking a break from meat). This charred vegan portobello "steak" breakfast sandwich is creamy, savory and a little bit tart. It combines creamy vegan cashew cheese with a pan-charred portobello mushroom cap and lemony-dressed baby arugula.

Get the Charred Vegan Portobello 'Steak' Breakfast Sandwich recipe and nutrition info here.

12. Savory Vegan Zucchini Oatmeal

Now's your chance to give savory oatmeal a try.
  • 15 grams of protein

Give your usual (and sweet) oatmeal toppings a break with this savory vegan zucchini oatmeal. It features zucchini, dill and hemp seeds to make your morning bowl of oatmeal even better.

Get the Savory Vegan Zucchini Oatmeal recipe and nutrition info here.

13. Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Smoothie

This chocolate raspberry vegan smoothie can be breakfast, a snack or dessert.
  • 12 grams of protein

This chocolate-raspberry vegan smoothie makes for a rich-tasting breakfast, snack or dessert. By reducing the amount of liquid used, you can turn it into a spoonable mousse. You can also customize it with your favorite non-dairy milk.

Get the Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.

14. Mushroom and Tomato Tofu Scramble

You can make this mushroom and tomato tofu scramble in under 15 minutes.
  • 12 grams of protein

Breakfast scrambles are reliable and the ingredient options are limitless. This mushroom and tomato tofu scramble can be made in 15 minutes and can be flavored to your liking by adding all of the spices that you love.

Get the Mushroom and Tomato Tofu Scramble recipe and nutrition info here.

15. Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

This dragon fruit smoothie bowl isn't just photogenic — it's also full of satiating protein and fiber.
  • 14 grams of protein

This dragonfruit smoothie bowl is as pretty as it is tasty. The beautiful, bright-pink hue comes from antioxidant-rich dragonfruit and raspberries. Top it with your favorite fruit and seeds, and you'll get your morning dose of protein plus 23 grams of fiber.

Get the Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.

16. Protein Blended Coffee

Get your morning helping of caffeine and protein all-in-one.
  • 22 grams of protein

What if your morning cup of coffee could help keep you full in the morning? Turn your coffee into a protein shake by blending frozen banana, espresso, non-dairy milk and your favorite plant-based protein powder. Consider this your all-in-one breakfast and caffeine fix.

Get the Protein Blended Coffee recipe and nutrition info here.

17. Simple Vegan Tofu Scramble

This vegan tofu scramble is just tofu and spices — the perfect base to add your favorite veggies.
  • 8 grams of protein

This simple vegan tofu scramble is true to its name and only takes 10 minutes to prepare. All you need is soft tofu and oregano. Since the recipe is minimal, feel free to add additional spices, vegetables and another source of plant-based protein.

Get the Simple Vegan Tofu Scramble recipe and nutrition info here.

Additional reporting by Tiffany Curtis.

Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

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