Whether you need a satiating breakfast, post-workout nourishment or an afternoon pick-me-up, eggs are a fantastic protein-packed food to incorporate into a healthy diet.
"Eggs contain choline and lutein, compounds that help support brain development and can help prevent age-related cognitive decline," says nutrition expert Sofia Norton, RD, adding that eggs are a smart food for any stage of life.
Research suggests that both choline and lutein play a crucial role in brain and neurological development during the early days of post-conception — and that lutein is linked to warding off age-related cognitive decline, according to a 2018 review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
And that dose of hearty protein, vitamins and minerals means you'll feel full longer and energized, whether you're hitting the yoga studio or the boxing gym. No matter your craving or the time of the day, these healthy egg recipes are sure to hit the spot.
1. Cloud Eggs
- Calories: 259
- Protein: 21 grams
These fluffy cloud eggs aren't just pretty to look at (and tasty to eat), but they're also perfectly portioned for a single serving. Cloud eggs feature a bright yellow yolk that rests in a pillowy bed of egg whites.
It's a great breakfast dish that provides a whopping 21 grams of protein per serving. Add in chives and other herbs for more flavor or go with spice, like cayenne, for some heat. In addition to adding zest, capsaicin, an active compound found in chili peppers has been tied to preventing and treating obesity, according to a June 2017 article in Bioscience Reports.
Get the Cloud Eggs recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs
- Calories: 269
- Protein: 19 grams
These deviled eggs feature yogurt, which provides extra protein. "Go with unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt for extra protein. Yogurt also boasts probiotics, which can help support gut health and ease digestion," Norton says.
"This recipe combines protein-rich eggs with fiber-rich avocado, which makes for a particularly satiating meal," Norton adds.
Get the Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Avocado Hollandaise Eggs Benedict
- Calories: 253
- Protein: 18 grams
This Eggs Benedict recipe is high in protein from two major players: eggs and smoked salmon. It's topped with rich avocado for creaminess and healthy fats to fill you up faster and for longer — and the phenomenally filling ingredient is mixed into the hollandaise sauce, deeming it healthier than the traditional brunch.
"This meal is made with a number of antioxidant-rich ingredients: eggs, olive oil, avocado, lemon juice and sweet potato," Norton says. Antioxidants found naturally in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are associated with preventing a variety of chronic diseases, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Get the Avocado Hollandaise Eggs Benedict recipe and nutrition info here.
4. California Scrambled Eggs and Avocado
- Calories: 330
- Protein: 14 grams
These scrambled eggs can be ready in 10 minutes, proving to be a quick and easy weekday breakfast solution when you're short on time. "This is another antioxidant-rich recipe that provides lycopene from the tomatoes in the pico de gallo, which can help reduce your risk of cancer and heart diseases," Norton says.
Plus, you'll get 14 grams of protein and 26 grams of satiating fat per serving to keep your cravings at bay throughout the morning.
Get the California Scrambled Eggs and Avocado recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Green Eggs and Kale Salad
- Calories: 372
- Protein: 16 grams
This breakfast salad contains two powerhouse ingredients: Kale and eggs.
Consider kale nature's multivitamin — it packs vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. One cup of raw kale has just 33 calories and only 7 grams of carbs, making it a diabetes- and weight-management-friendly vegetable. It's also linked to reducing the risk of various types of cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What's more, egg proteins found in the whites and beta-carotene concentrated in the yolk have antioxidant properties, per an October 2015 review published in the journal Nutrients.
Get the Green Eggs and Kale Salad recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Baked Eggs in Pepper Cups
- Calories: 308
- Protein: 16 grams
Red bell peppers are exceptionally high in vitamin C in addition to being a good source of beta-carotene and other antioxidants, according to a June 2015 article in Antioxidants. The crunchy peppers serve as the "bowl" in this recipe, making it easy to eat and to keep portioned out for quick snacks and breakfasts, Norton says.
You can play around with different flavors inside the pepper cups, too. You can add orange and pepper, as done in this recipe — or you can add in cayenne and paprika for heat, or go with some fresh herbs (like chives) for a more savory flavor.
Get the Baked Eggs in Pepper Cups recipe and nutrition info here.
7. 'Green Eggs and Ham' Cups
- Calories: 271
- Protein: 26 grams
Dr. Seuss was right about green eggs and ham — this low-carb dish is the perfect morning fuel to keep you full and energized for hours. It's packed with protein and doesn't have sugar and refined carbs that could lead to a crash later on.
What's more, there's ample vitamin D in this recipe, a nutrient important for immunity and bone health, Norton says. Opt for free-range eggs, which happen to be a better dietary source of vitamin D than conventional eggs, per an April 2014 study in Nutrition.
Get the 'Green Eggs and Ham' Cups recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Savory Oatmeal With Shiitake Mushrooms, Spinach and Poached Eggs
- Calories: 311
- Protein: 14 grams
This savory oatmeal is high in fiber and protein, thanks to filling mushrooms, spinach and eggs. It's a nice break from the sweet oatmeal recipes we often opt for at breakfast.
"Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a dietary fiber known for its countless health benefits," Norton says. Those potential benefits include lowered cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation, weight loss and immunity support, per a September 2017 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Feel free to add in spices or herbs for a punch of flavor, too.
Get the Savory Oatmeal With Shiitake Mushrooms, Spinach and Poached Eggs recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Pesto Zucchini Noodle Pasta With Avocado and Soft-Boiled Eggs
- Calories: 474
- Protein: 16 grams
Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) are awesome for a quick and easy lunch or dinner — and you can even enjoy them for a savory breakfast when they're topped with avocado and a runny, soft-boiled egg.
People at risk for type 2 diabetes can benefit from choosing low-carb zoodles over refined white pasta, Norton says. Try whipping this up for a post-workout meal or for a filling breakfast that won't result in a mid-afternoon slump.
Get the Pesto Zucchini Noodle Pasta With Avocado and Soft-Boiled Eggs recipe and nutrition info here.
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition: “A Comprehensive Review of Eggs, Choline, and Lutein on Cognition Across the Life-span”
- Bioscience Reports: “Dietary Capsaicin and Its Anti-Obesity Potency: From Mechanism to Clinical Implications”
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Antioxidants”
- Mayo Clinic: “The Many Types and Health Benefits of Kale”
- Nutrients: “Hen Egg as an Antioxidant Food Commodity: A Review”
- Antioxidants: “Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Grafted Varieties of Bell Pepper”
- Nutrition: “Free-Range Farming: A Natural Alternative to Produce Vitamin D-Enriched Eggs”
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences: “Clinical and Physiological Perspectives of β-Glucans: The Past, Present, and Future”