If you're having a stressful morning, sometimes even the thought of making breakfast is overwhelming. But when you omit your a.m. meal, you miss out on some major health benefits.
Indeed, a robust breakfast (compared to a large dinner) may boost your metabolism, hinder high blood sugar and obesity and curb your appetite and cravings, according to a February 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
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So, on busy mornings, when you don't have the time to stand over a stove or pull together a plate of pancakes, let your microwave do the work.
"A microwave breakfast is fast and satisfying, and it can include foods like eggs that you might otherwise take a leisurely time to create on a weekend on the stovetop," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.
But buyer beware: "Some pre-packaged microwaveable dishes can be loaded with sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats," she says, adding, "if you make your breakfast from scratch, you can have more control over the ingredients."
Luckily, you don't need to muster much energy to make a quick and hearty microwave breakfast from scratch. With at least 10 grams of protein, these five filling, no-fuss microwave recipes are ready in 10 minutes or less, so you'll never have an excuse to skip breakfast again.
1. Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl
- Calories: 156
- Protein: 10 grams
Guaranteed to keep the belly rumbles at bay, this satisfying dish is low in carbs (only 2 grams per serving) and sodium and provides 10 grams of protein thanks to eggs and part-skim mozzarella cheese, says Taub-Dix. Plus, packing your plate with produce like baby spinach, sliced mushrooms and cherry tomatoes will fill you up with fiber as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
And, at just 156 calories, you can still enjoy this egg cup with a slice of whole-grain bread without worrying about overindulging your calorie count. And, a piece of whole-grain toast will bring your breakfast over the 10-gram protein mark.
You can slash the saturated fat in this recipe by using 1 teaspoon of olive or avocado oil instead of coconut oil, Taub-Dix says.
Get the Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Pumpkin Spice Muffin
- Calories: 261
- Protein: 11 grams
Not just for PSL season, this high-protein pumpkin spice muffin might just make a regular rotation in your morning menu all year long.
Low in calories and high in nutrients, one cup of powerhouse pumpkin packs the same amount of potassium as a cup of sliced banana. And pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is vital for vision, your immune system, healthy reproduction and proper organ function, per the National Institutes of Health.
And for those with a sweet tooth, this recipe's hint of honey (a mere teaspoon) is just enough to quench your cravings without overdoing it on the calories and sugar. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top for an extra dose of spice and antioxidants.
Get the Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Middle Eastern Eggs in a Mug
- Calories: 332
- Protein: 16 grams
This Middle Eastern-inspired microwave breakfast features scrambled eggs whipped together with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, scallions and grape tomatoes.
With 16 grams of metabolism-boosting protein, eating a protein-packed meal like this can produce more satiety hormones (so you feel fuller longer) and help you burn more calories, according to a November 2014 study in Nutrition & Metabolism.
Get the Middle Eastern Eggs in a Mug recipe and nutrition info here.
4. No-Flour Blueberry and Oatmeal 3-Minute Microwave Muffin
- Calories: 281
- Protein: 12 grams
With 12 grams of satiating protein, this oat-based, flour-free blueberry muffin in a mug comes with built-in portion control.
"This dish also provides 4 grams of fiber, a nutrient that most of us don't get enough of," Taub-Dix says. Matter of fact, only a measly 5 percent of Americans take in the recommended daily amount of fiber — which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men — according to a July 2016 article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
In addition to keeping your blood sugar in check and your belly full, the soluble fiber in oats has also been shown to help decrease LDL cholesterol levels, the harmful kind, Taub-Dix explains.
Get the No-Flour Blueberry and Oatmeal 3-Minute Microwave Muffin recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Three-Minute Breakfast Burrito
- Calories: 422
- Protein: 25 grams
This breakfast burrito has all the ingredients you love — spicy salsa, black beans, avocado slices and shredded cheddar — but takes a fraction of the time to prepare. All you need is two minutes of nuking to whip up this filling egg wrap that packs in a whopping 25 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. The best part: You don't even need to dirty extra dishes (farewell, frying pan).
Serve this scrumptious scramble with a sprouted-grain tortilla, which may be easier to digest than other varieties.
Get the Three-Minute Breakfast Burrito recipe and nutrition info here.
- Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: “Twice as High Diet-Induced Thermogenesis After Breakfast vs Dinner On High-Calorie as Well as Low-Calorie Meals.”
- My Food Data: “Canned Pumpkin.”
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Consumers.”
- My Food Data: “Bananas.”
- Nutrition & Metabolism: "A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats."
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: “Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap”