5 Vegan Breakfasts That Pack Just as Much Protein as a 3-Egg Omelet

Photo: Getty Images/Oscar Wong
Some days you wake up and immediately think: I need a really good breakfast. Maybe you have a hefty to-do list to get through, or want something to help fuel the workout you have in the books for later on. Whatever the case, opting for high protein vegan breakfasts will fit the bill (and help you squeeze a couple more health-boosting plants into your meals). So get yourself a cup of coffee or tea—and let's get cooking.

When you're trying to phase meat, eggs, and dairy out of your diet, Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert, says it's a good idea to incorporate as many plants into your diet as possible. "The main thing to remember is that your vegan protein sources add up. Generally speaking, plant-based protein has less protein per serving than animal foods, but you can get what you need by eating a balanced meal and incorporating nuts, seeds, pulses—such as chickpeas and lentils—and whole grains," she says. The protein is out there—you'll just have to work a little bit harder to get it all on your plate.

Experts In This Article
  • Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition
  • Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, registered dietitian and nationally-recognized food, nutrition, and wellness expert with a private nutrition counseling practice

Ahead, we ask dietitians for their go-to a.m. meals that contain just as much protein as a three-egg omelet (that's about 18 grams), minus the meat, dairy, and eggs. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory, easy or complex, these flavorful dishes have you covered.

Why is protein important?

We often hear protein getting all of the hype in the nutrition world, but why is this the case, you may be wondering? To sum it up quickly: it's one of the essential building blocks for supporting just about every bodily function. “Protein is vital for building, repairing, and oxygenating the body as well as playing a key role in making enzymes that digest our food. It's also an important part of the production and regulation of our hormones,” Bill Cole, DC, a cellular health specialist and functional medicine expert, previously shared with Well+Good.

Although protein deficiencies are often rare, they can lead to slow wound healing, a weakened immune system, muscle loss, weakened bone strength, and fatigue, to name a few. That said, ensuring you're getting enough protein on the day-to-day is critical, especially as you age. "As we age our muscles gradually get weaker and our bones become frail leading to muscle wasting, fractures, drastically decreasing your quality of life. Maintaining a good amount of protein in your diets much earlier on, starting in your 20s, helps to prevent all that weakening and decompensating from happening," Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, a registered dietitian and founder of BZ Nutrition, previously shared with Well+Good.

How much protein should you eat for breakfast?

Eating a high-protein breakfast is always the goal. But how much protein is the sweet spot? According to health experts, there's extensive evidence that indicates consuming 30 grams per meal—yes, per meal—is ideal for supporting overall well-being. Keep in mind that protein needs can vary based on factors such as an individual's lifestyle, activity level, health conditions, among many other variables.

Ahead we're diving into several high-protein vegan breakfast options that have between 18 to 20 grams of protein. Although this is just short of the RD-recommended 30 grams, it's a great place to start (that have just as much protein a three-egg omelet has to offer). A sneak peek at which veggies have the most protein (aka 30 grams of the nutrient per serving): one cup of tempeh (made from fermented soybeans), one and a half cups of tofu (cooked soybeans), and two cups of black beans, to name a few. Baby steps, fam.

But rest assured: many of these high-protein breakfast ideas can be paired with other vegan protein sources or a bowl of high-protein cereal to help you meet your intended quotas first thing in the morning, before you dive right into your favorite vegan lunch ideas.

5 high-protein vegan breakfast ideas to kickstart your morning

1. Protein-packed yogurt parfait

Ingredients: 8 ounces flax milk yogurt + 1/4 cup of walnuts + 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds + 1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 1/2 cup of blackberries

"A vegan yogurt parfait is one of the most delish breakfasts, especially when you add in walnuts," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Connecticut. "These are the only nuts that are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 ALAs, which are super important for people following a vegan diet. Plus, walnuts are a good source of vitamin B6, providing [about] 0.2 milligrams per ounce! Vitamin B6 is a key micronutrient that immune cells depend upon, according to research." To boot, this breakfast option contains exactly 18 grams of protein. Done and done.

2. Classic diner-style breakfast combo

Ingredients: 1 folded JUST Egg + 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast + 8 ounces oat milk + 1 vegan sausage patty + 2 apricots

If you want the feeling and flavor of an egg without the egg itself, Gorin says that JUST Egg is one of the best egg substitute options. "These vegan eggs are made from mung bean protein and provide seven grams of protein per folded egg. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast, and serve with the vegan sausage and apricots. You can drink the oat milk on its own or brew it into a latte," she says. Oh, and did we mention this breakfast contains 19 grams of protein? Not too shabby, fam.

3. Scrambled "eggs" avo-toast

Ingredients: Tofu scramble + peppers and onions + whole-grain toast + mashed avocado

Tofu scrambles are a favorite of  Cassetty's. Tofu easily absorbs spices, making it super flavorful. Although it has a slightly more silky texture than eggs themselves, it's still a delicious option for herbivores. "Crumble four ounces of extra-firm, drained tofu, and mix it with two teaspoons of nutritional yeast and other seasonings. Then sauté it and serve it with sautéed peppers and onions, alongside a slice of whole-grain toast spread with mashed avocado," she says. Add it all up and this meal supplies a grand total of about 20 grams of plant-based protein. Swoon. 

4. Protein power balls and smashed chickpea toast

Ingredients: 2 chocolate almond butter protein balls + 1 slice whole-grain bread + 1/4 cup canned chickpeas

Looking for something a little sweet and a little savory? Say no more. "I love to make my own chocolate almond butter protein balls, which each provide six grams of protein," says Gorin. Best part: they're made with only six simple ingredients, including oats, almond butter, chia seeds, unsweetened cocoa powder, pistachios, and vanilla extract. Mash it all together, roll 'em into balls, and voilà: protein power balls.

Up the ante by noshing on these sweet power balls with a serving of protein-packed chickpeas. "You can combine these with a piece of whole-grain toast topped with smashed chickpeas." This breakfast contains a whopping 20 grams of protein and contains all the fiber-rich benefits chickpeas have to offer. Total win.

5. Edamame avo toast

Ingredients: avocado toast + smashed edamame + roasted chickpeas + hemp seeds

Up the protein of your avocado toast with Cassetty's easy upgrade. Once you've spread the avo on whole-grain toast, go ahead and smash edamame on as well. Add roasted chickpeas and hemp seeds, and—voilà!—you have a protein-rich breakfast that also contains whole grains and healthy fats (from the avocado and hemp seeds). "This upgraded avocado toast has 18 grams of plant-based protein," says Cassetty. "Serve it with a veggie hash on the side."

No need to Google. Here's a veggie hash recipe to pair with your high-protein vegan breakfast ideas:


Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Stach, Kamilla et al. “Vitamin B6 in Health and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 13,9 3229. 17 Sep. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13093229

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