If you've heard the phrase "plant-based" but aren't exactly sure what it means, it describes a style of eating that is primarily based on whole plant foods. The pillars of plant-based eating include veggies, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. If you think this sounds a heck of a lot like veganism, you aren't wrong, but the two are not interchangeable. With a plant-based diet, someone may still choose to eat some animal products, such as dairy, fish, and eggs. Also, for many, veganism extends beyond dietary habits; for example, not wearing fur or leather.
Okay, understand the difference? Cool. As you likely have noticed, plant-based eating has gotten mega-popular in the past few years. As that's happened, people have really upped their recipe game (so long, flavorless tofu scrambles!). While this is definitely great news, it now takes quite a bit of work to dig through all of them to find the really good ones.
Well, we did all the hard work for you, sifting through well-known recipe blogs—and not-so-well-known ones—to find 10 plant-based breakfast recipes that are delicious, healthy, and don't take too much time to master. Keep reading to see the best of the best.
10 plant-based breakfast recipes eaters of all diet types will love
1. Lemon chia muffins
This is the perfect plant-based breakfast recipe for when you want to make something to share with your whole work team. (Post-pandemic, of course.) Dreamed up by holistic health coach Lily Kunin, the batter is a mix of gluten-free flour, flaxseed, and unsweetened almond milk. And those chia seeds on top aren't just for show—they add protein so you'll stay satiated until lunch.
Get the recipe: lemon chia muffins
2. Bali bliss papaya salad
What's so beautiful about this recipe is that it celebrates nature's bounty with little dressing up; papaya and coconut are so flavorful on their own, they don't need much work. Created by My New Roots's Sarah Britton, the only other ingredients are lime, ginger, sea salt, coconut oil, and honey (skip if you're vegan). Nutritionally, this tropical fruit salad is bursting with fiber and antioxidants. Papaya is especially good for the gut due to the enzyme papain that helps with digestion. This breakfast is lacking on the protein front, but incorporating a handful of nuts will easily make it more well-rounded.
Get the recipe: Bali bliss papaya salad
Nope, you don't need milk or eggs to make a great stack of light, fluffy pancakes. Love and Lemons creator Jeanine Donofrio uses a clever blend of bananas, almond milk, olive oil, baking soda and powder, oat flour, whole wheat flour, and flax to mimic the classic pancake texture sans any animal products. Working bananas right into the batter already gives the 'cakes some sweetness, but adding in vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg is a sugar-free way to boost the taste. Besides being full of fiber, the olive oil adds healthy fats—something you normally miss out on with a pancake breakfast.
Get the recipe: banana pancakes
4. Rose smoothie bowl with tahini granola
Does this breakfast from Sweet Potato Soul's Jenne Claiborne look gorgeous or what? The rich purple color comes from blending together heart-healthy blueberries and vegan yogurt. (Pro tip: Add a banana for extra fiber and sweetness.) Topping it off is a homemade tahini granola made with fiber-filled oats and pistachios (a great source of protein and healthy fats). The final flourish is dried rose petals, which are just the perfect amount of extra.
Get the recipe: Rose smoothie bowl with tahini granola
You want matcha and breakfast, but you only have one free hand and have to go. Enter this recipe that gives an energy kick while satisfying those hunger pangs. What makes this recipe so special is the whipped cream, which is a blend of passion fruit and yogurt. (If you're vegan, go for alt-yogurt, which is blessedly everywhere these days.) Nutritionally, the fruit covers your fiber base and as long as the vegan yogurt you choose has protein (most do, but check the nutrition panel to be sure), you're set.
Get the recipe: matcha milkshake with passion fruit whipped cream
Serving a dozen of these donuts on the breakfast table is a total mic drop moment. Sure, it may sound like a sugar bomb, but it's really not! While there is chocolate involved, maple syrup and vanilla extract are the primary sweeteners. Peanut butter also gives it that dessert-like taste, but doubles as the protein needed to fuel your morning.
Get the recipe: Tagalongs peanut butter donuts
Fiber, antioxidants, protein...this breakfast has it all, while tasting like cobbler. It's pretty hard to start the day off on the wrong foot with a breakfast like this. A Tasty Love Story blogger uses warming ingredients like cardamom, pumpkin seeds, and ground vanilla to make this dish really hit the spot. Since this breakfast is oats-based, you'll be starting your day off by getting great fiber, key for maintaining good digestion and preventing inflammation.
Get the recipe: raw apricot crumble
More in the mood for a savory breakfast? Oh She Glows's Angela Liddon has you covered. Her golden pancakes made with chickpea flour cook the same way as the traditional 'cakes you know and love, but taste tangy and not at all sweet. The topping is made with vegan mayo, garlic, and fresh lemon juice and can be whipped up in just a couple minutes, which is a good thing, because you'll want to stick a fork in this stack ASAP. Since they're made with chickpea flour, they have way more protein than traditional pancakes too.
Get the recipe: crunchy dill chickpea pancakes with lemon garlic aioli
There's nothing quite like a cup of coffee and a thick slice of banana bread. This recipe, courtesy of Minimalist Baker blogger Dana Shultz, delivers on the classic flavor without using butter or eggs. And the combo of bananas, coconut sugar, and almond butter gives the perfect amount of sweetness. Each slice of this banana bread does have fiber as well as a little protein and healthy fats (from the nuts and flax egg), but you may want to add a protein-rich plant-based yogurt to your breakfast to up the protein even more.
Get the recipe: one-bowl vegan gluten-free banana bread
If you thought all zucchini was good for was making zoodles, you've been missing out. Work 'em into your breakfast with this recipe, which combines the fiber-filled squash with almond butter for protein, healthy fats, and creaminess. Besides those two starring ingredients, all you need are a few spices and voila—breakfast is served.
Get the recipe: almond butter zucchini bars
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