The 7 Best High-Protein Breakfast Foods at Trader Joe’s (If You Ask an RD)

Photo: Stocksy/Darina Kopcok
Want to build and/or muscle mass, promote healthy aging, boost energy, and then some? Prioritizing protein at each and every meal—especially breakfast—is one of the easiest tricks in the book to do exactly that. And to add a bit of pizazz to your breakfast protein lineup, you really can’t go wrong by browsing the aisles at Trader Joe’s. Whether fresh or frozen, animal- or plant-based, cooked or ready to go, there’s no shortage of fun and flavorful protein-rich breakfast foods to choose from at the country’s most unique and famously friendly grocer.

Ahead, Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York City, shares some of her top high-protein breakfast picks at Trader Joe’s—including why they get her seal of approval and tips to integrate them into a tasty, balanced meal.

Experts In This Article

The best Trader Joe's high-protein breakfast foods, from an RD

1. Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

Depending on the stock of your local Trader Joe’s, you’ll have as many as dozens of yogurts to choose from—yet Shapiro recommends opting for some variety of Greek yogurt. “[This is one] of my favorite things to recommend for breakfast because it contains 15 to 16 grams of protein for 120 calories or less, depending on which you choose,” she shares.

Shapiro particularly suggests opting for a cup with minimal added sugar, or none, like a plain Greek yogurt. If you still want to complement the tanginess with a bit of sweetness, toss in some fresh fruits like berries, then personalize it with nuts, seeds, and similar mix-ins. Better yet, nutrient-dense toppings like Trader Joe's Organic Chia Seeds and Unsalted Peanuts can amplify the protein count even further.

2. Icelandic Style Skyr

Love your yogurt but want to expand your horizons? Shapiro suggests checking out the Icelandic Style Skyr at Trader Joe’s—which, similar to Greek yogurt, is rich in protein (around 15 grams) and gut-friendly probiotics, to boot. “Skyr only has 5 grams of added sugar, so if you like a flavored yogurt, this is the way to go,” she continues. Toss in the same toppings suggested above to round out your morning meal.

3. Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

This type of wild salmon isn’t only among the best high-protein breakfast foods at Trader Joe’s. It also doubles as an incredible brain-boosting food, courtesy of EPA and DHA: two types of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that support brain development and improved function. The smoked version at Trader Joe’s offers 26 grams of protein per container, or 13 grams for a 3.5-slice serving. “This is such a great option to enjoy in an omelette; on whole grain bread, crackers, or bagels; or with eggs or avocado,” says Shapiro. “This also requires no cooking and no prep, so it's a great addition to your morning meal on the go or at home.”

4. Banana & Almond Butter Protein Smoothie

If you’re not the type to whip up an elaborate spread for breakfast or if you skip your morning meal entirely because you’re short on time, Shapiro recommends stocking up on this grab-and-go vegan smoothie. “Full of whole food ingredients with less than 15 grams of sugar, no added sugar, and 14 grams of protein, this will get you through any morning rush with no clean up,” Shapiro shares. “I love the addition of bananas for potassium, almonds for heart-healthy fat, and pea protein for plant-based protein.” For my fellow coffee lovers: Kill two birds with one stone by taking a few sips of the smoothie while you’re still at home, pour in some of TJ’s Cold Brew Concentrate, and enjoy your new and improved caffeinated blend.

“Full of whole food ingredients with less than 15 grams of sugar, no added sugar, and 14 grams of protein, this will get you through any morning rush with no clean up. I love the addition of bananas for potassium, almonds for heart-healthy fat, and pea protein for plant-based protein.”

5. Organic Firm Tofu

Prefer to cook up a plant-based source of protein for breakfast? Shapiro suggests making a scramble from a block of Trader Joe’s Organic Firm Tofu. “I would chop it up, mix it with some seasoning like turmeric, and add in some veggies and nutritional yeast for a high-protein, nutrient-dense, heart-protective meal,” she shares. She suggests cooking at least 4.5 ounces to get 12 grams of protein from tofu. From there, a 3 tablespoon yield of nutritional yeast will up your protein count by 8 grams, making it just shy of the dietitian’s recommendation of at least 21 grams of the macro at breakfast. (Anything from a slice of whole wheat toast to even a high-protein milk alternative in your coffee will tip you over this minimum quota with ease.)

6. Egg Frittata

Shapiro says the Trade Joe’s Egg Frittata—whether on its own or in a breakfast sandwich—is a no-brainer for those hoping to maximize time and convenience without skimping on protein. “Easy to make in the microwave, these frittatas supply a hefty dose of protein coming in at 25 grams per serving,” she shares. “I love the addition of cauliflower here for some antioxidants and swiss cheese for calcium.”

7. Eggwich Breadless Breakfast Sandwich

For a more inventive take on the classic breakfast sandwich, Shapiro recommends opting for the Trader Joe’s Eggwich, which uses egg patties in place of a bun alongside turkey sausage and American cheese. Altogether, the three protein sources offer 16 grams of the macro per serving, which Shapiro says should keep you satisfied until lunchtime. She suggests adding some fruit or veggies to round out the meal, whether you eat it plated at home or as a sandwich on the go.

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