Breakfast

10 Ways to Add More Plant-Based Protein to Breakfast

Including grab-and-go breakfast options.

By: Lexy Parsons

Plant-based diets are making a buzz in the wellness world — and based on the benefits, we’re here for this healthy eating trend. And since plant-based whole foods are packed with nutrients, it makes sense that eating a plant-based breakfast would be beneficial! After all, a nutritious breakfast provides us with the fuel we need to power through the day. But, you may be wondering, what about protein? Isn’t a protein-rich breakfast important, too? Yes, it is! And contrary to popular belief, a plant-based breakfast and a protein-rich breakfast aren’t mutually exclusive. That’s right — you can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Ahead, we’re sharing the best ways to add more plant-based protein to your breakfast and breaking down all the benefits!

Health Benefits of Adding More Plant-Based Whole Foods to Your Diet 

There are many benefits of incorporating more plant-based whole foods into your diet, even if you’re not strictly vegan or vegetarian. That’s right — you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to benefit from this eating style! In fact, virtually every diet recognizes the importance of plant-based foods to some extent, encouraging the addition of whole foods like antioxidant-rich leafy greens and fiber-filled veggies. 

If you think about it, plant-based foods in their whole form are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! Foods like colorful fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes are not only balanced in macronutrients (including plant-based protein), but they’re also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

The Benefits of a High Protein Breakfast

As we mentioned, a protein-rich diet is equally as important! Similar to the benefits of plant-based whole foods, kicking off your day with a protein-packed meal has shown to be very beneficial.

According to research, a protein-packed breakfast increases satiety and prevents overeating, reduces cravings for not-so-healthy foods, regulates hormones (especially ghrelin and leptin, our hunger hormones), and supports energy and metabolism.

The good news is that getting adequate amounts of plant-based protein in your morning meal is easier than you think. Ahead, we’re sharing the best ways to enjoy a plant-based breakfast packed with protein. Prepare to be fueled, satiated, and satisfied!

10 Ways to Add More Plant-Based Protein to Your Breakfast 

#1 Protein-Packed Smoothies

Sans protein powder! That’s right — you can make a protein-rich smoothie with whole food ingredients — no protein powder needed. 

Our favorite smoothie ingredients for a nourishing protein-packed, plant-based breakfast include:

Almond butter: 1 tablespoon = 3.5 grams of protein 

Peanut butter: 1 tablespoon = 4 grams of protein 

Hemp seeds: 1 tablespoon = 3 grams of protein 

Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon = 2 grams of protein

Kale: 1 cup = 3 grams of protein 

Avocado: ½ avocado = 3 grams of protein

Oats: ½ cup = 6 grams of protein

#2 Meal-Prep Overnight Oats

Did you know that a ½ cup of oats contains nearly 6 grams of plant-based protein? And that’s without any additional ingredients added! If you include other protein-rich ingredients like nut butter, plant-based milk, and chia seeds, you’re looking at a mighty tasty breakfast loaded with plant-based fuel. Our favorite way to combine these tasty ingredients is with a mouth-watering overnight oats recipe! The perfect busy-morning breakfast. 

Need some meal-prep inspiration? Try these five tasty overnight oats recipes! 

#3 Warming Plant-Powered Breakfast Bowls

Prefer a warm breakfast? You can get all the benefits of overnight oats with a warming bowl of whole grains like oven-baked oatmeal or cozy quinoa porridge! And if you want to up the plant-based protein even further, add a drizzle of nut butter or a sprinkle of protein-packed seeds, like hemp seeds.

#4 Plant-Based Protein Energy Bites

Make a batch of protein-packed energy bites using plant-based ingredients. When you’re in need of on-the-go energy, it’s the easiest way to fuel your morning while satisfying your sweet tooth. Plus, you can easily adjust the flavor or customize the recipe with your favorite ingredients (like adding in cacao powder or swapping out PB for almond butter).

Try this yummy Date-Free Peanut Butter Bliss Balls FitOn PRO recipe! Made with creamy peanut butter and satiating oats, it’s packed with protein and will keep you energized all day morning long.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats, rolled
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cacao
  • 1½ tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs (optional)

Directions

Step #1: Place all of the ingredients, except the cacao nibs, in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until ingredients are combined, and the mixture sticks together. If the mixture is too wet, add more oats, and mix. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of warm water.

Step #2: Once the mixture is ready, add the cacao nibs and pulse until they’re spread throughout.

Step #3: Roll the mixture into balls of your desired size and add to the freezer for 15 minutes to set.

Step #4: Store in the fridge for 3-4 days or keep in the freezer.

#5 Chickpea-Topped Avocado Toast

Give traditional avocado toast a plant-powered upgrade. Make your favorite avocado toast recipe, and simply top it with a serving of roasted chickpeas! In addition to adding 5 grams of protein per half-cup serving, roasted chickpeas also provide a tasty and flavorful crunch!

#6 Plant-Based Breakfast Scramble

Skip the eggs and give tasty tofu or tempeh scrambles a try. This plant-based breakfast is not only loaded with protein, but it’s also an easy way to load up on various veggies! Some of our favorites include zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and sauteed sweet potatoes. 

#7 Loaded Breakfast Tacos 

This savory breakfast option is a satisfying way to fuel up on protein-packed plant foods. Protein-rich ingredients like black beans, chickpeas, avocado, and kale make for filling and flavorful additions! You can even add in crumbled tofu or tempeh for an added boost. Wrap it all up in your favorite breakfast tortilla (which can be protein-packed too… hello chickpea tortillas!) and dig in. 

#8 Creamy Chia Pudding

Aside from their rich fiber content (a whopping 5 grams per tablespoon), chia seeds are packed with healthy fats and plant-based protein. And, they’re low in calories. The takeaway? They make for the most satiating, nutritious meal! And if you’re a sweet tooth lover, the good news is that making chia seed pudding is like enjoying a healthy dessert for breakfast.

Try this simple FitOn PRO Banana & Blueberry Overnight Chia Pot recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt to taste 

To serve: 

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter 
  • Blueberries 

Directions:

Step #1: Place the chia seeds in a bowl and cover with almond milk.

Step #2: Add the mashed banana, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir to combine.

Step #3: Place in the fridge for 10 minutes or overnight to set. 

Step #4: Serve topped with almond butter and a sprinkle of blueberries.

#9 Breakfast Parfait

Whipping up a morning breakfast parfait is a quick and simple way to load up on good-for-you nutrients that pack in a considerable amount of protein. Best of all, it’s easy to customize and takes minutes to prepare! 

Step #1: Make Your Base. To make your base, you’ll need a yummy and filling option like yogurt (we love Kite Hill Greek-Style yogurt for a protein-rich plant-based option) or chia pudding. 

Step #2: Add A Crunchy Layer. Next, you’ll want to give your breakfast some texture by adding a crunchy layer — feel free to get creative here! Think: protein-packed cereals, a sprinkle of homemade trail mix or granola, or a handful of nuts and seeds.

Step #3: Flavor it With Fruit. Give Your parfait an all-natural flavor boost with fresh fruit. Berries are a low-sugar, low-calorie option that are full of fiber (and our personal favorite). But, this could be any fruit of your choosing!

Step #4: Repeat steps 1-3. To complete your parfait, add another layer of each previous layer. Store it in an airtight container or enjoy immediately!    

#10 Plant-Based Protein Pancakes

Thanks to oats and chia seeds, these 3-Step Banana & Cinnamon breakfast pancakes are rich in plant-based protein, along with other nourishing ingredients like bananas and cinnamon. Enjoy it with a drizzle of nut butter and fresh berries for a balanced meal! 

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Optional Toppings:

  • ½ banana, sliced
  • Nuts 
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 

Directions:

Step #1: To make the pancakes, place all of the ingredients, except the coconut oil, into a blender or food processor. Blend until you’ve reached a smooth consistency.

Step #2: Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of pancake mixture to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the pancakes are golden and cooked through.

Step #3: To serve, stack the pancakes on a plate and top with freshly sliced banana, raw nuts, and maple syrup, if desired.

Fuel Your Day, The Plant-Powered Way!

As you can see, starting the day with a nourishing protein-packed breakfast can be quite simple. There are so many ways to mix and match your favorite plant-based foods to create a tasty, protein-rich meal. And, you don’t have to be fully plant-based to reap the benefits! Any eating plan can benefit from the addition of extra plant-based protein or plant-based whole foods, in general! So, go ahead and fuel up the plant-powered way.