When it comes to weight loss, including adequate protein in your diet can make a world of difference. Contrary to popular belief, weight loss is not always just about eating fewer calories and exercising more.
The kinds of foods you include in your diet can have a big impact on your weight loss goals. Starting your day off right with a protein-packed breakfast can help you stay full for longer throughout the morning and help keep your blood sugar levels stable to avoid energy crashes and cravings later on.
So, if you’re on a weight loss journey and in need of some creative ways to add more protein to your breakfast, we’ve got you covered! Read on for nine of our favorite high protein breakfast recipes to get you started.
Is a High Protein Breakfast Good for Weight Loss?
As one of the three vital macronutrients, protein plays an important role in your overall health. Protein is essential for muscle growth, helps with hormone regulation, balances your blood sugar, and is critical for helping you to stay full for longer after eating.
For anyone on a weight loss journey, consuming adequate protein can support lean muscle mass, which helps to boost your metabolic rate. This can make it easier to burn more calories throughout the day.
Starting your day off with protein can help prevent energy crashes and cravings later on in the day, and may even help prevent overeating since you will stay fuller for longer. If you want to add more protein to your diet, start by opting for whole food sources of protein such as:
- Lean meats
- Dairy like Greek yogurt and fermented kefir
- Tofu and other soy products
- Fish and seafood
If you find yourself struggling to hit your protein goal, finding a sugar-free protein powder is another great way to add protein to your diet in the form of protein shakes or even tasty protein smoothies.
9 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes to Try
There are so many ways to get creative when it comes to adding more protein to your diet. If you’re feeling stuck, here are nine protein-packed recipes recommended by our team of registered dietitians and nutritionists here at Nutrisense.
1) Banana Nut Protein Oatmeal - Recommended By Patrick Scheel RDN, LDN
Oatmeal is a breakfast classic, and Patrick’s homemade oatmeal recipe is a great way to add some protein to this meal. If you’re in a rush, you could even prepare this the night before for on-the-go overnight oats.
Topping this oatmeal bowl off with nuts and seeds is a great way to add some extra healthy fats which can benefit your blood sugar response and keep you feeling satiated.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup milk (or almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (such as almond, sunflower, or peanut butter)
- 1 scoop protein powder
- A pinch of chia seeds (topped)
- Handful of walnuts (topped)
Why Patrick Loves This
Patrick says, “If you love starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal, this is an easy, high-protein spin on a breakfast classic. Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also packed with lots of important nutrients!”
2) Turkey Sausage Breakfast Scramble - Recommended By Payton Baker, RDN
Turkey sausage is one of the better options out there when it comes to breakfast meats, and Payton’s homemade breakfast scramble is protein-rich and packed full of flavor. This dish also makes for an excellent gluten-free, low-carb, or keto breakfast option.
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
- A little brown sugar (optional)
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Chopped bell pepper
- Chopped onion
- Eggs (number depends on desired serving size)
- Any other veggies of choice
- Olive oil
Why Payton Loves This
Payton says, “This is one of my favorite go-to high protein breakfast options for several reasons. It's quick and easy to prepare, it's packed with flavor, you can do it in as big of a batch as you want, and the home-seasoned sausage limits the amount of additives that are generally in store-bought sausages!”
3) Simple Tofu Scramble - Recommended by Rebecca French, RDN
This tofu scramble recipe by Eating Bird Food is a great healthy breakfast option for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike! It comes together quickly and can even be converted into a satiating breakfast bowl by pairing it with a side of black beans, sweet potato, or any veggies you have on hand for an extra boost of fiber as well.
- 16 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons avocado or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons water (as needed)
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup shredded kale or baby spinach
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Why Rebecca Loves This
Rebecca says, “This tofu scramble is one of my favorite high-protein breakfast options! Switch it up from the usual egg scramble, also great for those that have egg sensitivities! I love that this recipe is also packed with other nutrient powerhouses - turmeric, kale, mushrooms, garlic, nutritional yeast plus a little kick of hot sauce!”
4) Greek Yogurt Parfait - Recommended by Christie Borders, CNS
Greek yogurt is packed full of protein, and this homemade recipe by Nutrisense dietitian Christie Borders is a tasty way to start your morning with protein and healthy fats.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoon hemp/chia/flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- Zest of one lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- 1 scoop of unsweetened protein powder (optional)
Why Christie Loves This
Christie says, “My favorite easy breakfast is a standard yogurt parfait! I love this because I don't have to cook and it tastes like a treat. By adding a scoop of vanilla protein powder for extra protein, this recipe can provide up to 30 grams of protein to start your day.”
5) Protein-Packed English Muffin Sandwich - Recommended by Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD
English muffins are excellent for making a good breakfast sandwich that’s perfect for meal prep as well. Sourdough is higher in protein than other types of bread, and adding in egg, turkey sausage, and cheese also packs a punch of added protein to your breakfast.
- 1 whole wheat English muffin
- 1 egg, scrambled
- 2 turkey sausage links or 1 patty
- 1 slice Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoon ricotta cheese
- 1 handful of arugula or spinach
- 1 sliced radish (for some crunch!)
Why Amanda Loves This
These little sandwiches are easy to make at home and pack around 27 to 30 grams of protein. You can even customize this to your liking by adding hard-boiled eggs or fried eggs instead of scrambled eggs.
6) Scrambled Eggs with Cottage Cheese - Recommended by Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN
Another easy way to give your morning meal a protein boost is by adding some extra protein to your eggs. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, and it can be whisked into your egg mixture for a rich and creamy egg scramble. You can pair this with a slice of avocado toast for some additional healthy fats and whole grains.
- 2 eggs
- 1 turkey sausage link
- 1/4 cup cottage cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado
- Slice of whole grain bread (optional, on the side)
Why Marie Loves This
Marie says, “If you are not a fan of eating cottage cheese on its own, this a great way to boost protein at a breakfast meal, and also make scrambled eggs more creamy. Top this off with some shopped turkey sausage and diced tomatoes for a solid 25 grams of protein (at least)!”
7) Veggie Frittata - Recommended by Victoria Eaton, RDN, IFNCP
There are lots of ways to whip up eggs in the morning, but a frittata is a one that you shouldn’t overlook! Starting the day with a high protein breakfast like this veggie frittata recipe by Erin Lives Whole can help stabilize glucose for better energy throughout the day.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped
- 3 strips turkey bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Why Victoria Loves This
Victoria says, “I'm a big frittata gal over here! This frittata recipe combines eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese, and turkey bacon to give you plenty of protein to start your day with. You can even add some crumbled feta cheese for a boost of extra healthy fats.”
8) Protein Coffee - Recommended by Stephanie Etherington, RD, CDE, CDCES
Not everyone likes to start off their day with a big meal, and if that’s you—don’t worry! Getting creative and starting the day with protein coffee is an easy way to sneak extra protein into your diet. Here’s Nutrisense dietitian Stephanie Etherington’s homemade protein coffee recipe:
- 2 cups brewed coffee
- 1 scoop unflavored collagen peptides (I used Vital Protein)
- 1 tsp Allulose (optional)
- Splash of grass-fed, organic whole milk
Why Stephanie Loves This
Stephanie says” I’m not a big breakfast person, but I do love protein coffee! Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is a bit controversial when it comes to balancing your blood sugar. If you’re prone to morning spikes, consider pairing your coffee with one of the other delicious recipes we’ve included here!”
9) Shrimp and Blue Corn Grits - Recommended by Heather Davis MS, RDN, LDN
This egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and protein-rich savory dish is a Southern classic and comes modified slightly from Simply Recipes.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup stone-ground blue corn grits
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, duck fat, or olive oil
- 4 slices bacon (optional)
- 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion*
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 2 cloves garlic , minced*
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup bone broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Juice of 1 lemon, about 1 to 2 tablespoons
*if you have a FODMAP sensitivity, you might be able to swap these out for FODMAP-friendly garlic-infused oil and chopped scallions, (green parts only).
Why Heather Loves This
Heather says, “I work with some people who might have intolerances to things like soy, eggs and dairy. So many typical breakfast options contain those foods, so I like to come up with alternatives without compromising on protein. I also love savory breakfasts that can double as leftover meals for any time of day. ”
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Heather has worked in healthcare and nutrition for over 15 years, with bachelor's degrees in Microbiology and Philosophy and a master's degree in Nutrition Science. Her professional background includes nutrition and diabetes research, nutrition education, medical writing, and extensive clinical work in a functional neuroendocrine specialty practice.