Having enough protein in your diet is essential, no matter what your goals are. Protein is an essential macronutrient that can help you boost your metabolism, stay energized, lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain a balanced diet. There’s nothing like starting the day off with a protein-rich breakfast that’ll keep you satisfied and feeling strong as you get your day going, but that’s definitely easier said than done on busy mornings!
These are 7 great examples of high protein breakfasts – with the added benefit that some are super quick and easy without any prep!
1. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re even a complete vegetarian protein. Still, only one tablespoon of chia seeds gets you less than 5 grams of the muscle-building nutrient, so amp up your morning chia with soy milk and crushed almonds to get closer to 10 grams. To boost protein (and thickness!) even further, stir in your favorite protein powder.
2. Blueberry Protein Oatmeal
Oatmeal on its own is a delicious breakfast full of fiber and whole grains, but you can round it out and amp up the nutrition by adding protein-packed ingredients like flax meal, chia seeds, soy or almond milk, or protein powder.
My favorite is 1/3 cup oats topped with 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, and 1/2 cup blueberries. That’s right, you can stir flavored or unflavored protein powder right into your oatmeal.
Per serving: 329 calories, 21 g protein, 11 g fat, 50 g carbs, 8 g fiber
3. Oat Yogurt Cups
Another option to increase the protein in your oatmeal is to add a couple of dollops of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra flavor. This packs 11 grams of protein per serving and is easy to take on the road with you. Plus, you get filling fiber and healthy probiotics. One servings is 1/3 cup oats and 4 ounces of flavored, low-fat Greek yogurt.
Per serving: 196 calories, 15 g protein, 5 g fat, 33 g carbs, 6 g fiber
4. Greek Yogurt Parfait
Thicker than the regular kind, Greek yogurt packs in more protein: One cup delivers 23 grams. It’s also high in bone-building calcium and potassium. For a filling breakfast, layer the creamy stuff with fruit and a high-fiber cereal. Tip: Before serving, stir in that liquid sitting on top of the yogurt. That’s whey, and there’s protein in it.
5. Smoked Salmon
Yes, fish for breakfast. Smoked salmon is a morning staple in Scandinavian countries, and for good reason: A 3-ounce serving has almost 16 grams of protein, plus heart-healthy omega-3 fats. You can add it to omelets and frittatas, or have it the traditional way: Make an open-face sandwich with a piece of rye bread, smoked salmon, and cream cheese. Sprinkle with dill or chopped scallions.
6. Canadian Bacon-and-Egg Sandwich
Craving bacon? Cook up the Canadian kind. Made from lean cuts of pork, a two-slice serving has 12 grams of protein and less than 2 grams of fat. Serve it on a whole-wheat English muffin with an egg. You’ll stay full: Research shows that people who had eggs in the morning ate 22% fewer calories at lunch than those who had a bagel.
7. Tofu Scramble
Perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike, tofu can mimic eggs. Crumble a block of tofu in a pan and scramble it like you would eggs, adding your favorite veggies, herbs, and spices for flavor. Half of the recipe gives you about 22 grams of protein. Extra-firm tofu tends to work best, and if you have time to press it first, go for it. Your scramble will still be yummy if you don’t press it, though.