Simple, delicious, and wholesome plant-based breakfast recipes to fuel you all morning long. All are vegan or vegetarian (they include eggs), gluten-free, and dairy-free!
photo via Make It Diary Free
What is a plant-based diet?
I’m sure you’ve been hearing this term a lot more these days, but there seems to be a bit of confusion about what “plant-based” really means. Honestly, the first time I heard “plant-based diet” I thought it was just another way of saying “vegan”, but it’s actually quite different.
A “plant-based” diet revolves mainly around healthy, unprocessed, or minimally processed plant-sourced foods (nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes) with some animal-based products like free-range eggs, organic poultry, or wild fish.
A plant-based diet is focused on whole foods and unprocessed options, with the idea to eat plant foods… and lots of them!
Is a Plant-Based Diet Vegan?
A vegan diet, on the other hand, is one that is completely void of animal-sourced foods (meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish, etc.), and often those following a vegan diet will also follow a vegan lifestyle meaning they don’t usually use any animal-based products like leather or wool.
While a vegan diet is free of animal products, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free of sugar, refined flours, or processed foods as we all know there’s no shortage of vegan donuts, cookies, Mac & Cheez, and croissants on the market.
I love this concept of eating and I truly feel that a plant-based diet is a great way to eat for amazing energy, stellar digestion, and overall great health.
With the growing popularity of plant-based eating, I thought it would be fun to share 20 delicious and healthy plant-based breakfast recipes from NITK and the blogosphere to show you just how wonderful plant-based eating can really be.
Whether you prefer a savory breakfast or a sweet breakfast (or a little mix of both) I guarantee there will be at least a couple of easy plant-based breakfast recipes on this list to suit your fancy!
What Can You Eat on a Plant-Based Diet?
For those who have never heard of a plant-based diet, you may be wondering what it is you should plan to eat.
On a plant-based diet, you will be eating anything which comes from plants. Foods that come from plants are as follows:
As you can see, there are several items missing from the list, most notably meat, dairy, and eggs, as these do not come from plants. If you want to have a plant-based diet you will need to cut these items out.
You will also want to start reading the ingredients of all the products you buy. Although an item like bread comes from a grain, sometimes there are additives in a bread product that is not for someone on a plant-based diet.
Why Do People Eat Plant-Based?
There are several reasons an individual may decide to eat a plant-based diet.
Most people choose to eat plant-based for the health benefits it gives your body. Plant-based foods contain many more vitamins and minerals than meats and dairy, making it easier to get all the things your body needs.
Some people eat plant-based for health reasons. Meat and dairy can be very difficult to digest and can cause heartburn and stomachaches if not digested properly. People with these issues frequently feel better when they start a plant-based diet.
Additionally, there are others who embark on a plant-based diet because they care for the environment. Consuming plants is more sustainable and leaves less of a carbon footprint than eating meat.
How to Start a Plant-Based Diet
Ready to give being plant-based a try? If meat and dairy are common in your meals it can be difficult to cut these things out cold turkey. Here is a process you should follow to start a plant-based diet in a way that you can easily maintain.
Step 1: Make Half Your Week Meat Free
Start by cutting the amount of meat and dairy you eat in half. If you currently eat meat every day, try to make 4 of your day’s meat and dairy-free. You should also make your meat portions smaller on the days you do consume meat.
Step 2: Only Eat Meat Once Per Week
After 2-3 weeks of maintaining half the week eating meat, cut back to only eating meat once per week. You should also be cutting back your dairy to only one serving per week. Continue this step for 2-3 weeks as well.
Step 3: Begin lowering Your Sugar Intake
While you are working to cut out the meat and dairy, it’s also time to lower your intake of sugar. Start skipping dessert, and swap any sugary snacks for fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
No more purchasing packaged pre-made grocery store snacks, as they are loaded with sugar.
Step 4: Cut Some More
You should now discontinue purchasing meat and all dairy products. You may consume them once in a while at a friend’s house or maybe at a restaurant. But when you do consume them, the portions are very small.
The only sugar you should be eating is that found in fruits and perhaps a treat on a special occasion like your Birthday. Continue this for one month, maybe two.
Step 5: Eat Only Plants
By the time you get to this step, you should have already cleaned most non-plant products from your diet. And if you’ve weaned yourself correctly, you should find that you no longer desire meats, dairy, or sugar anyway.
If there are any remaining non-plant items in your diet, now is the time to cut them out. Congratulations, you are now on a plant-based diet.
Note: Many people on a plant-based diet continue to indulge in a sweet or a portion of meat/dairy on occasion even after they are almost fully plant-based. You can choose this as well.
Many people find having meat or dairy once in a blue moon, but eating mostly plant-based is the best way to maintain the diet long term.
What Ingredients Are Common in a Plant-Based Diet Breakfast?
As you are transforming your eating habits to be plant-free, you will need to go through your kitchen and toss out anything which isn’t plant-based. Chances are, this will make your kitchen feel a bit empty.
Stock your kitchen up for your new diet with foods that are commonly found in a plant-based diet.
Here are some typical plant-based breakfast ingredients to get you started:
- Brown Rice
- Rolled Oats
- Olive Oil
- Sweet Potatoes
- Black Beans
Of course, this isn’t all that you can eat on a plant-based diet, but stocking your fridge we these items is a good place to start.
Easy Plant-Based Breakfast Ideas
When going plant-based, many people run into the problem of what to make for breakfast. After all, most cereals are not plant-based and are filled with sugar. Eggs are also not on the plant-based diet menu.
Here are some ideas for an easy plant-based breakfast:
- Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito
- Plate of Fruit with Plant-Based Granola
- Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich
- Plant-Based Breakfast Bowls
- Oatmeal with Fruit
- Pecan Energy Bars with Plant-Based Protein
- Hash Browns with Veggies
- Spelt Pancakes
- Oatmeal waffles
Some of these recipes can be made in bulk at the beginning of the week, ensuring you have healthy plant-based breakfasts all week long.
Can You Have a Plant-Based Protein Breakfast?
Athletes and those looking to build muscle may think that a plant-based diet won’t have enough protein for them, which isn’t true. Plant-based diets can be filled with protein by including several specific items in the diet.
Therefore it is possible to have a plant-based protein breakfast. All you have to do is include plant-based protein powder or a plant-based meat product.
What is Plant-Based Protein?
Plant-based protein is a protein that is derived from plants. Most plant-based protein products use the protein derived from soybeans, peas, or beans to create the product.
Plant-based protein can be purchased as a protein powder or mixed into a smoothie. There are also plant-based protein products that are created to mimic meat or dairy foods.
Is There Plant-Based Breakfast Sausage?
There is such thing as plant-based breakfast sausage. But keep in mind, plant-based and vegan are not the same.
Before buying any sausage labeled as vegan, ensure you read the ingredients to be sure everything in it is derived from plants and that the product isn’t loaded with oils and sugar.
Is Plant-Based Meat Healthy?
While eating a plant-based diet is generally seen as healthier than eating meat, there is no proof that plant-based meat is good for you. Rather, these products can often be stuffed with additives like oils and salts.
Instead of filling your diet with plant-based meats, you should focus on consuming more fruits and vegetables and save these products for a moment when you really want to consume something which resembles meat.
Amazing Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes to Start Your Day Off Right
1. Coconut Porridge Bowl
This stunning Cocoporridge bowl is filled with delicious plant-based ingredients including banana, coconut flour, cinnamon, vanilla, buckwheat groats, and cocoa nibs.
Grab a spoon, check out the recipe on When Sweet Becomes Healthy and dive in!
2. Banana Cream Pie Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are an amazing and super healthy plant-based food that does wonders for your digestive system. Not only are they good for you, but they can be used to create this delicious breakfast pudding recipe from Choosing Chia that will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you full all day.
3. Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
Carrots may be a vegetable but can also be sweet depending on how you make them. Follow this recipe by Nutrition in the Kitchen and blend carrots with oats, raisins, walnuts, coconut yogurt, and plant-based milk to make a tasty and satisfying overnight oats breakfast.
4. Plant-Based Breakfast Skillet Recipe
A breakfast skillet is an easy way to make a plant-based breakfast that can be tailored to your tastes. Try this breakfast skillet by Make it Dairy Free which is loaded with plant-based ingredients including potatoes, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, spinach, and the perfect touch of herbs.
5. Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie
Gorgeous, green, and perfectly plant-based, this smoothie recipe from Nutrition in the Kitchen is packed with spinach, banana, and ground flaxseed. The dark chocolate is optional but adds a delicious sweetness and a touch of antioxidants.
6. Savory Vegan Breakfast Bowl
Take a look at this colorful and savory breakfast bowl from Deryn of Running on Real Food. It is filled with scrambled tofu (an awesome plant-based breakfast protein), kale, avocado, mushrooms, and cooked brown rice to create a tasty combination you won’t be able to get enough of.
7. Fruit-Filled Overnight Oats
Oats and quinoa are the beautiful grains that make the base of this delicious plant-based breakfast recipe by Nutrition in the Kitchen.
You will simply love waking to this every morning, especially when it’s topped with tons of fruit, seeds, coconut, and the nut butter of your choice.
8. Strawberry Cream Cheese on Bagels
Um, yum. I think I’d like to put this plant-based cream cheese from The Vegan 8 on everything. It’s made from freeze-dried strawberries, cashew butter, and plant-based yogurt and is a perfect way to brighten up any morning.
9. Vegan Coconut Rice Pudding
Another delightful and easy plant-based breakfast recipe from Choosing Chia, this pretty rice pudding is filled with coconut milk, rice, vanilla, cardamom, pure maple syrup, and topped with juicy berries.
You can’t go wrong when you start your day with this tasty dish.
10. Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Tacos
Another tasty savory plant-based breakfast option, these tacos from Nutrition in the Kitchen do contain eggs (which are fine on some plant-based diets) but are also loaded with lots of plant foods including beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and lime.
For those who don’t consume eggs on their diet, it can be substituted for sauteed scrambled tofu.
11. Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt
Missing your morning parfait? Making your own homemade plant-based yogurt has never been easier with this super simple tutorial from Make It Dairy Free.
Then ensure the coconut yogurt finds its way into this delicious fruit and coconut yogurt breakfast parfait.
12. Super Green Avocado Plant-Based Breakfast Smoothie
Filled with avocado, spinach, banana, lemon, and plant-based yogurt, this smoothie from Vibrant Plate is sure to fill you up at breakfast and put a big smile on your face.
Chances are, even your kids might enjoy this plant-based breakfast.
13. Sunbutter Baked Oatmeal Cups
These gorgeous looking plant-based breakfast cups from Feasting on Fruit are filled with natural, unsweetened sunflower seed butter, rolled oats, applesauce, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
They would make a great morning snack too and being nut-free, a great lunchbox addition.
14. Zen Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
The Zen Quinoa Breakfast Bowl by Nutrition in the Kitchen is still one of my most popular breakfast recipes, inspired by a lovely little cafe in Oahu.
Loaded with plants like broccoli, tomato, kale, mushrooms, carrot, and quinoa then topped with scrambled eggs or tofu, avocado, and sprouts, it’s a plant-based breakfast bowl sure to please.
15. Mushroom Bean Avocado Toast
Move over plain avocado toast, this mushroom bean toast is another savory option to try for a healthy and filling plant-based breakfast. Grab this recipe from Grateful Grazer and thank me later.
16. Simple Healthy Breakfast Muesli
Berries, berries, and more berries alongside plant-based yogurt, rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and a sprig of mint.
It’s all plants, it’s all yummy, and all drizzled with a perfect touch of honey. It’s delicious, you can find the recipe on Nutrition in the Kitchen.
17. The Best Avocado Egg Plant-Based Breakfast Salad
This next addition to this easy plant-based breakfast recipe list is a super tasty egg salad option from Pinch of Yum that’s packed with avocado, dill, parsley, and lemon.
Perfect on a gluten-free grain bagel or enjoy it with a spoon. It’s up to you!
18. Perfect Berry Smoothie Bowl
The only way to make a smoothie even more tasty is by putting it in a bowl and adding toppings to give it that perfect crunch. Create this smoothie bowl from Nutrition in the Kitchen and you’ll see exactly what you’ve been missing.
19. Sunbutter Granola
Struggling to find a plant-based granola to add to your plant-based yogurt and smoothies? Try this easy recipe from Feasting on Fruit in which you’ll be combining sun butter, oats, sunflower seeds, vanilla, and some cinnamon to make the breakfast topping you didn’t know you were missing. .
20. Cassava Flour Pancakes
One thing you might be missing on the plant-based diet is your morning waffles or pancakes. Don’t fret, you can still enjoy your favorite brunch treat when you use cassava and almond flours to make these delicious plant-based pancakes from Nutrition in the Kitchen.
How to Make a Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich
Missing your good friend the breakfast sandwich? It is super easy to make one that is plant-based that will satisfy you the same way. Here is how you do it:
Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich Ingredients:
- Ciabatta Bread
- 4 Portobello Mushrooms
- 1 Package Firm Tofu
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- ½ Teaspoon Tumeric
- ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Jar Vegan Red Pesto
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- ¼ Small Red Onion, chopped
- Olive Oil
Directions for Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich:
Step 1: Grill the Portobellos
Use your grill or a sauté pan to cook the portobello mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil. If using a grill, use a brush to cover the mushrooms in oil. Grill for at least 8 minutes on each side.
Step 2: Scramble to Tofu
Drain the tofu and break up into pieces. Add the turmeric, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3: Toast the Ciabatta
Toast the Ciabatta breads and spread pesto inside each half of the bread. Sprinkle onions and alfalfa on the bottom half of the sandwich.
Step 4: Build the Sandwich
Put the portobello mushrooms on top of the half with onion and alfalfa, then top with the scramble as desired. Put the top half of the bread on and enjoy.
A plant-based breakfast sandwich is a quick and easy breakfast that you can enjoy at any time of the day. Although best consumed right after cooking you can wrap the leftovers and reheat in a microwave.
How to Make a Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito
The only thing that is easier to eat than a breakfast sandwich is a breakfast burrito. When you have a busy schedule for the week ahead, plan to make a few of these and wrap them in tinfoil.
Keep them in the fridge, and when you need one, pull it out, microwave it, and voila, you have an on the go plant-based breakfast. Sound good? Here’s how you make them.
Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito Ingredients:
- Olive Oil
- ½ White Onion, diced
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
- A taco seasoning blend
- 1 Package Firm Tofu (or other plant-based meat)
- 1 Can Black Beans, drained
- Cassava Flour Wraps
- Hash browns (or make your own)
- Salt and Pepper
- Salsa for serving
- Hot Sauce for Serving
Directions for a Plant-Based Breakfast Burrito:
Step 1: Sauté the Tofu
Drain the Tofu and break it into scrambled egg sized pieces. Sauté with onion, bell pepper, and seasoning, adding oil if needed.
Step 2: Add the Hash Browns and Beans
Add in the hash browns and beans and sauce until the hash browns are done. More oil may be needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3: Roll the Burritos
Put a scoop of the mixture from the pan in the middle of the tortilla. Roll and serve with hot sauce and salsa. Roll any extras in tinfoil and put in the fridge.
Can a Plant-Based Breakfast Help With Weight Loss?
Yes. While you are not guaranteed to lose weight on a plant-based diet, starting your day with a plant-based breakfast can help you to control and lose excess weight.
Is There Anywhere You Can Buy a Plant-Based Breakfast?
Yes, the coffee store Starbucks actually offers a plant-based breakfast sandwich for those days when you are in a huge hurry.
Are There Savory Options for a Plant-Based Breakfast?
If you are looking for something savory for breakfast, there are many plant-based options. Look for plant-based bacon, sausage, or maybe even chicken at your local grocery store.
Are Eggs on a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet focuses on consuming items that only come from plants. Thus, eggs are not part of a plant-based diet.
Is Oatmeal OK for a Plant-Based Breakfast?
While oatmeal is a plant and can be consumed as a plant-based breakfast, note that it is not a complete breakfast on its own. To get all the vitamins and minerals you need you should add fruits, nuts, and maybe even some veggies to your oatmeal.
Are Cheerios a Plant-Based Breakfast?
Cheerios are not fully plant-based as the Vitamin D in them is derived from wool grease. You are better off making your own plant-based breakfast using a plant-based breakfast recipe than consuming cheerios.
Time to Try Plant-Based Eating
If anyone ever said plant-based is boring, they are definitely mistaken. All that color, all that wholesome goodness, I’d be happy to eat plant-based breakfasts for the rest of my life! Tell me, which one will you try first?
Have you tried a plant-based diet, or is this a way you normally eat? Is this something you’d like to try but weren’t sure where to start? Start with breakfast and the recipes in this list. Let’s chat about it in the comments! Don’t forget to pin the photo below to save this awesome roundup for later and of course, share the love!
More Plant-Based Inspiration You’ll Love:
For breakfasts I really like to eat oatmeals. It’s a fulfilling and healthy meal. I always add to it fresh fruits, if possible. My lunch most often consists of salads. I have a small garden next to my house in which I grow vegetables which I eat later. The most desiderable veggie in my family is lettuce so I always have its different varieties. Butter lettuce, romaine lettuce and of course rockets from https://gardenseedsmarket.com/perennial-wall-rocket-seeds-diplotaxis-tenuifolia-200-seeds.html . These are three which you’ll always find in my kitchen!
Sounds great! Thanks for commenting Paula!
Oats is my favorite and combination with oats is always healthy and tasty. But after reading your article, i found so many other healthy breakfast options, i will try soon with my new breakfast meal. Thanks for sharing.
I’M so happy i found this site, and looking forward to your recipes with all the wonderful choices, to help me get started and stay on target.
So glad you’ve stopped by!! 🙂
Hi I just wanted to inform you that I am a follower of the plant based lifestyle for a few years now and while you are right about what the plant based diet is based upon, you are wrong in saying that it includes a small amount of animal products since the plant based diet excludes all animal products like the ones you mentioned (eggs, fish etc). It focusses on unprocessed natural foods that are in no way produced by animals since a lot of the substances found in animal products are seen as unhealthy and harmful to both our health and our environment. In any case this are some nice recipes but they don’t belong under the plant based diet category.
Thanks for the feedback and comment on my post, as to not confuse other readers and create dialogue with you, I wanted to talk about the accurate definitions regarding a “plant based diet” that actually can include a small or moderate amount of animal products. A person who follows a whole foods plant based diet may not eat any animal products or may eat a minimal amount. The key word is “BASED”, which is not “only” and not exclusive. People confuse plant based with vegan often as well thinking that plant based means exclusively plant foods. Here are two articles that explain further: https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/the-difference-between-a-vegan-and-a-plant-based-diet, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/plant-based-diet-vs-vegan, also the founder of the “plant based diet” who originally coined the term, Dr. Colin Campbell also specified that plant based diet is different from vegan in that it may include animal products and is not based on ethics, read more here: History of the Plant-Based Movement. I hope this helps clarify things for you a little bit and while you may consider yourself a follower of the plant based lifestyle who chooses to omit animal products, it would not be wrong for another follow of the plant based lifestyle to include some in their diet.
I have been obese all my life largely due to being sedentary and terrible food choices. One of my childhood friends has suggested going to a plant based diet but I am afraid the transition will be to difficult and I will turn back to my old ways and give up. I really want to change, I am 57 years old and my life expectancy decreases each day I remain overweight. I’m hoping you can help.
Hi Maurice! Congrats on choosing to make a change and searching online for inspiration! My suggestion would be to start slow, swapping out 1 meal per day with a plant based meal then after a month swap out a second meal, and continue until all meals are plant based slowly over time. Ease your body (and your mindset!) into it 🙂