Diet & Weight Magazine

25 High-protein Breakfast Ideas

By Dietdoctor @DietDoctor1

Whether you eat breakfast at the crack of dawn or when the sun is high in the sky, if you make it a high-protein meal, you'll set yourself up for the rest of the day.

By eating more protein, you'll be more apt to lose weight and body fat while retaining muscle and keeping your metabolism high.

This practical guide gives you lots of tips and ideas for delicious high-protein breakfasts that include much more than ham and eggs.

At the end of this guide, we'll briefly explain the scientific evidence about why you should prioritize protein at the start of your day and we'll link to key research citations.

25 high-protein breakfast ideas

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High protein defined

Diet Doctor defines a high-protein breakfast as one that provides at least 25 grams of protein per serving and has a protein percentage of 25% or higher.

The protein percentage tells you how much of a food's calories come from protein as opposed to fat and net carbs. The higher the percentage, the more protein-dense the breakfast (and the more protein and satiety for the fewest calories, too).

Depending on your height and your goals for weight loss or for reducing body fat, you may want to eat 30 to 40 grams of protein at each meal if you are an average-sized woman and 35 to 50 grams if you are an average-sized man.

Refer to this chart to find your suggested daily minimum protein target based on your height.

Minimum daily protein target Height Women Men

Under 5'4″ ( < 163 cm)

90 grams

105 grams

5'4″ to 5'7″ (163 to 170 cm)

100 grams

110 grams

5'8″ to 5'10" (171 to 178 cm)

110 grams

120 grams

5'11" to 6'2″ (179 to 188 cm)

120 grams

130 grams

Over 6'2″ (188 cm+)

130 grams

140 grams

If you are just starting out eating a higher protein diet, you can increase your protein grams and percentage slowly to see how you feel and how your body responds.

In each of the recipes in this guide, we provide the protein amount in grams per serving and the protein percentage per serving.

We have included a few options that are just below a protein percentage of 25% for variety and to allow more choice for those who want to increase protein slowly.

Whatever the recipe, if you want to add more protein, add an extra egg white, or serve a side dish of another high-protein food. Try adding sliced ham, bacon, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, smoked salmon, or another protein source like dairy, meat, fish, or legumes. Serve any of those on a bed of veggies or greens.

Instead of just coffee, tea, or water, if you want a higher protein drink to go with your breakfast, try our dairy-free keto latte, which blends a whole egg and coconut oil into your morning cup of coffee. That's an extra 6 grams of protein.

On a final note, many people like to do time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting, eating only two meals a day, often just lunch and dinner. If that is your preferred pattern, aim to get even more protein in your first meal of the day - at whatever time you eat it - so that you meet your daily protein targets over your two meals.

Let's get started.

High-protein Breakfast Ideas
25 high-protein breakfast ideas

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Egg recipes

25 high-protein breakfast ideas

Eggs are nature's impeccable packets of protein perfection. They're versatile, affordable, nutritious, and delicious. They can be quick and simple to make. You can't go wrong with eggs.

A large egg has about 6 grams of protein. To reach a high-protein target, women should eat at least three eggs and men eat four eggs at a sitting, along with another source of protein.

But it's your choice how you cook them: boiled, poached, fried, scrambled, baked, or cracked into a new recipe.

Did you know that Diet Doctor has more than 80 egg recipes? You're sure to find ones you like if you scroll through the many possibilities.

Here are nine delicious high-protein egg recipes to whet your breakfast appetite:

High-protein Breakfast Ideas

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25 high-protein breakfast ideas

Eggs disguised

We get it. Not everyone is crazy about eggs. And even if you happen to love 'em, finding new ways to switch them up can add to the enjoyment and variety of your meals.

So, try using eggs in delicious dishes that hide them. You'll still get all their filling, nutritious protein without being so aware that you're eating eggs.

Again, if you want to up the protein grams of your meal even more, add a side dish of plain Greek yogurt, ham, smoked salmon, cottage cheese, legumes, tofu, nut butter, or other sources of plant or animal protein.

Here are three high-protein recipes that include eggs, but in ways you're less apt to notice:

    Croque Monsieur
    Two cottage cheese pancakes on the outside of a ham and cheese sandwich make this a filling, high-protein meal. And if you add a fried egg on top, it makes it aCroque Madame Protein: 42 grams; Protein percentage: 36%


25 high-protein breakfast ideas

Eggs are not the only way to get lots of protein at breakfast. To keep your breakfasts varied and interesting, try some of our recipes where meat, cheese, or plant-based proteins take center stage.

High-protein Breakfast Ideas

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25 high-protein breakfast ideas

High-protein smoothies

A protein-packed smoothie whipped up in a blender is always a great way to start your day. That's because it's quick, nutritious, and filling. Blend and go.

Plus, you can make so many variations simply by blending in different ingredients. Using commercial protein powder, such as unflavored pea or whey powder, is a way to make smoothies higher in protein. Diet Doctor recommends that if you are using protein powders that you pick one without fillers or with limited extra ingredients.

Fish recipes

25 high-protein breakfast ideas

Do you like fish? You're in luck! Fish and seafood make a nutritious high-protein breakfast.

While some recipes call for fresh fish and seafood, remember that canned salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, herring, and sardines are convenient, high-protein options. You can always have them on hand in your pantry.

For example, frying a 5-ounce can of sardines and putting it on a bed of sauteed kale is a fast and easy breakfast, giving you 33 grams of protein and a protein percentage of 32%.

Here is a quartet of high-protein fish options for breakfast.

High-protein Breakfast Ideas
25 high-protein breakfast ideas

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You don't need to go to a lot of trouble to make a high-protein breakfast recipe. Just reheat high-protein leftovers from the night before. Leftover steak, chicken, or pork, sliced on a bed of greens, or a warmed-up high-protein casserole all taste just as good the next day.

Diet Doctor is consistently adding more high-protein meals to its collection. You can browse through some of our top high-protein recipes here. Make enough for dinner to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day.

Why eat high protein?

Are you still wondering why you should start your day with a hefty serving of protein?

Strong research evidence shows that eating more protein can help you lose weight, reduce your hunger, and keep your muscles strong without slowing your metabolism.

Eating high protein at your first meal sets you up to experience less hunger for the rest of the day. Studies of 116 diets in humans show that people on average may eat almost three times more calories on a low-protein diet than on a very high-protein diet. Called protein leverage, this means when the body gets enough protein, it naturally reduces its appetite for high-energy food. So by consuming high protein at the start of your day, in most cases, you will naturally consume less energy for the remainder of the day.

Diets with increased protein can prevent or help treat type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and possibly even reduce the risk of heart disease. Higher protein intake also helps prevent a condition called sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass that can occur as you age. Plus, it can help keep your bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, which is a loss of bone mass.

Diet Doctor has lots of information and recipes to help you eat a high-protein diet. Check out our other high-protein guides:

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