These tasty vegan breakfast ideas are full of whole grains and plant based protein. Best of all, they’re totally delicious!
Looking for plant based and vegan breakfast ideas? Breakfast doesn’t have to be all eggs or yogurt! Whether you eat a fully plant based diet, or want to cut dairy and meat out of your morning, we’ve compiled our most delicious vegan breakfast ideas for you!
These plant based recipes are full of whole grains and protein. And most importantly: they’re totally delicious! From cashew butter steel cut oats to carrot cake breakfast cookies, there are hundreds of ways to start the day with plant based breakfasts! Most of these recipes are also considered whole food plant based recipes (WFPB), recipes that feature minimally processed foods like vegetables and whole grains. Just skip the recipes with refined flours and sugars and focus on things like oatmeal and acai bowls.
First up in our vegan breakfast ideas: toast! It’s ultra simple, but something we eat all the time. No joke, we love us some nut butter toast for breakfast. It’s protein packed and keeps us satisfied all morning long! Use purchased almond butter, or our Homemade Almond Butter or Nut Butter if you have a food processor. Top with berries or honey. For added flair, try our Easy Strawberry Jam for a delicious morning meal.
Next up in our plant based breakfast ideas: smoothies! They pack in the vitamins and nutrients: and add some nut butter to keep them filling. This acai bowl is a perfect vegan breakfast, topped with nuts and fruit. If you’ve never had one, it’s a smoothie bowl with the smoothie made from acai berries.
The bowl is loaded with toppings like fruit, granola, coconut and almond butter. Where does acai come from? Acai berries actually grow on palm trees and are native to Brazil! Acai bowls are a popular dish in Brazil, and they’ve now become very popular here in the US as a healthy breakfast or snack.
Another favorite smoothie is this sweet tart glowing green apple smoothie, which is loaded with leafy greens and lightly sweetened with maple syrup and green apple. The tangy is balanced with sweet, and it has a loose but creamy texture that’s easily drinkable and a vivid, glowing green color. We can’t promise that it will make you skinnier or healthier or immune to all disease, but it tastes incredible and it is literally packed with nutrients.
Even just the words “blueberry pancakes” conjure up the most beautiful scene, don’t they? That slanty morning light. Hot coffee brewing. That smell when the batter hits the griddle and makes the entire kitchen smell heavenly. Yes, blueberry pancakes are the definition of cozy nostalgia.
And the flavor of these plant based pancakes: they’re pretty perfect. The crumb is light and fluffy, perfectly tender. They’re lightly sweet, punctuated by the tangy blueberries. Topped with pure maple syrup, the flavor simply pops.
This vegan french toast recipe uses bananas in two ways: both in the bread soak and caramelized on top. Combined with chia seeds and chopped pecans, it makes for a more nutrient-filled, real food rendition of the traditional brunch recipe. And wow, is it delicious! As a vegan breakfast idea, we suggest slathering with a bit of peanut butter to balance the sweetness and make it a bit more filling. Another option is to scrap the breakfast idea all together and make it for a dessert!
Oatmeal is the powerhouse of plant based breakfast ideas. And we’ve got all sorts of options! The Best Oatmeal is chewy and toasted, and the flavor has readers around the world swearing off “normal” gooey oats. (It's a vegan version of our Toasted Oatmeal.) Our favorite toppings: all natural peanut butter and strawberry jam. They'll keep you full all day long! See also Easy Instant Pot Oatmeal.
Another vegan breakfast idea: make up a big pot of steel cut oats and you can eat off of it all week! This one is apple cinnamon flavored and oh so delicious! We topped it with fresh fruit and cashew butter.
Why make steel cut oats? Nutritionally, steel cut and rolled oats have the same benefits: lots of fiber and plant-based protein to start your day. But an additional health benefit of steel cut oats is that since they are processed the most minimally, they may be digested more slowly and have a lower glycemic index. This may allow you to feel fuller and have less of a “spike” of energy after eating.
For the easiest plant based breakfast idea ever, try our DIY instant oatmeal! You can make up a batch in 5 minutes. Then when you go to eat it, you can microwave it in just 2 minutes. Breakfast in 2 minutes? Yes please.
Next up in our plant based breakfast ideas: granola and muesli! As a rule: granola is not so healthy. Many store-bought granolas and homemade granola recipes are full of sugar and oil. Many are also super high in calories.
But! This healthy granola recipe came about because we wanted to feed our son Larson something that was actually healthy. It ended up being healthier than most granolas, and easy to make too. And it’s so delicious: perfectly crunchy, warmly spiced, and just the right amount of sweetness.
Muesli is homemade breakfast cereal: it’s similar to granola but with no oil and very little sweetener. This plant based breakfast is a fan favorite, cinnamon-scented with toasted coconut, pecans, and dried cherries. Top with your favorite almond milk and enjoy!
Muffins and breakfast cookies are perfect vegan breakfast ideas for mornings on the go. These Turmeric Vegan Blueberry Muffins are another fan favorite recipe: they’re lightly sweet featuring tangy blueberries and a hint of turmeric.
Here’s what one follower told us: “My daughter and I made your vegan blueberry muffins yesterday. We had a lot of fun and they’re so good! I love that you have so many vegan recipes since she can eat them!”
These vegan apple muffins are perfectly fluffy and moist. The best part is a crunchy apple streusel muffin topping: it gives each bite a perfectly sweet crunch, without being overly sugary. Slather with peanut butter or almond butter and it's a fantastic plant-based breakfast recipe.
Another plant based breakfast idea for busy mornings: make a big batch of these Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies. They’re hearty, tasty, and the texture is just right: pleasantly chewy, almost like a Cliff bar–but better! They’re also easily portable for traveling or breakfast on the go. Pull them out of the freezer when you’re running out the door!
Looking for vegan comfort food for breakfast? Look no further than this vegan biscuits and gravy! Impossibly flaky biscuits are covered in a thick and creamy mushroom gravy. It's so good, it's hard to believe this one is 100% plant based.
And last but not least in our vegan breakfast ideas: a tofu scramble! You'll be surprised how much this has the flavor and texture of scrambled eggs! It's a healthy, savory plant based breakfast that takes only 10 minutes to whip up. If you'd like, serve it with the veggie saute: red onion, peppers and greens cooked until tender. Add toast and you've got a filling way to start the day! (We'd even eat it for lunch or brinner.)
Looking for more plant based breakfast ideas?
And that’s it: some of our very favorite breakfast ideas! If you’re looking for more, here are a few additional ideas that we love:
Start the flax egg (it needs to sit for 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and kosher salt.
In a separate bowl, pour in the buttermilk, maple syrup, and oil. When the egg is done, add the egg.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If you’d like, add a tiny pinch of turmeric (our batter was very light, and a little turmeric mimics the color an egg yolk adds).
Lightly press a skillet with additional grapeseed or vegetable oil. Heat the skillet to medium heat. Pour the batter into small circles, and place blueberries on top. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until done. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.