8 Breakfasts That Pack Between 20 And 30 Grams Of Protein

It’s old news: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But are you building yourself the best morning meal for your health—and waistline? One major key to a successful breakfast: protein.

Though we all need different amounts of protein throughout the day (depending on size and activity level), you want to make sure it’s a part of every meal, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N. “Protein is crucial for repairing and building muscle,” she says. The sweet spot: about 20 grams of protein per meal. This much will help your body maintain muscle mass without going overboard, since, according to Harris-Pincus, your body may store anything beyond 30 grams of protein as fat instead.

Hit that sweet spot with these eight nutritionist-approved breakfasts.

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photo: Lauren Harris-Pincus
  1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

One of Harris-Pincus’ favorite breakfasts is overnight oats because they’re easy to make in advance. With 23 grams of protein, eight grams of fiber, and antioxidants from the cocoa powder, her chocolate-covered strawberry overnight oats will keep you full ‘til lunchtime.

You’ll Need:
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ scoop chocolate protein powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet preferred sweetener
1/3 cup unsweetened preferred milk
1/3 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 tsp mini chocolate chips

Stir together the oats, protein powder, cocoa powder, and sweetener in a container. Add the milk, stir, then add the yogurt and stir. Mix in most of the strawberries, then top with chocolate chips and remaining strawberries. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.

Related: 8 Overnight Oats Recipes That Make Breakfast Taste Like Dessert

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photo: Lauren Harris-Pincus
  1. Toasted Coconut Wild Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie bowl has a little secret: It packs 14 grams of fiber (thank you, coconut flour!), helping you stay fuller longer. Not to mention it contains 27 grams of protein.

You’ll Need:
1 Tbsp toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup preferred milk
1 tsp chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 packet preferred sweetener
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup ice

Add all ingredients except the toasted coconut to a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl, then top with toasted coconut.

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photo: Lauren Harris-Pincus
  1. Protein-Packed Chocolate Cereal Bowl

Cereal has been a breakfast favorite since we were kids, but typically lacks protein and leaves us hungry and wanting yet another bowl within the hour. This protein-packed cereal bowl will have you slurping up every drop of milk—and also happens to pack 22 grams of protein. Harris-Pincus recommends choosing a high-fiber cereal that adds a lot of volume—but not calories—to your morning meal. Mix up the protein powder flavor, fruit, and type of cereal for a dozen breakfast combos.

You’ll Need:
1 cup toasted oat cereal
½ cup high-fiber cereal
¾ cup preferred milk
3 Tbsp chocolate protein powder
1 cup sliced strawberries

Add cereal and strawberries to a bowl. Whisk protein powder into milk until dissolved, then pour over cereal and strawberries.

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photo: Rachael Hartley
  1. Smoked Salmon And Goat Cheese Frittata

Bake this bad boy at the beginning of the week and serve up a slice every morning for a high-protein breakfast. Rachael Hartley, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., C.L.T., loves this frittata because it incorporates fish (a great lean protein) into her morning meal. With 25 grams of protein per serving, this isn’t your average ‘ole egg breakfast.

You’ll Need:
10 eggs
½ cup preferred unsweetened milk
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup sliced scallions
1 chopped tomato
4 oz. chopped smoked salmon
2 Tbsp of chopped dill
2 Tbsp of capers
3 oz.  crumbled goat cheese

Beat eggs and milk until well-combined and then season with salt and pepper. Preheat broiler. Heat olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet on medium heat and sauté scallions for one minute. Add tomato and cook for three minutes. Then add smoked salmon, cooking for 30 seconds, and pour in egg mixture, dill, and capers. Stir until combined and cook five to seven minutes until mostly set. Top with a sprinkle of goat cheese and broil in the oven for one minute. Serve hot or cold.

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photo: Rachael Hartley
  1. Breakfast Enchiladas

Move over, huevos rancheros. This healthy breakfast is a Mexican food-lover’s dream come true.

“Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein to include at breakfast,” says Hartley. These breakfast enchiladas pack about 25 grams of protein per serving from the beans, corn tortillas, and eggs. Plus, sweet potatoes add extra fiber and antioxidants.

You’ll Need:
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp of chili powder
1 can black beans, drained
6 beaten eggs
12 corn tortillas
12 oz. jar salsa verde
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add sweet potatoes and sauté for five minutes, or until browned. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove mixture from pan, place in a large bowl, and add beans to the bowl. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet and add eggs. Scramble and stir in potato mixture. Pour a half-cup of the salsa verde into a large baking sheet. Spoon a half-cup cup of the egg-potato mixture into corn tortillas, roll, and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas and egg mixture. Top with remaining salsa verde and feta cheese. Bake 20 minutes.

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photo: Tori Schmitt
  1. Blueberry Cream Smoothie

This vegan, gluten-free, high-protein smoothie packs 23 grams of drinkable protein. According to Tori Schmitt, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., this breakfast helps kickstart your morning by providing a balance of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. The dates add a subtle natural sweetness and the cauliflower adds a sneaky serving of vegetables.

You’ll Need:
1 cup unsweetened preferred milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp kale powder or 1 handful fresh kale
1 cup frozen blueberries and strawberries
1 pitted date
3 cauliflower florets
1 tsp chia seeds

Add milk, protein powder, kale, date, frozen mixed berries, and cauliflower to a blender. Blend for two to four minutes and add ice until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Pour into a glass and top with chia seeds.

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photo: iStock
  1. Broccoli And Egg Scramble

These flavorful morning eggs pack 20 grams of protein, plus an extra kick of unsaturated fatty acids for sustained energy from the avocado, and fiber from the broccoli, says Schmitt. Quick, easy, and packed with produce.

You’ll Need:
½ cup broccoli
2 eggs
2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 medium avocado
1 cup raspberries

Sauté the broccoli in a skillet, add eggs, and scramble. Once cooked, remove from pan and top with the shredded cheese and avocado. Serve with a side of raspberries.

healthy breakfast with yogurt, muesli and berries
photo: iStock
  1. Cottage Cheese Bowl

The pili nut (a native of the Philippines that you can find in many health food stores) is one of Schmitt’s favorite ways to add protein to a snack or meal. This nut, cottage cheese, and fruit combo provides 20 grams of protein, plus healthy fats and magnesium.

You’ll Need:
¾ cup cottage cheese
½ cup green grapes, halved
2 Tbsp of pili nuts
Dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and top with cinnamon.

Related: Find oils, seasonings, sweeteners, and more to help you whip up healthy meals.